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Melita-s 06. Apr 2015 03:10 PM

Computer Freezes and Becomes Unusable
 
Acer 5250 laptop/Windows 7 Home Premium

All computer operations are degraded as described below. I usually keep the computer on ‘Sleep’ mode overnight. The problem always starts when I have been working on it for about 10 minutes, after I ‘wake’ the computer in the morning.

Browsers: Firefox and Internet Explorer both take 60 to 90 seconds to open with a further 20 to 30 seconds for the home page to load fully - All add-ons disabled.

Windows Explorer takes 30 seconds to open and a further 15 seconds to load the default page with Libraries.

To open any library – 20 to 30 seconds.

A plain and simple empty notepad - 20 seconds.

Even the Start Menu - 20 seconds.

Mouse cursor arrow becomes stuck on the screen.

The cooling fan seems to be laboring.

In short there is nothing of the computer that is not affected by this degradation.

Re-starting does not help.

If the problem crops up while a browser or any other system or application window is open, everything freezes and the computer becomes unusable. The mouse cursor turns to the hour glass symbol indicating activity and stays that way, but everything is frozen. Unable to do anything; even to close a browser, a tab or a window takes about 3 minutes after I click to close.

The only choice I have is to leave the computer, frozen as it is for 20 to 30 minutes. When I come back after that, everything is normal and the computer behaves as if it was never up to any mischief! This happy situation prevails for the rest of the day, but towards evening, the whole drama is played again exactly as it did in the morning. Just like in the morning it lasts for 20 to 30 minutes.

I did find something I think is significant. Any attempt to switch off the computer (after closing all programs that I had running at the time), results in the usual “Waiting for background programs to close” window, of Win 7, to appear and remain blank for about 90 seconds. At the end of 90 seconds, the message, “Task host is executing shutdown tasks and stopping tasks that are already running” message appears in that window. Altogether it takes about 1 minute 45 seconds for the “logging off” screen to appear and the Shut down process to begin. This message, “Task host is executing………..” started appearing only from the time that I started having this problem, 2 months ago. Before that, since I got the computer 4 years ago, I never saw this message. When I restart after shutting down, the start up is quite fast and normal.

When the computer is not affected by this problem both Shut down and Start up is quite fast and normal.

When it is not misbehaving the computer works as good and as fast as it did, when I bought it in 2011.

I have scanned and cleaned the computer with ESET on line scanner, Adwcleaner, and Ccleaner. Only the Babylon toolbar was found and removed. What else can I do? I need help very badly :mad:

Thank you,

Joe A.TT 06. Apr 2015 04:00 PM

Have you checked to see if your laptop is dirty inside? That is one of the first things I would check. You could monitor the hardware to see if maybe the temperature is higher than normal. Try running a program like the free and popular SpeedFan to see if you can pinpoint anything that may be amiss.

It sometimes helps to provide extra information on your system, e.g. CPU, RAM, etc, etc. An easy way to do this is to run Speccy and post a link with your specs. (Tip: You can download the portable version and delete it afterwards). In Speccy, click File→Publish Snapshot then follow the prompts to copy the link to the clipboard and paste it here.

Anupam 06. Apr 2015 04:05 PM

Why do you leave the computer running overnight? Is the computer needed on the whole time for some reason?

If there is no reason to leave it on, then just turn off the computer, and give it some rest. I think that the issues you are having are caused for two reasons (although I could be wrong as I am not an expert)... the computer components specially the CPU being heated up because of long hours of operation, and the sleep mode.

Have you done a spring cleaning lately? CPU fan can get clogged with dust, and that can cause problems.

I have never liked the sleep function.. my own personal opinion. My computer remains on for most of the day, and I use the screensaver, and then the display off, to save power. I do not use the sleep mode. I turn off the computer when I go to sleep.

I guess the sleep mode on your computer is causing some problems... for reasons unknown. Someone with more knowledge might share more about it.

Melita-s 06. Apr 2015 06:15 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Joe A.TT (Post 109705)
Have you checked to see if your laptop is dirty inside? That is one of the first things I would check.

This, I have not been able to do. Sometime back, for months I tried to find the disassembly instruction for this Acer model but without success. I went to every possible website on the Internet and found the details for dozens of Acer models but not this one. I even wrote to Acer, Taiwan, where my laptop was assembled but they refused to give me this information. I am reluctant to try this because I might pry up at the wrong place and do some damage. I have looked through the air intake grill and the fan seems quite clean. Perhaps because I always keep the laptop well covered at all times, that I am not actually using it. There isn't any dust even on the air intake grill. There is one panel that I was able to open because it was secured with screws, so it was straight forward. That is where there is access to the Hard Drive and the memory cards. There were only some very faint spots of dust, hardly visible. Nevertheless I used a blower and cleaned it up.
Quote:

Originally Posted by Joe A.TT (Post 109705)
You could monitor the hardware to see if maybe the temperature is higher than normal. Try running a program like the free and popular SpeedFan to see if you can pinpoint anything that may be amiss.

Do I just run the programme and wait for the results or have I to do any tweeking.I couldn't find any instructions on what to do, on the web site.

Quote:

Originally Posted by Joe A.TT (Post 109705)
It sometimes helps to provide extra information on your system, e.g. CPU, RAM, etc, etc. An easy way to do this is to run Speccy and post a link with your specs. (Tip: You can download the portable version and delete it afterwards). In Speccy, click File→Publish Snapshot then follow the prompts to copy the link to the clipboard and paste it here.

I did this and here is the link:

[edited]

There is something wrong with my Windows clip board. It doesn't open when I click on 'Copy to clipboard'. I manually copied it to Notepad and pasted here.

Quote:

Originally Posted by Anupam (Post 109706)
Why do you leave the computer running overnight? Is the computer needed on the whole time for some reason?

If there is no reason to leave it on, then just turn off the computer, and give it some rest. I think that the issues you are having are caused for two reasons (although I could be wrong as I am not an expert)... the computer components specially the CPU being heated up because of long hours of operation, and the sleep mode.

Oh, about every 5 days I switch off and give it a rest. Since the trouble started, many times I tried switching off at night but it did not resolve the problem.

Quote:

Originally Posted by Anupam (Post 109706)
I have never liked the sleep function.. my own personal opinion. My computer remains on for most of the day, and I use the screensaver, and then the display off, to save power.

Though the computer is on, I do the same thing during the day. I am not really a power user. Most of the day the computer is idling. From time to time when I have to check something on the Internet I go and do that. On an average day the actual usage is something like one hour.

Thank you,

Anupam 06. Apr 2015 07:15 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Melita-s (Post 109713)
This, I have not been able to do. Sometime back, for months I tried to find the disassembly instruction for this Acer model but without success. I went to every possible website on the Internet and found the details for dozens of Acer models but not this one.

Try searching for opening/disassembly for the model number on YouTube. Chances are, you might find it.

Anyways, if you do not feel comfortable, then do not open the laptop on your own. I have tried personally opening my laptop, and have broken a part of the side while trying to pry it open.. so, these things do happen.

Quote:

Originally Posted by Melita-s (Post 109713)
Do I just run the programme and wait for the results or have I to do any tweeking.I couldn't find any instructions on what to do, on the web site.

Just run SpeedFan, it will display the temperatures and all. It will be self-explanatory.. no need to make any tweaks.

Quote:

Originally Posted by Melita-s (Post 109713)
There is something wrong with my Windows clip board. It doesn't open when I click on 'Copy to clipboard'. I manually copied it to Notepad and pasted here.

It doesn't work that way (if it does, someone please correct me :D). When you use "Copy to clipboard", the stuff just gets copied there, and then you it will appear when you paste it somewhere... in your case, the Notepad.

There are clipboard software, however, with advanced functions, like multiple copying and selective pasting, and will do what you probably want.

--------

Melita, I had a look at the power settings from your Speccy report... and my advice would be to change Power Settings. Change the setting for "turning off hard drive" to 0 min... that is, never... on both battery, and AC power.

Monitor down time can be increased too, although that is not concerned with the issue.

You can read this article for power settings:

http://www.makeuseof.com/tag/windows...des-explained/

Sope 06. Apr 2015 07:43 PM

How much RAM do you have?
How many programs do you have running in the background?
Does this slow down only happen immediately after waking up from sleep mode or a restart, or does it happen at random times?
Have you installed any new software recently?

The freezes may be related to heavy RAM or CPU activity? Answering some of these questions may help point you in the right direction.

Joe A.TT 06. Apr 2015 09:32 PM

Melita, what's the model number of your Acer laptop? I'll have a look around and see if I have better luck than you. :)

As Anupam says, you don't have to change any settings in SpeedFan, but just in case, I found an article you may want to read.

And oh, are you able to check Task Manager when these slowdown occur? You could also make a note of the time and check Event Viewer for clues.

Quote:

Originally Posted by Melita-s (Post 109713)
It doesn't open when I click on 'Copy to clipboard'.

Melita, when you copy something to the Windows Clipboard you won't see any window or other indication that something was copied to the Clipboard. The only way to know if something is in the Clipboard is to right-click a target where you want to paste the Clipboard's contents. When you right-click, if "Paste" is not greyed out, then there's something in the Clipboard. On the other hand, if "Paste" is greyed out it means there's nothing in the Clipboard.

Also, I don't think Sleep is meant to be used as you are using it. It is rather unfortunate that Microsoft wasn't more specific about when to use Sleep and Hibernate. Instead, when they use loose terminology like "extended period", they invite speculation as to when either feature should be used. IMHO, it would be better to completely shut down your computer every night. As for sleep, you should use it if you are taking a break of between 5 - 45 minutes. Hibernate can be used if you are working on a project and you are breaking off for a longer period but want to return to the exact place where you left off. And yes, it is recommended that you restart your computer every so often. Doing so can solve mysterious issues and allow the operating system to "rejuvenate" itself.

Anupam, can you be more specific about the security issues involved in posting a Speccy report? They do it all the time over at Bleeping Computer.

Anupam 06. Apr 2015 09:56 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Joe A.TT (Post 109720)
Anupam, can you be more specific about the security issues involved in posting a Speccy report? They do it all the time over at Bleeping Computer.

Actually, the report she shared had IP address, and other network related information, which can be sensitive. That's why I removed the link.

What you asked for can be done by just posting the summary, which I have advised her to do. If anyone needs more, they can be specific, and she can just post what is needed... no need for the full report, which was pretty big anyways.

Melita-s 06. Apr 2015 11:47 PM

2 Attachment(s)
Quote:

Originally Posted by Anupam (Post 109716)
Melita, I had a look at the power settings from your Speccy report... and my advice would be to change Power Settings. Change the setting for "turning off hard drive" to 0 min... that is, never... on both battery, and AC power

I did this a few minutes ago.
Quote:

Originally Posted by Sope (Post 109717)
How much RAM do you have?
How many programs do you have running in the background?

Please see attachment for Speccy report. I have deleted Network information, and to shorten the report, also the Microsoft update list which is very long.

Attachment 1632

Quote:

Originally Posted by Sope (Post 109717)
Does this slow down only happen immediately after waking up from sleep mode or a restart, or does it happen at random times?

I usually keep the computer on ‘Sleep’ mode overnight. The problem always starts when I have been working on it for about 10 minutes, after I ‘wake’ the computer in the morning. When it happens in the evening (as mentioned in my first post), it is usually once only, at a random time.
Quote:

Originally Posted by Sope (Post 109717)
Have you installed any new software recently?

No. In any event I restored the computer to a date prior to the start of the problem but it did not resolve it.
Quote:

Originally Posted by Joe A.TT (Post 109720)
Melita, what's the model number of your Acer laptop? I'll have a look around and see if I have better luck than you. :)

:) Acer 5250-BZ479. If you can`t find the exact one, the second part BZ479 may not be that important.
Quote:

Originally Posted by Joe A.TT (Post 109720)
As Anupam says, you don't have to change any settings in SpeedFan, but just in case, I found an article you may want to read.

Thank you for this one. Here is a screen shot of the Speedfan findings.

Attachment 1633

Quote:

Originally Posted by Joe A.TT (Post 109720)
And oh, are you able to check Task Manager when these slowdown occur? You could also make a note of the time and check Event Viewer for clues.

May not be able to open the Task manager when it is frozen (I will try anyway), but Event Viewer is possible when it comes back to normal.

I got it all about the Clipboard. About `sleep` mode, I have been mislead. Once I read a post in a Microsoft forum, to the effect that it is a good idea to leave the computer in sleep mode overnight, so that it will start faster the next morning. This post was by one of their MVPs!

I have sent you a private message.

Regards,

kendall.a 06. Apr 2015 11:55 PM

Quote:

I got it all about the Clipboard. About `sleep` mode, I have been mislead. Once I read a post in a Microsoft forum, to the effect that it is a good idea to leave the computer in sleep mode overnight, so that it will start faster the next morning. This post was by one of their MVPs!
I know that earlier Anupam suggested that you turn off your computer every night. I don't do that. In fact, I probably hardly ever turn off my computer. I may re-boot it once a week or so, but I seldom ever turn it off.

You will find competing arguments online about whether it's best to turn a computer off at night or if you should leave it turned on. For me, I have my computer do some work while I'm sleeping. For example, I backup my files while I'm sleeping both to Mozy.com and to my external HD. I run a disk defrag at night once per week. I have my antivirus do it's updates and scan my computer at night when I sleep. I have all these things scheduled at specific times so that they don't overlap.

I know that this doesn't address at all the bigger issues that you are facing, but I just thought I'd share with you that lots of people leave their computers on all night.

P.S. I do not, however, use sleep mode or hibernation. I do have my monitor shut itself off after an hour of inactivity, but I do not sleep or hibernate my computer.

Joe A.TT 07. Apr 2015 01:41 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Anupam (Post 109721)
Actually, the report she shared had IP address, and other network related information, which can be sensitive. That's why I removed the link.

What you asked for can be done by just posting the summary...

I agree.

Melita, your CPU together with the 2GB or RAM that you have is the bare minimum stipulated for Windows 7 64-bit. IMHO, even though Microsoft says this is the minimum you'll always be living on the edge with those specs. I won't be surprised if Task Manager shows you don't have much in reserve. In view of this, would advise you to keep startup entries and running programs to a minimum.

Also, I believe some process or the other is starting up and running at the times you experience these slowdowns/freezes. Mostly likely this process is hogging most of your system resources when it runs. Your Event Viewer logs should tell you what happened at the times in questions. Please let us know what you find.

Quote:

Originally Posted by Melita-s (Post 109724)
Acer 5250-BZ479. If you can`t find the exact one, the second part BZ479 may not be that important.

I'll see what I find.

Quote:

Originally Posted by Melita-s (Post 109724)
Here is a screen shot of the Speedfan findings.

SpeedFan shows your GPU and core temperatures are a bit high. Once again, it's likely because of the low spec of your CPU combined with the workload it has.

Quote:

Originally Posted by kendall.a (Post 109725)
You will find competing arguments online about whether it's best to turn a computer off at night or if you should leave it turned on.

You have a point Kendall. Again, I blame MS for not being specific enough.

Quote:

Originally Posted by kendall.a (Post 109725)
P.S. I do not, however, use sleep mode or hibernation. I do have my monitor shut itself off after an hour of inactivity, but I do not sleep or hibernate my computer.

You may not invoke sleep or hibernate manually yourself, but unless you change it, Windows is set by default to go to sleep after a predetermined time. Also, if it's a desktop you will have hybrid sleep in place of hibernate.

MidnightCowboy 07. Apr 2015 04:57 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by kendall.a (Post 109725)
I know that earlier Anupam suggested that you turn off your computer every night. I don't do that. In fact, I probably hardly ever turn off my computer. I may re-boot it once a week or so, but I seldom ever turn it off.

I have this way of thinking too. We have widely ranging day/night temperatures here plus high humidity so the computer is best left running to maintain a constant environment. I do have to remove the internet cable though to avoid surges if we have a storm during the night.

MidnightCowboy 07. Apr 2015 05:18 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Joe A.TT (Post 109728)
I agree.

Melita, your CPU together with the 2GB or RAM that you have is the bare minimum stipulated for Windows 7 64-bit. IMHO, even though Microsoft says this is the minimum you'll always be living on the edge with those specs.

Another reason to consider at least dual booting with Linux. If you check out the Linux Mint specs for instance, you would be way below the requirements except for KDE.

http://www.fahdumam.com/2015/01/linu...-mint-171.html

Also, without a bunch of security programs bogging everything down, a Linux system would by comparison fly on a machine like this.

Just to keep me mobile I have a Samsung RV415 which is dual booted with the original Windows 7 Starter edition and Trisquel 6.0.

http://www.pcworld.com/product/12924...-notebook.html

Windows crawls by comparison and if I installed an Xfce version of Linux, the latter would likely be even faster. Whenever my AV is updating, Secunia is scanning or system updates are being retrieved, windows are like glue to open and the mouse drags instead of moving smoothly.

I also notice the CPU running at max during many Windows operations and the fan is constantly cutting in which is not so with Linux.

Remah 07. Apr 2015 08:28 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by kendall.a (Post 109725)
You will find competing arguments online about whether it's best to turn a computer off at night or if you should leave it turned on.

Quote:

Originally Posted by Joe A.TT (Post 109728)
You have a point Kendall. Again, I blame MS for not being specific enough.

Nobody should be blamed for this situation which is considerably more complex than it appears. There are competing factors which is why there are competing arguments. Most of all, any recommendation depends upon the priorities of the user.

A very simplistic analysis is to consider only two competing guidelines:
  • If minimizing the cost of operating the system is the priority then it is almost always better to switch it off when you are not using it.
  • If readiness of the system is the priority then it is almost always better to leave it switched on so it is immediately available when you need it.
The various standby modes, including sleep and hibernation, are the primary means to balance these two priorities. They reduce the cost of operation while preserving some features of readiness.

While it is theoretically possible to produce a decision tree or flow chart that covers the many relevant factors, it would be fiendishly complex. It would also require many calculations based on factors that would have to be input by the computer user.

Remah 07. Apr 2015 08:33 AM

Melita,
as a first step I would run Windows Task Manager immediately on waking your laptop. This allows you to see what is happening when the system eventually runs slow or freezes. You can load it by right-clicking on the task bar.

Click on the Processes tab you can see what is running.
Then click on the CPU column heading to sort the processes by the amount of processing power they are using.

From the main menu, select Options then Always on Top so Task Manager remain visible while you are working.

Joe A.TT 07. Apr 2015 02:38 PM

Melita, I didn't find the Service Manual for your laptop, however, I searched for "disassemble Acer Aspire 5250" on YouTube and I found several videos. You should have a look and see if they help.

Also, I like Remah's idea of starting Task Manager before the problem starts. You should try it.

The bottom line is you are running Windows 7 64-bit on a 1GHz CPU and 2GB of RAM. IMHO, that's cutting it close.

Melita-s 07. Apr 2015 07:18 PM

Hello Joe,

I tried to reply to your post above but something is wrong and I am unable to. Could you please check my private message to you.

Regards,

Melita-s 08. Apr 2015 01:52 AM

I am being blocked by the censors here, claiming that I am using a censored word. I have addressed two private messages to MidnightCowboy-Site Manager. The full text that I tried to post is included in those.

Thank you,

Melita-s 08. Apr 2015 12:54 PM

1 Attachment(s)
Quote:

Originally Posted by Joe A.TT (Post 109748)
Melita, I didn't find the Service Manual for your laptop, however, I searched for "disassemble Acer Aspire 5250" on YouTube and I found several videos. You should have a look and see if they help.

Thank you. I'll have a look.

Quote:

Originally Posted by Joe A.TT (Post 109748)
Also, I like Remah's idea of starting Task Manager before the problem starts. You should try it.

I read Remah's post and I have it open. Is there some way that I can get it to expand the full details under various column headings, like Image name, Image Path Name, Description etc. Hovering the mouse cursor over them does not do it. Please see the attachment. I have high lighted the shortened names, That I like to expand. Thank you.

Attachment 1635

Regards,

Melita-s 08. Apr 2015 03:16 PM

2 Attachment(s)
This morning it happened again. Lated for about 20 minutes. The snipping tool was not opening because of the computer freeze. After many attempts, managed to get 2 snips of about 10 minutes spacing. High lighted are what appeared to me :confused:, as significant activity.

Attachment 1636 Attachment 1637

This is the first time I am using Task Manager. Do I leave it in it's default display or do I use View>Select Columns and select more Page columns to display ? I need help to know exactly what to look for and snip and paste here.

Event Viewer has so much in it's Console Tree and Actions Pane that I am completely lost :o Help will be most welcome.

I also have Process Explorer and RESMON, but also need help with them to look for what is relevant to the problem.

Thank you,

Joe A.TT 08. Apr 2015 06:05 PM

Melita, most likely all or most of your system resources are in use at the time of these freezes so you won't be able to use the Snipping Tool. Most likely, when you were eventually able to take some screenshots the processes which were eating up your resources were no longer doing so. As a result, the screenshots you posted won't be of much help. Of course, if we can have screenshots that would be ideal, but since you can't obtain screenshots at the actual time when the freezes are taking place, the next best option would be to take a picture with a digital camera or smart phone and post that instead. Just make sure the picture is clear.

Looking at your screenshots, I believe what you highlighted were processes that were using a lot of RAM. However, in order to determine which processes may be using up your resources you must also look at CPU usage. From your screenshots, I believe the CPU column would be the one indicated below...

http://i.imgur.com/8m42pHg.png

You can drag the column as explained below to make sure it's in fact the CPU column. And yes, you can leave Task Manager at the default. For that matter, let's not bother with Event Viewer, Process Monitor, etc. for now. Let's concentrate on what Task Manager has to show for now.


Expanding Task Manager Columns

First of all, keep in mind when you expand columns or the Task Manager window it will occupy more space on your screen.

1. To Expand a Column

http://i.imgur.com/WzOT2yQ.png

Hover over the beginning or end of a column header. When the cursor turns into a double-headed arrow drag it to the right or left to increase or decrease the width of the column.


2. To Make the Task Manager windows bigger or smaller

If you add more columns or increase the width of the columns you may need to increase the size of the Task Manager window to see all the columns.

http://i.imgur.com/20HBWDI.png

Hover over the right or left edge of the Task Manager window until the cursor turns into a double-headed arrow. Drag to adjust the width of the window. You can also drag a corner to resize two boundaries at once.

Note: I'm on Windows 8.1 so my Task Manager will look slightly different to yours.

kendall.a 08. Apr 2015 06:30 PM

Your svchost.exe appears to be using a ton of memory! I would encourage you to do a Google search for "svchost using alot of memory windows 7" or something similar. You will find a ton of listings. One such listing that might be helpful is:

http://superuser.com/questions/69373...ing-my-pc-down

There are a lot of possible reasons for this. It may take a fair amount of detective work to figure it out.

Melita-s 08. Apr 2015 07:53 PM

Hello Joe,

Quote:

Originally Posted by Joe A.TT (Post 109798)
Melita, most likely all or most of your system resources are in use at the time of these freezes so you won't be able to use the Snipping Tool. Most likely, when you were eventually able to take some screenshots the processes which were eating up your resources were no longer doing so. As a result, the screenshots you posted won't be of much help.

The freeze lasted about 20 mts. I got the snipping tool going twice during the freeze (on both occassions, after labouring for about 3 mts. and numerous mouse clickings). This is quite typical. As I mentioned in my first post, some activity is still possible but it takes an awfully long time. The snips are real time, taken actually during the freeze.

I noticed that svchost.exe was furiously active and that is what made me high light that on the snips. I got furiously active myself :D, with the snipping tool, to grab this during the freeze. Before and after the freeze, svchost.exe is not seen in Task manager. Even as I write this it is still missing!

Last evening too, I observed this identical activity of svchost.exe, only during the freeze, but I wanted to spend some time observing what is going on, before I posted here.
HTML Code:

You can drag the column as explained below to make sure it's in fact the CPU column.
I did, and it is the CPU.

The rest of your help is gratefully noted.

Regards,

Melita-s 08. Apr 2015 08:21 PM

Hello Kendall.a,

Quote:

Originally Posted by kendall.a (Post 109800)
Your svchost.exe appears to be using a ton of memory! I would encourage you to do a Google search for "svchost using alot of memory windows 7" or something similar. You will find a ton of listings. One such listing that might be helpful is:
http://superuser.com/questions/69373...ing-my-pc-down
There are a lot of possible reasons for this. It may take a fair amount of detective work to figure it out.

Thank you. I'll try to find some information as you suggest.

The significant thing is the timing. This always happens in the morning, 10 mts. after I wake up the computer from sleep. Before and after the freeze (lasting 20 to 30 mts.), the computer is almost as good as new! This also happens again towards late evening. I will observe to see whether there is also a particular time period before the evening event.

It looks to me like some programme that I am not running, is coming on automatically and unannounced, to bleed the computer resources. I wonder what the '10 mts' means.

Regards,

Joe A.TT 08. Apr 2015 10:27 PM

If your screenshots were taken during the freeze and not before or after the freeze, then I suppose we'll work with them. Let's concentrate on the process that's using the most RAM - that would be the PID 376. During a freeze, and when it is using the most RAM, see if you can right-click on it and select "Go to Service(s). The highlighted services would be the ones that are active under that PID. Make a note of these services. Maybe you can take some pictures too. Let me know what these services are.

Remah 09. Apr 2015 12:08 PM

@Joe A.TT, great screenshots again.

There are many programs including device drivers and services that can schedule themselves to run with a delayed start. Google update and Adobe Reader do this. But I can't think of any that wait 600 seconds (ten minutes). Windows does wait 600 seconds to process group policy during Winlogon.


@Melita, I generally use a camera or phone to take a photo of the screen so I'm not dependent upon the resources that are tied up on my computer.

There are three basic questions I would like you to answer to narrow down probable causes:

During the freeze is the "System idle" process normally not zero?
It looks more likely that your computer is memory constrained as you have available CPU time because the "System idle" process is not zero.

Is the disk thrashing, i.e. working hard during the freeze?
Running out of physical memory can lead to disk-thrashing as Windows keeps having to load and unload items in physical memory to virtual memory which is stored on disk. If disk-thrashing is happening then the hard disk light will be on all the time during the freeze.

Are you using up all your computer's physical memory?
In Task Manager you can check how much physical memory is used by Clicking on the "Performance" tab. There is a graph "Physical Memory Usage History" that will show you if you are running out of free physical memory which is the 2GB you have installed in your computer.

If you are running out of physical memory then you can use the "Processes" tab to see what is using a lot of "Memory (Private Working Set)" which you can sort by clicking on the column heading so the largest usage appears first.

If you are not running out of physical memory then there are other options we can look at.

Joe A.TT 09. Apr 2015 12:55 PM

Excellent suggestions Remah. I appreciate your chiming in and sharing your experience. :D

Melita-s 09. Apr 2015 08:32 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Remah (Post 109854)
There are many programs including device drivers and services that can schedule themselves to run with a delayed start. Google update and Adobe Reader do this. But I can't think of any that wait 600 seconds (ten minutes). Windows does wait 600 seconds to process group policy during Winlogon.

Actually it is about 20 mts. The 10 mts. is the time it takes for the freeze to begin, after I 'wake' the computer and start work on it. all my updates are selected for manual.
Quote:

@Melita, I generally use a camera or phone to take a photo of the screen so I'm not dependent upon the resources that are tied up on my computer.
Do you mean, to connect a phone or camera to the computer and take screen shots, or to point either of them at the computer screen and shoot? I am new to this :o
Quote:

Is the disk thrashing, i.e. working hard during the freeze?
Running out of physical memory can lead to disk-thrashing as Windows keeps having to load and unload items in physical memory to virtual memory which is stored on disk. If disk-thrashing is happening then the hard disk light will be on all the time during the freeze.
I have no disk light on my laptop.

Quote:

Are you using up all your computer's physical memory?
In Task Manager you can check how much physical memory is used by Clicking on the "Performance" tab. There is a graph "Physical Memory Usage History" that will show you if you are running out of free physical memory which is the 2GB you have installed in your computer.

If you are running out of physical memory then you can use the "Processes" tab to see what is using a lot of "Memory (Private Working Set)" which you can sort by clicking on the column heading so the largest usage appears first.

If you are not running out of physical memory then there are other options we can look at.
I think I am running out of physical memory. I observed this value in the high nineties, during the freeze. I'll confirm this and the other details you ask for, after the next freeze.

Regards,

Joe A.TT 09. Apr 2015 09:21 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Melita-s (Post 109897)
...or to point either of them at the computer screen and shoot?

Yes.

Quote:

Originally Posted by Melita-s (Post 109897)
I think I am running out of physical memory. I observed this value in the high nineties, during the freeze. I'll confirm this and the other details you ask for, after the next freeze.

Please do.

Remah 10. Apr 2015 12:57 AM

@Melita

Using close to 100% of physical memory could be the problem because it will involve swapping memory data out to virtual memory on disk. You should be able to hear your hard drive operating even if you don't have a disk in-use indicator of any sort.

The first step in reducing high memory usage is to stop all but the most important programs that are using your precious memory. I would use CCleaner to disable startup programs that you don't need to have running all the time. Under the "Tools" menu you can view all your "Startup" items under various tabs including "Windows", your web browsers, and "Scheduled Tasks".

If you are unsure what to disable then ask here.

In the long run the best option, as others have already mentioned, is to increase the physical memory in your computer. There is lots of help, e.g. from PC Magazine on how to do this and you can probably find the exact process for your brand and model of laptop.

Melita-s 10. Apr 2015 04:36 AM

Hello Remah,

I understand what you say. I will go ahead with the Ccleaner solution that you have kindly provided.

In the mean time, I hope I can find out what happens 10 mts. after I 'wake' the computer, which lasts only for about 20 mts. If I can put a stop to whatever it is, I should be OK for the moment, because right up to 2 months go, the computer worked as well as could be expected. Even now it is lightening fast when not affected by this freeze.

Further, if this problem is due to some unwanted activity, naturally, it would only be sensible to put a stop to it, even if I increase the memory.

I don't have a smart phone or a digital camera. What I have is an old Asahi Pentax SLR full manual control, which takes lovely photos (including macro), and also does it with a 1000 mm lens. Unfortunately, it uses only old roll type films! So, I have asked a friend to lend me her smart phone, which I should receive tomorrow. I only hope I can learn to use it without taking a month of Sundays for it :o

Thank you,

Kind regards,

MidnightCowboy 10. Apr 2015 05:31 AM

Could this be the result of a memory "leak"? I remembered this issue from last year, maybe there are others?

https://productforums.google.com/for...7aws%5B1-25%5D

Remah 10. Apr 2015 01:03 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by MidnightCowboy (Post 109924)
Could this be the result of a memory "leak"? I remembered this issue from last year, maybe there are others?

https://productforums.google.com/for...7aws%5B1-25%5D

It might well be because they are very common. Most are usually of limited impact and nobody notices a problem. Some exhaust Windows memory resources. But even if it is a memory leak that doesn't help to resolve it because the developer needs to change the program. That's why I would focus on the problem of which program is using more memory rather than trying to identify if a memory "leak" is the cause.

A memory leak simply means that a program is not releasing memory that it no longer needs. They are hard to identify because to us users it will usually look no different than a program that actually needs the memory it is using. We have a current example in the memory usage of the program Glasswire. This week we have been discussing that issue in another forum thread. Glasswire has an increasing demand for memory over time because it stores its monitoring data in memory. It might have a memory leak as well but how would we know unless we have some baseline to compare it with. Unless we know what memory usage should be then it is difficult to distinguish an increase in memory used due to a leak versus data collecting in memory.

The Wikipedia article on memory leaks explains the issues very well: consequences and effects, and other reasons why memory is being consumed.

The first half of this Microsoft article Preventing Memory Leaks in Windows Applications mentions how to use Task Manager to baseline the memory profile for a program. The average user only needs to monitor the commit size because the other measures like handles and threads are generally going to be harder to interpret/understand and more useful to programmers.

Melita-s 12. Apr 2015 03:23 PM

4 Attachment(s)
I couldn't get any good screen shots with the smart phone (managed to mess them all up!), but found a way to use the snipping tool to get something reasonably clear.

There is one shot of 'Processes' where svchost is using 616MB. Actually, this value varied between 600 to 900 MB, and reached 1GB for short durations, during the freeze. The two shots of 'Services', cover all the services that were being used during the freeze. All three were made in real time. The 'Performance' page shows the history, before and after the freeze.

Attachment 1638Attachment 1639Attachment 1640Attachment 1641

I can post anything else you want.

Thank you,

Remah 12. Apr 2015 07:39 PM

That's an impressive set of screen shots which are very useful because they show that instance of svchost and the running services appears normal:
  • The list of processes is as expected. None of the names are unexpected.
  • svchost is not using any more memory than expected. It is 616,000KB in the screenshot which is normal. If you had more physical memory then it would probably have gone higher, up to 50% more which would be closer to 800,000-900,000KB. After the "freeze" it should drop down under 500,000KB then minutes later down well under 100,000KB. You can check that yourself.
My one concern about this instance of svchost is that it is running as if your system is in startup rather than resuming from sleep. I tried to reproduce the situation but I don't get the same behavior on my Windows 7 system. So I'll have a search when I get some free time and see if anyone else has the same problem.

I would continue working on reducing the memory load by disabling startup programs and see if that brings any improvement

Melita-s 13. Apr 2015 11:44 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Remah (Post 110058)
That's an impressive set of screen shots which are very useful...

They weren't much good at first but since the camera shots turned out lousy I threw them way and edited these snips in Windows Live Photo Gallery and they came out OK.
Quote:

The list of processes is as expected. None of the names are unexpected-svchost is not using any more memory than expected. It is 616,000KB in the screenshot which is normal.
This at least is a relief. I was worried that some unwanted programmes were mucking about in my computer.
Quote:

If you had more physical memory then it would probably have gone higher, up to 50% more which would be closer to 800,000-900,000KB. After the "freeze" it should drop down under 500,000KB then minutes later down well under 100,000KB
Will try to spot this before using the Ccleaner to disable startup programmes
Quote:

My one concern about this instance of svchost is that it is running as if your system is in startup rather than resuming from sleep.
There is something notable about this. Soon after my last post yesterday, I left the laptop in 'sleep' for a couple of hours. When I woke it, within minutes the freeze became active even more violently than it does at the usual times. Although I keep it in 'sleep' at night, I seldom do so during the day. That is why, before yesterday, I have not noticed it freezing, outside of the usual time table of morning and evening freezes. It was so violent that I could not get anything at all to move, not even the mouse cursor!
Quote:

I tried to reproduce the situation but I don't get the same behavior on my Windows 7 system. So I'll have a search when I get some free time and see if anyone else has the same problem.
This is support beyond the call of duty. Thanks a million!

Kind regards,

Remah 14. Apr 2015 12:41 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Melita-s (Post 110088)
This at least is a relief. I was worried that some unwanted programmes were mucking about in my computer.

What I have checked does not provide much assurance that there is no malware because some malware masquerades as normal processes. Further steps are needed if you have any suspicions at all. Better safe than sorry, as they say. After all, you are the one most likely to notice when something is different about how your computer runs.

While it is possible to check each process individually to confirm that is the real thing, it is much easier to just use antimalware scanners. I would scan with at least three products and I try to choose a mix of scanners that focus on different types of malware. My antivirus and Malwarebytes are always the first two and then I use whatever is in favor at the time.

I haven't used the products in Chiron's article How to Clean an Infected Computer but they are products with very good reputations too.

Remah 14. Apr 2015 01:44 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Melita-s (Post 110088)
Quote:

Originally Posted by Remah (Post 110058)
My one concern about this instance of svchost is that it is running as if your system is in startup rather than resuming from sleep.

There is something notable about this. Soon after my last post yesterday, I left the laptop in 'sleep' for a couple of hours. When I woke it, within minutes the freeze became active even more violently than it does at the usual times. Although I keep it in 'sleep' at night, I seldom do so during the day. That is why, before yesterday, I have not noticed it freezing, outside of the usual time table of morning and evening freezes. It was so violent that I could not get anything at all to move, not even the mouse cursor!

I'm thinking that a likely cause of this problem is an update program. As I've already mentioned they do delay starts which fits with the timing of the problem. The difficulty is that they don't usually cause problems every time you wake your PC so the following may make no difference. However, if your PC is waking from a deeper level than the usual sleep state then it is more likely. FYI, the ACPI spec has six sleep levels of which Windows mainly uses three: S0 screen off, S1 sleep, S4 hibernation.

As I've already said, you can use CCleaner to cleanup the Task Scheduler (Schedule) startup tasks (Tools menu button | Startup button | Scheduled Tasks tab). To find which one might be causing the problem you can disable all the update programs, restart your computer and see if the problem disappears. If this works then you can re-enable them one by one, restarting each time, and see which one causes the problem.

There's also a Windows method to view the Task Scheduler (Schedule service) tasks using Control Panel | Administrative Tools | Task Scheduler | Task Scheduler Library . This example resolves a problem with Adobe Flash Updater which has caused me problems in the past but is not at present.

Windows Update (wuauserv service) is a possible cause although I think it is very unlikely in your case. You can try the Windows Update Troubleshooter for Windows 7. I have seen it fix similar problems like this one and this one.

Joe A.TT 14. Apr 2015 05:14 PM

Melita, I have a lot of respect for Remah. You couldn't really hope to get help from a more knowledgeable person. At the same time, I must reiterate that with 2GB of RAM and a 1GHz CPU you are always going to be living on edge. You may not be able to do much about the CPU, but IMHO, if you increase your RAM it may do more for you than other measures. Mind you, that doesn't mean that you should be selective about which programs your allow to start automatically.

Remah 14. Apr 2015 06:32 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Joe A.TT (Post 110106)
Melita, I have a lot of respect for Remah. You couldn't really hope to get help from a more knowledgeable person. At the same time, I must reiterate that with 2GB of RAM and a 1GHz CPU you are always going to be living on edge. You may not be able to do much about the CPU, but IMHO, if you increase your RAM it may do more for you than other measures. Mind you, that doesn't mean that you should be selective about which programs your allow to start automatically.

Joe, I agree completely that any memory (RAM) upgrade above the Windows system requirement is worthwhile even if there are no problems. :)
  • A memory upgrade becomes more important if the system has integrated graphics (built into the motherboard) which shares the main memory. This reduces the memory available to Windows. In this case, a low-end 1GHz CPU is usually accompanied by low-end integrated graphics (such as Intel HD) rather than a dedicated graphics card with its own dedicated video memory.
  • This is a 64-bit system so any memory above 3GB will be completely usable unlike 32-bit systems where most Windows users get limited benefit for RAM above 3GB.


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