Speed up your slow computer or laptop
A parent recently asked us to look at an unbearably slow child’s computer. It was slow to boot, was unresponsive running games and was reluctant to close programs when shutting down. The child wanted his games to be more responsive, which needed better computer performance.
The machine was old but was a good quality business machine retasked as a child’s computer. The computer had various games on it and had good quality antivirus. We removed lots of unused software and did some updates which made some difference. The machine only had 3GB of RAM, so we upgraded it to 6GB which we sourced from an old machine in our parts store. The memory upgrade transformed the computer, which is now quick and responsive. We also defragged the hard drive using a third party defragger which ran for hours as the fragmentation was so severe.
The moral of this case is that many machines that people replace usually need some work to revitalise them.
Speeding up your computer
If you want to improve the performance of your machine, there are several easy things to do first.
- Remove any unused software.
- Run a full anti-virus scan with a quality anti-virus product.
- Run updates on the operating system and any installed programs
- Do a system cleanup and remove unused files
- Defragment the hard disk.
- Run a reputable registry cleaner. Make a backup first in case of problems.
If the machine is still not fast enough, then the next steps are to improve the hardware.
- Increase the installed memory. Running windows 7, 8 or 10 generally requires a minimum of 4GB of RAM for acceptable performance. Machines with 32-bit windows can’t use more than 4GB, but if you have 64-bit windows, then upgrading to 8GB will often make a noticeable improvement.
- Changing the hard disk to a solid-state drive will typically make a huge difference. Fitting an SSD is more involved as the contents of the old drive need to be copied to the new drive.
What not to do
When searching for help on fixing your slow computer or slow laptop, you will find many sites offering to analyse your computer and solve all your problems. Do not trust these sites unless you are 100% confident they are legitimate, which in our experience, none of them is.
Some of the most common frauds are driver update sites which typically want you to install their software. The software then tells you, you have dozens of problems which they will fix for a fee. This is often dishonest, and you never pay for drivers which are free to download from the manufacturer.
There are some sites which try to trick you into installing their “free antivirus”. This “free antivirus” then tells you about dozens of viruses on your machine and tricks you into paying for the non-existent service. Some of these are blatant fraud and are taking your money on false pretences.
Even if you are not being tricked into paying money, you will almost certainly be installing malware on your PC. Malware might be stealing your identity or doing something else illegal. Unless you are 100% confident about the legitimacy of free software, do not install it. It is very likely to be installing Malware. Malware is 100% certain to make your slow computer or laptop slower.
Do not become a victim of fraudulent computer software.