Bios and Windows extreme slowdown

Discussion in 'PC Hardware' started by flipswitch5point, May 7, 2012.

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  1. flipswitch5point

    flipswitch5point MDL Novice

    May 7, 2012
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    Hello,
    I'm not sure what category to put this in. I'm having a problem:
    I boot my system, all seems fine - then gradually - over the space of a few minutes - everything starts to slow down at an exponential pace. I've checked CPU and RAM usage of processes for all users and nothing seems out of the ordinary. CPU is usually below 10% and ram is usually below 30% totals. Naturally I thought it was some kind of software issue, until I realised the BIOS was responding really slowly as well - and not gradually; instantly - it's taking about 5 seconds to respond to key presses. Now I think it's hardware related - I started a repair with HDD Regenerator this morning on my OS HDD and I intend to run memory testing when that is done. If those come up blank I fear there may be a problem with the motherboard.

    The system slowdown had been happening for a while, but I never took it seriously because it wasn't that bad at first - I'd just reboot (I'd have to do a hard reboot because it would just stop responding - although the mouse didn't freeze) Yesterday I managed to get a working task manager window to kill Avast and everything snapped back up to speed - so I installed Avira and it worked well until this morning when the same thing started happening. Sometimes if I put it to boot and left it, I would come back to find everything non-responsive. I have to point out that in all cases - mouse movement was retained. Sometimes it even works well for a full 24 hours or more before the slowdown starts, but it seems to be getting worse and more frequent recently.

    Anyway, any other ideas on what it might be? I'll post when I get any results or changes. I even checked the motherboard to see if I had leaky capacitors, but strangely I didn't even see any capacitors of the type that you would see leaking (with the notched heads that would bulge).

    System specs are below:
    Processor: AMD Phenom II X6 1090T BE
    Memory: Markvision DDR3 1333 4x2GB
    Videocard: ATI Radeon HD 6850
    HDD1: WD 1TB partitioned with 200GB for OS and ~800GB for whatever else
    HDD2: Same as HDD1 and used for backups using Acronis True Image
    DirectX version: DirectX 11
    Op. system: Windows 7 Pro x64
    Motherboard: ECS A785GM-M
    Power supply: ThermalTake T2 750W

    Please help! Thanks.
     
  2. Yen

    Yen Admin
    Staff Member

    May 6, 2007
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    I had a similar issue, but the PC slowed down and froze completely after 1-4 hours (no response at all, no mouse, no reset button). It's been a defective Abit mainboard I had to replace.

    What exactly slows down? Is it the key input response or the OS working speed itself? E.g. when starting an application and using it with the mouse only....
    Can you exclude it's just a keyboard / USB / driver issue? Wireless keyboard? Weak battery? Does it happen in safe mode as well?
    Can you try with an old PS/2 keyboard?
    What about the BIOS settings? Any OC? Default values?

    To figure if it's a hardware issue or not:
    I'd save my data and do a complete new clean install, of course using the original w7 ISO. Then test it.
    Install the latest driver for any device and test it further.
    Then install your applications and test it.

    If the issue should occur at a fresh install without any drivers installed I'd say it's an hardware issue.
     
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  3. flipswitch5point

    flipswitch5point MDL Novice

    May 7, 2012
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    I was just thinking this driving home today - I think I'll make a new partition with some free space and try a clean install there.
     
  4. ranchhand

    ranchhand MDL Novice

    May 3, 2012
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    #4 ranchhand, May 8, 2012
    Last edited: May 8, 2012
    Have you tried booting into Safe Mode? Work there for a while (I know, it's a pain, but it would be only a few minutes) and see if it still does it. If the problem continues, that tells you that it is not a software issue but a hardware issue (with the exception of a possible malware infection). It wouldn't hurt to reset your BIOS back to factory default (if you haven't already) just in case something got corrupted. Next, download the Seagate Seatools for Windows HD tester (free, Google it) and run it to check if your HD is in the process of failing. It will test any hard drive, not only Seagate, I have been using it for years. Finally, run Malwarebytes and Combofix to make sure you don't have a virus loading and causing problems. It also would not hurt to run a Hijack This log just to see if any dodgy things are loading; unfortunately HT is pretty well antiquated as far as correcting virus infections go, but it is still great for information. Just FYI, when capacitors fail the result is pretty drastic, from random crashes and BSODs to refusal to boot with weird system messages. I have never seen bad caps gradually slow a system with no other effects. BTW - when checking caps also inspect the base of the cap; I have seen them fail there also, with electrolyte leaking out the bottom. Not common, but it does happen. Let us know how it goes.
     
  5. flipswitch5point

    flipswitch5point MDL Novice

    May 7, 2012
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    Ok, I think I may have zoned in on the possible cause. Just on a hunch I booted and endured excessively slow computing for an hour, systematically exiting programs to see if any one in particular caused it. Eventually I reached Avira - as soon as I disabled realtime protection (worrying) everything snapped back to top speed. A couple days ago I got the same thing with Avast - and that's why I switched to Avira, because I thought it was a problem with Avast. (everything seems fine in safe mode btw). So what do you guys think? Malware? Or some issue with a Windows Update and AV realtime protection? For the record, I also had MSE installed from Windows Update - but had that realtime protection disabled. Or maybe another cause?
     
  6. flipswitch5point

    flipswitch5point MDL Novice

    May 7, 2012
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    What exactly slows down? Is it the key input response or the OS working speed itself? E.g. when starting an application and using it with the mouse only.... (Everything clicks, typing etc responds normally - a window may not display typed characters for some time however - it seems as though there's a problem between user input and software output)
    Can you exclude it's just a keyboard / USB / driver issue? Wireless keyboard? Weak battery? (all wired all drivers seem to be fine - although another, possibly disconnected problem - in any POST menus, sometimes it appears as though the up or down keys get stuck and cycle through options until pressed again)
    Does it happen in safe mode as well? (no)
    Can you try with an old PS/2 keyboard? (no PS/2 kb/mouse readily available)
    What about the BIOS settings? Any OC? Default values? (all default except a wake timer for the morning)

    Have you tried booting into Safe Mode? Work there for a while (I know, it's a pain, but it would be only a few minutes) and see if it still does it. (works fine in safe mode) If the problem continues, that tells you that it is not a software issue but a hardware issue (with the exception of a possible malware infection). It wouldn't hurt to reset your BIOS back to factory default (if you haven't already) (haven't flashed - just reset) just in case something got corrupted. Next, download the Seagate Seatools for Windows HD tester (free, Google it) and run it to check if your HD is in the process of failing. (HDD Regen would have definitely picked this up - it's a low level disk repair tool that operates on the disk surface from what I understand; bit level) It will test any hard drive, not only Seagate, I have been using it for years. Finally, run Malwarebytes and Combofix to make sure you don't have a virus loading and causing problems. (will attempt these now then HT) It also would not hurt to run a Hijack This log just to see if any dodgy things are loading; unfortunately HT is pretty well antiquated as far as correcting virus infections go, but it is still great for information. Just FYI, when capacitors fail the result is pretty drastic, from random crashes and BSODs to refusal to boot with weird system messages. I have never seen bad caps gradually slow a system with no other effects. BTW - when checking caps also inspect the base of the cap; I have seen them fail there also, with electrolyte leaking out the bottom. Not common, but it does happen. Let us know how it goes. (yeah had caps fail before - and replaced them myself (on other PCs) - the thing is, i'm just not seeing that type of cap on the mb - haven't pulled it out to inspect or anything just not seeing the type of cap that i'm used to seeing fail - from what I understand they prob used polymer/ceramic caps on the mb)

    (I still have the realtime protection disabled and all is running smoothly)
     
  7. flipswitch5point

    flipswitch5point MDL Novice

    May 7, 2012
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    Ummm... Avira is blocking httpcolonslashslashwwwdotcombofixdotorgslashdownloadlinkdotphp... should I go through with it? Installing MBAM now
     
  8. flipswitch5point

    flipswitch5point MDL Novice

    May 7, 2012
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    Malwarebytes Anti-Malware (Trial) 10610001400
    www0malwarebytes0org

    Database version: v2012005007005

    Windows 7 Service Pack 1 x64 NTFS
    Internet Explorer 90008112016421
    USER :: USER-PC [administrator]

    Protection: Enabled

    Mon 07/05/2012 19:48:40 PM
    mbam-log-2012-05-07 (21-17-47)0txt

    Scan type: Full scan
    Scan options enabled: Memory | Startup | Registry | File System | Heuristics/Extra | Heuristics/Shuriken | PUP | PUM
    Scan options disabled: P2P
    Objects scanned: 707606
    Time elapsed: 1 hour(s), 22 minute(s), 42 second(s)

    Memory Processes Detected: 0
    (No malicious items detected)

    Memory Modules Detected: 0
    (No malicious items detected)

    Registry Keys Detected: 0
    (No malicious items detected)

    Registry Values Detected: 0
    (No malicious items detected)

    Registry Data Items Detected: 0
    (No malicious items detected)

    Folders Detected: 0
    (No malicious items detected)

    Files Detected: 25
    C:|Program Files|VS Revo Group|Revo Uninstaller Pro|Revo0Uninstaller0Pro020x0x0Generic0Patch-JW0exe (RiskWare0Tool0CK) -> No action taken0
    C:|Users|USER|batch|alarm0exe (Spyware0Zeus) -> No action taken0
    C:|Users|USER|batch|alarmdisablepassword0exe (Spyware0Zeus) -> No action taken0
    C:|Users|USER|batch|alarmdisablepassword20exe (Spyware0Zeus) -> No action taken0
    C:|Users|USER|batch|alarmdisablepswrd0exe (Spyware0Zeus) -> No action taken0
    C:|Users|USER|batch|alarmdisablepswrd20exe (Spyware0Zeus) -> No action taken0
    C:|Users|USER|batch|alarmwork100exe (Spyware0Zeus) -> No action taken0
    C:|Users|USER|batch|alarmwork60exe (Spyware0Zeus) -> No action taken0
    C:|Users|USER|batch|delsong0exe (Spyware0Zeus) -> No action taken0
    C:|Users|USER|Documents|My Received Files|pno00010exe (Malware0Packer) -> No action taken0
    C:|Users|USER|Documents|Old files|My Received Files|pno00010exe (Malware0Packer) -> No action taken0
    D:|Games|The Witcher 2|bin|paul0dll (PUP0RiskwareTool0CK) -> No action taken0
    D:|Installs|vremamp0exe (Malware0Packer0Gen) -> No action taken0
    D:|Installs|USER|Guitar0Pro 502|Keygen0exe (RiskWare0Tool0CK) -> No action taken0


    (end)



    Anything in batch is written by me. Any of those look suspicious to you guys? I think it's a bunch of false positives :s I dunno if the suspected spyware would infect existing executables? Does it work like that?
     
  9. ranchhand

    ranchhand MDL Novice

    May 3, 2012
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    #9 ranchhand, May 8, 2012
    Last edited: May 8, 2012
    Interesting... when I install Avira I always disable the realtime scanning, it slows my computer noticeably, but not as drastic as your experience. Try running your unit with realtime disabled for a while and see what happens. As far as MBAM log... I don't see anything bad there. I would run gmer rootkit scanner just to be on the safe side.
    - Ok, then as I said previously, you have a software problem, and the reatime scanner could be your problem.
     
  10. Yen

    Yen Admin
    Staff Member

    May 6, 2007
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    If you suspect to have got malware then any professionals format the sys partition and do a clean install from a clean image.
    To fiddle with the current system is not recommended and takes a lot more time then just to restore an clean image / make a clean install.

    I'd do the same and ditch Avira, there are alternatives such as Avast and AVG. (I use AVG + Comodo firewall). To have setup a clean install also ensures that everything will be clean and smooth again. (Registry, old drivers, old updates......)
     
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  11. flipswitch5point

    flipswitch5point MDL Novice

    May 7, 2012
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    @Yen, I resigned myself to that today. Definitely going to format and start over. But I'm just setting up a laptop I got today as well for work :/ so I ran all the scans and removed the hell out of anything that showed up. I'm almost sure I have a ton of broken programs now. But I turned the Avira realtime protection back on and my speed seems to be intact - so something found the problem, lol. I ran Malwarebytes, Combofix and TDSSKiller. So it seems one of those solved the problem. Thanks everyone for your advice.

    What I've learned - when you think it's hidden malware, bruteforce that s**t off your system, then realize it's not really worth the effort - you should just reformat, it's so much more rewarding, lol.

    My concern now is protection from reoccurrence. When the issue started I had Avast Free, and was using Windows Firewall. What are your recommendations on the protection front? I know it's a very opinionated field, so I'll be doing my own reading as well, but I'm interested to hear what you guys have to say.