This is such a common occurrence I decided to write a article about it. I have worked on thousands of computers and these are the typical items I find for most “SLOW” computers.
- The first culprit is usually dirt inside the computer. If the processor fans, case fans and power supply fans are dirty then the machine runs hot. Heat will slow down the processor and cause components to fail more quickly. You should blow out your computer at least once a year, I like to use a leaf blower.
- Too many startup programs. As software is added to your computer many of them add their programs to the startup processes. Fix: Go to Start>Run and type msconfig. Turn off all the startup programs and all the services EXCEPT for Microsoft services, you can check the box to hide Microsoft services if you want to make it easy. When you reboot your computer if something isn’t running that you need you can always go back in a turn on the service or startup program. To see what is running right click on the bottom toolbar and choose task manager, this will give you a list of items that are running. Warning: If you don’t know what something is don’t just delete it, do some research on Google before you act.
- Malware and Viruses are usually the next problem. If you are using windows you cannot avoid getting viruses and malware. I recommend doing scans, at least once a week, with antivirus software such FREE AVG (http://free.avg.com ) or Nod32 (http://www.eset.com) and anti spyware such as SuperAntiSpyware (http://superantispyware.com)
- Not enough memory. When computers are first purchased they typically have only the minimum to make the system run. As time goes on you will need more memory. Adding memory will greatly increase the speed of the computer.
- Full or Failing Hard drive – Once you use 85% of the hard drive space it is difficult (if not impossible) to defragment the hard drive. Defraging the hard drive put the files on the hard drive in order, kind of like straightening a messy office, so that the things the computer needs can be found faster. If you hard drive is over 5 years, you better have a backup because all hard drives fail and it WILL fail soon.
- Typically a computer should give you about 5 years of reliable service. After 5 years components will start to fail, the two most common are Power Supplies ($50.00) and Hard drives ($100.00). Once you add in the labor to replace these components a new computer may be a better choice. If it’s time get an external hard drive, pull off all the files you care about and move on. You can then keep the computer as a backup or wipe it out and install a free operating system such as ubuntu Linux (http://www.ubuntu.com/download) and use it as a second computer. Rarely is upgrading to a new version of windows the best option since you will usually need to upgrade the hardware and your other components, such as printers, and your software may not work with the new version.
Please note that Windows XP support ends April, 8th 2014. After this date Microsoft will no longer patch the holes or fix the bugs. It will not be safe to use XP on the internet. It’s time to move on to a new computer or upgrade to a secure operating system such as ubuntu linux. http://www.ubuntu.com/download