This is something of a complicated problem so I will describe it to the best of my ability. Recently, my computer (Windows 7 Pro custom rig w/ I7-2600k, Samsung 540 SSD, and GTX 480 GPU)has been functioning perfectly fine with one problem, every so often at seemingly random intervals it will cease functioning. But not really, see my computer remains primarily responsive (I am able to move my mouse and already opened applications continue to function normally) however, if I open a new instance of a program, close an existing program, or try to interact with most of windows explorer whatever it is I am interacting with freezes. For example earlier today I was watching a show on Netflix without issue but when I attempted to open the Windows Start menu it opened and then hung, remaining "on" my screen but unresponsive.

Sometimes after several minutes of waiting in this "Hung" state it "snaps" back into normal function and continues working normally; at least for a short while until it falls back into the lag. This is where it gets weird: During these incidences (I use a desktop gadget to monitor HDD, GPU, and CPU usage) HDD utilization drops to 0% on all three of my hard drives (SSD for boot, 2 x Seagate 1TB drives for data) even if I am attempting to use my drives at the time. Additionally, CPU usage occasionally spikes to 30% and most interestingly, GPU usage spikes at 90-100%.

I have so far run chkdsk, Kaspersky AV, memtest, and Sentinel Drive Diagnostic to no avail. (Though chkdsk did find some problems on my boot drive, they were repaired by chkdsk and my computer continued to express the symptoms so I assumed those disk errors were not the cause.) On top of all the other problems, my computer is now also reporting to me that "Windows is not genuine" even though it has a valid serial key inputted (Yes, I did purchase Windows 7 legally so that is not the problem), Norton antivirus is failing to run any scans or updates, Google chrome crashes unexpectedly at rather normal intervals, Nvidia graphics updates failed to install citing no specific reason (no error code report or anything of the sort) and lastly Windows repair install failed when attempted, again citing no specific reason.

Any advice is greatly appreciated and if additional information is needed, I will happily oblige. I have never seen anything like this before in my life on any system so even blind speculation is welcome

  • i got exact the same problem, booting from HDD works perfectly, on SSD i get the exact same problem. system perfect, blank installation, everything finde -> BUT! -> lags as explained above.. :/ found out nothing (checking of every hardware and software piece of my computer brought no result.. :/) – cV2 Nov 19 '13 at 20:59

There is two built in diagnostics that may be helpful to figuring out your problem.

To get to them right click on Computer from the start menu and go to Manage. From there navigate to Computer Management -> System Tools -> Performance -> Data collector Sets -> System

enter image description here

System Performance will do a basic test that last one minute, System Diagnostics will do a deeper test but it takes 10 minutes. You start the recording by right clicking and pressing Start

Once you start the report it will show up in the Reports section, you just need to click on it to view it.

enter image description here

(If you get a graph with a bunch of lines instead of the nice report like the image above, right click on the report from the left hand window and choose View->Report)

From there it should flag anything that was out of the ordinary (high cpu, high disk usage, ect.) and it should help track down what is causing your slowness.

  • I ran the diagnostic as requested and the report showed no signs of abnormal function. As far as I can tell, my GPU and its faulty drivers, are the problem. However, I am unable to uninstall these drivers. When I run the uninstaller it reports a failure to install citing no specific reason and I am unable to use device manager to uninstall them. (for some reason it will not load) Any Thoughts? – Justin Becker Apr 24 '13 at 19:38
  • Check the EventLog for errors from when you attempted to uninstall – Scott Chamberlain Apr 24 '13 at 19:52
  • Hold up, when you say "I am unable to use device manager to uninstall them. (for some reason it will not load)" can you clarify on what will not load, and what errors you get (if any) when it does? – Scott Chamberlain Apr 24 '13 at 19:53
  • I apologize for my ambiguity (I know how unhelpful that is) when I open device manager it looks like so: imgur.com/Veu0fi8 I let it sit for several minutes to no avail. I am on an administrator account so there is no permissions violation that I can see. Also where would I find the EventLog for the unistaller? – Justin Becker Apr 24 '13 at 20:35
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    From my first screen shot look under Event Viewer->Windows Logs From there I would check the Application, and System logs for errors. If you don't understand a error, open a new question about it. – Scott Chamberlain Apr 24 '13 at 20:37

Run Resource Monitor and go to the disk tab and look which process causes high disk activity:

enter image description here


Open Windows Task Manager, click on the Processes tab, click the Show Processes from All Users button, and click on the CPU column heading to sort highest usage to the top. Select Always on Top from the Options menu, and have a look there when the computer freezes again. It should tell you which process is slamming the computer.

  • I appreciate the response however, during these incidences no particular process is consuming more than 1% of my CPU with most processes reporting 0% usage. – Justin Becker Apr 23 '13 at 21:43
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    Ah, sorry. I got the opposite impression. Well, anyway, you might try completely removing and reinstalling the device drivers for your video card, as that seems to be where the problem is centered. – Robert Harvey Apr 23 '13 at 21:44
  • It could be a buggy driver or hardware fault. Sounds like something is in a wait state. i.e. one thing waiting on another but not responding. Eventually the thing waiting times out and everything comes back to life. Typically an issue at the driver level. Did you do any software updates around the time this started happening? – Matt H Apr 23 '13 at 21:51

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