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I have been using this laptop for almost two years now. Its an Intel 2nd Gen i3 with 4 GB of RAM with a 512 MB of ATI Radeon 5470 GPU running the 64-bit version of Windows 7 ultimate (Not too impressive I know). But anyhow, provided my limited gaming and programming needs, the configuration has sufficed my demands quite well.

I have this habit of leaving my computer on sleep (quite a lot, that sometimes it sees a restart after a month, or more). Last week there was a Windows Update installed on my computer which demanded a restart. So I did. The system took a lot of time restarting, say something like 20-25 minutes or so. I thought maybe its because of the time since it had been restarted that its taking such a long time to reboot. But after it had completely rebooted, I realized that it was actually working quite slow. For example, with even just 2-3 tabs open on Firefox/Chrome (I tested the scenario on both) there was quite a lot of hanging here and there, and the "Not Responding" sign flashing every now and then on the title bar. So I decided to reboot it once more (considering it the simplest of the options available). But yet, it behaved the same way, same half-an-hour of reboot time and all.

As of now, I've run a complete system virus scan, tried to check it with the windows troubleshooter, have scanned the Device Manager for any hardware changes considering there might be hardware corruptions but none of these has resulted in any satisfactory solution. The system doesn't crash either. It just runs damn slow and I have no clue of why so. So please suggest an exhaustive approach of how I should troubleshoot the system so that I can finally be, at least, satisfied even if I need to reinstall the OS. Also, please suggest any BIOS related troubleshooting methods that are worth consideration.


As suggested by Darth Android, I'm including the S.M.A.R.T. analysis result from CrystalDiskInfo so that it gives a better insight of the current scenario my laptop is in:

S.M.A.R.T. analysis of my Hard Drive

The last item in the itinerary that's not in this screenshot is Free Fall Protection which has a Current and Worst count of 200 and 0 Raw Values.

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first thing i would try would be to uninstall the update. have you done that? – BroScience May 7 '13 at 19:19
@BroScience No I haven't yet. The point is that I'm not exactly sure the problem is with the update as I searched for the update ID on Google and didn't find any other user facing such issues. – ikartik90 May 7 '13 at 19:35

Uh.... intermittent hangs of Applications or system during disk access -> Make a backup now.

I've seen this behavior before each one of my harddrives failed from old age. The disk has trouble reading a particular sector, and whatever application (or the kernel, in the case of shutdowns/reboots) will hang while the disk retries. At the onset, the disk will usually be able to successfully read the sector (with error correction), but eventually it'll fail.

Grab CrystalDiskInfo (It's free) and check the S.M.A.R.T. data for the harddrive. If you see a high read error rate, reallocated sector count, hardware ecc recovered, command timeout, or seek error rate, then your disk is very likely about to die (High is 1000+, or if they are increasing significantly in a 24-48hr period). They should all be 0, but a few reallocated sectors could also just be manufacturing defects - keep a close eye if they're low but non-zero.

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Seems you have a point there. I installed CrystalDiskInfo and found that in the S.M.A.R.T. data the Current Pending Sector Count has a non-zero raw value (4D). Though I don't exactly understand what that means, Wikipedia says that's a concern. But none of the values are yet even close to 1000 (The highest in the "Current" column is 200 and that in the "Worst" column is 253 for any of the attributes). Can you please elaborate on what that means and the actions necessary? – ikartik90 May 7 '13 at 20:16
It would be easier if you could put a table of all the attributes and their values (current, worst, raw) into the question. Some of them are just info (like the current temperature of the drive), statistical (how long the drive has been on, how many times it's been started up), while others detect failing parts (the ones I listed in my answer). The names also tend to vary slightly between manufacturers, so it's easier to see the drive health as a whole instead of trying to guess at things. Current / Worst max out at 255 or 100, it's the Raw values that'll climb into thousands and millions. – Darth Android May 7 '13 at 21:00
I've added the details from CrystalDiskInfo as you suggested. Please suggest the needful now. Thanks. – ikartik90 May 8 '13 at 17:02
The current pending sector count and read error count look worrisome. I've definitely seen much worse, but it looks like the drive is starting to reach the failing point. I would create an image of the disk and be prepared to replace the disk if it dies. If you get any more application freezes or long shutdowns, re-open CrystalDiskInfo and check if the raw values for Reallocated Sector Count or Current Pending Sector Count have increased. If so, replace disk preemptively before it fails completely on you. – Darth Android May 8 '13 at 22:38
If you're getting lots of freezes and read error rate / reallocated sector count / pending sector count is staying the same, then it might be something else that's causing the issue. – Darth Android May 8 '13 at 22:39

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