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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi,

For the past few months my computer has been getting short spikes, where the screen will freeze for a second or so. For example, if I am watching a video on youtube, it will load fine, however, every minute or so it will freeze for a split second (only the image, not audio).

Also, when I am playing Warcraft 3 online, again every minute or so it will lag for a 2-5 seconds. Basically, no matter what I am doing the screen will get these short spikes. Below is an image of 'performance' in task manager. The only process running at the time was Internet Explorer (surfing youtube).



^why the heck does it spike so high when all I am doing is using youtube or facebook, or any website!

My computer model is a HP Pavilion a6220a, purchased about 3 years ago. From my knowledge (which is very limited) this computer is not that great and uses relatively old technology.

There is no graphics card - only an "integrated family chipset". Please note though, in the past I had no problems playing Warcraft online or watching youtube (except that maybe the graphics were not top notch).

Recently I upgraded to 2GB RAM (from 1GB). This made some improvements to my system, such as... Programs would open faster, using the windows key to minimise a game became instantaneous (before it would take a while to close the window, and vice versa reopening it) and I could have more IE tabs open at once (without alot of lag).

However! More RAM did not make the spikes go away. I have run AVG which has not found any viruses.

Some last notes, there are no processess I dont know about running in the backround (I have checked task manager). What ever process is running (IE, mozilla, google chorme) will spike up to %100 CPU usage sometimes! Oh and I have Vista (which is probably the problem haha)

I suspect that it is either a problem with software on my CPU, or my wireless connection to the router in my home. My knowledge of computers is very limited (I wish I knew more) so please bear with me.

Thank you in advance to anyone that helps!!!
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Re: Computer spikes (lags) no matter what I am doing! Please help

No I have not. Why would the moniter cause the spikes though. Nevertheless I will try that, thanks.

UPDATE: I have a strong feeling that it is my wireless conection to my router that is causing the problem. Come to think of it, a new router was installed in my home a few months ago - although im not positive that the spikes started with this new router. Also the signal strength is always "weak" or "fair". Finally, I ran a diagnostic which came up with the following...

"Cannot communicate with DNS server (61...........). Network diagnostics pinged the remote host but did not receive a response" .....I dont really know what this means =P
 

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Re: Computer spikes (lags) no matter what I am doing! Please help

Are all your drivers up to date. Right click on 'My Computer' and select 'Manage' then select 'Device Manager'. Let us know if there are any yellow exclamation marks, next to any of the devices. If so, which ones.
Has your computer got all the recent Vista updates via Microsoft.
You say that you have recently upgraded your RAM which is good.
How much space is currently free on your hard drive?
Have you recently installed any programs that may have caused this? Check your 'Add/Remove programs' in Control Panel for anything you don't recognise.
Does your browser use any toolbars?
Also, your computer is having to rely on the on-board graphics to play/ show video. A lot of computers are unable to play 720p or higher as the video will be choppy and lag is the on-board gfx aren't strong enough to play the videos you want. Is it high resolution videos that are giving you issues, or standard 320p YouTube ones.
Also, what type of router do you have?
 

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Re: Computer spikes (lags) no matter what I am doing! Please help

Open task manager and turn on Performance Moniter. Minimize it to the tray. When it peaks open it up and go to resource manager and see if a service is causing the spikes. It is a possibility that using an integrated graphics card for gaming it may be wearing out.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 · (Edited)
Re: Computer spikes (lags) no matter what I am doing! Please help

@TheGift73

All my drivers appear to be up to date (no exclamation marks). I am pretty sure I have all the important Vista updates (I am running service pack 2). I have 73GB free of 141GB. There are no unusual programs that I dont know about. I had google toolbar, but I deleted it to try speed up my system.

About the videos, well it doesn't really matter whether I am watching 720p or 320p videos - it still spikes. Its not just video related though. Im not sure what happened to that image I posted, but basically whatever process is using the net (IE, mozilla etc.) will spike (as high as %100 CPU usage) every 30sec - min.

The router I am using is 'NETGEAR Cable Home Network Gateway CGD24V v2'

 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Re: Computer spikes (lags) no matter what I am doing! Please help

I have found and fixed the problem. It was my network card/signal reciever. I installed a new one and everything is fine again. No more spikes when watching videos or playing games!
 
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