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sfc /scannow took 13hrs - CPU just 146 MDIPS


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#1
UnderSiege

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Hi Geeks :)

This problem has got me foxed. My son's laptop remains slow; it has recently been checked clear of malware ( my inititial suspicion) in a previous thread:
http://www.geekstogo...EL-t189364.html

That thread concluded with a factoy reset using the VAIO Recovery Utility and much improved general performance. :) I ran sfc /scannow and after 13 hours it reported no problems ! First question - is it usual for scannow to take so long?

I trimmed all the start-up programs to just AVG and disabled all the non-Mircrosoft Services using msconfig and removed a lot of the pre-installed applications. File fragmentation on the C: drive is 0%

I had to reinstall an updated network adapter driver in order to get on to the Internet. Also, I needed to install some 89 Priority XP updates and it's performance has now dropped off considerably. For example, it now takes 130 secs to populate the Add or Remove Programs box, whereas before it was about 30 secs. So I am still suspicious that something is corrupt.

I have also benchmarked the laptop using Fresh Diagnose and the CPU sticks out lie a sore thumb. For an Intel Celeron running at 1.5GHz, it is achieving only 146 MDIPS at whereas the expected score for a lower spec CPU running at 700 MHz is 1,943 MDIPS - well over 10 ten time more!

Now I may be reading too much into this benchmark comparison, but I would very much appreciate some expert advice on where to go next.

thanks , UnderSiege
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#2
The Skeptic

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Looks as if something is very very wrong with your computer if sfc runs for 13 hours after recovering to factory settings. Likely possibilities:

1: Faulty cpu, possibly the cache memory. Check in the BIOS if there is an option to enable/disable the cache memory. If disabled, enable it. If there is no such option (laptops usually give you limited access to the BIOS) then download and install Sandra Lite XII (free). Click on Tools > Burn-In Computer. Use the green arrows to move in the menus. Choose to create a report. Uncheck everything except: Processor Arithmetic. Processor Multi Media and Cache and Memory. Keep using the green keys to move forward. Choose to run 1 cycle and keep the report to the desktop. Start the test. A red indicator will signal that the test is Running. It takes sometimes. At the end, all the tested parameters should be marked with green arrows.

2: Faulty hard disk. Download HD Tune and run a test. Click on Benchmark and let the test run to the end. Please report Average Transfer Rate.

3: Faulty RAM. Download Microsodt Memory Diagnostic tool from the link in my signature. Follow the instructions and create a bootable CD. Boot with the CD in place (should be set in the BIOS to be first priority boot device) and run the test for about 30 minutes. Please report if there are any errors.

4: faulty any-other-part (motherboard, in general)
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#3
UnderSiege

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hi Skeptic

Thanksvery much for picking this up. :) It may take a while for me to do all those things. In the meantime, here is a html report from Fresh Diagnose covering a lot of the things you asked me to look at. It may be of interest.

[attachment=19262:System_Report.html]

I'm sorry but my previous post wasn't quite accurate: the 13hour scannow was before I did the factoy reset; I have not tried one since then. I should also mention that I have been having problems with a sticky shift key which sometimes .causes some unpredictable results. We have to use the on screen keyboard to "unstick" it.

UnderSiege
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#4
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Hi Skeptic

Had some problems downloading to the laptop, so had to use my desktop and transfer Sandra Lite, HD Tune and MS Memory Diagnostic Tool via memory stick

Followed the instructions for Sandra Lite, left it to run and was presented with a black screen on return and totally frozen :) Had to power off. A report had been generated, but this all we got:

***** Start of Report *****
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

<<< >>>
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Error: No environment monitors detected!

<<< Processor Arithmetic >>>
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------


<<< Processor Multi-Media >>>
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------


<<< Cache and Memory >>>
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

I'll try again tomorrow


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#5
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OK - All tests now done but.........

Sandra Lite Report:

SiSoftware Sandra

Display on Screen
Connection : Local Computer
Error : No environment monitors detected!

Run 1 executing...
Processor Arithmetic : Started on 18 March 2008 at 06:57:38...
Processor Arithmetic : Finished on 18 March 2008 at 06:59:06.
Processor Multi-Media : Started on 18 March 2008 at 06:59:06...
Processor Multi-Media : Finished on 18 March 2008 at 07:00:33.
Cache and Memory : Started on 18 March 2008 at 07:00:37...
Cache and Memory : Finished on 18 March 2008 at 07:24:16.
Error : No environment monitors detected!

Burn-in Computer
Finished Successfully : Yes

HD Tune:

After about 10 secs got dialogue box:

"READ error - Test Aborted"

Though I could see the MIN and MAX transfer figures of 7.1 Mb/sec and 31.2 Mb/sec

MS Diagnostic Memory Tool

Launched but reported:

"Can't open the selected file for writing" This is despite trying a blank CD-R and CD-RW

UnderSiege
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#6
UnderSiege

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Hi Skeptic

I now know why I got the "Can't open the selected file for writing" message. I didn't have the resource kit installed.

However, can you help me with the syntax for using cdburn.exe The MS help on this is not clear and I don't which is the image file on the my hard drive that I need to burn. The CD-ROM is F:

so what goes in the image file please

cdburn.exe f: c:\<image file>

Undersiege
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#7
The Skeptic

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10 seconds is not enough to reach any conclusion about HD Tune. Usually it starts the test reading high values which gradually drop to lower level. We need the average of the entire test.

Anyway, the fact that the program stopped could very well be an indicator for a serious hard disk problem. Please try to run HD Tune again. If not successfull run Sandra again and check only the HD option. Run the test and report the results.

Please note: most hard disk test programs run read-only tests. They do not run write tests to avoid damage to the data on the disk. In addition to Sandra please run Window's check disk utility. To run it click My Computer > right-click local disk c: (assuming the operating system is there) > properties > tools > in Error Checking click Check Now > check the two boxes and click Start. You will be asked if you wish to run the utility upon next boot. Agree, reboot and let the process run to the end. It can be quite long but shouldn't exceed unreasonable time (say, two hours for 80 gig disk).

If both test and operation end up with no negative results and HD Tune still not running, and the computer is still slow, we'll perform another test with the hard disk manufacturer's diagnostic tool.


If you wish to burn Micrososft's, or any other .ISO file please download and install BURNCDCC. It's the simplest of all tools and it burns .ISO files only.
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#8
UnderSiege

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HD Tune reported an error again after about 10secs. So I run Sandra, checking only the Physical disk, here's the report:

SiSoftware Sandra

Display on Screen
Connection : Local Computer
Error : No environment monitors detected!

Run 1 executing...
Physical Disks : Started on 18 March 2008 at 18:12:47...
Error : FUJITSU MHV2080AT 80GB (ATA100, 8MB Cache) (C:) (D:) : Write Performance : Disk must be empty to be write-benchmarked.
Error : Disk (E:) : Read Performance : Cannot obtain drive information; check that a disk is in the drive and it is correctly formatted.
Error : Disk (E:) : Write Performance : Cannot obtain drive information; check that a disk is in the drive and it is correctly formatted.
Error : BUFFALO USB Flash Disk 2GB (USB) (G:) : Write Performance : Disk must be empty to be write-benchmarked.
Physical Disks : Finished on 18 March 2008 at 18:14:06.
Error : No environment monitors detected!

Burn-in Computer
Finished Successfully : Yes

I am not sure what this means as I didn't expect any disk writing to take place.

Ran the Error Checking tool and rebooted the laptop - it reported:

A disk check has been scheduled and then immediately
Disk checking has been cancelled


I ran chkdsk (without any switches) from the cmd prompt and all seemed ok - files, indexes, volume all verified and no bad sectors.
I don't know if this has any relevance, but the VAIO has a "hidden" partition where all the factory recovery files are kept and I feel sure it didn't check the hidden partition, and could this the reason HD tune reported a read error?

I have the Recovery Console loaded so I could run chkdsk from there if you think that would be better?


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#9
The Skeptic

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Sandra test shows no problems in the FUJITSU disk. The others are irrelevant to the problem.

Please run chkdsk /r from the recovery console.

Please use this link to download "DOS Diagnostic Tool Ver. 7.0 (For IDE/ATA Hard Drives)". Boot the disk and run the comprehensive test. Please report the results.

I don't know why HD Tune doesn't run but I doubt if it has anything to do with the hidden partition.

Now, going back to square one: There was a misunderstanding on my part of your original post. I thought that the exceedingly low performance was after the recovery. Apperantly it was before. If the chkdsk and fujitsu test end up successfully lets go to the beginning and give us a description of what the problem is and how serious it is.
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#10
Tyger

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Is it possible that the processor might be running at a reduced speed for any reason? I don't know what speed it is running at, but that would be a worthwhile thing to check.
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#11
happyrock

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Tyger may be right...if its getting hot...the cpu may be throttling back to keep it from over heating

it may also be that the drive is dropping to pio mode instead of dma...
good guide to check transfer mode and reset if necessary here..

Edited by happyrck, 18 March 2008 - 04:11 PM.

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#12
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Ran chkdsk /-r from the recovery console it "found and fixed one or more errors". I mistakenly thought I could run the Fujitsu HDD DOS diagnostic under the recovery console as well... only to learn that there is no DOS shell on XP and it is only a DOS emulator. I am sorry but I haven't yet figured out how to create a bootable DOS disk, so I ran the manufacturer's windows diagnostic instead. First as a short test, which detected bad sectors and asked me to run the extended test. That ran for a about 9% (5-6 minutes) before the following error message.

Model Name : FUJITSU MHV2080AT
Serial No. : NS56T5826SVT
Firmware : 00000096
Total LBA : 950F8B0 h

Test Name : Extended Test
Result : FAIL
Code : B121V9
Test Time : 06:15:33, March 19, 2008


The drive did not pass the Extended Test.
An error was detected on the target drive.


So both HD Tune and the Fujitsu diagnostic tools failed to complete a scan, so it seems there could well be problem with the physical disk (or HD controller? or something else?) Though both diagnostics were running under windows which may be relevant?

Just to complete the post. For happyrck the Primary IDE Channel is running in DMA at Ultra Level 5, and for Tyger Fresh Diagnose says the CPU is clocking at 1,492 MHz .

For interest , I also tried to run sfc /scannow overnight - after running for 6:30 hours, it had only just completed about 15% on the progress bar, so I don't believe there's been any improvement after the factory reset.

If you want, I could give you a resume of the symptoms before and after the factory reset? In the meantime, I will search for a tutorial on creating a bootable DOS disk.

Appreciate your efforts

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#13
The Skeptic

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I am afraid that the hard disk is failing and needs replacement. Please backup your valuable data if you didn't do so already.

It's not essential to run the disk test in DOS mode. This is very useful when you test a computer which is not bootable to windows or in cases where you suspect serious problems in windows and you want to test the hardware without the use of windows.
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#14
happyrock

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I am afraid that the hard disk is failing and needs replacement. Please backup your valuable data if you didn't do so already.

I agree...
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#15
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Looks like a replacement hard disk then ... gulp

Many thanks to The Skeptic and others for perservering with my problem; I've learned a lot on the way. And more to learn as I attempt to replace the laptop's HD and OS.

warm regards,

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