I had a really frustrating day. I’m going to vent.
It started with the work PC not being able to run MS Word and iTunes at the same time. Tried to check task manager. After watching the cursor creep on the screen for about five minutes I finally got there and discovered 100% disk usage. Turned off Superfetch. Gained a tiny bit of performance. Typing was impossible, so turned off some automatic start thingies, and rebooted.
Waited for reboot.
Reboot completed about 10 minutes later.
Again 100% disk usage.
Opening Firefox caused the computer to hang.
Opening MS Edge was even worse.
Even now every half an hour or so, I get a slow cursor creeping across screen and half of the sentence I typed vanishes. My memory usage is at 60% and spiking, and I only have Firefox, Ms Word, and iTunes opened. This thing has 8GB. It should be able to run these 3 programs at the same time without a complete collapse. Disk and CPU usage graphs both look like the Alps.
Have ran antivirus. (I bolded it because people keep advising me to run it. :D) Everything passed with flying colors.
It’s like my computer just decided to throw its hands up and quit.
Did it update itself during the night and the update broke it? Did something burn out? ::shakes computer:: Fix yourself. I have stuff to do.
I shudder to think what will happen if I try to open Photoshop.
This is so frustrating.
Windows Update logs are now generated using ETW (Event Tracing for Windows).
Please run the Get-WindowsUpdateLog PowerShell command to convert ETW traces into a readable WindowsUpdate.log.
For more information, please visit https://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/?LinkId=518345
Eat dirt and die, Microsoft.
try going back to the last restore point. I think the update did put you out of wack
Also, been there, done that. Earlier this month, my Mac took an hour to boot, then crashed. Welcome, new hard drive! I’ve used Macs for over 20 years without a HD failure. On the plus side, the new one is so much faster that I wonder if the original drive wasn’t wonky all along.
This describes my last week dealing with a windows update. I did all the needed changes and went so far as to remove several unused programs, got annoyed all over again about the inability to remove certain programs and finally got it working again just late last night. For me it was something about the most recent windows update that just threw everything into a state of not working well.
We had the same issuse with our office computers. Turns out it was avast that was cause the computers run slow and then crash and burn. It happened suddenly too, avast had been the computers for years. Did you check that yhe antivirus softerware isnt causing the problem?
K C Hulsman says
Make sure you don’t have a virus, or malware. Also try looking for a restore point and back to that.
Ugh. Sorry to hear that. My computer blows video cards and whines like a cat in a blender for hours when I try writing. Hence not at home.
It sounds as if you’ve got something hardware wise loose. Remote sensing of IT problems isn’t a thing, but you might want to see if under Device Manager there isn’t a device that’s got the yellow yield sign of silent death. If it’s a desktop then (seriously) opening it up, vacuuming the box of gunk, then reseating (popping out and reslotting) the memory and other device cards might actually help.
Or, a sacrifice to the ghods of technology. I’d be more help IRL. Good luck!
Yuck! I hate computer issues.
Speaking of irritating days… I’m renting an old house with a cistern. The water decided to run out halfway through my shower today. I’d also decided to try a honey hair mask today so I had honey driping down my neck and my legs were half shaved.
? I had to dress and drive to my parents house to wash the sticky mess off. Thank goodness they live nearby!
Wow! I am so sorry! Once in a while I dream that there is a fire and I have to leave the beauty parlour with my foils in. You had the dream for real !!
So sorry you are hav eing computer issues.
You have probably all ready done it, but I would back it up now!
Thank you for the great reading!
Oh, that sounds so frustrating! (And I’m not even sure what a honey hair mask is…) I used to live on a housebarge, and sometimes I’d run out of propane and the water would go cold while showering (and if I’d really been lazy, the spare tank would also be empty… I learned that lesson) but I had plenty of water, and at worst quickly de-sudsed my body and then rinsed my hair in the sink. I had to go outdoors to change over to the other tank, so that wasn’t a help in cold weather. But there was always plenty of water. Heck, I was sitting on a lake, for that matter…
Malware bytes or spybot search and destroy. Both are solid, free anti malware programs. If you can download them on another computer and transfer over using a thumb drive they might fix the problem. Good luck!
Elizabeth Lee says
It could definitely be the update. That’s why I don’t do auto updates–I give it at least 24 hours in case they need to put out a patch for whatever it borked. You could also try rebooting several more times. Sometimes it takes a few to completely resolve whatever is wrong.
Ms. Kim says
How can you not do auto update? They just push these updates at me and I have no say (like I used to – I always said no). Now they don’t ask, just do it.
i don’t really believe in this, but a friend of mine is going on and on about mercury being in retrograde on Facebook, and how it can cause electronics to not work and a whole bunch of other stuff, apparently it will be an ongoing issue until April 15
Paula Schultz says
I’ve always been a windows person. I love my iPad, iPhone, iwatch but never had an apple pc. Purchased a Mac laptop two years ago nothing crazy basic one it still runs just as fast as when I purchased it. I’ve update the operating system still no change in performance. I game so have a pretty hi end windows desktop it’s 4 yrs old and time to get a new one I’m seriously thinking about just going apple. Their products just perform. Pricey yes but they last longer and zero software issues. Just a thought.
KD Edwards says
Yeah, I totally second this. I was a lifelong PC user until 2 years ago, when I used an employee discount to buy a MacBook. Now I cannot imagine not using a Mac. Instant start-up? Never getting kicked out of programs for a forced update reboot? Fast, light, super-long battery life, incredibly portable….. Buying it was the best purchasing decision I’ve ever made in my life, no joke.
Tech is great until it stops working. “Computers are like Old Testament gods; lots of rules and no mercy.” Joseph Campbell.
Long time reader first time poster here 🙂 Run defragmenter on your computer (it lives in your computer you just have to search for it ( imagine your hard disk is a deck of cards and it just sticks them in whatever order when it saves things -running defrag essentially is like the computer reordering programs and files in order from ace to king in each suit so it is easier to find)
If that doesn’t work try malware bytes incase you have have a few learking spyware) and ccleaner which finds all your temporary files and cookies (not the tasty kind that Helen likes) and collates them ( so you can get rid of them if they are taking up needed space!)
Huzzah! This is always my dad’s first response…. When’s the last time you defragged? …. Now that’s always my first thought.
SnowCat MacDóbhran says
Stupid question? Do you store/ save files on your desktop?
Having too many files there will make it take forever for you computer to open up. I am just starting to do things to get speed and life out of a Win7 machine, one thing that helped was to make sure the only things showing on the desktop were only shortcuts to a few folders or programs – like maybe 7 shortcuts over all including the recycling bin.
Reading through MajorForums step by step instructions for malware removal were very helpful for speeding up my machine, even though there were no viruses found. CCcleaner is an excellent help.
Good luck in hunting down and killing the culprit.
Ms. Kim says
I have Kindle and Nook on my desktop. Where should I put them?
Judy B says
I’m not sure that was accurate,,, my daughter has many rows of icons on her desktop, I have four. Her computer is ten times as fast as mine.
Also do a disc defragment which pulls all of the isolated bits together And then compact the disc. There should be utilities to do this for you.
As I understand it, when you enter something into the computer it stores parts of that data all over the hard drive without rhyme or reason. Say you type the word hello. H an L get put one place and elo gets stored somewhere else on the drive. Very wasteful of space. The FAT (file allocation table) gets out of whack. So pulling all those bits back together and then compacting the drive will open up space. I would do as the other commentator suggests first. And go back to your last restore space and go from there just to be safe. Hope this is helpful.
Dave E says
Running a disk defrag on a system that is having a problem is probably not a great idea. Drive space allocation is a bit of a dark art but not quite that awful. Depending on the specific disk geometry, it’s more like 4,000 or 8,000 character are kept together and then additional space is allocated for the next chunk of 4,000 or 8,000 characters.
If there was a recent software update, then by all means consider rolling it back. If you have added any new software, consider removing it.
I stopped having problems with my PC last year when I turned the updates off. This is also why I like macs better…..restart and they fix themselves.
Ms. Kim says
I would love to turn updates off. How do I do that?
I don’t know what version of Win you’re using but you should be able to find it in the Control Panel. I have Win 7 and it’s listed as Windows Updates. You open that and go to manage settings. None of my laptops update automatically and so far they’ve never turned the auto update back on.
Mentally sending tea and chocolates your way…
Ronda G says
Depending on your anti-virus, one of the recent updates re-initialized Windows Defender as the primary anti-virus. We have a few computers at work this week that had Norton and Defender competing for resources, even though we had Defender turned off. (You can’t uninstall it, because Windows thinks it should be in charge.) It’s most likely not a program you are consciously running that is causing the problem, but a process that is running in the background. Or multiple processes.
Frustrating as heck, difficult to pinpoint without digging. Sorry you have to deal with it.
Yeah, I have a Windows machine running a piece of equipment. Suddenly a few weeks ago, the equipment software wouldn’t work. An automatic Windows update had turned on the firewall (on its own!), which meant that my equipment components could no longer communicate with each other. Took me an hour to figure out the problem. I really do not like Windows at all.
Ronda G says
Yep. We’ve even had it turn automatic updates back on, lol. Those are the first things we check when our computers start acting up!
Oh man that would make me crazy. Flat out loca. I am so sorry. I hope it works soon.
Dave E says
If something is chewing on disk and gobbling memory, nothing will work well. Try shutting down network connectivity. Unsure of what system / hardware / network configuration you have so I can’t suggest specific steps to take. If the task manager shows that no Alps (and wait at least 10 minutes before you decide) try running MS Word and iTunes if you have a local library. If you can get those to run happily, reconnect to the network and watch the task manager. If it spikes again, click on the %CPU bar to sort by highest CPU usage (you might need to tap twice to get it to sort in descending order. Post the name of the process chewing the CPU.
My disk usage was 100% today too on my old Mac. Was just trying to update a one page Excel sheet and couldn’t save it. I had to delete some stuff and empty my trash before it would let me save. It took 10 mins to empty the trash. Sigh. I mostly use a tablet now but have some documents in my Mac. Don’t want to buy a new Mac. I feel your pain….
susan k nagata says
I had the same problem & had to reset to factory settings. Luckily I didn’t have too much that I had to reinstall. It wouldn’t be something you would want to do, since you would lose a lot of stuff…unless you have back-ups of said stuff. I learned my lesson & back-up all of my books. Everything else can burn…but not my books 😉
Carolyn Sanders says
Speaking from thirty-five years of experience. I take my desktop into the PC Fixer guy, my husband sees him more often since he dares to go where I won’t surf. A few years ago my Itunes got a virus, took down my PC, killed it, lost everything I didn’t have backed up. Worst case you have to purchase a new box. Good luck.
Lisha S Jordan says
If you have a extra sdcard or flash drive, you can use up to 4 GB for readyboost and It can help speed up your system.
I use this and it helps some
I had a similar problem and traced it to a backup program running wild and filling up the disk.
Earle Davis says
My computer won’t do auto updates, Microsoft type, hasn’t since I got it. So I missed all these auto updates, thank God. My suggestion is to get more storage, 8gb won’t last very long. Dbl or triple storage. Are you using a laptop? More memory and more storage.
Garrick P says
Yet another offer of unasked for help. 😉
There is a program called WinDirStat will show you exactly what files are filling your drive, where. Granted, you will have to download it and run it first. It will tell you where to start looking to clean up files, in any case.
Not probably the answer to your problem, but here is an interesting read from someone trying to debug a similar experience to yours.
Had the same problem on my laptop with a recent Microsoft update. I kept getting a message that the update wouldn’t run but not why. I’m not sure what exactly was supposed to be updated but I ended up doing a system restore and it all went back to normal. Sometimes I want to tell Microsoft what they can do with their ‘updates’…
Cheryl Anne farley says
Yaaasss so been there an even butt dozen times. At this point let’s just blame it on mercury retrograde and have some tea and cookies. PS so enjoyed MAud and Helen. Struggling hard with several ridiculous issues and go back reread and feel better.
I’m going to be the paranoid person here. It sounds like a worm has installed itself on your computer – no antivirus isn’t a 100% solution, worms and viruses still get through. My suggestions:
1) If your computer is networked with your other computers, disconnect it immediately! It’s a better safe than sorry.
2) Unhook your computer from the internet.
3) Backup any necessary files to an external disk. And don’t on pain of death plug that disk into any of your other computers!!
4) Take your computer and backup disk to a professional. It sucks, but they’ll be much better at diagnosing the problem and they’ll be able to properly clean the backup disk so nothing else gets infected!
I’ll reiterate. Anti-virus programs are reactive. Actors that create worms, viruses, etc. are always several steps ahead. If you do nothing else, isolate your computer from any network – especially your unaffected computers and devices.
I forgot to mention, if you’ve rebooted and you still have this problem, then it’s not a hanging process.
I am so sorry! I hope venting helped.
I am so sorry. Even though I haven’t work at MS since 2002, and haven’t used Windows since 2007, I always feel guilty when I hear about these things.
I am sorry, sorry, and ? That has got to be totally frustrating. I haven’t got the foggiest idea how to fix it, but I empathize:)
I will join you in your “Eat shit and die…” depths. ?
Why I buy Macs. Just sayin.
Tos Al says
That’s how I feel
I just got a new computer at work. The “tower” part. It’s tiny. I have had sandwiches bigger than my desktop computer. Technology is ridiculous.
Now, if only it works…
Anthony Stevens says
You might want to check and see what sort of background tasks are running. Here’s one helpful page:
Um sorry again, “dirt” I meant “dirt” although I thought “shit” ?
Oh god, the description alone makes my eyes cross. My sincere hope you get it fixed. Computers make me nuts, I’m so far behind the curve the grandkids can help me!
Ms. Kim says
Different topic, any chance there could ever be a little story about Leon from Hidden Legacy? I worry about that boy.
Oh my god MS windows 10 is a nightmare. It continuously tries to update on my laptop and locks all the functions while it updates. The worst was at work though a few weeks ago. We thought that we had switch all the windows updating functions off but somehow they had started up again so when we switched the computers on we got a spinning disk and the main server trying to reboot…….it crashed our system for over three hours. So that shouldn’t be that much of an issue but we’re a veterinary surgery so no patient records, no one can get prescriptions and out tech support hadn’t got a clue how to get it working again. I messaged Microsoft and they said we needed to download a patch but we couldn’t get on the computers to download it. Eventually it just started back up all on it’s own. Crazy!!! I 100% feel your pain. The system drives me nuts. ?
Pat Crouch says
Wish I was a rich man ( imagine Fiddler on the Roof). If I were I would send money to buy bigger better computer system. I spend my life trying to remove frustration from future chores. Perhaps tomorrow will flow more smoothly. I wish that for you.
I’m also voting on a piece of software running rampant in the background. The easiest way to find out is to run your task manager and sorted it the percentage being used— just click on that header bar. My crystal ball says antivirus software is also blazing on your computer. They are rapacious hogs. Good luck.
Liv W says
My work laptop runs into the “disk full” problem frequently, even though I deleted all my music and image files and have 2 hard drives on it. The issue in my case has an easy fix (IT uses the WinDirStat Garrick mentioned to find out where the biggest memory hogs are).
It turns out that umpteen temporary files are *not* being stored in my Temp Files folder under Documents, but in the Temp Files folder under the *Windows* folder. It takes more than 10 minutes each time to empty out that folder every time but frees up at least half of the memory usage.
Hope your computer’s issue has a simple fix too.
Tina in NJ says
No tech advice, just warm wishes or a speedy recovery of your system. If the computer goes pfft, how can you write? (Horror!) To feel better, check out how many comments there are on the latest Innkeeper installment. As I write this, we’re up to 806 comments! What a fabulous chapter! Hope your computer troubles are resolved soon.
You just described my experience with computers…all computers. This time my mac was wonky. I have a new hard drive. It has helped. I am reluctantly considering upgrading to the latest OS. I pulled a special restart. If the update caused the problem, go back to the saved safe start point. I am so sorry. Macs are more stable, but the problems still happen.
Patricia Schlorke says
I feel your pain. My Dell computer crashed on me at the end of February. Had to get a new one. Went to HP’s website and built one for a little over $760 (that includes shipping and tax). When I got the computer and set it up, I turned off everything I could turn off. Then I installed my System Mechanic software and cleaned up the hard drive and other stuff. I love System Mechanic. It finds all the junk (internet as well as disk drive) and cleans it out. You also have the option of turning off software you don’t want to turn on when Windows starts up. That’s the tip of the iceberg. Saved my past computers from crashing before their time. ?
How old is your hard drive? As others have suggested it could be your hard drive has decided it’s time to go on strike.
I have to admit that I’d be fantasizing about the direct application of a hammer to my computer, if I were in your shoes.
Install Chrome. Import your settings from Firefox to Chrome. Uninstall Firefox. Then do a Disk Cleanup.
Rob VandenBrink says
Was it disk utilization at 100%? If so, every OS hates that, you need to delete some stuff to make room, or replace it with a larger disk. The OS will use free disk to swap things in and out or prefetch for performance reasons, if there’s no free disk even a reload will take forever. And updates also require disk, because the OS bits-n-pieces being updated are on that disk too.
Deleting %temp% files will usually buy you a few days to find a more permanent solution.
I wouldn’t normally write a reply like this, except it’d be tragic if this delayed a draft or something important 🙂
Stan Beeler says
Rob VandenBrink is correct. Memory and disk space are two different things and if your disk is full you have to clear out some space. More memory will not help much although eight GB is not a lot for a modern operating system. Hard drives are actually quite cheap and fairly easy to install. (External USB drives are good too, but you have to make sure that your non-critical files go to the external drive.) Hard drives can get full very quickly if you have something making a log file or a backup snapshot and the older versions are not being deleted to conserve disk space. Sorry if this sounds like pedantry, but it’s kind of a profession for me. I don’t know your background in computing so I may be repeating things that you already know.
Guys, it’s HP Pavilion wave, 128GB nVME M.2 SSD and 1TB hard disk. There is nothing on that PC except for MS docs and a small number of graphic files, which are routinely offloaded to the storage drive. I am away from the office right now, but I think the disk is less than 10% full.
I’ve been a gamer for the last 20 years, so I’m familiar with most of the typical troubleshooting. Something is accessing the disk at top speed, so I pretty much have three options: 1) I have some mysterious malware which is invisible to my current scrubbers, 2) Windows update caused a terminal malfunction somewhere and 3) Something done broke.
I’ve been noticing the same issue with my machine recently. It’s an i5-2500K with 8GM of RAM and a mostly free 2TB HDD. I mostly see it in relation to trying to run Elite: Dangerous, but the hang-ups and slow-downs aren’t solely associated with the game. GoogleDocs will also cause massive hangups.
Task Manager commonly claims 100% disk usage. Game performance increased when I shut off SuperFetch, though you have to disable its start up on launch to keep it off.
The problems appeared to start with Elite’s 3.0 patch, which was a couple of weeks ago, so I have been assuming it’s the game’s fault. Though I have been noticing that the computer simply won’t stay asleep and will randomly wake up with the disc tray ejecting for no reason.
But like you, I kill the easily apparent tasks and blame Windoze.
I’ve taken to doing most of my writing in Notepad, because it won’t freak everything else out.
I wish I had some tips for you, but I haven’t figured out what the problem is on my end yet, either.
I ran into that with my PC, and it devolved to a point where I couldn’t use the machine for work (also writing). My husband works with computers, has for many years, and he couldn’t sort out what MS had done. So, we switched me over to a Mac. I can still run Word, play games, and do everything I need. We were even able to import my bookmarks with Chrome as my browser. Might be a thought….
It’s been a while since I retired from doing this but I can tell you, unless FoxFire has been completely reconfigured in the last couple of years, it’s reallytop heavy and just gets worse every update. I used to live it until my system statted doing very weird things like your describing. I’m not a gamer btw. I unistalled it, rebooted and my system ran much faster. Use Chrome, both in my phone and pc.
It has been reconfigured in the last couple of years, I think.
Apparently, Mozilla also uses the word quantum pointlessly. That alone might make me go back to Opera…
But after I switched to Firefox, I was seeing less resources hogged than either Chrome or Opera did. Opera was still competitive, though. Chrome these days practically makes my computer sit-down and cry.
There is a supposed way to fix using steps from Paritionwizard . com . One of the ways is to disable Fix Your StorAHCI.sys as its causes hang ups with the disk controller. The title of the article is how to fix disk utilization at 100%. It has a slew of steps in order to fix the issue, but it states usually disabling the StorAHCI.sys is the way to go.
There are other sites that mention that too. Hope this helps and good luck.
This. Computers will block waiting to write to swap (on your hard disk). Deleting at least a gig should make your computer run normally again, at least until the hard drive fills up again.
William B says
Sounds like you need a spare PC for times like this..
Divide and Conquer. After decades of struggling with computer problems, from 1088 computers onward, I finally separated my usage between 2 computers. I’d always used Windows/DOS, which I loved for it’s ease of usage and how quickly I could learn it’s software, but hated the foundation of the system and all of the problems this bad foundation caused.
In 2012 I started looking for a small tablet that I could take with me for surfing the net, reading, music, email, etcetera, leaving my pc for programming, work and business. After a half dozen bad tablets, I finally bit the bullet and bought a mini iPad. MSWord, Excel and other Windows apps were too hard to re-learn on iOS platform (Yes, my age is showing! It’s why I can’t use a phone for theses things – the screen is too small.) The mini is the perfect size to fit into my purse. I have Kindle, Nook, EReader, Overdrive and Hoopla on it. I can play music or read a book while I’m working on my pc or debugging one of the program’s I wrote.
When my pc goes down, (this is not an if, it’s a when) I can still get emails with fixes and the one time the iPad crashed, I was still able to use my pc for important business.
I fell like I now have the best of both worlds and it’s a great way to leave business at home when I’m away without being totally out of touch.
Just a thought. Hope thinks start off better for you tomorrow.
Didn’t you guys get new computers recently? Or am I confused. I fully admit I’m not good with computers and haven’t been up to date on them in over 10 years. In fact I tend to kill technology with my mere presence alone.
Like Kate! 🙂
Mary Beth says
I know many writers and authors swear by Micro Borg.
The one time I had it? It ate my first novel, and erased a file of photographs I’d built up over ten years. A decade of work gone in less then ten seconds. Devastated is not the word I’d use.
Hubby yanked out the hard drive and smashed it to bits with a hammer, kissed me, and swore it would never happen again.
I have a PC that uses Linux, a laptop, and USB keys.
I hope the computer issues stop and harmony is restored.
Oh, your hubby is a hero!
Is it weird that I think that’s super-romantic?
Don’t disregard Firefox. I find it frequently at fault when my computer slows to a stop, with Firefox sucking up more than half of the CPU so that pretty soon, the task manager tells me that my computer is running 99 percent trying to do nothing. The only way to cure the stoppage is to turn Firefox off and even then sometimes I have reboot. If I could find a more stable internet platform, I would totally give it a try. Trouble is that my friends say bad things about both Google Chrome and Microsoft “E.”
BTW. I am so into the most recent “Innkeeper” serial. Friday’s installment was really kick ass. I can’t wait to add it to my (audio) library so that I can read and reread it on my own schedule.
Ailene McGahey says
You should try chrome. I’ve found it works the best, with fewer hiccups or hangups than the others.
Yup, Chrome is the best I have used as well.
Chrome appears to be the most resource intensive browser right now, and Firefox the leanest available. While I’m still having trouble, Firefox is a great improvement over chrome or opera.
30 book a month reader says
Every time Microsoft forces an update, my computer slows down to practically a standstill. It will be like this for about two days when magically it becomes okay. There are times i really hate Microsoft. Btw get rid of Firefox and use chrome. So much better.
I experience the same thing when Microsoft forces an update. I am with you Ilona, Microsoft should eat dirt (or worms – either would do) and die!! Preferably in a slooow painful manner, with an indicator just spinning and spinning. ?
Arcanist Lupus says
My last computer did that. Randomly slowed down one day (although not to the extent yours did) for no apparent reason. Anti-virus came up null. Multiple IT places failed to find anything wrong with it. Eventually reinstalled Windows and the problem went away.
2 words: Mercury Retrograde.
I finally stopped using Firefox except for 1 website due to similar problems.
Best of luck.
Ditch it and get a Mac.
MacBook Air. Had it for years. Very reliable. My friends in IT recommended it. I was reluctant, but so glad I changed to Mac.
Microsoft Word, Excel, etc. fine on it.
We turned off all automatic updates. For all programs. I’ll update when I feel like it. *After* my big deadline.
We don’t use google. We use startpage.com. And firefox.
When I got it, my IT friend installed two profiles: “administrator” and “mine”. I log in to mine. I use it. Life is good. That profile has no privileges to install anything, or to make changes.
I have to log into the “administrator” profile in order to make changes.
Similarly, any program from the Internet would have to ask for permission, too, in order to install. On the (rare) time that happens, I get a warning. I decline to approve. I then call the IT friend to see what is going on.
Never again saw the misery of that “blue screen”, or task bar.
Hate Mac OS. Haaaaaate.
I, too, once loathed the fabled Mac OS, until I was forced to use it on an emergency replacement. Never went back to the BSOD device.
I’m glad I didn’t also advise this. I love the Mac OS, but I’ve been using it since 2003. I only built a PC to play Skyrim and now Elite, but my 2009 iMac is still working. It’s slow and I don’t use it much, but mostly that’s because the keyboard is from 2003.
I’ll admit that OSX isn’t for everyone, and pointless for games, but it was fantastic for video editing, and rarely ever had totally inexplicable problems that everyone felt they could fix by suggesting basic IT fixes from a decade ago…
In light of this comment I thought you might like this ?
Be warned wars have been started over less
(The article is old so the details are dated but the spirit holds true)
Or the even older jokes about “if Microsoft made cars”:
1. For no reason whatsoever, your car would crash twice a day.
2. Every time they repainted the lines in the road, you would have to buy a new car.
3. Occasionally your car would die on the freeway for no reason. You would have to pull to the side of the road, close all of the windows, shut off the car, restart it, and reopen the windows before you could continue.
For some reason you would simply accept this.
4. Occasionally, executing a maneuver such as a left turn would cause your car to shut down and refuse to restart, in which case you would have to reinstall the engine.
5. Apple would make a car that was powered by the sun, was reliable, five times as fast and twice as easy to drive – but would run on only five percent of the roads.
6. The oil, water temperature, and alternator warning lights would all be replaced by a single “This Car Has Performed An Illegal Operation” warning light.
7. The airbag system would ask “Are you sure?” before deploying.
8. Occasionally, for no reason whatsoever, your car would lock you out and refuse to let you in until you simultaneously lifted the door handle, turned the key and grabbed hold of the radio antenna.
9. Every time a new car was introduced car buyers would have to learn how to drive all over again because none of the controls would operate in the same manner as the old car.
10. You’d have to press the “Start” button to turn the engine off.
Amber Canedo says
My husband crashed his laptop earlier this week trying to install a Windows security update. Had to call HP to send flash drive so we can reinstall Windows, because none of the other quicker options for correcting the issue worked. We’ve had issues similar to yours when windows is installing updates and also if your antivirus is downloading updates. Hope you get your issues fixed soon!
PS. Mercury Retrograde is definitely to blame for all computer, communication, and transportation issues between now and April 15.
$30.00 removable usb attaches hard drive = your bff.
A terabyte is 30 for a seagate and you can buy it at your local GameStop. Best Buy is a little pricier. You can save everything to it
It attaches to your computer via a usb cable it’s anazing
Yep and do a defrag and adware check
split work and play comps. Definitely. You don’t need internet for any program you use to do work on. Pull the comp off the internet and you’ll see the speeds slow down to a standstill. All programs, including windows, now run background tasks like bitcoin mining and group processing tasks regularly and do NOT need your approval.
sorry, that should say: “You’ll see the CPU usage slow down to a near stand still.” Read through the licensing agreements of all latest software. They can essentially use your computer to back up their network and store information on your hard drive… lol…
Yes, I turn off the Internet (on the work computer) when I have a deadline. I run the music on another device.
Yes, I do have split work and PC computers. I need access to the internet on work computer because I receive upward of 1,200 emails a week, have to do research, approve cover files, post Innkeeper snippets and so on. I don’t think you guys understand. We shopped for the house based on the availability of cable internet. 🙂
Oh man, I always had the impression that you guys are pretty handy with technology – more than most of us, including me – and finally had put together a great office for yourselves. I’m sorry this happened! Good luck! Also, Mac OS is the worst and I’m glad you see it that way too. >:)
YIKES!!! Sounds like you need someone just to handle all the emails. Brrrr, gives me the shivers just thinking of having to go through that volume of emails every week! ??
Ah, I’m sorry. I was just trying to help. I understand about the emails. I just meant to share that I do writing on one computer, and run internet stuff on another. Some of my friends have an “air gap” between the offline computer (used for writing, etc.) and the computer that is hooked up to the Internet. Writing could be transferred from one to the other on USB (only clean ones to go on the offline computer, of course. )))
I hope things are improving for you.
Tech and I have an adversarial relationship. In a fit of pique I once threw my laptop across the room.
Expensive and embarrassing but ohhhh so satisfying in that moment…
Lessons learned: I now immediately sub out any tech issues. Avast sucks. It threw up firewalls that worked against Windows and slowed any activity to a glacial crawl. Windows 10 is an update nightmare.
I have a new, (hangs head in shame), infrequently used laptop and do most everything on my iPhone and iPad.
I did that too. Work laptop. Happily, I was in my hotel room at the time, and IT believed me* that airport security dropped it. (Security did drop it. From about 4” up. Which may or may not have caused the issues that led to my little temper tantrum.)
* or they knew better and just let it go.
Laura the Librarian says
Omg…the mercury retrograde observations might explain the freaky tech mishaps at work Friday. Keeping my fingers crossed they issues are peaked and will remain low key or nonexistent from now until the end of time, forever and ever.
Lots of good advice here already, so I’ll just send virtual chocolate and hugs. I must say it seems unfair that we can come read Innkeeper for solace, but for you it’s a busman’s holiday.
At work on Friday had same issue. Had 3 programs open (1 was an excel spreadsheet for crying out loud) and laptop decided to sh!t the bed & grind to a halt. Contacting IS on a Friday afternoon & telling them yes, I restarted; yes, it’s plugged in & charging sent my pod-mates into gales of laughter but did nothing for my mood.
that is hilarious. I cant help as I am technologically challenged
I had a lot of those 100% disk usage issues with my current computer. For a while I thought I had to give up and buy a new computer. Everything slowed down to a crawl until I could’t even type anything in MSWord. Then I found out that for me, OneDrive was the culprit. I didn’t know why, but I stopped it and my problem was gone. Microsoft is just frustrating beyond words.
My work computer did a similar thing last week on Friday before and after installing a Windows update. Since I actually use that computer to run my medical equipment to test patients every half hour, this was VERY upsetting. It kept kicking me out of the test software mid-test (which it has done intermittently over the past 3 weeks with no solution from I.T.), then failed to reboot 4 times after I let it install the update hoping that was the memory hog… then it finally went through with the reboot when the I.T. person got there. Grr… !!! I hope your computer woes calm down after a few restarts – I blame Windows update.
Disclaimer: I am a computing idiot.
About two years ago, my computer was just not working (similar symptoms to yours). I took it in to see what could be done. They debugged and told me to upgrade to Chrome (I had been resisting, because it kept prompting me, and I’m contrary), and told me NOT to use Edge, which had been my default. I don’t remember the reasoning, and perhaps this is like spitting over your shoulder to avoid bad luck, but it is working so far.
Also, please resolve this issue, because I NEED for you to get your stories out ASAP or I will have some sort of withdrawal/meltdown/psychotic break. Please, think of my health… LOL!
My work computer misbehaves in the same way about 2 days before a big security update. IT thought I was nuts until they saw it for themselves. (I have my own folder in IT at every job.). It’s like it knows it’s coming and freaks out. Very frustrating. You have my sympathy.
Just as a side comment – You might reconsider 8 and go to 16, I found it made a huge difference for me.
1. Have you double checked that the update completed correctly? And have you tried the Windows Update Troubleshooter?
2. Try changing the virtual memory. Sometimes a change and then a change back magically fixes everything.
3. Check your drivers.
Past that, the internet has a bunch of regedit suggestions that I’ve never had reason to try. Good Luck!
Bah! The heck with all these techie solutions. Just get a nice 3 pound sledge and BEAT THAT COMPUTER into submission. It might not fix the problem but just imagine how good it might feel.
These are the sorts of things that pass through my saurian brain when my computer acts up, but thankfully my IT person (wife) knows how frustrated I can get when the machine does not work, and I move to the top of the fix-it list.
Good luck with your machine.
That made me laugh, thank you LOL
My son, an IT professional for several years, has a favorite t-shirt (not for wearing to work). It has a picture of a dragon using a baseball bat to pound the dickens out of a computer. The caption announces “The computer is down, but I feel much better.”
There used to be a “Computer Rage” website. Try searching for it. Even if you don’t need to hit your computer any more, you might enjoy someone else trashing one. Cathartic!
Anyone remember the movie Office Space from the mid ’90’s? They have a wonderful scene where the guys kidnap the evil fax machine, take it out to a field and wail on it. It’s perfect.
You could try to run CCleaner? It clears up cookies and temp files. When my computer gave me a lot of trubble like hanging itself and beeing slow – this one worked. Sometimes it looks like you only have few things on the computer but there are usually a lot of otherstuff to. especially Cookies from the internet.
One thing though, unless you have bookmarked all you favorit internet pages on your browser it will clear out your browser history if yu don’t unclick that uption along with the Cookies.
I’ve been through a whole range of problems with computers. Here is some of the few simple things that people may overlook. You may try the following before going straight to the ‘reinstall windows’ OR ‘buy a new computer’.
#1 get the dust out of the tower – this can clog the fan causing it to run slower and can allow the parts to get overheated. The compressed air cans are best for this job.
#2 make sure that all the drives are updated – there are drives for every part of the system and sometimes a new update does not mesh well with an older drive file. A simple online search for your system will give you the steps to update these drives.
#3 do you have more than one antivirus running? This will slow the computer down even more
#4 hardware issues: sometimes it takes a bit for the computer to realize that the memory cards aren’t sitting correctly in the slot that holds them. Make sure that the memory cards are sitting correctly in there and clipped in. On a side note I had a faulty motherboard that short circuited a memory card and I replaced it twice. Both times the motherboard burned out the memory card so I had to get a new computer then.
#5 I have a dell and when I initially turn it on I can get it to boot to system diagnostics. This is a function that will test the memory cards and hard drive for errors and performance. It may take a while but definitely worth it to know if the hardware is going bad. I think you can hit f12 when the windows logo appears.
#6 task manager should tell you what is taking up the most memory and the most disk space. This is most important to know for software issues. I have found microsoft edge to be the absolute worst. I never use it after I saw that and run chrome only. In fact most IT people I know will offer their first borns to google as homage to their greatness.
If you are running the newest windows they now use the ‘cache’ setup. Clear the windows store cache and any browser cache and data that they accumulate. The amount of cookies and saved data that all browsers now store on your computer is absolutely tremendous and if you don’t clear it out every once in a while the computer speed is slow. I now create favorite pages so that I can clear my browser history and data in one fell sweep *wink* while keeping the pages or information I want to come back to in the favorites or bookmarks.
I’m clearly not a writer so this might just be a giant clusterfudge of information. I hope this helps
I haven’t read through all the comments so I don’t know if anyone has suggested this but you might want to do a search on your computer for ‘pokki’. My laptop which has nothing on it had been having problems, and somehow an update from Microsoft downloaded that program to my laptop without my permission. My laptop is still sporadically sluggish for no reason I can tell but deleting pokki (and everything related) at least made my laptop functional again so I could use MS and Firefox. Which is all that is ever used in that computer. So the situation sounds similar to yours? Anyways, if it’s on your computer do a google search for removing pokki and follow the instructions on how to thoroughly remove it from your computer. It hides.
Good luck. Hope this helped.
Any chance the 1TB drive was partitioned for OS and Data, and it’s the OS partition that is full? I know it sounds unlikely, but I am speaking from sad personal experience.
Also, is there a way to check if all of your RAM is still functioning? I once had two RAM chips on my machine and one of them failed silently, i.e., didn’t show an error message but essentially became a brick. Performance slowed to a crawl with the RAM effectively halved. It meant the hard disk kept thrashing because stuff kept having to be loaded back into memory.
In any case, if the issue was indeed caused by a Windows update, it might be possible to go back to its pre-update state by rolling back to your last system restore point. However, that possibility exist only if your machine was configured to automatically create system restore points before any update is applied.
In any case, I truly commiserate you. When tech works, it’s brilliant. When it doesn’t, it’s enough to make you want to bash things. ?
Er, commiserate with* you.
I hate windows 10, but that is because it does not run as smoothly as the older programs..and I am now the “computer guru” for my mother. ((read shoot me please)), My current dream is to get all my debt paid so I can purchase a MacBook pro for myself, and convince mom to Go APPLE…
why because I am tired of windows.
My mother is 80, and scared of breaking her computer, and some days tech support includes finding the “buy” button on Amazon. So much sympathy. I was keeping an ancient Win 95 system as a standalone for my dad to play his favorite solitaire game, and the hdd died. I figured I’d just buy a new hdd and reinstall win 95 and his game… until he found the installation media. And we both stared in awe at 5.25 floppy. I don’t think I’ve even seen a 5.25 since my college days. I found it on the web as a ROM, so I’ll build him a Lakka machine with a DOS emulater.
It’s the gremlin inside your computer: only explanation I can think of.
Frustating to no end, I’m with you.
You may wish to boot into bios/setup and see the SMART condition of your SSD and 1TB disk. If there is a possible disk failure it may take 100% of drive space trying to fix it. Most BIOS/SETUP sections allow you to see the SMART disk log. If nothing else you can rule it out.
Microsoft, how I loathe thee. You crash for no reason, you take insane amounts of time to load and it feels like I am constantly troubleshooting some kind of issue. I know you hate Macs, but at some point it’s about what you hate less. I dream of turning my pc into a frisbee or using it for skeet shooting. I would learn just to destroy it.
Have you seen the startup on a Win 7 system with an SSD drive?
You press the start button, turn around and get a cup of coffee, turn back, and it’s up and running.
I’m an author too and I did pretty serious work with PCs for years as my day job until I could quit to write fulltime. I had to consider it for a long time but I stepped over to Mac a few years ago – there are definitely things that are kind of annoying but the thing is, it works. Flawlessly. It’s fast. I NEVER get an error. Ever. I never have to google how to fix something. I can do everything I need to do without my computer getting in my way. Also, no viruses, no Norton.
Furthermore, like many other authors, I’m a huge fan of Scrivener – I think it’s shortened the amount of time I need to write my novels tremendously, plus it helps me keep track of the different storylines: romance, family, etc. Scrivener is available for both pc and Mac but it’s much better on Mac. I’ve used both versions. For Scrivener alone, I’d stick with Mac.
My kid’s a big gamer so he’s got a pc. I’d never go back now.
monica martin says
The Blue Screen of Death always comes up on my laptop. It runs fine otherwise. It comes up and automatically restarts then business as usual. Weird and sometimes I lose what I’m working on obviously. It’s annoying and I’ve tried many things. Probably need a new laptop. Ugh.
If you are using win10:
at the task manager select second tab (performance), look at the bottom, there should be link to run performance monitoring program. Click it.
Select disc tab – you should now see which apps are using your HDD.
Also if you don´t have enough space on drive due to windows patches you can try either patch cleaner (https://sourceforge.net/projects/patchcleaner/) or bleach bit (https://sourceforge.net/projects/bleachbit/?source=directory).
Though with bleach bit you have to be a little more careful and select only what you really want to be gone
I was happily running windows 7 on my old pc and had no problems Then when I got my new pc it is using Windows 8.1 and I hate almost everything about it. The people who created it thought it would be better formatted like a smart phone or tablet, not like a desktop pc. Their idea of utility is me now having to search for programs on two screens instead of one although this could just be part of Lenovo’s own software. Not buying a Lenovo pc again. Sadly I will have to buy a new pc soon. The one I’m on is about 4 years old and it’s graphics card is getting long in the tooth and I’ve already lost the use of one of HDMI ports. Sigh
Omg, yes! I had a beautiful Windows 7 laptop, loved it to death. I used it for everything… until I spilled soup all over it and fried it. My husband got me a new computer – very thoughtful of him. I was appeased… right upto when I turned it on and found Windows 8. Ugh, I hate that system. Who thought it was a good idea to try to make everything as apps?
I don’t have time to read through this right now so I’m sorry if I’m repeating anything.
Hubby is a tech. Likely problem is a bit mining malware. Most anti virus won’t find it.
Run MalwareBytes program.
Okay, kids are out the door and on the way to school.
I meant to say it very well could be a Bitcoin mining malware. Hubby recently had the same exact issues and that was it. He said he had to run 3 different programs to get it completely cleared off his system.
He said to run MalWareBytes first.
Then depending on what you find, following this link:
I recently had this problem with an HP Pavilion and after running all of the exhausting malwarebytes, and TDSSkiller from kaspersky, it ended up being a hardware issue.
Sometimes even out of the box PC’s are injured, If you continue to have problems look into running the diagnostic from HP.
As always, before running any hardware diagnostic or fixes, back up your data….(this is not a recording, though it is heard a thousands times a day…Sorry to sound like Charlie Brown’s parents)
Here is some information on the item:
Mars must be in retribution. My email decided to completely freak out and copy everything. Computers are annoying. Useful, but annoying.
Reboot in Safe Mode with Networking
Run it – note could take 1 hr
Fix any spyware found
Reboot in Safe Mode
Run System Recovery
Select a date when system was stable and windows will reset files back
Maybe a sacrifice to the computer gods?
Debi Majo says
??? I love how tech has helped our lives (I am old enough to remember typing class on old non-electric typewriters in JR High?) but it is exceptionally annoying when it screws up! I work from home on an old government computer so I can understand your frustration!
Darlene Claus says
My question is off topic. I buy paper books from Amazon. I lesson to audiobooks from the library. I don’t know how to buy those audio books, I’m sure they aren’t CDs . Now I want to buy the Innkeeper series as a present for someone, I want a set for me too. What do I buy for audio that isn’t CD ?
I use https://www.audible.com/ or just straight up Amazon, but I am pretty tied to the Amazon ecosystem. You can also buy audiobooks from itunes and from google play.
So if I wanted the audioversion of Clean Sweep, I could go to https://www.amazon.com/Clean-Sweep/dp/B00IT2MNS8/ref=mt_audio_download?_encoding=UTF8&me=
And because I own the ebook, I could buy it for 2 bucks as an addon. And if I wanted cds, there’s a tab for that too.
Amazon’s Audible is a downloadable file. You’d have to download the Audible program, but it’s an easy way to listen to audiobooks without having to get cd’s. My husband is a truck driver and has it on his phone. He loves it. He’ll plug it into his radio and go all day listening to them. I got him hooked on the Kate Daniels series. 😀
As for gifting, you might have to look around the site, but I’m sure there must be a way. (Though, that might be wishful thinking.)
Books bought on Audible are not transferable to another user and their audioformat is at best in middle quality.
The best you really can do is to buy audiobook in AudioCD format (uncompressed sound at 44100Hz, 16bit, Stereo) and second best option in MP3CD format (quality depends of publisher). Those have advantages that you yourself choose what format and quality you want and you can easily convert those books into it, or just copy those MP3 into your device and you are free to go.
Only way to play audible audio books in not Audible applications/devices is to strip them of evil-DRM (for example with this: https://sourceforge.net/projects/aaxtomp3/), however be aware, that this conversion also lowers quality, because MP3 is a lossy compression format.
If you want quality its like this: Vinyl LP, AudioCD, MP3CD, Digital donwload (often miserable quality), cassette (sometimes on par with digital download)
If it was a Mac (like mine) I’d say get off anything of use, the hard drive is about to crash…however, Malwarebyte did save my last computer from the teen who downloads anything…. *sigh*
Had this problem and it turned out to be a cooling system (hardware) malfunction. Good Luck!
It is SO frustrating when the computer stops functioning correctly! Especially when I try everything I know, reboot a couple times and nothing. So I may not understand as much computer stuff, but I’ll join you in yelling and trying not to pull out your hair. I hope it resolves quickly!
eh eh eh,
Teeee hee he he
Ha ha ha ha ha,
I love you, E D A D micro . . .
and if you pick it up and fling it, you’ll only put a dent in the wall
that you’ll then have to patch and paint, which you won’t be able to match
So sorry, dear. I’m not much use for anything else. I have used Mac only since they came out. (Dating myself here – our first home PC was an Osbourne – yellow letters on black. Probably still have it somewhere…)
It has been my experience with computer problems that if it is not ridiculously simple, you will need an expert. Even after geeking all these years (and it’s been a bunch of years!), I am not an expert.
I hope you get it fixed soon. There is nothing more frustrating than a computer that could be working and isn’t.
I just had to replace my computer for basically the same reason, only I couldn’t do anything really. Just opening up a document would take 5+ minutes. I tried taking it back to an earlier rescue point and it didn’t help. It took me a week straight to run all the scans and such to try to fix it. Nothing worked, so I had to replace it. I’m a content writer and blogger. I have to have my computer and have it working. My sympathies.
I swear by CCleaner when our computers start to lag (it’s free). I’m not sure if anybody else suggested that as I just skimmed the comments.
At least you aren’t pregnant. ?!?!?!? I mean that is usually what I say when things are rough. Lol
I would be careful who you say that to.
I usually say, “at least the toilet still flushes”
Nancy Elbers says
Defragent your computer.
Nancy Elbers says
Defragment. Stupid autocorrection.
Great idea especially if your PC is on an older side. This sounds suspicious though so I would prepare for an option of your Hard Drive giving out.
Blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah
I guess you get that I have no idea what you are talking about. I only use my computer to do my taxes and this year it is too old to do that. I am not buying a new computer to use once a year.
Oops this doesn’t make sense here. I was replying to all of the technical computer talk on the previous page.
Obviously my age is showing. Sorry.
Have you tried running ccleaner to clean out your caches? It speeds my machine up no end and change to chrome rather than ie or firefox they are very memory hungry. I run ccleaner once a week to keep my machine running sweetly.
Gloria Magid says
I agree with the comment to defrag your computer. Takes a while, so be aware that this is NOT fast, but might help a little. There are also utilities to delete temporary files – unfortunately, every time Microsoft “upgrades” their OS, they put these useful things in a different place, so where to find them depends on which OS you have. If you really are operating with your disk at or near capacity, the best thing would be to get an external USB drive and move stuff you don’t use every day off to the external drive. that will free up a bunch of space. I would do that first, then defragment, then delete temporary files.
Hope some of this helps!
itunes is a hog of a program to run, you might want to try different software for music. Though if your computer is slowly dying that would not help.
Meg Shallanberger says
Friday. When I try to sign into Google, a sign appears, with a Google insignia, saying my phone has a serious virus from visiting adult sites. Would be more convincing if I went to adult sites. “To fix the issue please fill out this personal info and go to this unfamiliar site.” I try to notify Google someone is scamming using their site. “Please sign into Google in order to contact us.” Banged my head against the wall and then remembered my roommate was on the other side of the wall. After more appearances of my antivirus buddy, I finally found a way to send a message to Google security without having to sign in first. Never heard back from security, but the next day I could sign in.
Did you figure out which program was causing the high utilization? If is the OS then, yeah, that sounds like a bad update.
Couple issues I have seen recently:
* Inefficient access of a large by a program eventually looks like inefficient/random reads to the OS and this will cause the disk to spike. Perhaps the update has a poor algorithm and is converting a file that actually isn’t needed and could be “fixed” by just recreating – rather than converting to a new format.
* Registry hive corruption – amcache.hve. In this case we still don’t know what caused it, but a ETW merge hit it causing the merge to appear to never come back (hang).
You probably already have these, the SysInternals tools – in specific process mon was helpful to narrow down the file registry hive that was corrupt and allow me to “fix” be deleting (actually renaming) and then rebooting. In the trace the reads had a registry corrupt errors.
Hopefully it will fix itself soon or you can root cause and fix! It is so frustrating when technology that is supposed to make you life easier get in the way and becomes the job itself!
In the words of Dr. Rodney McKay (David Hewlett) in Stargate Atlantis, “Should have used a Mac.”
We got so frustrated with Microsoft malfunctioning and crashing that we switched to Apple at least 15 years ago, with no real trouble since. Even with an old hard drive burning out on a laptop, we were able to retrieve everything and download it to a new machine.
Please Apple, if you are reading this Please send Ilona your newest, most powerful, super equipped
computer to Ilona. No one deserves one more. The fate of several worlds are in the balance.
Kate Davenport says
In my case (on a Mac) the computer was actually full leaving little space to run anything. As I explored and deleted unneeded files (before doing the equivalent of a defrag) I discovered that my ever “helpful” computer had been downloading a copy of every attachment that came in my email (for years) to a folder I never looked at, while I was saving copies of only the things I actually wanted. So a lot of duplication and a lot of stuff I didn’t want/need. When I deleted everything in that folder I magically had enough room to work in.
Tina Black says
Go to control panel on your start button. Choose Internet. Delete cookies and temp files. That will give you back some space — probably a shocking lot of space.
Yes – defrag.
Also, did you see what was hogging all the CPU? If it’s a system process then something has gone wrong. If it’s a program – kill iiiittt!! and then you can do some googling to find out how to make sure it doesn’t use so much CPU. I won’t regurgitate it all here.
Probably an obvious tip – use your phone for googling commands so you can do it straight from the commandline (windows button + r directly or if you want a log of everything you’ve done type in cmd and you can keep track of what you’ve been running) it will save your sanity so you don’t have to click through to get to the icons.
Obviously, be careful about what you’re running especially if it’s commands to delete temp files, etc etc
Do not delete system32 folder. Do not delete WinSxS.
May god have mercy on your electronics.
PS – useful command: eventvwr
Will show you windows logs. Usually the ones I check are under Windows -> Applications, but no harm clicking around and seeing if you find anything interesting.
Don’t defrag if you are using an SSD! Just a word to the wise. Defrags used to be the fall back solution but they are not any longer.
If anything I’d bet it was iTunes. That’s the worst written piece of software in the galaxy. I refuse to put it on any of my computers. Sorry, but there it is. 🙁
Hope you are up and running soon.
Malware. Run something for malware.
John Mersh says
When this happened to me it was due to system restore points filling the disk – every windows update creates one on the system disk and you don’t need most of them
I’m on Windows 7 (the same thing should work on Windows 10) and I did:
Go to Control Panel -> System -> System Protection
You can delete all restore points on a disk by disk basis and set a maximum amount of disk space to be used. It normally seems to be set to something stupid like 90% of the disk which is mad: 10% seems reasonable
I hope this helps
Darlene Claus says
Thank you Brooke for answering my question about buying audio books.
Exhausted reading your post let alone finding a solution ?
Sorry no help at all here! ?
Dee Ash says
Be careful! Check your hard drive health – having just suffered a catastrophic failure (soooo much lost!!!) I realise in retrospect it was unwell for a while. Very slow running was a strong indication.
I haven’t used Microsoft products in a long time. Everything I have is Apple. MacBook, iPhone, iPad, and Apple CarPlay all flow seamlessly
Betty Schmidt says
Ugh, that sounds awfully familiar. I think I might have had the same problem in December. Windows was trying to do an update but failed repeatedly. And because the update did not finish my hard drive was full. I didn’t know it was connected to the failed update. There was never a notification. I kept deleting programs from my PC but the hard drive was soon full again. It took over a month for me to finally figure out what was the problem. Then days of trying to get the update to work like it should. I was about to give up and formate the whole PC. Already put most of my files on external harddrives. Then, all of a sudden, the stupid update suddenly worked and it was all fixed.
But of course the update comes with annoying new features and now refuses to let me save files in certain places. Can’t use one of my fave programs anymore. 🙁 Microsoft really sucks sometimes. 🙁
I hope you have more luck than I did and everything will work again soon.
Richard Cartwright says
You may have had a dozen people tell you this, but I don’t have time to ck comments. See what your memory is reporting. I have seen memory come unseated and that will kill performance. Depending on the age of the system, you might be looking at hard drive issues. Plus Windows 10 should be called Roland
This is sorta hilarious. Not that your computer is driving you nuts, but that it happens to someone who seems pretty tech savvy. You see I have this sister, we have lived and worked together our entire lives; no one needs to know how long that is, and it’s ridiculous, like she has this force field. I literally bought 6 computers in 6 years. It’s like she uses them for a couple months and they start giving up hope. Every other day I’d have to do something to make them have even a tiny will to live. Then a few months after that. Fffft!!! Dead!! Even her watches would go through batteries like skittles, until I made her start using an eco drive. So the moral of the story is, I finally bought her a Mac about 8 years ago. It’s still going strong. Once in a while her force field, which she calls her magic field, will give it a glitch, but I just turn it off and on and it’s like new. She claims it’s all the equipment. Everything nowadays is made for crap. I highly doubt that, as she also tells me constantly if she was 8 inches taller she would rule the world. So yeah. You gotta use a grain of salt, but who knows?
Yup Mercury went Retrograde I think on March 22. Mercury Retrograde occurs when the planet appears to be moving backwards, into its shadow, and thus things ruled by Mercury like communications, transportation, scheduling, etc. get screwed up. This is often when my computer or phone develops glitches or there are major misunderstandings and miscommunication about appointments, etc. I often do a computer back up just before it hits. Mercury will be under this influence until about mid-April.
Microsoft Updates for windows 10 since the Fall have also been causing major problems. It eventually forced me to do the Creators Update in January and since then, my computer reboots itself, with no warning, up to 3 times a day…sigh… Sending you the Tarot Magician who rules Mercury to assist with clarity and getting your computer working again…
We have a local computer show “ Sound Bytes” that has been on the air on various radio stations for over 28 years. They have a website called security tango and it gives step by step directions on how to clean out many issues on your computer. They have different instructions for various operating systems. You should run the “windows waltz”. This is not just virus software but several other programs to clean your computer. The url’s are http://www.securitytango.com and their main site is http://www.soundbytes.com. They are on the local school radio channel now and also live stream on the website. They are a call in show and give excellent advise. Check them out.
There show is on Saturday’s from 12:00 – 2:00pm eastern time
If you are out of disk space, not memory, but disk, then empty your trash.
And look in My documents to see if there are files out there you don’t need. If so, delete or archive them to a USB drive.
And you are backing up all those wonderful story files, aren’t you? At least daily. Buy three USB drives and use them round-robin to back up everything of value. Since the computer is your livelihood you should get an auto-update program, but that’s a topic not suited to a short post. So at least start off with manual backup, starting ASAP..
Carysa Locke says
This is why I don’t miss Windows at all. Sadly, Apple is going down a similar road. In a few years, there may be no real distinction between Mac and Windows for frustration. I hope I’m wrong, because I love my Macbook.
Lol. Sorry, this reminds me so much of the opening scene of A Questionable Client, where everyone offers advice to Kate on cleaning her boots. ?
I volunteer to fly to Texas and fix it for you. *grin*
In all seriousness, Heather is right that defragging isn’t the fix it used to be, and can actually shorten the life of SSD drives over time. If you’ve recently upgraded to Windows 10, 8 GB of memory might be a little bit light, but should be ok for what you listed. There are some good tools that narrow things down for you a bit more possibly, but it’s hard to say without seeing it. The SysInternals suite on Microsoft’s site (free!) is fantastic and has a component called Process Explorer that lets you see the child processes of each process you see in Task Manager. For example, did you know that every tab you open in a browser reserves memory as if you had opened that many copies of the browser? So if you are like my mom and open 100 tabs, leave them open for weeks, and never reboot, you might be able to just close the browser and reboot.
Venting is good. Throwing said computer at computer tech support in massive rage is better. Especially if there click two boxes and say everything should work now and it doesn’t. Sometimes technology is just evil and messes with you.
We have owned computers since the PS 2 debut. Until Windows 10 I did all the maintenance. After an awful upgrade to 10, I gave up and used the firm we hire for the office machines. The suggested I might like a solid state drive. I do like it.
I use Diskeeper for 10 years to defragment the drives. It runs in the background and keeps the machines running smoothly,
Microsoft released the spring update which is supposed to take some time to downliad, then it installs in the background while making backups. It will peg the CPU cycles in the process. Without a reboot, it should take about two hours.
Bill Gates is a space alien sent to earth to slow down earth’s technology. I thought everyone knew that?
Haha :D. I’m so sorry, I’m sure it sounds ridiculous but I am laughing because I feel your pain. This post just pulled me right back to a similarly frustrating experience for me a few years ago. I believe after telling windows and the internet that I hated them with the passion of a thousand burning Suns I became interested in new and interesting insults. The best one I came across was “May the fleas of a thousand she-camels invest your programmer’s short-hairs!” Doesn’t really apply directly to computers but it still made me feel a little bit better 🙂 I’m sorry, I hope it gets fixed soon!
Wow! There are some amazinly techy people on this site offering to help you out! That’s cool! I on the other hand have fantasies about clubing technology to death when it doesn’t work. I feel bad for you because it usually happens when you are your busiest. At least that has been my experience. So I appreciate your final sentiment the most…eat dirt and die Microsoft! Yes!!!
Cryptominer. We’ve had a dozen computers at work get hit with this. Instead of the old type of virus where they hijack your pc and encrypt it and hold it for ransom the new virus trend is hijacking your pc and running crypto miners that use your cpu to search for digital currencies. Do you remember the old SETI project where you could run something on your pc when it wasn’t busy and basically seti was farming out little jobs to millions of connected computers to process large jobs with many systems. This is a lot like that except it’s a virus that you didn’t ask to install and only the criminals doing it are getting money. It’s damn frustrating. I do not know how to get rid of it, so far we’ve found the offending processes in random folders and deleted them. Our virus and spam filters have not picked it up so far. Frustrating is an understatement. For my home systems I haven’t figured out how to prevent it but keep updating my bitdefender and Malwarebytes to try and prevent it. I sincerely hope you find a solution. Slow PCs make me want to chuck them off the roof.
Polina Smirnova says
I would recommend installing CCleaner to monitor disk usage. It’s a free program that does an amazing job at finding and deletingthose pesky temporary files. I would also install malware bytes to check your computer for malware. (This is different from an antivirus). Good luck.
When this happened to me–it took an hour and a half to open one email– my hard drive had died, utterly. The computer was trying to run a very basic OS off the back up external drive, which is why it took SO LONG–hope this didn’t happen to you! You use Time Machine to back to another drive, hopefully, if you’re on a Mac– saved my life more than once! Hoping for the best–
Ilona Andrews i am sorry you are having computer problems. Never a good thing. I run a Windows 10/7 hybrid. I do a full backup to dvds first of month and full security scan every Sunday. I defrag on a weekly basis. What I have found is the Microsoft updates may or may not resolve more issues than they create. I have gigabytes of drive tied up by the freaking error logs and system backups that Windows does every time windows / computer crashes. So far nothing Microsoft has recommended I try has freed up all the space consumed by the error logs and system backups. On positive thought side, eventually i will work my way up the tech support chain to someone who is a hybrid system guru. Of course by then I will have upgraded computer. Murphy’s Law.
Anyway, good luck with your computer issue. To give you a chuckle, you could be like my 75 year old Mother. She has locked herself out of her email and computer. No clue how she locked system admin out too but he is a bright computer knowledgeable 19 year old teen. Sigh. Always something.
A lot of programs insist on using the c: drive, no matter how much space you have on the other drives. It sounds like you are slowing down as the computer swaps out program bits you are using, changing and caching. Although all the defragging, etc may help a little (and take forever) the problem will probably return. The easiest fix and better long term solution is probably swapping out the hard drive for a larger sized drive. Also if you can install programs to other drives, or the files created by them, that may help the future creep that will fill the c drive. I have had this problem in the past and used another computer to copy one drive to a new drive, then switch out the c: drive. Once everything was up and working, I uninstalled and reinstalled some programs to other drives. It works better in a desktop, but there are work around for laptops. I hope you have found a solution that works for you long term.
Simon Lyon says
You need to look at exacly what is using your CPU cycles in Task Manager, not just how much. Look at Processes and sort the CPU column. I’ve had troubles like this with Windows Update not being able to figure out what the %&%$ it needs to update. If it’s svchost.exe then you need to drill down to what services that process is running. There may be more than one instance of it. The other usual suspect is your antivirus checker – it may have decided to do a full scan and wandered off course.
Simon Lyon says
Also, I’m still running Windows 7 so I don’t know if the steps are the same for more recent versions. Hit the start button and in the seach option type in “cleanup”. It should give you a bunch of options to get rid of crap that you don’t need. Logs are a favourite disk hog. Remember, whenever you delete something it isn’t really deleted – it goes in the “Trashcan” – it isn’t actually erased from the disk until you clear the trashcan, so it’s still taking up space. Finally, if you don’t want to upgrade your hard drive, consider archiving some stuff to an external drive.
Maybe it will return to normal when the magic crashes? You might want to check your surrounding fauna just in case!