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  • Computer running slowly when using Wi-Fi since last Windows update

    Home Forums AskWoody support Windows Windows 10 Questions: Win10 Computer running slowly when using Wi-Fi since last Windows update

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      • #2337145

        Hardware: – Dell Inspiron 5570, 4GB physical memory, C: is only drive – HDD approx 1TB running Window 10 Home

        a) was the W10 quality update 2020-12, cumulative update v1909 x64 (KB4592449) large enough to mean that the OS now takes up a lot more resources, causing the laptop to run significantly slower?
        b) what might cause the disk usage (shown in Task Manager) to go up so much when Wi-Fi is turned on (and no user apps are running) and drop as soon as Wi-Fi is turned off? (Malwarebytes and AVG both report no issues.)

        c) is it normal for the available physical memory to be a small proportion of total physical memory as reported by SYSTEMINFO

        Brief history:
        1. Nov / start Dec it started going slowly intermittently – checked using both AVG and Malwarebytes – all clear on both
        2. mid Dec it started running slowly all the time and got much slower over next few days
        3. Recently done W10 quality update 2020-12, cumulative update v1909 x64 (KB4592449) on 9/12/20
        4. Also had updates from AVG and Malwarebytes and a few other applications

        By 2/1/21 it was effectively useless with user apps frequently “not responding” for long periods of time. Task Manager frequently showing memory ~ 80% and disk at 100% or close – when no user apps were running
        a) took time to boot, to log out, log in and shutdown. Sometimes it wouldn’t shut down – so had to use <CTRL><ALT> and shut down that way
        b) task manager, when no user apps were running, frequently showed any cocmbination of CPU, disk and memory close to 100% and various processes hogging 1 or more of these e.g. fsavailux
        c) once, while in use, a message was displayed briefly – said it couldn’t find the boot disk – then it kept working

        a) rollback – couldn’t as last update more than 10 days ago
        b) restore to a restore point – only 1 in list was after the problems started (yet others had been done but a long while ago)
        c) Reset and keep files – appeared to work although disk was whirring and CPU, memory and disk were all high for hours. Disk still whirring hours later but it did shut down properly

        3/1/21 – it wouldn’t boot.
        Tried booting from the recovery USB supplied with laptop – most options just went back to menu. Only option that didn’t was Recover from disk, wiping all data and apps. Got stuck at 6% complete for over 24 hours.

        4/1/21 – contacted Dell – set their test going – gave severe error – HDD test was unsuccessful
        1. Dell replaced HDD & installed a newer version of Windows – seemed OK
        2. we installed Chrome so could start downloading our apps, starting with AVG & Malware bytes but going v. slowly again

        As it was still slow with brand new disk and operating system – consider that there is another problem, which may have been there all the time.

        7/1/21 – phoned Dell – MSCONFIG – changed Startup selection from Selective to Normal and Boot > Advanced options – processors changed from 1 to 4
        Suggested a RAM upgrade.

        Over next week or so, loaded apps (including Office) and data but still going slowly with Disk and/or Memory and/or CPU showing high usage.

        A Windows update came down but failed to complete.

        After 16/1 Office apps (Word, Excel and Publisher) started to say that they needed repairing “We’re sorry, but Word has run into an error that is preventing it from working correctly. Word will need to be closed as a result.

        Would you like us to repair now?

        Repair Now    Help   Close”

        – click on Repair and nothing appears to happen.

        21/1 – Office apps are crashing repeatedly – suddenly end up on desktop – no error message

        Tried to remove the latest update
        Settings > Update & Security > Windows Update – right hand part of screen totally blank and remained that way.
        Tried clicking “Troubleshoot” in left hand margin – displayed things in right hand part of screen but non-responsive e.g. couldn’t scroll down to see all options
        Closed the Settings window OK

        In cmd > SYSTEMINFO shows operating system v10.0.18363 build 18363 – which is the build in use before the HDD was replaced.
        – it also shows total physical memory = 3,994MB but available physical memory = 829MB. Virtual memory also available.

        Task manager showing several processes suspended, including Settings.

        Dell recommended starting in Safe Mode, copying all data then would talk me through removing the update outside Windows.

        When booting into Safe Mode (<F11> and restart way) – it gave a message about updating the system – then, later in the process, another message displayed very briefly – something like couldn’t do changes.

        Once in Safe Mode, build is 18362.19h1 – release 190318-1202

        It rebooted OK into normal mode.

        cmd > SYSTEMINFO gives build 10.0.18363 i.e. same as 20/1/21.
        Settings > Update & security > Windows update now displays options as it should
        23/1 – Windows office apps are no longer saying that they need repairing nor are they crashing (limited testing)
        Speed is also much better, task manager not showing high usage of CPU, memory or disk – so seems OK.
        24/1 – Restore point created.

        Then turned on Wifi – immediately much slower – apps starting to “Not responding”. Task Manager ~ 70% processor and around 100% disk.


        Thank you for any help and advice.

        Closed all user apps – with Wi-Fi turned off task manager shows little usage but when turn Wi-Fi on disk usage goes up to nearly 100% and remains there until turn Wi-Fi off.

      • #2337147
        Susan Bradley

        Can you try it removing both antivirus products?  I would pick one, and not run two on your system.

        Also (and you’ll hate me saying this… ) is there a way you can increase the RAM?  4 gigs on Windows 10 is tight and typically for me I see a strain on systems.  8 gigs is much better.

        Susan Bradley Patch Lady

        • #2338092

          Thanks for the advice Susan – and 16GB is being delivered tomorrow.

          It was interesting to read about memory overload, paging to the disk and the effect of that – frequently causing disk usage to go to 100% which, over time, can damage the disk.


      • #2337222
        AskWoody Plus

        “Settings > Update & Security > Windows Update – right hand part of screen totally blank..”

        This can happen if the Update Orchestrator service is not running.

        “total physical memory = 3,994MB but available physical memory = 829MB.”

        If you have onboard graphics (as distinct from a dedicated graphics card) it can use up to 1 GB of system memory and make it otherwise unavailable.  There should be a setting in the BIOS/UEFI to reduce this amount if you wish.

        Windows 10 Pro 64 bit 20H2

        • #2338093


          Thanks for both pieces of information. I’ll look to see if we have a graphics card and go further if appropriate. I’ll also make a note about Update Orchestrator service in case that happens again.


      • #2337228
        AskWoody Plus

        If you choose to uninstall AVG, make sure to use the uninstaller they made specifically for uninstalling their programs or you may come across issues with Malwarebytes or whichever other anti-crapware program you choose to use.

        I say this because these types of programs (from different companies) are notorious for not cleanly uninstalling with just the uninstall option from Control Panel or the Settings>Apps & features menus. For many of the different anti-crapware programs/suites, you have to use a dedicated uninstaller from the program’s author/manufacturer to complete the job after using the uninstall option within the program’s entry in Windows.

        I had AVG Free on Windows 7 and, last year, one of their upgrades went sideways leaving the program with one of the modules dead. A complete uninstall and reinstall is the only thing that fixed it, and that was per their advice on their support FAQ pages.

        The AVG Remover tool (as they call it) is located here, in case you decide to remove it:

        Once there, just click on the green “Download” button and it will download to the location of your choosing directly from AVG’s servers. BTW, the URL says “avg-remover”, but the program is now called “AVG Clear” on the actual page.

        After looking up the specs for your Dell laptop, I’m with Susan…get at least another 4 gigs of memory, if not more. From what I saw on Dell’s site that listed the specs for your machine, it is supposed to be capable of handling a total of 32 gigs of RAM. The page I got the info from is at the following rather long-ish link:

        I sincerely hope this helps!

        • This reply was modified 1 month, 1 week ago by Bob99. Reason: added link for Dell specs for 5570 memory
        • #2338094


          Thank you for your very helpful reply.  I’ve heard of major issues trying to uninstall Norton and McAfee so not surprised that this may happen with others too.

          The link to the Dell info was followed – and 16GB of RAM is due to arrive tomorrow.


      • #2337292
        Paul T
        AskWoody MVP

        I suspect your machine is RAM bound and swaps to disk in an attempt to make things work.

        The 2 things that will make a huge difference in speed, in order of benefit:
        Increase RAM to 8GB
        Install an SSD instead of an HDD

        cheers, Paul

        • #2338097

          Hello Paul,

          Thanks – I read up on being RAM bound, paging to disk and the long-term effects of running at 100% disk.  (That maybe why our HDD died.  It’s already been replaced, like for like, by Dell.)

          16GB of RAM is due to arrive tomorrow.


      • #2337868

        I have a 5559 with 16 GM RAM and Win 10 Pro.

        Definitely need more RAM, go to 16GB, 32 if you can afford it and do video editing; you’ll be better off replacing both memory modules anyway.   8GB is not enough today, the OS uses about 3GB  just loading, your browser can use 1-2 GB with a few tabs open, Intel Graphics shares system memory, etc., etc., for each system item started and program run.

        FWIW, if you buy memory from Dell, you’ll probably pay far too much.

        $60-$70 for two 8GB modules here; I’ve bought from them many times, zero issues:

        Seems like you should be OK from an OS integrity standpoint with a new install from Dell.  Just keep in mind that OEM installs include programs that constantly look for updates and scour your system regularly causing periodic slowdowns additional to Windows’ ever increasing data collection.

        AVG is owned by Avast, a data brokering company, look at their coporate site, they’re honest about it anyway; avoid anything Avast or AVG.  Malwarebytes is good to run every 6 months or so but shouldn’t be installed all the time.  It’s slow, doesn’t add any additional security but may occasionally find stuff others don’t.

        Avast and AVG completely invade your system, into places a real AV would never need to go.  Even after a typical uninstall, there will be maybe 30 minutes of registry entries to remove one by one.  A good third party AV is eset, otherwise Defender is OK, just slow and MS gets more of your data to send even more ads to you.  Avoid Internet Suites, too many redundant features. (See Bob99’s post.)

        Again, definitey update memory to 16 GB.

        Nice to haves:

        SSD, Win 10 Pro (Home’s an ad server.)  With these two additions, our machine is now much faster, boots in a few seconds.


        • #2337905
          AskWoody MVP

          A good third party AV is eset, otherwise Defender is OK, just slow and MS gets more of your data to send even more ads to you.

          I don’t believe Microsoft gets any of your data via Defender.

          Where do you see ads?

          Any evidence?

        • #2338099


          Thanks for that informative answer. 16GB of RAM is on its way (bought online at less than Dell’s prices). Windows 10 Pro is another story.  I’d like that if only for bitlocker.

          • #2338282
            Paul T
            AskWoody MVP

            Use Veracrypt instead of Bitlocker, it’s free. I use it on my laptop and apart from the 5 second delay after entering the password I don’t notice it.
            You have to enter the password to get the machine to start, but then you can run Windows without a password.

            cheers, Paul

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