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New NUC (NUC11PAHi5) becomes very sluggish when not used for a few hours


**Diagnostic Reports Attached**


Bought a Nuc11 barebones (NUC11PAHi5) to be my main PC at work. Installed 16GB of RAM and good quality 1TB NVME drive. Clean install of Win10 x64 Pro, then installed Chipset drivers. After that, let Intel's automatic driver installer and Windows Update install the rest of the drivers. Everything appeared to good. Ran Prime95 for a few hours without issue. Antivirus/Antimalware come back clean.

However, after hooking it up at work, it becomes very sluggish if it has been locked (while I'm away from my desk), especially if I'm gone for a few hours or overnight. It is set to never sleep, and to turn the monitors off after 15 minutes (running 2x 27" 4K monitors, one via HDMI and one via Displayport).

When I unlock the computer, parts of the taskbar are almost always blacked out and the graphics are very jerky and pixelated, like you would see when you would win solitaire on older versions of Windows. Often, when I hit CTRL-ALT-DEL to bring up the login screen, it will just show both monitors as completely black with my white mouse cursor moving around for 10 - 15 seconds before the login screen finally appears.

The only thing unusual in Task Manager is that Windows Explorer sometimes has high CPU usage. The only things that fix it are either rebooting entirely or opening Task Manager and restarting Windows Explorer.

Attempted troubleshooting/fixes:

  • Removed all icons from desktop per some reports that desktop shortcuts without icons cause Windows Explorer issues.

  • Checked drivers and saw that the installed Graphics driver was a generic Microsoft driver. Did a clean removal and installed the proper XE graphics driver from Intel.

  • Using Intel Studio, changed performance from Max Performance to Balanced.

All of these appeared to fix the issue for a short time, but the Nuc always reverts to having the same problems after it is locked for a while. I'm out of ideas other than doing a clean install of Win10 or getting rid of the NUC and building a mini-ITX system.

Any help/troubleshooting ideas would be greatly appreciated.

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5 Replies
Super User

Thanks. Ran Troubleshooter and it did not find any issues. Checked for updates and the only one available is Win11.


Also removed Intel Driver Assistant and reinstalled it. Says all drivers are up to date.


Just updated the Windows image version to 10.0.19044.1526, ran "sfc /scannow" and it did not find any integrity violations.

Super User Retired Employee

IDSA for not support driver install for all devices (see Intel Driver & Support Assistant Exclusions for more information).

I suggest that you work your way through the devices listed in the IDSA display. If there is not a circled checkmark beside a device, then that device's driver is not updated by IDSA. You can download and install the latest Windows 10 driver package for them from here:[Downloads]&f:@emtcontenttype_en=[Drivers]&f:@operatingsystem_en=[Windows%2010%2C%2064-bit*].

Hope this helps,




Went through and double checked all drivers without checkmarks, all looks good.


Is there anything in the diagnostic log files that shows an issue?

Valued Contributor I

Everything seems to be updated as per the reports (BIOS, graphics, and so on) as far as I can see (not including some drivers info that might not be pulled from the report, like the Intel® GNA Scoring Accelerator or others... but I'm not sure if they have an impact on this type of performance/graphic issues... since those drivers tend to be used for other functionalities... (e.g.: Intel says "The purpose of Intel GNA is to offload the CPU during some computations. The primary intended usage (but not limited to) is the Automated Speech Recognition domain.")).

Did you only rely on DSA to install drivers? The tool won't provide updates for all the components... I prefer going to the website directly and manually download and install...


Also, have you run checks/tests on the RAM or SSD? Or... do you notice overheating on the unit?