General discussion

windows 7 runs slow, low cpu/ram usage, system restore fail

I'm running a compaq cq61-420us with windows 7 home premium, 3 gig ram, amd athlon II dual core m320, 250 gig hard drive

about 2 weeks ago the computer started running slow. The slowdown occurred after using dual screen to work and watch a movie (i'd done this before with no problems). Slow startup, windows and flies would visually open, close and minimize slowly. That is when I minimize firefox or control panel the animation would be slow and the system would be slow to respond. The computer was also very slow on startup, taking 2 to 3 times longer than usual. switching tabs or clicking on a different window to bring it forward functioned the same. larger programs/games (half life 2 for example) would run very slowly though. when just running one window but still encountering the slow opening problem cpu usage would be between 5 and maybe 15% while ram usage stayed at around 40% (1.42 Gig)
after attempting a virus scan (norton) and finding nothing, i tried a system restore, (disabling norton) and it failed, it told me to disable any antivirus and try again. I disabled norton permanently and tried again. it failed again, I couldn't even undo the partial restore.
after 2 or 3 days the computer just went back to normal. not after a restart, or system restore. I set it down for a few minutes, came back and it was working fine again.
It worked fine for a week or so and then last night the same problem started happening after using dual screen again.
also undoing the dual screen doesn't fix the problem.
Any idea how to keep this from happening and get this back running smoothly?

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Most common slowdown I get is when.

When those antivirus programs are scanning the entire hard drive. We also have the Windows 7 indexer so what happens is either or both are working and an owner may start trying to fix it when all we need to do is let it finish the scans and indexing.

Sorry I do not have an answer on how to definitively determine if this is your cause today. I'm only sharing that it is happening to many of us in the office and shop.

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Three possibilities

Two possibilities.

The first is some kind of malware. Norton will have a difficult time catching a cold, so be sure to get a few other programs like Malwarebytes Antimalware to scan with.

The second is you need to update your video drivers.

The third possibility involves some kind of hardware failure. Either the hard drive is on its way out, or the video chip. So if several malware scans show nothing, and updating the video drivers also doesn't help, then call HP and make it their problem if the system is under warranty. Because if it's out of warranty, and it's the video chip, then you should probably start looking for a new laptop.

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