Why is my computer running slow & what can I do about it?

Posted on | October 30, 2011 | Comments Off on Why is my computer running slow & what can I do about it?

One of the most common reasons we are called here at Bluefish Computer Services is to assist customers who’s computers are running slowly.

I thought I would write a quick blog with the three most common causes we witness and what you can do to help.

  1. Excessive Start-up Programs.  This is by far the most common cause we see, people install fancy toolbars helpers, voice recognition software, printer management software, weather reporting programs etc.. etc..  It takes time to load all these programs during start-up and often they never get used.  What do we do to fix this?  Well it’s pretty simple we disable unwanted or unnecessary programs on start-up.
    If you want to do this yourself first make sure you have a recent backup of your system, you should always regularly backup your computer to an external storage device anyway but make sure you do this before disabling start-up programs just in case.
    Now click on Start, Run, then type msconfig and click OK.  Click the start-up toolbar at the top, go through all the programs and un-tick the ones you no longer want to run at start-up.  Note unticking them will not remove the program it will just stop it running at start-up.  Do not remove your firewall, anti-virus or other security software you have as you still want this to run when your machine starts.  If you are unsure if you need the program to run at start-up you can always remove it then add it back at a later time.  Restart your computer once you have finished, the less programs you have set to run at start-up the faster your computer will boot.
  2. Insufficient RAM (Memory).   The second most common cause of a slow computer we find is insufficient memory.  The RAM is your computers running memory used to provide space for your computer to read and write data to be accessed by it’s CPU.  Newer operating systems such as Windows 7 require larger amounts of RAM (1 GB RAM is recommended for 32-bit systems 2 GB RAM  for 64-bit systems).  If you then also run programs in addition which use a lot of RAM such as Design Programs, Games etc.. then you might start to notice a slow down.  Luckily RAM is not expensive and there are lots of websites that sell RAM, a lot will also have tools to help you find the exact type of RAM you need and the amount of RAM your system can take.
  3. Malware.  Malware is short for malicious software and includes things like viruses, worms, spyware, trojan horses, rootkits, scareware etc..  We find customers are commonly infected by installing programs they though were OK such as quirky screen-savers or “helpful” utilities, by not keeping up-to-date with software updates, being tricked into downloading “security” software which turns out to be a fake anti-virus or rouge security programs etc..  Once infected the malware often slows the users computer by constantly launching pop-up boxes trying to make the user pay for security software to “protect them”, installing keyloggers and other programs that run in the background and capture the users keystrokes or scans the computer looking for passwords or often malicious software uses the computer to take part in denial of services attacks against their systems without the users knowledge.  If you think you are infected with Malware then I would recommend you take your system to a professional and have them check it for infections and clean the system.  If you don’t have a backup of your data you should always ensure you have one prior to undertaking any “cleaning exercise”.

If you would like assistance with any of the above issues above or you would like someone to check your computer to find out why it’s running slow then Bluefish Computer Services can help you, feel free to contact us.

Bluefish Computer Services regularly fix customers computers that are running slow, we also complete hardware upgrades and computer repairs in Chichester and the surrounding areas.  We can provide low cost backup solutions and the training required to keep up to date with backups.


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