DIY – How to Fix a Slow Computer!
It does not matter how careful you are with removing programs, if you use a firewall and antivirus program or even if you infrequently use your computer. It is bound to happen that your computer is going to start slowing down and frustrating the crap out of you. It is like a bad kid rock song that just will not die and go away. So what can you do to cheaply fix your computer and make it run like it was brand new all over again?
First of all you have to understand many antivirus and firewall programs like McAfee and others take up serious amounts of your computers RAM (or random access memory). This means that there is far less RAM available for other programs to run with. This can easily lead to your computer slowing down greatly or even locking or seizing up. You also have to keep in mind is as antivirus programs update from year to year, they get larger and take up more and more memory and RAM.
So you can not have the same memory and computer you did five years ago and expect it to run programs from today as effectively as it did five years ago. My advice to most people at this point is to check out the amount of RAM that you have on your computer and see if an upgrade in the RAM is a viable option. As of the time of writing this article, RAM is at an all-time low cost and you can get 2 megs of RAM whether you have a laptop or desktop for around $40-$50.
So if you currently have 2 megs of RAM you can easily double that to 4 megs of RAM for $40-$50 and that is definitely a worthy investment that will greatly increase the speed of your computer and its ability to run various programs both by themselves and along with others at the same time. Now keep in mind if you have a 32-bit operating system you will not be able to add more than 4 megs of RAM to your computer. A 32-bit operating system like Windows Vista can only run 4 megs of RAM. To use more RAM you will need to upgrade your operating system to a 64-bit operating system like Windows 7 or Windows Vista 64-bit.
Another idea that I have come across is a very easy fix and basically what it is is some people decide to install one antivirus program on top of another. You do not need to antivirus programs. Many of these people do not understand that their computer are ready comes with one installed and so they see these ads on TV or in a magazine or hear from a friend that they need to have McAfee or another antivirus program and install it on top of the other one. This basically will use all of your RAM and make everything run at a snails pace unless you have 4 megs or more of RAM in your computer.
If you are in this situation pick one of the antivirus programs you want to keep and remove the other one completely. This will definitely speed up your computer. Another great step is to check your hard drive and to have it periodically scheduled to defragment itself. I recommend you do this once a month to keep your hard drive in optimal shape. This is easy to do and Windows has programs that are free and already installed for you to do this with each and every operating system. Just run it and then schedule to have it run once a month or every other month. This will keep your hard drive organized and running at its best speed.
Now if you do not have antivirus program on your computer what might be slowing up your computer could actually be a virus, a Trojan horse program, worm or other malware. Be sure and obtain a clean copy of an antivirus program (never download a pirated antivirus program just because it is free – 99 times out of 100 it will be loaded up with viruses or other Malware and take control of your computer and screw things up even worse). Antivirus programs are cheap and the best ones can be had for under $30. They are a definite valuable and worthy investment for anyone that is going to be doing any kind of websites or business over the Internet.