Wasted some time recently looking at an HP Compaq NX7300 laptop, with Vista, that was running very slow.
No, not just normal Vista sluggishness. Really slow, as in you click the Start menu, wait a bit, and eventually it opens.
Temporarily disabled everything we could think of using msconfig (System Configuration Tool), still slow.
Checked the event log for disk errors, nothing wrong.
All very tedious as any actions took much longer than usual.
Found someone with the same problem on HP’s support forum here – but as so often with the Web, no solution is reported – though the guy does say, “can I assume that the cooling / cpu / power is defective”?
Called HP, and the guy diagnosed a faulty hard drive, though I was sceptical since his argument was that the self-test completed more quickly than expected, though it did not report any errors.
While scratching my head over this, I recalled that this laptop has what HP calls a “Smart AC Adapter”, which has an annoying proprietary connector featuring an additional central pin. According to this thread it actually supplies two separate power lines. The discussion includes this remark:
I tried to substitute the original HP AC adapter, with a general purpose AC adapter, applying a resistor divider between input cylinder- central pin-output cylinder, in order to get the second voltage. But the laptop did not function normally: it was very slow
and someone adds
The slow function of the system with the alternative power source may be due to the system’s picking up a low voltage on the ‘monitoring’ pin. This would indicate a low battery or weak charger and the system responded by cutting back on CPU/mainboard frequency to conserve power.
Could this be a clue? We started the laptop on battery power; suddenly it worked fine again. Plugged in the power cable, it slowed down. Removed the power cable, it speeded up again. Bingo.
New power supply is on order. It occurs to me that this could still be a problem with some internal connection, but I’ll be surprised if the new mains adapter does not fix it. Just occasionally the reason for a slow computer is nothing to do with Windows.