Top 6 Reasons Why Your Computer is Slow

August 17, 2012 by  
Filed under Every thing you Need to Know

Computers may begin to operate slowly for a variety of reason. Viruses, spyware and disk and registry errors all take a toll on computer speed. as a computer is used these issues continue to multiply until they are resolved and will make the CPU run progressively slower, and often freeze up, until it suddenly stops working altogether.

Keeping a computer working smoothly and efficiently is easily accomplished by following a few simple procedures, and the speed of a slow operating computer can be greatly increased by performing a regular maintenance routine to remove malware and free up disk space. here are six tips to help keep your computer running like new, or at least fast enough to keep you from feeling the need to pull your hair out by the roots.

Viruses and spyware are often confused, but are two totally different types of programs. However, spyware and viruses are both loaded on your computer when visiting unscrupulous websites or through opening malicious emails.

As the name implies, spyware (Wikipedia link) is designed to record computer usage behavior and activities, such as which software programs are being used or to record internet surfing patterns. In the more benign cases spyware is used to target you with advertising relevant to your browsing habits and in the worst cases to steal your passwords for online accounts and bank account data. Spyware is generally not designed to be harmful to a computer, but, in addition to invading your privacy it can greatly slow down the computer’s operating speed by taking up resources on the disk drives.

Viruses, on the other hand, are designed to intentionally destroy files and even the computer’s hard drive, and will most often make the computer completely useable if left untreated. like their namesake, viruses are designed to replicated themselves and spread throughout the system and are passed on to other computer systems by sharing files and when sending emails.

There are many antivirus and spyware removal tools available to eliminate and even prevent infections by malicious software. Microsoft Security Essentials is suite of malware removal tools included with Windows-based systems and can be updated to keep the software current with fixes for new threats, as they are discovered. there are also numerous third party antivirus software applications available for purchase.

To thoroughly clean and keep a computer protected the system must have both strong antivirus and spyware prevention and removal programs installed, as either alone will not protect a computer from both. However, there are software programs that do include both types of programs in one all-inclusive package.

All Windows-based computers, including, Windows 7, Vista and XP, have a “Disk Cleanup” tool designed to delete old files, freeing up room on the hard drive to speed up computer performance. Running the disk cleanup tool on a regular basis, at least once a month, will identify which files are no longer being used, keeping the hard drive free from being clogged with unnecessary information.

Types of files the disk cleanup tool will remove:

  • Windows temporary files
  • Windows error report files
  • Downloaded program files including Java applets and Microsoft ActiveX controls
  • Outdated System Restore points
  • Software programs which have been uninstalled
  • Temporary Internet files: Note that temporary Internet files use up the most amount of disk space as every webpage that is visited is cached in the browser for quick access.

Information is stored on your computer electromagnetically, using both moving parts and magnetic fields to store file data. the more the computer’s disk is used the more scattered, or “fragmented” information becomes.

When data is stored on a disk drive in it not necessarily saved in any particular order. This causes the computer’s speed to suffer as the computer must search through all areas of the disk drive when you ask it to retrieve a file or preform a function. Disk drives also become fragmented when files are deleted, leaving blank spaces wherever the files were removed. Additionally, information becomes fragmented whenever the computer is rebooted, causing all the information saved on the disk to become randomly scatted all over the disk drive.

The more the disk becomes fragmented the longer it takes the computer to access the files, slowing down performance. All Windows-based systems come standard with a “Defragmentation Tool” utility, accessed in the “Accessories” tab. the Windows 7 and Vista defragmentation tools work automatically; the defragmentation tool on earlier version of Windows, such as XP, can be ran manually or set to run a regular schedule. for computers running older version of Windows it is best to run the defragmentation tool twice in a row, and then once a week to keep the information on the disk drive properly organized.

Disk errors occur when a drive develops corrupted sectors, or sections. Disk errors can drastically slow down computer speed and make saving and retrieving files difficult, if not impossible, and can cause a loss of data in some situations. With disk errors, an ounce of prevention is worth hundreds of pounds of cures and the best prevention is running the disk checking utility included with Windows systems on a weekly basis.

If you do receive a “Disk Error” message stop use the disk immediately and do not attempt to access files or you risk losing valuable data. Run the disk error checking utility included with Windows or purchase a software program that has a disk error checking feature.

For badly corrupted drives there are third party software programs available that can be used to retrieve files. However, if the disk is badly corrupted, unless you are familiar with the data recovery software and process, trying to recover files yourself will often only exacerbate the problem. if you do not have data recovery experience it is often best to seek the assistance of an expert if you have valuable files stored on the disk. the probability of recovering data from a damaged disk drive depends on the type and amount of damage to the disk.

The computer’s “registry” is the area on the hard drive that stores all the important information on the computer’s operating systems for both software and hardware, as well as each user’s individual settings and preferences. Registry errors are very different from disk errors and are easily corrected with various registry cleaner software programs.

As time goes on registry errors accumulate on the hard drive, and the more errors that build up on the drive the slower the computer will run. Registry errors happen as settings are changed and hardware and software is added or removed from the computer. like most computer issues, registry errors usually manifest themselves with one program beginning to run slowly, but will continue to grow and eventually affect all programs on the computer, such as causing programs to operate slowly or not open at all, create unstable internet connections, provoke constant error messages, especially when online, and cause startup issues.

There are several ways to address computer registry errors, but the most effective way is in installing and using a “registry cleaner” software application on a regular basis. many different types of registry cleaner programs are available for purchase or download, some at no cost, although this is one area where you will most often get what you pay for.

When selecting a registry cleaner make certain you chose a cleaner from a reputable company or website and that the program is compatible with your computer’s specific operating system, as not all registry cleaners will work with all systems. just follow the download instruction and the program should initialize itself.

Running the registry cleaner at least once a week, and optimally once a day, will prevent many of the most common computer issues from ever manifesting themselves in the first place and can prevent a big, and unnecessary, bill from the computer repair store.

An often overlooked aspect of computer performance is the fan. as computers age the motors that power the fans the cool the CPU will become weak and slow down, making the cooling system less efficient. if the CPU becomes overheated it will not only radically slow down the speed of the computer, it will drastically shorten the life of the PC as well.

Bad cooling fans are easily replaced by anyone with basic mechanical skills, a screwdriver and the courage to try. However, if you do not think you are capable of making the repair yourself paying a few dollars to have the fan replaced is money well spent to increase the speed of a slow computer.

Reference:

RegistryCleanerReviews.co – best Registry Cleaner

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