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Windows 7: System takes several minutes to respond normally after loading desktop


11 Dec 2010   #1

Windows 7 Pro x64
 
 
System takes several minutes to respond normally after loading desktop

I'm running Windows 7 x64 on a 1-month old i7-970 system with 12 GB RAM. The OS and apps are on an SSD while my data are on a 2-disk RAID 1. Everything was working normally until two or three days ago. Now, whenever I boot, the boot goes normally until the desktop loads. Then, while I can click on apps to start them, they don't respond for 3 - 5 minutes, and then are barely responsive once they're running, for another 3 - 5 minutes, after which everything suddenly starts behaving normally. During this pokey time my CPU monitors indicate very little CPU activity (< 15% on one core). If I try to run task manager to see what might be causing the problem, it's as slow as everything else, taking several minutes to load and then not displaying any processes. In fact, I know the system is "stable" when the processes appear in it. I've done a system restore to a 1-week-old restore point (from before this behavior appeared), but it didn't fix it.

The behavior started after (though not immediately after, maybe two or three boots after) updating my display driver (Nvidia Quadro 4000). I rolled back the driver to the previous version, but the problem remains.

Has anyone else had this problem? Any suggestions? Thanks.


My System SpecsSystem Spec
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11 Dec 2010   #2

Win 8 Release candidate 8400
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by Involute View Post
I'm running Windows 7 x64 on a 1-month old i7-970 system with 12 GB RAM. The OS and apps are on an SSD while my data are on a 2-disk RAID 1. Everything was working normally until two or three days ago. Now, whenever I boot, the boot goes normally until the desktop loads. Then, while I can click on apps to start them, they don't respond for 3 - 5 minutes, and then are barely responsive once they're running, for another 3 - 5 minutes, after which everything suddenly starts behaving normally. During this pokey time my CPU monitors indicate very little CPU activity (< 15% on one core). If I try to run task manager to see what might be causing the problem, it's as slow as everything else, taking several minutes to load and then not displaying any processes. In fact, I know the system is "stable" when the processes appear in it. I've done a system restore to a 1-week-old restore point (from before this behavior appeared), but it didn't fix it.

The behavior started after (though not immediately after, maybe two or three boots after) updating my display driver (Nvidia Quadro 4000). I rolled back the driver to the previous version, but the problem remains.

Has anyone else had this problem? Any suggestions? Thanks.

Does it do the same thing when you boot into safe mode (F8)? If not it is probably a driver conflict


Ken J
My System SpecsSystem Spec
11 Dec 2010   #3
Microsoft MVP

 

Test your RAM. For beefy RAM such as you have you need a beefy test, so run memtest86 CD overnight to stress test it, or for at least 5-6 passes.

Try uninstalling your Display driver in Device Manager then restart the computer to reinstall it. Next uninstall the driver software along with it, then upon restart to VGA display driver, reinstall confirmed video driver from fresh download.

Check optional Windows Updates for more suitable display driver than Nvidia may provide. Then check your computer maker's website as they might have modified that driver.

Study the Event Viewer>Custom View>Admin to google repeat errors text and ID# to resolution. Check also the Performance log on Advanced Tools page, accessed by clicking your WEI score link at Computer>Properties. Look for cued issues at top of Tools page, Generate A System health report.

Type "solutions" in Start Search box to see solutions sent to Problems both reported and not. Windows 7 is interactive in this way, so always send Problem reports if asked.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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11 Dec 2010   #4

Windows 7 Pro x64
 
 

Thanks, zigzag. The problem does not occur in safe mode, so you're probably right that it's a driver conflict.

Thanks, greg, especially for pointing me to all those Windows 7 resources I didn't know about. It will take me awhile to sort through them all, but one thing I noticed from the System health report is that one of my device drivers isn't installed. Drilling down, there's a PlugAndPlay Device Configured Fail Count. Is there a way to determine which device is the offender without unplugging everything one-by-one (I've got a lot of USB devices).

Also, I understand your comment about uninstalling the display driver and letting Windows reinstall it, but can you elaborate on the rest, though ("uninstall the device driver software along with it ...")?

Thanks again, both of you.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
11 Dec 2010   #5
Microsoft MVP

 

Look in Device manager, unhide all Devices, see what is missing its driver.

If it's not named, you may have to get creative to find what is missing: check specs for your model computer to see what hardware isn't yet installed.

Or use this method to determine the hardware from the Device's properties: Hardware Identification

If simply reinstalling the display driver doesn't help, then what sometimes works is to uncheck the box in Device Manager>Display Driver>Driver tab so it uninstalls the software to set back to standard VGA Display driver. This allows you to completely reinstall the driver from a new download.

Don't forget to check for other drivers, starting with Windows 7 optional Updates, then Computer model's Support Downloads webpage, then Nvidia drivers download page.

Of course the problems can only be assumed to be the Display driver based on them occurring immediately after you updated it. This is why you need to study the logs to look for other clues.

As a matter of course when troubleshooting you should run SFC /SCANNOW Command - System File Checker

If this doesn't help, what often works is a Repair Install

I am on my way out the door now, but will be glad to give this more attention later if you keep the clues coming.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
11 Dec 2010   #6
whs
Microsoft MVP

Vista, Windows7, Mint Mate, Zorin, Windows 8
 
 

Run the DPC Latency checker. It may give you more insight into your driver problem. If all is green, you are good. Red = not so good and there are usually clues to the cause.
DPC Latency Checker
My System SpecsSystem Spec
12 Dec 2010   #7

Windows 7 Pro x64
 
 

OK, here's the latest. I resolved the USB driver issue with greg's Hardware Identification tip (thanks). I was missing the driver for my USB 3.0 controller which I hadn't noticed because I don't have anything plugged into those ports. I tracked it down and installed it. That problem's solved.

SFC /scannow finds no problems, and DPC Latency Checker is all green.

I was able to uninstall my display driver and have Windows re-install it on the next boot. After doing so, the system was stable until the NEXT boot, at which point it reverted to its previous semi-responsive behavior. I tried that a couple of times, but now when I uninstall the driver Windows simply installs the generic VGA driver instead of the Nvidia one and doesn't identify my Nvidia card in Device Manager (just a generic VGA display card), so there's no way to update to the Nvidia driver there. Plus, the instability returns. I'm posting this message from within Windows Safe Mode. Office seems to be unable to configure Outlook to work within Safe Mode, so I can't live like this for long.

If a Repair Install is next, will I lose all my apps?

My wife's calling, so I have to turn in. I'll check back first thing tomorrow morning.

Thanks for your help.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
12 Dec 2010   #8

Windows 7
 
 

reinstall windows.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
12 Dec 2010   #9

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Windows 7 Home Premium x64 SP1
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by Involute View Post
OK, here's the latest. I resolved the USB driver issue with greg's Hardware Identification tip (thanks). I was missing the driver for my USB 3.0 controller which I hadn't noticed because I don't have anything plugged into those ports. I tracked it down and installed it. That problem's solved.

SFC /scannow finds no problems, and DPC Latency Checker is all green.

I was able to uninstall my display driver and have Windows re-install it on the next boot. After doing so, the system was stable until the NEXT boot, at which point it reverted to its previous semi-responsive behavior. I tried that a couple of times, but now when I uninstall the driver Windows simply installs the generic VGA driver instead of the Nvidia one and doesn't identify my Nvidia card in Device Manager (just a generic VGA display card), so there's no way to update to the Nvidia driver there. Plus, the instability returns. I'm posting this message from within Windows Safe Mode. Office seems to be unable to configure Outlook to work within Safe Mode, so I can't live like this for long.

If a Repair Install is next, will I lose all my apps?

My wife's calling, so I have to turn in. I'll check back first thing tomorrow morning.

Thanks for your help.
Don't reinstall, try the Repair Install

Repair Install

You won't lose your documents or installed apps. A Guy
My System SpecsSystem Spec
12 Dec 2010   #10
Microsoft MVP

 

You say there's no way to update to the latest Nvidia Display drive in Device Manager. Why is this?

Download and unzip the driver and either Run it, or browse to its Driver file from Device Manager>Display driver>Driver>update>Browse until it picks up the driver.

If there's further instability I would run the Repair Install as a last resort before clean reinstalling to wiped HD. A Repair Install is an in-place Upgrade which keeps everything in place while reinstalling only the OS, as explained in the tutorial I linked. You only have to reactivate at Computer>Properties.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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 System takes several minutes to respond normally after loading desktop




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