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Computer Lag/Stalling

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September 26, 2010 7:51:07 PM

Hi Guys!
I recently built a home theatre PC that runs Windows 7... I've had major issues with what I call lag and mini freezes. At first it was most noticeable while playing movies on VLC or Media Classic. VLC would be jerky, sometimes would stop for a few seconds and it would always show "buffering" in the status bar. But then I realized it was my entire system, including when using firefox, any browser and windows in general (often 30 second freezes "Not Responnding", or hitting the start menu taking 20 seconds to work). Cntrl+alt+delete would take minutes to activate and when I finally get to restart (either by task manager or startmenu) it can take up to 10 minutes for my computer to shutdown. I also find that whenever another process is occuring (whether it's a windows update notification, or a torrent finishes downloading) seems to also trigger a stall. Once this happens, it just gets worse and worse and I have to just restart.

Being a fairly new computer, I was hoping for some ideas what this could be. I ran memtest on my 2x1GB, and there was an error on one of the sticks. I've swapped the one out and replaced it with another. I've added an extra 500MB stick cause I thought maybe my memory was lacking (now a total of 2.5GB RAM).

I've tried reformatting, I've run memtest again (no errors). I've tried increasing my page file swap size... Below are my computer specs:

Windows 7 Ultimate 32-bit
AMD Athlon II X2 240 Processor 2.80 GHz
2.50GB RAM (2.25 GB usable) --> guess some of it is diverted to graphics
1GB PC2-6400, 1GB PC2-5300, 512MB PC2-5300
ATI Radeon HD 3200 (still integrated)
M3A78-EM Motherboard
Power supply: Orion HP585D (585W)

Thanks for any help provided!

More about : computer lag stalling

a c 134 à CPUs
September 26, 2010 10:16:28 PM

I had the same problem with my AthlonII x3 HTPC and narrowed it down to interference with my wireless keybd/mouse. Where I thought I was getting lag was really a problem where the pc didn't know I pressed/clicked something. Try connecting a wired mouse and keybd and retesting your system. My wireless is the lenova n5901... was I should say. LOL Its been moved to the bedroom htpc where it doesnt have an issue.
September 26, 2010 10:23:51 PM

Thanks for the suggestion... I'll definitely try it out, and it did come across my mind, but the problem goes beyond not sensing clicks but when windows start greying out and you can see at the top the window says "(Not Repsonding)", and this happens in response of me doing something....like pressing ok, or trying to minimize or anything...
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a b à CPUs
September 26, 2010 11:47:19 PM

My guess tells me ram. My system similar to yours will stutter/lag when have 2G ram, when I use 4 I have no issues.

your best bet is to get 4G ram in a matched set. All your ram is running at the PC2-5300 speeds which is slowwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwww.

Especially if your are playing HD files.
September 28, 2010 8:56:29 AM

Hi daship
Does a system hooked up to a TV via HDMI require more RAM or higher system specs? I'm wondering this cause I have another system that is older and running windows 7 just fine on 2 GB of ram (that functions more like a normal desktop).
My issues are more than just playing videos, these include basic functions like using firefox, or even restarting or shutting down. I would think that given the specs, 2.5 GB of ram would be plenty to run basic functions like firefox browsing.

secondly... I may try to upgrade to more RAM....if I do, given my above specs, can I use DDR3? I think my processor is compatible, but I can't get a straight answer on my mobo

anyone's help and suggestions are much appreciated!
September 28, 2010 9:03:56 AM

popatim said:
I had the same problem with my AthlonII x3 HTPC and narrowed it down to interference with my wireless keybd/mouse. Where I thought I was getting lag was really a problem where the pc didn't know I pressed/clicked something. Try connecting a wired mouse and keybd and retesting your system. My wireless is the lenova n5901... was I should say. LOL Its been moved to the bedroom htpc where it doesnt have an issue.


No luck here... I knew it couldnt be the fact that wireless was not sensing because I knew it could sense as whenever I click something, I knew it received the signal as I would get that waiting symbol: when the mouse cursor turns into the circular blue dot, the problem being each thing would stall with that dumb waiting circle for a long long time meanwhile I can't click on anything as windows are greying out or not responding

:( 



a c 131 à CPUs
September 28, 2010 5:24:35 PM

cpulord1 said:
Hi daship
Does a system hooked up to a TV via HDMI require more RAM or higher system specs? I'm wondering this cause I have another system that is older and running windows 7 just fine on 2 GB of ram (that functions more like a normal desktop).
My issues are more than just playing videos, these include basic functions like using firefox, or even restarting or shutting down. I would think that given the specs, 2.5 GB of ram would be plenty to run basic functions like firefox browsing.

secondly... I may try to upgrade to more RAM....if I do, given my above specs, can I use DDR3? I think my processor is compatible, but I can't get a straight answer on my mobo

anyone's help and suggestions are much appreciated!

No motherboard support. If you have DDR2 now, then your motherboard has DDR2 slots and no DDR3 slots.
October 8, 2010 8:42:55 AM

Although I would like to upgrade to 4GB ram, I just can't see how this would be the problem. I have an older system that is running windows fine on 2GB of ram.
I will try putting in a video card from my other system, but how or why would that even work? It's not an issue with gaming or just videos. I'm getting problems even with Firefox not responding and general Windows system freezing up for 30 seconds to minutes at a time.

By the way, I also tried a new PSU and that did not solve it either.
Does it really come down to cpu chip?

Thanks for any other innsight or suggestions
a c 96 à CPUs
October 8, 2010 1:57:10 PM

cpulord1 said:
Although I would like to upgrade to 4GB ram, I just can't see how this would be the problem. I have an older system that is running windows fine on 2GB of ram.
I will try putting in a video card from my other system, but how or why would that even work? It's not an issue with gaming or just videos. I'm getting problems even with Firefox not responding and general Windows system freezing up for 30 seconds to minutes at a time.

By the way, I also tried a new PSU and that did not solve it either.
Does it really come down to cpu chip?

Thanks for any other innsight or suggestions


You've got other issue(s) --- start with your events log.

Verify you have the proper drivers for hardware acceleration of your video. Use AdBlock to squash flash advertising on your web surfing. Disable (or unistall if you can) the MS .NET Framework Assistant extension. Verify you are using the proper version of JAVA in FF.

And you may want to give up on the torrents.
October 8, 2010 5:28:29 PM

I've recently reformatted, no torrents to worry about, same goes with ads malware etc...
should be clean and good to go in that sense
Drivers all installed and updated.

In terms of the event viewer, what should I be looking for? There are tons of errors about VLC and Firefox crashing (the only 2 programs I use) "Firefox stopped interacting with Windows and was closed...". Alot of "A timeout was reached (30000 milliseconds) while waiting for the Windows Error Reporting Service service to connect"
What exactly should I be looking for and what do they tell me?
October 9, 2010 8:43:50 AM

SOOOOOOO
big update here

I tried to put in my gaming computer's graphics card into my troubled HTPC.... when I did this, the computer would not post. All the power (lights, fans, etc...) were on, but nothing actually booted
Then I manually powered it off....the video card was BLAZING hot and smelt like burning.

Sooooooo i think my mobo may have been the culprit the whole time...hopefully my video card has not been ruined because of it.
btw, taking out the video card allows the system to run back to baseline function (as inn the system still intermittently locks up)

o.O
a c 96 à CPUs
October 9, 2010 7:34:00 PM

Hope you didn't have to call in the fire department :) 

IIRC there was a dodgy JAVA RE that caused some issues in FF -- since everything is up to date not sure what is the root of this issue. It is always a good idea to uninstall previous versions and update clean.

Here is a link on using the Java plugin with Firefox.

No telling with VLC. I would think the base of the issue is codec related in some fashion. Google the fault and see if there is some kind of bug report/workaround floating around on the internets.

I don't use VLC that often but it's always worked well for me --- this is in spite of having multiple players installed with nearly every imaginable DivX, Xvid, AC3, etc. codec/filter installed.
October 9, 2010 7:55:10 PM

Unfortunately it can't be just a simple java plugin issue because the problem I'm having involves the entire system, not just with firefox freezing. It includes when looking through folders in windows explorer and firefox is not open. It involves the whole computer locking up as things like start menu cannot be opened or cntrl+alt+delete doesnt respond.
Given all the other things I've trouble shooted, I'm pretty sure it can only be 3 things:
-harddrive
-cpu processor
-mobo

and given what happened when I put in a vid card, i'm leaning towards a bad mobo
I know a bad mobo can definitely lock up your system....does this make sense?
a b à CPUs
October 12, 2010 1:10:04 PM

OK..... now for a little good news.......
Did you update your bios on that board to support your processor?
I have a doubt you haven't done it....
Originally, the board is meant to hold only Phenom FX / Phenom / Athlon 64 FX / Athlon 64 X2 not the IIX generation.
I think you need to use Asus update and download the last or the latst BIOS for it and flash it.....
a b à CPUs
October 12, 2010 1:27:47 PM

The processor is an AM3 socket processor which is backwards compatible with your Mobo socket.... :)  that's good news for you....
Just update the bios....
Here's a link
http://support.asus.com/download/download.aspx?SLanguag...

Read the Remarks under the BIOS versions, all your problems are listed there.....

* M3A78-EM BIOS 2501
Improve system stability.

* M3A78-EM BIOS 2401
Fix the issue that system may hang during POST when using certain graphic card.

* M3A78-EM BIOS 2003
01. Improve system stability and performance for certain memory.
02. Fix the issue that Dell Multimedia keyboard or Logitech G15 may not be detected during POST.

* M3A78-EM BIOS 2002
01. Fix the issue that system may hang when using certain CPU.
02. Support new CPUs. Please refer to our website at: http://support.asus.com/cpusupport/cpusupport.aspx

This will certainly help.........:) 
October 14, 2010 5:15:50 AM

I am having the same kind of random freezing problem as well and I can't find what is causing the problem.
October 20, 2010 5:41:06 AM

hkjai1120 said:
I am having the same kind of random freezing problem as well and I can't find what is causing the problem.


YAY!!!!! I'm super happy...I installed a new hard drive and it seems to work without the problems! Then I tried using both hard drives, when it booted to the original hard drive, I immediately experienced freezes and lag issues. When booted into my new drive, totally fine! I am currently transferring all my data into the new drive, and then will wipe the old drive and see if it causes any problems if it gets a fresh start. (I had re-installed windows and done a reformat on the primary C: partition, but always left the Data partition...maybe there was a problem in the partitioning? or within the data partition?). Hopefully when all my data/movies is transferred, the new drive will remain working as it is.
and bogus to all those that said I needed 4GB of ram or that it needed to be better quality ram....with the new hard drive, it ran flawlessly even on 1GB RAM....


hkjai1120>, my problem ended up being the hard drive. I think you should try and trouble shoot in the order I did tho. Check the RAM first, then PSU then hard drive, depending if you have any extra that are handy, if not, then go with the cheaper replacement and check that first and see if it solves your problem.
Definitely try a fresh install of windows (and reformat) before trying the hardware stuff...
October 21, 2010 5:17:52 AM

good to hear that your problem is solved. I will be trying that when I have the time and hopefully I have the same issue.
!