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I have this laptop, which has a i3 processor, 4gb memory, 7200rpm hard drive. So there is nothing wrong with the specs.

Even when I have no applications open, simply closing and opening windows, lags. Or opening the start menu, or dragging icons across the desktop. sometimes even the cursor lags.

So I checked out the resource monitor, and the resources using disk activity are svchost Avast ------- my antivirus, but not much System (PID 4) ------ This is using a huge chunk

The total disk activity fluctuates between %50 - %100

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Have you tried removing avast? –  imtheman Jul 10 '12 at 17:38
    
Are there any disk errors in the event viewer logs? Read errors due to disk failure can cause windows to hang. –  Hennes Jul 10 '12 at 17:44
    
Do you happen to have Skype installed? –  Dave M Jul 10 '12 at 18:13
    
I've got the same laptop from work. It's so slow it drives me nuts. I can't disable the corporate laptop. CPU cores seem inactive most of the time (as shown from Windows Task Manager). What do you use to measure hard drive activity? –  ZiglioNZ Apr 22 '13 at 23:55
    
Sorry, I meant I can't disable the corporate antivirus. I'm downloading the Windows Performance Toolkit as suggested here: superuser.com/a/404720/138803 –  ZiglioNZ Apr 23 '13 at 0:10
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4 Answers

Try disabling your anti-virus if the problem goes away uninstall Avast and try alternative anti-virus software. If that doesn't work try using some HDD analysis software to check that your hard drive isn't faulty.

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I used chkdsk and another Easeus hard drive tool that I don't remember the name of to check for errors, but they should it as completely fine. –  Mark Jul 10 '12 at 17:48
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An i3 with 4GB of RAM isn't that good, to be honest. :) But you are correct that, in general, you shouldn't experience "lag" when just closing/opening windows. But what particular "windows" (programs) are you using that are giving you a problem? I think you could get a better answer if you told us how long the lag lasts for, and what other programs may be running.

Also, make sure avast isn't actively running a virus scan. That can take up a lot of resources.

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The lagging is constant in that it happens all the time. And the examples I gave were when I had no programs open. And as to your anti-virus suggestion I'm going to delete avast and see if the computer runs better without it. –  Mark Jul 10 '12 at 18:03
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You're right, Mark, about nothing wrong with the specs. It looks like you customized your HP ProBook 4530s, as the specs you provided don't fit with HP's pre-configured models.

I do know that avast! Antivirus should run just fine on your machine because I tested it with a virtual machine (running Windows 7 Ultimate) that was allocated two out of eight cores of an old Intel® Core™ i7 720QM and 2 GB of RAM. The virtual machine did not experience any of the symptoms you listed.

It is possible that you are having a hard drive failure.

Here's why:

Even when I have no applications open, simply closing and opening windows, lags. Or opening the start menu, or dragging icons across the desktop. sometimes even the cursor lags.

I confirmed this exact thing happens when I instructed a damaged HDD to read a file that was stored where the damaged sectors were.

The total disk activity fluctuates between %50 - %100

In my test, the HDD indicated that it was busy... that is, busy trying to read something it couldn't read. avast! may be trying to access files that are damaged, which makes the hard drive churn and seem very busy.

This can be confirmed by trying the suggestions in this very relevant answer on Super User.


If the problem is in fact a hard drive failure, back up your data!!! Then, check to see if the drive is covered under warranty. If so, get a new hard drive. If not, you should purchase a new hard drive or perhaps consider a solid-state drive, if one interests you.

If the problem turns out not to be a hard drive failure, consider the other answers here, as they are also possible explanations for why you are experiencing trouble with your laptop.

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This might me completely irrelevant to you, but I had this with my Lenovo laptop too, because the manufacturer chooses to downclock the CPU so low for maximum battery time.

Config panel>Hardware and Sounds>Energy maintenance> adapt profile settings (blue text next to the selected profile)>Advanced (? - translating it directly from Dutch)

Power maintenance for CPU, there you will see "minimal", and that was set to 5% with me, I set it to 20% and I don't "experience" any lag anymore.

Could also very well be a failing hard disk. The other comments already provide support if that is the case.

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