Painfully slow Sony Vaio

By Janet444 ยท 109 replies
Aug 28, 2015
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  1. My Sony Vaio has been slow since I bought it years ago, largely due to its mysterious Vaio software, which consists of several programs that never seem to do anything helpful, but do slow things down and interrupt and block access to my work.

    Over the past few months, though, things have gotten even worse. The computer is slow to start up. Various programs will suddenly become "unresponsive" for no apparent reason. Sometimes if I wait, they'll become responsive again. Sometimes, it will take almost a minute to save a minor file in Word.

    This past week, I've gotten a new screen at start up a couple of times that says there are problems that need to be fixed. I realized later that it was because I'd left a CD in the laptop. But after I took it out, I got the screen again one or two mornings later upon startup. I'm sorry that I can't describe it properly. It has a loading bar and says it will take a few minutes, but it takes longer than that.

    Also over the past week, sometimes the screen will just go blank - a bluish blackish color. It usually goes away if I press enter a few times, but not always. I think I had to restart it at least once.

    This morning, both Word and Excel failed to open for no apparent reason. Later in the day, both opened and worked properly. Both are starter versions.

    I hope this isn't too vague. It's hard to get a handle on the multiple problems I've had over the years. I'm hoping these are problems that can be resolved without having to buy a new computer.

    All of these problems are significant enough to have an impact on my ability to get work done on the laptop.

    Thanks in advance for any help you can offer.

  2. jobeard

    jobeard TS Ambassador Posts: 11,138   +985

    Fully shutdown. As you reboot, strike F8 about once/sec until you get the B&W vga screen. Select Safe Mode and hit enter.
    when the MS Screen arrives, log into the Administrator ID.

    you can play with the windows directory explorer (but nothing from the Internet)

    Click Start->enter CMD
    in the B&W screen type NOTEPAD and hit enter

    type anything into it you like and save the document.

    ?? How did you do ?? does it work reasonably?
  3. Janet444

    Janet444 TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 59

    How do I log into the Administrator ID?
  4. Janet444

    Janet444 TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 59

    Never mind, I Googled it and I think I understand.
  5. Janet444

    Janet444 TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 59

    Okay, I did it. It worked fine, except for one minor thing. The cursor jumped three times. The first time it actually jumped out of Notepad. The second two times it jumped within the text in Notepad.

  6. bazz2004

    bazz2004 TS Evangelist Posts: 1,585   +250

    You mention that you bought the Vaio years ago. If it has the nVidia 8400 or 8600 graphics chip on the motherboard you have been really lucky. These were a major disaster for laptop manufacturers and you will see loads of Vaios on eBay saying that the graphics chip has failed. They are not economically repairable. If you have one of these laptops it's a really good time to upgrade now that Windows 10 is here and looking so promising.
  7. Janet444

    Janet444 TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 59

    I'm not sure anyone has been "lucky" to have purcchased a Vaio, lol. How do I know which graphics chip I have? It's not a good time for me to be buying a new laptop if I can avoid it. If it were, I probably would have dumped this thing long ago! Thanks for the suggestion.
  8. bazz2004

    bazz2004 TS Evangelist Posts: 1,585   +250

    If you can navigate via Control Panel to Device Manager and double click on Display Adapters it will identify the video chip on the motherboard.
  9. Janet444

    Janet444 TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 59

    Thanks. It just says "Intel(R) HD Graphics."
  10. bazz2004

    bazz2004 TS Evangelist Posts: 1,585   +250

    Well that's good. I mentioned it because you reported some screen problems. I'd check a few things out and then consider your free upgrade to Windows 10 (from W7 or W8.1). Obviously you don't want that to go wrong.

    Download the free program CCleaner and run a registry check and the clean up options. It's a very safe program to use and may speed things up. Can you see Your C drive in Windows Explorer? Right click it and select Properties. That'll tell you if your hard drive is getting too full which would slow things down. You can also defrag the hard drive to make it run better using one of Microsoft's Windows tools but that will take a couple of hours to finish. Also check Power settings in case the laptop is set to give maximum battery life at the cost of slow performance.

    Let us know which security program you are using because some of these have a dramatic effect on performance.
  11. Janet444

    Janet444 TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 59

    Thank you. My hard drive has 73.7 GB free out of 287 GB. When I looked at properties, I noticed there was an option to compress the C drive to save space. I just clicked on that and it's doing it right now. I'm seeing that I can run Disk Cleanup from there, so maybe I'll try that.

    I did defrag fairly recently (maybe a month ago) and I think I used CC Cleaner not too long ago, but that might have been a while ago. I will use CC Cleaner again today.

    My power plan is set to "high performance." I think I did that recently, because they recommend "balance" (the only other option), but obviously, performance has been an issue.

    I recently started using Avast's free antivirus. I also use Microsoft's firewall.

    I don't think doing these things alone will fix the problem, unless I'm supposed to be doing them more often. I definitely forget to do these things, but I've done most of them fairly recently (except for compressing the files on the C drive, which I didn't realize was an option, or that it was unchecked).

    Thanks. I notice people send logs when they've completed these things. I will send a lot after I have completed the CC Cleaner scan.

  12. Janet444

    Janet444 TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 59

    I think I should that I believe the Vaio software itself may be the cause of Vaio's performance issues. But I'm concerned that deleting it could cause other problems.
  13. jobeard

    jobeard TS Ambassador Posts: 11,138   +985

    Compressing is a bad idea - - running CLEANMGR and deleting things no longer needer are preferred.
    Tmagic650 likes this.
  14. Janet444

    Janet444 TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 59

    Yes, I read later that it was a bad idea to compress. So I did cancel it in the middle, but I hope I didn't do too much damage. Right now I'm trying to open CCleaner, but it won't open. I'm going to uninstall it and download it all over again.

    From now on, I'll wait for you guys to answer, promise.

  15. Janet444

    Janet444 TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 59

    Okay, I ran CCleaner and it removed 2,756 MB.
  16. bazz2004

    bazz2004 TS Evangelist Posts: 1,585   +250

    You are now doing the right things and I'm glad you didn't compress the drive. I've never tried it and am doubtful that it's a good idea. Avast is a popular anti virus solution but I think that it is worth trying something else instead. I'm using Bitdefender free and it is very light on resources. I suggest that you download it and then try it out as a replacement for Avast. Remember to uninstall Avast because AV programs don't get along with each other.

    I'll have a look at the Vaio software on my laptop and get back to you if I see anything that might be a problem. I did a clean install of Windows 7 after putting a new hard drive in my Vaio. Getting all the original Sony function keys working again was a horrendous job. Support was pretty well zero and the sites were hard to navigate plus some drivers and utilities were not there. Beware of just jumping in and deleting stuff.

    Maybe you could delete some stuff from the hard drive to give you some more space or save it onto an external drive or usb stick? Never neglect backing up your personal data. Uninstall any programs that you don't need and use Tools in CCleaner to stop unnecessary programs starting up with Windows. You just tick or untick boxes for that.
    Last edited: Aug 30, 2015
  17. Janet444

    Janet444 TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 59

    Thank you, Bazz2004. I was using Bitdefender's free version, but I had a problem with it. I'm sorry, I can't remember the problem. I know I gave it a second chance and had the same problem. So I just started using Avast. The problems started long before this, but have gotten worse. There were problems even when I used Bitdefender's paid version.

    So you have a Vaio? And you haven't had the problems I've had with the Vaio software interrupting and slowing the computer down? When I look at Sony's site, I do get the feeling that they're just not going to help.

    I didn't know CCleaner could help me stop unnecessary programs starting up. I tried doing that manually and it was difficult. I'll do that now. I do have to be cautious that I don't delete too much - the frustration makes it so tempting! (You start thinking "How much worse could it get?" lol).

    So far, the computer is working okay, but I just started it.

    Thanks for your help!

  18. bazz2004

    bazz2004 TS Evangelist Posts: 1,585   +250

    You do have to register the free version of Bitdefender or it will stop working. I don't think you need to worry about Avast as most people who use it think it's great. It would be advisable to run a full system scan with Avast to be sure there are no nasties. Super anti spyware free edition is useful to have. It doesn't run full time so it won't conflict with Avast. I like to run it occasionally because it is very very effective and catches stuff that other software misses.
  19. Janet444

    Janet444 TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 59

    Thanks! I'm pretty sure I did register the free version of Bitdefender. I will look up the super anti spyware free edition. I've also been meaning to run malwarebytes, but I will do that after I run the other scans.

    I didn't realize how much CCleaner can do. I had no idea Best Buy had put an app on my PC, because it doesn't show up in Program Manager, but it does show up in CCleaner. Still, it refused to uinstall. But there are places on the net that will tell me how to do that.
  20. bazz2004

    bazz2004 TS Evangelist Posts: 1,585   +250

    If you download programs always choose a Custom or Advanced Install afterwards. If you take the recommended install path you can get other software installed that you don't want like Bestbuy. It's a PUP (potentially unwanted program). Getting rid of these can be difficult but Malwarebytes and SAS together will hopefully remove it.
  21. Janet444

    Janet444 TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 59

    Okay. I found out from Googling that the Best Buy app is installed before purchasing. It's awful that so many decent programs are adding bloatware, toolbars, and McAfee if you don't look carefully and uncheck boxes. I've used Malwarebytes before, and it has never removed the Best Buy app. Hopefully, it's not part of the problem or SAS will remove it.

    Also - I suspect the websites that offered help on removing the Best Buy app may have been spreading viruses. They offer links to programs to download to remove the app. I could be wrong, but they looked vaguely suspicious to me.
  22. Janet444

    Janet444 TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 59

    I downloaded SAS and tried to do a full scan. It hung up on the 79.374th file. It did this twice.

    The file is C:\Backup\\888e005a-dfb4-42e9-913c-26e3e2f7c58d\5141E9AD\35c3bcb7-70bf-4142-ac10-95e548a88bf0
    In between those two attempts at a full scan, I did do a quick scan and found 31 instances of adware and cleared those.

    I also discovered a program called Advanced Uninstaller and I might use that to get rid of the Best Buy software as well as Diner Dash, a game I downloaded not too long ago, which will now allow me to uinstall it.
  23. Janet444

    Janet444 TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 59

    Additional note: I looked up the file and it's not a file. It's a folder.
  24. Janet444

    Janet444 TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 59

    I was able to ask SAS to skip that folder and did a full scan. That scan came up with another 8 adware programs and deleted them, but that's all it did.
  25. bazz2004

    bazz2004 TS Evangelist Posts: 1,585   +250

    You could post in the Malware and Virus part of this forum about how to remove Bestbuy. Some of these adware pests can be a real pain to get rid of. Ironically, you can try a cleaner that you hope will do the job and find that you have invited other nasties onto your system.

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