Tech-Tips

How to Speed Up a Slow PC

Improve Your PC For Better Performance

Device Driver Help

Frequently Asked Questions

Do computers slow down as they get older?

Question:

Do computers slow down when they get older?

My computer seems to be very slow. If I click on something it takes several minutes for it to open. I reformatted it already, and I cleaned out all the junk I had on it but it still doesn’t perform well and is slow. I use it for playing games mostly and internet, can playing games mess up or damage my computer?

Answers:

If you have had older hardware devices attached to your computer at any point like keyboards, joysticks, video cards, etc. you need to clean the unused devices off of your machine. Windows will oftentimes access old devices. Go to Control Panel, go to System, go to Devices and mark or delete the used devices.

Next, clean up any helper software and unnecessary applications that may be running in the background. Press Ctrl-Alt-Delete and select Task Manager.

You will see a list of programs you are currently running. Do you see some applications running that you don't recognize you are supposed to be running? You may have what is called malware. You can easily remove these programs without affecting your computer by using Pareto Anti-Spyware software, a free download. You can also go to Start, go to Control Panel, and then click on Add or Remove programs and manually remove the programs you do not use.

It is also possible your computer is locking up because of low system resources. Go to My Computer and then click on Help in the menu bar and then choose About. This will show you the amount of resources you have free. You should have at least 20% of unused Windows resources. You may very well need to buy and install additional RAM, especially if you play games or run large programs. You should probably upgrade to at least 128MB or more of system memory.

Your hard drive could be too full of data to function efficiently. There should be a minimum of 3 megabytes (MB) of free space to allow for disk file chores. Note that this mostly applies to the C: drive or whatever drive you have Windows installed on. If your C: drive is too full, delete unused programs on the C: drive to make space.

Your computer could have a fragmented hard drive. This results from programs being loaded and deleted. Run the Window's Disk Defragmenter once a month. As each new Windows program is installed and uninstalled, it leaves behind parts of itself that can slow down or crash your computer.

Restart your computer and hold the (F5) key. This will start the computer in Safe Mode. While in Safe Mode select Start/Settings/Control Panel/System/Devices. Click on all the devices and see if the various drivers have any yellow or red exclamation marks (which indicates a driver conflict) and also determine if there are any duplicate drivers that can be eliminated.

You may have to delete and reload a driver to correct these problems. Duplicate drivers can and should be deleted. We have found an easier way, using the freeware Driver Detective you can easily update all drivers, even ones you may have missed. Old drivers can be found by booting into Safe Mode, then opening Control Panel/System/Devices and ridding your system of old drivers.