Computer & PC Help

“HELP MY COMPUTER IS REALLY RUNNING SLOW”05 Feb

Recently, I had a friend call me up and complain about computer slowness. He said his machine was just crawling along. He told me it was ok but then it crashed and a friend of his fixed it. Ever since then it was crawling along. I asked him some general question about what I though could affect the speed of the computer. I asked him how much memory he had, how much hard drive space and how old his computer was, along with what brand of computer he had and what operating system he was using (Operating System meaning Windows XP, Vista, or Windows 7). All of this will affect speed. Not enough memory will slow your machine down, not enough hard drive space will also affect your speed and of course the age of your computer will affect speed too. The older the machine the more “worn” it becomes and the slower it gets. It’s a good idea to replace your machine at least every 5 years. I do recommend a brand to my clients I prefer based upon my experiences with customer service, replacement parts and longevity of the machine.
Upon my investigation I found that my friend’s computer indeed had enough memory, and enough hard drive space but the machine was a bit old. He was also using Windows XP. So I decided to investigate a little further.
I found the following: He was running Symantec Endpoint Protection – which will somewhat slow the machine but it’s a decent virus protection program so I didn’t believe that was his issue. The fact of the matter is depending upon what virus product you are running will affect the speed of your machine depending upon how it works. You all know by now I recommend “Viper” because it’s not evasive and doesn’t slow your machine – it does the job. So I dove a little deeper and found he was running Spy Bot, Malware Bytes, AOL and AOL virus protection. This to me was a big red flag. You do not need to run multiple virus/malware programs. That’s overkill. Everything scanning at once no wonder why his machine was so slow. If you find it necessary to run all those items then perhaps your virus protection isn’t doing the job. In this case I don’t believe that was the issue – If you use tools like Malware Bytes to remove viruses/spyware remember to uninstall them. Unless you have no protection at all and you wish to use one of them. In addition to that he had AOL and AOL virus protection installed too. I asked him if he used AOL to which he replied he just had mail. I explained that is wasn’t necessary to have the entire program installed and that he could just go to the website and get his mail.
So I tried to remove the “offending” programs, but because all these other programs (Spybot, Maleware Bytes and AOL virus protection) were using up all his computer resources by scanning the machine all at the same time I couldn’t remove them. When I tried to get into Add/Remove programs to uninstall them the machine just “hung” up and I couldn’t do a thing. You all know what I mean. You start trying to move your mouse to click on something and nothing! So I booted the machine into Safe Mode. Safe Mode is a way you can diagnose and fix issues with a minimum amount of background programs running and makes it easier to get around. Upon booting up into Safe Mode, ( you achieve this by tapping the F8 key when the machine boots up) I was able to get into add/remove programs and uninstall the “offending” programs.
My friend remarked to me “that’s it” I say yes just reboot and let’s see what happens. When the machine came back up my friend remarked WOW! I then checked a few more things – I installed WOT (Web Of Trust) http://www.mywot.com/en/download and told him that this would help him to discover dangerous websites and help protect him again malware and viruses. I show him how to use it too. He was happy.
My tips are this…

  • Make sure you have enough memory in your machine. What’s enough memory? Well that depends upon what your running on the machine. As a general rule I like to have at least 2 gigs of memory for windows XP and 4 – 6 gigs of memory for Windows Vista and for Windows 7. You may not think it makes a difference but it does. Ask anyone who’s had a slow machine what happens when they get a memory upgrade
  • Make sure you have enough hard drive space. Too often I see people running machines with less than 1 gig of hard drive space. They can’t save very much and they can’t update their machine. When you download windows updates it does take up hard drive space. Think of it like this. You have a box which will only fit 12 cans in the box but you are trying to shove 14 cans in this box and you can’t close the box. The operating system needs room to operate. At a minimum you should have 2 gigs of space free at all times. If this means you need to purchase an external drive and move your music and pictures off, I recommend you do so.
  • Computer Age. Yes it makes a difference. If your machine is over 5 years old you need to purchase a new one. Over time things wear out, and generally the heat from the machine will wear out the parts. Besides the technology is constantly changing and as the operating systems get updated they need more and more resources from the machine. In terms of brands I recommend that you do your homework. Ask friends what they are using and how they like it. How they like the customer service of the company. Ask your PC professional what he or she thinks and what they recommend too. A salesperson in a store or on line wants to sell what they have so make sure you’re educated.
  • Look at what you have installed on your machine. In this case my friend has 3 programs scanning his machine and it was using up all his resources. I recommend going into add/remove programs and looking at what you have installed. Uninstall anything you KNOW you do not use. DO NOT uninstall anything you don’t know. If you’re not sure ask your PC Professional to help.

As I said my friend was over joyed his machine was running again with a good amount of speed. I was happy he was happy. Another job well done and another satisfied customer! See my Facebook page to see what he said.

3 Responses to ““HELP MY COMPUTER IS REALLY RUNNING SLOW””

  1. Angelo Chihuahua

    Either would seem reasonable, given the stratospheric prices of restos nowadays.

  2. A Woman's Touch Computer Service

    thank you for your input. I will do my best to keep the simple things simple and to give as much information as I can think of.

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