Friday, February 1, 2008

My PC is slow, what should I do?

how to tune up slowing pc

No matter how good your system is, there will come a time when you will face the slow PC performance syndrome. This is a universal problem every user is sure to come across.

So when do you consider your PC slow?

The answer is simply when:
    you discover that the booting up time takes longer than usual
    your PC hangs frequently
    it takes a long time to start an application
    game play is sluggish

What is the cause for this?
Well, it can be due to either a hardware or software issue.
A lack of memory RAM is often the main cause if it is a hardware cause. As technology advances, more and more programs with heavy bandwidths are being developed. An old system with only 64MB of memory RAM will surely pant when running these heavy-duty programs. Check out your motherboard’s maximum memory support and upgrade the RAM to the maximum. This will see an improvement. If your memory RAM is already at its maximum, then maybe it is time to change the motherboard.

Other than the RAM, the CPU is also another culprit for the slow PC performance. Similar to the RAM, an old CPU will not be sufficient to support new and complex applications. It might be easy to think that changing the CPU will help. However, changing the CPU is not as easy as changing the RAM. Most of the time, the old motherboard will not be able to support the latest CPU in the market. If you are seriously considering changing the CPU, then it might be better to upgrade the whole system.

The data storage on the hard drive is based on sector allocation. Over time, due to frequent installation and un-installation of programs, the data sectors will be scattered all around in the hard drive, making data retrieval difficult. This in turn adds to the loading time. The hard drive fragmentation percentage refers to the percentage of the scattering of the data sector. The higher the percentage, the slower the PC performance. Performance can be improved by doing a defragmentation. This will arrange the sector clusters in retrieving order and also move seldom used or unused data to a remote sector.

Running of background processes and programs will also slow down your PC’s performance. Most of the time, these background activities occur without your knowledge and it is always the main cause for PC hanging. To eliminate this, press “ctrl + alt + del” to access the Window Task Manager. Click on the PROCESSES tab. This window will slow all the background processes. Select the application that you don’t need and click “End Process”. Do this with care as shutting down important applications will cause your PC to hang and all your unsaved data to be lost. Next, the right bottom panel of the window task bar shows the program running in the background. Right click on the icon and shut down the unused programs to free up the bandwidth.

These few tips should be sufficient to improve your PC performance. If the above techniques don’t work, then you might have to consider reformatting your PC or upgrading to a new system.

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