If your computer is slowing down of late, maybe while you are booting your PC or running an application, be aware that you are not the only one suffering this problem. Many people have a similar experiences and deal with it one way or the other. We have previously written many articles on this particular subject as it is such a wide and varied area.
Here are a few examples:
There could be numerous reasons behind this happening, and I am highlighting some of the most common ones so that you can try to figure out which is the likely cause for your computer running slow.
1. Virus or Malware
Number one reason is definitely the presence of a virus or a malware program. Just like a human when attacked by a virus, the human would get flu or fever and that person’s strength and efficiency will be reduced significantly, same thing happens when a PC is also attacked by a virus. A virus will try to control your PC from its own point of view depending on what it is up to. Therefore your computer’s run time resources like temporary memory, processor, and the operating system including the kernel all become victims of this virus attack, and cannot perform the way they should. These resources then perform at a significantly low efficiency, creating a bottleneck which means, there are so many people standing in the queue but only a few counters are open to let them go in and watch the game show.
So many times it happens, we have an antivirus program running on the PC but even then there is a virus inside, and causing havoc, because there is not a single antivirus in the market that can detect each and every one of these viruses out there. The very simple logic behind this is, viruses came first and then came the solution to remove it. Yes, it is true that since all these viruses use already known ways to attack a PC and harm it, most of the antivirus programs are now equipped to be able to at least detect a computer code (program) acting as a virus, but there is no guarantee that this will be the case. There still could be new and innovative ways left to attack a PC that the antivirus makers not yet aware of, and to write a solution for it. Therefore, from a users’ point of view, it doesn’t look really groovy! The best you can do is keep your antivirus up to date, and manually scan the PC including the root kit from time to time, specifically when you feel something weird going inside the PC.
2. Memory Fault
Your computer’s temporary memory or the Random Access Memory (RAM) is one of the most important elements to provide speed to run your PC faster. There could be multiple RAM chips that constitute the total RAM of your PC. Often one of these chips could get damaged and when that happens, your PC will slow down. It is also a possibility that during some other repair work done on the PC, the technician who worked on it took out the RAM chips for diagnosis, and when he put them back on, one or two was not inserted properly, all the way through into the slot. This could mean you are running low on memory, thus ultimately slowing down the PC. The fix for the memory problem is to replace the faulty chip with a new one or put more memory in it.
3. Your Hard Drive is Full
If you have consumed almost the entire capacity of your hard drive, this could easily slow down your PC. Hard drive space is used by your windows operating system for different reasons including creating a virtual memory stack and for several other paging operations. If the hard drive cannot provide the operating system the necessary storage capacity to perform these operations, then ultimately the processor and system will become awfully busy, in fact too busy to take care of different functions and in the process slow down the PC. Solution to this problem is to free up some disk space and let it roll with the necessary freedom.
4. Too Many Programs on Start Up
If you are running too many programs on start up, this will also slow down your PC. Running too many programs on start up means when the computer starts, along with the most necessary system components of the operating system, there are many unnecessary programs are launching and making their rooms in the temporary memory. For example, you know that the antivirus program is a necessary program that should launch during start up, but often Skype is not the absolutely necessary program that needs to launch at start up. You can launch it anytime when you need it. There could be many other such applications launching at start up slowing down the PC. Solution is to execute “msconfig” command from start menu and to remove some of these unnecessary programs from your start up program list.
How to disable startup programs
- Click Start
- Type msconfig in the search box
- Click Continue in the User Account Control (annoying thing)
- Click on the Startup Tab
- Uncheck any boxes in the “Startup Items” that you wish to disable.
- Click OK
Be careful what you disable. I know some printers do not like getting disabled here and average computer users find it very hard to re-enable. Make sure you do NOT click the Disable All button.
5. Some other Hardware Fault
There could be many other hardware faults that could also slow down your PC. For example, if the power supply of your PC is really old, its cooling fan getting stuck every now and then, and the entire power supply is about to say goodbye soon, you might experience similar problem. Problems with graphics card, sound card, cracked data cable or overheating of the processor can also cause slowing down problems. Your solution would be to get the PC to a good technician and check it out thoroughly.