Slow Computer?

Ordinarily, I like to rant about the crap I come across. Not this time. This time I’m going to try to help you with a problem. It seems like every time I turn around somebody is getting jacked by some computer repair shop like Geek Squad for something they could fix right at home. I personally am not a fan of the Geek Squad, anyway, but that is an upcoming rant.
Now, if your computer is running slower than it was, there are some simple steps to fix this problem without getting jacked for $100 by some geeks.

First: Do a complete virus scan. If you don’t have an anti-virus program, well, you may be to stupid to own a computer. Yes, that is a mean thing to say, but it is true. 99% of most computer problems are caused by those electronic bugs that sneak into your system and eat your data or funnel your personal info to some crook. If you don’t have virus protection, get some. Yesterday! Where was I? Oh, yeah…do a complete scan. Follow the instructions when it is done and shoo away those pesky bugs.

Second: Do a Malware scan. What’s that? You don’t know what that is? OY! Malware is the nasty little spyware and spoofware bugs that get into your system and spy on you and try to scam you with phony virus threats. And guess what? Anti-virus won’t catch it. You need something like Malwarebytes (which I use and works well for me) to scan your computer again. You can get a free copy of Malwarebytes. Just Google it. It is also simple to use. And no, I don’t get a kick-back for recommending it.

Third: OK, you zapped all the bugs and either your system is going faster or it isn’t. Either way you should do a disc clean-up. Good news is that it is a utility in Windows so you don’t have to download or buy anything. Yay! Now, hit START (lower left corner of your screen for the computer illiterate) then hit PROGRAMS, ACCESSORIES, SYSTEM TOOLS, and finally DISK CLEAN-UP. A little window will pop up. Click OK. Be patient while it goes through its routines. Eventually another little window will pop up. Check pretty much everything then hit OK. If you have more than one hard-drive then you will have to repeat this process for each drive.

Fourth: Now comes the fun part…defragmenting. Once again hit Start, PROGRAMS, ACCESSORIES, SYSTEM TOOLS, then DISK DEFRAGMENTER. A new window will open (yeah, I know, big surprise.) Highlight the hard-drive and click on DEFRAGMENT. This could take a while, but it can run in the background while you play Freecell or whatever you do normally.

OK, you did all that and the system is still running slow, so what’s the deal? Now it gets a bit more complicated. First guess, you have insufficient RAM to keep up with everything you do. Windows XP needs a minimum of 256 MB RAM to operate smoothly. However, every program you add to the system eats into the available RAM. Anti-virus programs will eat up RAM even in passive mode. If you have Vista, then you REALLY need more RAM! Standard PC systems use a 32 bit OS. Don’t worry if you don’t know what that means. If you had a 64 bit OS, you would know. So, with a standard system, you can upgrade the RAM to a maximum of 2 GB (assuming you aren’t running on a real dinosaur…check the specs and see what they say.) This is especially important if you got suckered into buying a Celeron system (suckerrrrrr!)

Finally, we come to the hard-drive. If it is too full it will slow down a bit, and even prevent you from running a Defrag. Get a new hard-drive with more capacity. If you have room in the computer case you can even piggy-back it with the old hard-drive giving you even more room to play with. Of course, you will need to move a lot of data from one drive to the other to make space on the primary. I typically run four to six hard-drives, but I have a custom built system…I built it myself.

Now, after all that the system is still slow. Well, bad news, folks. Time to unlpug the Mouse and plug it into a new PC. Odds are your motherboard or processor are on their way out. In this case it could be cheaper to get a new computer than to fix the old one. It’s not 100%, but those are the odds. If you know somebody who works on computers, check with him first. It could also be a bad RAM chip (easy fix if not easy to spot) or a bad power supply. Power supplies can be tricky to identify, but I’ve done it. Make sure your power supply isn’t under powered. My system hit a point where I killed three 450 Watt power supply boxes in one year. Solution? New power supply with 650 Watts. End of problem.

I don’t usually do this, but if you are having a computer issue I’ll take questions and see if I can assist. Just leave a comment on my blog and I’ll get back to you. Consider this my X-Mas present to you all.

The Wolf

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6 Responses to “Slow Computer?”

  1. Daisy Says:

    Yeah, I agree with your opinion that a simple disk defragmentation plays a very important role in making the computer run faster and insist on regularly defragmenting my computer. I have found a very wonderful article talking something about this.I sincerely hope that you can go here for more further information: http://ezinearticles.com/?Disk-Defragmentation—Make-Computers-Run-Faster-Soon&id=3162755

  2. Gillian Says:

    ah,you methods are so similar with mine.
    my methods to optimize system
    and speed up computer are the following:
    1.run a antivirus software to scan your computer fully.
    virus usually impacts the speed of computer.
    If there is no virus, see the possible reasons that make computers slow down and solutions.

    2.Registry is the centre database of your computer operating system which contains information and settings for hardware, operating system software, most non-operating system software, and per-user settings. You must load the registry whenever you launch any programs on your computer. If the registry is too fat or with some errors, computer’s performance will seriously be impacted. So, you need to clean up registry and fix its errors.

    If you are not familiar with registry, don’t remove files away from it and clean up it easily for you may delete important things that will make your computer in trouble. You’d better choose to use a professional registry cleaner.
    3.There must be too many programs start up automatically when you start your computer.Run a registry optimizer or cleaner to stop those unnecessary start-up programs.

    4.Have you ever clean up your computer since you bought it? If the answer is never, I am sure that there are lots of junk files on it. Junk files is also one of reasons that will cause computer slowing down. You’d better delete them regularly.

    2,3,4 can be realized by a registry optimizer.

    5.If a registry optimizer doesn’t work, add RAM or do a fresh reinstall of windows. Before you do a reinstall, please remember to back up.However, you should know that frequent reinstall is harm to hard disk.
    6.Put programs on other drivers ,not C driver, because commonly C is for operating system. And defrag hard disks every 2 months.
    7. do not run too many programs at one time

    • wulfmann Says:

      I should have mentioned the Registry Cleaner but I didn’t think most people would grasp the concept. I totally agree about running multiple drives. I store the vast majority of my data on secondary drives. I do tend to run multiple programs. I’m a bad boy that way. However, I tend to upgrade to newer, larger hard-drives before the damage kicks in. I have, on occasion, done total reinstallations on the primary.
      I currently run Win 64 bit with 7 GB RAM. MORE POWER!!!

  3. Sparrowhawk Says:

    Good recommendations. Though I wonder what kind of system you use if you need 650 W… I’m running my system with 420 W, with 2 internal and 1 external HD, 2 GB DDR-2 RAM, a CPU with 2×2.0 gigacyles, 2 optical drives, and a graphocs card which was close to high-end when I bought it (nVidia Geforce 8800 GTS; 320 MB; 2 years old); my OS is XP SP3 (VISTA = Virus Inside, Switch To Apple… *bwaa-haha*).

    BTW, I use Ad-Aware (anti-spyware), Seek & Destroy (anti-spybot) and AntiVir (Virus protection), but I’ll try and test Malwarebytes next year.

    Happy New Year, Old Man 😉

    Peter

    • wulfmann Says:

      Sparrowhawk, Bubbela, you should know me well enough by now to undedstand that I am a MORE POWER kinda guy…sorta like Tim Allen without the explosions. Let me see…um…3.2 Ghz processor, 7 Gb DDR2 RAM, two optical drives, 4 hard-drives internal, 3 hard-drives external (for now), Norton Anti-Virus, Malwarebytes, Win XP 64 bit with all updates, 3.5 floppy (just in case I get some ancient-ware) and oomphty USB and Firewire ports. I took out the added IDE card since I run mostly SATA, now, and didn’t have room for more hard-drives without stacking them too close together. Stacking bad! Causes heat build up. I also added an extra fan to keep the system cool. Oh, yeah, I also have a hard-drive drawer for quick swapping hard-drives I still have one bay open that I will stuff a Blu-Ray burner into when I get the money together. That’s my goal for 2010, along with a dual-core processor and dropping 100 pounds. Happy New Year, mate!

  4. Jeanne Says:

    Quite useful, during the defragmentation, You should clear up the junk information and check whether there is any error in the hard disk or not before defragmentation

    and you should check and restore any mistake in the hard disk. Of course, you can have a try of the Disk Scan Program of Windows firstly. Although it really takes a lot of time to repair it, as long as you are patient enough, the most errors and mistakes can be restored after complete and detailed scanning.

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