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Lots of "(not responding)" and continuous disc activity . . .


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#1
britechguy

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Hello All,

         Let me first say that I do not think that the issue I'm about to describe is the result of any virus, malware, etc.  I've got my computer about as protected as it can be, and Panda Cloud Antivirus, Spybot S&D, & Malwarebytes have been regularly updated, run, and have been returning "clean" results for several years.

         My laptop, an ASUS K50ij, is far from new.   It runs Win 7  Home Premium 64-bit SP1, has a Pentium T4500 dual-core @ 2.3GHz, and the maximum 4GB of RAM.

         When this issue occurs I've looked at Windows Task Manager the CPU is nowhere near to maxed-out and I've generally got at least somewhere around 500 Mb, usually closer to 1Gb, RAM still available.

         The behavior is not immediate, nor even generally shortly after booting up.   It can take anywhere from several hours to a couple of days before it rears its ugly head again, but it always occurs.   Out of the blue the system slows to a crawl, the disc activity light goes on solid (no perceptible blinking at all), and many of the programs running will go in to "(not responding)" mode for a period of time or just stay stuck in this mode.  I can sometimes, not always, get the problem to stop by slowly exiting out of programs when I can, but that doesn't always work nor does there seem to be a single program (e.g., Chrome, Firefox, Thunderbird, Search Everything, or others) that is either causing this issue or fixing it when I can exit it gracefully.   Most often once it starts the machine becomes so unmanageable that I tend to shut it down, gracefully if possible, but with the power button if a graceful shutdown gets stuck for more than 10 minutes (the latter seldom happens, most times it will power down reasonably quickly).  It did seem to happen much more rapidly when I was using Opera as a web browser, but I have stopped using Opera and it still happens.

The following are the programs that are commonly "always up" when I'm using my laptop, along with the extensions/add-ons for each.  In web browsers it is my habit to have multiple tabs open within a single window as opposed to multiple windows for the same browser open at once.

Firefox 34.0.5
    Add-Ons:
       Extensions:  Adblock Plus 2.6.6
                    Classic Theme Restorer 1.2.8.2
                    Colorful Tabs 25.7
                    Ghostery 5.41
                    HTTPS-Everywhere 4.0.2
                    Lightbeam 1.1.0
                    selectivecookiedelete 4.1
                    shootthecookies 1.1

       Appearance:  Nuvola 1.32.1

       Plug-Ins (Always Activate):   
                             ActiveTouch General Plugin Container 29.1.2013.906
                             OpenH264 Video Codec provided by Cisco Systems, Inc. 1.1
                             Shockwave Flash 16.0.0.35

                
                (Ask to Activate):  
                             Adobe Acrobat 11.0.9.29
                             Google Earth Plugin 76.1.2.2041
                             Google Talk Plugin 5.38.6.0
                             Google Talk Plugin Video Renderer 5.38.6.0
                             Google Update 1.3.25.11
                             Java Deployment Toolkit 7.0.670.1 10.67.2.1
                             Java™ Platform SE 7 U67 10.67.2.1
                             Microsoft Office 2010 14.0.4761.1000
                             Microsoft Office 2020 14.0.4730.1010
                             PDF-XChange Viewer 2.5.311.0
                             Photo Gallery 16.4.3522.110
                             Picasa 3.0.0.0
                             QuickTime Plug-in 7.7.4  7.7.4.0
                             Silverlight Plug-In 5.1.31211.0
                             VLC Web Plugin 2.1.3.0

                (Never Activate):
                             Canon iMAGE GATEWAY Album Plugin Utility for IM 4.0.0.0

         Services:  None


Thunderbird 31.3.0
    Add-Ons:  Google Contacts 0.7.12
              Lightning 3.3.1
              Provider for Google Calendar 1.0.3


Google Chrome 39.0.2171.95 m
    Extensions:   Adblock Plus 1.8.8
                  Cisco WebEx Extension 1.0.1
                  Ghostery 5.4.1
                  HTTPS-Everywhere 2014.11.25
                  Google Cast 14.1113.0.4
                  SHOOT THE COOKIES by McVitie's 1.4.1
    (all but Cisco WebEx are enabled in incognito)

I have tried every trick I know of in an attempt to figure out what it is that puts the machine into this state, but have done months of research and some tweaking (e.g. turning off indexing) and untweaking when a given possible proposed solution had no effect.  Now I'm hoping that someone else in the cohort has experienced this same behavior and may be able to give me the guidance necessary to get this to stop happening.

Thank you in advance for any help you can offer.

Brian


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#2
Alzeimer

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Since you do not explain what solution you have tried here are some you can try if you haven,t already tried them.

 

1- Verify you hard disk using the boot program from the manufacturer of your HDD

 

2- Verifying your memory (ram) using memtest86

http://www.memtest86.com/

 

3- Verifying if your windows partition (usually C:\) if it is getting close to its limits of storage (should always have at least 15% of free space on it)

 

4- Doing a checkdisk (check and repair) on your C:\ drive

 

 

Hope that helps


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#3
britechguy

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Alzeimer,

        I appreciate the suggestions.   The C:\ drive is where Windows is resident and has 58.4 GB free space (total space:  116 GB).  The physical drive is divided into two logical drives, C & D, and I use D to store my data.  It has 149 GB free space (total space:  331 GB).

 

        I haven't run a chkdsk recently but will do so on both drives at reboot just for the heck of it.

 

        Here's a Speccy log for my system, which gives more nauseating detail than is probably necessary.


Edited by britechguy, 23 December 2014 - 08:36 PM.

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#4
britechguy

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Quick follow-up.   The chkdsk /F came back perfectly clean on my D: drive and there was but one error on the C: drive:  "Deleting corrupt attribute record (128, "") from file record segment 186778."   Once that error showed up everything else looked clean (unless you count 51 reparse records processed during this phase, which I don't count as an error).


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#5
zep516

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The behavior is not immediate, nor even generally shortly after booting up. It can take anywhere from several hours to a couple of days before it rears its ugly head again, but it always occurs. Out of the blue the system slows to a craw


I had a very similar problem and it drove me crazy. It's Windows 7 Home, 32Bit on a desktop. 9750 Quad-Core 2.4GHZ. Older machine.

I also like to leave the computer on, but a lot of mornings I would find it either completely frozen, or just extremely slow, but not every mourning.

I tried all the check disk, system file checker, etc. I even uninstalled the Anti Virus. Never could pinpoint the issue and put up with if for a long time. I never did run a Memory check. I got so fed up I replaced it all with new ram modules just recently.

All the problems went away.... I still wait for it to come back because it always did, as you said rear it's ugly head. 1 month and no issues to date :)

Just wanted to share my experience, I had no reason the think it was ram, as they were not that old and were good set of corsair... I also had some of the hard drive activity you speak of.

Joe
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#6
britechguy

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Joe,

 

          Thanks for that data point.   I have long ago learned that sometimes "the least likely thing" turns out to be exactly the thing that's causing the problem.   I will be chasing down some more likely candidates first, but given the price of memory these days I'd be willing to give this a try.

 

          I already have a Windows 8 laptop in the house and am comfortable with Windows 8, but I have no real desire or need to "upgrade" myself.  When this computer is operating correctly, like it is as I type this, it's way more than adequate for my purposes.


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