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Question

Laptop running slow but all diagnostics show success

My wife has a MSI laptop GS63vr 6rf stealth pro.

As the past week has gone by her laptop has progressively gotten slower.

First it started off as "lag". Any actions she took would take 3-5 seconds of response time. Frequently she plays League of Legends. Her FPS and latency are fine but it strangely takes time to respond while other players are not affected (so probably not server lag). She tried the Sims and had the same issue of delayed response but perfect FPS.

As of yesterday, opening an application such as Windows explorer or Google Chrome now has a delay.

Nothing is running in the background. Antivirus is windows defender, not scanning anything during use. Power Saving Mode is turned off. Laptop is indeed plugged in.

Checked resource monitor, random spikes to 110% CPU usage for simple applications such as windows explorer, or google chrome. These spikes last for a few seconds before getting terminated and reverting back to a reasonable 3-5% overall cpu usage. Mind you, we closed all applications such as Steam, discord, anything not needed. Was testing individual simple programs that should run fine. We sat there for a few minutes just watching the monitor spike for no logical reason.

Ran 3 tests. Since the SSD is samsung we ran their diagnostic tool which passed (also tried HDDScan which said there was a bad sector ). Ran fur-mark to test GPU, passed. Ran Intel Processor Diagnostic tool which also passed.

Tried resetting the device which resulted in numerous errors, and a constant loop. It would get to 1-5% during reset then say "undoing changes" and result in an error. Eventually after a few attempts it no longer booted to windows. Then appeared as if windows completed disappeared...

Wiped the drives clean, literally nothing left. Did a fresh install of windows via Windows Media Creator on my desktop which I put on a USB. That ran flawlessly. Despite a fresh install and clean drive everything mentioned above is still happening. Sometimes the mouse stutters across the screen while opening an application, still have a delayed response when opening applications such as windows explorer or chrome...

Anyone have suggestions or know what's wrong/how to fix this?

I want to say it's the hard drive? But after reading around, and looking at the tests we're lost. Also thought it could potentially be the ram but apparently ram has an annoying beep when it goes bad. Any help would be greatly appreciated!

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Clarification Request
That fresh W10 install.

In reply to: Laptop running slow but all diagnostics show success

Would have a few hours of work for drivers and apps specific to the laptop OR you should see less than stellar performance.

You have a HARD DISK DRIVE? Let's see the SMART VALUES on that drive. I'm finding this to cause nearly unexplained performance issues.

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SMART Results

In reply to: That fresh W10 install.

We went to the MSI website to download all drivers, firmware, and apps for the laptop. Minus the graphics card driver, we downloaded that from Nvidia. After getting all that squared away we started testing things out again only to experience the same issues prior to the fresh install.

There's a SSD which windows was installed on (Mapped as C Drive) and an HDD mapped as the D drive.

-- SSD SMART REPORT --------------------------------------------

HDDScan S.M.A.R.T. Report
Model: HFS128G39MNC-3510A
Firmware: 50100P00
Serial: FJ69N545110309Q1O
LBA: 250069680

Report By: HDDScan for Windows version 3.3
Report Date: 5/22/2018 2:28:55 PM

Detected controller Samsung


Num Attribute Name Value Worst Raw(hex) Threshold

001 Raw Read Error Rate 166 166 0000000000-0000 006

005 Initial Bad Blocks Count 253 253 0000000000-0000 036

009 Power-On Hours Count 096 096 0000000000-0E96 000

012 Device Power Cycle Count 100 100 0000000000-05E2 020

100 Erase/Program Cycles Count 100 100 0000000067-0283 000

171 Program Fail Count 253 253 0000000000-0000 000

172 Erase Fail Count 253 253 0000000000-0000 000

174 Unexpected Power Loss Count 100 100 0000000000-0006 000

175 Program Fail Count (Chip) 253 253 0000000000-0000 000

176 Erase Fail Count (Chip) 253 253 0000000000-0000 000

177 Wear Leveling Count 094 094 0000000000-00CC 000

178 Used Rsvd Block Count (Chip) 100 100 0000000000-000D 000

179 Used Rsvd Block Count Total 100 100 0000000000-001F 000

180 Unused Rsvd Block Count Total 100 100 0000000000-08A1 000

181 Program Fail Count Total 253 253 0000000000-0000 000

182 Erase Fail Count Total 253 253 0000000000-0000 000

183 Runtime Bad Block 253 253 0000000000-0000 000

187 Reported Uncorrectable Error 253 253 0000000000-0000 000

188 Reported Command Timeouts 253 253 0000000000-0000 000

191 Unknown Attribute 253 253 0000000000-0000 000

194 SSD Temperature or Empty 032 000 0000130044-0020 000

195 ECC Rate 253 253 0000000000-0000 000

201 Super Cap Status 100 100 0000000000-0000 000

204 Bad Block Full Flag 100 100 0000000000-0000 000

231 Unknown Attribute 253 253 0000000000-0001 010

234 Unknown Attribute 100 100 0000000000-65F8 000

241 Total Host Writes 100 100 0000000000-10B4 000

242 Total Host Reads 100 100 0000000000-134E 000

250 Read Error Retry Rate 100 100 0000000000-0046 000


-- HDD SMART REPORT (D Drive) --------------------------

HDDScan S.M.A.R.T. Report
Model: ST1000LM035-1RK172
Firmware: SDM1
Serial: WCB13RYA
LBA: 1953525168

Report By: HDDScan for Windows version 3.3
Report Date: 5/22/2018 2:29:51 PM


Num Attribute Name Value Worst Raw(hex) Threshold

001 Raw Read Error Rate 082 064 0000000A79-B057 006

003 Spin Up Time 099 099 0000000000-0000 000

004 Start/Stop Count 097 097 0000000000-0D7D 020

005 Reallocation Sector Count 100 100 0000000000-0000 036

007 Seek Error Rate 073 060 000000012E-7E6A 045

009 Power-On Hours Count 096 096 35A7940000-0F1A 000

010 Spin Retry Count 100 100 0000000000-0000 097

012 Device Power Cycle Count 099 099 0000000000-05E5 020

184 End To End Error Count 100 100 0000000000-0000 099

187 Reported Uncorrectable Error 100 100 0000000000-0000 000

188 Reported Command Timeouts 100 100 0000000000-0000 000

189 High Fly Writes 100 100 0000000000-0000 000

190 Airflow Temperature 073 051 27 C 040

190 Airflow Temperature Minimum 073 051 23 C 040

190 Airflow Temperature Maximum 073 051 27 C 040

191 G-sense Rate/Servo tracking 100 100 0000000000-0038 000

192 Emergency Retract Count 100 100 0100000000-0003 000

193 Load/unload Cycle Count 093 093 0000000000-3784 000

194 HDA Temperature 027 049 27 C 000

194 HDA Temperature Minimum 027 049 14 C 000

194 HDA Temperature Maximum 027 049 51 C 000

197 Current Pending Errors Count 100 100 0000000000-0000 000

198 Uncorrectable Errors Count 100 100 0000000000-0000 000

199 UltraDMA CRC Errors 200 200 0000000000-0000 000

240 Heads Flying Hours 100 253 2F897D0000-07D4 000

241 Total Host Writes 100 253 0000004808-CDFC 000

242 Total Host Reads 100 253 000000715B-2513 000

254 G-shock/Free-fall Event Count 100 100 0000000000-0000 000

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001 and 007 (Hello Mr. Bond)

In reply to: SMART Results

"001 Raw Read Error Rate 082 064 0000000A79-B057 006" is the typical find where a machine will have nearly unexplained pauses, lags, hangs and BSODs. As well as 100% DISK USE in various areas like Task Manager.

This drive has not failed but is unacceptable for performance reasons.

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A small thing to change. Can help, does NOT fix.

In reply to: 001 and 007 (Hello Mr. Bond)

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Did not know this was even a thing!

In reply to: A small thing to change. Can help, does NOT fix.

I will definitely disable that! Didn't realize that was even a thing! I know it's not a fix, but thank you for sharing that!

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Interesting

In reply to: 001 and 007 (Hello Mr. Bond)

Haven't experienced 100% disk use yet though, only the CPU. In fact, disk usage rarely exceeds a few percent. Though, we did experience the BSOD a few times while troubleshooting/resetting, and of course the pauses/lag.

Also, the first SMART report is for the SSD drive (where windows is installed), the second one is HDD which has the result you mentioned. Everything is currently on the SSD. Since everything is being read/written on this drive would it still be affected by a "faulty/under-performant" HDD? Would that cause the spike of 100-110% CPU usage?

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Sorry but I didn't write at length.

In reply to: Interesting

When the disks have read errors like that we see the CPU spike to 100% as it "tries real hard to read the HDD."

It's a well worn topic but I didn't write at length here or in many prior discussions.

Hope this helps.

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That makes sense

In reply to: Sorry but I didn't write at length.

That makes a lot of sense actually. However, I am still confused on how the HDD when nothing is writing/reading from it is causing the spike, unless windows for whatever reason acknowledges the D drive exists and checks on it? It would make sense if the SSD had the read errors since that's where we installed everything. Have yet to touch the HDD. Before wiping/resetting it was used only as storage.

In theory, if you're right, if I were to remove the HDD, keeping the SSD in place I should see better performance?

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As you can guess.

In reply to: That makes sense

Should help but then any links to the now gone drive can cause odd delays. Windows has shown issues with say an icon on the desktop that leads to either the bum HDD or a network share that is down. It will navel gaze and cause odd delays.

Since I have no way to check such on your desktop, menus and more, it's just too much work to find all the places Windows could have an entry that notes this drive and then when or why Windows will go out to see if the file is there and if the icon or image needs updating.

Again, this is well worn and I don't like to go over it when we know that drives with read errors or other issue drag down Windows. Some call this a design flaw but hey, Microsoft?

Sorry if I sound dismissive here. Hundreds or more discussions I feel like this topic is well done. Hope this helps explain it.

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Perf

In reply to: That makes sense

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