Common Performance Issues
There are always lots of questions about computer performance issues, and we thought it might be worth writing an article about three of the most common problems we hear about and what is actually happening behind the screen, so to speak, in these situations.
- Long startup times
In most cases this is due to drive speed, but it can also be caused by malware and adware installed on the computer. Malware and adware cause delays later in the startup, when all the applications and background processes are starting. Having a good antivirus will help avoid this problem.
If the startup is slow because of drive speed, most likely the computer has a HDD (hard disk drive). In new systems the standard has become the SSD (solid state drive), which is much faster than the HDD. However, this is a common problem in older computers. The HDD has spinning platters with a mechanical read/write head. Because there are so many moving parts, the chance of failure is much higher than the SSD, which stores the data on chips. The slow startup will become more apparent if the drive is damaged. In this case it’s best to replace the drive as soon as possible to avoid total drive failure and data loss.
- Programs freezing and lagging
This is caused by too many processes and applications running at once for your computer to handle. When a program is opened it starts processes which run in the computer’s RAM. When there are so many processes running that the RAM doesn’t have enough space for them all, it starts to queue the processes, causing programs to lag or become unresponsive. More RAM is often the remedy in this case.
This is usually from a bug in the operating system or a driver. It also can be a result of a drive failure, but in that case, usually the computer shuts down and doesn’t boot up again. If it’s a bug you will most likely see what is known as the Blue Screen of Death, which is just a blue screen with an error code, before the computer shuts off and attempts a restart.
Fixing these bugs can be tricky. If it’s an operating system error, the computer has to revert to an update created before the bug was in the system. Driver bugs can be hard to hunt down, but the error code on the blue screen usually has good clues to point you in the right direction.
All of these issues, with the exception of system and driver bugs, can in most cases be resolved by simply adding RAM or replacing a drive. However, in cases where a computer is older or is damaged it might be better to replace the computer. If you are experiencing issues like these, ask your favorite nephew to contact us to assess your computer and advise the best option for you.