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laptop's performance degrades until i shut down, pull out battery and replace...how can I fix this

Posted on 2012-03-28
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Last Modified: 2012-06-21
I have a laptop that starts to degrade in performance within 5 minutes of booting.  windows intermittently freezes up (for a second or two), web pages dont load completely, when I telnet there is a long lag time and often ends in the telnet connection being terminated.

When i shut down the computer, take the battery out for a few minutes, and replace the battery, everything works as supposed to.  However, again within 5 minutes, these issues return.  I first tried reformatting the laptop, which seemed to be a temporary fix. I tried buying a new battery but the issue still continues.

Is there anyway to permanently fix this?
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Question by:cllocc
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CyrRei88 earned 167 total points
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Is your computer getting excessively hot?

Download a temperature measuring tool like Core Temp and see if any of the components get too hot.

You said you reformatted the computer. After your first restart did the computer slow down too? Or did it start slowing down after you installed drivers and software?
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by:twohawks
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Hi cllocc,
What happens when you run the laptop only on a power cord with the battery removed?

When you say you reformatted - did you actually reformat and reinstall, or did you only reinstall the OS?

Does the machine run in safe mode normally for a long time?
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by:cllocc
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Is your computer getting excessively hot?

Download a temperature measuring tool like Core Temp and see if any of the components get too hot.

You said you reformatted the computer. After your first restart did the computer slow down too? Or did it start slowing down after you installed drivers and software?

No its not getting hot at all.  I'll still go ahead and download a temp measuring tool and check the components.

It worked well even post reinstall of the OS after i installed the drivers and software but after a few restarts the problem started occurring again.
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by:cllocc
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What happens when you run the laptop only on a power cord with the battery removed?

When you say you reformatted - did you actually reformat and reinstall, or did you only reinstall the OS?

Does the machine run in safe mode normally for a long time?

I havent tried running the laptop with only a power cord, nor have I tried running it in safe mode for an extended period of time.  I will try those both and report back.

Also, I guess I did a reinstall of the OS, I assumed that when I would reinstall the OS, it would also reformat the hard drive.
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by:twohawks
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Yeah, you need to be mindful to choose the format option when reinstalling.
You could try running a rootkit checker (rootkit buster / rootkit revealer).
Do those first two things and report back ;^)
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by:nobus
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if the above does not help - i would run a disk diag
download UBCD, boot from it, and runt he manufacturers diag tool - long test
http://www.ultimatebootcd.com/
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by:cllocc
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the machine runs much better with the battery removed and only the power cord plugged in.  No more 1-2 second freeze ups, long/disconnected telnet sessions, and failed loading for webpages.

Does this mean there is something wrong with the connections from the laptop to the battery?
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by:CyrRei88
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It could be with connection or the battery itself. It could also be bad drivers or bad/old BIOS.

I would try the following:

- Is your computer still under warranty? If so open a support request with the manufacturer and they will usually replace the battery or motherboard

- Go to Best Buy or a similar store and get a new battery, if this fixes the problem good. If not just return it :)

- Make sure all your drivers are up to date (chipset, ethernet, etc)

- Check if there's a BIOS update for your computer. This might fix your issue too.
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by:nobus
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i suggest to test your battery first: charge it completely - then remove the power cord and measure how long it runs from the battery
compare that with the figures you had when new
also - if you buy a new battery - note that not all replacement batteries work...
if possible, stay with the original model
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by:twohawks
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^^what those folks are saying, plus...
- flash the bios regardless (remove the drive and use a UBCD or similar), even if the last version available is the same, this will help rule out corruption there),

- run some tests, like running out the battery life (again, with the drive removed),
 --- only booted to bios, and then
 -- only booted to UBCD
 -- only booted to safe mode (see note below before doing this),
....comparing and taking notes.

Because the issue returns with a new battery, and also returned with reinstalled OS, ...if problem persists when utilizing yet another new battery then I am leaning toward connection or other hardware problem or malware affecting bios and/or harddrive.

If it were me, I'd remove the hard drive, flash the bios using a UBCD, format the drive either slaving it to another machine, or, again, booting to the UBCD and using that.
Then run all my tests.

The idea here being that if a rootkit infected the bios, its kind of a "bop-a-mole" scenario trying to quash that -- you cannot just use the drive with the machine and rest assured you aren't passing malware back and forth.
(note: even then, in some cases a root malware can be impossible to remove, in which case you have to ditch the machine and the drive. While I've not seen this situation with your particular symptoms, doesn't rule it out. )

Oh, and uh... if you were using the thing as a frisbie lately and failed to mention it, then you can try this (works every time).... boot to the bios, and then stick it in a basin of water until about a minute after the screen goes blank.
Then, take it out of the water place it on a firm surface, and hit it several times as hard as you can with the biggest hammer you can find (huge rock is ok here).
Beer may be involved, and is sometimes recommended...
Then, toss it into a dumpster and wait.
After you can wait no longer, after you buy a new one, you will be back in business.
(note: you can skip right to that last part at anytime during that process in order to speed things up ;^)


...but seriously, something left out here... I have seen cases where something like this was remedied by disassembly followed by reassembly. In cases where a laptop travels a lot and takes a good beating, tearing into it may cough up results.
   So at some point, if/when all the consumer-accessible options get played out with no fix, then a tech bench might save it.  Beer and replacement isn't such a bad option at that point (imho).  {am I babbling yet - think I need more coffe...}
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by:cllocc
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thanks for the feedback
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by:twohawks
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thanks, cllocc. hope you found/find an amicable solution.
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by:cllocc
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yeah, to be honest, I didnt have time to check all the suggestions due to other pending projects.  But one day i did let the extended battery i bought run out completely while the laptop was on (accidentally actually).  when I noticed that the machine wouldnt turn on, I plugged in the AC adapter and booted it and after that it seemed to be notably faster.  The minor freezing issues were gone and my telnet sessions would no longer freeze either.  So maybe it was just an issue of conditioning the new battery I had purchased?  Not sure entirely.  

But I had to quickly mark answers since I had another impending question to ask and EE wasnt letting my post it bc of this "abandoned" question of mine :D

But thanks for info twohawks, its definitely handy knowledge to keep in my back pocket.
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