Computer speed problem

mtvhike

Recently I've been having speed problems with my 2-year old Win10 PC. I'm not sure if it's a network problem, or a computer hardware problem. What's a good problem to test my network speed. I'm doing a lot of Zoom meetings, and they seem slow. I have Symantec Endpoint Protection (Virus and Spyware, Proactive Threat, and Network and Host Exploit), and it says "no problems detected". Running the Task Manager reveals a lot of activity which I cannot trace. Recently I downloaded a large zipped file from my Google Drive and it took forever to unzip it.


One possible cause is that I was trying to install a program, and got the message to update my Java installation. I tried, and got the message that the update wouldn't work with Chrome (which is what I was using), so I switched to Edge and tried again. Got another response, saying that I needed to use Internet Explorer, which I then installed. I never solved my Java problem, but things seem to have slowed down ever since I installed IE.


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Elmer J Fudd

How much RAM does this PC have? The number is likely in the 2-12 GB range, more is better and having it at the lower end can be a problem. Check Settings, System, About, to see. Report back what it is because if at the lower end, I have a small band-aid to offer.

Sometimes Windows 10 updates can bog down a PC for days. If you start it up, it starts to update, and you shut it down before it finishes, it can leave you in limbo requiring a rollback (System Restore, NOT System Recovery) and a new, uninterrupted update session.

Or, you may have too many things loading at startup. Right click on the Task Bar at the bottom, left click on Task Manager, then choose the Startup tab and look to see how many things are loaded when the PC starts. Too many items will needlessly consume resources and slow the machine down. You can carefully disable things you're confident don't need to be loaded each and every time. Things that can be disabled (stops loading at bootup) include software update apps (like Adobe and Apple), Skype, Zoom, iTunes, Spotify, yada yada. When you choose to use one of these programs, what's needed will load at that time. Be careful what you disable at startup, the stuff with obscure names are usually essential to normal operations


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mtvhike

Thanks, Elmer, for your suggestions. One problem with Windows is that there are so many things running and I don't know which I can dispense with. While checking the startup files, I noticed that there was a major system update waiting to be done. I removed several of the startup programs (for things I don't need to be run automatically), then did the system update. Things seem to be better now, so I will live with it for awhile.


FYI, I have 8 GB RAM, an I7 processor, and a 1TB hard drive. Its screen is 4k, so loading images may slow things a little, and I do have a 4k tv connected to the HDMI port, but I don't think that's having any effect.

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Elmer J Fudd

The size of the hard drive doesn't matter for performance unless it's nearly full. 8GB RAM should enough unless you're doing memory intensive things (large spreadsheet or Powerpoint files using special features, video editing,etc). I would suspect the problem may be too many pieces of unnecessary code loaded at startup and perhaps too many windows/programs/apps active at one time? From the Task Manager, startup point, you can write down names of apps that get loaded and then google to see what they are and what they do. It's easy enough to prune the list down, just be careful as before.


The bandaid - if you don't have a solid state hard drive in the laptop, stick a fast thumb drive or SD card in the PC, start Windows Explorer, right click on that drive, click on Properties, and enable Ready Boost. That will set up a sector of memory to use as additional workspace. Keep that device plugged in, don't remove it when the PC is on.

What does that do - it gives you more solid state cache area. It's slower than RAM but faster than caching read write ops to a rotating hard drive. Will often improve sluggish performance.

Ready Boost has been a quiet and untouted feature of Windows for a long time, I believe back before Win 7. All the way back to the original IBM PC days when there were no hard-drives and PCs had only floppy drives, MS Dos had a feature that allowed setting up "virtual memory" so that read/write operations could be handled using memory instead of much slower floppy drives.



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mtvhike

Thanks, I do have a spare 256GB USB3 stick I can try ReadyBoost with. The slowdown did start fairly recently. I listed all the processes using Task Manager, and sorted them by name. There are three apps: Google Chrome, Excel, and Task Manager. There are 110 background processes, too many to list. The most CPU hungry is Google Chrome - several instances of that. In fact, several processes have multiple instances. I'll shut down Chrome and try again.

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Elmer J Fudd

What I was suggesting to do to was to look under the STARTUP tab of Task Manager. Not the regular one.

Did you do that?


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mtvhike

I did, and I had 7 processes I didn't need and turned off. Some are for applications I may use but are not using now: Audirvana (a music player); Autodesk Desktop App, 2 Canon printer apps for a printer not at this location, GlobalProtect client (for VPN connectivity), and two CyberLink apps.

Then there are 15 other apps, most of which I recognize and don't know if I should keep them or not, seven of which are listed as "High Startup Impact".


On another topic, I am having some trouble using Houzz, and can't find the information here. Recently, when I connect and try to comment, the "submit" button is missing. This happened just now, the only way I was able to get it back is to go to the email I received on this topic and go that way. The other Houzz problem is that every time I try to start a new Houzz session, all I can find is ideabook and other similar things in which I am not interested. How do I routinely find the link to log on to this page (and my other saved topics)?

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Elmer J Fudd

The first thing to do when a webpage acts erratically or unexpectedly is to clear the browser's cache. AND, oftentimes, try a different browser.

BUT

Houzz HAS been acting erratically lately. Sometimes the chronological order changes. Sometimes a comment field doesn't appear or if it does, clicking on submit causes a frozen session. Sometimes on long threads user comments appear out of order, not in any kind of chrono organization. They must be putzing with the webpage organization and presentation and UI codes and perhaps not doing a very good job of it.

To return to any webpage address, bookmark it.

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acraftylady

Don't see anything about a 10 update only saw about edge. Edge works the best for me and I have it synced with my mobile devices. Even with internet explorer I never had trouble with when so many complained about it. Mary

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Elmer J Fudd

Your fortunes with Edge were quite unusual and out of step with many problems a significant percentage of Edge users experienced. Problems Microsoft was well aware of.

As I mentioned in another thread, Microsoft determined that Edge was too broken to fix or be adapted to the needs of today's users and websites so they've scrapped it entirely. The new Microsoft browser, which is the new "version" of Edge being distributed, is a completely different software package. It will look familiar because it is a slightly customized and repackaged version of Chrome, with the same essential guts as Chrome, can use Chrome add-ons and extensions, and more.

The decision was made awhile ago and Microsoft has been upfront and public about describing (in general terms) what it would be doing with its browser and why.

Edge users, welcome to the world of Chrome!.

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mtvhike

Thank you, Elmer; I've been following your posts on the other thread. I had a weird situation this morning, but first a little background. My laptop is usually connected to a large monitor via the HDMI port. I normally leave my laptop on all the time, but close the cover and turn off the external monitor. Periodically, when I open the cover, it doesn't come on. Usually, holding down the "on" button restarts it; I don't know why it stops.


This morning I turned on the monitor and a file I was looking at last night appeared on it. However, when I opened the cover, the computer wasn't running, no screen, no mouse activity, etc. After restarting it, everything appeared normal, although it did take a long time to boot. Any ideas?

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Elmer J Fudd

Sometimes funky things happen. Imagine the millions of bytes that have to hold fast to display one image or keep your place with one piece of software. Just a few stray from the task and you have an erratic result. The cause can be a hiccup when a software update is being processed and the fix is to restart and have it iron out the problem itself. Or a power flutter, a sneeze (just joking) or just normal ju ju can have a small effect.

If you're working on something important, better to turn off the PC at the end of the day or session if you won't return to it for awhile. Otherwise, I wouldn't worry about it, you did the right thing.

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Winter

Having browsed through most of what's been suggested above...the one thing that hasn't been suggested and would more than likely cure a lot of your system problems is to defrag your system. You've tried to load and unload browers and other "stuff" without considering that your system may now be framented to the point that it just can't handle anything more. Go to Windows Administration Tools...open it and opt to run "Defragment and Optimize Drive" as Administrator. Then let it do its thing. You could also run Disk Cleanup as Administrator but unless you feel confident about what to discard...don't do it. Running the Defrag tool is easy and won't create any problems.

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mtvhike

Thanks, Winter for the suggestion, I'll do that soon (I'm only using about 1/6 of the disk so I didn't think defragging was very useful at this point). My question to Elmer was why, if my computer is stopped (asleep?) does the image still show on the external monitor?

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Winter

It's my opinion that the defraging tool is one of the most important but least used tools on any Windows system. It sits there minding its own business but when employed, it performs miracles in cleaning up "fragments" that are cluttering up a system...without doing any harm. It doesn't matter how much disk space you're using. If there's a stumbling block clogging the system...it'll cause all sorts of trouble.

I'm going to guess that the "major system update" that you were offered and took may have been the Win10 v.2004. You don't mention what model laptop you have but some models...like mine [Lenovo All-in-One desk top]...don't have the necessary driver for this new version. I loaded before I was aware of this driver issue but it played all sorts of havoc with my system and finally. I was forced to roll back my system to Win10 v.1909.. with hopes that Lenovo will soon offer the necessary driver for this new Win10 version.

One of the side effects of the new version was an open screen issue when I could get the version to load. And another problem was my systems' sleep setting. v.2004 didn't like that at all and I wrestled with my system for quite some time to get it to overlook the sleep setting and boot up. I finally realized my efforts were an act in futility and gave up. But...maybe...if you did load v.2004...your open image problem is a side effect. And...maybe...defragging will correct it. If not...shut your system down completely. Then reboot and try the sleep setting again. If the open image returns using the sleep setting...then I, personally, would chalk it up to v.2004 and as long as it does not harm...ignore it. Beyond that...go to MS's support center and ask them directly. Some info is far better coming from the horses mouth rather than we users.

As I noted in another thread...v.2004 is not bug-less. Even MS is warning users that there's work to be done and they're doing it as fast as they can. If your model has the correct driver to accept v.2004, your system problems may be minor and will be "fixed" in another update.

I hope my meager input helps.

ETA: Here's MS v.2004 release notes page. It may help you.

https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/windows/release-information/status-windows-10-2004

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mtvhike

When I went to the "Defragment and Optimize Files", I was informed that my computer optimizes regularly, automatically. It says nothing about defragment. I ran it anyway, even though it had been done 20 days ago.

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Winter

Yes, it does. Once a week, as a rule. But, if one over stresses their system as your posts indicate you probably did...it's a good idea to run the tool at that time and not wait for the system's scheduled run.

Did it help?

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dadoes

Defragmenting is overrated. I've never done it, other than what the OS may do automatically.

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bengz6westmd

mtvhike, the "optimization" is first, file-checking for errors, then defragmenting.

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Elmer J Fudd

I'm sure it was just a hiccup, it seems to happen to me about once a year per pc (I have 6-8 in use at any one time). It's not always at the same update point and most often it's one at a time.

If you've done a System Restore (NOT Recovery) or can trigger another update and leave the PC on overnight, you should be fine, it'll sort itself out.

If you want to feel better about how your PC is operating, pop a couple of cold beers and that will help. The other suggestions frankly are silly and will likely be less effective than drinking a few beers.

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mtvhike

In my daily routine, I have my computer on with several forums (including this one) connected. Since these updates, if I look at the link, it may ask me to log in again, even though I never logged out. Is this a bug or a feature? My best guess is that it's a security feature implemented by either Win10.2004 or Chromium-Edge.

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Elmer J Fudd

I don't know. It's a feature most will encounter consistently with commercial websites that require a log in - I'm thinking bank and other financial accounts, utility or other service providers, stores, etc,. Such connections are dropped after a certain number of minutes of inactivity and to continue one must log in again. Websites do that to avoid the need to juggle a linearly compounding increase in live connections as the day progresses

I can't imagine it would be something the operating system would do. A peculiarity of the new Edge? Try using a different browser some day and see if the same thing happens. Or could it be a stutter with your internet connection? A connection dropped and then reestablished because of your ISP, or the modem, or the router? Or dropped because your PC goes to sleep/hibernates when you leave it for 10 minutes and in doing so drops off the Wifi signal? If your PC use is intermittent during the day, try turning off the Go to Sleep/Hibernate setting in Power Management and see if that's the culprit. Or, if you're away from your PC for a bit, log in to your router using your smartphone and see if the PC is still connected.

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mtvhike

Thanks for your comments, Elmer. My computer is not going to sleep, the connection is not being dropped, etc. The tab on the browser is still active, but it simply doesn't remember the password. Facebook every time tells me that I can log in by clicking on my profile, which I don't do. I'm at a loss. I'll try old Chrome again.

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dadoes

Log-in state for web sites is usually held via a cookie in the browser that coordinates with the server that hosts the site. The time-out rules are in the site's code on that server. Some web sites will maintain an active log-in for several days even if the user closes the browser and shuts off the computer between visits. Others abandon log-ins every time the browser session closes. Others, such a banking sites, force a log-out after a period of minutes even if the browser is left open. The only thing the user can typically do to affect the behavior is to insure cookies for the site of question are allowed.

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Elmer J Fudd

I assumed it not to be a browser setting.

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mtvhike

This behavior was coincident with updating the Edge browser and Win10.

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acraftylady

My desktop and laptop are 1 -1/2yrs old and were always very fast. Since the windows 10 update and edge update it's like someone put them on steroids. Mind you I am not complaining just find it weird they got faster. Mary

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Elmer J Fudd

"My desktop and laptop are 1 -1/2yrs old and were always very fast. "

Measured by what, assessed how, when doing what?

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acraftylady
  • When doing everything I normally do. Cant put my finger on it but something changed after those updates. Usually play my Facebook games on apps from the Google store on my tablet. One game in particular used to take a bit to load right from their Facebook page on PC and now it doesn't. I believe it's a game that needs flash on the PC so maybe the game maker switched to something else at the same time I got these updates since flash is going away soon. Don't know just know both computers got very speedy after these updates and except for that game were not slow before. I have done nothing different. Mary
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