My Computer Is Slow

by Rod Dunne on June 7, 2010

in Performance, Registry Cleaners Articles, Tips and Tools

My Computer Is Slow
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Anytime I find my computer is slow I immediately run through the following checklist to establish what might be wrong and how it can be remedied (and preferably even sped up). As with any PC repairs, be sure to make a laptop backup of your data before attempting any changes to your computer.

Anti Virus: A slow PC can be a sign that there is a virus on the computer so my first task is to update the virus definitions and run a full system scan. Trojan viruses are notorious for hogging system resources and internet bandwidth so are the first thing to look for. You may also notice your computer running slow if malware viruses have damaged the registry/OS programs.

Disk Space: Is there more than 10% free disk space? My computer is slow most often due to the hard drive filling up with music and cached browser content. Windows needs at least 10% to function correctly. Below 5% and the computer freezes repeatedly. One simple slow computer fix is to clear out disk space by removing old applications (via the Control Panel). A more extreme approach is to upgrade the drive (even internal laptop hard drives can be upgraded).

Too many applications running: Do you have several applications all running at the same time? If so, they are all using memory (RAM) and CPU on standby and slow PC operations for the OS and other applications. Close down applications and services you don’t need or are not currently using. This is not an elegant way to fix slow computer issues, but without additional RAM your computer can only support a specific volume of applications running at any one time. Our article on how to fix slow boot up performance has extra tips on how to limit/disable services being initialized during start-up.

RAM Cache: On rare occasions a computer is slow because the RAM modules have cached application data that it fails to release. Perhaps you notice that you have a faster PC after starting up but it gradually slows as applications are started. This can occur due to faults in the 3rd party software or even faults in the computers BIOS. Check the task manager to see how much RAM is being used by each application. Rebooting the computer is a workaround for speeding up a slow PC, but ultimately it would be better to get patch updates for the buggy software.

Browsers/Flash: Many browsers are resource hungry. Asking ‘why is my computer so slow?’ or ‘how to fix a slow computer?’ can often be answered by simply pondering ‘which applications are running when the performance starts to flag?’.

As websites incorporate for Flash advertisements and videos these can cached a huge volume of data in RAM and the CPU will struggle to process the sheer volume. Closing down the browser and clearing the cache should workaround this. Unfortunately the only other remedy is boosting the PC with more RAM.

If your computer freezes randomly with one browser, but not another, when browsing the same website then this may be a flaw with that specific browser. Research patches/workarounds/known-issues at the software producers website.

Defragment: Hard drives fill up with fragmented content. In time, this increases the disk access times and CPU/RAM requirements to process application commands. Using the Windows disk defragmentation tool every 3 to 5 weeks to reduce the volume of fragmented data blocks.

Registry: Researching why my computer is slow ultimately led to me discovering registry cleaners and computer optimization tools like Registry Easy and XP Repair Pro. These computer optimizer tools can give your slow PC a boost in processing speeds, internet connectivity and disk access speeds but the largest gains will be made initially through the simple actions above. As a starting point these tools provide a free scan of your system so at the very least you can get a free health check on your PC leaving you the option to make a slow computer fix automatically (at the cost of a product license).

  • Registry Easy: Cleaning and optimizing registry file configuration. More info & free scan.. | Review of Registry Easy
  • PC Booster: A client application that is specifically designed for speeding up computers. PC Booster Review

Related posts:
- Why Is My Computer Running Slow?
- How To Increase Internet Speed
- My Computer Keeps Freezing
- Improving slow boot up performance

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