Very slow computer

DinuA used Ask the Experts™
Computer HP Pavilion, RAM 8 GB, Windows 8.1 64-bit.
The computer is very slow and quite often it freezes (not responding).
This behaviour is not related to what I am doing at that time.
I am using only MS Office 2010, Adobe Reader and Google Chrome.

What should I do?
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IT Administration

When you open task manager and look at the processes what is taking up much recourses?
Open "msconfig" and check what starts up with the computer, also deactivate unnecessary services.
Most Valuable Expert 2015

Did this happen from the beginning, or has it just started?

Test the RAM using memtest86+, and the HD using the disk manufacturer's diagnostic utility (not any HP diags that may be built-in). You'll find both on the UBCD:

If the PC already had Windows 8.1 installed when you bought it, you will have to disable secure-boot within the BIOS in order to be able to boot from the CD.

If either of the diagnostics show errors, and your PC still has warranty, return it for a warranty replacement. If not, replace the bad part.

Also check for dust and clean it out. If the PC has no warranty, you could open it and make sure the fans aren't stuck.
JohnBusiness Consultant (Owner)
Most Valuable Expert 2012
Expert of the Year 2018

Also check for viruses. The machine should run fast and if the hardware ideas above do not solve your problem, run your own antivirus application followed by Malwarebytes. When both scans have completed, restart the computer and test.
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Top Expert 2016

check your event logs system and application and look for disk errors
I would be checking for an overheating CPU (which could be due to dirt/dust, or due to having separated from the conductive material on the heatsink).  

If the CPU is overheating, it will drastically reduce its speed so it doesn't burn up.

It's very easy to check if the CPU has slowed itself down, if you're using an Intel CPU.
Download (free) Intel Processor ID utility from here:

Run it.  It will show you "expected" and reported speeds for each core.   If the "reported" speed is slower than "expected," the CPU is almost certainly slowing itself down due to heat.   Clean out the dustbunnies.  If that doesn't work, get some thermal grease, take out the processor's heat sink, clean the heat sink surface and the mating processor surface thoroughly with rubbing alcohol, apply thermal grease, and reassemble.
Top Expert 2013
run msconfig, and select startup tab
click disable all - and reboot
does it still happen ?  if not enable the programs 1 by one again - or in groups to find the culprit


Thank you very much for your prompt and interesting solutions.
This week I have been travelling, so it is only now that I will start to experiment the suggested solutions.
Thanks again.
Top Expert 2013

ok - post results


Although I clicked on “Accept Multiple Solutions” I don't get the possibility to add the comment of nobus that also helped me.
1.      I opened Start-up in Task Manager and disabled all items.
2.      Restart
3.      The computer behaves as expected, short response time for all applications
4.      In Task Manager/ Start-up I enabled all programs installed by myself.  The other programs remain disabled, see attached file.  One of them is the culprit.
5.      Restart
6.      The computer behaves as expected, short response time for all applications

Thank you all for your comments.


Thanks again!

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