Author Topic: Calling All Computer Heroes!  (Read 1526 times)

Blight

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Calling All Computer Heroes!
« on: February 17, 2017, 07:21:16 PM »
Hey folks,

I've been having some issues with my laptop recently that seem to be getting frustrating. I am not the most tech savvy person in the world, but i'm also not the least tech savvy person. However, I've been having an issue that I cannot seem to solve and the problem remains a mystery. Essentially the issue is that my laptop seems to be freezing often, for no apparent reason. I could be sitting on the desktop, or watching a movie in a media player, or even just browsing facebook or youtube. Sometimes these freezes go away after 5 or so minutes of sitting at a lower resolution program part informing me that it's (not responding). However, the majority of the time I am forced to hard power down with the power button.

I don't know if anybody can help me, but i'll start with what I know.

1. I am currently using a Lenovo Z710 and Windows 8.1.

2. My first thought was virus. Don't know how, because I never go on to disreputable sites, but I checked anyways. I currently use Avast for security, but after this issue came up I have run TDSKiller, Rkill, Malwarebytes, AdwCleaner, and CCleaner. I have run these programs in safe mode as well. No results. However, running the operating system in safe mode COMPLETELY eliminates the issue.

3. When I look at the Task Manager, my disk usage is constantly fluctuating between low disk usage and 100% with very little actiivty in between. However, it is more commonly on 100% than not. So my second guess was that perhaps the health of my hard drive was failing. So i downloaded SeaTools and ran a complete drive health check. It came back saying that the drive is completely healthy.

4. I do not experience these spikes on the hard drive in safe mode. Everything runs smooth and crisp. When on a normal startup, after looking at the disk usage, I don't see heavy use on the hard drive. It can be sitting at 100% disk usage with a program operating at even 0.3 mb/s. It seems to fluctuate and it's been really hard to pinpoint the exact service or program that seems to be causing this. I can play a video game/executable for hours with absolutely no issues. It's when I get to the desktop and/or an internet browser or media player that something like this happens.

5. The world of google suggested a few things. Commonly this issue occurs on windows 8.1 because of Superfetch, Windows Search, or Windows Notifications. I have disabled them all, the issue still persists.

6. When the disk usage spikes and freezes everything, there seems to be a few common suspects; Google Chrome, Avast and Steam. However, I've uninstalled and reinstalled both and the issue persists. Even windows services that are running at  0.1 mb/s can sometimes be turning orange on the task manager letting me know its using up the hard drive.

7. I am notorious for meddling with things far above my skill level when it comes to computers, mostly because I live alone and don't have any technologically savvy people in my life. I often do things because google said so and it's probably unwise. My inclination would be to simply say "screw it" and factory restore my laptop, however reinstalling my games collection on this laptop would take me nothing short of three weeks of constant downloading and installing and my current plan with my service provider only gives me 200 GB a month on this connection, so it would likely take me months. Furthermore, without knowing exactly what I did wrong would likely result me end up doing the exact same thing and have this problem again later.

I have seen folks posting their "logs" on tech sites and things in the past, and to be perfectly honest that's all Greek to me and when it comes to technology I don't even speak English. I look at my processes in the task manager and there are quite a few things that I have no idea what they are. Google hasn't been all that helpful in figuring them out either, because there's 1000 sites who want to convince you that even your windows executable is a virus and buy their software. This issue has been hard to monitor and observe because it seems like there is genuinely no precursor to the disk usage spikes and I am almost always unprepared. Ive tried to replicate the issue and i can't seem to get it to dance when I want it to, and as a result I don't have any more information that the above.

If somebody wants to help, and needs to see some kind of computer log or something similiar, i'm happy to upload it. Just please add instructions on how i obtain said logs or whatnot because if left to my own devices i'll probably screw something else up.

Thanks for your time,

Jesse

« Last Edit: February 17, 2017, 07:39:52 PM by The Good Doctor »
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MAB77

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Re: Calling All Computer Heroes!
« Reply #1 on: February 17, 2017, 07:43:23 PM »
Can you provide a list of the softwares usually running when the freezes happen? Any chances they occur as you are downloading torrents (that happens to me sometimes)?
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Blight

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Re: Calling All Computer Heroes!
« Reply #2 on: February 17, 2017, 09:07:31 PM »
Well, the freezes happen so randomly and frequently it's hard to plan for them, because once it starts freezing the only way it ends is if I hard-power off the laptop. I can provide a list of services that usually are running all the time, if that would help?
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Zwickelfaust

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Re: Calling All Computer Heroes!
« Reply #3 on: February 17, 2017, 10:36:45 PM »
It Might be a an application that is soaking up your juice. Try disabling not essential applications for boot. If you can run things just fine off bare bones then it's got to be an app.
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Blight

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Re: Calling All Computer Heroes!
« Reply #4 on: February 17, 2017, 10:42:58 PM »
I am indeed fairly confident that it's an application, or driver, or software issue. In safe mode the computer operates just fine.

The issue is i'm not succeeding in figuring out exactly what is the culprit. I don't know how to really identify which process is causing the disk usage spikes, because once it happens i'm unable to access the task manager.
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Iluvatar

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Re: Calling All Computer Heroes!
« Reply #5 on: February 17, 2017, 10:58:19 PM »
The issue is i'm not succeeding in figuring out exactly what is the culprit. I don't know how to really identify which process is causing the disk usage spikes, because once it happens i'm unable to access the task manager.

You could try always having your task manager opened somewhere you can see it. Might be annoying, but you'll find out what process is eating your hard drive next time it happens.

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Blight

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Re: Calling All Computer Heroes!
« Reply #6 on: February 18, 2017, 01:03:13 AM »
See, I feel like the issue isn't so much a single program, but rather than there seems to be an issue with the computer's ability to read off the hard disk. It often takes almost no activity to cause disk usage to spike. Essentially, any time disk usage is required, it starts to have troubles. But according to SeaTools, the drive is completely fine. Which makes me wonder if it's some kind of registry error or perhaps some defragmentation of the hard drive that's causing the issue, some sort of loop in the operating system.
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Blight

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Re: Calling All Computer Heroes!
« Reply #7 on: February 18, 2017, 01:54:52 AM »
So i just ran sfc/scannow in an administrator level cmd prompt and i recieved this message: 

Windows Resource Protection found corrupt files but was unable to fix some of them. Details are included in the CBS.Log windir\Logs\CBS\CBS.log. For example C:\Windows\Logs\CBS\CBS.log. Note that logging is currently not supported in offline servicing scenarios.

So I have the log. It's massive and might as well be in swahili. I tried to upload it but the forum gives me a database error and only lets me post about 10% of the log. Guess it's too big for the forum.

« Last Edit: February 18, 2017, 02:23:25 AM by The Good Doctor »
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Zwickelfaust

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Re: Calling All Computer Heroes!
« Reply #8 on: February 18, 2017, 09:53:57 AM »
You could try system restore, you might lose some files, but if you have a general restore point that you know for sure that you had no issues, it might resolve the problem.
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Iluvatar

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Re: Calling All Computer Heroes!
« Reply #9 on: February 18, 2017, 10:30:59 AM »
So i just ran sfc/scannow in an administrator level cmd prompt and i recieved this message: 

Windows Resource Protection found corrupt files but was unable to fix some of them. Details are included in the CBS.Log windir\Logs\CBS\CBS.log. For example C:\Windows\Logs\CBS\CBS.log. Note that logging is currently not supported in offline servicing scenarios.

So I have the log. It's massive and might as well be in swahili. I tried to upload it but the forum gives me a database error and only lets me post about 10% of the log. Guess it's too big for the forum.

ZIP the log in a file, and give a download link to it instead ;)

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Blight

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Re: Calling All Computer Heroes!
« Reply #10 on: February 18, 2017, 03:57:49 PM »
Just another lesson from the School of Hard Knocks... PHD!

Polygon

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Re: Calling All Computer Heroes!
« Reply #11 on: February 19, 2017, 11:26:04 AM »
Are you using an 100% authentic Win 8.1, or a torrented version?

From my own experience in the past, I also had occasional freezes on torrented W8.1 - sometimes it freezed sometimes not. If it didn't freeze for hours, I left my PC on so that it wouldn't freeze again for days. Whenever I rebooted, I might get unlucky and get a freeze soon after again. If I didn't - great, I left it on for days again.

Had similar issues with W10.


What I did in the end (years of using 8.1 and about a year on W10): I switched back to W7. Should you need to do that: remember to remove all windows telemetry/spying that is known by following this guide. Also works on windows 8.1

If you use nVidia drivers, they also have telemetry which tracks clicks on sites (and site names) in any browser and returns the info of your activity. In this case you can use this guide to disable them with an application called "Autoruns". // Remember you need to disable them Every Time when you Update nVidia drivers, cause every update turns their telemetry back on lol.



If fresh install: Try to keep your system secure and organized from the beginning, disable all the windows telemetry after you have finished updating. Create firewall rules if you have to etc. - only use stuff which you really trust. PS: Did you knew majority of PC experts don't use any AV software? Again telemetry, and who knows what other shady stuff. AV is something you can typically install on your mom's computer :P but even for moms and for other noobies Linux is much safer choice.


I'm only writing because I had a lot of experience with these kinds of freezes that you were having, for years, since I went back to Win7 there hasn't been a single freeze and my install is about a month old. The only difference is, I didn't run it on laptop but on respectable hardware and I had freezes. I know it doesn't exactly answer your question, but it's worth giving a try - should you lost all your hope!

How I do it: Something if fishy? - Fresh install x)
« Last Edit: February 19, 2017, 11:49:54 AM by Polygon »

Blight

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Re: Calling All Computer Heroes!
« Reply #12 on: February 20, 2017, 07:24:37 PM »
The operating system is the one that came pre-loaded with the laptop. I don't illegally download content.
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Rodarn

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Re: Calling All Computer Heroes!
« Reply #13 on: February 20, 2017, 10:07:16 PM »
just as a quick question how much ram does this laptop have and do you like to go tab crazy.

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DrXavierTColtrane

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Re: Calling All Computer Heroes!
« Reply #14 on: February 21, 2017, 12:33:13 AM »
In looking around the Web for your specific model and OS, the most common explanation for locking up is a driver issue. Since you say it works fine in safe mode, that's another reason to believe a driver may be the cause.

I would start with the video drivers:

http://pcsupport.lenovo.com/us/en/products/Laptops-and-netbooks/IdeaPad-Z-Series-laptops/IdeaPad-Z710-Notebook/downloads
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Weyland

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Re: Calling All Computer Heroes!
« Reply #15 on: February 21, 2017, 07:19:25 PM »
1)  Does the freezing happen when you see the "spikes on the hard drive"?  Maybe this is actually unrelated activity.  Does it ever freeze when there is not this disk activity?

2)  Until I read the part about the freezing not happening in safe mode, my first idea was that this sounds most like a system memory error.  But maybe safe mode just doesn't exercise the physical memory in a way that causes the fault.  I might anyway suggest running a memory tester that boots from a USB flash drive.

3)  To investigate on the software side, there are so many little hammers available (especially for Windows).  You might just have to finally go with the big hammer and do a fresh reinstallation of your OS.  If the problem continues, you have good information to support hardware as a cause of the freezing.

Weyland

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Re: Calling All Computer Heroes!
« Reply #16 on: February 21, 2017, 07:41:22 PM »
Windows Resource Protection found corrupt files but was unable to fix some of them.

Can you boot from the Windows Recovery media and run a full filesystem repair?  Command would be like "chkdsk c: /r" assuming your volume is labeled as the c: drive.

Blight

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Re: Calling All Computer Heroes!
« Reply #17 on: February 22, 2017, 02:24:20 AM »
I ran the chdsk a week back, it gave me an error code and then said it needed to run the chkdsk from boot, which i allowed it to do. Despite fixing several corruptions, nothing changed.

Growing tired of it all, I backed up my personal files and refreshed my PC. However, problems persist.

While the freezing seems to have stopped, I am having some issues with Windows Update. Running Windows Update for critical updates worked fine, but when I attempted to run optional updates, I recieved error code 80248007, with 5 updates failing to install. Which was odd, since there was only 4 optional updates.

The hard drive still seems to be spiking to 100 dsk usage very frequently, but so far there has been no freezes. This is all baffling to me, because I'm operating with almost a blank slate computer.
« Last Edit: February 22, 2017, 02:26:42 AM by The Good Doctor »
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Polygon

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Re: Calling All Computer Heroes!
« Reply #18 on: February 22, 2017, 11:00:01 AM »
Have you tried to remove / disable Microsoft's telemetry? It doesn't hurt, in fact it is something I personally religiously do in every fresh install of windows (see my post above). It is a crapware/spyware anyway, sitting on your computer and hogging your resources without your permission.

If you have ever noticed or heard your HDD going "tick tick tick tick" while it's idle or perhaps you are sleeping near it, it's highly possible this is due to telemetry software scanning your HDD. I used to hear that often back then, but now I haven't noticed that anymore. I could tell there was disk activity just by being near it.


Since you said you have CCleaner, check in it's settings there is something called "Real Time Monitoring" - disable that if you haven't already, as it is something which is very resource hungry.

When possible avoid using AV, if you really feel paranoid and still want to install an AV: I suggest trying something new in your fresh windows install, such as Avira as an example (instead of Avast). And just note how your computer behaves differently than before.

Blight

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Re: Calling All Computer Heroes!
« Reply #19 on: February 24, 2017, 12:12:20 AM »
I confess i'm not familiar with "telemetry." I got my computer science degree on google. :P

Could you explain it further as to what it does, what having it disabled will do, and how to disable  it?

As for Avast, I have already paid for Avast professional and use it on my business network as well so at least for the time being i'm not considering changing antivirus. I have a legal responsibility to protect client data and if there was ever a moment when I failed to do that and was hacked, my practice would probably go under. I've tried various antivirus and Avast thus far has been reliable. While i don't have any sensitive information ever saved on my home computer, i do have access to my network so i need full antivirus protection at all times. And I really need to solve these latop issues before I can even consider investing time into getting back involved with Neverwinter Nights, my last refresh unfortunately deleted all my haks and install.

Thanks again for all your help, guys.




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