ForumsITGeneral • My computer is running slow.... :(
By: adrianswift

Here is one I get often.
"My computer needs upgrading, its too slow."

There are many reasons why a computer will slow down.. Age (if its less than a year old) is not one of them. Computers do not get old like people... ;)
User error, poor maintenance and overloaded software can cause issues though.

1: User error:
Often users expect too much from their computers. Or forget its limitations. Having too many programs, windows, apps and well.. anything open has an impact on how the computer performs. Every letter on the screen, every picture take up memory and having a few web pages open can suck up memory rapidly. When the memory starts to get full the computer starts to shuffle data onto the temporary storage on the hard drive (swap disk or paging file). That really effect the speed of your system. Data can be pulled from memory in a flash, blink your eyes and its done.. Data being pulled from the swap Disk on the hard drive.. takes a lot longer.. Its a mechanical process (unless you have an SSD)

2: Poor maintenance.
Well, this comes down to user error too.. but in a different way. Any time you install software or replace hardware windows installs files and adds data to its "registry". Over time this can get a little out of hand and soon you have multiple drivers floating about and entries in the register that are not needed any more. This all takes up resources that could be used else where. This can be made even worse if software and hardware are not removed properly. You end up with data being moved about that is no longer needed.
On top of that (unless its an SSD) you have 'fragmentation' going on. Files take up space on the HDD, often a process of 'recycling' occurs and one file can be spread out over a large physical area of the dick its a complex process and not worth explaining here) That can lead to longer "read" times as the disk has to spin multiple times for the file to be read entirely.
These two things can be helped if the user does a little maintenance or "house keeping" by defragging the HDD and "cleaning" the registry. The first option is pretty simple and there are many apps capable of defragging a HDD. The second option can be a little dangerous and any good software will ask to backup your registry first.. DO IT!. ;)

3: Over loaded software.
Really, this is #1. Too many apps running, too many processes and things going on at the same time. This is more about the CPU than memory though. Bells, whistles, gauges an other things all take up "processor time" or a time slice. In an ideal world, they would be so small it would not notice. But some times software does not work quite as it should. A consequence of the nature of windows. So something that should be almost zero impact can suddenly take up 5 to 10% of the processor time.
Luckily, windows has a built in function that can show you whats going on...

So, when you sigh at the computer and mumble that its slow.. Set aside a little time to consider how you effect that, and how you can change things..
Lets face it, nobody wants to go to MyCleanPC.Com, and you do not have to either... ;)
March 21, 2014 at 10:20am
By: adrianswift
Post edited by admin at users request. JRD
March 21, 2014 at 3:38pm
By: sawyerzent
How do you defrag a Macintosh?
April 14, 2014 at 3:53pm
By: adrianswift
On a Mac?.

You dont.. Mac take care of defragmenting their HDs themselves. I believe you can turn it off, but unless you have an SSD you probably dont need to.
April 21, 2014 at 2:42pm
By: sawyerzent
Relating to #1, I've read that having your HDD nearly full will also slow down your computer as it has less space to shuffle tasks to. What is a good capacity percentage you should stay under?
April 21, 2014 at 4:10pm