windows 7 slow low CPU utilization HP 4300 SFF

Running windows 7 on HP 4300 SFF, for some reason its running slow even though system idle is at 92%. It speeds up then slows down. Removed antivirus no impact, ran malwarebytes system clean etc, for some reason still slows down although it shows low CPU usage.
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JohnConnect With a Mentor Business Consultant (Owner)Commented:
The CPU does stay under 5% utilization most of the time

Best clue so far. If the machine should be fast (I do not use HP) and is slow AND CPU is low, AND it has been defragged, THEN, the most likely candidate is constant disk usage (search, indexing, A/V scanning and so on).

Run Resource Monitor, look in the DISK tab and what does it say over the period of an hour or two?
And what makes it appear slow? I don't think your problem is clear yet.
JohnBusiness Consultant (Owner)Commented:
System Idle always shows high CPU but it does not use any to speak of.

Open Task Manager, and set to Hide when Minimized and Minimize on Use (Two checks). Minimize it and let it show in the taskbar (Customize Icons). Let it run. CPU should run under 5% more than 95% of the time. The icon should always be dark green (not bright green).

What is CPU usage over time (an hour or so). Run Resource Monitor in Admin Tools to see performance over time. Check CPU and Disk. Heavy Disk usage slows down a machine and this will show up for 5 - 10 minutes at start up.
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Thomas GrassiSystems AdministratorCommented:
Run msconfig

goto services tab   "hide all Microsoft services" then disable all other services.

goto startup tab disable all

restart computer..

See if same happens if not then either a service or a startup is conflicting

you can eliminate them using this method.
May be a disk issue - run Check Disc (type in command prompt window):
chkdsk /r  

Also System File Checker sfc /scannow (You will likely be prompted to insert a Windows OS disk)

Has the disc plenty of free space?

The drive may be wearing out?
Run the manufacturers hardware diagnostics tool on the drive.
as asked  - with what software does it seem slow?
also - post some specs - this system can have many configurations for ram, disk and SSD
check in device manager for errors

try also if it happens in safe mode also - if that is the case, updating the driver can help
Peterson50Author Commented:
The cpu does stay under 5% utilization most of the time, unless for a brief second or two an app is loading or a scan of an open file is taking place.  Ran chkdsk and it showed no errors (does not always mean the disk is bad though).  It is not specific to any application.  Drive is only 50% full, ran defrag (although windows does it automatically - scheduled) disabled unnecessary startup items, will check some services to see if those can be causing problems and post back.

Peterson - so what is the problem? You gave no feedback yet on "what makes it appear slow?".
Is it that the CPU frequency in task manager is not at max? That's normal, it's for power saving... it only accelerates when the CPU is needed for more than a second.
Or what are you seeing?
Thomas GrassiConnect With a Mentor Systems AdministratorCommented:
Get this great for checking system resources
nobusConnect With a Mentor Commented:
adding to John's comment : look for the disk activity light - is it continously flickering, or on? this indicates a lot of disk usage
you can also monitor this in Task manager>performance tab>Resource monitor
 select the disk - or cpu her
JohnBusiness Consultant (Owner)Commented:
@Peterson50  - Thank you and I was happy to help.
So it was disk usage? Peterson, feedback is always appreciated :)
let your activity light flicker here once more for
happy to help
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