Dell Latitude D531 running very slowly

Willum08

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Sep 3, 2012
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Hi,
I am trying to find the faults on a friend's Dell Latitude D531 running Windows 7 Home Premium 32 bit.It is fitted with a AMD Turion 64 X2 processor and 4 GB of RAM.
The laptop is running very slowly and taking a very long time to boot into Windows 7, but although it is slow, everything seemed to be working fine - hardware and software.....

Unfortunately, my friend did not have any Anti-Virus software installed so I suspected virus and/or Malware infections. I ran several Anti Virus programs (one at a time) and Anti-Malware programs to try to find any 'crap' but only found a few 'PUP' programs, which were successfully removed.

Looking at the the 'performance' graph in the 'Windows Task Manager', the CPU Usage often tops out at 100% even when it's not performing any really intensive tasks - for example, just opening a blank browser page.... So I decided to re-install Windows 7 Home Premium +SP1 from an ISO DVD which I have used successfully in the past. Everything went as normal with the re-installation, but the laptop is still running Very Slowly - particularly when accessing websites.

My broadband speed is good at around 11-12 Mbits and using my own laptop to access websites is blisteringly fast.... so there is no problem with my Broadband or router.

Thinking that despite re-installing Windows 7, there may still be some kind of Malware lurking on the laptop, I carried out scans with AVG, RKill, TDSKill, Spybot Search & Destroy, MalwareBytes, and Ccleaner. Nothing was reported by any of these programs..... I have also carried out a full Memory test and there were no errors reported.
When starting Windows 7, the boot process is taking around 5 minutes during which, the system just sits at the 'Starting Windows' Logo screen with no hard disc activity, for about 2 minutes and then continues to load Windows.

I have tried everything I know to try to overcome this problem but have been unable to find a solution. I would be very grateful for any help/advice while I still have a few strands of hair left !!
 

Apachedoc

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Sep 16, 2015
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More than likely You have a virus that is loading within the Registry or hidden part of windows; If you have a machine that is running clean, and can create a "boot up" disk. go to bleeping computer.com and locate Comodo.iso. Create either a USB "thumb drive" boot or DVD/CD disk. When you restart your machine it should load a linux software that will go in and "detect" virus that is causing the issue. I may or may not be able to remove the offending software. How many addware or antivirus programs do you have installed? If there is more than one antivirus installed and running in the start-up menu. One will fight the other for resources in the system. Resource Hog issue. Remove all antivrus installed programs you are not using or are not active. Windows has free antivirus "software" to protect your machine like Windows Defender, Microsoft Security Essentials, get it through this link... Make sure your machine is clean before installing.... http://windows.microsoft.com/en-us/windows/security-essentials-download .....
 

Willum08

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Sep 3, 2012
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Willum08

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Sep 3, 2012
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Thank you for your observations Apachedoc - they are truly appreciated ....

I very much doubt of a virus infection is now responsible for the slow performance, since prior to doing a fresh installation of Windows 7, I reformatted the C: drive partition.

However, as you suggested, I download a copy of of 'Comodo.iso' and burned a CD. I booted the system with the disk but it did not detect any virus or malware.

I am fully aware that multiple Anti Virus programs can fight against one another and any testing which I've done, was done with only a single Anti Virus program installed during the tests, as I stated in my original post. The scanning programs which I used : AVG, Avast, Kaspersky and MSE.
The Malware detection programs I used were : RKill, TDSKill, Spybot Search & Destroy, MalwareBytes, and Ccleaner all of which failed to detect any malware in the new Windows 7 Installation.

There is at present only an absolute minimum of programs installed after the fresh copy of Windows 7 was installed. The only programs added being Google Chrome and MSE. All drivers are up to date and all Windows 7 updates have been downloaded and installed, but the laptop is still running exceedingly slowly and the Boot-Up time is ridiculous !! Checking the CPU usage during a simple access to the bbc.co.uk website using Internet Explorer or Chrome browsers, shows 100% for quite some time and of course, it takes an abnormally long time before the web page is fully 'loaded'.....

I'm beginning to suspect that there is some kind of hardware problem but I can't for the life of me imagine what it could be..... It's certainly not a shortage of RAM since there is more than enough at 4 GB and there doesn't seem to be an overheating problem - both of which I am aware, can cause slow performance. I did wonder that since the D531 is quite an old model, if it was 'fit' to run Windows 7, since there is evidence that it was originally supplied with XP. So, out of curiosity, prior to installation of the fresh copy of Windows 7 (whilst it was still running its old copy of Win7) I ran the MS 'Windows 7 Upgrade Adviser' and it reported positively.
 

Willum08

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Sep 3, 2012
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I eventually gave up on trying to make this laptop run reasonably well on Windows 7... I have reverted it to Windows XP with the owner's blessing, since he doesn't use it for any 'serious' applications - just emails and occasional visits to ebay...
It is now working satisfactorily - if a little slow - but much more usable than it was with Windows 7.......
I explained about XP no longer being supported by MS but he's not really concerned.
 
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