Drivers, do drivers need updating?

Thread Starter

fdugrad

Joined Aug 30, 2010
20
I have an old Dell Latitude laptop with Vista. I keep experiencing freezes. I check the performance monitor with the task manager and the CPU is always running at 100% capacity when it happens. I can't find any hidden programs running in the backgound and I frequently run virus and malware scans that turn up negative. Do my drivers need updating? What are the symptoms of a driver that needs updating?
 

dl324

Joined Mar 30, 2015
10,748
It's unlikely that you suddenly require new drivers on an unsupported OS. Run Task Manager to see which programs are using the CPU. Your virus scanner might be the culprit.

Virus scanners can't always find new viruses. That requires an update after it has been found.
 

Thread Starter

fdugrad

Joined Aug 30, 2010
20
It's unlikely that you suddenly require new drivers on an unsupported OS. Run Task Manager to see which programs are using the CPU. Your virus scanner might be the culprit.

Virus scanners can't always find new viruses. That requires an update after it has been found.
I tried using the Task Manager, but could not find the programs using the CPU excessively. All I could find was "System Idle Process" which took 90% of the CPU.
 

dl324

Joined Mar 30, 2015
10,748
I tried using the Task Manager, but could not find the programs using the CPU excessively. All I could find was "System Idle Process" which took 90% of the CPU.
The Idle process doesn't show up as using CPU cycles in the performance tab. So 90% idle means 10% CPU usage.
 

Berzerker

Joined Jul 29, 2018
615
Might be an hard drive issue or even a memory issue. Things like this are hard to diagnose on a forum.
I use to have people call me all the time to help them over the phone. You say do this or do that and they tell you it didn't work?
Come to fine out they were nowhere near where you told them to go (wrong screen) or much less doing what you said.
Edit: could be corrupt windows files if so try to do a repair.
Brzrkr
 
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Thread Starter

fdugrad

Joined Aug 30, 2010
20
Might be an hard drive issue or even a memory issue. Things like this are hard to diagnose on a forum.
I use to have people call me all the time to help them over the phone. You say do this or do that and they tell you it didn't work?
Come to fine out they were nowhere near where you told them to go (wrong screen) or much less doing what you said.
Edit: could be corrupt windows files if so try to do a repair.
Brzrkr
Is there a way I could find and repair corrupt files without having to erase the hard drive and re-install Windows?
 

joeyd999

Joined Jun 6, 2011
4,394
I have an old Dell Latitude laptop with Vista. I keep experiencing freezes.
This is what Windows Vista does, and is a feature of one of the worst releases of Windows. Vista only lasted 2 years before replacement with Win 7 (which since has been EOL'd as well).

The OS is well beyond its EOL -- you will not find updates for it, or any drivers that support it.

It is unsafe to use while connected to the internet.

Consider upgrading. The laptop likely will not run Win10 -- it's just too damn old.

OTOH, there are Linux distributions that run great on old hardware, and will give your laptop a new lease on life.
 

boostbuck

Joined Oct 5, 2017
13
Consider upgrading. The laptop likely will not run Win10 -- it's just too damn old.

OTOH, there are Linux distributions that run great on old hardware, and will give your laptop a new lease on life.
Vista has problems with increasing consumption of resources as it gets older. You are on a hiding to nowhere trying to keep it running.

I revitalised my old laptops by installing LUBUNTU - runs fine on a reeeely old machine and feels similar enough to windows.
 

sparky 1

Joined Nov 3, 2018
184
right click open task manager, the cpu time in heavy use gathering and processing spyware. browser history, email content what you typed, images, your phone calls, your online purchases. The question is what is reasonable and who is trustworthy who is selling your information for profit what organisations (correction) which organisations are not doing this. Driver ha ha ha
 

crutschow

Joined Mar 14, 2008
24,968
I occasionally have my old laptop slow down running Windows 10, and it's because of limited memory (usually too many tabs open in Chrome).
Check the memory usage with Task Manager when it slows.
 

Berzerker

Joined Jul 29, 2018
615
I also would suggest that you make a partition on your hard drive (I think about 10 GB but don't hold me to that number) to place a bootable section of Win 10 on it so if you have any further problems you can just boot from it and do a repair or full reinstall. If your not familiar with editing your boot loader use a program like "EasyBCD" to edit it.
fdugrad said:
Is there a way I could find and repair corrupt files without having to erase the hard drive and re-install Windows?
Been a long time since I used Vista but I think there is a repair option on the screen above or below where it says "install Vista"
Repair only fixes your windows files it doesn't erase your data on the hard drive.
Brzrkr
 
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Thread Starter

fdugrad

Joined Aug 30, 2010
20
Do you have any idea when the problem started? Do you have restore points that predate the problem?
Dennis,
The problem started in late November when I wanted to try a different browser (Opera). Since my OS is old, I had to download an older version of Opera through a third party (either File Hippo or File Hen, not sure). Before I installed it, I created a restore point. When I tried Opera for the first time, I was bombarded with ads containing little videos all running at once. My laptop's fan went into high speed mode and eventually my PC shut down from overheating. After it cooled, I removed Opera and all of it's empty folders and used the restoration point I created (I don't have that restore point now). The PC hasn't been the same since. I scanned it for viruses and malware using Avast and Malwarebites with no results. I also use CCleaner frequently. When I cold boot it, the PC's fan immediately goes into high speed mode as if it's expecting an overheating situation. The PC gradually slows as I use it. Could it be that my processor was partially damaged?
 

dl324

Joined Mar 30, 2015
10,748
If you have a restore point that predates the problem, I'd clone the OS drive and do a system restore. You can skip cloning the drive, but drives are cheap and it guarantees that you can get back to your current state to try something else if it doesn't work.

I still use XP and clone the drive periodically so I can quickly restore a previously working state without having to reinstall the OS, applications, and reconfigure if something bad happens.

If you have a Western Digital or Seagate drive, they offer a free stripped down version of Acronis True Image that will clone drives. If you don't have a free drive slot, you can use a USB adapter (IDE/SATA to USB).
 

KeithWalker

Joined Jul 10, 2017
895
It sounds as though some other software got installed when you downloaded Opera and it's running in the background. You can see what is installed if you open "Programs and Features" in the "Control Panel". If you see a program listed that you don't recognize, open your browser and enter the file name followed by a question mark e.g. ; wsnctfy.exe?. Your browser will find information about it. If it is something that you don't need, you can remove it using "Programs and features" by selecting the program and clicking on "Uninstall".
Make a restore point before you remove anything just in case you make a mistake.
Regards,
Keith.
 

Reloadron

Joined Jan 15, 2015
5,454
@fdugrad
You do know that windows 10 is a free download right?
https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/software-download/windows10
I would download it and make an installation disc instead of trying to upgrade it.
Go through your computer save all the files you want to keep and format and reinstall from the win 10 disc you just made.
Brzrkr
Not so sure about the free download part.. You can upgrade from Windows 7 or 8 but not Vista. Read through the fine print in your link.
Here’s when to use these instructions:
  • You have a license to install Windows 10 and are upgrading this PC from Windows 7 or Windows 8.1.
  • You need to reinstall Windows 10 on a PC you’ve already successfully activated Windows 10.
  • If you don't have a license to install Windows 10 and have not yet previously upgraded to it, you can purchase a copy here: https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/windows/get-windows-10.
Just muddle through the fine print. :) So yes, it's a free download but only if you are upgrading Windows 7 or 8. Took my wife's system from 7 to 10 using the download and created a disk. Worked just fine.

Ron
 

Berzerker

Joined Jul 29, 2018
615
I read a little while back about Microsoft not making anymore Windows operating systems. After Win 10 there will be no Win 11 or anything called Windows. There was a rumor of a update or something called "Redstone" but never heard anymore about it. It was suppose to be released in 2016. Found an article about it but I don't think it was the same one I read at first.
http://windows11update.com/
above said:
Few tech experts are reporting Microsoft will create a new operating system but they will not give it a name of Windows
Sorry if I mislead @fdugrad That was not my intentions but my understanding of it was you couldn't "upgrade" but only from Win 7, 8 and 8.1. That doesn't stop you from downloading the ISO and installing it from a disc.
Edit:
After further looking you might be right.
https://www.buymicrosoftwindows.com/?msclkid=6af9fd52e5ce17e1d938a38117d80dc5
But a product key only costs about $70.00 better than buying a new computer with it already installed.
Brzrkr
 
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KeithWalker

Joined Jul 10, 2017
895
I am still using XP. I dislike Windows 10. It was written for the masses who use their computers soley for the internet and entertainment. Microsoft do not support XP, Vista or 7 but a few months ago they released an automatic upgrade for XP that completely screwed up my operating system. I managed to get it working again by doing a restore. After that, I turned off the automatic Windows updates.
I would try checking the hard drive for errors with chkdsk and get rid of any software that I don't use before spending money on an upgrade that will probably not run well on the limited resources that your old Dell has. Even if you can get it to run, most of your older software will need to be replaced because it will not run in Win 10.
Regards,
Keith
 
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