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Windows 10 slow and unresponsive

Posted on 2016-07-20
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Last Modified: 2016-11-22
Hi Experts,
I have a Windows 10, Dell Vostro laptop that is unresponsive.  After 3 attempts was able to get malwarebytes to run and it didn't find anything, had the box checked for rootkits.  But now it boots up to the desktop image, icons, system tray, etc. But I cannot do anything.  Can't bring up the start menu.  Occasionally, I wait long enough the icons on the system try work such as bringing up google chrome or file explorer but then can't use them.  I have a recovery disk.   Mainly want to keep the Outlook file and docs but don't want to lose apps if I don't have to.
Thank you in advance for your assistance.
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Question by:sgt_best
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by:John Hurst
John Hurst earned 250 total points
ID: 41721036
Make certain you have cleaned up all the malware you can. Run TDSS Root Killer and check for root kits.

Assuming you can do the above, go to the Media Creation Link:
https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/software-download/windows10

Run it in place, select Upgrade to Windows 10, allow drivers to install, and then choose the options to Keep Data and Keep Applications. This will reinstall Windows 10 and keep everything. I have done this and never lost anything.
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Expert Comment

by:garycase
ID: 41721095
Very interesting John -- you can "upgrade" to Windows 10 from Windows 10 :-)

Good to know ... that seems like a good way to clean out residual "stuff" in a build that's causing issues (like the one here).
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by:John Hurst
ID: 41721101
Yes. I have done this on my Windows 10 machine and that is how I did it. My ThinkPad X230 is working very well.
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by:sgt_best
ID: 41721283
Downloaded TDSS Root Killer to a flash drive, took 15 min till file explorer would come up from icon below on same bar as system tray.  Ran with nothing found.   Have the link in Google Chrome but says not responding and has spinning circle.   So waiting again until it is responsive.
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by:sgt_best
ID: 41721348
Was able to get to the upgrade assistant through MS Edge.  It ran quickly then said Thank you for updating to Windows 10...then went blank with just an exit button, now have a pop up The application is not responding...I hit cancel but it came back.
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by:John Hurst
ID: 41721355
It may be worth your while to look at the Media Creation Link and repair Windows 10. Upgrades to Windows 10 can go wrong and you can fix this as I posted above.
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by:Knightsman
ID: 41721846
Sounds like your Hard drive is failing.  Run an HD Tester like Seagate sea tools for windows to test it.
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by:Gerald Connolly
ID: 41722968
Have you looked at your CPU, Disk and RAM useage?

Have you got high RAM utilisation? Is your Disk 100% active?
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by:sgt_best
ID: 41723245
I've discovered that I can do some functions when I first boot the PC.
Was able to get to the task manager to look at the performance.
The CPU is bouncing from 8 to 40 %
The RAM is fixed at 54%
And the Hard drive is 100% all the time.
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by:garycase
ID: 41723481
Have you tried doing a completely new "upgrade" via a current bootable DVD or flash drive, as John suggested a couple times?

I'd think that's your best move at this point.
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by:sgt_best
ID: 41723515
I posted my comment that it ran quickly then said Thank you for updating to Windows 10...then went blank with just an exit button,   I did not have the options show up to allow drivers to install.
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garycase earned 250 total points
ID: 41723580
You probably need to backup your data; then do an entirely clean install [Activation won't be an issue since you've already had '10 installed on the system => when you do the installation just click on "I don't have a key" and it will still activate fine.

Unfortunately that means you'll need to reinstall your apps ... but at least the system should run properly.

When you do the reinstall, choose Custom and Delete all partitions currently on the disk so it will absolutely not have any vestiges of the previous (corrupted) installation on it.
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by:Gerald Connolly
ID: 41724134
Does the disk activity drop off after a time - say 10 Minutes?

If so it could be related to Virus checking and other applications sorting themselves out. if its longer, i recently had a very long period of my disk going 100% busy - but because i have an SSD as my system disk, it didnt make my system unusable. This seemed to be down to a Windows 10 compatibility check (currently on Win 8.1)
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by:sgt_best
ID: 41729682
Figured out that hitting upgrade was not what John Hurst intended.  Limited space on a laptop screen.  I ran the tool (link shows up at bottom of screen) with the options to keep files and apps.  Still slow.  
If I disable all of the services in the task manager it works fluidly except for some error about the sound card and can't get on the internet.  So have to figure out what service is causing the PC to work so hard.
Perhaps rebuilding may be the fastest option.
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by:Gerald Connolly
ID: 41732883
Please post a screen shot from PerfMon
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Author Closing Comment

by:sgt_best
ID: 41732969
Thank you for your advise.  Without finding the service that is dogging the PC I'm resulting to wiping it.
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by:John Hurst
ID: 41733789
Thanks for the update and I was happy to help.
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by:garycase
ID: 41733860
Wiping it with a clean install should definitely clean everything up => just for grins, post the results here so we know it fixed it :-)
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