problem with pagefile.sys & hard drive ?

December 7, 2010 at 10:54:37
Specs: Windows 7, 2.66 core 2 duo / 4 gb
Help me with pagefile.sys ? For no apparent reason my harddrive starts working at 100% while I am just browsing.
I have identified that at this time there is an enormous amount of data being read. I saw 4,000,000 B/sec. The only way to stop this activity is to shutdown my computer. However, the last time I did this, the computer restarted in recovery mode. Help would be appreciated.

See More: problem with pagefile.sys & hard drive ?

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#1
December 7, 2010 at 12:50:30
Why do you think this has anything to do with pagefile.sys?
This could be paging activity with the pagefile or any number of other files. It could also be caused by an update for an anti-virus program or other application. It could also be due to Superfetch activity. 4,000,000 bytes/sec is only moderate activity for a modern drive.


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#2
December 7, 2010 at 13:50:11
"The only way to stop this activity is to shutdown my computer. However, the last time I did this, the computer restarted in recovery mode."

If you didn't shut down Windows properly, it can be normal for Windows to start up in Recovery mode the next time you boot.If you can choose to boot normally when that happens and that works, then there's probably nothing seriously wrong with Windows itself.

Windows dynamically changes the size of the swap file by default to suit what the programs that are running at the time want - there is built in upper limit, a certain percentage of the free space available on the hard drive partition Windows is running from, but otherwise the size of the swap file size can change frequently.

The size of the swap file has nothing to do with your problem, unless there is not enough free space on the partition Windows is running from.

You must have at least a minimal amount of free space on the hard drive partition Windows is running from, in addition to the amount the swap file is using, otherwise Windows will run much slower than it should and data must be swapped to the hard drive partition Windows is running from a lot more and in smaller pieces - along with that there may be times when the cpu activity is 100%.

What is the size of your C partition, or whatever partition drive letter Windows is running from ? How much free space does it have left on it ?

If you DO have more than the minimal amount of free space left on the partition Windows is running from....

Your problem is caused by programs that are pigging out on their share of the available cpu time. That may be legitimate programs, that may be malware.

Look at Task Manager to see which Processes are using the most cpu time.

E.g.

Press the Alt-Ctrl-Del keys at the same time, then let go of the keys.
Choose to run Task Manager from the menu that appears.
Click on the Processes tab if that list is not already showing.
Click on CPU twice - then the list will have the programs that are using the most CPU time listed at the top in descending order, and that will change dynamically about twice a second.

Tell us what is using the most CPU time.

Disconnect the computer's connection to the internet. E.g. remove the DC adapter's power cord to your modem or combo router / modem at the device (pull on the plug, NOT the cord) .

If it is something that accesses the internet that is causing your problem, eventually the CPU activity will be less.


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#3
December 8, 2010 at 08:56:47
To Tubesandwires you have misread my question. It is not the cpu working at 100%, it is the harddrive. The cpu seems to be working normally. I have lots of room on the C partition. the size is 500gb and I am only using 150gb. I did shut down Windows properly.

To Lmiller7, The pagefile.sys was just one of many pagefile files that had large activity at the time the harddrive was working at 100%. It is hard to find out what is going on since all programs are quite frozen at the time.


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Related Solutions

#4
December 8, 2010 at 11:06:07
Today, the harddrive starting working at 100%, then suddenly it just stopped, turned off. My display went blank. I could not even turn the laptop off normally. I had to unplug and remove the battery in order to restart. It restarted ok, and right now the harddrive seems to be working ok. I know from experience that the drive will started working at 100% again soon. Should I replace the drive ? Is that the solution ?

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#5
December 8, 2010 at 11:33:28
The hard drive activity is directly related to the CPU activity percentage you see in Task Manager. The operating system has no way of showing you the hard drive activity any other way.

Did you look in Task Manager to see what programs are pigging out ?
Did you try disconnecting your internet connection ?
...........

It IS possible that your hard drive is malfunctioning, and in that case, you might notice, unexplainable otherwise, thrashing sounds coming from it, and that could cause 100% cpu activity too while that's going on. The HD activity led may blink a lot, or it may stay on a long time.

Check your hard drive with the manufacturer's diagnostics.
See the latter part of response 1 in this:
http://www.computing.net/windows95/...

If you don't have a floppy drive, you can get a CD image diagnostic utility from most hard drive manufacturer's web sites, but obviously you would need to make a burned CD, preferably a CD-R for best compatibility, on another computer if you need to.

E.g.
Seagate's Seatools will test any brand of hard drive.
Do the long test.
http://www.seagate.com/ww/v/index.j...

If the hard drive itself tests okay, any data problems found can be fixed, one way or another.


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#6
December 10, 2010 at 07:48:25
I can monitor the disk drive activity by opening Control Panel - Performance Information and Tools - Resource Monitor in Windows 7. That is how I know that the hard drive was locked up at 100% activity.

That is how I know the cpu usage is regularly below 20%.

I have looked in Windows Task Manager and the cpu usage ranges from 00 - 08 for all processes. In fact, at the time I looked, Windows Task Manager was using the most cpu.

A floppy drive? Really? My computer was made this year.

I have also noted that when the hard drive is locked at 100% activity, the cpu is about 30%
.
Doesn't the fact that the hard drive completely shut off yesterday, indicate a big problem with the drive ?

I am not hearing any unusual sounds from the hard drive however.

I ran the Seatools long test and received a "Pass"


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#7
December 10, 2010 at 12:12:46
"I can monitor the disk drive activity by opening Control Panel - Performance Information and Tools - Resource Monitor in Windows 7. That is how I know that the hard drive was locked up at 100% activity."

OK then , I wasn't aware of that. I have Windows 7 but I haven't installed it yet. The same as you reported is probably in Vista too, which I do have installed on one computer, but I hadn't noticed that feature yet.
There is certainly no separate indication of hard drive activity that I know of in XP and below.
......

Most new desktop mboards still have a floppy data header on the mboard even when the system did not come with a floppy drive, although more mboards in new brand name systems no longer have that than mboard maker's retail models do. .
........

"I ran the Seatools long test and received a "Pass""

OK, then the hard drive is probably okay, but sometimes it will still pass in the early stages of the drive failing. Test it again every so often.

If this is on a desktop computer, you may have an intermittant drive data cable connection problem.

It is common to un-intentionally damage IDE data cables, especially while removing them - the 80 wire ones are more likely to be damaged. What usually happens is the cable is ripped at either edge and the wires there are either damaged or severed, often right at a connector or under it's cable clamp there, where it's hard to see - if a wire is severed but it's ends are touching, the connection is intermittent, rather than being reliable.
Another common thing is for the data cable to be separated from the connector contacts a bit after you have removed a cable - there should be no gap between the data cable and the connector - if there is press the cable against the connector to eliminate the gap.
80 wire data cables are also easily damaged at either edge if the cable is sharply creased at a fold in the cable.

Try another data cable if in doubt.


Check your SATA data cables. The connector on each end should "latch" into the socket on the drive and on the mboard, or on the drive controller card - it should not move when you merely brush your hand against it near the socket - if it does, mere vibration can cause a poor connection of it - use another SATA data cable that does "latch", or tape the connector in place.
(There is a slight projection or bump on one side of the outside of the connector that "latches" it into the socket - it's easily broken off or damaged)

The same thing applies for the SATA power connection.
....

You could have a ram connection in it's slots problem.

Test the ram with bootable ram diagnostics, such as Microsoft's Windows Memory Diagnostic:
http://oca.microsoft.com/en/windiag...
Windows Memory Diagnostic is limited to testing only the first 4 gigabytes (GB) of RAM.
It can be toggled (press T) to do a standard or a more comprehensive set of tests - use the default 6 test one first - if it passes one pass of that, use the latter one. A few of the tests in the latter set are intentionally slower.
If you don't have a floppy drive, see the Quick Start Information at that Microsoft link for how to make a bootable CD of the Windows Memory Diagnostic (you need Windiag.iso - you don't necessarily need to use the program they mention to add it to the CD).

If you have more than 4gb of ram installed, use memtest86 v. 3.4 or lower if you do not have an AMD cpu, or use memtest86+ and disable Legacy USB devices in the bios Setup to avoid false errors due to a software bug when you do the tests.

If you DO get memory errors, try removing all power to the computer (including the main battery on a laptop) , remove the ram modules, wipe off their contacts with a tissue or a soft cloth, don't touch the contacts after that, install the ram making sure the notch in the bottom of the modules lines up with the bump in the bottom of the ram slots and the ram is all the way down in it's slots, then try the ram diagnostics again.

If you STILL get ram errors, there are other things that can be wrong, and we can suggest testing or checking for things that should cure the problem if you fix the problem - actual "bad" ram is RARE !

If you're NOT getting ram errors, there may still be things that can be wrong that cause ram errors in Windows that don't show up when you run the ram tests.
The most common is...

Some ram manufacturer's modules do not strictly adhere to the JEDEC standards that most mboards bioses use to determine ram settings.
In that case, the ram settings in the bios Setup that the bios has automatically chosen may not be correct.
Check the ram settings in your bios - the ram voltage, and the ram timing numbers - those should be the same as for the specs for the modules themselves. Often the ram voltage and timing numbers are printed on the label on the modules.

If the voltage setting or timings settings in the bios are different from the specs for the ram, change them in the bios. The timing numbers must be as close as you can get to the same, or slower timings (higher numbers = slower) - you won't notice the difference the slower settings make.

If you have a mix of different modules
- don't mix ram that different voltages are specified for - the bios will force the ram to use the lowest voltage, if "by spd" or similar is used (default settings) - ram that a higher voltage is specified for is more likely to not work properly in that situation.
- the bios settings must be those for the slowest timing settings of all the modules, or slower (higher numbers = slower).

E.g. if ANY of the ram timing numbers in the bios for the modules you are using are LOWER than the LOWEST timing number at the same position of ANY the modules installed, in comparison to the timing numbers specified for the modules, you WILL have problems in Windows.
.........

If all of those things are okay, then you probably have software problems in Windows, even if you are NOT getting 100% CPU activity when the hard drive activity is 100% !

Which programs are using the most CPU% when this problem happens, or for that matter, which programs are significantly active at all when this happens ? Some programs don't use all that much CPU percentage yet they can bog down your computer. E.g. Full anti-malware scans, which often run in the background.

Have you tried disconnecting the internet connection ?


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#8
December 11, 2010 at 11:56:13
My computer is a 1 yr. old Sony Vaio laptop. This would limit my access.

I tried testing the hard drive with the manu. diagnostics, but their software is not compatible with my 64 bit comp.

I should mention that I brought this problem to the attention of the local Sony Repair Center on two separate occasions. Their solution was simply to restore to the original factory config. this obviously did not fix the problem.

As mentioned previously, I have not noticed any unusual cpu activity when the hard drive starts working at 100%. I do notice that the disk activity in pagefile of various programs is very high. For example, I noticed that pagefile activity was very high for the Firefox browser even though the app. was not running !!

I will take a closer look at which programs are using the most cpu , when the problem occurs again.

I have noticed that the problem only starts after I have been away from the comp. for awhile. After say, 4-5 hrs. Also in the morning, after I try to wake the comp. from sleep mode.

I will test the memory as you suggest. I have 4 gb.

When the problem occurs again, I will disconnect from the internet.



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#9
December 11, 2010 at 12:20:42
"I tried testing the hard drive with the manu. diagnostics, but their software is not compatible with my 64 bit comp."

If you use bootable diagnostics rather than one you install in the operating system it doesn't matter what your computer is or what data is on the hard drive.

"Also in the morning, after I try to wake the comp. from sleep mode."

Do you have a legitimate reason for having your computer in sleep mode when you're not awake ? That doesn't include "I do it because it takes so long to load Windows if I shut down the computer".
If NO, then don't do it.

See response 2 - the size of the Windows page file has nothing to do with your prpblems, unless you don't have enough free space on the C partition.


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#10
December 23, 2010 at 08:15:38
I disconnected from the internet as you suggested. It made no difference. the hard drive is still at 100%. Cpu usage is around 8 %.

I have noticed that when the problem occurs the memory usage jumps from about 40% to almost 90%. I am using the Resource Monitor in Windows 7 to obtain these numbers.

I shut down all open applications. It made no difference. I shutdown apps in the system tray. It makes no difference.

I am beginning to think that it might have something to do with wmpnetwk.exe.
I have a Zune media player & use the Zune media software. The Zune player syncs wirelessly & when it was syncing yesterday wmpnetwk.exe was using a lot of memory. 20x normal. Of course the hard drive was at 100%.

In order to get out of this mess, I have to shutdown my laptop. It takes almost 5 minutes to shutdown.


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#11
December 23, 2010 at 10:07:44
Are there other programs that are using the most cpu % when the hard drive usage % is high?

"...... wmpnetwk.exe...."

Windows Media Player 10 and 11 have a feature that's BUGGY - Share my Media .
My Vista installation has WMP 11 installed - according to the Help in WMP 11, Share my Media is enabled by default.
The same probably applies to WMP 11 in Windows 7.
(If you install WMP 10 or 11 in XP, that is probably NOT enabled by default.)
Try NOT leaving it enabled. On some systems, especially in XP, it NEVER stops running (your hd led will blink even when nothing else is going on) and it interferes with and slows down everything in Windows.
I haven't had problems with that being enabled in Vista, with all settings for it otherwise set to defaults, but I have seen several systems that have WMP 10 or 11 installed in XP and enabling that definitely produced problems on those installations, and it's quite possible you could have the same problems in Vista or Windows 7 under some circumstances, especially if that is enabled and if any of the other default settings for it were changed.

E.g. In Windows Media Player 11, click on the tiny down arrow below Library on the top bar, choose Media Sharing.
If there is a check mark before Share my Media to:
click on the check mark to disable it., click on OK at the bottom of the Window.

Other than that.....
A failing hard drive, or a problem with your bios ram settings or the connection of the ram in it's slots are the most likely suspects, according to the info you have supplied so far.

Have you checked the bios ram settings vs what the modules have specified for them, and tested the ram yet ?
See response 7.

""I tried testing the hard drive with the manu. diagnostics, but their software is not compatible with my 64 bit comp."

If you use bootable diagnostics rather than one you install in the operating system it doesn't matter what your computer is or what data is on the hard drive.

"I disconnected from the internet as you suggested. It made no difference."

How long did you wait after you disconnected it ? It may take 5 minutes or longer for something that normally accesses the internet to stop trying to access the internet.


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#12
December 24, 2010 at 09:50:13
I had to go into Services from Task Manager to kill wmpnetwk.exe . I have WMP 12 and the menus are different. It`s dead now ! As soon as I did that the Physical Memory Used dropped from 54% to 40%

I had my computer disconnected from the internet for about 15 minutes.

I was thinking of opening my laptop & uninstalling and then reinstalling the RAM.

I printed out the Windows memory diagnostic users guide ( 9 pages ) and am looking it over. I`m worried I might really screw something up.

I have also noticed a lot of disk activity for MsMpEng.exe. From my reading this is related to Windows Defender activity or Microsoft Security Essentials activity. Most of the posts I have read deal with concerns over excessive cpu use. Not for me, it is disk activity that I am seeing. I should mention, I have never been able to turn on Windows Defender. It will not turn on. It actually hangs up my computer whenever I have tried to turn it on.

Maybe I should also mention that recently tried to increase the amount of disk space allocated for System Protection (restore settings ) so as to give me more restore points. I could not. The error message said. " The filename,directory name,or volume label syntax is incorrect "

I don't know if any of this is related to my problems.


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#13
December 25, 2010 at 11:58:35
"I had to go into Services from Task Manager to kill wmpnetwk.exe . I have WMP 12 and the menus are different. It`s dead now ! As soon as I did that the Physical Memory Used dropped from 54% to 40%"

The situation in WMP 12 is probably the same as in WMP 11 - Share My media is enabled by default. Search the Help in WMP 12 for : Share My media , and you'll probably find info that tells you where the setting is in WMP 12 that enables it - disable that.

"I had my computer disconnected from the internet for about 15 minutes."

That should be more than enough time to tell if whatever problem program requires accessing the internet.

"I was thinking of opening my laptop & uninstalling and then reinstalling the RAM."

You could do that if you like - unplug the AC adapter AND remove the main battery when you do that - but the important things to do are
- determine whether the bios settings are correct for the particular ram modules
- test the ram with diagnostics - if that passes, there's nothing wrong with you ram or it's slot connections.

NOTE that I / we have seen several cases lately in subjects on this web site where the ram passed the diagnostics and the person's problems in Windows were caused by the bios settings for the ram NOT being correct.
See response 7.
.......

Microsoft's Windows Defender is built in a friend of mine's Vista Home Premium brand name installation. The same probably applies to Windows 7 . If it's built in, it's not listed in Control Panel - Programs and Features, but it IS listed in C:\Program Files.

A problem with it is it's "resident" module - a part of it that runs all the time in the background looking for suspicious activity - CLASHES with the "resident" module(s) of SOME other third party anti-malware programs that have been installed by the user.

Since my friend's Vista installation was loading really slowly, and she had Kaspersky anti-malware software loaded and running as well - it DOES have at least one resident module - I did some investigating.....
- you can't un-install Windows Defender if it's built in (it's not listed in Control Panel - Programs and Features in that case) , but you CAN stop the resident module from running by disabling it from loading in the settings for Windows Defender in the program itself.
- Windows Defender cannot run in Safe mode
- if it IS listed in Control Panel - Programs and Features (it is if it was installed as an add-on program in XP) you can't un-install it in Safe mode.

I personally consider an anti-malware program that cannot run in Safe relatively inferior - there are times when you NEED to run one in Safe mode.
......

By the way, you should NOT have two or more anti-malware programs installed that have one or more resident module(s) such that the resident module(s) for the different programs are running at the same time, because the resident modules are likely to CLASH with each other.
If you DO have more than one anti-malware program installed that did not come with Windows itself
- only the resident module(s) of ONE of the programs should be running at any one time; the other resident module(s) should be DISABLED from running in the settings for the program itself.
- If you don't know how to disable the resident module(s), then tell us which anti-malware programs are installed on your Windows installation.

If you have only ONE anti-malware program installed that did not come with Windows itself , if Windows Defender is installed on your system, Windows Defender's resident module will clash with SOME other anti-malware program's resident module(s).


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#14
December 27, 2010 at 06:54:36

Buy the way, Season's Greetings & Happy New Year.


Windows Defender is listed in the Control Panel. It is turned off.
I am using Microsoft Security Essentials. It is running in the background. I also use Advanced System Care (free version) & Malwarebytes Anti-Malware (free version) occasionally. Neither of these two free versions have real-time monitoring.

To be clear, wmpnetwk.exe has been disabled. I just did it another way. Ever since I disabled it, my laptop has been behaving ok.

However, when I started my laptop yesterday, I saw a dialog "Checking file system on C drive" and " checking file system for consistency " I think Chkdsk was run. It was completed with no errors reported. Is this not a another indication that the hard drive may be the main problem ?

Just so I understand," - determine whether the bios settings are correct for the particular ram modules " Does the Windows Memory Diagnostic do this also ? Or is this determined some other way ? and is this the reason why the hardrive suddenly starts working at 100% ?



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#15
December 27, 2010 at 08:32:14
"Season's Greetings & Happy New Year."

The same to you.

Microsoft Security Essentials has at least one resident module.
The free version of Advanced System Care DOES have at least one resident module, but it's not anti-malware software. If you don't want that to run, I haven't investigated how to disable that. I un-install it whenever I see that it has been installed on someone else's computer I'm working on, because I know it DOES have (a) resident module(s) that affects performance, and I consider it un-necessary.
The free version of Malwarebytes has no resident module, and it does not update itself after the initial time it was installed - you have to choose to Update it before you run it after that.

"when I started my laptop yesterday, I saw a dialog "Checking file system on C drive" and " checking file system for consistency " I think Chkdsk was run. It was completed with no errors reported. Is this not a another indication that the hard drive may be the main problem ?"

CHKDSK doesn't run in that situation unless you allow it to run (don't press any keys when you see the message "CHKDSK is ....." or similar).
It's common for Windows to do that if Windows was not shut down properly the last time you used the computer e.g. if you held the power button in for 4 seconds or more, or if you pressed the power button to shut off the computer while it was in Standby or Hibernate mode.
Otherwise....
- if that happens rarely, that's not a big concern
- if that happens frequently, yes, that can indicate there is a problem with the hard drive, or possibly a problem with the ram producing a tiny amount of ram errors.

"Just so I understand," - determine whether the bios settings are correct for the particular ram modules " Does the Windows Memory Diagnostic do this also ?"

No. I don't know of any memory diagnostic that can check whether the ram voltage and timing numbers are compatible in the bios settings.

"Or is this determined some other way ? "

You have to check that yourself, manually.

See the part in response 7 starting at:

"Some ram manufacturer's modules do not strictly adhere to the JEDEC standards that most mboards bioses use to determine ram settings.
In that case, the ram settings in the bios Setup that the bios has automatically chosen may not be correct."

As I said above, I / we have seen situations where the ram passed ram diagnostics tests, yet incorrect bios settings for the ram caused problems in Windows.

"...and is this the reason why the hardrive suddenly starts working at 100% ? "

A hard drive that is in the process of failing might do that. I don't know whether the bios ram settings being wrong would do that, but if they were wrong you will probably get data corruption on the hard drive because of that, under some circumstances.
........

"I ran the Seatools long test and received a "Pass""

OK, then the hard drive is probably okay, but sometimes it will still pass in the early stages of the drive failing. Test it again every so often.

The ram must pass diagnostics tests and the bios ram settings must be compatible with the specific ram module requirements before you run the hard drive diagnostics test.



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#16
December 30, 2010 at 06:04:53
I uninstalled the Advanced System Care program.

The Chkdsk has run about 4 times in the last 6 months. The only option that displays is to stop the program from running. However, there is a dialog that states that this is not recommended. So I let it run.

This morning I noticed that the Ram usage was at 100%. I had no applications running.
I tried to open the Resource Monitor & then a window opened that said " Insuffcient system resources exist to complete request "
The display went black, then started flashing on and off. I tried to shutdown normally, but could not. I had to unplug & remove the battery.
I turned it back on and for the time being it seems to be running ok.

I am rerunning the Seatools long test.

So my next step is to run the memory diagnostics that you have been mentioning.


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#17
December 30, 2010 at 08:32:18
"The Chkdsk has run about 4 times in the last 6 months."

In that case, you don't need to worry about that.

"I tried to shutdown normally, but could not. I had to unplug & remove the battery."

The operating system shuts down or restarts the computer's mboard via a software signal. Similar applies if the computer is a desktop computer that has a Reset switch when you briefly press it. If Windows isn't working properly, that method often doesn't work.
You didn't need to unplug the AC adapter and remove the main battery.
In most cases, due to a default bios Setup setting, the computer can be forced to shut off the mboard, no matter what, if you hold down the power button down for 4 seconds or so - if it doesn't, you can change a setting in the bios Setup to have it do so.

The ram must pass a diagnostics test before you run a hard drive diagnostics test.

Also....

A common thing that can happen with ram, even ram that worked fine previously, is the ram has, or has developed, a poor connection in it's slot(s).

See response 2 in this - try cleaning the contacts on the ram modules, and making sure the modules are properly seated:
http://www.computing.net/hardware/w...

For a laptop, or netbook, you must remove both its main battery and AC adapter before you do that.

For a brand name computer, see the Owner's or User's manual if you need to - how to remove or replace the ram is usually in that - it may already be in your installed programs. If you can't get into Windows, it may be on a disk that came with the computer, or you can go online and look at it or download it - it's in the downloads for your specific model.
.....

Some ram manufacturer's modules do not strictly adhere to the JEDEC standards that most mboards bioses use to determine ram settings.
In that case, the ram settings in the bios Setup that the bios has automatically chosen may not be correct.
Check the ram settings in your bios - the ram voltage, and the ram timing numbers - those should be the same as for the specs for the modules themselves. Often the ram voltage and timing numbers are printed on the label on the modules.

If the voltage setting or timings settings in the bios are different from the specs for the ram, change them in the bios. The timing numbers must be as close as you can get to the same, or slower timings (higher numbers = slower) - you won't notice the difference the slower settings make.

If you have a mix of different modules
- don't mix ram that different voltages are specified for - the bios will force the ram to use the lowest voltage, if "by spd" or similar is used (default settings) - ram that a higher voltage is specified for is more likely to not work properly in that situation.
- the bios settings must be those for the slowest timing settings of all the modules, or slower (higher numbers = slower).


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#18
January 3, 2011 at 13:10:24
I decided to add more RAM to my system. I now have 8Gb DDR2
I ran the Seatools long test again. It PASSED.

I took a look at my laptop this afternoon and was amazed to see that it was using 5300mb of memory. And I had no applications running. I didn't even have a browser open. Yesterday, I only had 4gb of ram in total. Any idea as to what is happening ?


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#19
January 3, 2011 at 20:57:24
Did you check out the original ram, and the new ram, as in response 17 ?

What is the 5300mb figure for ?

E.g. Is it

Available Physical Memory ?

Total Virtual Memory ?

Available Virtual Memory ?

What ?


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#20
January 4, 2011 at 03:50:50
I am getting these numbers by using the Resource Monitor that is built into Windows 7
The Resource Monitor provides various measurements. The 5300 MB refers to "Memory In Use."

Later in the afternoon the figure increased to 6000 MB. Again, there are no applications running.

I don't know how to check the bios to see if the RAM settings are correct.
I have looked at the modules, but I really don't know what all the numbers refer to.

This morning, I restarted my laptop and it was using about 28% of Used Physical Memory. I opened the Chrome browser and now it is using 37% (3000MB) of Used Physical Memory.

I have looked at the memory diagnostic test you mentioned. I am not sure how to make a bootable cd that also contains the memory diagnostic utility. Do I need to make a bootable cd or can I just run the diagnostic that I have burned to a cd.


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#21
January 4, 2011 at 13:09:04
"I am getting these numbers by using the Resource Monitor that is built into Windows 7
The Resource Monitor provides various measurements. The 5300 MB refers to "Memory In Use." "

You're confusing the total "Memory In Use" with memory that's actually being used at any one time.
All programs have priorities regarding how much memory they want Windows to allow them to use - think of that as the memory amount reserved for their use - that can change for each program "on the fly", depending on what the program is doing.
The "Memory In Use" title is misleading. Some other title such as "Memory Reserved by Windows for Programs" or similar would be more accurate.

When I look in Vista Premium on a computer of mine the Resource Monitor does not seen to show a total of the Memory In Use - it just shows the xx% of Used Physical Memory, which can change "on the fly".

When I click on the down arrowhead on the right end of the Memory line, I get a list of the programs that are presently loaded - those are probably the same ones listed in Task Manager under the Processes tab, but there is more specs about them here. There are always programs in that list that Windows itself has loaded, whether you have loaded something yourself or not. Of course, if you choose to run something yourself, there may be one or more additional programs listed, and/or if you're using one of the listed programs it will be actually using memory, and the memory figure(s) may change "on the fly".

Memory that's actually being used at any one time is another thing.
The total "Memory in Use" is NOT the same thing.

In the Resource Monitor, the ideal is that the CPU activity should be minimal most of the time when you are not actively doing anything yourself. At the same time, the ideal is that the Disk (hard drive) activity should be minimal most of the time when you are not actively doing anything yourself.

E.g. when that 32 bit Vista Premium installation of mine is in that "idle" state, the CPU activity is 0% or close to it most of the time, and the Disk activity is small as well.
The Memory line in that state shows varying percentages, bottoming out at about 30%, up to about 35%, of Used Physical Memory (there is 3gb of ram installed.)

"This morning, I restarted my laptop and it was using about 28% of Used Physical Memory."

That's the amount of the physical ram that's actually being used, and that's not out of line for 64 bit Windows 7.

"I opened the Chrome browser and now it is using 37% (3000MB) of Used Physical Memory."

Of course, the percentage will go up if you load (an) additional program(s) yourself.
.....

I do not use any added on program that requires constant or intermittent active memory use, other than my anti-malware software (AVG 2011) - I deliberately try to keep such programs from running as I encounter them. I don't use Messenger, or Windows Live anything, or other social network things, and I have disabled Share My Media in Windows Media Player.

NOTE that when you first start up the computer on a particular day, there are always more programs that are doing things in the background for a while after Windows first loads. E.g. your anti-malware software and Windows Update often checks to see if updates are available, and if there is/are one or more, the updates are often downloaded and installed in the background.
Some anti-malware programs are set to do a full scan of at least the C partition once a day at a certain time - if the computer was not running the last time that time came up, the full scan is often run in the background shortly after the next time you boot Windows - that can take at least a half hour - the larger your C partition is, the more data it has on it, the longer that will take to run. Everything in Windows will run slower until that has finished, despite it not requiring all that much CPU time - that applies to any program that requires access to the entire C partition to do something.
Eventually, if you do nothing at that point, ideally, Windows will settle down to an "idle" state.
........

"I don't know how to check the bios to see if the RAM settings are correct.
I have looked at the modules, but I really don't know what all the numbers refer to."

The modules have a stuck on label - on that label, often four timing numbers x-x-x-x are shown, and often the ram voltage they are supposed to use is shown.
If those aren't on the label, you can copy down the module's part number on that label and look up those specs on the ram manufacturer's web site, or if it has a brand name specific part number, that part number can be used to look up the specs.
OR - some programs can read the specs from the SPD (Serial Presence Detect) chip that's on the modules, one by one, in Windows - E.g. the freeware CPU-Z or possibly the freeware SpeedFan .

You compare those timing numbers and the ram voltage to the timing numbers and the ram voltage the bios Setup is using.
See the part in response 17 starting at
Some ram manufacturer's modules do not strictly adhere to the JEDEC standards that most mboards bioses use to determine ram settings.
for more info.
..........

"I have looked at the memory diagnostic test you mentioned. I am not sure how to make a bootable cd that also contains the memory diagnostic utility. Do I need to make a bootable cd or can I just run the diagnostic that I have burned to a cd."

The Windows Memory diagnostics download for a bootable CD is an *.iso file. You simply use a burning program to make a CD by doing the procedure you use to make one from an *.iso file - the CD will be already be bootable once that has been made. It's probably easier to do that with a third party program than it is with the one built into Windows 7, however, I haven't used the one built into Vista which is probably the same or very similar to the one that's built into Windows 7.
......

By the way, have you tuned the performance of Windows 7 after you re-installed it ?

Double click on Computer, select System properties in the top bar.
Click on the blue Windows Experience Index line on the right side of that resulting window.
Click on the blue Update my score lower down on the right on that second resulting window.

Also on that second resulting screen - in Vista that's titled Rate and improve your computer's performance ......
At lower left, click on Problem reports and solutions to see if it's lists anything.


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#22
January 5, 2011 at 07:47:26
The description I gave you for "memory in use" I believe is correct. It is the actually amount of physical memory being use at any one time. It is not reserved memory. For example, currently my laptop is using 3031 MB by all active processes. The resource monitor actually shows all the running processes that are using memory and how much memory each of them is currently using. Those numbers change by the second depending on what I am doing on my laptop. For each process the following parameters are shown: PID, Commit, Working Set, Shareable, Private.The resource monitor also shows that there is 5077 MB currently available. These numbers agree with the 36% Used Physical Memory that is shown. Total installed is 8192 MB.

The other point is that you say that when your computer is idling it is using about 30% ( of 3GB ). My laptop is using 30% (of 8GB )in idle. In other words I am using approx. 3X the memory !!( I also like you have shutdown many programs that were running in the background)

Also, the memory usage keeps going up throughout the day even though I am not running any applications. That is why I mentioned the 5300MB figure. A few days ago I only had a total of 4GB installed ! I never used to come very close to using 4GB.

CPU usage has always remained very low. Currently 3 - 10 % when at idle.

I believe the memory test you mentioned only tests up to 4GB of RAM. Should I use it anyways ?

Just so I understand, When I burn the .iso ( windiag.iso ) to a cd will it be then also be bootable ? If that is correct, then I have already made the cd.

I re-ran the Windows Experience Index assessment.

In Windows 7 there are a host of error or problem reports that can be generated. There is something called a " system health report " that deals with system health and performance. Would that be helpful.

I installed CPU-Z. It is giving the data I need. However, I forget how to get access to the bios to check the numbers. You access the bios during startup I believe.


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#23
January 5, 2011 at 14:06:06
Windows 7 versions are primarily updated versions of the Vista versions - they have many things that are identical to the same thing in Vista, but there may be some of the same things that are slightly different.

In the Resource Monitor in 32 bit Vista Home Premium, updated with SP2 updates, I do NOT see a "memory in use" total anywhere - for that matter, I do NOT see a "memory in use" anywhere in it.

It DOES show xx% Used Physical Memory on the Memory line - that is directly related to the amount of physical memory your computer is actually using, and it can change "on tne fly".

It sounds like what I see when I click on the down arrowhead on the right end of the Memory line is the same or very similar to what you see.

" The other point is that you say that when your computer is idling it is using about 30% ( of 3GB ). My laptop is using 30% (of 8GB )in idle. In other words I am using approx. 3X the memory !!"
"A few days ago I only had a total of 4GB installed ! I never used to come very close to using 4GB."

My Vista Home Premium, updated with SP2 updartes, is the 32 bit version - your Windows 7 is a 64 bit version.

- 64 bit operating systems always use more memory overall than 32 bit operating systems do to do the same things.
That's shown here...
Memory Assessor
http://www.kingston.com/tools/asses...

- depending on which Windows 7 version you have, there may be more programs that are built into the operating system that are loading and are using memory - e.g. Ultimate probably loads more things than Premium does; Premium probably loads more things than Basic does.

- when you increase the amount of ram, the priorities of at least some programs will change regarding how much memory they want Windows to provide them with, such that they use more memory than they do when you have less ram installed.

"Also, the memory usage keeps going up throughout the day even though I am not running any applications."

There are always programs running whether you have loaded them yourself or not - they aren't necessarily using cpu time, but they do have memory allocated to them, and that can change "on the fly".

Also see response 21 starting at
"NOTE that when you first start up the computer on a particular day,..."

Programs may not necessarily check for updates when the desktop first loads, or they may check for those several times in a day, every so often. There may also be programs that are intermittently active for other reasons. All those programs run in the background without any input from you.

On the other hand, it is NOT normal for the xx% Used Physical Memory to go up and stay up for any significant amount of time, as in it never decreases, no matter how long you wait, assuming you're waiting a reasonable amount of time.

If you DO get that situation, assuming your ram tests fine and the settings in the bios for it are compatible with it, examine the info in Task Manager - Processes, or in the drop down list for the Memory line in the Resource Monitor, to see which programs are "pigging out" on memory use, and copy down the program name(s) and post them here.

"CPU usage has always remained very low. Currently 3 - 10 % when at idle."

That's sounds okay.
You haven't mentioned the Disk (hard drive) usage percentage since you had 8gb of ram installed - is it still going to 100% sometimes, or has that problem gone away ?

"Just so I understand, When I burn the .iso ( windiag.iso ) to a cd will it be then also be bootable ?"

Yes, if you followed the proper procedure, and if the burning software you used can do that. As I said above, in effect, I have no idea whether the burning software that's built into Windows 7 can do that.

"I believe the memory test you mentioned only tests up to 4GB of RAM. Should I use it anyways ?"

When I suggested that, you had 4gb of ram. You could run the Windows memory diagnostics but it will only test the first 4gb of ram detected by the mboard.

You can test more than 4gb of ram, preferably with the full set of the available tests, with the freeware
- memtest86 , version 3.4 or lower (version 3.5 has bugs that prevent you from testing more than 4gb of ram properly). However, it produces false errors in certain individual tests for some systems that have AMD main chipsets, or that use some AMD cpus.

- memtest86+ , which is NOT made by the same guy - it has a bug that causes false errors with some mboards unless you DISABLE Legacy USB or similar (USB keyboard, USB mouse, etc.) in the bios Setup BEFORE you run the tests.

If a ram diagnostics set of tests DOES detect ram errors, you DO have a ram problem - in almost all cases there is nothing wrong with the ram modules - something else is wrong - the most common reason is the ram has a poor connection in it's slot(s), or it's NOT 100% compatible with using it in your mboard, or it's NOT 100% compatible with using it along with other modules if any are different, or it IS all compatible but the bios has at least one setting for it set wrong.

If it were actual "bad" ram, you would have problems with it starting when it was first installed (assuming it's ram that is actually compatible with using it in your mboard and using it along with other modules if any are different, and it has a good connection in the ram slot(s) ) - otherwise it's extremely unlikely that ram would go "bad" after that, unless it's been damaged by some external event.

"I re-ran the Windows Experience Index assessment."

Had you already run it after re-installing Windows 7 ? If no, did the rating improve ?
I installed 32 bit Vista Home Premium from a Microsoft OEM DVD (it costs less because you have to provide your own support that Microsoft normally provides) - after I had installed all the necessary drivers for the system, when I ran that the rating increased quite a bit to 5.3, and that's with a middle range video card.

"In Windows 7 there are a host of error or problem reports that can be generated. There is something called a " system health report " that deals with system health and performance. Would that be helpful."

Click on anything you think may identify problems.

As I said above....
"Also on that second resulting screen - in Vista that's titled Rate and improve your computer's performance ......
At lower left, click on Problem reports and solutions to see if it's lists anything."

On my Vista installation the only thing it finds is I have installed Partition Magic 8.0 and it's known to NOT be 100% compatible with Vista.

"I installed CPU-Z. It is giving the data I need. However, I forget how to get access to the bios to check the numbers. You access the bios during startup I believe."

"It is giving the data I need."

CPU-Z can read the data on the SPD chip on each of the modules. It may or may not also show you the settings the bios is using for ALL the ram installed - the timing numbers and the ram voltage.

If your installed ram modules are NOT all identical, the bios is supposed to automatically set all the ram to the least specs of all the modules - the highest timing number at each of the 4 positions (the slowest setting), or higher, and the lowest ram voltage, but sometimes the bios doesn't get those right by default.

"You access the bios during startup I believe."

You usually see a line while booting, very early, "Press xxx (a key) for Setup" or similar - if you see that, you must press the stated key while that line is still on the screen. If you don't see that, consult the User's or Owner's manual for your Sony model - the key you need to press is always in there. Some brands don't call the bios Setup by that name.

Brand name bios versions often deliberately have less info in them and things you can change than bios versions for retail desktop mboards.

Usually when we search for info about what is actually seen in the bios for a brand name bios version, either there is no info to be found, or there is info but not everything that is seen in the bios is shown, so usually you're on your own interpreting what you're seeing, unless you can consult with someone else who has the same brand name model, or has a same brand name model that has a bios that is the same or very similar.

The mboard manuals for retail desktop mboards usually show you everything that is seen in the bios, at least for the original bios version, and often also show you what the default settings are.


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#24
January 6, 2011 at 06:00:55
In Windows 7 Resource Monitor there is actually a graph that shows "MB in use. "(memory in use) It also shows" MB Available" and other measurements. This is the active current memory in use. As you state, it changes ' on the fly '. The " % Used Physical Memory " is simply a calculation based on how much "MB in use " is currently actively used divided by the total installed memory expressed as a percentage. So in effect , "% Used Physical Memory " is exactly the same as "MB in use ". So when I told you in Answer #18, that my laptop showing "5300MB in use " It was the current active memory be used by all active processes at that time. I was concerned about this because I was not running any applications at the time & did not even have a browser open.

"On the other hand, it is NOT normal for the xx% Used Physical Memory to go up and stay up for any significant amount of time, as in it never decreases, no matter how long you wait, assuming you're waiting a reasonable amount of time."

That is exactly what I have been saying is happening ! I guess I have not been expressing it effectively. Please read again Answer #16.

With regard to the hard drive, I have not had the laptop turned on long enough to be sure the problem has indeed gone away. I will need to have it turned on continuously for 2-4 days.

I did not use the burning software that comes with Windows 7 I have Roxio Easy Medi Creator 10 installed.

There was no change in the Windows Experience Index. The rating is 5.9. It is actually the graphics that is the limiting factor.

CPU-Z is showing me Frequency, CAS# Latency, RAS# to CAS#, RAS# Precharge, tRAS, tRC and Voltage. Is that what I need ?

I still looking to find what key I need to hit to access the bios. I do not see "Press xxx (a key) for Setup" when I boot up my laptop.


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#25
January 6, 2011 at 16:38:53
I still do not see a "memory in use" label anywhere in the Resource Monitor in Vista, and there is no graph of memory use in the Resource Monitor labelled "memory in use" - it's just labelled Memory. I do NOT see a NUMBER for total memory in use anywhere.

However, Task Manager - Performance (tab) has what appears to be the same graph, labelled Physical Memory Usage History.
(e.g. press all three of Alt - Ctrl - Del - select Start Task Manager)

At the bottom of that window, when you expand it, there are 3 lists - Physical Memory (MB), Kernel Memory (MB), and System.

The Physical Memory (MB) list has
Total, in my case 3070
Cached, at the time I looked at it, 2145
Free, at the time I looked at it, 288

At the same time, at the bottom of the window, it was showing Physical Memory 30% = ~ 921

Total - Cached = 925 , ~ the same

By any chance are you confusing the Cached amount with the Physical Memory Usage amount ?
........

""On the other hand, it is NOT normal for the xx% Used Physical Memory to go up and stay up for any significant amount of time, as in it never decreases, no matter how long you wait, assuming you're waiting a reasonable amount of time.""

" That is exactly what I have been saying is happening ! I guess I have not been expressing it effectively. Please read again Answer #16."

In your response 4

"Today, the harddrive starting working at 100%, then suddenly it just stopped, turned off. My display went blank. I could not even turn the laptop off normally. I had to unplug and remove the battery in order to restart. "

In your response 16

"This morning I noticed that the Ram usage was at 100%. I had no applications running.
I tried to open the Resource Monitor & then a window opened that said " Insuffcient system resources exist to complete request "
The display went black, then started flashing on and off. I tried to shutdown normally, but could not. I had to unplug & remove the battery."

In my response 17

"The operating system shuts down or restarts the computer's mboard via a software signal. Similar applies if the computer is a desktop computer that has a Reset switch when you briefly press it. If Windows isn't working properly, that method often doesn't work.
You didn't need to unplug the AC adapter and remove the main battery.
In most cases, due to a default bios Setup setting, the computer can be forced to shut off the mboard, no matter what, if you hold down the power button down for 4 seconds or so - if it doesn't, you can change a setting in the bios Setup to have it do so."

It's normal for the hard drive to sometimes have 100% activity. That's not a problem unless it stays there for a long time.

Your problem of the screen going blank when the hard drive activity goes to 100% those two times is ODDBALL.
When you said the screen went blank in response 4 , was it black or white ?

What I told you in response 17 - hold down the power button for at least 4 seconds - SHOULD work when that happens - if it doesn't you may have some serious problem with the laptop - probably a hardware one.

Try holding the power button down for at least 4 seconds, when the computer is working okay.
If that doesn't work, you probably need to change a setting in the bios Setup.
If that does work, CHKDSK may want to run the next time you boot - let it run.

Since it last worked properly, have you, or is it possible anyone else, EVER
- dropped this laptop ?
- spilled liquid on it ?
......

Your problem could be caused by a hardware problem.

e.g.
- your hard drive may be in the beginning of the process of it failing - in that case, in my experience, it will often pass hard drive diagnostics tests for a while before it starts to fail them.

By the way, modern drives have temp sensors, and they log the highest temp the drive has gotten to. SeaTools shows the highest temperature the hard drive has reached when you first start it up. Did it generate any message "This drive has been overtemp" or similar. "Continue ? " or similar ?
If it DID, the chips on a board on a failing drive often overheat for a while before the board starts to be damaged. However, if it isn't a Seagate or Maxtor hard drive, you should run the hard drive diagnostics for the brand of hard drive to confirm that (Toshiba drives have no diagnostics availble for them from Toshiba). If the present temp shown is relatively high when you're running the diagnostics, that's a pretty sure indication the drive is in the beggining of the process of failing.

The only way to rule that out is to try another hard drive. There are free programs available on your brand of hard drive's, or whatever brand of replacement hard drive's, web site that can copy the entire contents of your drive to another drive. You connect the other drive to your laptop either by installing it in a hard drive enclosure, or by you connecting it to the laptop USB by using some other adapter, and you swap drives once the data has been copied.

- you may be having ram problems that are causing relatively small amounts of ram errors. Testing the ram with ram diagnostics will show you whether you have that problem.

- even if the ram tests pass, you can have problems in Windows if the bios has set some incompatible setting for the ram.

- a lot less likely, unless the laptop has been dropped or has had liquid spilled on it in which case it's much more likely, there may be something else wrong with the laptop's hardware.

More later.


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#26
January 6, 2011 at 19:22:46
Your problem could be caused by a software problem.

In your response 8 you said:

"I should mention that I brought this problem to the attention of the local Sony Repair Center on two separate occasions. Their solution was simply to restore to the original factory config. this obviously did not fix the problem."

If they actually restored the original factory software installation, that's good.

Did the computer come with one or more Recovery disks ? If it did, did you supply them to the technicians ?

If the answer to those is No and No, or Yes and No, then the following may apply...

However, if they just re-installed Windows and the drivers needed for the laptop, if they didn't install the main chipset drivers, that can often cause the mboard's ACPI features to NOT work properly because Windows doesn't have the proper info about the mboard. In that case, it's quite possible for you to get no video in Windows when the computer goes into Standby or Hibernate mode after xx time of Windows detecting user inactivity, and for you to NOT be able to get the video to come back on like it should, when you press a key or move your mouse.
That problem can be cured by making sure the main chipset drivers have been installed. If those are listed on the Sony site in the downloads for your model, install them.
..........

I have no idea what programs you may have installed yourself that I have not installed on my Vista installation, other than Microsoft Security Essentials, and Roxio burning software.
By the way, I know from experience that Roxio software has more bugs than most software.

You have mentioned you have Windows Defender as well as Microsoft Security Essentials on the computer, and that Windows Defender seems to be disabled since Microsoft Security Essentials was installed. That's probably what Microsoft intended, since they provided both of them, but it would be a very good idea to go into Windows Defender and make sure it's been disabled - you should get a message "Windows Defender is turned off."

When was the last time you ran a FULL anti-malware scan of at least your C drive? If you haven't done that lately, do one.

There's a small possibility something in Microsoft Security Essentials is corrupted or has bugs.
You could try un-installing it and re-installing it, or you could try disabling it's Real time protection for a while to see if your problem goes away:
Scroll down - it shows where you can enable / disable Real time protection:
http://www.microsoft.com/security/p...

If you stick to major web sites , and don't use a search engine to find stuff, and don't go to sites that have illegally gotten software, you're unlikely to get malware while the Real time protection is switched off.

If you find doing that gets rid of the problem, then there is lots of other good free anti-malware software you can install. E.g. AVG 2011 slows down Windows less than most other anti-malware software.
No one anti-malware program detects and gets rid of everything in any case.
........

I've mentioned the Share My Media problem Windows Media Player 10 and 11 have with some systems, and it sounds like you have the same in WMP 12. Stopping the service you stopped from running may not completely get rid of that problem. You should go into WMP 12 and disable Share My Media.

See response 11 - how to disable Share My Media
See response 13 - it should be similar in WMP 12.
.......

Sometimes the Windows Search feature that automatically makes indexes of files does not work properly on some systems. It's only supposed to do that after xx minutes of user inactivity, but the problem with it is once it's starts doing that, it may NOT stop doing that when the user resumes using the computer, and if it doesn't it slows down everything in Windows despite it not using much CPU time.

Try this -
RIGHT click on your C drive in Computer
- Properties
click on the box before Index this drive for faster searching to REMOVE the checkmark.
Click on OK at the bottom of that window.

Try your computer for a while to see if the problem has gone away.
Searching for things on your computer may be slower with that disabled, but that's not a big problem if you don't search the computer often, or if you do but you search only the most likely folders that should have the file or folder you're looking for.
.......

Other than that, when you do have high hard drive activty for no reason you can determine, do what I have suggested several times - look at Task Manager - Processes while the problem is going on and determine which programs are "pigging out" on the most CPU time, or the most memory amounts. It doesn't necessarily have to be a larger amount of CPU time for some programs for them to bog down Windows.
Double clicking on the CPU heading will list the programs in the descending order of their CPU time use, "on the fly".

If a program is not using any CPU time at all, when you look at the list for a while, that program USUALLY has nothing to do with your problem.

Write down the names of the culprit programs and post them here.
.........

"With regard to the hard drive, I have not had the laptop turned on long enough to be sure the problem has indeed gone away. I will need to have it turned on continuously for 2-4 days."

It shouldn't take that long for the problem to show up if it's still there - it should show up within a few hours.

If you have no legitimate reason to have your laptop running continuously, then DO NOT run it continuously, at the very least while you're sleeping !


"There was no change in the Windows Experience Index. The rating is 5.9"

That's pretty good for a laptop.
.....


" CPU-Z is showing me Frequency, CAS# Latency, RAS# to CAS#, RAS# Precharge, tRAS, tRC and Voltage. Is that what I need ?"

Yes - those are the 4 timing numbers, in that order, and the ram voltage specified by the manufacturer, for each module.

See response 21 starting at
"I don't know how to check the bios to see if the RAM settings are correct.
I have looked at the modules, but I really don't know what all the numbers refer to."

"I still looking to find what key I need to hit to access the bios. I do not see "Press xxx (a key) for Setup" when I boot up my laptop."

As I said previously, if you don't see that, the info about which key you need to press is always in the Owner's or User's manual for your specific brand name model.
If the guys who worked on your laptop actually reloaded the original software installation, that manual is probably already there in your All Programs list somewhere.
If the manual is not already on the hard drive, then you can look at it or download it from the Sony web site in the support for your model.

I took the liberty of looking that up.

You listed: Sony / Vgnfw590c above your first post.

That model is: "Available only in Canada"
If you didn't buy it in Canada, you quoted the wrong model number.
If you DID buy it in Canada, are you fluently bilingual, or is English or French your first language ?

VGNFW590C support
http://esupport.sony.com/CA/perl/mo...

(User Guide) - French only
http://www.docs.sony.com/reflib/doc...

Page 85 of pdf

1. Allumez votre ordinateur.

2. Appuyez sur la touche F2 lorsque le logo VAIO apparait.
L'ecran de configuration BIOS s'affiche.

French to English translation

1. Turn on your computer.

2. Press the F2 key when the VAIO logo appears.
The BIOS setup screen displays.

......

If you DID quote the wrong model number, assuming it's close...

VGNFW590

"Available only in the United States"

VGNFW590 support
http://esupport.sony.com/US/perl/mo...

User Guide - English
http://www.docs.sony.com/reflib/doc...

Page 85 of pdf

1. Turn on your computer.

2. Press the F2 key when the VAIO logo appears.
The BIOS setup screen appears. If not, restart the computer and press the F2
key several times when the VAIO logo appears.



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