Fixing a Slow PC

Years ago, car engines used to lose power now and again. They’d go out of time, or their ignition points would need maintenance, and so performance would suffer. Today, better designs and more reliable components keep our engines humming. Computer control over fuel, air, and spark helps, too. Ironically, the computers we use for work and play occasionally get sluggish, too. Sudden slowdowns usually indicate a frozen process or software problem. More common is a gradual slide into lethargy; this you can blame on your hard drive.

Maintenance That You Could Do

Disk Cleanup

Image via Wikipedia

As you use your computer, the OS and apps save data here and there on the hard drive. If there’s no free space big enough to store a larger file, the drive saves parts of the file wherever there’s room. This fragmentation slows down read and write processes, and the effect is cumulative. Drives also become slower to save and supply data as they fill up, so the first step to restoring their pep is to get rid of unnecessary data. This includes applications you don’t use, so launch the Programs And Features window to get rid of them. In Windows 7, click Start, Control Panel, and Uninstall A Program. Next, use Windows’ Disk Cleanup feature to delete temp files, Recycle Bin remnants, and other virtual trash. Press WIN-E (the Windows logo key and E key) to launch Windows Explorer. Right-click your C: drive, select Properties, click Disk Cleanup, and follow the directions. (If the View Basic Information About Your Computer window appears instead of the C: Properties panel, close it and rightclick a different part of the C: drive icon or label.) If your hard drive has other drive letters, such as D: or E:, repeat this process with them. Finally, use defragmentation software to reunite all the split files on your hard drive. Win7 runs its Disk Defragmenter by default every Wednesday morning at 1 a.m., assuming your PC is turned on then. To change this time or run a defrag manually, click Start, type defrag in the Search Programs And Files field, and click Disk Defragmenter. Note that several third-party defrag utilities can recover even more drive speed by running constantly, but unobtrusively, in the background. Computer repair Las Vegas done right!

Windows Tweaks For Slow PC

Windows Tweaks As we mentioned, you should suspect a software problem if your system suddenly slows down. Sometimes there’s an obvious reason, such as your antivirus software starting a scan. Other culprits include opening a multi-gigabyte folder with thousands of media files, launching a group of tabbed browser bookmarks, and running enough programs to max out your RAM. And then there’s the odd program that won’t open or close correctly. Press CTRL-SHIFT-ESC to launch Task Manager. Select the application (it may be marked Not Responding) and then click End Task and Yes. The Processes tab can reveal a process that’s sucking up resources, as it will Most gradual PC slowdowns are related to the hard drive. Use Windows’ Disk Defragmenter or a third-party utility to keep your drive in the pink. In Task Manager’s Processes tab, click the CPU or Memory categories to sort them so that the processes using the most resources rise to the top. have high numbers in the CPU and/or Memory columns. Select it and click End Process twice. This step often helps shut down an app that doesn’t respond to End Task under the Applications tab. If all else fails, rebooting your computer may help. If the normal Restart method doesn’t work, press CTRLALT- DELETE and then click the red icon arrow at the lower right. Malware can cause a major slowdown, especially if it makes your PC send out spam or participate in online attacks such as DDoS (distributed denial of service). Update your antivirus and run a scan. There are also some more long-term tweaks you can do to keep your system buff. One is to disable any unwanted programs that start up with Windows. Click Start, type msconfig in the search field, and click Msconfig.exe in the results. Under the Startup tab, uncheck any apps you don’t want. Process- Library.com can help you identify unfamiliar items in the Command list, such as Ctxfihlp.exe (you may have to widen the column to find the program name at the end of each file path). Be sure not to disable any update utilities for common apps such as PDF (Portable Document Format) readers, as these often download security patches. When you’re finished, click Apply, OK, and Restart. After a reboot, if you see a Security Configuration message window, click the Do Not Use option. Some users also report gaining some speed from using Windows’ ReadyBoost feature, which employs removable flash media to temporarily store files that your system is using in an effort to increase performance. Plug in a fast USB flash drive and then right-click it in Windows Explorer and choose the ReadyBoost tab. Windows will tell you if the drive isn’t suitable. Pc service las vegas.

Will Running Upgrades Helps

Some PC slowdowns respond best to very specific upgrades. For example, if your computer only feels slow during gaming or video editing, you probably need a more powerful graphics card. As for more general sluggishness, here are a few hardware upgrades that can cure a number of ills. RAM. Memory is odd in that having more isn’t always better. At the same time, if your PC doesn’t have enough RAM, it’ll slow to a crawl whenever you run demanding applications. It will also work the hard drive a lot more because Windows’ virtual memory is nothing more than drive space (called a swap file or paging file) tasked with doing the job of the much faster RAM. A recent OS such as Win7 can get by fairly well on 2GB or more memory. That said, having 3GB or more can make a noticeable difference, as Win7 likes to cache lots of data in RAM to avoid time-consuming disk accesses. (Note that you’ll need 64-bit Win7 or Windows Vista to make use of 3.3GB or more of RAM.) Fortunately, adding memory to your computer can be easy. It might also be inexpensive if your PC is new enough to use DDR3 (double-data rate 3). Manufacturers such as Kingston Technology (www.kingston .com) sell quality RAM in a variety of speeds and capacities. (For more information call your local computer repair) One of Win7’s advantages over Vista is its performance. It not only boots and runs faster than its predecessor, but it also feels faster due to tweaks to the UI (user interface). It’s one of several good reasons to upgrade from Vista to Win7. And even though the 10-year-old WinXP can outpace Win7 at several tasks on old hardware, we still recommend Win7 for its security and support of new technologies. OS. One of Win7’s advantages over Vista is its performance. It not only boots and runs faster than its predecessor, but it also feels faster due to tweaks to the UI (user interface). It’s one of several good reasons to upgrade from Vista to Win7. And even though the 10-year-old WinXP can outpace Win7 at several tasks on old hardware, we still recommend Win7 for its security and support of new technologies.

 

Smart Computing | June 2011 p.66

Please let me know your thoughts in the comments section below.

Neon Computers
Phone: (702) 240-6366
cash, credit card, invoice, paypal
6830 S Rainbow Blvd Ste 150
Las Vegas, NV 89118

10 Responses to What To Do With Your Slow PC

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *