Windows 7 laptop is suddenly responding very slowly. For example, clicking on the sound icon in the system tray takes about 5 seconds to display the volume control. Interestingly, it only lags about 80% of the time. One in five attempts to bring up the volume control results in it displaying immediately.
Volume control is just an example. Similarly, opening Notepad takes 3-5 seconds instead of being almost instantaneous. Opening Calculator also takes 3-5 seconds. Typically, these operations are near-instantaneous.
Opening Windows Explorer by pressing Win+E still loads Windows Explorer almost instantly.
Operations that don't involve a lot of OS interaction, work just fine. For example, typing into Notepad or using Calculator work just fine.
The Windows Task Manager does not show high CPU utilization while waiting for simple tasks to complete, such as loading the volume control.
Until a few days ago, the system worked perfectly. There is very little installed on the computer (about 15 applications outside of Windows itself).
So what changed since a few days ago? Two things: There was an update to Evernote, and I connected a Motorola Android smartphone for the first time.
What I've Tried
- Ran two anti-virus scanners and scanned everything - nothing found
- Ran Spybot - Search and Destroy - nothing found
- Ran Autoruns by Sysinternals - nothing unusual found
- Ensured there is no bloatware installed.
- Verified that CPU utilization is at 0-5% when the system is idle.
What's next in the process of diagnosing this issue and resolving it?