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Got to sort out these laptop oddities which are driving me crazy


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Old 15-07-2013, 17:53
pfgpowell
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My laptop is seriously pissing me off. I posted here a few days ago about some of the problems and inconsistencies, but the internet connection issue has now righted itself though the oddities have settled down but are still odd. The laptop is an 11in Lenovo 121e with an i3 core chip running Windows 7 Professional (with which it came).

It is taking me several minutes to boot up fully, by which I mean I get to the desktop etc as fast as I always did (it helps that I have an SSD), but after that it can be anything up to four minutes before I have full use of the laptop. For example, the cursor is by this time an arrow, but when it hovers over the taskbar, it becomes revolving blue circle for those four minutes. Net connection is fine once I have it, but it takes and age to be put in place. There is also a curious sound I hear twice, a minute or two apart, while this is all happening, which I never heard before.

I’ve tried everything: I’ve run both Avast and AVG but they say there is no virus. I’ve used the Lenovo toolbox program to check the hardware, but it doesn’t report anything wrong. I’ve downloaded (from Microsoft) a utility which lists all the startup items and deleted several which were not Microsoft, Intel, Lenovo etc and which I couldn’t identify. But SOMETHING is amiss – it used to boot up very fast and was usable very quickly.

Now, as I say, I have to wait up to five minutes before. I have even toyed with the idea (a bit drastic, mind you, as the laptop isn’t totally useless) of using the Lenovo Recovery Media to reset it to factory condition – but it won’t even boot up from the USB stick with all the gubbins on it, so I can’t even do that.

Any advice very welcome indeed.
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Old 15-07-2013, 18:37
gds1972
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My laptop is seriously pissing me off. I posted here a few days ago about some of the problems and inconsistencies, but the internet connection issue has now righted itself though the oddities have settled down but are still odd. The laptop is an 11in Lenovo 121e with an i3 core chip running Windows 7 Professional (with which it came).

It is taking me several minutes to boot up fully, by which I mean I get to the desktop etc as fast as I always did (it helps that I have an SSD), but after that it can be anything up to four minutes before I have full use of the laptop. For example, the cursor is by this time an arrow, but when it hovers over the taskbar, it becomes revolving blue circle for those four minutes. Net connection is fine once I have it, but it takes and age to be put in place. There is also a curious sound I hear twice, a minute or two apart, while this is all happening, which I never heard before.

I’ve tried everything: I’ve run both Avast and AVG but they say there is no virus. I’ve used the Lenovo toolbox program to check the hardware, but it doesn’t report anything wrong. I’ve downloaded (from Microsoft) a utility which lists all the startup items and deleted several which were not Microsoft, Intel, Lenovo etc and which I couldn’t identify. But SOMETHING is amiss – it used to boot up very fast and was usable very quickly.

Now, as I say, I have to wait up to five minutes before. I have even toyed with the idea (a bit drastic, mind you, as the laptop isn’t totally useless) of using the Lenovo Recovery Media to reset it to factory condition – but it won’t even boot up from the USB stick with all the gubbins on it, so I can’t even do that.

Any advice very welcome indeed.
Are AVG and Avast both running at the same time on the PC?
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Old 15-07-2013, 21:30
misar
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I saw a similar effect with Win XP after I installed Microsoft Security Essentials. When run at startup (which obviously is required) it seems to do a default scan of the system for which I never found an option to turn it off. If the program is the same in Win 7, look for msseces.exe running at startup.
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Old 15-07-2013, 22:26
MeMeMeI
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Have you tried downloading and using Advanced System Care 6, see if that sorts it out.
Or SlimComputer. Either might help.
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Old 15-07-2013, 22:39
pfgpowell
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Are AVG and Avast both running at the same time on the PC?
Yes. But they have been running at the same time for a year or two, and pertinently, were running at the same time when things were still hunky-dory with not a sign of trouble.
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Old 15-07-2013, 23:27
LION8TIGER
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Yes. But they have been running at the same time for a year or two, and pertinently, were running at the same time when things were still hunky-dory with not a sign of trouble.
Still and all it would be worth deleting one of them (AVG) and see is it any better. Worth a clearout with Ccleaner which you can also use to disable startup programs.

but it won’t even boot up from the USB stick with all the gubbins on it, so I can’t even do that.
Have you changed the boot order ?
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Old 16-07-2013, 00:14
evil c
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Well I bought my refurb laptop in Nov 2010 (originally manufactured Dec 2009) and for a good while it took under 1 min from startup before it was fully functional. About 18 months ago it started to slow down and was taking nearly 2 minutes just to get to desktop and then another 4 mins before I could use it. I have W7 Home Premium 64-bit.

I tried various techniques to speed up the system and for me the combination of drastically reducing the startup group (thanks here to CCleaner), changing the power options from balanced to a custom high performance plan, (where in effect I have the max processor speed at 100% and currently min speed at 60%), and reducing the size of the index, got me to the desktop at 39 secs.

I also Disabled some of the Services or made them Manual (rather than Automatic), after carefully researching what each of the Services meant and how they worked together.

From then to now the startup to desktop remains about average at 39 secs, but it still takes 3 or 4 mins before I can open IE immediately, before then it takes about 30 secs to load, and the same with Live Mail.

I also considered using a startup script to run Quiet HDD to stop the WD6400BEVT Scorpio Blue from parking, reather than just enabling it after desktop, but I hardly bother with it now anyway. I don't want to stress the HDD and reduce its life just to gain a few seconds on run time and right click delay.

Other methods to tweak the system have included turning off Aero, custom settings for Visual Effects, i.e. I only have 5 boxes enabled, Processor scheduling adjusted to give best performance for Programs, DEP turned on for essential Windows programs and services only. I turned off the Screen Saver and Sounds as well.

I customised the Event Viewer to stop quite a few of the logs being written to and regularly monitor the remaining ones and clear them about once a week except for the Reliability-Analysis-Engine which I increased the log size so there is a complete log from Nov 2010.

Your delay could be caused by maybe a large number of documents or pictures or movies on the main HDD rather than the SSD or perhaps there is a startup process or service slowing the system down. Are there any clues in the Reliability Monitor and in the Event Viewer the Diagnostic Performance - Operational log, and the Windows Logs Application and System logs, and have you tried restoring back to when the startup was fast.
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Old 16-07-2013, 02:12
Knarf44
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Yes. But they have been running at the same time for a year or two, and pertinently, were running at the same time when things were still hunky-dory with not a sign of trouble.
Although you have been quite thorough and despite your experience with running two anti-virus programms at the same time, no Tech site or Technician worth their salt would ever recommend you running two as they will be conflicting with each other even if it's not apparently obvious to you.

Follow Lion8tiger`s recommendation of removing AVG (as it's heavier on resources than Avast) BUT use the AVG Removal Tool designed for the job, it can be downloaded from here
Make sure you download the correct one ie 32bit or 64bit depending on which version of Win 7 your are running.

When you have done that, report back here your progress and what effect(s) you notice.
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Old 16-07-2013, 12:36
fenlander
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Agreed. Running two anti-viruses is the elephant in the room. Your MUST remove one and see the result before bothering with any other measures.
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Old 16-07-2013, 18:18
pfgpowell
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Still and all it would be worth deleting one of them (AVG) and see is it any better. Worth a clearout with Ccleaner which you can also use to disable startup programs.

Have you changed the boot order ?
Yes, I am asked to impress F12 which brings up the boot order. Then I select the USB stick (which has all the recovery data on it, including boot data - I looked - and, as asked, press enter, but all that happens is that I am returned to the same 'choose your boot bollocks' screen.
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Old 16-07-2013, 19:14
gds1972
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Yes, I am asked to impress F12 which brings up the boot order. Then I select the USB stick (which has all the recovery data on it, including boot data - I looked - and, as asked, press enter, but all that happens is that I am returned to the same 'choose your boot bollocks' screen.
Does your laptop not have a recovery partition on it?
After a quick search it looks like if you press F11 just after turning the PC on you can access the recovery partition.
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Old 17-07-2013, 09:46
bri160356
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It is taking me several minutes to boot up fully, by which I mean I get to the desktop etc as fast as I always did (it helps that I have an SSD), but after that it can be anything up to four minutes before I have full use of the laptop. For example, the cursor is by this time an arrow, but when it hovers over the taskbar, it becomes revolving blue circle for those four minutes. Net connection is fine once I have it, but it takes and age to be put in place. There is also a curious sound I hear twice, a minute or two apart, while this is all happening, which I never heard before..
Hi, had a similar issue with my HP laptop in recent times.
Just a stop-gap suggestion until you sort it properly; once your laptop is running don’t use ‘shutdown’. Instead put it into ‘hibernate’ then it should just ‘resume windows’ without going through the usual (and in your case lengthy!) start-up processes. Not a fix but should ease your frustration.
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Old 17-07-2013, 13:19
pfgpowell
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Does your laptop not have a recovery partition on it?
After a quick search it looks like if you press F11 just after turning the PC on you can access the recovery partition.
Well, yes, I do and I have a 16gb USB stick with the recovery drive on it. Trouble is that after I press F12 giving me a choice as to boot from the hard drive or the USB stick and I choose the stick with the recovery gubbins on it and press enter - it is simply back to the boot choice menu i.e. it won't boot from the USB stick as it is supposed to so that I could sort out any anomalies. In fact I am just about to email Lenovo support to see whether they could suggest a solution to the non-booting USB stick.
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Old 17-07-2013, 16:20
Knarf44
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By copying the recovery partition only you have corrupted the Master Boot Record. You should have imaged both the recovery and the C partition then it would boot. Unless you can somehow access the original hard drive setup and image it again using eg Macrium Reflect it's useless to you.
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Old 17-07-2013, 23:28
pfgpowell
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By copying the recovery partition only you have corrupted the Master Boot Record. You should have imaged both the recovery and the C partition then it would boot. Unless you can somehow access the original hard drive setup and image it again using eg Macrium Reflect it's useless to you.
No, I didn't. I used the Lenovo create recovery tool to create the USB stick recovery media. I did everything by the book.
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Old 17-07-2013, 23:39
barky99
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Yes. But they have been running at the same time for a year or two, and pertinently, were running at the same time when things were still hunky-dory with not a sign of trouble.
that was just luck, get rid of 1 & boot up will take about a minute
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Old 18-07-2013, 16:33
pingu01
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Try booting into Safe Mode to see how long it takes without starting up the extra stuff which is probably causing normal boot to take so long. If you know what you're doing , run msconfig to check for startup items that have been added but which you don't need. I've also run a program called winpatrol in the past which allows you to delay the startup of programs to speed-up start times.If al this means nothing to you, ask for someone's help who knows their way around a PC.

Once you sort out the problem, if you want faster booting still, consider a Windows 8 upgrade - if you don't like the new Win8 look, you can ignore it all and use it just like Windows 7 if you prefer. In this mode it's an improvement on Win7 - my Win8 bootup takes less than 10 seconds.
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Old 18-07-2013, 16:37
pingu01
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Agreed. Running two anti-viruses is the elephant in the room. Your MUST remove one and see the result before bothering with any other measures.
Personally I'd remove both and load MS Security Essentials (for win7, in win8 it's built into Win Defender). I've used both AVG and Avast in the past and they became too resource-hungry over time.
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