Toshiba p205D-S7436 typing issues

Toshiba Satellite p205d-s7436 notebook
October 29, 2010 at 12:51:44
Specs: Vista
My wife has this laptop and has had issues with it freezing up and major issue with typing. It will lock up or slow down when she is typing and is not able to keep up with her speed, which is not super fast. It will then slowly add the letters, but often the spaces she hit are out of place, etc. It's like it just gunks up and can't process the typing speed. Any help with this?

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October 29, 2010 at 15:20:42
Even a really old, slow computer can keep up with anyone's typing speed, if there's nothing wrong, because there's no way a human can type fast enough to overload the keyboard buffer's capacity, the computer can keep up with that, but you can certainly have problems like you describe if too much cpu time is being used by other programs while you're trying to type, or if certain programs are running that may not use much cpu time but they tend to slow down everything you do, regardless.

When she's having problems with the typing, it's likely going to be while the hard drive activity led is blinking, or while it's on all the time.

The led lighting up indicates the hard drive is being accessed, but you can't tell by that how much of a load there is on the cpu.

She (or you) should
- press the Alt-Ctrl-Del keys at the same
(e.g. hold down Alt and Crtl, press Del, let go of all 3 keys)
- select Task Manager from the menu that pops up
- click on the Processes tab, if it's not already showing that selection
- click on CPU at the top of the list, twice.

The Processes (programs) running will then be be listed dynamically (on the fly, updated about twice a second), with whatever is using the most cpu time (percentage) at the top of the list, whatever is using less cpu time below that.

The total amount of CPU time (percentage) being used is at the bottom of the list.

If the the total amount of CPU time (percentage) being used is large, or 100%, then everything you do in the operating system will behave slower, or even not respond if it's 100% (e.g. some characters may not appear when she types).

If you don't know what a Process is that is using cpu time, or that is using too much cpu time, is, you can copy down it's name including it's extension and look it up on the web, or you can list it (them) in a post here.

You can STOP most Processes from running to see if doing that has a beneficial effect - usually, if it is an essential Process, you will NOT be allowed to STOP it. If that has a beneficial effect, make note of what it was that you stopped, tell us what that is.

SVCHOST (Generic Host Process for Win32 Services) is a "slave " program that is being used by other programs that are not listed. There are often several instances of SVCHOST. If you have a high reading for one of those, you can determine which programs are using it by using another program, e.g. get Process Explorer from the Microsoft web site.

Side notes...

Can SVCHOST be used by a program that is malware ?
Yes, but in my experience I've seen that only once, on someone else's computer, since XP first came out (~2001).

The (legitimate) svchost.exe file is located in the folder C:\Windows\System32.

In other cases, svchost.exe is a virus, spyware, trojan or worm!

Another way to see what programs are using the legitimate svchost.exe....

Start (click on the Vista button bottom left) - Run ( type in the Start Search Box in Vista) type: cmd , click OK or press Enter
Type: c:\windows\system32\tasklist.exe /svc , press Enter.
(a space between exe and /svc)
Expand the black window, use the scroll bar at right if the list is longer than the display is high, to make sure you see the full list.

Look at the svchost.exe lines - the program(s) using each instance of it is listed on the right end of each line.

If certain programs are running, they may not use much cpu time but they tend to slow down everything you do, regardless.


- Anti-malware scans often bog down everything you do on your computer

Many anti-malware programs are set by default when you install them, scheduled, to run a Full scan of your system, often every day, at a certain time. If you chose an Express or similar install choice rather than choosing a Custom one or similar and de-selecting that, then if that applies, that scan will run automatically. If the computer was not running at the time the scan was set to, the scan will run the next time you boot the computer, in the background, shortly after you have booted the computer the first time.
(e.g. AVG 9.x is set by default to run such a scan; AVG 2011 is not.)

- if you're in Canada and happen to be using the Telus Security suite, it has a module that runs every time you boot the computer, even if you disable every module in the suite. It runs for about 3 to 5 minutes, then it doesn't run again until the next time you boot, but while it's running it bogs down everything you do in Windows. The only solution is to wait 3 to 5 minutes, or un-install the suite and use something else, e.g. AVG 2011.

- many programs check for updates when you start up your computer the first time in a day - if updates are available, they're usually loaded in the background shortly after that. E.g. Windows Update set to default settings, anti-malware programs. While that is going on, other things you do in Windows are likely to respond slower Usually their activity ceases in a short time. Simply wait until the hard drive led stops blinking, after you have first booted the computer for the day.

Some programs check for updates more than once a day, or more than once a day while booting, or at a certain time or times per day. .

If you see the hard drive activity led blinking for long periods of time, or blinking constantly, or it's on most of the time or all the time.....

- some programs have bugs - they were not intended to bog down your computer when they're running, but they do.

- Windows Media Player 10 and 11 have a feature whereby you can Share your Media. It doesn't work properly - it runs something all the time that makes everything you do execute slower. DISABLE that if you enabled it.

- Windows Search (Windows Desktop Search), the Microsoft add-on (or optional Windows update), not the one built into Vista, may have the same bug the Windows Search (Windows Desktop Search) add-on for 2000 and XP does. It has a module that is supposed to run , making indexes of files in the background, only when you haven't been detected as actively using the computer, but the problem with it is, once it has started running, it does NOT stop running when you resume actively using the computer, and it slows down everything in Windows while it's running.
You can STOP it from running in your list of Services, or if it's listed in Control Panel - Programs and Features, you can un-install it.

- If you have loaded the Windows Live software package, if you don't intend to use the features of the whole package, then un-install the features you aren't using - the total package uses a lot of memory.

If you have loaded the Windows Live software package, there will be a listing Windows Live Essentials in Control Panel - Programs and Features. You can click on Change on that, and un-install the components you're not using. E.g. If you're only using Live Messenger, and/or Hotmail, you don't need the other things.
You don't need Windows Live anything if you're only using Hotmail, and you can probably still use Messenger rather than Live Messenger.

- AVG 2011 has an Identity Protection module. AVGIDSMonitor.exe
I have seen that if something in the AVG software (that I wasn't able to determine) becomes corrupted, that module will use large amounts of cpu time, up to 100%. You can disable that module in the AVG program - if that helps a lot, leave that disabled, or un-install AVG2011, then install it again using the Custom install and do NOT select Identity Protection (or just installing the latest version, Express or similar installation, after un-installing, may fix the problem).

Other things that can cause this problem.

- common with laptops, or any computer that has only one hard drive - the partition Windows is running from, which is usually C, is too full (of the user's data).
What's the total size of the Windows partition, and how much free space is left on it ?

- not so common, unless it's an older computer you have loaded Vista onto.
You may not have enough ram. It's recommended you have at least 1mb of ram for Vista to run as it should.

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