How To Fix A Slow Computer

by Rod Dunne on July 17, 2010

in Articles, Performance, Registry Cleaners Articles, Tips and Tools

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Understanding how to fix a slow computer can sometimes appear like a game of trial and error. In reality though, achieving a faster PC boils down to understanding what programs/services are putting undue demands on your slow PC. Here, we’ll look at some of the common reasons why a computer runs slow and propose some easy maintenance to increase PC performance.

Running Applications

Close down any applications that you do not require or are not currently being used. Open the Task Manager and observe how much memory (the ‘Mem Usage’ column on the Processes tab) they are using. You will find that browsers can be a huge drain on memory (especially when browsing Flash heavy sites) so should be closed down often to clear the memory cache. Of all the slow computer solutions listed here, this one provides ongoing benefits if you also disable these applications from running at start-up.

Our post on slow boot problems details how to stop programs/services initializing when Windows boots up.

Disk Space

If the disk gets over 90% full, then this can have severe consequences on PC performance, possibly resulting in computer freezes. The Windows operating system needs 10% or more to run smoothly. Below 5% and it will cause slow internet speeds as well as all over processing power. Remove unused applications and clear temp/cached files (free registry repair tools like CCleaner are great at doing this).

Registry Corruption

Over time, you will discover the Windows registry system file corrupted by a variety of faults. This is a system file containing configuration data for all applications, hardware and services. Key settings can become faulty, go missing or just become non-optimum as newly installed applications over-write shared settings. If your computer freezes randomly when using specific software then this is a probable cause.

Fixing computers with registry damage should never be manually attempted. Instead use registry cleaners like Registry Easy, Reimage or Registry Booster to manage the repairs and optimization. These tools can also back up the registry which is worth doing on a regular basis

Disk Defragmentation

Knowing how to fix a slow computer can sometimes be down to hardware constraints. One such constraint is disk fragmentation. As data is added to the disk drive it is stored as data blocks on the drive. If there is insufficient space on a disk section then the data is split into segments, or fragments, and placed on a free spot on the drive. This results in multiple disk accesses for a single piece of data and more demands on memory to cache the segments.

This is easily remedied though by using a disk defragmentation tool. Tools like Regtool have an advanced disk defragmentation feature as well as being a registry cleaner and should be run monthly as part of a regular home PC service.

Windows Update and Driver Updates

The Windows Update service provides updates for applications, device drivers and other system files. This slow computer fix can speed up a computer as each patch release includes better, more rigorously tested, code containing common computer error fixes and performance improvements.

Related Posts:
- An overview of broken computer repair techniques, data recovery options and recycling.
- How to speed up Windows XP

- How to increase internet speed
- My computer keeps freezing
- Making Windows startup faster.

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