PC Gurus: What the hell is wrong with my laptop?

I know there are a lot of tech-savvy people on this forum, so hopefully someone can solve my problem.

Essentially, I got my current laptop a year ago and, somehow, it managed to be less powerful straight out the box than my four year old laptop was in the weeks before it died.

Even if I shut every other program on my computer, I can't run things like Photoshop without extreme slowdown. If I try to run a flash game and play a Youtube video at the same time, it slows performance to a crawl, even with the flash game at the lowest settings.

I know that the logical solution, in that case, would be to shut one of the windows and just do one thing at a time, but it seems impossible to me that such a new computer is not capable of things a significantly older machine was, especially when they were roughly the same price.

I'm running things like Memory Fox to combat Firefox's ridiculous memory usage but even then that only makes it stable; not efficient. I've scanned for viruses, ran defrags and disk cleanups and turned off any extra features Windows 7 has that consume memory, but it still barely runs.

I've attached the system specs I could find, in the hope that it may shed some light:

If anyone can help, that'd be great.

Go to Run.
Type in "msconfig" (no quotations)
Enter, start-up tab. Uncheck everything except "Synpatics Pointing Device Driver" and any audio programs (although you can test it out and uncheck these as well).
Now restart.

Tell me if this has helped you out at all.

Also, none of this stuff will be deleted. Windows will simply not boot them up, so it should speed up performance. If there's any issues with audio or whatever, go back in, check those back on, and restart again.

If this still doesn't work, you may need to reformat your HDD.

rob_simple:
snip

Epic Bear Man:
Snip.

Thanks for responding, I did what you suggested and it does seem to speed up my startup, but as soon as the computer is running it slows right down again. I found a program called Windows Media Player Sharing Device or something like that, which was sapping 33% of my CPU despite the fact I don't even use WMP so I disabled that and a bunch of other things, but when I tried running that flash game again it was still lagged to hell. I even tried closing the Youtube window and I still couldn't run the game on it's highest settings. (For reference, this is the game I'm trying to run.)

I did notice something in the Task Manager that seemed odd, to me, which is that there are at least fifteen separate instances of svchost.exe running and taking up about 20% of the available physical memory, as soon as I boot the computer up. The description of the program seems important but it also seems insane that they need to run so many separate instances of one thing.

rob_simple:
I did notice something in the Task Manager that seemed odd, to me, which is that there are at least fifteen separate instances of svchost.exe running and taking up about 20% of the available physical memory, as soon as I boot the computer up. The description of the program seems important but it also seems insane that they need to run so many separate instances of one thing.

That's alright - svchost is actually a wrapper for other miscellanious processes - behind each can very well be several things. It's normal to have many of them. If you want to check what exactly are they representing, right-click one and choose "Got to service(s)" which would mark which services are lumped behind that instance.

As for the Flash thing...it's Flash. That's a justification enough for it to be slow and weird. Try updating the flash player...or you can even try downgrading it - that's known to solve issues, too.

Dunno about the rest of the things, though - uninstall some software and you can also stop services - right click Computer, choose Manage, from the menu to the leftexpand Services and Applications, and go to Services. You can start and stop stuff from there. Also, if you go to Programs and Features in the Control Panel, you can use Turn Windows Features On and Off to remove some core bundled software you don't need.

How much space do you have available on C:\? And how full is your RAM under normal circumstances?

Yeah, Windows Media player is such a CPU hog in my PC as well. Also it wouldn't hurt to run ccleaner with this addon.
Flash doesn't always run ok, Binding of Isaac didn't run well in my fairly decent desktop for example.

In case of laptops it's wise to check your power saving options. In windows 7 they are located in Control Panel/Hardware and Sound/Power Options. Check the balanced option.

You could also consider adding another 4 gigs of ram as a last ditch effort.

Thanks for the extra tips, although I still can't get that Flash game to run at full spec, but given that I can get other more taxing ones to run fine I think it's just an issue with Flash (I'm having to run an older version because the newer one crashed Firefox at random).

Anyway, I've done just about everything suggested here and things do seem to be running more smoothly overall, I think my future solution will be to avoid Toshiba machines, as this one is loaded with an astounding amount of Toshiba's own programs that do nothing but hinder and interfere with everything else and, typically, are irritating to remove/disable.

Sorry to bump this topic, but while I was at my parent's house I decided to try doing the same thing on their computer and everything ran absolutely fine even though System Info shows that this PC is less powerful in every aspect than my laptop.

I have updated my browser, Flash and everything else I can think of and I still can't get my laptop to perform anywhere near how it should.

I am out of ideas.

Edit: Actually, I did find one area where the PC looks considerably more powerful than the laptop:

PC: Intel(R) Core(TM)2 Duo CPU E6750 @ 2.66GHz, 2664 Mhz, 2 Core(s), 2 Logical Processor(s)
Laptop: Processor AMD E-450 APU with Radeon(tm) HD Graphics, 1650 Mhz, 2 Core(s), 2 Logical Processor(s)

Could this be the source of my problem?

rob_simple:
snip

A quick search online shows the processor in your parents' PC tower has a benchmark result that's almost twice as powerful as your laptop. Granted, single reports don't show the whole picture, but it's a start.

Parents' PC tower
Your laptop

I do a lot of things to my own desktop out of personal preference that probably helps with overall performance. First off, I use Chrome almost exclusively. I think it just runs faster than any other browser, although there are a lot of great plug-ins for Firefox, I know.

Second, I HATE Windows Aero. I turned that crap off immediately. I prefer the older look, similar to XP.

I think running nothing but freeware for essentials also hurts performance a bit, such as Avast! and Comodo, but I hate the idea of subscription services. Feels like I'm being held hostage.

In addition, simply because I hate Aero soooo much, I did the following (again, out of personal spite preference regarding how Windows 7 looks):

Go to: Control Panel-->Performance Information and Tools-->Advanced Tools
-->Adjust the appearance and performance of Windows

I unchecked everything but:

  • Show thumbnails instead of icons
  • Smooth edges of screen fonts
  • Use drop shadows for icon labels on the desktop
  • Notice that if you choose the option for 'Best Performance', everything gets unchecked.

    And finally, you might be helped just a little bit by getting some more RAM. Depending on which version of Windows 7 you're running, your system might be able to utilize the max at 8GB. I trust Crucial's website a lot, and it says your machine can use 8GB theoretically. If you've got 64-bit Win 7 you should be fine. If you're running 32-bit, then you're stuck with the 4GB. Normally I wouldn't suggest just getting more RAM, but it's dirt cheap right now.
    Go to Crucial and find your system or just download the System Scanner.
    http://www.crucial.com/

     

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