Last week’s blog post discussed five tips for speeding up your computer. This week, we’ll offer five more troubleshooting tips for a faster PC. Before you plunk down money for a new computer, try troubleshooting, you might find that a quick-fix (or cheaper-fix) will save you big bucks. If these troubleshooting tips seem too intimidating, contact your IT partner — they might be able to save you time and money by doing the troubleshooting for you.

As we mentioned last week, always start your slow PC troubleshooting by checking for malware and viruses, which are common culprits of a slow PC — 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.

Windows Services
There are lots of Windows services that are enabled by default. You probably do not need all of these services enabled — try disabling non-essential services to speed up Windows. Note: Disabling essential services could corrupt your Windows installation. Approach this task very carefully or leave it to your IT services partner.

See for more information on disabling Windows services — which to disable and which are essential.

Runaway Processes
This is another task that should be done by an advanced user or an IT professional.  A “runaway process” eats up your processor when it enters an infinite loop and spawns new processes. These processes ignore their scheduling priority and insist on taking up 100% of the CPU. Because other processes can only get limited access to the CPU, the machine begins to run very slowly. A runaway process can cause an error that locks up the keyboard, preventing anything that the user types from reaching the system.

For more detailed information about running processes, check out Process Explorer 12.04.

Disk Fragmentation
Disk fragmentation can significantly slow down your computer because the disk heads must move back and forth while seeking all the fragments of a file. A common cause of disk fragmentation is a disk that is too full. Keep approximately 20 – 25 percent of your hard disk space free to minimize file fragmentation and to improve the defragmenter’s ability to defrag the disk.

Use your built-in defragmentation tool to help remedy this issue. The tool will move the various fragments of your file so that they are in one contiguous chunk — your system may operate faster, since the operating system won’t have to move the drive head of the drive all over the hard disk to load the different portions of a file. If your OS doesn’t have a built-in defragmenter, there are third-party defrag tools available that can get the job done.

Background Applications
You may not even be aware of all the background applications running on your PC. Running multiple (as in 20+) applications at the same time can slow your computer down to a crawl. Many of these applications start up automatically when you boot your computer and you probably do not need a lot of them.  The culprits can be located in the Startup tab of the System Configuration utility. Uncheck the box to disable the program from starting up when you boot Windows (or, if you are a little nervous about “messing things up” have your IT services provider do it for you).

File System Issues and Display Options
Cleaning up your file system could improve performance. Use the disk cleanup tool to remove temporary Internet files, remove downloaded program files, empty the Recycle Bin, remove temp files, remove programs that you no longer use, and remove unused restore points.

The Disk Cleanup utility is accessed from the Start Up menu. Enter Disk Cleanup in the search box, select the drive you want to clean.

Fancy visual effects also use valuable system resources. To increase performance, go to Control Panel, click the system applet, click advanced system settings. Under Performance options, click on the Visual Effects tab. Here you will have an option to adjust appearance for best performance.

Is your business productivity affected by slow computer issues? Contact ACE IT Solutions today at 908-704-0400 if your computer 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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