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Serious lag, can't figure out why...

  • Lag
  • Laptops
Last response: in Laptop General Discussion
October 10, 2009 4:03:12 PM

Okay, so... It started a few days ago that my computer began lagging something fierce. I've run anti-viruses, malware removal, even wiped everything out, deleted partitions, and reinstalled Windows XP... Twice. I have no idea what could be causing the lag. It lags when I type, open programs, try to come out of screen saver, pretty much everything. Here's all the spec stuff I saw in the "read before posting" thread... Any help would be appreciated.

Dell Vostro 1000
AMD Turion 64X2 Mobile
2gig ram

More about : lag figure

a b D Laptop
October 10, 2009 8:23:33 PM

Could be heat, or a bad had disk. I'd check both of those possibilities out.
October 11, 2009 6:20:54 AM

How would I check a bad hard disk?
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October 11, 2009 10:47:32 AM

I found a while back and have been extremly happy with it for checking state of Harddisks.
a b D Laptop
October 11, 2009 6:36:14 PM

I wouldn't use a web site to check your hard disk. It's just a bad idea.

If you don't have one already, the hard disk utilities on the Ultimate Boot CD are invaluable (not to mention everything else on the disk). I would use those. The IBM/Hitachi utility is my favorite.
October 11, 2009 9:36:44 PM

This is all good stuff - but there's a solid chance you don't have the correct chipset drivers.

A common problem with running x64 architecture.

Could also be video drivers.

Did you install win xp 64-bit edition?

With a computer of that speed, you may want to consider installing the new windows 7 x64 (download from

It is always a good idea to address software issues before you start diagnosing the hardware. Simply because it is easier and sometimes more likely.

How old is the machine?
October 12, 2009 2:35:37 AM

It is a few years old, and it worked fine until a week ago, when it started lagging. I thought maybe a virus or malware, but every scan with multiple software's yielded nothing. It's something that happened out of nowhere, I didn't install or change anything before it started happening.

Not sure if it's the 32 or 64 XP, it's whatever came with the machine

PS: it took me like 10 minutes to type this reply out... LoL.
a b D Laptop
October 12, 2009 4:42:41 AM

Is there any process using a significant amount of memory or processor time?
October 12, 2009 4:30:40 PM

Typically hardware problems crash your machine, or don't let you start up in the first place. Which is why I'm leaning towards it being a software issue.

Have you tried contacting dell?

How about downloading all the correct drivers for this model? You can find the driver download center on dell's site - somewhere near the support section...
October 12, 2009 10:54:22 PM

Downloaded all drivers, no change. System Idle Process is in the 90's, so there's nothing really being processed. It just lags. I am at a total loss as to what it could be.
a b D Laptop
October 13, 2009 12:35:02 AM

Does it still act slow in Safe Mode?
October 13, 2009 3:19:46 AM

No, it does not lag in safe mode. But, now it's doing it sporadically. It's good for a few seconds and then laggy the next.
a b D Laptop
October 13, 2009 7:36:30 AM

Well, it's most definitely a software issue. You can start disabling things you don't need in msconfig and see if a change occurs.
October 14, 2009 3:34:57 AM

head over to (owned by Microsoft)

download windows 7 for free, install it, report back.

this should fix 98% of your software issues.

after the 90-day trial expires: if you're a student you can get win 7 pro for $30 - best Microsoft deal I've seen in a while. If not, at least you'll know that your problem can be fixed by an upgrade.
October 14, 2009 8:58:51 AM

just a slow hard disk, put new hard disk drive.
October 15, 2009 2:45:54 AM

Windows 7 free trial has ended... And why would a slow hard disk cause typing lag as well as the other lag all of a sudden?
October 15, 2009 4:27:53 PM wouldn't because it's clearly a software issue
October 16, 2009 2:15:23 AM

Well getting back to software issues, what is essential for me to keep running in msconfig? And just to note, there is nothing but Windows XP Professional on my computer. I deleted everything and reformatted the HDD twice in hopes it would stop the lag and it obviously hasn't.
a b D Laptop
October 16, 2009 3:28:23 AM

That's strange. If you've reformatted, that definitely points to a hardware issue.
Does your HDD activity light pop on when it lags?
October 18, 2009 4:19:07 AM

1. Run memtest86
2. - download the Windows 7 RTM 90-day trial.

This will clear up 90% of issues.

The hardware stuff is all good - but it easiest to address software issues first. As a general rule.
October 23, 2009 2:30:31 AM

I tried that site, but I get to the please wait your downloading is coming page and it quickly goes to the windows 7 site and never starts downloading anything.
October 23, 2009 10:54:50 PM

you need a windows live account
October 24, 2009 3:45:37 PM

Have one.
October 24, 2009 7:29:26 PM

I don't know what to tell's very hard to diagnose these kind of problems - but you really have to be proactive about it if you want to fix anything.

If you're not a computer enthusiast - this probably isn't the place for you. We're not here to fix your computer, it's more of a place to learn.

If you want someone to fix your computer, considering purchasing extended warranties or visiting the local computer repair shop.

Sorry I couldn't be more help to you...
October 26, 2009 3:12:27 PM

I'm not asking anyone to fix my computer. The tone of your reply makes it seem like you've given me all this valuable information that I've done nothing with, when in actuality, all you've given me is "It's either a hardware or software issue."

No really?

Also, downloading is not rocket science, if I say I can't get the trial to download, than I can't get it to download. I even made a new account and it wont work. My conclusion that the trial might have ended came from the sentence posted on the page before the download is supposed to start, which said "The 90-day Trial is offered for a limited time and in limited quantity. The download will be available through March 31, 2010, while supplies last."

So, to start over, the only "software" on this computer is Windows XP. So if it's a hardware issue, I just need to know what could be messing it up that would cause lag but not any system start up errors and what not. And if it's software, all that's on here is Windows, and it's the windows that came with the machine.
a b D Laptop
October 26, 2009 6:57:58 PM

You said you reinstalled Windows, correct? Did you install drivers and such after that, and it started lagging, or did it start lagging on the first bootup of the fresh install?

Have you tried popping in a Linux live CD? If it lags with that it's definitely a hardware issue.
October 27, 2009 1:40:26 PM

I actually didn't think to try doing anything after the fresh install before I loaded up the drivers. I could give that a try I guess. As for the Linux, no I haven't tried it, not too familiar with Linux, but I can probably give that a try.
October 27, 2009 5:04:03 PM

I wasn't trying to flame you -

it seems like you wanted me to do more work than you were willing to invest...

as for me telling you it's either a hardware or software issue - I don't see where I ever said that.

did you run memtest? did you google windows 7 90-day trial? did you put any effort into trying to install a different o/s?

"No, it does not lag in safe mode." - grimorian

that points a really big arrow that it's a software issue...
October 28, 2009 5:44:59 PM

Ok, I finally got a copy of Windows 7 trial, and so far, the lag is gone.
October 29, 2009 8:51:31 AM

good stuff I'm glad to hear it!

I just figured out the "window compare" feature - very very cool.