When computers slow down it can be difficult to know what to do to regain their lost speed. Fortunately it is possible to diagnose slow computer problems by answering a few simple questions:
- Is the computer only slow when you are surfing the net? If you mainly use the PC for accessing the internet, it may be a question you haven’t thought of. But next time a web page is taking ages to open, try opening another program while it is doing it. If your spreadsheet or word processor opens up in a blink of an eye, while your web browser is still struggling to show you that page, the chances are that your PC is fine – but your broadband connection may be the problem. If so, let your service provider’s Technical Support take the strain! After all, that’s why you pay them each month!
- When the computer is running slowly, is the disk being accessed a lot of the time? Most PCs have a light to show when the disk is being accessed. If a simple task is causing an excessive amount of disk access, you probably need to make sure you don’t have any viruses. Then, one step at a time you can clean up the hard disk to remove necessary clutter. After that defragment the disk to reduce the amount of time it takes to open each file. If that fails you may need to check the Registry for errors. The Registry contains all the settings for the programs on your system. If there are errors in it, simple operations can end up taking far too long.
- If the disk is not being accessed excessively, what is it doing?. ‘Task Manager’ can tell you what processes are operating, and which ones are using up all of the resources. From that you can identify the program which is slowing things down. Some of the worst culprits are security programs, which are looking after your system to protect it from attack whilst on the internet, or very flabby antivirus software. Obviously it is essential to keep a good antivirus program running all of the time, but be aware that some use up a lot of resources, whilst other give similar protection without slowing the system down so much.
- Do you have ‘System Security Programs’ running in the background? I have found that they can be a real drag if you leave them running in the background all of the time. However, stopping them from running permanently and just scanning the system once a week or once a month, depending on the level of security risk that you face, can have a huge impact on the speed of your PC. Changing to a different antivirus program, and running the security program occasionally instead leaving it running continuously in the background speeded up my old PC enormously.
- A simple system upgrade might help. If all else fails, the solution may be a simple as upgrading the memory on your computer. It’s simple to do, and for the cost of four coffees you can regain even more of that lost speed.
Follow these simple steps and it ‘s easy to diagnose slow computer problems. And once you’ve found the problem it’s usually pretty simple to find a solution.