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Windows 7 Freezes - Programs Open Very Slowly

#1 User is offline   artman 

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Posted 28 November 2011 - 11:45 AM

I have two Dell Vostro 420 machines both with 6 Gb of RAM and both running Windows 7 Professional 64 bit. Each machine has exactly the same hardware components but different video cards. I only visit "legitimate" websites - no websites that might be known for viruses, etc.

Up until about 4 days ago each machine was running OK. I have run Malwarebytes Anti-Malware scans, SuperAnti-Spyware scans, ESET NOD32 Version 5 Anit-virus scans and Webroot Malware and Anti-virus scans on both machines and they come up clean.

I defrag the hard drives, keep the recycle bin empty and I have checked for disk errors on reboot.

The startup list only has 5 or 6 programs for each machine.

When I open a program - Adobe Photoshop CS5, Microsoft Office 2007, etc. it takes 1 minute or more for it to open. When I am using the programs all of the sudden both machines will freeze for between 1 and 3 minutes. Sometime they will recover but many times I need to reboot. It's just as if the machine is off doing something else. Many times when I do a mouse click especially right mouse clicks the circular hour glass starts rotating for ever and will not stop. I am not able to open Task Manager with Ctrl-Alt-Del, nothing happens. On rare occasions I will get a message saying that Task Manager can't open and to hit the Esc key and power cycle the machine. The only way to recover is to power cycle the machines.

I have not run sfc /scannow yet. That might be my next step. I am trying to do a Repair Install as the last resort.

I normally have automatic updates turned ON to install updates each morning at 3 a.m. as the machines run 24/7. Since both machines started acting the same pretty much at the same time I am thinking it might be a bad Windows update. This morning on one of the machines I was able to do a system restore back to November 11, 2011 and I have turned automatic updates OFF until I see if the machine is fixed. At some point in time I will have to turn the automatic updates back ON.

I have not run any memory tests, etc. because I think it would be very unlikely that both machines had memory issues at exactly the same time.

I use both of these machines for my work so it's important that they are operational. Any ideas the forum has would really be appreciated.

Thanks!

This post has been edited by artman: 28 November 2011 - 11:45 AM

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#2 User is offline   ElfBane 

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Posted 28 November 2011 - 12:51 PM

Turn off, or snooze, your AV. See how they run now. If you apps run fine, turn the AV back on. If they slow down again, then the AV may be the issue.
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#3 User is offline   coastie65 

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Posted 28 November 2011 - 02:31 PM

Hi Art, Also, when that thing is doing the circle thing ( Busy ) try hitting the alt + tab and see what is running. Let us know how the system resore went as that would have my suggestion.


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#4 User is offline   LiveBrianD 

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Posted 28 November 2011 - 04:24 PM

Could it be a failing hard drive? Download speedfan, go into the SMART tab, and do an online analysis. At the bottom, it will say if you have any bad sectors.
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#5 User is offline   artman 

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Posted 02 December 2011 - 04:03 PM

My initial post mentioned two machines that had the same issue - slow program opens and intermittent freezes. On the one machine I was able to do a system restore to a earlier point and the problems appear to have been fix.

The second machine is actually freezing much worse. Turning OFF the anit-virusa and firewall does not help. When the busy circle is rotating hitting Alt-Tab as Coastie suggested does not display and status or information. I am using Hard Disk Heartbeat a PC Magazine utility that monitors disk temperature and SMART data. There is no indication of drive failure. Two days ago I checked for disk errors, etc. upon reboot and everything looked good.

I tried to do a system restore to a previous period in time last night and there were to restore points available. That is strange because when Windows 7 does updates a many times a Restore Point is created. I have only one Anti-virus application installed and this is the only Anti-virus the machine has ever had. I am only running one AV program.

This afternoon I inserted the Windows 7 Professional 64 bit install disk to do a Repair Install with the procedure published by Brink. This procedure has worked perfectly on another of my machines. After the install disk checked my system for compatibility I got the following message which makes no sense to me as I am using a Windows 7 Pro 64 bit disk to Repair Install a Windows 7 Pro 64 bit machine. This is the same disk I used to originally install Win 7 on this machine.

The following issues are preventing Windows from upgrading. Cancel the upgrade, complete each task, and then restart the upgrade to continue.

You can’t upgrade 64-bit Windows to a 32-bit version of Windows. To upgrade, obtain a 64-bit version of the installation disc, or go online to see how to install Windows 7 and keep your files and settings.

32-bit Windows cannot be upgraded to a 64-bit version of Windows. To upgrade, obtain a 32-bit version of the Windows installation disc.

Windows needs to be restarted so necessary changes to system files can be made before continuing.

It appears the machine is confused regarding what I am trying to Repair Install.

Have you seen this happen before and how to fix this issue. I really don't want to do a custom/clean install of Windows as I will have to re-install all of my software, etc.

Thanks very much.

Bill
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#6 User is offline   LiveBrianD 

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Posted 02 December 2011 - 04:08 PM

Windows allots a fixed amount of space for system restore points, and when needed deletes the older stuff.

I had a thought - could the CPU heatsink be clogged, causing it to throttle to avoid high temperatures?
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#7 User is offline   artman 

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Posted 02 December 2011 - 04:14 PM

View PostLiveBrianD, on 02 December 2011 - 04:08 PM, said:

Windows allots a fixed amount of space for system restore points, and when needed deletes the older stuff.

I had a thought - could the CPU heatsink be clogged, causing it to throttle to avoid high temperatures?


Regarding the system restore points - shouldn't there be at least one or two even if some of them have been deleted?

I periodically blow out the inside of my case so I know that the CPU heatsink is not clogged.

I forgot to mention above that yesterday I ran sf /scannow and the results said some of the system files were corrupt and they couldn't be repaired.
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#8 User is offline   LiveBrianD 

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Posted 02 December 2011 - 04:28 PM

I haven't heard of that HD utility, but I know speedfan is a good tool, so could you try that? Tried defragmenting the drive?
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#9 User is offline   artman 

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Posted 07 December 2011 - 01:51 PM

I have started using speedfan. It looks like a really good program. I finally ended up doing a clean install of Windows and my problems are fixed.

Thanks for your reply.
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#10 User is offline   Victorkid 

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Posted 27 December 2011 - 10:51 PM

View PostElfBane, on 28 November 2011 - 12:51 PM, said:

Turn off, or snooze, your AV. See how they run now. If you apps run fine, turn the AV back on. If they slow down again, then the AV may be the issue.


+1 :)
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