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Windows 7: Performance Issue

05 Dec 2009   #1

Windows 7 Ultimate
Performance Issue

Guys, when I first loaded Windows 7, it worked great. After about a month now, I am getting some wierd performance issues. Every once in a while, my hard drive light will go solid and my entire computer will go responsive. The mouse moves and that's about it. It will last about 30 seconds or so, then everything goes back to normal. I can't figure out what is going on. I open task manager, but by the time I do whatever process was causing it to freeze has disappeared. I've ran Norton Antivirus, AVG Antivirus, Microsoft Security Essentials and Ad-aware and none of them find any spyware/malware/viruses on my computer.

My system is not that out of date. It's got an ABit IX38 motherboard with an Intel quad core CPU. Its got 4 gigs of RAM and an NVIDIA Geforce 9800 graphics card. I've got 3 hard drives, all SATA. I am running Windows 7 Ultimate 64-bit. I downloaded the latest updates.

The problem seems to happen whenever I run DirectX type programs. For example, when I first start World of Warcraft, it happens or when I first run Windows Media Center, it happens. At first, I thought maybe the graphics drivers I have were bad, but I downloaded the latest from NVIDIA's web site and even downloaded the previous drivers, thinking the new drivers may have had bugs.

Anyone know what might be causing this? On a side note, is there a program similar to process explorer or task manager that will "record" or save the process information so that I might be able to catch the process doing this?

My System SpecsSystem Spec
05 Dec 2009   #2


Welcome to Windows 7 support forum.
Iceman, as I read the text it seems these events are pre-saged as you run directex or some game? These events are not random events. I suggest your system may be configured as "Power Saver" Mode? And when the system is in standby and you wake it up the Drives and processor spin up.
If this dog don't hunt, so to speak. Have you conducted a virus/Malware scan?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
05 Dec 2009   #3

Windows 7 Ultimate

I have conducted a virus scan with 3 different products and have come up empty. Also, I went and changed my power mode to high performance so it doesn't shut down my hard drives. I still have this problem though. Any more ideas?
My System SpecsSystem Spec

06 Dec 2009   #4

Windows 10 Pro (x64)

Have an external HDD connected? Also Superfetch is not turned off?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
06 Dec 2009   #5

Windows 7 x64 Ultimate

Are you using an SSD? If so yo need to turn off the NCQ option. It may prevent you from running WEI again though...

Disable Native Command Queing (At least until there is a hotfix for W7 to deal with the random lockup issues)
Device Manager, IDE controllers. Find SATA controller with SSD attached and disable Native Command Queing on the proper "Port".
My System SpecsSystem Spec
06 Dec 2009   #6
Microsoft MVP


System Restore to before the trouble began. If this doesn't correct your issues, then reverse the restore point.

If you use Norton as as your regular AV, I would clean reinstall and install Avast which is feather-light yet won't allow any infections.

This sounds like a possible in-place Upgrade gone bad. Even a successful in-place Upgrade has some level of corruption. There is no comparison to a clean install with formatting from boot.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
06 Dec 2009   #7

Windows 7 Home Premium 64

I'd vote for System Restore as the culprit.

I don't think it's just a virus, since it's more likely that he'll experience more symptoms than just HDD activities.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
07 Dec 2009   #8

Windows 7 Ultimate

I don't know guys. I can't seem to find a problem. I updated my chipset drivers, used system restore to roll back and nothing seems to work. It happens so randomly, I can't seem to find a pattern. My computer will just complete freeze for about 30 seconds and the hard drive light becomes solid. After 30 seconds or so, everything is back to normal. I can't seem to find any issues though. Anyone have any more ideas? I came from Vista and did not have this issue in Vista.

I might just wipe everything and reinstall Windows 7 if I can't find a solution.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
07 Dec 2009   #9
Microsoft MVP


Well a clean reinstall is always a good idea. I look for any excuse myself!

You would then know it is more likely hardware, or an installed software program - so suggest you add them back incrementally and with restore points to test.

Then you can move on to overnight memtest86, HD diagnostics from your manufacturer's Downloads page for your HD model, cable changeout, good cleaning, and becoming familiar with the diagnostics built into Win7.

For example, why not generate a System health report at Control Panel\All Control Panel Items\Performance Information and Tools\Advanced Tools? And while you're there, check the Performance logs and Google the errors?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
07 Dec 2009   #10

Windows 7 x64 Ultimate

The hard drive light going solid with complete machine lockup except mouse (then maybe eventually the mouse too) with recovery if you wait long enough are the /exact/ symptoms of a storage device/driver problem. Windows is waiting for data from the drive that it is asked for (probably queued up a lot of requests) and it not getting.

So I repeat, if it is an SSD, turn off NCQ as I mentioned above. If NOT an SSD, make sure you have the latest matrix storage drivers from intel itself (if an intel controller, but that seems to be the driver that causes this problem on non SSD drives).

While a lot of the above suggestions might cause stalling in a game or slow computer response for periods of time they do not generally result in the complete lockup (with some mouse movement but no control) with solid HD light that is so symptomatic of the known storage device problems.

Unfortuantely a complete clean reinstall may not solve it since it is a configuration issue with a particular sets of hardware. If a reinstall indeed does not fix it and you have updated to latest matrix drivers from intel, then you might try disabling NCQ even if it is not an SSD drive and see if it goes away.
My System SpecsSystem Spec

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