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New Dell Laptop Losing Memory/System Cache on Shutdown

snerkler

Distinguished Member
Hi,
I've just set up a new Dell laptop for my father in law and it seems to be losing its system cache (I think that's what it is anyway). Normally when I use a computer for the first time new software takes a while to boot up, but then after this the software boots up much more quickly.

This happens with this new laptop, except when you shut it down. Every time its shut down the programs (such as word, iTunes, chrome) etc take ages to start up again. However, if I close the program and restart it it opens up instantly, until I shut the computer down again. (it does not lose memory if I just close the lid)

I assume this is not normal behaviour (I use Mac, but have used Windows 7 in the past), and so is there something I can do to fix it?

Cheers

PS It's a Dell Inspiron 15 with a 4th gen 1.7GHz 3M Cache i3 processor with 6GB RAM
 

next010

Distinguished Member
When you shut down the laptop and then turn it on that is called a cold boot.

Just closing the lid is putting the laptop into hibernation/sleep mode, this is not a cold boot so Windows just resumes from it's last state which is why it runs faster, basically yes the cache is being used.

However even on a cold boot it should not take ages to boot the system or run applications unless two possible conditions are in effect;
1) The laptop has a slow HDD no SSD drive (this makes a huge difference).
2) The laptop has a large number of background services and applications being loaded on startup/logon so combined with a slow HDD means if you try to run anything until it's finished loading all these the app will be slow to start.

I think those two combined are the problem, if your running windows 8.x right click the task bar and select task manager, click more details then go to start-up. From here Windows will tell you the background apps and services which are having the highest impact and you can choose to disable them.
 

snerkler

Distinguished Member
When you shut down the laptop and then turn it on that is called a cold boot.

Just closing the lid is putting the laptop into hibernation/sleep mode, this is not a cold boot so Windows just resumes from it's last state which is why it runs faster, basically yes the cache is being used.

However even on a cold boot it should not take ages to boot the system or run applications unless two possible conditions are in effect;
1) The laptop has a slow HDD no SSD drive (this makes a huge difference).
2) The laptop has a large number of background services and applications being loaded on startup/logon so combined with a slow HDD means if you try to run anything until it's finished loading all these the app will be slow to start.

I think those two combined are the problem, if your running windows 8.x right click the task bar and select task manager, click more details then go to start-up. From here Windows will tell you the background apps and services which are having the highest impact and you can choose to disable them.
Thanks for the reply. Very little is running in the start up apps. Even with a slow HDD I would not expect this scenario. Every device I've had, whether it be a computer, iphone, iPad etc has always taken that little bit longer to load the app/software the first time it's ever used, but then after that it loads quickly/normally after that.

However, with this new laptop it's like the system memory is being wiped every time it's shut down (cold boot). I just wondered it I was missing something obvious like a new setting in Windows 8 or something. I do think something's wrong with it though, and can see it going back. I had windows computers for over 25 years before moving to Mac and I've not known this issue before :confused:
 

EndlessWaves

Distinguished Member
However, with this new laptop it's like the system memory is being wiped every time it's shut down (cold boot).

Well, it does because the memory requires power to maintain it's contents, but that's perfectly normal and happens on every device.

You could check whether Superfetch is enabled, that's the windows process responsible for loading up commonly used data into memory when it's not being used for anything else (thus speeding up program launches).

Actually, does the laptop have any sort of Hybrid drive setup? SSHD, Hybrid Drive, 'SSD' under 60GB? I'm not very familiar with them but they could potentially cause this sort of behaviour.
 

next010

Distinguished Member
Is this laptop out of the box so to speak, the factory installed version of Windows running on the laptop has not been tampered with in any way ?

Or this a custom install of Windows on the laptop ?

EndlessWaves might be right if it has a hybrid SSD/HDD drive those take a little while to auto calibrate but it shouldn't be super slow as per your description.

What make HDD is in it ? (device manager will tell you model number).
 

spyder viewer

Distinguished Member
Check what settings you have in the power options (control panel) .What option do you have for closing the lid, pressing power button etc. Have a look on MSconfig to see what's starting at startup.
 

snerkler

Distinguished Member
Thanks for the replies, unfortunately I don't have the laptop on me as my father in law has taken it home. It's only a cheapo laptop as he only uses it for the internet and syncing with iTunes. Here's the spec from the order form.

ScreenShot2014-05-18at092444_zps44a256e1.png



I've been thinking about it and I am starting to wonder if it's normal as I had it in my head that the system memory/cache wasn't wiped on shut down, but obviously it is. It's just that I can't remember such a difference between start up of programs after cold boot and then once you've already had the program up and running. However, with my old windows 7 machine even after a program's been up and running it would still take several seconds to load, whereas with this new Windows 8 machine it's instant and so highlights the difference between load times after cold boot. Does this sound logical?

I think I probably over-egged how slow it was, after cold boot something like Word 'only' takes about 3 or 4 seconds to load and iTunes probably a second or so more. Chrome is the slowest I've noticed, I'd guess taking around 8s to load. (These times are all guesses as I didn't sit there with a stop watch :laugh: Knowing how impatient I am these times could be less). But as I say, once the programs have loaded once then they're pretty much instant, with iTunes still taking a couple of seconds. However, I know with my old system iTunes took for ever to load.

Also, I'm not familiar with different load times after sleep of shut down as I have a pretty fast Mac with SSD so everything's always pretty instant (except damn lightroom and photoshop ;))
 

next010

Distinguished Member
The Inspiron 15 ships with a slow 5400rpm hard drive, if your used to a Macbook then it would likely feel very slow in comparison as Macbook's have been sporting SSD and hybrid SSD/HDD drives for a while.

So yeah I think it's mostly in your head that there is a problem, if it bothers him you could buy a cheap SSD drive for the laptop and clone the OS to the SSD then swap it out but it's probably easier to change the windows default shutdown mode to sleep/hibernate.
 

snerkler

Distinguished Member
The Inspiron 15 ships with a slow 5400rpm hard drive, if your used to a Macbook then it would likely feel very slow in comparison as Macbook's have been sporting SSD and hybrid SSD/HDD drives for a while.

So yeah I think it's mostly in your head that there is a problem, if it bothers him you could buy a cheap SSD drive for the laptop and clone the OS to the SSD then swap it out but it's probably easier to change the windows default shutdown mode to sleep/hibernate.
Thanks. Yeah, it's more that there's such a difference between starting a program after cold boot, and starting it after it's been open already without having shut the computer down rather than comparing it to my Mac. Once the program's been open previously (without having shut down the computer in between) the program loads just about as quick as my mac.

Just to clarify what surprised me. Opening a program after cold boot roughly 4-5s. Opening a program when the computer hasn't been shut down pretty much instant. I expected that a program should open just as quick after cold boot as it does if the computer hasn't been shut down. Clearly I was wrong ;)
 

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