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Windows 7: Computer lag spikes, audio drops, video crashes, etc.

3 Weeks Ago   #1
kevinbkt

Windows 7 Professional x64
 
 
Computer lag spikes, audio drops, video crashes, etc.

My Win7 PC has been having performance issues over the past month or so. Actually, three of them have been, with similar symptoms between them. But I'll just focus on one box for the moment.

What happens is that after running for some time, occasional lag will start to occur with symptoms like audio dropping during a game, or Firefox freezing whenever an image is saved from a webpage. Sometimes the screen will go black, and then come back with a message saying that the video driver recovered from a crash. Some games which should easily run on this hardware experience lag that make them unplayable.

I have previously updated the audio and video drivers. This resulted in some short-term relief, but then the problem started back up after a number of days. Sometimes restarting the computer will clear things up for a few hours or a few days. I have also freed up quite a bit of disk space to make sure it wasn't a virtual memory issue.

I've spent quite a bit of time in process explorer trying to spot any suspicious processes with no luck. At this point, any help figuring this out would be greatly appreciated!
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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2 Weeks Ago   #2
wither 2

Windows 7 Pro SP1 64 bit
 
 

Is Firefox up to date? This was a known problem with it and it was fixed via update.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
2 Weeks Ago   #3
kevinbkt

Windows 7 Professional x64
 
 

Two of the machines are on Firefox 77.0.1, one of them 76.0.1 and needs updating. I have noticed Firefox running out of control sometimes (huge memory usage for no apparent reason), but it looks like I'm using the latest and still having the lag issues.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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2 Weeks Ago   #4
wither 2

Windows 7 Pro SP1 64 bit
 
 

Don't mean to dwell on Firefox but, since I brought it up, it wouldn't hurt to try a different browser for a while just to rule it out as the cause.

From what I've read, lag in games in often caused by the graphics card.

What are you doing to clear up disk space?

Do you have Windows managing virtual memory or have you manually set it.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
2 Weeks Ago   #5
kevinbkt

Windows 7 Professional x64
 
 

Browser - I'll give it a try, but this has happened when the browser isn't even running.

Graphics card - three different machines, each with NVidia cards, but different not all the same.


Disk space - been moving less demanding games off the main drive to a secondary drive, also used CCleaner to get rid of unnecessary files


Virtual memory - Windows is managing it


Thanks for your input.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
2 Weeks Ago   #6
wither 2

Windows 7 Pro SP1 64 bit
 
 

Some people like the "cleaners" and others wouldn't touch them. What I do periodically is to go to system tools, and run Disk Cleanup. When it says how much space it can recover, I check the boxes for Temporary Files and Recycle Bin (Once checked, they are always checked). After it runs, I reboot. If you have a hard drive, it might help to defrag it after running the Disk Cleanup utility.

Are you running the games in something like Ultra mode? I'm not a gamer.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
2 Weeks Ago   #7
kevinbkt

Windows 7 Professional x64
 
 

Not advertising for CCleaner, but I like the fact that in addition to doing what the OS does, it also removes things like unneeded files from Firefox, Chrome, other applications.


As for the games, I don't always run in ultra mode. The game I'm currently having issues with is Jedi Fallen Order which still has lag at medium settings, where some other games will run just fine. Another example is Monster Hunter World, which when first installed ran without issue, but now has occasional lag too.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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2 Weeks Ago   #8
Megahertz07

Windows 7 HP 64
 
 

Let's do the basic.
Open a CMD window as administrator and type:
chkdsk c: /f
It will say your disk is in use and if you want to schedule to next start = yes.
restart
Pay attention on the results, specially bad blocks, bad clusters, bad sectors etc..
Back to Windows, Open a CMD window as administrator and type:
sfc /scannow
Report

It can be a heat sink clogged with dust and leading to high temperatures.
Do you have a hardware monitor?
I use Open hardware monitor. Extract and run. Don't need to be installed. Under options you may set to run on start up.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
2 Weeks Ago   #9
kevinbkt

Windows 7 Professional x64
 
 

chkdsk results show no bad files. There was no output on bad sectors because you said to run /f. If you want, I can re-run with /r.

sfc /scannow found no issues.

I downloaded and installed Open Hardware Monitor. I don't know what to look for here to see if there's any problem, other than keeping a graph of CPU usage up. I've attached a partial screenshot showing the temperatures. This is shortly after boot, before any games have been run.

In the past couple of days, I've noticed lag on another game, one I hadn't had problems with before. I was able to switch away and see on the Task Manager that the CPU was 100% going to that one process. But this isn't the only game having lag, and it's never been a problem until recently. So I don't know why it would suddenly have CPU usage spikes like this.

Thanks for your help.


Attached Images
Computer lag spikes, audio drops, video crashes, etc.-capture.jpg 
My System SpecsSystem Spec
2 Weeks Ago   #10
Megahertz07

Windows 7 HP 64
 
 

You can configure Open Hardware monitor to start with Windows and to show CPU package on the try and on the gadget (see mine as an example)
To protect itself, the CPU will low the clock when temperatures are high. Temperatures should never go over 80C.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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