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Mrs John Murphy

wuauclt/svchost is killing my laptop

The problem is this - the wuauclt/svchost processes are killing my laptop at start up meaning it is about 30 minutes before I can do any work.

I've had this problem in the past and cured it by deleting the software distribution folder.

I've looked online but to be honest I don't really understand the language of a lot of the forums.

This problem has only kicked in since mid-week when there was a largish microsoft set of fixes released.

Any ideas to help my laptop not take 30 minutes in the morning to be useful?
Slapshot 3

I'll try to avoid Geek Speak

svchost.exe is what Microsoft OS's now use to run the processes within the operating system. They moved most of what used to be recognised as exe files to dll (Dynamic Link Library) files  to make things quicker!!!

Problem is that if a large number of these processes link themselves to a single svchost it can get massive. You can have a number of them running simultaneously as well. Issues are that you can reduce the problem but the next time you get a microsoft update it sorts everything out to where it should be again!!

You can't do without it but you can get your friendly local geek to have a look at it and optimise the way the processes attach to a svchost process therefore reducing the problem, you can't get rid of it, it's a microsoft thing!!


WUAUCLT is the Windows Update AutoUpdate Client and hunts for updates whenever you switch online. It's hidden in the C:\Windows\System32 directory, if you find it anywhere else it's a virus!!.

If you do Start - Search - wuauclt.exe it'll let you se how many you have and whether its in the right place. You can do nothing about the real file.
Mrs John Murphy

Using search I get:

WUAUCLT.EXE-399A8E72.pf C:\windows\prefetch
wuauclt               C:\windows\system32
wuauclt               C:\WINDOWS\ServicePackFiles\i386
cardinal guzman

Half an hour is a long time. Is more memory an option? How much space have you got left on your C drive?

I'm wondering if you've run out of room for virtual memory.
Mrs John Murphy

C drive - 55.8gb free 27.3gb
TNG

More likely you've reached the 'Microsoft Half-life'...the point at which the OS becomes so 'clogged' with crap that a software rebuild is the only way forward. My 'half-life' period is usually no more than 12 months, but am comfortable with doing a rebuild so less of a big deal perhaps than for others.

A couple of questions:
1. Assume your OS is XP?
2. How long was your boot-up time before this problem kicked in?
3. What indication are you getting that makes you think wuauclt/svchost is the problem?
4. Once the boot-up has completed, does your laptop run 'normally' or are you getting indications of generally slower running?
5. Can you DEFINITELY link the problem start to a Windows Update?
6. If YES, have you tried to remove the updates?
7. Have you tried (temporarily) turning off Automatic Updates?
cardinal guzman

We're at the limit of my lack of expertise here - What's launching at startup?

start
run
type; 'msconfig.exe'
look at the startup tab
uncheck everything you don't need to start at startup - which is everything except your antivirus and firewall. Don't bother unchecking ctfmon as it will only reinstate it'sself - bloody microsoft.

Sorry if this is a 'der - that was the first thing I tried' moment for you but it's all I can think of!

Good luck!
Mrs John Murphy

1: Yes XP
2: About 5-10 mins - slowest thing being the AVG auto update. I had gone into MSCONFIG and stopped all of the other processes starting up which I wasn't using.

(NB - I have just noticed I have something listed as: Dumprep 0 -k %systemroot%\system32\dumprep 0 -k

HKLM\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Run )

3 - with taskmanager open and watching the processes shows that svchost and Wuauclt are taking up large amounts of CPU and Mem usage

4 - Yes, runs fine

5 - Yes, it was fine before the update and I haven't downloaded, installed anything else.

6 - No because I have no idea how to

7 - I have auto updates turned off (I think). It tells me when they are available but I then download/install them when I am ready.
cardinal guzman

at this point I'd be doing a rollback to the nearest savepoint before it went tits up.
Jackov

All our computers had to go throught the large recent microsoft update, I guess it took 30 minutes as you described, and that was with a fast internet connection.  But once everything completed and rebooted things were fine.

I wonder if your updates just are not completing and thus the auto update keeps starting over.  

Once you get control over your laptop go to
http://www.update.microsoft.com/windowsupdate/v6/default.aspx

and then click "Review your updates history" on the left side menu
TNG

2. 5-10 minutes is still a bit too long, IMO....if it's nearer 10 minutes I'd certainly be thinking about a rebuild.
6. Control Panel, Add/Remove Programs, check the box top right-hand corner to 'Show Updates'. This will then show ALL the updates for all your installed programs, inclusing the OS, and the date they were installed. Scroll down to find all the updates that were installed on the fateful day, clicking on them individually will give you the option to remove.
7. A lot of people have their Automatic Updates set that way....thing is that Microsoft will still be interrogated on startup to see if new updates are available.....if this is part of the problem you need to stop that interrogation: Control Panel, Security Centre, in the Manage Security Settings are select Automatic Updates, then in the resulting dialog box select 'Turn Off Automatic Updates'. You will of course then get security warning messages, which can be ignored until you turn Updates back on.

I guess the first thing I'd try is simply turning Automatic Updates off and trying a reboot. If no difference I'd think about uninstalling the recent updates. But there are risks with this which you need to consider(and certainly make sure you've got your data backed up!!).
Mrs John Murphy

The slowness is only on the first boot up of the day. If I shut down and restart then it is fine.

As I say AVG update was taking the longest time - but now that time has tripled with the svchost/wuauclt thing.

Windows Defender/AVG seem to spend a lot of time scanning on start up as well.

I also have issues with the 'system' system (not system idle process).
TNG

More and more I think you are suffering from the 'half-life' problem. Out of interest how long since a clean install of XP was done?

If you are not comfortable with a rebuild you probably need a fairly stringent review of the software installed on the laptop, and ruthlessly junking anything not needed. For example I personally would not bother with both Defender and AVG, and would get rid of one (I got rid of Defender and kept AVG). Any other 'bloatware' you can get rid off might help, although it may be your registry is now so full of crap that you can't recover the situation.

Probably not much more I can add....there are a few things you could try, let us know if you try any of them and what effect it has.
Slapshot 3

AVG are in the process of release 9 which I am informed is a much faster loading system compared to Release 8. Again with that if you switch the updates to manual it gives you the opportunity to  update when it suits rather than an automiatic process.
cardinal guzman

TNG - on the subject, how easy is it to do a clean install on a laptop?

It's something I've done many times on the games tower, but never on a laptop, and my ma n pa are wanting me to clean up their vaioio and remove a partition.
Mrs John Murphy

TNG wrote:
More and more I think you are suffering from the 'half-life' problem. Out of interest how long since a clean install of XP was done?

If you are not comfortable with a rebuild you probably need a fairly stringent review of the software installed on the laptop, and ruthlessly junking anything not needed. For example I personally would not bother with both Defender and AVG, and would get rid of one (I got rid of Defender and kept AVG). Any other 'bloatware' you can get rid off might help, although it may be your registry is now so full of crap that you can't recover the situation.

Probably not much more I can add....there are a few things you could try, let us know if you try any of them and what effect it has.


I have never done a rebuild of the OS. The laptop is about 4-5 years old now.

I would do a rebuild BUT for the fact that it has a 95% completed PhD on it and the fear of losing it after 8 years is a little too much to contemplate.
TNG

Slapshot, you're right of course about AVG 9.0.....BUT I'm currently running AVG 8.5 AND I have fully automatic updates set on (Windows Update, AVG, ADOBE, Lenovo) for just about everything....I have what I think is a pretty 'loaded' laptop with all kinds of software installed, and my current start-up time from power-on to being able to run apps is between 3 and 4 minutes. The point is that having these automatic updates set on SHOULDN'T cause such an elongated start-up time.

As an IT administrator you will know full well that the FIRST thing to do when a new (not obviously hardware) problem arises is to ask - What's been changed? If something has just been installed, first action is uninstall it and see if the problem's resolved. That's certainly what I'd be doing if I had MJM's laptop in front of me, though I can understand any reluctance as that could easily be the start of a slippery slope ending with a full software rebuild.....
TNG

cardinal guzman wrote:
TNG - on the subject, how easy is it to do a clean install on a laptop?

It's something I've done many times on the games tower, but never on a laptop, and my ma n pa are wanting me to clean up their vaioio and remove a partition.


Cop out answer? It depends!!

Three things (more or less) to consider:

1. The Operating System....do you have access to the original image (i.e. complete with all the various drivers specific to the configuration)? More and more these days manufacturers are providing a 'recovery' aid (either a CD or a discrete partition on the hard drive) which provides the ability to restore the OS back to its original state when shipped. I have a Thinkpad with the 'blue button', which allows me to restore to factory settings (loads from a pre-configured 'service' partition).
2. Applications....the great thing about a 'factory' rebuild is that you end up with a 'virgin' PC which runs about as fast is it was originally designed to do. The downside is that you then have to re-install all your applications (and do you still have the disks?). It always amazes me how much stuff I DON'T re-install on a rebuild as I realise that I don't use it anymore!
3. And finally you've got to restore all your data (you did back it up, right?).

Done carefully, it's great to do....BUT it will take time even if you know where everything is....it generally takes me a couple of days to get everything 'just so', and I will do it at least once a year.
Slapshot 3

TNG wrote:
Slapshot, you're right of course about AVG 9.0.....BUT I'm currently running AVG 8.5 AND I have fully automatic updates set on (Windows Update, AVG, ADOBE, Lenovo) for just about everything....I have what I think is a pretty 'loaded' laptop with all kinds of software installed, and my current start-up time from power-on to being able to run apps is between 3 and 4 minutes. The point is that having these automatic updates set on SHOULDN'T cause such an elongated start-up time.

As an IT administrator you will know full well that the FIRST thing to do when a new (not obviously hardware) problem arises is to ask - What's been changed? If something has just been installed, first action is uninstall it and see if the problem's resolved. That's certainly what I'd be doing if I had MJM's laptop in front of me, though I can understand any reluctance as that could easily be the start of a slippery slope ending with a full software rebuild.....


I've got it down to 1 and a half minutes on the laptop at peak(Vista), when it get to 2 and a half it's clean up time. Laptop is kept as clean as possible for a number of reasons though mainly if it starts to clutter it slows down Photoshop.

I have Auto Update switched off on the Laptop both Windows and AVG, I'll leave the beast running when I asleep between night shifts and let it down load and update during that period, it's easier than way. I guess you could write a batch file to sort it out if you had the time or inclination.

Virus Checkers / Firewall software can be very resource hungry

Main machine in the house runs on XP and it takes a bit longer but it is old and has a slower hard disk and less memory (and full of my wife's crappy games and stuff).
Mrs John Murphy

Removing windows defender is just a straight forward 'add/remove programs' move?

On the subject I have a lot of svchosts listed when I open up taskmanager - 9 - is that a lot.

This a fairly basic set up - a couple of games, firefox, IE, Office, Open Office, Outlook Express, Adobe reader.

I have gone through in the past a deleted a lot of the bloatware. Maybe time to go through again.
TNG

Mrs John Murphy wrote:
TNG wrote:
More and more I think you are suffering from the 'half-life' problem. Out of interest how long since a clean install of XP was done?

If you are not comfortable with a rebuild you probably need a fairly stringent review of the software installed on the laptop, and ruthlessly junking anything not needed. For example I personally would not bother with both Defender and AVG, and would get rid of one (I got rid of Defender and kept AVG). Any other 'bloatware' you can get rid off might help, although it may be your registry is now so full of crap that you can't recover the situation.

Probably not much more I can add....there are a few things you could try, let us know if you try any of them and what effect it has.


I have never done a rebuild of the OS. The laptop is about 4-5 years old now.

I would do a rebuild BUT for the fact that it has a 95% completed PhD on it and the fear of losing it after 8 years is a little too much to contemplate.


4-5 years without a rebuild could explain why you are running into problems.

I can understand the reluctance to do a rebuild, however there should be absolutely no risk to your PhD provided you are diligent about taking data backups (what would you do if you dropped the laptop and irrepairably broke it, or - as happened to me once - the hard drive failed?).

You could try some of the other suggestions first - uninstalling the last updates, turning off Automatic Updates, getting rid of Defender, putting AVG into manual update mode - but do make sure you've backed up that data!
TNG

Mrs John Murphy wrote:
Removing windows defender is just a straight forward 'add/remove programs' move?

On the subject I have a lot of svchosts listed when I open up taskmanager - 9 - is that a lot.

This a fairly basic set up - a couple of games, firefox, IE, Office, Open Office, Outlook Express, Adobe reader.

I have gone through in the past a deleted a lot of the bloatware. Maybe time to go through again.


Windows Defender - yes, add/remove programs.

On my laptop at the moment there is only Firefox running and checking Task Manager ther are 8 svchosts running....so 9 probably isn't too many.
Mrs John Murphy

Yes. I bought an external hard drive, saved everything on it, then it broke...

I will start with getting rid of defender and see how that goes.
Biosphere

Mrs John Murphy wrote:
I would do a rebuild BUT for the fact that it has a 95% completed PhD on it and the fear of losing it after 8 years is a little too much to contemplate.


You shouldn't be in that situation Shocked

Laptop could die tomorrow - at the very least get yourself a few memory sticks for backup and store them in geographically diverse locations. Put a copy on work server if possible - the IT department will do backups for you that way. At work we were paying CSC £13000 per person per annum for rental PCs that were left standing by PC world £500 jobbies - make the bastards earn their "network services" money.

Helped mother in law set up her new Windows 7 laptop last week - AVG first definitions update was very slow after I installed it, but seemed fine after that. It was version 9 something.

TNG's rebuild solution is the one I'd take if you didn't have the data dilema. Five years is an eternity for a PC.

Edit: OK. I see TNG has already delivered the same lecture  Wink
cardinal guzman

MJM - take that laptop to the UNI tomorrow and get those files backed up! OMFG - PHD roulette! Shocked

TNG - Ta for that! Will I be able to just format and repartition using the windows disk then start manually installing stuff like drivers off the net from a clean windows installation like I am very much used to on my tower, or are there specific reasons that will mean I'm going to need the vaio setup disks? Basically I dont want to put any of the shit that came with their laptop back on, and know what I'm doing if I don't need to get involved with these setup disks.

Turning into a pc workshop this thread lol!

Anyone tried windows 7? I've seen it and it sure does look mighty purdy.
TNG

Mrs John Murphy wrote:
Yes. I bought an external hard drive, saved everything on it, then it broke...

I will start with getting rid of defender and see how that goes.


Which is why you need more than one backup copy. Some of my data is backed up to three seperate locations every week.....and none of it I would class in the same level of criticality as yours!!

By all means get rid of Defender, though more likely the last updates were the real culprit. But every little may help....
kathy

This is an interesting thread.  My PC is just over three years old and had a complete rebuild about a year ago.  I have no real problems when I boot up, but I've noticed late at night (after midnight), something seems to happen which slows the machine down to a snail's pace, and at times I've had to switch the machine off and boot up again, and then there are no problems.  As far as I'm aware, I've got nothing which comes up automatically at that time.  The only things I can think of are-

The machine has got clogged up with all the applications I've opened during the day or

I suspect my ISP goes on a 'go-slow' at this time, but as I can't handle non-internet things either at that time ie Word or Excel, I don't think this is the problem.  

I'm running XP Pro with AVG Anti virus.
Biosphere

cardinal guzman wrote:

Anyone tried windows 7? I've seen it and it sure does look mighty purdy.


Yeah. On the laptop I was helping set-up. It's a polished version of Vista wrt the interface, but a big rewrite of the underlying code. It will be the proper replacement for XP.
TNG

cardinal guzman wrote:
MJM - take that laptop to the UNI tomorrow and get those files backed up! OMFG - PHD roulette! Shocked

TNG - Ta for that! Will I be able to just format and repartition using the windows disk then start manually installing stuff like drivers off the net from a clean windows installation like I am very much used to on my tower, or are there specific reasons that will mean I'm going to need the vaio setup disks? Basically I dont want to put any of the shit that came with their laptop back on, and know what I'm doing if I don't need to get involved with these setup disks.

Turning into a pc workshop this thread lol!

Anyone tried windows 7? I've seen it and it sure does look mighty purdy.


Well, answering both questions....if the laptop has a good enough spec why not go straight to Windows 7? I've just installed it as a dual-boot option on my (previous XP only) desktop and was seriously impressed (as all reviews led me to expect!). I bypassed Vista completely, and am well pleased. By all accounts it will find most, if not all, of the drivers without too much hassle (I just needed to update the graphics driver as one particular application had a problem).

Will be moving this laptop to Windows 7 within the next week or so....

But remember if the current OS is XP you'll need to do a 'clean' install, which means you'll lose all the applications. And if you want to reorganise partitions you can do that also as part of the install process PROVIDED you boot from the Windows 7 CD (but that then means you'll lose all data as well and will need to restore it from a backup).

Bottom line, if you are doing a complete rebuild, and the spec is OK, go straight to Windows 7.
Slapshot 3

7 looks gorgeous, we've a machine in here that had it installed last week for testing purposes. It hasn't been overloaded yet so can't test at peak operating levels but some of the screen functions look fun.

In the grand scheme of things we'd disable many of the toys for the core OS but based on the rate our internal IT advances, I'll wait for Windows 17
Biosphere

TNG

Time to drop the T  Wink
TNG

kathy wrote:
This is an interesting thread.  My PC is just over three years old and had a complete rebuild about a year ago.  I have no real problems when I boot up, but I've noticed late at night (after midnight), something seems to happen which slows the machine down to a snail's pace, and at times I've had to switch the machine off and boot up again, and then there are no problems.  As far as I'm aware, I've got nothing which comes up automatically at that time.  The only things I can think of are-

The machine has got clogged up with all the applications I've opened during the day or

I suspect my ISP goes on a 'go-slow' at this time, but as I can't handle non-internet things either at that time ie Word or Excel, I don't think this is the problem.  

I'm running XP Pro with AVG Anti virus.


Kathy, check your AVG settings....by default it will perform full system scan daily (can't remember the time)....it may be that, or one of the many other applications doing an 'update' check. No reason for an ISP 'slow-down' to effect the PC, as you surmise.
maffy

Biosphere wrote:
TNG

Time to drop the T  Wink


yep. hi tng  Smile
TNG

Biosphere wrote:
TNG

Time to drop the T  Wink


Thanks, but I'd be No Good without it.....
Mrs John Murphy

On the subject of bloatware what out of this windows list can be got rid of:

Windows live essentials
Windows live sign-in assistant
Windows live upload

Microsoft .Net  Framework 1.1
Microsoft .Net  Framework 2.0 Service Pack 2
Microsoft .Net  Framework 3.0 Service Pack 2
Microsoft .Net  Framework 3.5 SP1
TNG

Mrs John Murphy wrote:
On the subject of bloatware what out of this windows list can be got rid of:

Windows live essentials
Windows live sign-in assistant
Windows live upload

Microsoft .Net  Framework 1.1
Microsoft .Net  Framework 2.0 Service Pack 2
Microsoft .Net  Framework 3.0 Service Pack 2
Microsoft .Net  Framework 3.5 SP1


Same answer as I gave to the cardinal.....It Depends!

The .Net Framework ones are a real pain as you never really know what they are needed for. It's almost certain that SOME application requires one or other, and you won't know until you try removing them. FWIW, I have all that same set on my laptop.

Regarding the Windows Live stuff, that's not an integral part of XP....and being a fairly recent development I can ony assume that they were installed for a particular reason, e.g. IM, Mail, or Security (Defender is I believe now a part of the Live Essentials suite). So, if you don't use Windows Live Mail (on Vista/Windows 7 this is the replacement for Outlook Expresss), or Live messaging, you can probably get rid.
TNG

A follow-up on the .Net Framework....a quick check reveals that you would be advised NOT to remove any of these, as they are in some areas independent of each other.
Mrs John Murphy

Having just restarted the laptop I noticed that wuauclt/svchost is still hogging a lot of memory on start up - which an unwelcome development. So I will be rolling back on the updates.
Slapshot 3

I've continued to use Office Suite 03, we've always found it the most stable version at work so makes sense to use it elsewhere. Hate outlook express and get rid as quickly as possible however MS Outlook from the suite is hugely better.

I tried the livemail stuff on Vista when I got the Laptop but that lasted a week, it's a real resource killer. I got rid of defender very quickly, plus all the "live" crap, that did help the SVCHOST,

Additionally, if you run X, the pointers that svchost looks for set themselves up when you boot the machine up, not just drives but files so if you have hundreds of files stored in "My Documents" and it's sub folders including pictures and music, it has to go through all of them as well. You can set up folders in other sectors for these things, it is a relativley easy fix. Best set up is a pair of duplicate drives and put everything on there. It's all very well having a 200Gb drive if your start up has to look through 100GB before you can get onto it.  

I run two remote 500GB drives and save everything I need to them, pics, music listings, documents that are over 6 weeks old, you name it. I've yet to lose anything and the machines are relativley quick to spin up. This was a comprmise to building a server at home and running it like a centralised hub network, the Memsahib flipped at the cost!!!!!
kathy

TNG wrote:

Kathy, check your AVG settings....by default it will perform full system scan daily (can't remember the time)....it may be that, or one of the many other applications doing an 'update' check. No reason for an ISP 'slow-down' to effect the PC, as you surmise.


That happens at 1pm.  It does slow things down, but not to the extent that's happening at night.  It's only happened in the last week, so maybe I'll check and see what's been updated since then,  or my usually solution, restore to a week ago!
TNG

kathy wrote:
TNG wrote:

Kathy, check your AVG settings....by default it will perform full system scan daily (can't remember the time)....it may be that, or one of the many other applications doing an 'update' check. No reason for an ISP 'slow-down' to effect the PC, as you surmise.


That happens at 1pm.  It does slow things down, but not to the extent that's happening at night.  It's only happened in the last week, so maybe I'll check and see what's been updated since then,  or my usually solution, restore to a week ago!


Easiest way to check is to have Task Manager running when the slowdown occurs....you should see CPU Usage and/or Memory suddenly spike.....when that happens click on the Processes tab and try to ID the offending process. If you can get a name then we should be able to track down what's going on....
TNG

Mrs John Murphy wrote:
Having just restarted the laptop I noticed that wuauclt/svchost is still hogging a lot of memory on start up - which an unwelcome development. So I will be rolling back on the updates.


How much is 'a lot'? Just rebooted my laptop and on it wuauclt used no more 7mb for the few minutes that it was active.....

BTW, how much RAM have you got installed?
Mrs John Murphy

I'll let you know next time I boot up Smile

1.70ghz processor, 448mb ram
TNG

Mrs John Murphy wrote:
I'll let you know next time I boot up Smile

1.70ghz processor, 448mb ram


OK.

Re the RAM, although that exceeds the stated minimum requirement for XP, it's been my experience that anything less than 512mb is likely to be on the slow side, so if you could increase it that would probably be very helpful (e.g. my 2.13GHz laptop has 2gb of RAM).

Was trying to work out how you get 448mb of RAM, guessing at 64mb 'onboard' and two RAM DIMMs of 128mb and 256mb? Where's Carol V when you need her? If that's right it might be possible to replace the DIMMS with two of 512mb each....that should give you quite a performance boost.
TNG

And in the meantime it's worth checking how big your paging file is (used by the system as if it were RAM):

Control Panel, System

Brings up System Properties dialog box, click on the Advanced Tab

In the Performance box, click on Settings, and in the Performance Options dialog box click on the Advanced tab.

Then in the Virtual Memory box at the bottom you will get a value for the current paging file size. Probably needs to be at least 2048mb.

If it's significantly less than that let me know and I'll tell you how to change it.

Apologies if you know all this, it's always difficult to gauge the level of PC knowledge of a correspondent....
Mrs John Murphy

Hi - always assume I am thick as pig shit when it comes to computers. Smile

672mb paging file size
cyclingtv

I use avg anti-virus free.. do a scan 1x weekly.. it never finds anything..
it will from time to time do a virus db update.. doesn't take that long..

mjm.. your ram amount is low you need at least 1G and more is better..
as cardinal said earlier you need to update your startup programs get
rid of everything not necessary.. eats up ram and increases load up time..

I use CCleaner to manage and cleanup my hard drive daily and startup utility tool..
it's here.. http://www.piriform.com/ccleaner it's free.. I've used it for years..

once downloaded go to tools.. pick startup.. shows all the stuff loading at startup..
ctfmon.exe is always on(YES).. if you delete it comes back.. leave it..
AVG_TRAY will be there(YES).. you need that for sure.. leave it on..
I've  disabled everything else('NO').. I dont delete so I can turn back on if I need to..
btw.. I have cccleaner load at startup.. it does a clean then shuts down..

hope that helps.. as TNG says the ram you have needs be increased.. it's pretty cheap..
kathy

Think I may have found my problem.  

Automatic updates - I've now rescheduled them to 4 in the morning - even I'm not around at that time Laughing

Thanks, TNG.
kathy

TNG wrote:
And in the meantime it's worth checking how big your paging file is (used by the system as if it were RAM):

Control Panel, System

Brings up System Properties dialog box, click on the Advanced Tab

In the Performance box, click on Settings, and in the Performance Options dialog box click on the Advanced tab.

Then in the Virtual Memory box at the bottom you will get a value for the current paging file size. Probably needs to be at least 2048mb.

If it's significantly less than that let me know and I'll tell you how to change it.

Apologies if you know all this, it's always difficult to gauge the level of PC knowledge of a correspondent....


TNG, My paging size says it's 1440, but could be a maximum of 2880Mb.  I have no idea what this is.  Should I change it?
TNG

kathy wrote:
TNG wrote:
And in the meantime it's worth checking how big your paging file is (used by the system as if it were RAM):

Control Panel, System

Brings up System Properties dialog box, click on the Advanced Tab

In the Performance box, click on Settings, and in the Performance Options dialog box click on the Advanced tab.

Then in the Virtual Memory box at the bottom you will get a value for the current paging file size. Probably needs to be at least 2048mb.

If it's significantly less than that let me know and I'll tell you how to change it.

Apologies if you know all this, it's always difficult to gauge the level of PC knowledge of a correspondent....


TNG, My paging size says it's 1440, but could be a maximum of 2880Mb.  I have no idea what this is.  Should I change it?


Only if you feel your PC is running slowly. When you follow the steps above, click on the Change button alongside the value of the current PF. On the Virtual Memory box which appears you have various options:

1. Select Custom allows you to set a max and min for the PF
2. Select System Managed Size to let the OS manage it for you.
3, Select No Paging File if you are feeling suicidal Laughing  Laughing  Laughing  (i.e  DON'T choose this!).

One of the first two will already be selected, in theory System Managed Size should be OK though I tend to prefer the Custom option. At the bottom of the box you should see a Recommended value and I use the Custom option to set my Max and Min to straddle the recommended amount.

With a max of 2880 you should be OK, Kathy.....but MJM's seems on the low side and it would be worth having a look to see how it compares to the recommended value.
cardinal guzman

Kathy,

your page file (virtual memory - the amount of hard drive to be used as memory if the pc runs out of actual memory) is adequate unless you are editing and formating videos - I would have thought. If anything goes past that it's either a virus or lazy programmers causing leaky memory.

(all programmers are lazy!  Wink )
grrr

This is going a bit off topic but I'm a bit worried about your backup routine, MJM.

I would suggest gmailing yourself a copy of your thesis every day.  That way you know that a copy exists out there somewhere pretty secure, and it also gives you some degree of version control so you can roll back easily if you have a bad day and want to see how it looked yesterday.

I've started using google wave for this recently which is a bit better in terms of having all of the copies in one place.
kathy

Thanks again, TNG and CG.  The paging file size is set to Custom - I didn't do it!  Perhaps I'll set it to system managed.

MJM, I'm concerned about your lack of back-up as well. I have two 160Gb external drives.  The first one I had connected and on permanently, but the power supply burnt out.  I had the devil's own job getting another power supply - finally found one on Ebay from Germany and paid a small fortune for postage!  But I had stuff that was only on there and I needed to retrieve it.  Now I have another external drive permanently connected switched on - doesn't seem to have the same problems, touch wood, and it does automatic back-ups of data.
Mrs John Murphy

I have spare copies - and I email versions to myself daily.

The basic problem is a distinct lack of funds at the moment which is why I didn't replace the external when it blew up.
maffy

hope all the important stuff is occasionally updated to usbstix/mp3players/spare camera storage cards.

you did say to assume extreme numptiness.

neither thee or me were the euromillions winners then. nevermind. Very Happy
TNG

cardinal guzman wrote:
MJM - take that laptop to the UNI tomorrow and get those files backed up! OMFG - PHD roulette! Shocked

TNG - Ta for that! Will I be able to just format and repartition using the windows disk then start manually installing stuff like drivers off the net from a clean windows installation like I am very much used to on my tower, or are there specific reasons that will mean I'm going to need the vaio setup disks? Basically I dont want to put any of the shit that came with their laptop back on, and know what I'm doing if I don't need to get involved with these setup disks.

Turning into a pc workshop this thread lol!

Anyone tried windows 7? I've seen it and it sure does look mighty purdy.


Just in case the Windows 7 option isn't possible, thought I'd better answer your questions properly! Laughing  Laughing

Generally speaking there's absolutely no reason whatsoever why you can't do as you are used to....the only reason for using the original setup disks is that when you've finished the install everything will be working. By that I mean all the buttons on the keyboard, the screen will operate at designed resolution, your wireless network device (assume it has one) will be working, sound will be available, etc. On the other hand with a straightforward clean install of XP many bits and pieces won't work properly until you find the drivers and install them (lots of 'unknown devices' in the Device Manager list). The screen will work but probably only with a default crap resolution, the wireless adapter probably won't work, you'll likely have no sound, and some of the 'special' buttons on the keyboard won't work either.

Provided you have got an alternative method of getting online (e.g. ethernet connection) this is no big deal, you just have to work your way through the various issues, finding and installing drivers as appropriate (upside of this is you get te latest drivers, not the x years old drivers originally shipped). I don't know how helpful Sony are with their laptops, but IBM/Lenovo are brilliant when it comes to the Thinkpads.....do a clean install, get online, download and install their Systems Update utility, run it and it goes away and finds ALL the drivers specific to your machine type and installs them and voila, a fully functioning up-to-date laptop.

P.S. If you DON'T for some reason have an ethernet capability, download the wireless adapter drivers BEFORE starting the rebuild and copy them to a memory stick....do the repartition/format/XP install and then install the wireless driver and you're off and running.

Hope this helps... Laughing
Mrs John Murphy

OK. wuauclt/svchost used up to 120,000k this morning.

the paging file can be upto: 1344mb
kathy

TNG, I had terrible trouble when my PC was cleaned up last year.  The guy who reinstalled XP for me didn't have the original setup discs.  When I got the PC back, the sound didn't work, my printer and scanner didn't work etc.  The PC originally belonged to my husband, who had since died, and I couldn't find the oringal discs (I did subsequently find them in the most obscure places).  I tried to use drivers downloaded from the web.  They didn't work, I don't know why.  Eventually I copied the downloaded drivers to CD's, and used those when the installation 'wizard' asked for a CD to be inserted.  That worked, thank goodness, so now I have two sets of CD's - the originals I eventually found, and the ones I created, which are probably more up-to-date.
TNG

Mrs John Murphy wrote:
OK. wuauclt/svchost used up to 120,000k this morning.

the paging file can be upto: 1344mb


If rebuild is not currently an option here are a few suggestions/things to consider:

1. The prime 'culprit' seems to have been the latest Windows Updates, so I would first try to uninstall them to guage the effect.

2. You seem to be homing in on the Windows Automatic Update AND the AVG update process, so it would definitely be worth turning BOTH off and checking for the effect....providing you don't go surfing crazy while AVG is turned off you should be a no risk for a short period.

3. Am I right in assuming that you are running an older version of AVG? Versions 8 or 8.5 (and presumably 9) are more or less invisible at start-up, and certainly there is no obvious updating process running as per earlier versions. If I'm right, try updating to latest version.

4. You COULD change the amout of virtual memory allocated to the paging file, but this is difficult to judge remotely. When you are observing the system performance via Task Manager during startup, do you monitor the PF usage as well? If that is at or near 100% then most definitely you should consider increasing it.

Finally, although perhaps you could try this first to aid diagnotics: using MSCONFIG, turn of ALL startup processes and reboot and time it. In fact select the 'diagnostic startup' option first, time that and then use the 'Selective Startup' option, unchecking the 'Load Startup Items' box. What we are doing here is trying to establish some performance parameters between the Diagnostic startup, the Selective startup without startup items, and the full-blown Normal Startup. If there is a massive difference between them we can start to zero in on likely causes....it takes time and patience, often what I lack (patience) hence my willingness to hit the blue button!

Hope this helps....
TNG

kathy wrote:
TNG, I had terrible trouble when my PC was cleaned up last year.  The guy who reinstalled XP for me didn't have the original setup discs.  When I got the PC back, the sound didn't work, my printer and scanner didn't work etc.  The PC originally belonged to my husband, who had since died, and I couldn't find the oringal discs (I did subsequently find them in the most obscure places).  I tried to use drivers downloaded from the web.  They didn't work, I don't know why.  Eventually I copied the downloaded drivers to CD's, and used those when the installation 'wizard' asked for a CD to be inserted.  That worked, thank goodness, so now I have two sets of CD's - the originals I eventually found, and the ones I created, which are probably more up-to-date.


Yes, driver installation can be a little problematical sometimes, though it sounds like you managed just fine. A couple of lessons you should have learned from the experience:

1. Don't use that guy again, he's an IT disgrace.
2. Next time the PC needs to be cleaned up, do it yourself....you are obviously sufficiently competent even if you don't think so!
Slapshot 3

Mrs John Murphy wrote:
I have spare copies - and I email versions to myself daily.

The basic problem is a distinct lack of funds at the moment which is why I didn't replace the external when it blew up.


I've sent you a PM....... Rolling Eyes
cadence

Long term solution, get a MAC, many of your problems will go away.  Very Happy
Biosphere

cadence wrote:
Long term solution, get a MAC, many of your problems will go away.  Very Happy


Fanboy  Wink
cardinal guzman

Biosphere wrote:
cadence wrote:
Long term solution, get a MAC, many of your problems will go away.  Very Happy


Fanboy  Wink


lol! Yes Jobs - Splitter.
Hommedesbois

Some seriously useful knowledge here!

Without wanting to go off topic can anyone help me please?

I am running a one-year old Toshiba Centrino laptop with Vista
and Ubuntu partitions. Ubuntu can't find the Wifi signal so I use
Vista which over the last couple of weeks has started grinding to
a halt, often turning off without warning.

Can't even listen to Radio 4 if anything else e.g. gmail is open
unless there is crap like Rudi's Rare Records on
in which case it works properly.

Would love to get rid of Vista and just run Linux as on my desktop
in the freezing cold bedroom ..no money for ehd or XP....but having said that the LinuxMint isn't wonderful either!


Any suggestions please? Should I go through all the advice
in this thread where it relates to Vista?

I have an IBM mainframe background and a French ISP with rural ADSL speed so please be gentle.
TNG

Hommedesbois wrote:
Some seriously useful knowledge here!

Without wanting to go off topic can anyone help me please?

I am running a one-year old Toshiba Centrino laptop with Vista
and Ubuntu partitions. Ubuntu can't find the Wifi signal so I use
Vista which over the last couple of weeks has started grinding to
a halt, often turning off without warning.

Can't even listen to Radio 4 if anything else e.g. gmail is open
unless there is crap like Rudi's Rare Records on
in which case it works properly.

Would love to get rid of Vista and just run Linux as on my desktop
in the freezing cold bedroom ..no money for ehd or XP....but having said that the LinuxMint isn't wonderful either!


Any suggestions please? Should I go through all the advice
in this thread where it relates to Vista?

I have an IBM mainframe background and a French ISP with rural ADSL speed so please be gentle.


Sadly I doubt very much if I can help here. Certainly regarding Linux I have never played with it so definitely can't help with the Wifi problem.

Also haven't had much exposure to Vista, as I mentioned earlier in this thread I stayed with XP and am just moving all our PCs to Windows 7....however I guess the principles regarding trouble-shooting are the same regardless of OS, so in for a penny....

It doesn't sound as if you have the same problem as MJM, although some checks remain the same. First thoughts:

1. Have you done any diagnosis when the PC starts 'grinding to a halt'....need to establish if its the PC thats not up to the tasks you are demanding of it (unlikely is its only one year old), or is some application or service causing it. So have you run the Task Manager during one of these episodes, and if so what did it tell you in terms of CPU and Memory/Page File use? If they were consistently high switch to the Processes tab to ID the culprit(s) and we can take it from there.
2. Possibly its tied into your browser (which one are you using, BTW?)....for example I noticed a slow-down of my laptop on Sunday evening whilst I had the NFL.com Gameday running....for some reason Firefox was consistently in the 90-100% CPU range with a consequent debilitating effect on system performance. If this only happens when you are streaming I would tend to think there's an issue there.
3. The system turning itself of is interesting (and a worry). Need to find out if it is software or hardware related. SO....does the laptop automatically restart after if turns off? What settings do you have for recovery (check the Startup and Recovery pane of the Advanced tab in the System Properties dialog box). If 'Automatically Restart' is checked, and the laptop does NOT restart this would likely indicate a hardware problem (I have some bitter current experience of an intermittent hardware problem on my dektop which causes the PC to power itself off). If 'Automatically Restart' is NOT checked, suggest you do so then wait for the next occurence to see what happens.
4. Have you checked Event Viewer at the time of failures to see if any critical error is being logged? You will find the Event Viwer app in Administrative Tools within the Control Panel.

That's about all I can suggest for starters....get me some answers and them I may have some further thoughts.

Of course we'll be kind.....my background is exactly the same. How far back do you go with IBM mainframes....I started in 1968 on 7010 for a few weeks before graduating to a brand new 360/40.....those were the days.... Laughing  Laughing
Hommedesbois

Thanks NG!

Running Firefox ...that is probably the cause of my woes I think.
Can't play Youtube at all, it just says 'Loading...'

Vista is in French too. Orange insists on starting up in IE which I
thought was disabled. It tells me if I have a message on the telephone
then takes half an hour to load it.

I will work my way through the thread, starting from your hints,
and see what improvements happen. It isn't always obvious in a foreign language.

I don't go back as far as you. Started in 1978 using assembler, DOS and CICS on IBM370 but was the world's worst programmer and became a systems analyst. I hate IT but enjoyed the money until I was fired from RBS by mobile phone in 2005. Haven't worked since.....
TNG

OK, good luck....let me know if you need anything clarifying.

If you do suspect Firefox, you could maybe try Google Chrome as an alternative, at least just to see if the same problems occur.....

ALso, check that you have all the required plug-ins for Firefox to enable it to play video....Shockwave, Flash, maybe Media Player and Quick-time.

And have you checked the fragmentation on your hard-drive (MJM, you should maybe check this as well: Start, All Programs, Accessories, System Tools, Disk Defragmenter, select your hard drive and click on Analyze....it will almost certainly tell you that the hard drive needs to be defragged, but look at the display to decide for yourself.....if there's lots of red you probably need to go ahead and do it....but don't run anything alongside and be warned it can take a few hours!!!).
Slapshot 3

TNG wrote:
OK, good luck....let me know if you need anything clarifying.

If you do suspect Firefox, you could maybe try Google Chrome as an alternative, at least just to see if the same problems occur.....

ALso, check that you have all the required plug-ins for Firefox to enable it to play video....Shockwave, Flash, maybe Media Player and Quick-time.

And have you checked the fragmentation on your hard-drive (MJM, you should maybe check this as well: Start, All Programs, Accessories, System Tools, Disk Defragmenter, select your hard drive and click on Analyze....it will almost certainly tell you that the hard drive needs to be defragged, but look at the display to decide for yourself.....if there's lots of red you probably need to go ahead and do it....but don't run anything alongside and be warned it can take a few hours!!!).


The bigger your drive the longer it takes...... Rolling Eyes
TNG

Slapshot 3 wrote:
TNG wrote:
OK, good luck....let me know if you need anything clarifying.

If you do suspect Firefox, you could maybe try Google Chrome as an alternative, at least just to see if the same problems occur.....

ALso, check that you have all the required plug-ins for Firefox to enable it to play video....Shockwave, Flash, maybe Media Player and Quick-time.

And have you checked the fragmentation on your hard-drive (MJM, you should maybe check this as well: Start, All Programs, Accessories, System Tools, Disk Defragmenter, select your hard drive and click on Analyze....it will almost certainly tell you that the hard drive needs to be defragged, but look at the display to decide for yourself.....if there's lots of red you probably need to go ahead and do it....but don't run anything alongside and be warned it can take a few hours!!!).


The bigger your drive the longer it takes...... Rolling Eyes


That sounds like the voice of (bitter) experience..... Laughing

Been there, got the T-shirt.....
Hommedesbois

Defrag in Vista doesn't show anything...just sits there then one word in the display changes when it  has finished!

Laptop doesn't restart automatically ... just out of guarantee!!

Think I need to buy "Vista pour les Nulls".

Will try Google Chrome.

Something on Radio4 about a new Ubuntu same day as Windows 7...
will try that too.

Anyone else suffer from SAD?
Slapshot 3

TNG wrote:
Slapshot 3 wrote:
TNG wrote:
OK, good luck....let me know if you need anything clarifying.

If you do suspect Firefox, you could maybe try Google Chrome as an alternative, at least just to see if the same problems occur.....

ALso, check that you have all the required plug-ins for Firefox to enable it to play video....Shockwave, Flash, maybe Media Player and Quick-time.

And have you checked the fragmentation on your hard-drive (MJM, you should maybe check this as well: Start, All Programs, Accessories, System Tools, Disk Defragmenter, select your hard drive and click on Analyze....it will almost certainly tell you that the hard drive needs to be defragged, but look at the display to decide for yourself.....if there's lots of red you probably need to go ahead and do it....but don't run anything alongside and be warned it can take a few hours!!!).


The bigger your drive the longer it takes...... Rolling Eyes


That sounds like the voice of (bitter) experience..... Laughing

Been there, got the T-shirt.....


Left the 2 x 500GB drives plugged in last time....did them as well ......... 17hrs
TNG

Hommedesbois wrote:
Defrag in Vista doesn't show anything...just sits there then one word in the display changes when it  has finished!

Laptop doesn't restart automatically ... just out of guarantee!!

Think I need to buy "Vista pour les Nulls".

Will try Google Chrome.

Something on Radio4 about a new Ubuntu same day as Windows 7...
will try that too.

Anyone else suffer from SAD?


I have to say that it sounds like something is seriously wrong on your laptop....too many things just not working the way a 1yo system should do. Is a rebuild an option? It can get incredibly difficult to pin down the root cause (such as a duff driver or application), so sometimes it's easier to cut your losses and start over. Me, I'd be tempted but my version of SADness means I hate to be beaten and will keep looking to find the cause.

Re SAD, not an official sufferer, but could easily convince myself that I have it, lol. Laughing Used to have a consultant working for me who had to have a light box on through most of the winter days.....other than that she seemed quite normal!! Laughing
TNG

Slapshot 3 wrote:
TNG wrote:
Slapshot 3 wrote:
TNG wrote:
OK, good luck....let me know if you need anything clarifying.

If you do suspect Firefox, you could maybe try Google Chrome as an alternative, at least just to see if the same problems occur.....

ALso, check that you have all the required plug-ins for Firefox to enable it to play video....Shockwave, Flash, maybe Media Player and Quick-time.

And have you checked the fragmentation on your hard-drive (MJM, you should maybe check this as well: Start, All Programs, Accessories, System Tools, Disk Defragmenter, select your hard drive and click on Analyze....it will almost certainly tell you that the hard drive needs to be defragged, but look at the display to decide for yourself.....if there's lots of red you probably need to go ahead and do it....but don't run anything alongside and be warned it can take a few hours!!!).


The bigger your drive the longer it takes...... Rolling Eyes


That sounds like the voice of (bitter) experience..... Laughing

Been there, got the T-shirt.....


Left the 2 x 500GB drives plugged in last time....did them as well ......... 17hrs


WOW, you were brave....I'd definitely be doing them one at a time...
cardinal guzman

Hdb - sorry to hear you've not been working, unless it was by choice! I was long term unemployed and I also hate the winter but don't really get seasonally affected to the point of depression anymore though when I used to, I would sit under the growlight in the tent with the marijuana I used to grow and a favourite book - it would sort me right out! Cool

Everyone should also vist Trend Micro and run Housecall. It's remote from your computer so unlike your own firewall/antivirus it can't be jacked.....

http://housecall.trendmicro.com/uk/

Finally, a visit to GRC is worthwhile, at least to run 'shields up' to test your pc security but also those with valuable data might want to have a look at 'Spinrite'

http://www.grc.com/default.htm
Hommedesbois

TNG wrote:


I have to say that it sounds like something is seriously wrong on your laptop....too many things just not working the way a 1yo system should do. Is a rebuild an option? It can get incredibly difficult to pin down the root cause (such as a duff driver or application), so sometimes it's easier to cut your losses and start over. Me, I'd be tempted but my version of SADness means I hate to be beaten and will keep looking to find the cause.

Re SAD, not an official sufferer, but could easily convince myself that I have it, lol. Laughing Used to have a consultant working for me who had to have a light box on through most of the winter days.....other than that she seemed quite normal!! Laughing


The laptop was working fine in town using SFR as my ISP but has been going rapidly downhill since I moved and changed supplier. It has been noticably slower since a friend showed me how to download movies and given my Toshiba/Orange/Wifi/French/Firefox/Winamp combination there does seem to be a recipe for disaster. It no longer plays a full cd but seems to overheat and shut down half way through and at this moment is burning my thighs!
Minimalisation tomorrow.

Don't think I'm really a SAD sufferer, a few demons to fight is all. I never met a consultant who is 'normal' - could start a thread on that subject.   Laughing
cardinal guzman

Hommedesbois wrote:
It has been noticably slower since a friend showed me how to download movies


You are definitely having your bandwidth throttled by your ISP. They say they wont reduce your bandwidth but if you download a lot they reduce your bandwidth and there's nothing you can do other than swap ISP.

They call it 'fair usage'. We call it false advertising.
Slapshot 3

TNG wrote:
Slapshot 3 wrote:
TNG wrote:
Slapshot 3 wrote:
TNG wrote:
OK, good luck....let me know if you need anything clarifying.

If you do suspect Firefox, you could maybe try Google Chrome as an alternative, at least just to see if the same problems occur.....

ALso, check that you have all the required plug-ins for Firefox to enable it to play video....Shockwave, Flash, maybe Media Player and Quick-time.

And have you checked the fragmentation on your hard-drive (MJM, you should maybe check this as well: Start, All Programs, Accessories, System Tools, Disk Defragmenter, select your hard drive and click on Analyze....it will almost certainly tell you that the hard drive needs to be defragged, but look at the display to decide for yourself.....if there's lots of red you probably need to go ahead and do it....but don't run anything alongside and be warned it can take a few hours!!!).


The bigger your drive the longer it takes...... Rolling Eyes


That sounds like the voice of (bitter) experience..... Laughing

Been there, got the T-shirt.....


Left the 2 x 500GB drives plugged in last time....did them as well ......... 17hrs


WOW, you were brave....I'd definitely be doing them one at a time...


Brave...No Damn Stupid....OH YES!!!
Slapshot 3

Hommedesbois wrote:


Anyone else suffer from SAD?


We keep shouting for additional allowance to cope with it... Our shifts "generally" run 7am to 7pm and 7pm to 7am From early november you do both journeys in the dark, you rarely see the light of day except day off only we don't get particularly many of them either....... Rolling Eyes
Hommedesbois

cardinal guzman wrote:
Hdb - sorry to hear you've not been working, unless it was by choice! I was long term unemployed and I also hate the winter but don't really get seasonally affected to the point of depression anymore though when I used to, I would sit under the growlight in the tent with the marijuana I used to grow and a favourite book - it would sort me right out! Cool

Everyone should also vist Trend Micro and run Housecall. It's remote from your computer so unlike your own firewall/antivirus it can't be jacked.....

http://housecall.trendmicro.com/uk/

Finally, a visit to GRC is worthwhile, at least to run 'shields up' to test your pc security but also those with valuable data might want to have a look at 'Spinrite'

http://www.grc.com/default.htm


Thanks cg Smile
Obsolete IT skills, then shipwrecked here after being awarded the French 'half' in a messy divorce..but some of the natives are quite friendly and the system is sympathetic.

Cheaper wine prices help but marijuana is still frowned upon here.
Alexei Sayle  does wonders for my sanity   Cool
TNG

Hommedesbois wrote:
TNG wrote:


I have to say that it sounds like something is seriously wrong on your laptop....too many things just not working the way a 1yo system should do. Is a rebuild an option? It can get incredibly difficult to pin down the root cause (such as a duff driver or application), so sometimes it's easier to cut your losses and start over. Me, I'd be tempted but my version of SADness means I hate to be beaten and will keep looking to find the cause.

Re SAD, not an official sufferer, but could easily convince myself that I have it, lol. Laughing Used to have a consultant working for me who had to have a light box on through most of the winter days.....other than that she seemed quite normal!! Laughing


The laptop was working fine in town using SFR as my ISP but has been going rapidly downhill since I moved and changed supplier. It has been noticably slower since a friend showed me how to download movies and given my Toshiba/Orange/Wifi/French/Firefox/Winamp combination there does seem to be a recipe for disaster. It no longer plays a full cd but seems to overheat and shut down half way through and at this moment is burning my thighs!
Minimalisation tomorrow.

Don't think I'm really a SAD sufferer, a few demons to fight is all. I never met a consultant who is 'normal' - could start a thread on that subject.   Laughing


Agree with the Cardinal that you're probably being throttled by your ISP, BUT that won't cause some of the other problems. Sounds to me that you have a fan/overheating problem which you need to get fixed. Overheating DEFINITELY causes the system to power-off without notice to protect the CPU from being cooked. My laptop runs very hot as well (have to use a pillow on my lap to protect the thighs) and every now and then if the fan outlet gets slightly blocked I get the same power off problem....but that's very infrequent, sounds like yours happens more often so at the vey least you need to get it checked.

No, lets not start a thread about consultants!! Laughing  Laughing
Mrs John Murphy

TNG wrote:
Mrs John Murphy wrote:
OK. wuauclt/svchost used up to 120,000k this morning.

the paging file can be upto: 1344mb


If rebuild is not currently an option here are a few suggestions/things to consider:

1. The prime 'culprit' seems to have been the latest Windows Updates, so I would first try to uninstall them to guage the effect.

2. You seem to be homing in on the Windows Automatic Update AND the AVG update process, so it would definitely be worth turning BOTH off and checking for the effect....providing you don't go surfing crazy while AVG is turned off you should be a no risk for a short period.

3. Am I right in assuming that you are running an older version of AVG? Versions 8 or 8.5 (and presumably 9) are more or less invisible at start-up, and certainly there is no obvious updating process running as per earlier versions. If I'm right, try updating to latest version.

4. You COULD change the amout of virtual memory allocated to the paging file, but this is difficult to judge remotely. When you are observing the system performance via Task Manager during startup, do you monitor the PF usage as well? If that is at or near 100% then most definitely you should consider increasing it.

Finally, although perhaps you could try this first to aid diagnotics: using MSCONFIG, turn of ALL startup processes and reboot and time it. In fact select the 'diagnostic startup' option first, time that and then use the 'Selective Startup' option, unchecking the 'Load Startup Items' box. What we are doing here is trying to establish some performance parameters between the Diagnostic startup, the Selective startup without startup items, and the full-blown Normal Startup. If there is a massive difference between them we can start to zero in on likely causes....it takes time and patience, often what I lack (patience) hence my willingness to hit the blue button!

Hope this helps....


Another attack of thickness - how do I go about uninstalling the updates /resetting the laptop to how it was a week ago?
Slapshot 3

Start - Programmes - Accessories - System Tools - System Restore

It should give you the date it last made an automatic back up as long as it was before the date of the last updates you should eliminate them. Try a full reboot from there (will probably prompt you anyway) and it should take you back.

MAKE ANOTHER BACKUP OF THAT THESIS BEFORE YOU DO ANYTHING!!!  Rolling Eyes
TNG

Slapshot 3 wrote:
Start - Programmes - Accessories - System Tools - System Restore

It should give you the date it last made an automatic back up as long as it was before the date of the last updates you should eliminate them. Try a full reboot from there (will probably prompt you anyway) and it should take you back.

MAKE ANOTHER BACKUP OF THAT THESIS BEFORE YOU DO ANYTHING!!!  Rolling Eyes


Just in case your laptop has in the past had System Restore turned off (yes, it happens....saves disk space) OR there now isn't a restore point from before the day the updates were applied (the number od restore points available is directly related to the amount of disk space allocated to the process, which is user variable so could be a lot or a little - when you initiate the Systems Restore process you will be presented with a calendar listing all the dates for which a restore point is still held), you can remove said updates individually, as per one of my earlier posts. To save you trawling back, here are the details:

Control Panel, Add/Remove Programs, check the box top right-hand corner to 'Show Updates'. This will then show ALL the updates for all your installed programs, including the OS, and the date they were installed. Scroll down to find all the updates that were installed on the fateful day, clicking on them individually will give you the option to remove.
Mrs John Murphy

Curiouser and curiouser - anyway, didn't get round to removing the updates last night as I had intended. However, today - again the huge long wuauclt/svchost thing took place and then it came back with 6 updates. DL'ed and installed and on reboot the wuauclt/svchost issue appears to have cleared up. I still need to check to see if it has gone away on the first boot-up of the day.
TNG

Mrs John Murphy wrote:
Curiouser and curiouser - anyway, didn't get round to removing the updates last night as I had intended. However, today - again the huge long wuauclt/svchost thing took place and then it came back with 6 updates. DL'ed and installed and on reboot the wuauclt/svchost issue appears to have cleared up. I still need to check to see if it has gone away on the first boot-up of the day.


Curious indeed....sounds very much as something went tits-up during last weeks updates which may have been corrected by this weeks.

One other curious thing....you say you had 6 updates today? I only had 2, so I wonder if you are a bit back level somewhere. What SP level are you at?
Mrs John Murphy

SP 3 as I recall.

So I had updates today for:

Security update for 2007 Microsoft Office System
Security update for Excel 2003
Security update for Word 2003
update for outlook 2003
Security update for windows xp

And something for Malicious whatever it is which I can't remember.
TNG

Mrs John Murphy wrote:
SP 3 as I recall.

So I had updates today for:

Security update for 2007 Microsoft Office System
Security update for Excel 2003
Security update for Word 2003
update for outlook 2003
Security update for windows xp

And something for Malicious whatever it is which I can't remember.


Ahh....that explains it....I don't have automatic updates turned on for Office....hence I only got two of your six.

Do you need BOTH Office 2003 and 2007?
Mrs John Murphy

I have office 2003 not 2007 but students being students send me their work in numerous formats so I think the 2007 thingy might be part of the conversion software so I can read their missives.
TNG

Just following up on some of the earlier mentions in this thread about AVG. Having upgraded both Desktop and laptop to Windows 7 I took the opportunity to install the latest version of AVG (9.0). No problems with the desktop, but encountered some unexpected system activity (CPU cycles and Memory) on the laptop, when there were no applications running. Of course there are always things starting and stopping in the background, but this went on for far too long.

Anyway, after a bit of digging around, pinpointed AVG as the source and a spot of googling revealed this thread on an AVG forum (scroll down a little):

http://forums.avg.com/ww-en/avg-f...=thread&act=show&id=38029

Suffice to say I have reverted the laptop back to AVG 8.5 for the time being.

Just a heads-up for anyone contemplating the same upgrade....you may or may not run into this issue.
Mrs John Murphy

Well the laptop has got a nasty rattle at the moment, but it is still working
kathy

Mrs John Murphy wrote:
Well the laptop has got a nasty rattle at the moment, but it is still working


Hope it's not a death rattle!
cadence

Mrs John Murphy wrote:
Well the laptop has got a nasty rattle at the moment, but it is still working


Maybe a fan, worse case scenario the Harddrive, but I'd guess a fan.
Mrs John Murphy

OK. Am getting an external hard drive. Booted up this morning and when it came to load my settings there was a problem and then when I finally got to the main screen it was as if it were a fresh install of XP and none of my word docs were there. I restarted and it was all back. But I can do without heart attacks in the morning, so time to get an external drive.
Slapshot 3

Mrs John Murphy wrote:
OK. Am getting an external hard drive. Booted up this morning and when it came to load my settings there was a problem and then when I finally got to the main screen it was as if it were a fresh install of XP and none of my word docs were there. I restarted and it was all back. But I can do without heart attacks in the morning, so time to get an external drive.


You can get a 1TB drive these days for as little as £60.
Mrs John Murphy

Off to PC world this afternoon - any models recommended to use/avoid?

Also, can I run programmes etc off an external hardrive? ie games
TNG

Mrs John Murphy wrote:
Off to PC world this afternoon - any models recommended to use/avoid?


Have used Seagate, WD (Western Digital) and Lacie external drives. Of the 3 I would NOT recommend Lacie...although their drives are fine they have a major QC problem with the power supply which after years of complaints they apparently STILL haven't sorted it (power supply packs up after a year or so and you have to buy a replacement....I've had 3 fail on me over time and I no longer buy Lacie products).

Of course you could use a portable external drive (no seperate power supply, device is powered by the USB bus). These are great for portability but tend to have slower spin speeds therefore not so good if performance is an issue. I have a WD portable drive which has been no trouble.

Quote:


Also, can I run programmes etc off an external hardrive? ie games


It depends....some games will only allow installation to the C: drive (an anti-piracy measure). Others you can happily install and run from an external hard drive, though issues such as performance could be a factor. If the game loads into memory from the get-go then actual running should be OK (although loading may take a bit longer), whereas others will not load everything and so will constantly need to access the hard drive. This could be a problem. To increase your chances, an eSATA drive would be best (if you have such a port on your laptop), but if you are restricted to USB 2.0 then try to get a drive which spins at 7200rpm rather than 5400rpm.
ventoux

Mrs John Murphy wrote:
Off to PC world this afternoon - any models recommended to use/avoid?

Also, can I run programmes etc off an external hardrive? ie games


Probably too late now, but I'd give Dell a miss... my daughter's laptop going back tomorrow after 10 months of light use - keyboard knackered... was talking to a guy who repairs computers for a living... says he has a room full of Dells....  Crying or Very sad
Mrs John Murphy

Well I got given as an early xmas pressie a WD elements one. It seems to be just a big USB stick really and I appear to have to copy stuff across manually. No instructions in the box.
TNG

Mrs John Murphy wrote:
Well I got given as an early xmas pressie a WD elements one. It seems to be just a big USB stick really and I appear to have to copy stuff across manually. No instructions in the box.


Not exactly sure what your expectations were in respect of file copying, and also not sure if you are talking about copying files for purely backup purposes or if you are intending to MOVE files from the laptop's internal hard drive to the new drive to save some space. Some random thoughts:

1. If you are intending to move some program files to the new hard drive to save space as per earlier discussion, you will need to uninstall them and re-install specifying the new drive as the setup location.

2. If you are simply going to use the new drive to backup your critical data from the laptop, you can either do this yourself by manual copy (I do that from my wife's laptop to my portable external drive simply by deleting last week's backup and re-copying the My Documents folder from her laptop). Alternatively you can use a software utility to manage the backup process for you.

3. These come with varying degrees of sophistication, as well as varying degrees of price (from freeware upwards), and of course there is a backup utility within XP and Vista/Win 7. The ideal utility will create an automatic backup of specified (and new) files as soon as they are modified/created, but I doubt you will get such a utility in the freeware category. Still, there are plenty of recommended free utilities available.

4. The hardware vendors will also typically bundle their own proprietory utility with their drives, and Western Digital are no exception. Unfortunately in respect of the Elements drive......there are two variants - external desktop drive which has its own power adapter, and external portable drive which does not (is powered by the USB bus). From your comment re 'big USB stick' I assume you have the latter. No matter, as both share one unfortunate feature....they do not come with any bundled backup software (hence 'no instructions in the box'). Moving further up the WD product line, however, you will find most of their external drives ARE supplied with a form of backup software, some of it appears to be quite sophisticated.

5. Another thought re backup utilities....as you are using a laptop I would imagine that most of the time the external drive will NOT be connected (unlike a desktop where the external drives can remain permanently connected)....this being so there are obvious difficulties in trying to use too sophisticated a utility with loads of automated features as these will all be predicated on the expectation that the source device will always be available. In which case either manual copy or manually launched backup program might be more suitable for you.

6. Freeware programs such as Syncback Freeware, FBackup and Cobian seem to get good reviews and would probably fit the bill, their only drawback as far as I am concerned is the lack of an incremental backup feature. 'Incremental' means that, after the first full backup run, only new or modified files are copied on subsequent runs. On my desktop I have about 50gb of data which needs protecting, too much for weekly full backups.....so I use an incremental utility which usually means my weekly backup only needs to copy less than 2gb of new/modified data. There are, however, drawbacks with this approach so if the amount of data you need to protect is, say, less than 10gb it would be worth simply doing 'full backups' and removing the requirement for an incremental backup feature.

Hope some of the above helps....

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