W520 is disappointingly slow

Discussion in 'Lenovo' started by novice973, May 5, 2012.

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  1. Thors.Hammer

    Thors.Hammer Notebook Enthusiast

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    I concur. I'll add that you should never update a BIOS after your warranty expires. If it isn't broke, don't brick it.
     
  2. andy789

    andy789 Notebook Consultant

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  3. MidnightSun

    MidnightSun Emodicon

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    I highly recommend keeping Power Manager. Yes, it could be a more lightweight program, but at least on my T500 and X120e, it really does not add much overhead and does not affect performance.

    On the other hand, it allows you to maximize your battery's lifespan by setting battery thresholds (I don't think there are any third party tools that allow you to do this) and control a large array of Thinkpad-specific power settings.
     
  4. not.sure

    not.sure Notebook Evangelist

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    I'd try switching off the that 'airbag' (or whatever they call it) shock protection for the HDD.
     
  5. AESdecryption

    AESdecryption Notebook Evangelist

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    There might be viruses because they usually gather and may slow your computer. So, you should update your Windows Defender and get Microsoft Security Essentials (here). Manage your software wisely: Norton (or any other spyware scanner), fragmentation, and software updates may contribute to the slow performance of your computer. If you are a internet user who keeps multiple tabs (20+) open, your computer would also slow down unless you manage tabs that aren't needed (watched videos on youtube take up RAM). Burn a copy of memtest86+ (here) and boot to the CD/DVD during bootup to test your newly installed RAM for problems which may cause issues with hibernation, performance, etc.
     
  6. LoneWolf15

    LoneWolf15 The Chairman

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    I couldn't agree more. There are a lot of Lenovo apps I don't run, but Power Manager is one of the most useful, and one of the few I keep. It really doesn't have a lot of overhead.

    The one question I would ask the OP --the laptops you are comparing to, do they have SSDs rather than mechanical hard drives as the boot drive? An SSD will always make a laptop feel faster.

    The W520 is a great laptop, so I'd have to say there's something either in the software configuration, or possibly your comparison systems are running from solid-state disks rather than a hard drive.
     
  7. AofI

    AofI Notebook Geek

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    My 2 cents:
    If you can afford a SSD, get one, most of the poor user experiences you are describing would be resolved by this upgrade. Not sure about the typing thing, that shouldn't be lagged.

    I personally do a fresh reinstall of windows on every system, but it’s not as necessary for the 520 as some systems I’ve seen in the past. It’s pretty lean and the hardware can easily handle the few extra programs it loads on boot. But if you upgrade to a SDD I would go ahead and do a clean install, Lenovo has a great utility for updating all your drivers once you have loaded the os.
    ThinkVantage System Update 4.03

    Some people don’t like it because it runs in the background, but you can always uninstall it after you use it to update all your drivers. Also keep in mind that reloading windows 7 can take upwards of 4 hours after all the windows updates that need to be downloaded.

    Don't use hibernate! If you plan to use your computer again in a short time and will be near a plug-in, just put it to sleep. If you are done for the day or plan to be working off the battery and want to keep it charged up for that, then save your stuff and shut it down. Personally, I only ever use the sleep option. I have it set in the power manager to “shut it down” automatically if the battery gets below 7%. I’m always near a plug when I use my laptop so I don’t have to worry about not being able to recharge it if I’ve left it in sleep mode all day.

    If you want the advantage of an SDD but need the cheep storage of a traditional drive you can buy and install a MSATA SSD that has its own spot under the keyboard. Use it as the main drive that runs windows and all your other programs, and use your current hard drive to store all your data and files. There are plenty of threads about this option if you search the forums. This would also make hibernation faster if you insisted on using it.
     
  8. novice973

    novice973 Notebook Guru

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    Thanks you all for your suggestions. I am sorry it took so long to respond, home and work life prevented me from working on the laptop. To reply to a few comments:
    1. system updates are done when I am notified
    2. all systems I compared had regular hard drives, only my husband's laptop had the SSD
    3. I do want to get a SSD but am waiting for a deal before buying one...anyone know of one?
    4. I run NOD32 as the antivirus and scan my laptop once a week, so I don't think I have a virus
    5. I have online backup for some work files and maybe that is causing the constant I/O on the disk

    I hope to get some work done on it this weekend.
     
  9. Nrbelex

    Nrbelex Notebook Deity NBR Reviewer

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    Your online backup may very well be the culprit. Check to see if your settings would cause constant use of the HD. And check the task manager to see if it's your CPU as well as your HD. If it is, track down what specific process is running when you notice a slowdown. On a computer like yours, what you type should never lag when appearing on the screen.

    If that doesn't solve it and the performance is really that bad, I would restore, either from recovery discs that should have been created when you first got the system, or by doing a clean install of Windows. The latter is preferable if you have the time.

    I'd use Windows Defender over any other anti-virus system as Microsoft keeps it well updated, it's basically integrated into the OS, and it's light on resources.
     
  10. Thors.Hammer

    Thors.Hammer Notebook Enthusiast

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    Task Manager and Resource Monitor (resmon) will both let you look at what is going on in the system (reading the disk constantly) as well as look at the network traffic. If you have a large set of work files going across a slow link backup, that could be part of the problem. However, if the network is the bottleneck, it doesn't make sense to me that it would be dogging the rest of the system unless you have perpetual indexing taking place from the search indexer, defrags, virus scans, and all sorts of other stuff fighting for disk contention.

    As for Microsoft Defender, I hope you really meant Microsoft Security Essentials. You're right. For a free product it rocks.
     
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