Post by Fokke Nauta
Here on holiday we use a 9 year old laptop (Sony VIA VGN-FW51JF) with W7
pro 64b running. For years going on there is something weird with it.
After being switched on, the hard disk LED is continuously on for 10 -
15 minutes. During this time the laptop is unresposive - it is too busy.
Now it has been on for 45 minutes. I can work on it (sending this post)
but it is still slow, and the hard disk lED is still flickering.
What might be wrong with this thing?
Does it make sense to replace the hard disk by a SSD? Does it make sense
to install W10 pro 64b?
Can you see anything in Task Manager ?
If it's a SVCHOST that is railed, you can use Sysinternals Process Explorer
(Run As Administrator) and you can look inside the SVCHOST and see what it
The Sysinternals Process Monitor, records ETW events from
all the programs running. If some program is doing it,
Process Monitor can record it. Process Monitor records
to RAM by default, but for large traces, you can have
it write to a disk file instead. I recorded an entire
Macrium Reflect backup run with it one day, with no
problem at all. The maximum number of events it can
record, is something like 200 million. I've never hit
that limit yet (maybe it would take a 6-7 hour trace
to hit the limit).
Process Monitor also has boot logging. And what I
discovered, is you can use it for both shutdown (during
restart) as well as reboot logging. You tell Process Monitor
you want to do boot monitoring, while at the same time
recording current activity. Then you select Restart. The
current trace is saved, the machine restarts, the bootup
sequence is saved in a second file (procmon23.sys is injected
into the system folder to do the recording at startup, and
is a file with the Hidden attribute set). The duration of the
boot capture, is determined by when you start Process Monitor
running after bootup has finished. If you were locked out
of the machine for 45 minutes and couldn't get the program
running, the capture process would continue to capture
during those 45 minutes. You would definitely want it saving the
trace to disk for something that long.
When you start Process Monitor after bootup is finished, it'll
prompt about saving a trace that is being captured, and you
can claim to put it somewhere safe at that point.
(For event tracing and boot logging...)
(As a helper for Task Manager, can burrow into SVCHOST and get some info)
For older OSes, you have to hunt down an older version of these.
They didn't need to drop support, but you know how the
I can also offer a comment on the SSD. My laptop was pretty
slow. I put an SSD in it, and all that achieves is makes the
CPU look like the bottleneck. The CPU holds it back. Lots and
lots of laptops are gutless, so you're fighting a losing
battle when it comes to speeding one up.
The one nice aspect, is not having to worry about the
storage device receiving a mechanical shock. The SSD is going
to be a bit more shockproof than a regular drive.
As an example of a cheap drive, you can get a Intel 545s 128GB
for around $60, which would be able to boot up the laptop
once cloned over. You might want the next size up, if you want
a bit more elbow room in the thing.