Tips For Troubleshooting Slow Computers
In this article I will cover some of the reasons for slow computers and what you can do to help speed up your computer. If you have a fairly new computer, you may have noticed that it’s not running as fast as it did when you got it. There are several reasons for this, some are perfectly normal, but some of the reasons for a computer slowing down require taking action. Let’s start with the normal reasons why a computer may slow down.
As we add programs to the computer, the computer has more data on the hard drive to look through in order to perform certain actions. This affects the computer’s processing speed depending on the file size of the program installed and its random memory access (RAM) requirements. Its helps to check the system requirements of a program and check that against the system properties of your computer. Installing a program that requires more than your computer can handle may result in slow computer.
Most programs add things in the start up menu during installation. Those additions tend to increase the time it takes for your computer to start up. The good news is that these additions can be removed to speed up the start up time of your computer, but it requires a bit of technical know how.
Adding & Removing Programs
When we add and remove programs from a computer, files on the hard drive tend to get fragmented (which means they get scattered around on the hard drive). The arm of the hard drive has to work harder to put together any information that is requested etc. Windows comes with a disk defragmenter tool that helps to resolve this problem. To access this tool, go to the “Start menu,” find and right click on the “Computer / My computer“option in the start up menu. Once the hard drive icons show up, left click on the “C: Drive.” Scroll down the box that pops up, go all the way down and right click on the “properties” option. Another box should pop up, if you look at the tabs you should see one labeled “tools.” Right click on the tools tab and look for the “defragment” option. Right click on it and just follow the prompts. It may take a while to finish the process, so be prepared for that.
As more and more programs get added on a computer, it takes more RAM for the computer to run more things at the same time. This generally slows things down. As mentioned earlier, some programs require more RAM. If that is the case, this problem can be easily fixed. Most computer’s come with slots to add more RAM if needed. Adding RAM is easy, but you must know what you are doing before attempting to add RAM yourself.
Your Choice Of Anti-Virus
It is no doubt beneficial to have an anti-virus with all the malware floating around online. So I highly recommend always having anti-virus software on your computer. As good as they are, some anti-virus’ tend to “hog” system resources which can leave your computer with little resources to run other programs. So your choice of anti-virus can make a big difference on the speed of your computer. I personally prefer AVG, which seems to work pretty good.
These are a few of the most common normal reasons I have seen that causes a computer to start up slower. These are not nearly as bad as the ones that we are about to cover.
The word malware stands for malicious software which is any unwanted software that is harmful to the computer. Viruses, Trojans, Spyware, etc., are all types of malware. A specific type of malware that is known to mess up the computer is called a Rootkit. Rootkits are known to mask themselves in such a way that the average anti-virus cannot detect them once they have gained access to a computer. If nothing else is wrong with a computer, yet its running SLOW, you can suspect that there is a Rootkit on that computer. The best thing to do is take your computer to an expert to be checked out. Rootkits open the door for more infections as long as they remain hidden on a computer, that is why you need someone with experience to detect and remove them. If a computer is running slow because of malware, the solution is to get it cleaned up and optimized.
Bad Hard Drive
Sometimes when a computer is running very slow or freezing up it’s a sign that the hard drive is going bad. It helps to make sure that all your important information is backed up. There is a free program called Crystal Disk Info that can tell you if the hard drive is going bad. I have added a link to where you can get this program. Just download it, uncheck the things you don’t want added to your computer during the installation and run it. If the health status button is blue and says “good,” your hard drive is fine. If it’s yellow or orange reddish, your hard drive is going bad. Get it replaced and your information transferred to a new hard drive before it crashes. Real data recovery is an expensive process. It’s usually cheaper to buy a new laptop or computer than to do data recovery. This little tool can save you so much trouble. I use it quite often and I must say it makes things a lot easier! We can replace the hard drive for you and transfer all your information from the hard drive that’s going bad to the new one at a very reasonable cost.
So next time your computer is running slow, don’t just assume that it has got viruses. Proper diagnostics is the only way to point to a real cause, which will in turn lead to a real solution. I hope you have found this information useful.