New, slow laptop is very disappointing...
May 26, 2011 1:12 PM   Subscribe

It's taking my brand new Thinkpad a full two minutes to boot (and an additional 30 sec to get my browser open). What's up?

This thing is mere days old. It's running Windows 7 and has 4 gigs of RAM and an i5 processor. All I have installed is Opera, AVG, Startup Delayer (which I would be using to solve this problem, only it's not showing any startup apps) and the MS Office Suite. There is no data on it yet. msconfig does not show anything I would deem unnecessary in startup. Is it the system resources?

I realize that this isn't the best system out there, but expected my new machine to run faster. What's the cause of this and how do I fix it?
posted by kitcat to Computers & Internet (30 answers total) 7 users marked this as a favorite
 
X220?
posted by orthogonality at 1:14 PM on May 26, 2011


Did it come preloaded with anything? With my Win 7 machine I spent over an hour uninstalling all the crap that ran automatically in the background that the manufacturers put there. Especially things like free trials of Norton Ghost or similar will eat cycles. I thought Thinkpad was maybe better about that than others, but maybe not. That said, I don't think I ever got marvelous boot times (never less than one minute) from Win 7.
posted by slow graffiti at 1:18 PM on May 26, 2011


Oh, sorry. It's a T420i.
posted by kitcat at 1:21 PM on May 26, 2011


I didn't let it actually go ahead and install/activate Norton, and it has Corel and some Windows Live stuff, but that's it.
posted by kitcat at 1:22 PM on May 26, 2011


What's in the System log?

Click Start, and then click Control Panel. Click Performance and Maintenance, then click Administrative Tools, and then double-click Computer Management. Or, open the MMC containing the Event Viewer snap-in.
In the console tree, click Event Viewer.

The Application, Security, and System logs are displayed in the Event Viewer window.
posted by orthogonality at 1:23 PM on May 26, 2011 [1 favorite]


Sorry to keep posting, but should I switch it to XP, if possible?
posted by kitcat at 1:24 PM on May 26, 2011


Sorry to keep posting, but should I switch it to XP, if possible?

Emphatically no. The operating system is not the problem here.
posted by The Michael The at 1:29 PM on May 26, 2011 [1 favorite]


Have a look at PC Decrapifier. http://www.pcdecrapifier.com/
posted by dinx2582 at 1:31 PM on May 26, 2011


Sorry to keep posting, but should I switch it to XP, if possible?

Oh GOD no. Odds are there's a bunch of preloaded crapware that's bogging you down. I'd suggest a fresh wipe and install of Windows 7 without the crapware if possible.
posted by Mister Fabulous at 1:32 PM on May 26, 2011


orthogonality - I'm looking at the log summary (is that what I'm supposed to be looking at?), but don't know how to make sense of it, nor how to copy and paste the contents here...
posted by kitcat at 1:33 PM on May 26, 2011


My work thinkpad has a bazillion 'thinkpad squizzle enabler' apps that start up silently in the background.

I install procmon on every windows computer I use. It shows me what is running and where it came from, and then I can kill it or lower it's priority.
posted by Mad_Carew at 1:39 PM on May 26, 2011


In the start bar, type in msconfig and hit enter. IIRC the window that pops up has a "Startup" tab that has all of the applications which run on startup. Disable most (if not all) of them, and that should give you a speed bump.
posted by hellojed at 1:42 PM on May 26, 2011


The first two things that come to mind:

1) Windows Search is indexing the entire hard drive and hasn't finished yet
2) An AV program is scanning and making signatures of the entire hard drive and hasn't finished yet.

Right click on Computer, Manage, Services to find Windows Search Service and stop it to see if that's the problem. If it is either of these, it should settle down after the first day or operation and not bog down after the indexing is complete. Leave it on for a full day and don't let it hibernate.
posted by benzenedream at 1:43 PM on May 26, 2011


I found this in the system log:

The speed of processor 1 in group 0 is being limited by system firmware. The processor has been in this reduced performance state for 71 seconds since the last report.
posted by kitcat at 1:50 PM on May 26, 2011


Something else you can do is open the task manager via Ctrl-Alt-Del, go to the processes tab, and sort them by memory and by CPU time (you may have to add CPU time through View->Select Columns). This will allow you to see if any process is hogging resources.
posted by PercussivePaul at 1:51 PM on May 26, 2011


I have a month old Thinkpad Edge with similar specs to what you've mentioned. It completely boots up in less than 1 minute (49 seconds, just tested) even though I have a bunch of junk running on startup. So there's hope! I didn't do a fresh install of Windows 7, but I did get rid of most of the extra Lenovo programs and Norton.
posted by plaintiff6r at 1:54 PM on May 26, 2011


I want this thread to be of help to all, so I'll report on what worked or didn't work once I've tried everything above. Thanks muchly.
posted by kitcat at 1:59 PM on May 26, 2011


Have you turned Aero off? Getting rid of all the GUI 'bling' can help to make your computer run faster.

Do any of these search results mean anything to you?
posted by davey_darling at 2:29 PM on May 26, 2011


Call Lenovo tech support. Some of the tech support guys (and gals) are really, really good and helpful. Others are less so, but it's still worth a try.

If it's a brand new machine, you should have some type of support. Use it.
posted by sardonyx at 2:29 PM on May 26, 2011


Canadian tech support:
1-800-565-3344
posted by sardonyx at 2:34 PM on May 26, 2011


Sounds like it's a problem with windows 7 processor power management that underclocks your CPU when not in use.

See: http://forums13.itrc.hp.com/service/forums/questionanswer.do?admit=109447627+1306446412604+28353475&threadId=1389357
and http://www.overclock.net/intel-cpus/530991-how-disable-cpu-power-management.html

Basically, try booting up the computer and entering bios, and looking for something along the lines of Intel EIST or CPU Power Management, and try disabling it?
posted by suedehead at 2:50 PM on May 26, 2011


Is it plugged in to the mains? If you're just running on battery power then try running from the ac adapter and see if its faster - if it is then its a power management 'feature' that's slowing you down when you're on battery power. There should be some settings you can fiddle with to turn it off
posted by missmagenta at 2:55 PM on May 26, 2011


benzendream is probably 100% correct. id bet a dime on it
posted by chasles at 2:56 PM on May 26, 2011


Mad is likely also correct. I've set up at least 5 x200's & 201's here, and that "Thinkvantage" stuff is annoying. Yes, it is supposed to provide proprietary functionality, but I really don't think you need all that. Well maybe you do, but it seems unlikely.

Doing a fresh install to remove bloatware is not a bad idea either.
posted by bitterkitten at 3:51 PM on May 26, 2011


The first two things that come to mind:

1) Windows Search is indexing the entire hard drive and hasn't finished yet
2) An AV program is scanning and making signatures of the entire hard drive and hasn't finished yet.



in particular the AV.

I didn't let it actually go ahead and install/activate Norton

are you sure the norton trial isn't installed? if it is, remove Norton and leave the thing on over night. reboot and i bet it's snappy.
posted by ennui.bz at 7:52 PM on May 26, 2011


Note the poster has AVG installed, which might also be reading the entire hard drive even if Norton isn't running. I'd agree with ennui.bz to completely uninstall Norton, the personal versions are worse than malware.
posted by benzenedream at 11:02 PM on May 26, 2011


The speed of processor 1 in group 0 is being limited by system firmware. The processor has been in this reduced performance state for 71 seconds since the last report.

This is Intel Speedstep (or whatever they call it now). I believe, but am not sure, that this is the BIOS clocking down the processor because usage is low. I'd bet this is a sign that your problem is not processor bound.

It could also be the processor overheating. Saw that on a new Thinkpad t500. The heatsink was not properly fastened down, and the processor was clocking itself down to save itself. (Although in this case, it would quickly power itself off.)

I would de-crapify as much as you are able, and then let the thing run overnight. Then reboot a couple of times. if that doesn't help, I'm not sure what to tell you.

Also, run the HDD test, make sure it hasn't failed out of the box.

Aero should not affect startup times. If you have a weak video chip, it might slow down things like window opens and closes, but not when the screen is doing mostly nothing.
posted by gjc at 6:37 AM on May 27, 2011


Also, check in the settings and see if you can configure AVG to not check files on access. You only really need it to check files on create and download. (And on access for removable disks.)
posted by gjc at 6:39 AM on May 27, 2011


Another possibility, since the laptop is new, is that it is trying to download updates. Win7 will try to do this in the background but it has affects all over (slowness, no or slow internet, high CPU usage, etc) Are you seeing network activity?

Boot it up and let it run unused for a good while.
posted by banshee at 9:11 AM on May 27, 2011


Your system is almost certainly loading drivers or applications in the background that are slowing its startup.

First off, to eliminate all of the temporary things people keep mentioning (Windows Updates, A/V scans, mscorsvw.exe doing a one time compile of the .NET framework) let the machine run for a few hours.

Second, look at your Add/Remove programs. It shouldn't have much in it that you didn't install. If it's there and you didn't install it, it's probable slowing things down.

Third, install Soluto. Soluto measures the startup time of your system and measures the time each process or component takes during bootup. Soluto will very specifically tell you what's slowing your system down on startup, and allow you to remove those items.
posted by cnc at 10:37 AM on May 27, 2011 [1 favorite]


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