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Jon Lambert

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9th January, 2010 at 23:45:59 -

So my computer is dying. Here's the situation: My computer is a computer. A computer of the following specifications:

AMD Athlon(tm ) X2 Dual Core Processor BE-2350 2.10GHz
2.00 GB RAM (1.87 GB usable )
Windows 7 Ultimate RC1 32-bit
(C: ) 6.71 GB free of 33.9 GB
(D: ) 177 GB free of 253 GB (same physical drive as C:, separate partition )
(E: ) 4.23 GB of 10.8 GB (Recovery drive, same physical drive as C: and D: )
No over or underclocking, essentially the same PC as it was when store-bought

So the problem is that the computer slows down the longer it is running. The longer it is kept off the longer it will last on the next bootup. So imagine I leave it off all night as I do. When I wake up the next morning and bootup, it might last as long as 3 hours without slowdown, then begin to slow down (evidenced by lag, temporary freezes, being unable to give input in any area of the screen besides the taskbar, being able to give input anywhere besides the taskbar, Chrome tabs freezing, the Chrome window shifting up, etc.) The computer eventually freezes entirely, where no input can be given and nothing happens. If the mouse cursor is displaying the busy cursor, then it animates sometimes (if I move the mouse enough; the cursor doesn't move, just animates). It never BSODs.

In addition, I also have Windows Vista installed. When I try to run Windows Vista it either freezes during bootup (at the loading animation or the black screen in between the loading and presenting me with my users; if it is on the black screen the mouse cursor may be visible but immovable). If I use the Vista disc to repair it and the computer hasn't been booted in a while, it will change some startup options and it will work the next time. Otherwise it will freeze while looking for installed operating systems (although it will already have both 7 and Vista on the list). When Windows Vista does boot, the Security Center is off by default and cannot be changed without changing a system processes file. When Vista is run, it doesn't slow down gradually as 7, but instead freezes instantly at one point. It is always the same point in time after bootup unlike 7.

Anyone have any idea why this would happen?

 
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10th January, 2010 at 00:14:23 -

Hmmm, sounds very much like an overheat to me, but that may be wrong. It must be OS-independent or a weird issue with the HDD, since the two windows are affected differently. I would wager a guess that your Vista install has be corrupted or at least is a different problem than what's causing 7's issues. Freezes could be memory, heat, main board, and/or HDD (pretty much everything )-related, but HDD issues are rarely what cause this before other hardware goes out anymore and since it only happens after the computer has been running for a while, (e.g., not so spontaneous or when a specific part of the hard drive is accessed) I'm really leaning toward a heat issue.

That would explain why it runs better the longer you leave it off. Make sure all your fans are running and the computer isn't stashed in a place with no ventilation. You may be able to find the running temperature, but the facility of that varies from system to system...

Edited by OMC

 

  		
  		

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10th January, 2010 at 00:27:20 -

The only way I can imagine a computer would continue functioning for longer after an extended rest, is if something is physically overheating and takes a while to cool down again. You might be imagining that, or maybe there's an "intermittent" fault and it's purely coincidence?

As far as things gradually slowing down to a halt, I think that could be overheating, or most likely something eating all your memory - possibly some kind of virus?
The Vista Security Center being off sounds a bit suspect to me too - I know that certain viruses are capable of disabling it...

If I were you I'd seriously consider reinstalling Windows, but do the obvious stuff first - like running a thorough virus scan (preferably several), and asking people on tech support forums, who probably know more than most of us here.

EDIT: OMC beat me to it.

Edited by Sketchy

 
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10th January, 2010 at 01:05:43 -

Might seem kind of amateurish to suggest this, but did you check out the System Configuration dialog?

Windows XP: Start > Run > type "msconfig"
Windows Vista/Win7: Start > type "msconfig" in the search.
-> Disable any startup programs you don't recognize because everything in the startup (XP and up) can be disabled without harm.
-> Go into Services and click "Hide all Microsoft services" and start disabling stuff you know you don't need or don't recognize.

 
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11th January, 2010 at 05:14:17 -

Is it a laptop? My laptop does that a lot from heat. Have pretty much the same processor as yours too.

 
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11th January, 2010 at 09:02:15 -

Really does sound like an overheating problem.

Download this program called Real Temp:
http://www.techpowerup.com/downloads/1691/Real_Temp_3.40.html

Then when you are using your computer, leave this program running. I suspect your CPU is overheating. Tell us the temperatures you are getting for your graphics card and your CPU cores when you first boot your computer and after a long time running. It should heat up more as you use your computer, but it would be ideal if the temperatures remain lower than say 70 degrees celsius.

 
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14th January, 2010 at 06:14:22 -


Originally Posted by Assault Andy
Really does sound like an overheating problem.

Download this program called Real Temp:
http://www.techpowerup.com/downloads/1691/Real_Temp_3.40.html

Then when you are using your computer, leave this program running. I suspect your CPU is overheating. Tell us the temperatures you are getting for your graphics card and your CPU cores when you first boot your computer and after a long time running. It should heat up more as you use your computer, but it would be ideal if the temperatures remain lower than say 70 degrees celsius.



Are you insane?

Most Multi-core processors tend to run MUCH cooler than single core processors, and 70 celsius is STILL high unless you are using a laptop - which makes it sometimes acceptable as mobile processors are made to withstand higher temps and can sometimes reach approx. 90 celsius.

He is apparently using a desktop (since that is a desktop processor) so his processor temperatures shouldn't exceed 30-40 or so under load. I'm looking at benchmarks here and they stat that his processor model tends to idle at 15-17 celsius per core so even 35-40ish is fairly high.

@OP

Like everyone said - check your temps. Always the first place to go. IF those look fine you can move on to software work (virus/malware scanning, optimizing via MSconfig, services.msc etc.) and sometimes back to hardware.

If you don't care at all about what starts up when your computer starts up, enter msconfig (someone posted instructions already), click on the startup tab, then click disable all. Now click the services tab and check "Hide all Microsoft Services." This is not the most efficient way to disable services, but it is the easiest and most user friendly. Proceed to uncheck anything that you are absolutely positive you don't need. Don't worry if you don't uncheck too many as performance increase from doing this this is usually very small.

I would check the heatsink on your northbridge to make sure the clips on it haven't broken.

They look similar to this
http://fastrackcomputing.net/forum/attachment.php?attachmentid=2656&stc=1&d=1204891452

If the heatsink is secured as it is in the photo you should not be able to move it at all. You will know if the clips are broken as the heatsink will be hanging half way or completely off of the board.

Please note that SOME computers do not need a heatsink on the northbridge so you might not find one. I have seen it affect computing speed on a computer that had broken clips on the northbridge heatsink. You can counter this with a thermal adhesive (not compound!) (just stick with arctic silver thermal adhesive and read a guide on it if this is your problem.)

Also check your capacitors. If they are perfectly flat on top with X shapes on the top as if they are folded in they should be fine. If they are bulging even the least bit they are probably bad and can and WILL cause all sorts of crazy problems in the future.

http://farm1.static.flickr.com/42/120329818_0e20370795_m.jpg

= bad









Edited by GamesterXIII

 
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Jon Lambert

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14th January, 2010 at 07:06:04 -

Progress report: Using the program Speedfan, hen the computer is slow (on for a good few hours) GPU temp is 0 C, Temps 1, 2, and 3 are 19, 38, and 25 C respectively. The core temp is reported as 10 C.

 
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Assault Andy

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14th January, 2010 at 10:14:45 -


Originally Posted by GamesterXIII

Are you insane?


no.


Originally Posted by GamesterXIII

Most Multi-core processors tend to run MUCH cooler than single core processors, and 70 celsius is STILL high unless you are using a laptop - which makes it sometimes acceptable as mobile processors are made to withstand higher temps and can sometimes reach approx. 90 celsius.



What I was looking for was an obvious overheating problem. I never said that 70 degrees is reasonable to idle at.

Jon Lambert - Those temperatures seem fine, so I don't think it's an overheating problem. I don't have any other suggestions, sorry

 
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