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  • Can you provide some insight as to the hardware some of these machines have? Make/model of machine, CPU, memory, disk type, etc.

    Slowness may be due to under performing hardware, policies being pushed, slow/congested network, or a number of other things. Let's start off with your hardware.

    Pepper graySpice (5) flagReport
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  • What bbigford said and I find from experience the most obvious cause of slow windows PC is usually...1. not enough ram 2. antivirus software that's not performing properly (or just sucks like McAfee) or 3. lack of drive space so swap/page file can do what it needs to do (if not enough ram installed).

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  • I agree with the hardware aspect, but I would go with HDD improvements. SSD is certainly easiest and cheapest but NVME is smokin' fast. (yet expensive if your mobo needs upgrading)

    Re-image 'factory' boxes with clean Windows to remove bloatware and orhpan registry keys. (TPshocks anyone?)

    My crappy corporate Thinkpad (talk about bloated) is basically non-functional during the weekly scan with 100% HDD utilization while the i5 (eww) CPU and 16gb RAM both sit at half usage or less. Typical startup takes 5-10 minutes before apps will actually launch. No SSD.

    My Win10 home rig has an old 7th gen i7, 16gb 3600mhz ram and the Samsung evo 970 nvme boots and shuts in less than 5 seconds.

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  • Hi folks, thanks for the help/guidance.  Generally all 8gb RAM Dells .  Off the shelf.  Nothing blazing fast, Mostly HDD.  There's a gross age mix of machines.

    The oldest is a 2015 (W10P).  The newest (last month) 12gen I5-12400, SSD.  That hasn't had a chance to fade yet.  There is a newer install (May) 12gb Ram, SSD which is beginning to show signs (also a 12g I5-12400).  The rest of the machines vary (with no apparent connection to processor capability/age)

    Yes, the AV I've noticed is often nosing at the trough.  Its Sentinel One.  Since these are Dells they all had McAfee "Tryware". That's gone.  Ever notice on a Dell invoice that there used to be/is actually a dollar amount McAfee item on it?  Before ordering I once asked them to remove it, no go.

    I think I'll contact S1 -- I'm wondering if AV can be sophisticated enough to know it doesn't have to work a machine over: if it was just booted this AM vs. last Friday. Ya know, some sort of incrementalism.

    What kind of things would cause AV to not perform properly?

    There's not much opportunity for bloat/drive space loss.  The enterprise app is 3rd party cloud based. Besides that is browser and zoom.

    yes 10 min. for some of these isn't unusual (I need to 2-check those newbies)   There is definitely two phases:  Post-POST, but before Winlogin and post-winlogin

    I just dug up another new(er) machine (2021) that also has SSD.  I need to eyeball that one and scan a couple of the moldy oldies.  I guess what bugs me about that idea (they're just too old/weak) is that they weren't like that originally and even after a couple of W10 featurebuild updates, nothing material has changed and they should still be able to pull their weight -- Unless W10 gets piggier and piggier everytime it re-builds. Likely Thursday before I'm back with better info. 

    Likely Thursday before I'm back with better info.

    I've started the effort (learning!) of preparing W10/11 images that I can just plop on.  But I'm shying from what to do about activation keys in that scenario 

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  • PrintWhisperer wrote:

    I agree with the hardware aspect, but I would go with HDD improvements. SSD is certainly easiest and cheapest but NVME is smokin' fast. (yet expensive if your mobo needs upgrading)

    Re-image 'factory' boxes with clean Windows to remove bloatware and orhpan registry keys. (TPshocks anyone?)

    My crappy corporate Thinkpad (talk about bloated) is basically non-functional during the weekly scan with 100% HDD utilization while the i5 (eww) CPU and 16gb RAM both sit at half usage or less. Typical startup takes 5-10 minutes before apps will actually launch. No SSD.

    My Win10 home rig has an old 7th gen i7, 16gb 3600mhz ram and the Samsung evo 970 nvme boots and shuts in less than 5 seconds.

    I am not disagree but I do have 2 Dell Precision lappy which I ordered wrongly that one using 512GB SSD & other using 512GB NVME SSD.....

    Running large files on AutoCAD.....I do not really find the storage that much faster (taking the saving the 4GB dwg takes like 50s & 45s respectively on the local drives). On older lappy running SATA HDD, saving that file takes like 15 min.

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  • On Windows PC s the general approach to slowness is more RAM and SSD storage but whilst that gives an alleviation of the symptoms that doesn't explain why slowing down happens. Had a quick look to see if there was a similarish topic before on Spiceworks and found this: https://community.spiceworks.com/topic/2346241-some-windows-10-domain-users-login-taking-absurdly-lo...  Also, updates may be corrupting profiles? On a slow PC temporarily remove the AV and let Microsoft Security Essentials do the AV task to see if that speeds it up. 

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  • bprokosz wrote:

    Hi folks, thanks for the help/guidance.  Generally all 8gb RAM Dells .  Off the shelf.  Nothing blazing fast, Mostly HDD.  There's a gross age mix of machines.


    This is the biggest issue I see.  Make it SSD and 16GB and I imagine a lot of your problems go away, combined with perhaps some policy changes in your AV.

    bprokosz wrote:

    I've started the effort (learning!) of preparing W10/11 images that I can just plop on.  But I'm shying from what to do about activation keys in that scenario 

    If you're on-prem, MDT isn't that difficult and can be a help.  You'd need one volume license for the organization (not per machine).  Even if you don't go with imaging, wiping the systems with the Media Creation Tool and starting with clean media instead of off the shelf garbage is an improvement.

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  • Its been a bunch of years since I have used an Dell with 8GB ram in it.    Let's see it would also be at least 4 computers ago.   The most recent one is a laptop I have at home and that was originally purchased for me to take on the road to the datacenter - not my daily desktop.       Back in the spring of 2020, I ended up using it as we all started working from home.    That was when I found out how bad it was- 15-20 minutes just to wake up and settle down.    It had been purchased with a hard disk and it's throughput is pegged at 100% along with CPU during this start up drag.    My work day load on the machine was about 6-7 GB so when it has only 8GB, that was nearly full.    An upgrade to 16GB made a whole lot of difference in performance.    Never bothered with the hard drive because the company invested in new laptops to replace our desktops for all of us and so we could do the WFH thing.   The third computer is my former desktop.   That now sits in the server room so it is a place for me to land in the office from home should I need it.      That had been purchased with 16GB around about 2015.

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  • What does your hard drive usage look like most of the time? Is it pegged at 100% (even while "nothing" is happening)?

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  • Replace the HDDs with SSDs and you'll see a big improvement. Since you mentioned a few laptops equipped with SSDs are also slowing down, there might be other things to do...but the HDDs are the biggest cause of this in my experience.

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  • scribble, scribble, scribble.  I love a sleuthing,  as frustrating as it may be and a much as I'd rather spend time on more productive things. Tho' assisting a user to be more productive pays it forward.

    So, thanks all, I've got quite the list of things to review here.

    Peterw2300's link:  had this as a response in it :

    Mace
    Da_Schmoo Jan 24, 2022 at 1:08 PM

    Long login times are almost always either DNS set incorrectly on the client (having a DNS Server(s) in the list that isn't a domain controller) or an issue with a Group Policy.

    (bold emphasis mine.)

    This is a fairly benign technical environment,  all dc users/machines,  no blacklist or whitelist dns, minimal policies, and at most  a 5-branch/ 3level DC-OU tree.

    in the GPU there are a couple of install pushes (which should all be _done_) but Zoom is one of them. And its been a Haddock since the darkest days of C19.

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  • Your biggest performance gain will be going to SSDs, and I'm personally never going to give the OK to purchase spindle disks for Windows desktops or laptops ever again.  If you're dreading trying to replace a bunch of systems, We bought a disk duplicator from Startech that will clone a 500GB spindle to 500GB SSD in around 75 minutes.  After the clone finishes I can pop the SSD into the original system and have the user log back in and pick up where they left off. 
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  • Also some very useful tools would be CloneZilla and Macrium Reflect.

    Macrium Reflect allows you to clone the machine while still working on the machine. (With slow performance) Can copy exact partition layout.

    Quick tip to make a smooth transition - Use Disk Management and shrink the file system as small as it will go and ensure the empty space is the last partition of the drive using a tool like Macrium Reflect or any other Partition Management tool.

    This is very usefull when cloning a 500gb HDD to a 240gb SSD

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  • I have noticed that when a computer runs inexplicably slow. It could be failing hardware. I have seen a bad keyboard cause this issue and the computer runs perfectly when we unplugged it.

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  • It certainly all boils down to hardware, hardware, hardware... versus App resource demand. We have a collage of makes and models of all kinds of Dell stuff, Laptop's, 2n1's, desktop's, CADD... etc. I5's, I7's, and I9's...etc., and I see performance issue's across the board...  Depending on what the end user is doing, surfing the Web, Office, Adobe, Environmental, Design, Engineering, CADD, GIS, etc. we try to build machines to accommodate the demand on hardware resources... 

    But Windows has become so resource heavy now, and with the system just sitting idle, with no Apps running, it's using more then 4.5gb's RAM... then add the LUser component, with a 1000 Chrome Tabs open, on a 256gb disc, with 8gb's of RAM, I5 CPU, the hardware resources are gone.... can't do anything for you... LUser!

    At a minimum now, everything is I9, 500gb SSD, 16gb RAM, and good Video card's etc. and OS upgraded to 21H2. If they require more... then we throw everything into the machine, max RAM, Core\CPU, GHz, Video, etc. we get the horsepower to do the job... especially with Design and GIS... very, very, video demanding. 

    On the older spinning HDD's, and lesser models, I tweak system services and resources, to lessen the Disk load, and RAM\CPU usage, like disabling Sys Main, and Windows Search... and kill any and all App Startups that are unnecessary, etc. Look at Task Manager after disabling some System Services and you will see usage come way down and they will get some better performance... 

    It all depends on what you want to drive, a 63 Volkswagen Bug blowing and spitting oil out the pipe, or a C8 Z51 @60 in 2.8 seconds.   

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  • Does "blow it away and set it up again" fix the issue?

    A solid imaging system combined with easy migration of user data makes this quick and repeatable....  and sometimes that's the simplest fix.

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  • Without knowing anything about the hardware. I am going to say add SSD's as from the sound of it they have HDD's. Also make sure they have sufficient RAM. Sounds like you did what you could from the software side.

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  • Sentinel one is also not very light when it comes to AV's

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  • Windows 10 also has issue with the cryptographic service (and so does SentinelOne as we use it too), and if you have a spinning drive it will ramp that thing up to 100% disk usage all the time, slowing those PCs down to a crawl. I suggest you check that before going any further. Of course the solution is to eventually go to all SSDs.

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  • As others have said...replace spinning rust with SSD's wherever possible.  Windows 10 just thrashes regular hard drives.

    I stick with Sandisk SSD's for this because they have a version of Acronis you can download and make a bootable USB drive with...stick in the SSD, boot from the Acronis USB, and you can clone the existing drive to the SSD quickly.  It will resize for you.  We had a laptop with a 5400RPM 1Tb drive, which was horrendously slow, and I cloned it to a 240Gb SSD with no issue...obviously they were only using a tiny portion of that bigger slug of a drive.

    I know other brands come with free cloning tools, but the Acronis one is just so easy.  Normally, I pull the drive I'm cloning, connect it and the new SSD to a bench computer, boot Acronis, clone, shut down, and then install the SSD in place of the spinning drive.  That seems easiest to me, as I've got to pull the drive anyway to swap it and this eliminates fiddling with the BIOS of the computer I'm upgrading.

    Most of the time, I'm done cloning in 15-30 minutes, depending on the amount of data on the old drive (usually minimal since we save to the network, but the offline files cache can be big).

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  • How to address ridculously slow Win machines

    "Hello! Why are you running so slow??

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  • Try running this from an elevated command prompt. Choose all options.

    cmd.exe /c Cleanmgr /sageset:65535 & Cleanmgr /sagerun:65535

    Reboot when finished, then run Windows Update and reboot again.

    Also, I address my slow computers with DHCP.

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  • Oddly, we have been fielding nothing but i7s with 16GB and SSD/NVme for the past four years, and I can't recall the last time we've had a slow startup or sluggish system in our office.  We're mostly Win10 Pro systems, have the latest patches, and a growing group of Win11 Pro systems.

    The biggest performance killers now are people attached to 50GB Shared Mailboxes and 9 delegates in Outlook.

    We only deploy software via IT and don't give staff local admin control,  Most of what runs on the systems is Microsoft M365 software, HP printers and drivers, and PDF Studio running.  For malware protection we run Windows AV with ATP on Business Premium licenses.

    Back when this kind of behavior was a thing, the most effective speeder-upper I found apart from hardware upgrades like to SSD was a registry cleaner.

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  • If you think it is OS related you could download the media creation tool and run an upgrade on the system to reinstall the operating system while keeping the programs and files intact. 

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