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I have a Dell XPS M1730 with Windows 7 installed. I noticed last night that after a few hours of use, the fans kicked into full and I couldn't do anything without it taking forever.

Minimising windows, opening device manager or even opening process explorer took minutes and a game install I had just started took nearly 4 hours to complete. When procexp finally loaded, the refresh was so slow that it was mostly useless. From what I could gather, it was reporting 60% idle processes with procexp using nearly 40%. There were no hardware interrupts listed.

When I rebooted, the problem went away for about 10 minutes and then the same thing happened. The issue persists in safe mode and even after I removed the graphics drivers, which have been an issue in the past, it still happens. Icons flash quite quickly on the desktop periodically and screen refresh is painfully slow.

When booting now, the fans kick in to full as soon as the windows logon box comes up and it's taking 10 minutes to bring the desktop up.

Chkdsk reports nothing and the raid check says that everything is fine.

I'm thinking hardware failure, probably HDD but wanted some other opinions. I'm planning to try a linux live cd to see if it works without using the hard disks.

If anyone has any input, it would be greatly appreciated.

Delenda

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3 Answers

Maybe your PC is infected by a virus/trojan/key logger. A few weeks ago I had a similar problem. The PC ran on 100% although I only had opened thunderbird. I found one single process wich consumed all the cpu resources. After some hours I successfully could delete it and got rid of it. Since then all is fine again.

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That was my first thought too but I can't find anything suspicious in process explorer. As I say, it's sits at 60% idle with the process explorer taking up most of the other 40%. –  delenda Oct 26 '10 at 12:17
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This could be due to windows search indexer, as this slows the system down while gathering information. try, goto control panel -> Administrative Tools -> Services. Find windows Search process and set this to disable.

Disabling this process will not harm the running of the PC.

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The search indexer can be annoying, that's true. But I can't imagine that it is the reason why the PC needs 10 minutes to show the desktop after booting. –  Martin Oct 26 '10 at 11:55
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See this thread and the post by Wil to troubleshoot what is hogging cpu cycles.

How to diagnose repeated freezing of windows 7 (comes back alive in few seconds)

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