Laptop works VERY slowly

  Atary 16:00 14 Oct 2009

The problem is with my 2-years old out-of-warranty BenQ Joybook T31 laptop with Windows XP Home SP2. It suddenly started to work very slowly and freezed sometimes - I suspected it could be a virus and ran System Recovery without any improvement, then I formatted the hard drive and installed XP again and surprizingly it did not help. I can reinstall XP (but it takes much longer time than it has to, I guess) but it still works very slowly (although some programs still work quickly as usually but it takes a very long time - several minutes - to install any driver or even to recognize a USB flash drive).
I took the laptop to our local BenQ Service Center ant after few weeks of testing they said the RAM is defective. I inserted a new RAM (2Gb instead of 512MB I had before) but it did not help! Then I surfed for any advice, tested RAM (both the old and new) with Memtest86+ and both are OK, I tested the harddrive with Hitachi Drive Fitness Test and it's OK as well. I also tried a different copy of XP (100% working) but it's the same. I tried to use some Windows software that tests laptop hardware but can't run it (the corresponding process appears in the process list but the program itself doesn't start).
I consider about buying a new laptop but still hope to revive T31.
Please, help with any advice!

  skidzy 21:27 14 Oct 2009

you obviously know your way around a computer and it seems you have tried the normal route of trial and error.

If i may suggest a couple of ideas for you to try;

Have you removed the cpu at all ? if so, did you clean the old thermal paste off and replace with new ?

This could be a case of overheating too.
Is the fan working ?

Of course laptops can be extremely difficult to actually enter to clean the fan, so a blast with compressed air may help out a bit, but this will not clear any dust residue just place it somewhere else on the motherboard but out of the fan.

Also try running Process Explorer from click here to check for any processes that maybe using your resources.

You can also reduce your startup programs in MSCONFIG to the basics, ie; antivirus and firewall and leave any real time scanner ticked.

You may have a buggy driver that is causing the problem, just another stab in the dark.

Obviously its a matter of elimination.

Does the laptop fly along ok in safemode ?
If its ok in safemode, chances are its a driver issue or one of your apps.

  EARLR 06:54 15 Oct 2009

I had gotten "conntraviro" Virus and it caused a big slow down.

good luck

  birdface 08:28 15 Oct 2009

You could try the Trial version of Winaso Optimizer it only repairs 10 items at a time but you can run it as often as you like.

click here

Also make sure you are running in DMA mode and not PIO.

Also do a Defrag.

And if you do not use it I would download IE7pro add-on,make sure that Ad-Blocker is ticked and untick mini download manager.

You could also download Driver Max that will let you know what drivers are needing updated as it will only update 1 driver a day on the free version you can go to the makers site's and download from there.

  birdface 08:33 15 Oct 2009

Make sure you have not got your Security programs running scans at start up.Either do them manually or set them to a different time.
Make sure that your Flash and Java programs are the latest versions and remove any old versions of both.
And maybe use the latest Host file.

  birdface 08:35 15 Oct 2009

Host File latest version.

click here

Just follow the instructions.

  Atary 11:43 15 Oct 2009

Thanks to everybody, especially to <B>skidzy</B>, for your advices!

I am concerned about the heating but did not dare to get inside the laptop yet. The system fan is working, I don't know anything about the CPU fan but I never had a better performance with a "cold" computer that goes down after it warms - I believe it's the usual symptom of heating problem...

I can barely keep my hand on the bottom of the laptop when it works for a long time - I guess it's something like 45 Celcius but it was like this when I bought it. Anyway, I'm gonna look inside it soon...

I don't really think it may be a software or a driver problem as freshly installed Windows on a freshly formatted harddrive without anything like antivirus or additional drivers already works very slowly. Only few processes are running, with System Idle having 98-99%.

  skidzy 18:09 16 Oct 2009

certainly sounds like a heat issue.Try placing the laptop on a piece of hardboard or similar for an hour or so....does it still get hot ?

You can also check the bios to see if there is a setting for the fan, this may have changed though unlikely.

Can you confirm if the machine runs ok in safemode...this will be a major factor to determine a possible fault somewhere.

Also download PC Wizard click here install and post back the details under Voltage/temperature and fans.

Look for mainboard temp and harddisk temp..though will be better to post all it shows.

Could be a faulty hard drive mate but i never worked inside one only desktop pc`s ie built one...

I dont know how to change one or try another...

See if there an Bios update for motherboad..

Check if nothing is loose

ie the cd drive

Other wise mate a new laptop?

I just got a new one for my dad brand new it works like a dream boots up faster and try visa or windows 7..

Goo luck

  woodchip 18:39 16 Oct 2009

One other thing to add to the above, If the Drive as more than one partition and you formatted C:\ A virus on the other partition can be transfered back to the OS Partition, or you may have reloaded Virus by restoring a Backup

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