Quick Fix Guides

With any piece of tech something always goes wrong no matter how careful you are. These are complex pieces of equipment with many parts which communicate with each other, everything works behind the scenes so more chances for something to go wrong. Here in this guide I talk through basic things that can go wrong with your tech and quick fixes that most of the time can get you back up and running in no time.

System running slow?

Over time systems will always end up running slower than they were brand new. Most of the time this is resolved by doing the following quick software fixes:

 

closing any unused apps.

UN-installing programs you no longer use,

clearing your cache,

deleting unwanted files.

Removing bloatware which serves no practical purpose,

updating anti-virus

making sure your operating system is updated to latest version.

Hardware fixes can include:

Adding ore replacing faulty ram to the system

Imaging your existing HDD and transferring the image to a SSD, or do a clean install on your new SSD

upgrade the CPU, and if your on a desktop you can also upgrade the GPU.

remove any bottlenecks in your system motherboard configuration and/or other hardware limitations to improve performance.

If your ever stuck with a problem with your device, then please give us a call and we would be happy to help!

Please note that we do not accept any responsibility for your data, please make sure you have up-to date backups of your data. As work carried out to your system may involve wiping the drive and re-installing the operating system. This will remove all your personal data!

 

Please check out my Youtube channel where you can find some quick videos on removing bios passwords from systems and some product reviews like this one about the Apple Power Mac G4! Here at Oopsilon IT Solutions we love retro systems and laptops!

Please read on for more guides and simple how to's to help you sort out the problem with your machine.

Troubleshooting for most performance issues

I hope this guide helps you in resolving most common issues relating to slow performing systems, this guide is aimed at laptop users mainly but most points can be applied to desktop systems also.

  • Did you notice the performance changing suddenly? If so then did it change when you installed a specific application, or added some hardware? or even an OS update? (sometimes even something as innocent as an OS update can cause havoc with your computer. Sometimes downgrading or reversing the OS update can resolve any issues relating to the performance lacking all of a sudden.

  • Has the system as a whole slowed down? or is it just a particular program that has crashed or running slow? If the problem is isolated to one app or apps, have those application/s been recently updated or changed in some way?

  • Does the machine feel sluggish and slow to respond to feedback like typing? Does it have this problem in all cases, or only when certain programs are running? Does it have the same lag if booted in Safe Mode?

  • Does the system begin to run slowly after a few minutes of work or gaming, or is it slow from boot?

  • Is the system just slow, or is it also unstable? If it crashes, is there a specific application or application(s) that makes this happen regularly?

  • Is your internet browsing slowing down to a crawl? Is it the same if your using more than one web browser?

Usually over time your operating system will accumulate more and more files due to regular use, these files can be in the form of cache files from web browsing data, old download files, old documents, pics, videos, old application data, update files, temporary files and other malware, bloatware and old misc dll and system files.

This on its own can slow a system down considerably.

How a system has slowed down over time or all of a sudden can explain what part of the system is causing the issue,

If it has happened over time, check the following:

  1. Clear your cache and web browsing temporary internet files

  2. Defrag the hard drive if your using a conventional mechanical HDD

  3. check which programs are causing the issue, then check if they have been updated recently, try to uninstall, and then re-install the program by downloading a fresh copy of the program or app from the official website and not a third party website. Because the third party may have added malware or viruses to the file without you knowing. Try CCleaner which can remove unwanted stuff easily:

  4. Check your antivirus is up-to date and not accidentally blocking the app from running, as this can sometimes happen.

  5. Have you also checked your internet connection speed? if your connected using WiFi, then check to see if your getting a good signal from your router. If your using a wired LAN connection then make sure your cable is in good working order and that the connection is working ok with no lost packets by running an ipconfig test for lost packet data. Check out the link at the bottom of this list.

  6. Check if the system is getting hotter than normal when running under any load, check this by placing your hand over the bottom of the laptop or where the heatsink and cooling are located on your system. If it is getting hot and the system then becomes sluggish and freezes or just stalls, then your culprit would be poor heat ventilation, this can be resolved by opening up the system and cleaning out the heatsink and fan assembly, then re-applying fresh cpu paste after cleaning off the old paste.

  7. If your using a conventional mechanical HDD then try upgrading to an SSD, this is the best way to increase performance.

  8. Find out the maximum ram that can be fitted to your system to make sure the problem does not stem from lack of memory.

  9. uninstall any unnecessary programs which are running on your system in the background. These days bloatware is a menace which infests many windows installations which are installed onto a system from the factory which made the laptop. This is because the manufacturer decides to see fit which software packages should be installed on your system without your permission or knowledge. Programs like this can have a negative impact on your pc performance, quickly un-install this bloatware, it is unnecessary and a waste of resources. And amazing feature of Windows 10 is Fresh Start, which is a Microsoft product and is already on your system, but in a good way! Check it out here:

  10. In some laptops it is also possible to upgrade the CPU, this can also help with performance issues

  11. Also in some laptops you can also upgrade the GPU this will help with GPU intensive applications.

If it has happened suddenly then try the following:

Check the memory for any errors using "Windows Memory Diagnostic"

Once you restart, the system will check for any problems with the memory, once it has completed then restart the computer and load windows back up. Once it has loaded back up windows will pop up a message saying if it found any issues, this pop up only appears briefly so keep your eye out for it when it pops up!

Another program to use is passmark memtest, which is a more thorough program to use to test memory issues. You can download it from:

If your Ram is bad then replace the ram by checking each ram stick and run the test again, until you find the bad ram stick and then replace it with a compatible speed and spec rating which matches the existing ram module in the system. If possible you can even replace the ram with ram which is of a higher clock setting which can add more performance per GB than a slower speed ram module.

Check in the bios the current clock speed of the memory and check your manual or the spec for your laptop or computer to check the maximum clock setting compatible with your machine.

Once you have ruled out memory, then move onto checking the hard drive for any errors, try using chkdsk a simple guide can be found here:

At any event, make sure you create a backup of your important files before the inevitable happens and you lose all your data when the hard drive fails or something else happens to your system and you lose the data.

 

You should have either an online backup or local backup and do this as frequently as you feel is necessary to secure your data. Some do a daily backup at the end of the day which is good but works better if you leave the computer connected to the internet and this can carry out an online backup of any new files which have been added or changed on that day.

 

There are many great services available of which many are free and give you 5GB of online storage which is ideal for most users. If you need more storage space then this can be added at a premium or you can do a full backup and store this data on usb flash drives which are the easiest way to store data securely. But always use a reputable company storage device and not a third party cheap knock off flash drive. because your data may not be retrievable at some point in the future when you really need that data back!

Sometimes a sudden negative impact on system performance may be due to a recent update or change in software being used or new software installed which may not be compatible with your system.

If you have removed the possibility that the performance loss is due to software, then only explanation left is that this a hardware issue. Check the thermals from your CPU and GPU heat-sinks and clean and apply new cpu paste as required. Check if the CPU and GPU are in good working order, if not then replace if necessary.

If your system has suffered some other hardware issue relating to the motherboard then contact us for a quote for a repair, sometimes it is economically cheaper to repair your existing motherboard rather than buying a new one. However it may end up cheaper buying a new laptop or trading it in for a part deposit on a new laptop.

In any event please backup your data as we do not accept any responsibility for loss of data following a computer repair.

If your running an old operating system you also run the risk of viruses infecting your unsupported system due to lack of security updates. If you don't connect to the internet on your system then this should not be an issue. But you may still infect the system by running programs from USB flash drives or CD or Floppy disks which themselves carry viruses and malware.

Another thing you could try is performing a system restore to a point before this situation happened when your system became unresponsive. Your personal data should be safe but to make sure always do a backup of your data before you carry out any software changes to your hard drive.

Microsoft do a good help page for outlining the various recovery options available to you, check out the link below

Unfortunately I am not a data recovery specialist so cannot help with sensitive data recovery from faulty hard drives.

Check out the Data Recovery page where Andy and his dedicated team can hep you get that data recovered as soon as possible.

 

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