Gadgets load improperly

My sister's laptop has been having some serious problems. After about only 2 minutes of running, the system gradually locks up one program at a time until the only things that respond/change are the mouse and the desktop gadgets. The only way to avoid locking up is to boot into Safe Mode.

Event logs and resource monitors gave no special results. I found nothing strange in the startup services and programs list. Anti-virus found and removed a piece of adware, but it wasn't what was causing our problem. I was out of leads.

Then this new symptom popped up... which means I can investigate more!

(look on the right side)

This was taken several minutes after loading the desktop. The gadgets start like this when the desktop loads, and never change. New ones pulled from the Gadget window look like this, too.
What can cause gadgets to do this?

(as this is somebody else's computer, the specs in my profile do not apply... somewhat. Her laptop is from the same lineup as mine (Inspiron 14 vs 15) and has much of the same hardware.)


Bump because it's been days and everybody here at home is out of ideas.


New Member
Try uninstalling the gadgets , and see how it's working. You can put them back after if you want.
Or maybe your laptop it's getting to hot ? try remove the dust inside if so , it will process a lot better after.


Senior Member
Because the system runs OK in safe mode, I would try to upgrade drivers - starting with the video card. I also agree that it could be getting hot. Is there anything running in the task manager when said behavior happens? Is anything taxing the CPU?

Thanks for the suggestions.
I decided to start looking into this problem again today when she was off her laptop. To my surprise, the icons were back to normal, and it wasn't locking up. She says she has had the laptop running for a couple of days now without any problems. And not in safe mode.

She says that all she did different this time when booting was that she opened the Task Manager ASAP after Windows loaded (before the gadgets and most taskbar icons appeared), which I would write off as a coincidence.

But as I can't seem to get it to crash any more under any circumstances, I guess the problem is "solved"?

To try to answer some questions from memory:
-No, it was not particularly hot.
-Other than antivirus, almost nothing was consuming CPU. I killed the AV at one point and the CPU usage dropped to under 10%, and it still froze.
-I'm pretty sure she doesn't keep her drivers up to date. I might try going through them when I have the time.
-I didn't know dust was a problem in laptops. We've never done any cleaning.

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