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Running Slow; The Reasons and Solutions.
If a computer
is more than 3 years old then the chances are that it is a lot slower than when it was first used. Computer users wonder why this is, thinking they
do the same work as always. There are a number of reasons why a PC or laptop
runs slower than before.
The older a PC is the more likely it is that components such as the hard drive,
the memory, (RAM) the processor, and the electronic circuits will begin to
slowly fail. Heat expansion is a factor; this occurs every time a computer is
used, there is also the general wear and tear that goes with any product.
These all contribute the eventual slowing down and eventual failure of
2. Increased Memory and Processing Requirements
Why should a PC have increased memory or processing requirements when to the
users mind the same software continues to be used and nothing drastic has
changed. What actually happens is that over time applications and operating
system components grow in size and requirements due to the constant updates
that they will acquire over time from the Internet. For example, Anti-Virus
software is constantly updating with new capabilities, Windows is constantly
updating components such as Media Player, Internet Explorer, etc, Microsoft
Office will often require new updates and the Windows Operating System is
constantly downloading security updates, bug fixes, and service packs on a
daily basis. In a nutshell this means that the original software is probably
twice as demanding on system resources as it was when the computer was newly
3. Decreased Storage Capabilities and Fragmentation
Over time lots of data will accumulate on a PC, such as music files, photos, documents,
etc. While this should have no effect on the speed of your PC in actual fact it
does. When files are deleted or overwritten a phenomenon called
fragmentation occurs. Files that were once stored in a contiguous stream which
was easily accessed by the read head of the disk drive (think of the arm on the
old record players moving to the next track) are now no longer in the nice neat
order they once were in. Often a file will be split into multiple parts and
squeezed into what ever space the system can find. To access that file the read
head has to jump to several different locations which increases the time taken
to load up the file or application.
4. Dust and Dirt Build Up.
Dust and dirt will build up inside the PC because the PC acts as an ioniser
when it is turned on which attracts dust particles to itself. Over time, fans,
heatsinks, and moving parts become clogged with this dust. This causes the PC’s
components to heat up rapidly and they cannot be cooled properly as the fans
and heatsinks are clogged which drastically reduces airflow around the PC case.
Heat is the biggest cause of slow running applications. Things will run faster on a well cooled system.
5. Non Malicious Unwanted Applications
Often over time several unwanted applications build up on the average computer
such as Web Search Assistants, Screensaver Applications, Bitstreaming or Applications. The user may or may not have installed them on purpose,
and sometimes they are unsolicited Spyware applications, but they are there
running in the background clogging up the system and taking up valuable system
Viruses, adware and spyware
security allows these nasties to invade a computer and cause all sorts of
problems. They can be prevented and they can be removed. See Glossary of Viruses for more information.
This can arise for a number of reasons.
1. The router/modem has lost the connection and needs to be
restarted. simply turn it off and turn back on again after 30 seconds.
2. The telephone line may be disconnected. Check to see if there
is a dial tone and the cable to the router is secure.
3. If using a wireless router, ensure the signal is adequate by
keeping the router in a open place, not behind a heavy desk or similar unit.
4. The fault may lie with Internet Service Provider (ISP)