Computer lag every 2 seconds..

By kryptoknight ยท 72 replies
Aug 3, 2005
  1. kryptoknight

    kryptoknight TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 40

    hmm well yeah, the min / max for paging is 756 as i was told to go 1.5 my size of ram.. and my processors are both programs/programs.. now a weird thing is i set my card to all performance.. and when i go to the catalyst control center, (using latest drivers) when i see the car in the demo where it tests if i want quality or performance, it only freezes in the video every 2 seconds.. so im guessing it has to do with my video driver or video problems but, i get some pauses whenever i start up a program it begins to lag and lag the cursor behind the mouse.. any ideas? thanks =)

    edit : not just in video it lags every 2 seconds.. when i move my mouse it pauses for a half a second still .. so im guessing its not only video =/ . i defragged , and chkdsk'd and fixboot, everything. dont know what else is there is to do. =/
  2. zellyman

    zellyman TS Rookie Posts: 33

    Yeah your definatly having a resources/driver problem, Im at my wits end of how to find it though... the problems sound like something youd expect from an HP with 256 RAM and a 1.2 processor... but not from your system
  3. zellyman

    zellyman TS Rookie Posts: 33

    Go to Start > Run > Dxdiag and click the save all information button when its finished loading and attach it here
  4. Vigilante

    Vigilante TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,666

    Let's try one more expirement. On a fresh startup, close all your unneeded processes. Then as you move the mouse around the desktop, say, in circles, when the system lags on you, does the HDD activity light on your case blink when it lags?

    In other words, when the system lags does the hard drive do things each time? If you're moving the mouse around and it lags but your HDD light never blinks but just stays off, then the lag is more directed at CPU usage then HDD problems.

    Open Task Manager (right click task bar) and go to the Performance tab. Now as you move the mouse around or even open a menu or right-click the desktop; when it lags, does the CPU usage spike up to 100%? As you watch the history slowly go by, does it fill up with regular spiking? A normal system, freshly started up, with processes closed, should just hover around 1%, 2%, and little jumps up to 5%. But if yours is up, down, up, down, then we still have a CPU usage problem. Still comes down to a corrupt driver or program, possibly even a virus. Game machine or not, you ARE online right?

    So go to and do a virus scan, if you haven't already. And maybe post a Hijackthis log for us.
  5. kryptoknight

    kryptoknight TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 40

    hey, i did what you said, and it i'm guessing its HDD problems because everytime i lag it blinks red.. and there is no time when it doesnt stop blinking.. it just keepps blinking every second .. gonna do a scan on microtrend atm..
  6. atrice

    atrice TS Rookie Posts: 18

    I just found this thread after searching for some help on my own situation, which is similar to yours (ie I have system "lags," my mouse cursor moves erratically). After reading your last post, I just noticed that my HDD light blinks all the time too, about once every second. Now, I have programs and processes running, so that may have something to do with it.

    I've had bad crash/BSOD problems for about two years now (about as long as I've had this computer), but I noticed about a month ago that I had some bad capacitors. I replaced three of them this week, and the crash problems still exist. I would like to say that they are completely random, but in the past they have occurred during times of high system stress (ie running a graphics-intensive game) and lately they seem to happen when I'm playing music and doing a lot of other things at the same time. Another user (cpc2004) helped me by analyzing minidumps a long time ago, and suggested that a hardware issue is going on. I agree, and I'm trying to find out what it is because I need this computer to last me for at least a couple more years.

    I should also point out that this summer, I've noticed that any time I unplug (or turn off the PSU with its switch) the system and then plug it back in, it crashes at least five or six times before XP Pro actually makes it to the desktop. This is what led me to believe that my bad capacitors were the problem (although I didn't replace all of them, only three that had leaked).

    I guess there was no point to my post except to say that you're not alone with your problem, and as I find info on fixing mine, I'll let you know.
  7. Vigilante

    Vigilante TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,666

    Capacitors don't have to "leak" to be bad. If they are bulging AT ALL, and not mirror smooth, they are blown.
    I am surprised you even attempted to replace the capacitors in the first place. New motherboards can be so cheap. I'm sure you could scrape together $60 or $70 for a replacement mobo.
  8. kryptoknight

    kryptoknight TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 40

    hmm now i'm curious whether if i have more problems now.. because when i play counter-strike it reads the ping as 23.. but when i join the server its around 200-300.. then it calms down to around like 150.. then goes back to 300.. maybe i should switch lan controllers?
  9. zellyman

    zellyman TS Rookie Posts: 33

    Do that dxdiag thing too, detailed info is always nice
  10. kryptoknight

    kryptoknight TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 40

    omg.. i installed my old 20 GB hard drive right.. and everything started to work perfectly fine.. no lag in the game or anything.. i installed Windows Xp home .. with SP2.. and my audio worked perfectly fine.. everything.. until i activated windows xp it started ACTING UP again! ... i transferred some old files over.. but i scanned with virus and everything.. dont think it could be that.. this is getting me mad =//
  11. atrice

    atrice TS Rookie Posts: 18

    Good point, and I was aware.

    I still have some other that are still bulging and/or not seated perpendicular to the board.

    I thought about it, but I thought I had more to gain from replacing them myself. Now I'm at the point that I'm thinking that the caps were not the whole problem, so getting a new motherboard may be a possibility. Newegg sells one for about $25 that fits what I need (ie Socket A, PC2100), but user reviews said that it requires more power, and I just bought a new PSU (350 W).
  12. Vigilante

    Vigilante TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,666

    Krypto, sounds like you're getting closer. When you say it started acting up again on the other HDD, you mean ALL the same issues were back? Or do you think the HDD was the problem?
    Did it act up only after time went by? Then check for overheat issues. Maybe load the trial of Hardware Monitor:
    Use that to monitor your temps. It only stays on for 10minutes for the trial, but you can start it up again.

    Hope the new mobo and PS does it for you! You know, I work in a repair shop, and blown capacitors are becoming more and more common these days. I think it has to do with cheap power supplies that "come with" the cases people buy. It's always good to buy your own, quality, power supply. Unless you get a high-end case that comes with a name brand PS already.
    Or they have a Dell or something with like a subpar 200w or less PS. Crazy stuff.

    good luck all...
  13. kryptoknight

    kryptoknight TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 40

    The HD Now i installed is a little bit better than the one before.. it lags every 2 seconds when i play video games SOMETIMES.. it goes away sometimes.. then when i start up it doesnt have a fuzzy sound anymore, but the cursor lags behind mouse and you can tell its slow still.. as for my temps.. for hmonitor is..

    Mainboard : 37C
    CPU1 : 40.0C
    CPU2 : 17.0C

    Cooling fans
    Power: 4236 RPM

    +12V [+4.10V] +5V [+2.03] core [1.50
    -12V ---------------------------- Aux [+2.56]
  14. atrice

    atrice TS Rookie Posts: 18

    If a second hard drive (which you just installed) does the same thing, then I wouldn't think it's a direct HDD problem. I don't remember from reading your earlier posts, but have you ruled out a motherboard issue yet? I'm still thinking that that's what my problem is, and I'm going to take a second look at the caps again later tonight.
  15. Vigilante

    Vigilante TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,666

    Based on you hmon it doesn't look like the CPU is hot, at least at the time you checked. Let the system run, play a game, wait till it lags out real good and check the temps then.

    Might I also mention checking in the BIOS that your L1 and L2 caches are ON.

    Check you power management settings that it is set to "Always On".

    And we may need to rule out a video card issue as well, do you have another to swap with?

  16. kryptoknight

    kryptoknight TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 40

    hmm.. diagnosed (spell check haha) this problem a bit more.. when the sound starts to skip and the 2 second skipping crap.. the cpu usage bounces back and forth.. for example if im typing on aim.. the usage is 8%.. then when i load WMplayer.. when it doesnt start to skip it stays around 15%.. then when it starts to skip it constantly bounces from 8% to 36%.. back up and down.. don't know what to do now.. thanks

    also i noticed the pf usage is.. a yellow line when i hit ctrl +alt + delete it just stays there, but the cpu usage spikes up and down.. when the refresh rate is high
  17. Vigilante

    Vigilante TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,666

    It is normal for it to bounce up high when first opening a program or maybe first loading a song to play or some such.
    But like on my machine, when I opened Winamp, it jumped to in the 30s or 40s percent just for a second while loading the app. And when I play a song but not do anything else and just let it play, it hovers at under 5% while playing. So if yours "hovers" at over 10% but jumps a lot to over 30% and higher, then there is a problem, of course.

    In Task manager on the Processes tab, try as good as you can to visually monitor the whole list in the CPU column and see if any process is the one regularly taking the CPU usage up high.
    If none of those process are taking your CPU when it spikes, then it usually comes down to a corrupt driver or a bad kernel process or DLL. Anything that ISN'T listed as a process in that list but is still "running", somewhere. Hard to track down.

    I didn't want to re-read the whole thread but do you have a laptop? Did you check the power managment? Make sure it isn't set to "Portable/Laptop" but set it to always on or home office desk.

    And also, did you try Safe Mode? I mean, does the system CPU usage spike while in Safe Mode? If it doesn't, then it may still be a driver issue of sorts.

    If you still don't have any ideas, I'll have to reread the thread and think about things again and go from there.
  18. kryptoknight

    kryptoknight TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 40

    hmm.. well the cpu usage bounces up and down when it starts to lag.. and my hard drive light pops up red when it does.. i used 2 different hard drives..with a fresh formatted windows xp home OEM .. and when i play everquest i alt tab to the desktop lets say and i go to the cpu usage it bounces up from 18-46% or something like that.. it bounces CONSTANTLY . and the hard drive light blinks.. i dont know what to do i uninstalled every piece of hardware put it back in and use the latest drivers.. checked the power mangement its set to home/office desk.. and it IS a desktop not a laptop.. the only IDE devices i have are a Toshiba CD-ROM and a hard drive thats about it.. thanks for replying vigi.. let me know if you have AIM/MSN/YAHOO so i can easily contact you =/ .

    EDIT. going to install everything over again. =[. format time.
  19. kryptoknight

    kryptoknight TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 40

    okay so now i formatted freshly.. partitioned now instead of doing 1 drive only.. my 60GB is back into place so i formatted as follows:

    18GB C: / 42GB D:
    E:/CD drive

    i was told that by partitioning and putting the SWAP file on a different drive such as D: it would greatly improve my performance and not conflict anything.. as my ram is 512, i changed it to 1.5 times my ram size so its 768MB. and D: drive is a blank NTFS drive, only C has windows on it, D: is my storage drive, and C: is just windows while i install everything onto D: C is blank.

    NOW.. back to the lagging issue.. it greatly imrpoved my performance, i see less of the computer lag, but when it happens it happens for short durations .. lets see if im playing Everquest or Counter-strike it lags every 2 seconds for a period of ... 30 seconds then goes away and comes back.. any ideas? thanks
  20. Vigilante

    Vigilante TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,666

    Putting your swap file on a different hard drive can improve your performance. It won't improve much, if any, if it's on a 2nd partition, but same hard drive. It can help a bit though.

    Is the lag better or worse when playing online? If you are completely disconnected from the Internet and playing offline, single player, is it better? If so, I would suspect your network card.
    Otherwise, the next thing we need to do is try another video card if we can.

    Also turn your video options way down in the games until it looks like junk, and see if it plays better.

    You're getting closer but after all you've done, we have to suspect hardware problems. HDD is ruled out now as well as XP. You used all "latest" drivers right? As in, downloaded from the manufacturers web site?
    So try video card next if you can find one as good or better then yours.
  21. duffguy

    duffguy TS Rookie Posts: 125

    second hd?

    try getting a second hd. that might help. :)

    my comp used to do the same thing but it was like evry 3 min. after second hd it ran smoothly....i still have a RAM problem though :mad:
  22. kryptoknight

    kryptoknight TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 40

    hmm . i might add a second HD.. i have my 20GB laying around but.. i dont have another cord to attach it too.. and when i played counter-strike zero.. offline it was running perfect, maybe it is the lan card? i disabled the onboard LAN and using the nic card that YAHOO gave me.. in zero it doesnt lag when i play but when i load it up the mouse is fine but i feel a little bit in starting up.. tried replacing the nic card but i dont see any difference? . thanks for reply.
  23. Vigilante

    Vigilante TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,666

    Getting on to page 3 now I'm having trouble remembering every suggestion. But since it runs better offline and runs better with a different NIC. Well what is next in the chain? Do you have a router or a switch, hub, something else we could remove?
  24. Tedster

    Tedster Techspot old timer..... Posts: 6,002   +15

    putting a swap file on a different hard drive will also help with fragmenting.
  25. kryptoknight

    kryptoknight TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 40

    Hehe thanks Ted, tried that what i posted earlier. =)

    well some new info.. i was reading about IRQ's and interrupts etc.. and i checked my system information and checked IRQ's etc..i have found 3 devices on IRQ slot 5.. im wondering if this is a problem? also in my system information it says i have some conflicts under conflicts/sharing.. let me post a screenshot

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