Computer lags up for no reason?

Discussion in 'Computer Information' started by AcidX, Dec 29, 2005.

  1. AcidX

    AcidX Guest

    This has been happening for as long as I can remember (in terms of this
    PC's life) but basically... It seems like my computer lags up if,
    well.. Seemingly for no reason.

    I've noticed that whenever I do anything on this PC, after a while my
    CPU usage goes high for no reason. Programs begin to lag and it doesn't
    go away until I restart my computer.

    It's been known to do this when using any programs. It happened just
    now when I was ripping a CD. It often happens when I play games (not
    always off CDs) and sometimes it happens when I'm just listening to
    music... Or even in Firefox.

    I think it might be somethnig to do with my graphics/video card. I've
    noticed it lags a lot when I use Flash MX, or watch Flash movies. And
    also it lags up when playing games, which is very graphic intense.

    I don't know... I'm pretty sure it's not a ram issue. I've just
    installed two fresh sticks or 512mb ram and it still happens.
    I'm running a 2.53Ghz PC with Windows XP, SP2... If that helps.

    Anyone got any ideas?

    PS. Another thing (I consider to be significant) is that when I plug in
    my headphones I can hear when my computer starts to lag. When it's
    lagging there's a very high pitched noise, which 'twitches' when I
    start doing things on the PC.
    AcidX, Dec 29, 2005
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  2. AcidX

    Ted Zieglar Guest

    Top five reasons for slow performance:

    1. Viruses and spyware.
    2. Too many programs running in the background.
    3. Incorrect hardware, incorrect hardware configuration, or hardware not up
    to the task.
    4. Lack of, insufficient or incorrect maintenance.
    5. Misconfiguration on the part of the user.
    Ted Zieglar, Dec 29, 2005
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  3. AcidX

    AcidX Guest

    It's definitely not reasons 1 or 2.
    I'm doubting it's 3 or 4 either. They're maybes.
    As for #5 I'm not too sure.
    I haven't reconfigured anything... But I might be able to change
    configuration to make it work better.

    Any other reasons or solutions to them reasons?
    AcidX, Dec 29, 2005
  4. AcidX

    steve Guest

    Hard Drive failing,how old is your system?
    steve, Dec 29, 2005
  5. AcidX

    AcidX Guest

    Fair recent (bought it around late March/early April time).
    I think it might be a Processor issue.
    I searched the driver for my processors (intelppm.sys) on Google, and
    the top result sounded very similar to my problem.

    Although my system isn't a Dell system, it's a similar problem. I read
    some of the solutions and am currently trying some. The most popular
    one on there was to roll-back you Processor's driver, which I might do.
    At the moment I'm reinstalling my printer, as that seems to be one of
    the solutions.
    I'll get back to you on this one, feel free to suggest other things
    though ;)
    AcidX, Dec 29, 2005
  6. AcidX

    w_tom Guest

    Ted Zieglar provided five good reasons. You cannot just
    dismiss them on 'feelings' and expect additional assistance.
    Each should be eliminated for good technical reasons - the
    numbers. Task Manager is for this purpose. Did you study
    applications and processes - then report back those numbers so
    that each suggestion can be eliminated on merit? A technical
    analysis is performed with these numbers so that the problem
    is identified first and then repaired second.

    It is a processor issue, a heat problem, a PC trace that is
    too long, a power supply issue, a manufacturer defect in the
    sound card, a clashing of interrupts, etc. All are just as
    good 'wild speculations'. A least likely reason is 'processor
    issue'. But still we cannot yet eliminate it. What does Task
    Manager report?
    w_tom, Dec 29, 2005
  7. AcidX

    AcidX Guest

    I didn't dismiss Ted Zieglar's reasons.
    I just know it's not one or two beacuse I'm always scanning for
    spyware/adware and editing my startup processes, so I know exactly what
    my system is loading.
    I was a bit unclear about my response to Ted Zieglar's post.
    I meant to say I was going to look into his other reasons in more
    detail, specifically step 5. It seems most likely.
    This is how I stumbled upon the 'intelppm.sys' idea - by looking at my
    processors driver.

    Sorry about that, I'm still looking into some.
    Anyway, I feel it was something relating to issues into that
    'intelppm.sys' post, so I'm trying a few of the solutions I found

    One of the things listed on there was to change my pagefile size and
    let it be 'system managed' (I had mine on custom) and, although it
    might not solve this problem, it probably did some good anyway.
    Another one was to reinstall your printer o_O I did that anyway, and I
    uess the only way to find out if anything's worked is to wait til it
    happens again ;)

    Anyway, by default, I have 28 processes running and CPU rests at about
    2 - 8% when idle. Commit Charge is currently (with firefox, MSN signed
    on and taskmanager open and background processes) at 220M / 2389M.
    Umm, is there anythnig specific I should tell you which could help?
    (and just in case provide details of how to get it, unless it's simple)

    Another thing that popped into my head (very unlikely) is that it's my
    webcam. It's always on, and I got this before I would've got SP2
    (unless SP2 came with my PC - pretty sure it didn't) but it's just that
    it's always on and never really doing anything.
    I can turn it off by unplugging it, or, if I use it, it turns itself
    off afterwards automatically.
    I just updated the driver for that though. We'll see what happens.
    AcidX, Dec 29, 2005
  8. AcidX

    w_tom Guest

    A bottleneck created by a fixed (too small) pagefile could
    also create the problem. But again, that and so many other
    reasons are identified quickly by looking first for 'the
    reason why' rather than 'trying to fix it now'. Task Manager
    is one tool. Another source are System (event) logs. What do
    they report? Things that might once crash a system (ie DOS)
    are instead recorded in system logs; then system continues
    working. A third location that might provide useful facts
    (but probably not in your case) is Device Manager.

    Don't attempt solutions - shotgunning. First get facts.
    The number of possible reasons for your problem may exceed
    100. Are you going to try them all? Or first get the numbers
    and ledger entries that point to or suggest which might be the
    problem? Three places to start are Task Manager, Device
    Manager, and system logs.

    28 processes would be more typically of a system using near
    zero processor time. Using View in Task Manager, select
    different functions to examine. For example, CPU processing -
    percentage and CPU Time - and performance graphs would suggest
    tasks that are consuming too much processing power. Memory
    usage, Page Fault Delta, and Virtual Memory usage would
    suggest bottleneck in RAM or Virtual memory access. Device
    Manager or system logs might report an interrupt conflict
    which consumes no CPU time but significantly slows a system.
    With only a 'basic' 28 processes loaded, your system should
    be lightning quick. Why so few processes and yet so little
    system response? Fact gathering is seeking an answer to that
    question. Does a problem exist with the NIC hardware or its
    driver? Again this would consume little CPU time but
    bottleneck the system. This failure can slow an NT based
    system that would have crashed when using DOS or Windows

    Meanwhile, if only using Adaware (spyware) detection, then
    malware or keyboard monitoring programs could be running. You
    would be totally unaware of their existence if only using

    A list of processes in Task Manager, by name, might expose a
    malware process. But without some virus detection program,
    then even widely spread and commonly known malware could have
    infected your system without your knowledge.

    Is any software constantly trying to access the internet
    when internet connection is not available? Some 'goodware'
    programs may also do that. But a system that keeps trying to
    access the internet also would consume CPU time.

    Is firewall enabled? If so, what exemptions may have
    circumvented that firewall? A web based program from (Gibson Research) can provide information you
    don't have - by using the web's perspective. This to confirm
    system security (if system not yet compromised by malware).

    Of course, all this assumes hardware is performing
    properly. To verify hardware integrity, responsible computer
    manufacturers provide a comprehensive diagnostic for free.
    Hardware problems are a less probability according to symptoms
    provided. Diagnostics are another example of how to identify
    a problem before fixing anything.
    w_tom, Dec 29, 2005
  9. AcidX

    AcidX Guest

    I just read your post and I'm going to look into it in a sec.
    First I'd just like to give some other symptoms. This is mainly a list
    of programs that the whole lag situation has been known to happen in.
    There are probably more, but this list gives a general idea... They are
    as follows:
    Flash MX
    Flash player (when viewing in a browser)
    Graal (online game, see for details. !! This is one
    that causes lag the easiest !!)
    Worms World Party / Worms Armageddon (More games. These also cause it
    rather quickly)

    It is mainly games and graphic intense programs and those with a lot of
    virtual memory usage, which first lead me to believe it was a problem
    with my RAM. However, I have bought new RAM and still suffer the issue
    (UNLESS, my RAM is configured incorrectly. If so, how would I correct
    that?). I then thought it was my graphics card. However... If that's
    the case, surely the lag would be immediate?
    So now I'm stumped and asking others

    I'll get back to you soon in response to your post w_tom.
    AcidX, Dec 30, 2005
  10. AcidX

    AcidX Guest

    How strange. I've sorted it out until the next time my case clogs up
    with dust and crap. Heh, such a strange problem.

    I decided to open it up, and get a can of pressurised air in there ;)
    So much dust came out it was unbelievable. I also fiddled with the CPU
    fan a little, and tucked away any outstanding wires. And now, as far as
    I know, it's running fine!
    What can I say?
    It's great ot be running fullspeed again. My PC wasn't even this fast
    when we bought it ;)
    Thanks for all the help guys. This'll be something I bookmark in case I
    ever have problems in the future ;)
    AcidX, Dec 30, 2005
  11. AcidX

    MixMasterJ Guest

    None of that is what fixed your problem, especially if you think it is
    faster now than when you bought it. Surely you are joking?
    MixMasterJ, Dec 30, 2005
  12. AcidX

    AcidX Guest

    No seriously.
    It has worked. My computer hasn't lagged up since. I've been playing
    games, working on flash and listening to music. It's all good.

    And maybe my comp isn't faster than when we got it. It's just been such
    al ong time, that I'd forgotten what it was like ;) Though it could be.
    I've got 1gb ram now. We started out with only 265.
    AcidX, Dec 31, 2005
  13. AcidX

    kony Guest

    It's pretty easy to make a system faster than new.

    For example, tweak the bios settings, add memory, disable
    some eyecandy, uninstall OEM junk, turn off system restore,
    disable services... each alone maybe only a percent or two
    benefit but it all adds up, especially the memory increase.
    kony, Dec 31, 2005
  14. AcidX

    w_tom Guest

    Cleaning out a machine could have caused a slightly less
    restrictive air flow. Computers must be designed to work even
    in a 100 degree F room. IOW a hot spot or semiconductor
    weakness may exist; a weakness aggravated by heat. That is
    why heat is such a good diagnostic tool. Yes, you may have
    cured the symptom. But use that information to find the
    problem - that may be intermittent today and may become a more
    serious problem in the near future.

    IOW use what was learned today may eventually identify and
    overt a future system crash. ICs that can suffer from a
    hotspot (ie weak IC or a ribbon cable located so as to
    restrict a so gentle airflow) include processor on the video
    controller. At your leisure, try running a very video
    intensive program as ICs are heated by a hairdryer on high.
    This should be perfectly normal temperature to every computer
    IC. But a weak and slowly getting worse IC may recreate your
    slow down.

    Also noted is ribbon cable placement. Much heat is removed
    from an IC by an airflow so gentle as to not even be felt by a
    human hand. Massively increasing airflow actually creates
    only a diminishing but increasing improvement in cooling. If
    that most gentle airflow is obstructed by a ribbon cable, then
    a processor IC (ie on video controller) may become too hot.
    Most ICs are cooled by that most gentle airflow that a
    misplaced ribbon cable could obstruct.

    Best to know why a problem is corrected so that it does not
    slowly get worse and happen again later. Also to learn from
    the failure. Apparently no rush. But heat is a powerful tool
    to locate defective semiconductors. Maybe wait for next
    summer and run the system in a 100 degree room - to confirm
    the system really is stable.

    Eventually you should want to know why you fixed it - or
    carefully watch for a future reoccurrence.
    w_tom, Dec 31, 2005
  15. AcidX

    Shep© Guest

    Amd stop letting programs install themselves near the clock ;-)
    Shep©, Dec 31, 2005
  16. AcidX

    Guest Guest

    try defraging your hd
    Guest, Mar 14, 2006
  17. AcidX

    someone Guest

    Cntrl\Alt\Del will bring up the task manager.
    Tidy it up on the right side of your screen, on the Processes
    Now you can view what is using CPU time while you do things.
    someone, Mar 14, 2006
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