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Windows 7 runs slow right after clean install

Posted on 2010-03-26
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Last Modified: 2012-05-09
Hey Experts!

I had great experience so far with Win7 on dozens of pcs. Today, I installed it on a Dell Latitude D531 (2yr old laptop), and it runs a bit slow. Please help me to figure this one out...

Laptop:
Dual core AMD TK-57 1.9Ghz
2GB ram

Why "i think" it's slow:
-Windows takes 2-3minutes to fully load, I only have Office installed on it, YIM, and all updates
- Firefox takes 20 seconds to load the first time
- Shouldn't a newly formatted laptop work faster than that!?

What I've done:
I used a clean retail Windows 7 64bit cd
Downloaded all updates for WIndows and Office
Switched WIndows from "best appearance" mode to "best performance"

Questions:
Are the hardware requirements on this laptop simply a bit too weak? If so, what would be a rule of thumb to choose between installing Windows XP or 7?
Not a best fit for 64bit OS?
Would it work better with a 32bit Win7?


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Question by:Kaptain1
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by:
John Hurst earned 336 total points
ID: 28716606
Is indexing turned on (yes by default) and is it still indexing?
Since you just set it up, try running Disk Cleanup to get rid of temporary files and then run Disk Defragmenter.
See if that helps, and then consider doubling memory to 4Gb.

Also make sure you install a security suite (even the new Microsoft Security Essentials) as Malware can invade very quickly if not protected.  ... Thinkpads_User
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by:cjrmail2k
cjrmail2k earned 336 total points
ID: 28716670
hardware requirements are fine as long as you have a 64-bit capable CPU (it would not let you install except for ghost image if not). As long as aero is off and I assume it is, you should be fine. I suggest having a look into your event logs for errors, particularly for disk or memory errors. If not, download memtest86 and run it on the laptop for about 3 hours...see if there are any errors. Its usually memory or HDD but always make sure you have updated ALL of your drivers especially chipset, bios and and motherboard drivers...
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by:Tymetwister
Tymetwister earned 332 total points
ID: 28721796
Try running msconfig, Selective startup, disable all Startup items and all non-Microsoft services, reboot and see if that helps.
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by:cjrmail2k
ID: 28729083
he has said that it is a fresh install from today so there should be no issue there. Anyway I have loads on mine and from power on to active desktop it takes around 1 minute to 90 sec
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by:John Hurst
ID: 28729518
Agreed. I have over 100 processes running, none disabled, and sparkling fast performance. ... Thinkpads_User
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by:willcomp
willcomp earned 332 total points
ID: 28732813
Have you tested the hard disk to ensure there are no faulty/weak sectors? Read errors can cause significant delays.

Also, I have seen Windows installations that were just slow for no apparent reason. A complete wipe of the hard disk and a clean install helped in most cases.
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by:angler-sd
ID: 28733366
Agreed... Test the HD. Butalso 2nd'ly  get and install a 32bit version of 7...
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by:John Hurst
ID: 28733717
A proper install of 64-bit will run rings around 32-bit. Why do that?? 32-bit is dead in the water going forward.  ... Thinkpads_User
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Assisted Solution

by:scrathcyboy
scrathcyboy earned 332 total points
ID: 28741604
"-Windows takes 2-3minutes to fully load, I only have Office installed on it, YIM, and all updates
- Firefox takes 20 seconds to load the first time
- Shouldn't a newly formatted laptop work faster than that!?"

Of course it should.  If FF takes 20 seconds to load, you are looking at latency issues in the NW access, or the NW card.  If you installed a 64 bit OS, I am willing to bet that the drivers for that NW card are NOT right.  You should be looking at HW-SW interactions specific to that laptop that is causing the internet latency.

Good luck, it is a long road to finding the problem, but I think I've pointed you in the right direction.
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by:nobus
nobus earned 332 total points
ID: 28755555
since you say it takes2-3 minutes to start, i suspect disk problems .
run the diag you need  (long test) from :    http://www.tacktech.com/display.cfm?ttid=287
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by:cjrmail2k
ID: 28851630
It is what I suggested in my OP, have you not run the suggested tests yet?
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by:Kaptain1
ID: 29229410
Hey everyone,

Thanks for all the advise so far!

I've run memtest overnight - no errors found.

For HD, i tried HD tune because there's no 64bit version of tester software from Fujitsu, and also tried linux based IBM hd test software, run them several times on long tests but no errors/bad sectors found!

For drivers, Dell doesn't  have any specific Windows 7 drivers for this Latitude D531... Would Vista 64bit drivers work for my Win7 64bit? Would they help or may do worse?  In any way, there's no chipset/hd drivers for Vista anyways...

Aero is disabled (switched to performance instead of quality setting, and choose Windows Basic in Personalize.

Even with Wi-Fi disconnected and connected with ethernet cable - Firefox takes 20seconds to open the first time.

Anything else I can try?

Thank You
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by:nobus
ID: 29312399
you can also run the ram and disk diags from the ubcd : http://www.ultimatebootcd.com/      

>>  Would Vista 64bit drivers work for my Win7 64bit?  <<   you can always try to install them; many do work - or install them in compatibility mode
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by:Kaptain1
ID: 30580313
Hey guys, an update:

After testing everything out (hd and ram) and not finding anything bad, I had an extra new 7200 WD hard-drive, so I copied an image onto it, and stick it in.

Here's the results:
Boot time was reduced from 1m40sec (old 5400rpm drive), to a 41seconds on a new 7200rpm drive. Which is almost 2.5 times quicker!

Therefore, can I conclude now that the old 5400rpm hard-drive was the reason why Windows 7 64bit was running slow on my laptop? Does that mean that even new laptops with 5400rpm hard-drives would run that slow?
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by:willcomp
ID: 30582567
I suspect a drive with weak sectors. There's not that much performance difference between a 5400 rpm and a 7200 rpm drive (10% or so).
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by:nobus
ID: 30589760
a7200 rpm disk will perform noticeably better, not only because of the higher RPM, but it probably has a bigger cache (8 or16 Mb compared to 2 Mb for the 5200) and higher transitional speeds !
you can run HDD reg over the old drive, and test if it performs better : http://www.dposoft.net/
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by:John Hurst
ID: 30604710
I tend to agree that (by itself) 5400-rpm will not make the big difference you noted with 7200-rpm. I have used both and now only use 7200-rpm drives. Still, it would seem something was not right with the old drive. I see new laptops with 5400-rpm running just fine. ... Thinkpads_User
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by:angler-sd
ID: 30677088
What model of drive. Maybe just a really cheasy toshiba or fujitsu hd. Seems like all the laptop vendors use the cheapest hd's they can find. But none the less a good HD test would show the true culprit. If you did the test in cmos, it's very forgiving for errors... I'm with bad sectors or weak ones on the other drive...
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by:Kaptain1
ID: 32342131
The hard-drive is Fujitsu, and it was performing slow.

I tried using another 5600rpm hard-drive, and it was much faster, only about 10-15% slower than the 7200rpm drive.

Anyway, i stick to using this 'slow' Fujitsu drive and so far it's been working fine, although a bit slow.

Thanks for all the suggestions!
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by:nobus
ID: 32342811
tx for the feedback !
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by:angler-sd
ID: 32351361
So who gets the points?
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by:Kaptain1
ID: 32352799
lol sorry angler-sd, everyone got the points but you, I didn't allocate points for you because what you've suggested was already mentioned, and since the cause was related to a slow Fujitsu hard-drive, I assume that Win7 32bit version wouldn't make any difference.

Thanks
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