Second Life: Windows 10 Slow Down Issues

Microsoft is pushing updates. Windows 10 automatically obeys Microsoft and installs updates. Numerous people are finding their computers have been crippled after an auto-update. The problem is not just with Second Life™ viewers. But, SL users are NOTICING the problem as it has a massive effect on viewer performance.

BA - the search begins

BA – the search begins

The Firestorm Team has written a bit about fixing the problem in their wiki. See: Windows 10 Issues.

The problem with the FS fix is they recommend uninstalling updates; KB3176938, KB3189866, and KB3193494. Some of these are security updates. Removing them leaves your computer open to known exploits. 

There is a follow on update KB3194496 that came out after the three troublemakers. Install that update, if it isn’t installed (see Latest Version below), and see if it fixes your problem.

The recommended fix for OBS Studio users that are crashing and KB3194496 fails to fix it is to remove updates and/or roll back to pre-Anniversary versions of Win 10.

I haven’t seen the problem. But, telling people to remove updates that provide security seems wrong. So, what else might fix the problem?

As of today, all we can do is experiment. Everyone is pointing at Microsoft as the problem. NVIDIA is aware of the problem and they have made suggestions as to which parts of Windows may contain the problem.

Safety Net

One of the first things you should do is get yourself some insurance. In the ‘Ask me anything’ start window type: Create a restore point. You may only need to type ‘Create’ and the rest will appear in the start menu.

Create the restore point by clicking Create… and name it something meaningful.

If you are in a hurry and just need to get something done in SL and can put solving this problem off, click the System Restore… button. On the next dialog click NEXT and in the next panel enable the ‘Show more restore points.’ Look for a restore point prior to when you started having problems. The first problem update was released August 31, 2016. So, you want a restore date prior to 9/31.

Your computer will at some point try to update again. But, not for hours or possibly a day or so. You can prevent that (Google: stop specific update Win 10). So, you should be able to get into SL and do whatever you must.

Fixes

There are a number of problems and a number of things that can go wrong. Most of the FS Team’s fixes are good fixes and I recommend trying them for the problems they list. But, the remove updates, while it works, is not a good solution. But, it might have to do. So, the other fixes I am finding are;

Restart the Computer – Well… Duh!

For what you are going to do next, it is a good idea to restart the computer after you create the restore point.

Run Windows Update – Type Windows Update in the ‘Ask me anything’ field. If you have updates pending, get them installed. Once installed, return to the Win Update dialog and click Check for Updates. Repeat this process until all updates are found and installed.

Restart and then test whether this has fixed the problem.

Latest Version Win 10 – Windows upgraded in August 2016 to the Windows 10 Anniversary version 1607 and now reads out as build 14393 (September 29, 2016). My machine had to be encouraged to install that upgrade. You can easily check to see which you have installed.

Type CMD in the ‘Ask me anything’ field and press ENTER. In the window that opens, type winver and press ENTER. If you are not running the latest upgrade, run Windows Update.

Restart and then test whether this has fixed the problem.

Paging File Cache – this is a part of the Windows Operating System (OS) used to create virtual memory. It is sort of a scratch pad, Windows takes the contents of active memory, writes it to disk, frees the now empty space, and allows it to be reused. Later when that information is needed the new stuff is written to the disk and the previous stuff read back into memory. We call this paging memory to disk. This is a slow process. So, we want this to happen as seldom as possible. We buy more system RAM to reduce the need to page out memory.

Problems with the page file are to blame for numerous Windows slowdowns. So, make a change and see if it helps. If not, revert the change.

In the Win 10 ‘Ask me anything’, formerly the Start or Search field, type Performance. You should see a menu choice titled, ‘Adjust appearance and performance of Windows’. Click it. Then click the ADVANCED tab. Here you can change virtual memory, page file size. You can Google for what is the best size for your system.

Note what your settings are, probably to allow the System to manage size. Make a change, save, and restart your computer. If that fixes it, you are done, enjoy. If not, restore your settings and move on to the next fix.

Drivers Screwed – This happens. Microsoft updates the OS and fails to install driver updates they just made obsolete. Admittedly MS can’t keep up with everyone’s drivers. But, it is still really aggravating. A first try is to update your video driver. You can Google for ‘how to manually update Win 10 drivers’.

You can use a program named Driver Talent to scan your computer for driver problems. It is like most of these programs. The version that actually fixes the problems is a retail version ($17). But, the free program tells you which drivers are out of date.

You can chase down those drivers and update them. There are a bunch of online tutorials on finding, downloading, and updating drivers manually.

Summary

If none of these work, you are left with removing the updates as Firestorm and other peeps recommend. You’ll have to hope Microsoft gets a fix out soon.

Removing the Updates

Once you decide you have to remove the updates, there is the problem of finding the updates that need to come out of your computer. In ‘Ask me anything’ type Installed Updates. Or just enough to get it to show up in the Start menu. A panel will open with your installed updates listed. You can right click them and select uninstall.

You can Google how to stop them from reinstalling. Microsoft provides a tool you can use to block specific updates. See: How to temporarily prevent a driver or update from reinstalling in Windows 10. You’ll need to know your Win 10 version, 1607 or 1511. Download the correct tool and run it.

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