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Solved: Overactive Software & Hardware

Discussion in 'Hardware' started by OldGuy70, Jun 15, 2015.

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  1. OldGuy70

    OldGuy70 Thread Starter

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    I have a Gateway GT5068E PC, with 2 GB RAM and 200 GB disk drive. At power up, it responds very slowly and the disk drive works furiously, so I checked Resource Monitor @ Control Panel, and found that both CPU and RAM usage were often up to 90% or more. Furthermore, there were often over 400 'hard faults' for the RAM. This persisted for an hour or more, after which the CPU usage stayed below 10% and the RAM usage below 40%, with only an occasional 'hard fault' in the RAM. The system was naturally much more responsive. I intend to double my RAM, to 4 GB (the limit), and may get faster chips (666 vs 533, I believe). Does anyone know why the system thrashes so much for an hour after starting, and why there are copious hard faults reported for RAM? And is there any way to determine what speed the RAM chips are running, without disassembling the PC? (I disassembled it yesterday, when my daughter returned it, and cleaned it thoroughly.) Secondly, this Windows 7 Pro OS was installed only about 6 months ago, and does not, I believe, have much unnecessary software running under it. But Task Manager reports dozens of processes soon after start up, including MsMpEng.exe, which often consumes half of the CPU. And I noticed that 'TrustedInstaller.exe' was still running long after it should have been, so I killed it. Thanks for your help..
     
  2. plodr

    plodr

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    First Windows 7 doesn't run well on less than 4GB of RAM. So the first problem is too little RAM.
    Did you test the RAM sticks that are in the computer? Perhaps one is faulty.

    As for things running that you do not want - run CCleaner. Click Tools in the left pane then in the middle pane, select Startup. At the bottom of that window near the right is a button that says Save to text file. Click it (being careful to see where it puts this file). Attach the file to your next post.
     
  3. OldGuy70

    OldGuy70 Thread Starter

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    As I said, I will flesh out to 4 GB of RAM. How and where do I check the RAM chips? And how can I determine the speed of the chip? And how do I access CCleaner? I tried doing so at the command prompt, but that failed, and MSFT Help app knew nothing of it. And are the 'panes' that you refer to within the display for CCleaner?
     
  4. flavallee

    flavallee Trusted Advisor

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    Gateway GT5068E Media Center Desktop

    It appears it came with 2 GB(512 MB X 4) of RAM, but it supports up to 4 GB(1 GB X 4) of RAM.

    It uses 240-pin DDR2 PC2-4200(533 MHz) or DDR2 PC2-5300(667 MHz), 1.8 volt, unbuffered, non-ECC, SDRAM modules.

    The stickers on the modules currently in that desktop will confirm which speed modules it came with.

    I agree with Liz and would max it out with RAM.

    It appears it came with Windows XP Media Center Edition 2005.

    Did you install Windows 7 Professional 32-bit or 64-bit?

    ---------------------------------------------------------
     
    Last edited: Jun 15, 2015
  5. OldGuy70

    OldGuy70 Thread Starter

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    Thanks, Flavalee. When I bought it back in 2007, it had Windows XP, and two modules of RAM @ 1 GB each. It has not been used much for several years. I installed the 64-bit version of Win 7 about 6 months ago, which I bought online. When it arrived, I found that it was intended for a Dell PC, but it installed OK. I just ran the memory tester available at boot time. It found absolutely no RAM errors. But Resource Monitor at Task Manager still shows (right now, 20 minutes after starting) up to 476 'hard faults' of memory, which I assume is RAM, so I am puzzled that the boot-time tester found no problems. I will check the speed of the RAM chips soon, and order four chips of 1 GB. Do you think there is anything wrong with getting the faster ones, which, as you say, run at 667 GHZ? And why do you think the system 'thrashes' so, especially for many minutes after booting, when the CPU runs at up to 90% of capacity? I know that the RAM usage is also very high then, but why the CPU? I checked the hard drive, which found nothing to delete or defragment, and 148 GB of free space. But might a newer, faster drive help?
     
  6. flavallee

    flavallee Trusted Advisor

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    If it currently has 2 - 1 GB modules instead of 4 - 512 MB modules, there's no need to buy 4 - 1 GB modules.

    If there was something wrong with the current modules, the computer wouldn't boot and run.

    Check the speed of the current modules so you can buy additional modules of the same speed.

    If you mix speeds, all the modules will run at the speed of the slowest modules.

    ----------------------------------------------------

    We don't know what's installed in that computer and how many running processes it has, so that may account for the high RAM and CPU usage and hard drive thrashing.

    It may also be infested with malware, spyware, etc..

    ----------------------------------------------------
     
  7. OldGuy70

    OldGuy70 Thread Starter

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    Thanks again, Flavella. But I still don't understand why the boot diagnostic for my RAM chips found no errors whatsoever, in two passes of every byte, while the Task Mgr Resource Monitor finds hundreds of ''hard faults' for almost a half hour after every start up, during which the system is very noisy and sluggish. If those RAM chips are rated at 533 GHZ, I think that I'll buy four of the faster ones. I'm running with Windows Security Essentials, without much extra software, but perhaps a malware check makes sense. What malware checker do you recommend?
     
  8. flavallee

    flavallee Trusted Advisor

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    If you're worried about an issue with the 1 GB modules and you feel better buying 4 new 1 GB DDR2 PC3-5300(667 MHz) modules, that's fine.

    ----------------------------------------------------------

    Go here, then click the large blue "Download Now @ Bleeping Computer" button to download and save AdwCleaner.exe to your desktop.

    Close all open windows first, then double-click AdwCleaner.exe to load its main window.

    Click the "Scan" button, then allow the scanning process to finish.
    (Note: Several seconds may pass before the scanning process starts, so be patient.)

    Click the "Logfile" button.

    When the log appears, save it.

    Return here to your thread, then copy-and-paste the ENTIRE log here.

    Note: After you submit the log, close AdwCleaner. If a warning appears, click "Yes".

    ----------------------------------------------------------
     
  9. plodr

    plodr

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    CCleaner needs to be installed. Download the 3rd item, the slim version
    http://www.piriform.com/ccleaner/builds

    Once installed, when you open it and click on Tools, then startup you'll get a screen similar to this.
     

    Attached Files:

  10. OldGuy70

    OldGuy70 Thread Starter

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    Thanks again, Flavalee and Plodr. I checked the four RAM chips in my Gateway and found them to be the slower ones, at 4.2 GB/sec, with 512 MB each. So I ordered four 1 GB chips running at the faster speed (5.3 GB/Sec). When I receive and install them, I'll download the anti-malware checking software and let you know the result.
     
  11. flavallee

    flavallee Trusted Advisor

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    I was guessing that desktop came with DDR2 PC2-4200(533 MHz) modules or DDR2 PC2-3200(400 MHz) modules.

    Keep us posted on how that desktop runs after you receive and install the four DDR2 PC2-5300(667 MHz) modules.

    -----------------------------------------------------------
     
  12. OldGuy70

    OldGuy70 Thread Starter

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    I rcvd and installed the four new 1 GB RAM chips, but the system is still VERY sluggish. Task Mgr shows a dozen host processes active, with Task Mgr the only app. And although I have the only signon for this PC, Task Mgr shows many more processes running for 'All Users', when I opt to show that. But there are fewer RAM faults/sec than before, and after an hour or so it quiets down and performs better. I noticed @ Resource Monitor that one process called Nuance Windows Desktop Search Support (which came with the Brother software for my All-In-One) was a CPU hog, often up to 50%, so I tried to uninstll it, but could not. I tried to delete all of the Brother printer software via Ctrl Panel, but that didn't work, either: Brother kept trying to install rather than uninstall. If anyone can help with these problems, I'd really appreciate it. In the absence of that, I'll reformat the drive and reinstall Windows 7.

    I did a virus scan of the entire drive via WSE, but that found nothing. So I downloaded AdwCleaner and ran that, but it showed nothing whatsoever in its 'Results'. I'll attach the log for the AdwClnr scan anyway.
     

    Attached Files:

  13. flavallee

    flavallee Trusted Advisor

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    Right-click on COMPUTER, then click Properties.

    When the system properties window appears, look at the Installed memory (RAM): line.

    Advise what it shows for the amount of installed RAM and the amount of usable RAM.

    According to its log, it found about 8 problems.

    Close all open windows first, then double-click AdwCleaner.exe to load its main window.

    Click the "Scan" button, then allow the scanning process to finish.
    (Note: Several seconds may pass before the scanning process starts, so be patient.)

    Click the "Cleaning" button, then click "OK".

    Allow the cleaning process to finish.

    When it's finished, click "OK" in each window that appears.

    The computer will restart.

    When the log appears during restart, save it.

    Return here to your thread, then copy-and-paste the ENTIRE log here.

    -----------------------------------------------
     
  14. flavallee

    flavallee Trusted Advisor

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    AFTER you complete all of post #13, do the following.

    Click Start, then type MSCONFIG in the search or run box, then press the Enter key.

    When the small "System Configuration" window appears, click the "Startup" tab.

    Write down ONLY the names in the "Startup Item" column that have a checkmark next to them.

    If the "Startup Item" column isn't wide enough to see the entire name of any of them, widen the column.

    Submit those names here in a vertical list.

    Make sure to spell them EXACTLY as you see them there.

    ----------------------------------------------------------
     
  15. OldGuy70

    OldGuy70 Thread Starter

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    Shows 4 GB RAM installed, and 3.24 GB usable. I assume that the missing .76 GB is used for dual processing in some way. Do you know the reason more precisely?

    I'll close all windows, including this one, and run the scan under AdwClnr again as you recommend, saving the results. After I run MSCONFIG and note the Startup Items, I'll post another message here with the AdwClnr results and Startup Items.
     
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