Laptop performance drop

hyzzle

Honorable
Oct 16, 2012
6
0
10,510
0
Hey all, gotta quick question. I purchased my Lenovo laptop about 2 years (against my standard of building my own) and since then it's been a snappy little laptop no trouble running anything, but in the past couple months any program will seem to stutter while it runs and sometimes simply freezes for a second or two. I've done all i know how to do by way of basic tasks i.e. Defrag, make sure no viruses, keep hard drive space plentiful, fresh install Windows 10, and under system preformance change the window effects for performance instead of looking pretty. U have an i7 processor 12gb ram, and dual GeForce 750m graphics cards. Any advice or tips?
 


There's a long, sordid history with Lenovo and WD hybrid drives. The problem is WD puts in a very short head parking timeout on their green drives and laptop drives. About 8-15 seconds by most people's reckoning. If the hard drive does not get a read/write request in that time, it parks its heads. The problem is exacerbated on the hybrid drives because if the drive can pull the requested data from the flash cache, the HDD part of the drive never gets the request. So the hybrid drives are more likely to have their heads parked.

Windows puts an extremely high priority on memory it's swapped to the pagefile (parts of memory written to disk - originally this was for when you ran out of real memory, but for reasons I've never understood modern OSes sometimes keep some memory there even if there is lots of free RAM). If it needs some of those memory pages in the pagefile back, it will completely freeze until it gets them in order to prevent any further action which might require that info from memory. If the HDD has parked its heads, this means Windows will freeze for about a second to wait for the heads to unpark until it can read the pagefile. If the HDD has spun down, this means Windows will freeze for about 2-4 seconds while it waits for the HDD to spin up again.

https://forums.lenovo.com/t5/Lenovo-P-Y-and-Z-series/Y50-70-Windows-regularly-freezes-when-1TB-SSHD-is-spinning-up/td-p/1809301/page/41
(Ignore the "solved" tag on that. That was just Lenovo trying to deny the problem exists.)

To test if this is the issue, create a new file named test.bat containing the following text:

:repeat
@echo %RANDOM% > tmp.txt
ping -n 8 127.0.0.1 > NUL
goto repeat

Then in a command prompt, run test.bat and leave it running. It writes a random number to the disk every 8 seconds, preventing the heads from parking. If this causes the lag/stutter to disappear, then you are indeed suffering from this problem.

  • ■You used to be able to fix it with a program WD put out called wdidle3.exe. But they redesigned their website a year ago and the page hosting it disappeared. You might still be able to find it somewhere.
    ■You can just run the above batch file all the time.
    ■You can use CrystalDiskInfo and disable all the power management (APM) settings on the drive (move the slider to the right til it says FEh). It'll probably cost you a few minutes of battery life, and on mine it would reset every few reboots and I'd have to do it again.
    ■You can just replace the WD drive with a different drive (preferably a SSD). Please note that all the laptop WD green, SSHDs, and I suspect blue drives suffer from this short head parking timeout.
http://crystalmark.info/download/index-e.html

 

ImPain

Honorable
Aug 2, 2013
11
0
10,570
1
Do you have a HDD or SSD? Have you tried checking your drive's performance while you are having the stuttering? Maybe your HDD is being too busy and does not keep up anymore.
 

Wolfshadw

Splendid
Moderator
First thing I'd do is verify your system still recognizes all 12GB of RAM. I had a similar experience with my laptop and discovered one of my RAM slots had died.

Next, I'd listen to your cooling solution. If the fan is running loud shortly after start up, then your system is likely throttling due to over heating. Use a can of compressed air to help clean out your cooling vents, but I might even consider taking it to a professional for dust removal. Hopefully, they'd actually take it apart to remove the dust rather than just blowing it around inside.

-Wolf sends
 

hyzzle

Honorable
Oct 16, 2012
6
0
10,510
0
I have verified 12gb is being recognized, and the hdd is a hybrid, although the system has a program to clean it's own vents I will disassemble and clean it tonight. I have noticed that there are several processes/ services that get suspended when it stutters, most seem to wait on svchost if that helps. Oh yea i don't know if it affects it but it seems the worse the Internet connection is the worse the problem gets.
 

geofelt

Distinguished
Oct 9, 2006
647
0
19,910
166
I have changed out the hard drive in favor of a ssd in every laptop I own.
The difference in performance is remarkable.
If you buy Samsung evo, the process is simple using their free ssd migration app.

One thing to check is that you have possibly collected dust in the cpu cooler, making the cpu get hot and throttle.
 

hyzzle

Honorable
Oct 16, 2012
6
0
10,510
0
I have one in my desktop and the improvement is remarkable, I'll give the cleaning a shot since it's a lot cheaper and I'm broke lol
 


There's a long, sordid history with Lenovo and WD hybrid drives. The problem is WD puts in a very short head parking timeout on their green drives and laptop drives. About 8-15 seconds by most people's reckoning. If the hard drive does not get a read/write request in that time, it parks its heads. The problem is exacerbated on the hybrid drives because if the drive can pull the requested data from the flash cache, the HDD part of the drive never gets the request. So the hybrid drives are more likely to have their heads parked.

Windows puts an extremely high priority on memory it's swapped to the pagefile (parts of memory written to disk - originally this was for when you ran out of real memory, but for reasons I've never understood modern OSes sometimes keep some memory there even if there is lots of free RAM). If it needs some of those memory pages in the pagefile back, it will completely freeze until it gets them in order to prevent any further action which might require that info from memory. If the HDD has parked its heads, this means Windows will freeze for about a second to wait for the heads to unpark until it can read the pagefile. If the HDD has spun down, this means Windows will freeze for about 2-4 seconds while it waits for the HDD to spin up again.

https://forums.lenovo.com/t5/Lenovo-P-Y-and-Z-series/Y50-70-Windows-regularly-freezes-when-1TB-SSHD-is-spinning-up/td-p/1809301/page/41
(Ignore the "solved" tag on that. That was just Lenovo trying to deny the problem exists.)

To test if this is the issue, create a new file named test.bat containing the following text:

:repeat
@echo %RANDOM% > tmp.txt
ping -n 8 127.0.0.1 > NUL
goto repeat

Then in a command prompt, run test.bat and leave it running. It writes a random number to the disk every 8 seconds, preventing the heads from parking. If this causes the lag/stutter to disappear, then you are indeed suffering from this problem.

  • ■You used to be able to fix it with a program WD put out called wdidle3.exe. But they redesigned their website a year ago and the page hosting it disappeared. You might still be able to find it somewhere.
    ■You can just run the above batch file all the time.
    ■You can use CrystalDiskInfo and disable all the power management (APM) settings on the drive (move the slider to the right til it says FEh). It'll probably cost you a few minutes of battery life, and on mine it would reset every few reboots and I'd have to do it again.
    ■You can just replace the WD drive with a different drive (preferably a SSD). Please note that all the laptop WD green, SSHDs, and I suspect blue drives suffer from this short head parking timeout.
http://crystalmark.info/download/index-e.html

 
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