My laptop works very slow

posted in: Notebook Very Slow | 49

I have a 3 year old Toshiba Satellite (bought new) series P15-S420. It used to do everything at super speed. Now it is very, very slow! I’ve uninstalled all my heavy programs that I added on (like Photoshop, games, etc…) and there has been no change! My husbands HP has an accelerator control. Does Toshiba have one hidden somewhere? Any ideas and or advice from anyone would be helpful! Again thanks for any and all help.

Usually a laptop works very slow because of the three following problems.
1. Installed spyware or adware programs consume a lot of resources and slow down the laptop. Open up the task manager (right click on the task bar) and check the CPU usage in the performance tab. From my experience, the CPU usage might vary 0-10% when the laptop is idle. If it’s constantly over 50%, then you might have some malicious software installed on your laptop. You can try to clean it with an adware/spyware removal tools, for example spybot. Sometimes it’s very hard to get it completely clean and in this case I would recommend restore the operating system back to original factory defaults. You can restore the factory defaults if you boot the laptop from a recovery CD or DVD. Before you run a recovery CD/DVD, back up all important data from the hard drive because it would be erased and reformatted during the restore process.
2. The heat sink is clogged and the laptop overheats. If the laptop heat sink is clogged, the CPU overheats and it might cause the entire system to slow down. It’s very easy to check the heat sink on Toshiba Satellite P15. It is not necessary to remove the heat sink if you want to clean it up, you just have to remove the fan and clean the heat sink with compressed air.
3. The hard drive is going bad. Turn on the laptop and listen if the hard drive makes unusual noises (clicking, grinding, etc…). It’s possible that a laptop will run slow if the hard drive is bad. In this case you’ll have to replace the hard drive and reinstall the operating system. Sometimes the hard drive might be bad even if it doesn’t make any strange noises. You can test the hard drive with Hitachi Drive Fitness test.

49 Responses

  1. my laptop boots slowly, act slowly. all this nonsense just gotten into it how can i get it on fast

  2. Laptop Freak

    If the laptop starts acting slow (boots slow, responding slow, etc…) then it could be a software related issue. Check if you have too many applications running on the background, remove all unnecessary application. The laptop also could be infected with a virus, spyware, adware. Scan the laptop. If it doesn’t help, back up all personal data and run a restore CD or DVD to re-image the drive back to original state. For people who don’t know how to fight malicious software or tune up the operating system, re-imaging the drive would be the best option. NOTE: do not forget to back up personal data before you start the restore process, the hard drive will be erased and all personal data lost.
    It also could be related to a hard drive failure. Turn on the laptop and listen in the hard drive area. Do you hear any strange repetitive sounds like grinding or clicking? Is the laptop unusually hot in the hard drive area? If yes, then you might have a failing hard drive and you’ll have to replace it. Run Hitachi DFT test to confirm that the hard drive is failing.

  3. I have an HP pavilion dv 1000, and all of a sudden it won’t load entirely bc it’s going so slow. It was working fine earlier today, and I shut it off normally. And I just turned it on, and it wouldn’t load everything on the desktop, so i rebooted in safe mode, now it loads everything, but its soooo slow. I dont know what the porblem it. help!

  4. hi there..i just bought my Acer Aspire 5500Z 7 months ago.first it was ok until recently i had problems during start-up.its very slow and would take more than 1 minute to reach the windows desktop icons.i brought it to the store where i bought it and they tried everything.after 3 days it was fine.they said they reformatted it.days after installing my files and programs again, booting starts to slow up especially when loading windows XP (professional edition) i brought it to Acer service center.after 5 days it was ok and he said that my msconfig is flooded..then after i added my files and programs again, it was starting to slow up there something wrong with my hardrive or its just normal to have a slow start-up when you add more and more programs?.by the way, is it normal for the LED light of the laptop to have crackling sound?..i hope you can advice me what to do..thank you.

  5. Laptop Freak

    Can you hear any strange sounds coming from the hard rive (grinding sound, clicking sound, etc…) or it sounds normal? If it sounds strange, it’s possible that the hard rive is failing. Just in case back up all important personal files as soon as possible because it might fail any time. You can use free Hitachi drive fitness test utility to test the hard drive (run advanced test). Let me know how it goes.

  6. Laptop Freak


    its very slow and would take more than 1 minute to reach the windows desktop icons

    If you loaded a lot of software then 1 minute is a good result. I have a fast HP laptop, but it’s overloaded with software. It takes over 2 minutes to boot it to the desktop.

    its just normal to have a slow start-up when you add more and more programs?

    Yes, it is normal.

    is it normal for the LED light of the laptop to have crackling sound?

    Are you sure that the crackling sound comes from the LED and not from the hard drive? Listen in the hard drive area and let me know.

  7. ammm i think its from the hard drive but its very very minute sound.i can barely hear it but its there.i can only hear it when im scanning my lappy at dawn.i took it to the service center but they dont hear anything.have any idea what it is?whats the best way to check if the hard drive is working properly?..the LED is located beside the hard drive.

  8. Laptop Freak

    I usually use Hitachi DFT utility (link to the utility in the comment 5) for testing hard drives. Download it and run an advanced test, it might take some time. If the hard drive fails the test, then probably you have a bad drive. If it passes the test, then your might have a software related problem.
    Do you have any antivirus or anti spyware software witch start scanning computer on each start up? They might take a lot of laptop resources and slow down the start up process. It’s just a guess.

  9. i have mcafee 2006 and the empowering softwares of ACEr..i edited the msconfig by disabling some of the programs at start up except my antivirus and everything is fast can load around 7 secs now..about the DFT utility, it seems to be complicated and im afraid i might screw any installed not really good in computer you have any software for checking the hard drive condition with just simple steps for beginners like me?thank you very much for you help.i really appreciate it.:)

  10. Laptop Freak

    DFT test is not so complicated and you don’t have to install anything on your laptop. You download a CD image and then burn it on a CD disk to create a bootable CD. After that you start the laptop from the CD and run the test. You can read through the user’s manual. That’s the only free utility I use, another one that I have is not free.

  11. hi there..whats the other one hard drive test you have?even if its not free, ill try to have it if its windows test for hard drive a good tool?or its not as good as the DFT you mentioned.thanks 🙂

  12. Laptop Freak

    I usually use only DFT test, it’s free, reliable and fast. I used to test hard drives with Micro-scope utility, but I didn’t really like it.

  13. Hi there.
    I´ve bought a new Toshiba A65 S126 with a Celeron 2.8GHz processor and it was much slower than I thought. I´ve installed more 512MB RAM (summing up to 768MB) and it is still very slow. Is there any possibility of upgrading the processor? Maybe it will overheat too much with a Pentium 4 2.8GHz? Thanks.

  14. Jonathan

    I received a compaq pesario v3000 last month and it worked very fast and well for a while. Suddenly today I turned it on, and logged into the administrator acccount. It took about 5 mins+for it to display the taskbar and shortcuts, and after that it just couldn’t do anything. I’ve checked the task manager, the cpu sage is only at around 3-5%. And when I tried to log off, it took another 5 mins+ for it to finish shutting down. It doesn’t display any strange noises either, please help!. Much appreciated.

  15. Laptop Freak

    How about safe mode? Boot the notebook into safe mode and check if it’s still slow. If the notebook works fine in safe mode and very slow when you boot it normally, probably you have software related issue.
    Test the hard drive. You can use Hitachi drive fitness test, the link in the post. Make sure it passes (or fails) 2-3 times.

  16. sam shyayler

    hi, i have a Advent 7104 laptop when i first had it in october 2006 it was great but after a couple of days it went really slow and it still is. its mainly slow on start up, i have to wait for my local area connection icons to appear which usely takes 3 to 4 minuites.
    I do regular virus scans and updates and i dont have anything on start up or running in the background.
    What should i do??? please help!

  17. Laptop Freak

    sam shyayler,
    If the laptop is slow on start up it’s either a software related problem or you have a failing hard disk. Test the hard disk first. You can use Hitachi’s drive fitness test and run the advanced test. If the hard disk passes the test, I would try reloading the operating system. If the hard disk fails the test, you’ll have to replace it.

  18. I need the recovery disc for my satellite p15-s420. Someone had mentioned to me that it was suppose to come with one but it never did. So now I want to wipe out all the crap thats been slowing it down and start fresh again. any suggestions where I can find one, besides

  19. Laptop Freak

    Try calling Toshiba, I think you can purchase this DVD from them and it shouldn’t be very expensive. Some laptops come without recovery discs and they have a recovery media creator installed instead. You have to run this utility to create a set of recovery CDs or DVDs.
    Go through the programs installed on our laptop and check if you have this recovery media creator installed. If you do, run it and create CDs.

  20. Cheryl

    I installed 100 gb hard drive and upgraded RAM to 1.512 all by myself on my Dell Inspiron. It worked great. Now it has gotten slower and slower. Two important facts: I dropped it out of my backpack (thought it was zipped); I have teenagers who download stuff.

    Can you diagnose this problem?

  21. Hi my laptop was so fast in the beginning. The windows XP professional bar used to run about just 3 times before it goes into the desktop. I then had a system error and had to reinstall XP. But now it looks a little slow. I have an Acer TravelMate 4150. Also I changed my RAM a few months back from 256 MB 400Mhz to 1GB 533 Mhz. Say when I click on the Internet explorer icon or my Anti virus, it used to appear instantly but now they take more time to load and more drag. I hear slight noise (very slight)from my hard disk, is it normal or should the hard disk be very silent when it is working?

  22. Hi, I am a complete novice at computers, Here is my laptop problem… I have a packard bell Easynote L4 and i know i have a lot of junk on the hard drive, It takes about 8 minutes to load the desktop and it is really slow processing things. I am thinking of buying a new laptop as this really winds me up at its slowness. Is there any step by step instructions you can give me to wipe everything off apart from my windows XP program and i can start from fresh? I can’t even load a restore point. I look forward to your reply, Kind Regards,

  23. hi just wanna ask something.. i have a HP dv1000 and everything was perfectly fine.. but recently the start up is slow (takes about 5mins or so).. also, there is a crackling sound once in awhile especially during the start up at shut down… when i also listen to my itunes, sometimes the sound crackles and gurgles (something like that) especially when im doing something else in the computer (like when im typing or opening an application.) what could be wrong? Thanks!

  24. Hi there I wanted to know is there a way of backing up my files on my laptop. It was working perfectly fine yesterday and when I switched it back on later in the evening the whole operating system has slown down. When the actual laptop starts it looks fine then when it goes on to the Welcome part it takes a long time for it to load as well as everything else on the desktop, etc. I was wondering what is the best way to back up the information bearing in mind the operating system is slow?


  25. Laptop Freak

    You can remove the hard drive from the laptop and then connect it to any other working computer using external USB enclosure or IDE connector.

  26. Hello,

    K, i bought a laptop hp a year ago cost me almost 3000 so its a fairly good laptop. Recently i was having problems with it running like super slow like i mean taking 5-10 min to start up and then music would skip while playing. So i redid it(like the boot disk) 4 times in a matter of a week and it would run perfect for the first day or so then back to super slow and music skipping. I took it to future shop and they said they found spyware and removed it but that hasnt fixed the problem and they tested the hardware and say nothing is wrong. Anyone have any idea what could be wrong with and what can fix it?

  27. Cara Murphy


    This is totally random to your previous conversation but I am selling my laptop (It’s a Packard Bell Easy Note L4) and I seem to have lost all the information on it.
    Would anyone know the processor speed, Hard Drive Capacity,RAM, Chip Type, Primary Drive and Screensize?

    I would really appreciate a bit of help with this!


  28. J Wagner

    I have a dell inspiron 4100. The CPU stays throttled down to 500Mhz. I have tried changing the settings in the bios and in the windows powersaving window but nothing will change it. I have checked the heat sink and cleaned it, nothing has helped. Can you help with some advice? It also has a sound problem. After a computer restart the sound will not work until after I remove the driver and reinstall the hardware. This will be good until the next restart then I must repeat the remove and reinstall. I have tried to use the backup disks to restore to factory config for both of these problems but nothing has fixed these issues. Could you email me a reply? Thanks

  29. Laptop Freak

    J Wagner,
    Are you using a correct AC adapter? I had a similar issue with one of my Dell laptops because I was using a 75Watt AC adapter instead of 90Watt adapter. The CPU started working full speed as soon as I replaced the adapter.

  30. Sayeed

    I am using Dell Inspiron 6000, it is getting really very slow. specially when i use internet.. I am usin IE8.
    I have try to upgrade the RAm from 1gb to 1.5gb (Kingston RAM) but its still acting same way. Recenlty I have intalled Norton internet securoty 2007.
    Is it an good idea to reinstall window?
    please advise, awaiting for an reply…
    thank you

  31. I have a dell latitude and have just had my motherboard changed because I cracked it. I have now had it repaired but it no longer works – my internet is extremely slow and I can’t play any videos. The man who repaired it insists that he has done nothing that could have caused these problems. Could you please advise me as to what I can do to address these problems

  32. Hi there you can try Active Kill Disk to swipe your hard drive clean and to prepare it for a fresh installment of Windows XP or other OP systems.

    But make sure you have your xp disk and product key handy and back up your files to another computer, because it will completely remove xp OP system and adware, spyware, viruses etc.

    here’s the link for trial version

  33. olamyde

    what up guy please what can i do to my dell inspiron cos whenever am using it is too slow in response and i believe something must have been wrong with so please for God sake i need a solution if were to be software problem or hardware problem i want to know.Thanks

  34. Asus F8 laptop question
    *changed OS Vista to XP(currently using XP)
    Why is my asus f8 laptop running very slow(half the normal) when im in battery mode? When im using the AC adaptor, the laptop is running normally.
    Help please.

  35. perez7o7

    i have a toshiba satellite a85 s107 laptop i have 120gb hard drive and 1.12gb of ram i have this computer for about 4 years now. i have avg, spybot, ad adware, ccleaner, i run these programs once a week followed by disk cleanup and disk defragment. still with all of this my laptop is still running very slow. i am only using 10gb out of 120gb when i right click on c:drive to see how much space i am using. please help i dont know what to do anymore i tried everything.

  36. Susan

    I have a Dell Inspiron 700m, it takes about 8 MINUTES to boot up. I have done: disk clean up, defrag, registry booster, registry defrag, deleted any programs I have not used in awhile & have 54% of my hard drive free. I do not understand why it takes so long to boot up – it doesn’t shut down very quickly either. What can I do to speed things up?
    HELP! and THANK YOU!!

  37. Laptop Freak


    I have a Dell Inspiron 700m, it takes about 8 MINUTES to boot up. I have done: disk clean up, defrag, registry booster, registry defrag, deleted any programs I have not used in awhile & have 54% of my hard drive free. I do not understand why it takes so long to boot up – it doesn’t shut down very quickly either.

    There could be a problem with the hard drive itself.
    Listen for the sound coming from the hard drive when the laptop is booting up. Can you hear any weird grinding or clicking noises. If you can, apparently the hard drive is failing and has to be replaced. Back up all personal files ASAP until it’s too late.

  38. Susan

    Regarding my Dell Inspiron 700m laptop:
    I do not notice any unusual sound when my computer boots up or shuts down. Is it possible for there to be another issue or do you think because of it’s age that the hard drive is probably failing?
    Thank you for your imput.

  39. I have a 5 year old hp pav 5000, running xp, 3 years ago it crashed, i did all i could to save programs, at last resort i reinstalled xp rather than reformat.. now their is xp on my computer twice, most of my programs were all salvaged, and have been using this way, but now out of memory, 60gig HD only have 1gig left… runs so so slow.. and crashes a lot, i have many programs that i do not have original program discs for any more.. i dont want to loose data / or programs. i would like to reformat.. but how to save all programs and files, to external hd without getting all other problems with it, can i ?? original c: my documents i can not open which from 1st original xp install, but new c: my documents and c drive is so fragmented, basically no memory to do much more ?? need help bad… afraid to loose all..

  40. I did all those cleaning things and all–the only thing that got my laptop back to super speed (I am running Vista) was to get Visual Effects back to basic–
    Go to Start>>Control Panel>> Performance Information and Tools>>Adjust Visual Effects>>Choose Best Performance.

    Restart your laptop and viola!

  41. Hi all
    from about 2 month, my HP HDX 9350 is very slow when i plug the ac adapter, if the nb is on (ie when i unplug ac power to change room, when i reconnect to ac, after few seconds the nb go to be very slowly, if i play a game my fps drop from 50-60 to 1-5) and to solve the problem only thing i can do is restart the system.
    can be a hw problem?

  42. I too have the same problem as #41.

    Once I pull the power jack from the socket the notebook becomes *really* slow, even for normal day to day things. It’s not a power plan problem as it’s always in maximum performance, and reattaching the power jack doesn’t solve this. The only working method I’ve found is rebooting. Not even shutdown, as it always boots very slow, only rebooting gets it back to the right speed. I’ve also noticed that in Linux, when I detach the power, the screen backlight goes off and never gets on again, so it may probably be a hardware thing. It didn’t do this from the beginning, but some months later. Switching drivers (original, updated) doesn’t do anything.

  43. i have a acer aspire 5715z it dual core 1.8ghz 358bm 965gm video card and 3 gb ram my laptop boots quickly when i play a game after 30min the laptop works really slow then i shut it down and it doesent start i wait for 5 min and it starts then its does the same thing again why? 🙁

  44. Matthew

    My Inspiron 1521 laptop one day kept freezing and having error screens and the battery died (so i wiped my computer and installed windows 7 again) but now my computer is really slow but it stopped freezing and getting error screens. I mean everything is slow i can’t even watch videos on the internet without them lagging anymore. Does anyone know what the problem might be and how i can fix my computer.

    (i am suspecting a power surge and if this is the case what would of been damaged?)<- not for sure

  45. Navjot

    hello i have a toshiba satellite laptop and its speed id low after being having a ram of”

  46. Laptop Freak


    i have a toshiba satellite laptop and its speed id low after being having a ram of 4gb.

    What is speed id?

  47. i have an asus ul30a its a core 2 duo with 3gb ddr3 ram its boots up just fine but afruns really slow i scanned it with avg internet security no viruses or spyware were detected i also tried removing some of my newly installed games or proggrames but its no use it still is slow as a turtle what can i do

  48. Laptop Freak


    i have an asus ul30a its a core 2 duo with 3gb ddr3 ram its boots up just fine but afruns really slow i scanned it with avg internet security no viruses or spyware were detected i also tried removing some of my newly installed games or proggrames but its no use it still is slow as a turtle what can i do

    Test the hard drive. You can download and run SeaTools (from Seagate website) or any other hard drive testing utility.
    If the hard drive passes test, most likely it’s time to backup data and reinstall Windows from scratch.

  49. is a cpu upgrade possible in a toshiba satellite laptop
    A135-s7403 the current one is a celeron and it is painfully slow