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Windows 7: Win 7 randomly starts lagging


08 Apr 2013   #1

Windows 7 Ultimate x64 (Service Pack 1)
 
 
Win 7 randomly starts lagging

As the title describes, my Windows 7 starts lagging all of a sudden.

The best way to detect lag is to view any animation and check if it runs smoothly. Following tend to be choppy:
  • The equalizer in Winamp
  • The progress bars in applications
  • The tab animations in browsers (when opening / closing)
  • Noticeable delay to open files and folders
  • Sometimes the games lag too inspite of me having a decent GFX
The lag starts appearing when I keep memory intensive applications running / minimized for quite some time. These include Waterfox, Eclipse (Java IDE) etc.

The lag is fixed by a reboot. Also, sometimes when a heavy I/O is taking place (e.g. huge file transfers from HDD to portable drive).

So does this have something to do with Win 7 or is something wrong with my RAM (though I highly doubt it!).



My System SpecsSystem Spec
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08 Apr 2013   #2

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Win 7 Pro 64-bit
 
 

You could have a memory leak which could affect the performance of both a particular application as well as the operating system. A large leak might result in unacceptable response times due to excessive paging. Eventually the application as well as other parts of the operating system could experience failures.

Preventing Memory Leaks in Windows Applications (Windows)

You could try to isolate any programs or apps that might be contributing to this problem through the Processes tab of Task Manager (or using perfmon and/or resmon by typing same into the start menu search box.)

Don't neglect to perform other routine housekeeping chores like running a full scan with your updated anti-malware suite, disk check, clearing browser cache, etc. And you could also check to see if you have any damaged or corrupt system files by running a system file checker scan from an elevated command prompt (option two.) If problems are found, run the scan 3 times and immediately reboot your computer after each scan.

SFC /SCANNOW Command - System File Checker
My System SpecsSystem Spec
08 Apr 2013   #3

Windows 7 Ultimate x64 (Service Pack 1)
 
 

I performed a system wide scan using my antivirus and aslo MalWareBytes. I also ran the scf /scannow command and found no issues.

How do I check for a memory leak? Is there any freeware that can help?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
.


08 Apr 2013   #4

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Win 7 Pro 64-bit
 
 

This previous Seven Forums thread has a few suggestions/links that may help you.

Memory Leak Troubleshooting

Likewise, this article has more info about memory leaks.

Q&A: How to Test for Memory Leaks? | TechRepublic

Important to note that a memory leak is just one possibility of why your system is lagging. I suggested this because of what you said in your original post: "The lag starts appearing when I keep memory intensive applications running / minimized for quite some time." It's also possible that your computer needs more than 4GB RAM ... that you've maxed out your computer's capabilities. So as previously suggested, you could also use perfmon and resmon to see exactly how your computer's memory is being utilized when the lag begins.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
09 Apr 2013   #5

Windows 7 Ultimate x64 (Service Pack 1)
 
 

Thanks for the links. I'll go through them.

However, I'd like to mention that the following are the only applications that I have on my machine which tend to use high amount of memory (but not so much as to make 4GB insufficient):
  • Adobe Photoshop CS2
  • Waterfox
  • Eclipse (Java IDE)
So, the only frequently used is Waterfox. I did a fresh install of Waterfox again (brand new profile). And till now, I haven't encountered the lag. The reason I did this is because I used to observe the lag when this app was running for a long time. I'll observe the same for a few more days and reply back.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
08 May 2013   #6

Windows 7 Ultimate x64 (Service Pack 1)
 
 

Hello,

The problem still persists. Keeping the browser open for quite a long time introduces lags. However, at my office (with an 8GB RAM and onboard GFX) I don't see this behavior. Add to it the fact that a ~1GB java.exe process (the app server) keeps running in the background. Also, there is the McAfee bloatware running in the background too. On my personal desktop, the number of processes are nearly half.

What setting needs to be tweaked to avoid this problem?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
08 May 2013   #7

Windows 7 Pro x64
 
 

Have you watched the Task Managers for processes with high usage? I've seen several applications cause issues like this before (most notably antivirus applications).
My System SpecsSystem Spec
09 May 2013   #8

Windows 7 Ultimate x64 (Service Pack 1)
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by bulletng View Post
Have you watched the Task Managers for processes with high usage? I've seen several applications cause issues like this before (most notably antivirus applications).
At home, no. My avast doesn't hog much. And the only programs with maximum usage apart from the svchost.exe that runs the SuperFetch service is Firefox.

The most annoying thing is that at office, the workstation runs McAfee hogware (the entire suite!). Yet I don't see any such problem.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
09 May 2013   #9

Windows 7 Pro x64
 
 

Try disabling all non-important applications to try and diagnose the issue. If you want boot up in Safe Mode with networking and do some stuff from their. That will help determine if it's software or hardware related (either the OS/drivers or RAM).

Also why are you referencing two computers? Is this happening on both?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
09 May 2013   #10
Microsoft MVP

 

Work through these Troubleshooting Steps for Windows 7 to establish a Clean Boot, check the logs, test your RAM and HD, utilize the System resources for clues.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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 Win 7 randomly starts lagging




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