IT Support: Speed up my PC

From evangelists to technophobes, I've encountered the full range of SME approaches to IT. 20 years ago, the technophobes far outnumbered those in the know, but the balance has swung the other way and now SMEs know IT is a vital part of every business.

But, every help4IT “Network Healthcheck” IT infrastructure review finds areas for improvement, where money can be saved or more value gained, no matter how much a business loves their technology. This blog series is all about sharing common situations and the fast and efficient solutions that will help your business!

The most common computer problem is that PCs are too slow and unreliable, and people are so willing to put up with it. But, if your car took half an hour to start, and then wouldn’t go faster than 15mph, you’d get it fixed ASAP, so why make do with a computer that wastes just as much of your time?

Spend a day monitoring how much time you lose waiting for your computer, then multiply that up to weeks or months and you’ll soon see how necessary a tune-up is.

If your computer takes ages to start in the morning, is slow to open new documents or struggles when you have more than a couple of programs open, then it’s probably not powerful enough for you. Sometimes, the only option is a new computer. But, there are a couple of cheaper alternatives you should try first yourself:

Reinstall the OS

Over time, Windows accumulates a lot of “crud” which gradually slows it down. A complete reinstall will return it to much happier days. Make sure you backup all your data and have the installation disks for any applications you need (e.g. MS Office). Then, check the manufacturer’s website for specific instructions on how to restore the original setup.

Upgrade your RAM

Many computers only come with 1 or 2GB of RAM, which is soon used up when you open a couple of programs, so the PC slows right down. www.crucial.com has an excellent System Scanner tool which will analyse your computer and advise you on your upgrade options.

Remove unnecessary programs

Your antivirus software should have been protecting you against malicious software, but it’s easy to accumulate utilities and toolbars you don’t need. Some can make themselves harder to remove than others. Use “Anti-malware” free utility from www.malwarebytes.org and C-cleaner from www.piriform.com to clear them out.

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