3 Tips for Making a Slow PC Faster

Christopher Lentz | November 03, 2014 08:45 AM

At one time or another we have all experienced working on a slow computer whether it be in our work environment or at home. It can be downright frustrating when waiting for files to open or programs to load. In the business world this waiting time represents wasted productivity. Every minute that your staff is not performing their daily duties is lost to the slow PC demons. Today, we hope to help reduce those moments with our 3 tips to making a slow PC faster.

Archive Old Files

Moving old files to an archive or a network drive allow the computer to use more space for the swap file. The swap file is used when there is not enough memory to quickly handle opening and running applications and files. By giving this file more space to work with you can dramatically increase the performance of the machine. If you already have a lot of free space, this resolution may not fit your particular situation.

Unused Programs

One of the next greatest tasks to perform to get a faster PC is to remove any unused or infrequently used programs. When we install programs we rarely look at the space they take up or the memory requirements that they have, not to mention their taskbar agents and other agents that might be constantly running in the background. Adobe products are a great example of this, they typically have at least 3 agent programs running at all times including the Adobe Updater. While we are not saying that Adobe products are bad, it is just a glaring example of how some programs utilize more PC resources than others.

Buy New Hardware

Sometimes a machine is slow because a piece of its hardware is starting to malfunction. In most computers this is typically the hard drive. For decades computers have been built with mechanical based spinning hard drives in several forms (SATA, PATA, iSCSI, etc). Today however, the best and faster computers are built with SSD or Solid State Drives. These drives are not only faster, they are also not mechanical which means their parts wont break down due to use. Upgrading the hard drive in a machine to an SSD can greatly improve its performance. For example, the averge time it takes to load Windows 7 Professional is less than 15 seconds. That is what we call FAST! 

Another great hardware upgrade is in memory. Memory is used to buffer items between the drives and the processor. This means that the more memory you have the more can be buffered and thus the faster your applications can load files and do their work. If you machine is too old however, you may be restricted in exactly how much memory you can have. One example of this are machines that are using the old 32-bit operating systems. These systems are restricted to a max of 4 gigabytes (GB) of memory. If that is all you have to work with, go for the max. If you have 64-bit though, the sky is nearly the limit. For best results, determine the recommended amounts of memory for each of the programs that you use at one time, then at 25% as a cushion. 

Sometimes it is necessary to keep an older machine because it uses software that is not compatible with new hardware or new operating systems. If you can afford it, we always recommend upgrading an old, slow PC to a new PC with the latest hardware and operating systems. Whatever your situation, we hope this article helped to clarify the best places to make changes to get a faster PC.

 

Enforma IT provides Cisco Network Consulting, VMware Virutualization Consultanting, and Server/Desktop Support in the San Francisco Bay Area, Oakland, San Jose, and Chicago metropolitan areas.

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