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  • Applications take forever to start

    Posted on WSMartinM Comment on the AskWoody Lounge

    Home Forums AskWoody support Windows Windows 7 Questions: Windows 7 Applications take forever to start

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      • #2258338 Reply
        WSMartinM
        AskWoody Lounger

        Windows 7 running on a hi-spec Dell laptop

        All has been well for years, but in the last few months it has been taking longer and longer for applications to start. This has got the poinit where, after clicking on an icon, it can take up to 3 minutes for an application to launch, and sometimes I just get the spinning circle and nothing at all happens.

        Its the same opening a new tab in Chrome.

        Once applications are open, they run at the usual speed.
        I thought it might be the virus checker (Avira) and changed to BitDefender but – if anything – that made things a little worse so I swapped back again.

        Things I’ve done/checked:

        • The disk is about 60% full and hardly fragmented at all (<2%)
        • When an application is (or isn’t !) launching, there’s no particularly high CPU or memory usage
        • I haven’t made any software changes (apart from the anti-virus) and regular Windows updates
        • I’ve turned off the Windows indexing service – made no difference
        • DropBox seems to use about 200MB of RAM, which does seem excessive to me

        I’d be grateful for any clues either as to the cause, or how I might set about diagnosing what’s going on

        Thanks

         

      • #2258342 Reply
        WoollyMammoth
        AskWoody Lounger

        I had a couple of Win7 machines grind to a near halt.  I thought it was Avast, but the problem continued when I deleted it.  I even considered going to W10 (you know things are bad…)  Eventually I happened across an apparently known problem M$ have not fixed.

        First question to you is, is the disk light on, possibly nearly permanently, while you’re waiting and at other times too?  Problem is, whatever’s going on almost certainly doesn’t appear as a Task yet the CPU % is high.   Because it’s probably a Service that’s causing the problem.

        With the disc on (or even not), see what is being written to/read from the disc.  Do Ctrl-Alt-Delete and select Start Task Manager.  Select Performance tab, then Resource Monitor button.  Here you can noodle around to see what’s going on with your machine. Sorting the disc activity by different categories can help clarify. e.g. sort first Disk Activity window by Total B/s.  Then when you get a clue as to the area/folders of disk being used, then sort by File.

        In my case I found a bunch of files being accessed at C:\Windows\Logs\CBS   Searching the net I found that there’s a known bug (possibly fixed in 10??!) where the machine builds ever-increasing .log files, then when they get too large, the opsys decides to compress them, into .cab files.  These log files and cab files take a huge amount of space (several GB not uncommon) and more to the point in terms of machine responsiveness, the task doing the compression seems to take an excessively high priority and thus slows the machine down.  From my observation, the disc light is usually flashing, but not always, as the task seems to quite and come back every now and then.

        All I did was delete all the files in that directory except CBS.log and FilterList.log, problem gone.

        Even if it’s not this, then the same Resource Monitor screens can with some imaginative sleuthing help you find what’s going on.

        Good luck

        WM
        --
        Win7Pro SP1
        new Dec 2011
        rebuilt Jun 2016
        & still going nicely

        2 users thanked author for this post.
      • #2258350 Reply
        WoollyMammoth
        AskWoody Lounger

        One tip is, start Resource Monitor straight after you start the machine, and keep it running, then you can switch to it more easily and help catch stuff

        WM
        --
        Win7Pro SP1
        new Dec 2011
        rebuilt Jun 2016
        & still going nicely

        • This reply was modified 1 week, 4 days ago by Elly.
      • #2258349 Reply
        anonymous
        Guest

        Your post prompted me to recognise a similar problem still with one machine I have.  The same steps above helped me find a few processes hogging disc etc.  I have now disabled CompatTelRunner.exe as per https://answers.microsoft.com/en-us/windows/forum/windows_10-start/compattelrunnerexe-in-windows-10/b0c6abf9-df70-44d4-8343-206e07773b2d

        • This reply was modified 1 month ago by PKCano.
        • This reply was modified 1 month ago by satrow. Reason: Replaced spammy url
      • #2258376 Reply
        Canadian Tech
        AskWoody_MVP

        I would be willing to bet, you have faithfully been allowing Microsoft to “update” Windows 7.  That’s the cause.  I have 120 win7 client systems that run day in day out like clocks.  Better than when they are new.  The reason:

        About a year ago, I started bringing them to my desk one at a time.  I did a complete re-install of Windows 7 following the procedure you will find here: https://www.askwoody.com/2019/canadian-tech-how-to-rebuild-a-win7-system-with-minimal-snooping/

        Before I started I decided whether to replace the hard drive.  If a laptop, 4 or 5 years old or more, replace.  If a desktop 7 or 8 years.  Considering their age on average, most got replaced.

        I can virtually guarantee that if you will follow my procedure precisely as written, you will have a system you will delighted with, as my clients have.

        Feel free to ask questions

        CT

        1 user thanked author for this post.
      • #2259030 Reply
        WSMartinM
        AskWoody Lounger

        It was the (huge) log files that were causing the problem.

        Thanks for that, WoollyMammoth !

        The PC is rejuvenated

        Martin

        • #2259051 Reply
          WoollyMammoth
          AskWoody Lounger

          It was the (huge) log files that were causing the problem.

          Thanks for that, WoollyMammoth !

          The PC is rejuvenated

          Martin

          Great. I love it when a plan comes together.

          WM
          --
          Win7Pro SP1
          new Dec 2011
          rebuilt Jun 2016
          & still going nicely

      • #2264972 Reply
        kiwisolutionz
        AskWoody Lounger

        Every time my hi spec laptops got to this point in time I would get ready to do a format and clean install m8 … something has gone awry in the system and sounds like you can’t nail it to the wall. This is when I start saving alllll my treasure troves onto 128GB usb sticks per topic etc and you’ll be right back to what I call: “Click-Bang” land once again, enjoying the specs you paid for years ago – hope this helps ; >)

        If there is magic on this earth ... it's in the water.

        • #2265024 Reply
          Canadian Tech
          AskWoody_MVP

          USB sticks make lousy back up devices. They are just not that reliable. Please buy yourself an external hard drive. I mean one with an hard disk. I can go into a lot of detail, but suffice to say the ideal backup device is one of those larger external drives with a 3.5″ drive inside.

          The ones you buy off the shelf are not that good either because you have no idea of how good a drive was installed inside and they are sealed.

          I do this for my clients all the time. Likely have made 50 or more of them. They last forever, I mean decades. Buy an external drive enclosure that houses a 3.5″ drive. Also buy a 3.5″ internal hard drive (the kind that goes into a desktop PC. It is simple to assemble.

          Buy a top end housing and a top-end drive.

          I use this enclosure. $28.75 Cdn Vantec
          And I use only Western Digital Black drives of 1TB or more. WD blacks carry a 5 year warranty, the longest in the industry.

          I do not recommend USB sticks or SSD for backup. Solid State memory physics are that each write to a cell literally wears that cell. Eventually the cell will wear out. Backup are almost 100% writing. Unlike SSD for the OS in your laptop. OS in the SSD are not written often probably 90% read which has no effect on SSD cells.

          Backup devices are like fire extinguishers. You never want to have to use them, but when you do, you really want to be able to be certain it will work.

          CT

          3 users thanked author for this post.
      • #2265021 Reply
        MrJimPhelps
        AskWoody_MVP

        You never said how much memory your laptop has, nor the type and size of the hard drive (SSD vs mechanical). On a laptop, those are the two items that you can upgrade in order to get better performance. Of course, if those two items are already good, then the problem is likely in Windows. In your case, the massive log files were slowing things down, i.e. it was a Windows issue.

        Group "L" (Linux Mint)
        with Windows 8.1 running in a VM
      • #2265271 Reply
        WSMartinM
        AskWoody Lounger

        Hi Jim,

        It has 4GB RAM and the 500 GB spinning disk is about half-full.

        I was still encountering a few slowness iissues after sorting out the big Log Files and finally tracked down a memory problem caused by something called Wondershare Application Framework,

        I didn’t install this as such so it is not uninstallable in the usual way, but believe it may have come with a video converter. Anyway I removed its folder in Program Files (x86) and the reduction in memory use (over 1GB) has made a further big difference.

        PC now running like greased lightning 🙂

        • #2265313 Reply
          GoneToPlaid
          AskWoody Plus

          Uninstall the video converter software. Doing so may or may not remove Wondershare. Wondershare Application Framework is malware. It components are easier to delete while in Safe Mode, after first using Autoruns to disable its driver and its service. See the following for general instructions. Yeah, it is for Windows 10, yet the procedures basically are the same.

          https://answers.microsoft.com/en-us/windows/forum/all/how-to-uninstall-wondershare-in-windows-10/f969fe4b-b3de-4ace-8d02-d3a7b20584a0

          Reboot normally. Install the free trial version of Malwarebytes Antimalware (MBAM) directly from the MBAM website:

          https://www.malwarebytes.com/mwb-download/

          Launch MBAM and update it by clicking on the Update link. Then perform a normal scan. MBAM will locate all remaining traces of Wondershare. Choose to quarantine whatever MBAM finds instead of deleting them. MBAM will tell you to reboot your computer.

          If everything appears to be fine after rebooting your computer, you can launch MBAM and delete the files which are in quarantine.

          • #2265329 Reply
            WSMartinM
            Guest

            I am working through the processes for the removal of Wondershare – thanks for the information.

            PS Malwarebytes (which I already have) didn’t pick it up,

      • #2265275 Reply
        MrJimPhelps
        AskWoody_MVP

        If you have 64-bit Windows, then you might want to increase your memory from 4 to 8 GB, if your computer will allow it. There will be times when it will make a difference. That said, I’m glad you were able to solve what was slowing you down.

        If you have 32-bit Windows, then you are maxed out on memory at 4 GB.

        Group "L" (Linux Mint)
        with Windows 8.1 running in a VM
        • #2265314 Reply
          MrJimPhelps
          AskWoody_MVP

          I noticed that you have a “Program Files (x86)” folder. This means that you have 64-bit Windows. (The “x86” refers to the 32-bit stuff; if your Windows install is 32-bit, there is no need for a separate “x86” folder, because everything is 32-bit.)

          Therefore, since you have 64-bit Windows, I would definitely suggest bumping the memory up to 8 GB, if the computer allows for that. You can get good memory cheap on Ebay. I’ve bought memory many times on Ebay, and I’ve never been disappointed, except for one time, when I didn’t read the specs close enough and got the wrong kind of memory!

          Group "L" (Linux Mint)
          with Windows 8.1 running in a VM
      • #2265326 Reply
        WSMartinM
        Guest

        I’ve ordered more memory !

        1 user thanked author for this post.
      • #2266059 Reply
        WoollyMammoth
        AskWoody Lounger

        Om my own machine’s slow-to-start problem, in spite of fixing the huge log files issue, from time to time it was remaining slow.

        Looking at the Performance Monitor I found many (50+?) tasks associated with Avast AV with large read-write figures.  I have no idea why but turning the AV off before shutdown and then turning it back on well after starting up or only when I go on the net does make the machine a lot more responsive.

         

        WM
        --
        Win7Pro SP1
        new Dec 2011
        rebuilt Jun 2016
        & still going nicely

        • #2266114 Reply
          GoneToPlaid
          AskWoody Plus

          A coworker had similar issues with Avast on his Win7 laptop. He was unable to conduct video conferences with staff since either his audio would drop out or echo horribly, his Internet connection slowed to modem-like speeds, and his mouse would freeze. I told him to uninstall Avast, reboot, and then install Panda Dome. He did as I advised, and all of his computer issues went away. He thought that his refurbished laptop had an internal hardware problem, yet the issue was Avast.

          1 user thanked author for this post.
          • #2266117 Reply
            WoollyMammoth
            AskWoody Lounger

            Doesn’t look like Panda has great detection rates.  I will be looking at other products though since Avast has become serious nagware – “we’ve found 2000 broken registry items and 14 security holes – so buy the full version”

            WM
            --
            Win7Pro SP1
            new Dec 2011
            rebuilt Jun 2016
            & still going nicely

            • #2266120 Reply
              GoneToPlaid
              AskWoody Plus

              We have been using Panda Dome (formerly called Panda Cloud Antivirus) on over two dozen computers at the office for five years now. Nothing has gotten through. Our IT guy wanted to go with Bitdefender, yet I convinced him to go with Panda Dome. Our IT guy now swears by Panda Dome since nothing has gotten through and since when a computer has issues, he knows that Panda Dome is not the cause.

              1 user thanked author for this post.
      • #2266179 Reply
        WoollyMammoth
        AskWoody Lounger

        Another program I keep seeing is compattelrunner.exe, many many instances together.   See https://www.file.net/process/compattelrunner.exe.html  If you’re on 7 and not intending to go to 10, you don’t need it.  That tells you how to disable it, as well you might want to since “Although not a heavy CPU user, it can monopolize disk I/O for up to 20 minutes at startup”

        Search that page for taskschd.msc then the instructions are right afterwards.

        [If you’ve got an un-rebuilt Win 7 you might be able to find the update (KB2977759) and uninstall it?]

        Just done it. Fingers crossed

        WM
        --
        Win7Pro SP1
        new Dec 2011
        rebuilt Jun 2016
        & still going nicely

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