Ten Steps to a Faster Computer (Part 1)

Last week’s blog post discussed the PC lifecycle and when to replace your PC.  For many businesses, a slow computer is the major reason for a new computer purchase.  A slow computer can have a negative impact on employee productivity. Computers that at one time started up quickly and opened applications in a snap will eventually get sluggish and more frustrating for users. Before you plunk down money for a new computer, try troubleshooting your slow computer, you might find that a quick-fix (or cheaper-fix) will save you big bucks.

There are endless reasons for a slow PC. Start your troubleshooting by checking for malware and viruses which are common culprits — a good virus sweep is essential in making sure no bugs are slowing things down and otherwise causing some major issues. Once you eliminate virus/malware issues then move on to these other troubleshooting tips for a faster PC from Tech Republic.

Overheating processor
When the PCs cooling element (fan) is not properly displacing heat, the system may slow down or crash. Laptops with especially powerful processors are prone to overheating. The main reasons for fan failure are dust on the fan, fan motor failure, and loose bearings. Dust can be cleaned off the fan by spraying it with compressed air; however, the lifespan of the fan may be reduced due to overwork. If your laptop is hot, it is probably time to replace the fan.

RAM problems
RAM-related performance issues could come down to RAM timing, flaws in RAM chips or RAM overheating; but one of the most common RAM-related causes of poor PC performance is not having enough of it. Heavy operating systems, like Windows 7, and resource-hungry applications require more RAM. If you do a lot of multi-tasking, run lots of multi-media files, or use memory-intensive applications,  then minimal RAM requirements aren’t going to cut it. Adding more RAM can often increase performance. Note that 32-bit Windows is limited to using 4 GB of RAM, but 64-bit Windows 7 can handle from 8 to 192 GB, depending on the edition.

Hard disk issues
Failing hard disks are sometimes difficult to detect and can slow your computer to a crawl.  Signs of imminent hard disk failure include slow access times on the affected drive, an increasing number of bad sectors when running scandisk and chkdsk, the “blue screen of death”, boot disk failures, or an “Imminent Hard Disk Failure” warning. Troubleshooting and fixing this issue is best left to an experienced computer professional.

Disk type and interface
Hard drives offer many different levels of performance. Faster drives tend to be more expensive. Slow computer issues may be caused by installing programs or often-used files on slow external drives. If you must use external drives, go with the latest version, such as USB 3.0 (up to four times faster than USB 2.0) or Firewire 800. If you don’t have ports to support the faster version, you can install a card to add support.

BIOS settings
Slow computer problems may occur if the BIOS settings do not match the optimal machine configuration. The Basic Input/Output System (BIOS) is the basic controller that allows all of the components that make up a PC to talk to one another. In order for this to happen, there are a number of things that the BIOS needs to know how to do. This is why the settings within the BIOS are so critical to the operation of the computer system. Often, you can improve machine performance by researching your motherboard’s optimal BIOS settings, which may not be the same as the factory defaults.

Bookmark our blog and check back next week for five more troubleshooting tips for a faster computer.

Is your business’ productivity affected by slow computer issues? Contact ACE IT Solutions today at 908-704-0400 if your system is slow. Our computer experts can save you time and money. We’ll take a look at your PCs and determine how we can speed up your computers and speed up your productivity.

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