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Geek Culture / My sister's computer is severely ill. HALP!!!1!11!1!!!

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Dark Java Dude 64
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Posted: 21st Jun 2016 07:09
The TLBIGIRTWTAW (Too Long But I Guess I'll Read The Whole Thing AnyWay)
So my sister recently purchased a brand new little Lenovo Thinkpad laptop through Amazon from a computer upgrading company service thing. When she got it, it was behaving quite strangely! Laggy performance and high resource usage plagued the computer (80 or so processes running with no applications open, never going below 50% CPU usage, using almost 4GB RAM with again no applications running). She returned it, bought another Lenovo laptop (different model) through Amazon from the same company, exact same issue. We suspected a software issue and decided we ultimately just wanted to reinstall Windows rather than dealing with the company for another return... We then realized we didn't have the OS product key to do so. We contacted the computer upgrade company, and they said it wouldn't be possible to give us a product key for the OS because the computer had originally shipped with Windows 8 and had been upgraded to 7 via Windows 8 ownership rights. They instead contacted Lenovo, renewed the laptop's warranty, and got Lenovo to send us some free OS recovery media. We recovered the OS from there, bringing the computer back to full factory condition (theoretically undoing anything the upgrade company had done) and the issue persisted.

Today I talked to Lenovo customer support, and they recommended uninstalling all Lenovo software (ironic!) and installing updates. I tried all of that, and it seemed to work for a bit, then the issue returned. I looked deeper and disabled all unnecessary processes and services in msconfig, but the problem persisted. Not knowing what to do further, I decided to try installing Windows 7 fresh anyway (even though we don't yet have a key to activate it with). Brand new fresh install, from a straight Microsoft disc, not a single program or driver installed, computer still using about 50% - 75% CPU and around 4GB of RAM while otherwise totally idle.

The TLDR
New computer no worky. I performed a completely fresh Windows 7 install from OEM disc, deleted all old partitions, haven't installed any programs or drivers yet (other than Chrome, but that doesn't count). With NO applications running (not even Chrome), CPU usage hovers between 50% and 75%, sometimes up to 100%. Almost 4GB of RAM used.

What could possibly be going on? It doesn't seem like a software issue anymore, but then I feel like a hardware issue wouldn't cause this either. Perhaps a bad BIOS setting disagreeing with Windows? Why would two different computers from the same company behave this way? That upgrade company itself has hundreds of excellent, buyer verified Amazon reviews and their customer service was completely excellent (they even gave us a free external drive to install the recovery media with).
Yodaman Jer
User Banned
Posted: 22nd Jun 2016 00:40 Edited at: 22nd Jun 2016 00:42
Huh, that is a brain puzzler indeed.

The computer my boss bought for work a few months ago is from Acer, and it has some of the same issues. There will be nothing running, and it will be using 50% of the CPU at all times, and nearly all of the RAM (it's only got 4GB to begin with, it's just for book keeping and managing payroll for the employees as well as business emails). I have yet to discern any reason for its odd behavior.

I assume you meant Windows 10 and not 7? Windows 10 still has some odd issues where it seems to magically suck up a ton of resources and not leave any hint as to why. It will happen on my computer sometimes, but a restart usually fixes it.

What are the exact specs of the model? Can you determine the types of motherboards each laptop has/had? Are you certain no other programs could be trying to start at launch, and somehow are getting stuck in some infinite program-wants-to-open-but-won't-open loop?

EDIT: I just had a thought.

Is Windows Defender running at all? I hear that can suck up some resources pretty good. I fail to see how it could eat them up that bad but you never know.
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Ortu
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Posted: 22nd Jun 2016 01:32
The processes tab on task manager should show what is holding cpu and ram even if no user applications ate running. If that doesn't, try process explorer

https://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/sysinternals/bb896653

Also, check to see if windows update is running, new machines often immediately try downloading and installing updates and this can tie things up for a while.

Does it change any if you just let it sit and run fit a few hours (disable auto sleep/suspend in power options)

If this company is done kind of refurbisher, they may have a bad batch of parts that they may currently be using fur replacements/upgrades.

Id also check reviews on the specific model of Lenovo machines to see if any bought from other sources have similar issues for these models.
Dark Java Dude 64
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Posted: 22nd Jun 2016 06:34
Quote: "I assume you meant Windows 10 and not 7?"
Nah, 7! I personally think 7 would be an upgrade over 8 or 10 any day. My main PC, currently Windows 10, is soon again to see the utter wonderfulness that is 7. At least, when I get around to it.

Quote: "What are the exact specs of the model? Can you determine the types of motherboards each laptop has/had? Are you certain no other programs could be trying to start at launch, and somehow are getting stuck in some infinite program-wants-to-open-but-won't-open loop?"
It has an AMD A6-7000, dual core 2.2 GHz... It had 4GB of RAM but the upgrade company put in 16. The original HDD was replaced with an SSD. I'll have to check for startup programs... But again, a brand new, totally clean install of Windows with nothing installed either by myself or any other company (no bloatware thank goodness), I have no idea what could be trying to start.

Quote: "Is Windows Defender running at all? I hear that can suck up some resources pretty good. I fail to see how it could eat them up that bad but you never know."
I checked that, turns out it was actually disabled! I enabled it at a time while the computer was operating properly, and it didn't get any worse.

Quote: "The processes tab on task manager should show what is holding cpu and ram even if no user applications ate running. If that doesn't, try process explorer"
Indeed, I did all of that. svchost is the process using all of the CPU, which is just lovely because even Process Explorer hasn't been able to trace what was using svchost.

Quote: "Also, check to see if windows update is running, new machines often immediately try downloading and installing updates and this can tie things up for a while."
Good point, I'll have to make sure it's all up to date. The disc is from 2012, so I suppose there could be an update or two.

Quote: "Does it change any if you just let it sit and run fit a few hours (disable auto sleep/suspend in power options)"
That's the odd thing, it seems to go back and forth between running well and poorly when it sits. After the reinstall it seemed fixed, but then after it had been running for a good 15 minutes, I noticed it was going bazerk again. Throughout the half hour or so I have had it on today, it's been just fine. Strange patterns!

Quote: "If this company is done kind of refurbisher, they may have a bad batch of parts that they may currently be using fur replacements/upgrades."
I'm thinking of trying to take out one of the RAM sticks and seeing if that makes any difference, but I highly doubt it will...

Quote: "Id also check reviews on the specific model of Lenovo machines to see if any bought from other sources have similar issues for these models."
I haven't personally checked, but if I recall, my sister said that lots of reviews cited a similar issue with the particular model of laptop and that reinstalling Windows fixed it. Hmmm....
Ortu
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Posted: 22nd Jun 2016 19:14
To be honest, I've never been much of a Lenovo fan, I've had stability issues on both a laptop and a tablet.

For a similar price point, I usually prefer asus.
Dark Java Dude 64
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Posted: 22nd Jun 2016 20:16
Quote: "To be honest, I've never been much of a Lenovo fan, I've had stability issues on both a laptop and a tablet. "
Odd! I have a Lenovo myself, another family member has bought two of them, and a friend of mine has another one, all of them work great! Asus does seem like a good brand though.
wattywatts
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Posted: 24th Jun 2016 02:34 Edited at: 24th Jun 2016 02:37
Lenovo. Google superfish to see what a reputable company they are.
When you reinstalled, did you zero out the data? I don't know if that would make any difference, but this is a very strange issue. Windows 10's defender background process uses a lot of CPU but you said you're on W7.. hmm.
You can check out this article to figure out what process is behind svchost. And if you find something, please keep us posted, I'm very curious!

EDIT
Just found this, Lenovo actually reinstalls superfish through the bios on to new windows installs.
Dark Java Dude 64
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Posted: 24th Jun 2016 03:58 Edited at: 24th Jun 2016 04:16
Quote: "Google superfish to see what a reputable company they are."
Sounds like a mess! I'll have to research it more.

Quote: "When you reinstalled, did you zero out the data?"
Sure did!

Quote: "Windows 10's defender background process uses a lot of CPU but you said you're on W7"
Lol, I'll have to add that to my list of reasons why I think 10 sucks utterly!

Quote: "And if you find something, please keep us posted, I'm very curious!"
I will do! I am interested to see what it is... It's almost like the process is cowardly hiding behind svchost.

So I am beginning to think that this may in fact be because it's trying to update as Ortu mentioned... I observed that everything runs pretty well until I install the network drivers AND connect it to a wifi network, then the CPU and RAM usage go nuts. Currently having it check for updates (although it's been doing that now for a good 10 minutes and hasn't yet began downloading anything, hrmm...)

Edit
Hey hey, I think I found it! I disabled the Windows Update service, restarted the comp, and all was good. I reenabled it and had the computer begin checking for updates, and boom! It immediately began acting up like it had been before. I think that's it!
WickedX
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Posted: 24th Jun 2016 07:18 Edited at: 24th Jun 2016 07:23
Quote: "Hey hey, I think I found it! I disabled the Windows Update service, restarted the comp, and all was good. I reenabled it and had the computer begin checking for updates, and boom! It immediately began acting up like it had been before. I think that's it!"


Sorry, I have to say it. Doesn't Windows 7 Suck. On my tablet/notebook running Windows 8. I'm not even aware windows has updated, till I go to shutdown. I haven't had to wait more then a minute for the updates to install. My Windows 7 system however, has no problem with windows update.
Dark Java Dude 64
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Posted: 24th Jun 2016 10:58
I believe it's an issue with Lenovo, not Windows 7, as I have reinstalled Windows 7 many times and never experienced this. Two of the Lenovos my sister has now gotten have experienced the issue... Granted, my personal computer is a Lenovo too, but it seems it was made before the whole Superfish thing (mid 2013 or so).
wattywatts
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Posted: 24th Jun 2016 16:55
So just checking, did you remove superfish yet?
CJB
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Posted: 24th Jun 2016 17:13
I've had two seperate PCs with different versions of Windows go into really slow mode (high CPU usage) due to Windows Update whirring away in the background (probably gathering personal info to send off to MS). Try stopping (at least temporarily) the Windows Update service to see if is the problem.
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Uzmadesign
Dark Java Dude 64
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Posted: 24th Jun 2016 20:37
Quote: "Try stopping (at least temporarily) the Windows Update service to see if is the problem."
Quote: "I disabled the Windows Update service, restarted the comp, and all was good."
Me thinks that is indeed our problem!

Quote: "So just checking, did you remove superfish yet?"
No, but the update thing did seem to do the trick.

However, even though we have seemed to fix the issue, my sister and I have decided that she'd probably be better off returning this machine and getting another one. We're currently looking at an ASUS... This one in fact. Any Superfish type thing I should know about ASUS?

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