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Why is my stupid computer so slow?

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Why is my stupid computer so slow?

I know you’ve thought/said this. Maybe you even used a different word than stupid.
People develop love/hate relationships with their computers and depending on the day, your computer might be having a mood swing

This has been written for PC users, our MAC article is on the way.
In other words, you’re in the right place if you have a PC running Windows 2000, XP, Vista, 7 or 8

You better be careful when you search how to fix problems with your computer on the internet. You will get thousands of answers.  First check the date on the answer.  Since everything stays on the internet, you could be reading a solution that is 5 years old. This article about solution steps was written in April 2015.  As a general rule, you can trust it for a couple of years.  

We are going to work through this in an easy step-by-step manner.  My goal is that you can follow this even if you have very little computer experience.

Step One- Reboot (restart) your computer.  If you have not done this since the problem started, you’ll want to do this first.  It’s amazing how many little glitches can be fixed just buy restarting your computer.

Step Two- (Skip this step if you have Windows Vista, 7 or 8) Next we want to remove any little programs that could be slowing things down.  These little programs are called TSR’s, which stands for Terminate and Stay Resident.  Don’t let terms that you haven’t heard before make you start thinking you can’t do this.  You can! Stay with me.  

There are little programs that stay available in the background to be used at anytime like Calendars, Calculators, Spell Checkers and Notepads.  These are examples of TSR’s.  However, often there are other programs that take up space in your working area like that party guest that just won’t leave even though the party ended 3 hours ago.  

It’s easy to remove these. 
  1. Click Start then Programs then Startup
  2. Right-click and delete the file you don’t want to start automatically.
  3. If you are not able to locate a program that keeps starting and is driving you crazy, go to this link and it will walk you through removing those pesky TSR’s Remove TSR's
Step 2.5-Quick note: Windows 2000 and Windows XP are no longer supported by Microsoft.  If you plan on using either of these on the internet, I recommend against it.  Those systems are out-dated and will not work correctly, if at all.  Also, your older computer will not have the hardware to keep up with todays software. Sorry!

Step Three- Remove any programs that you don’t use any longer (on a regular basis).  This is not the time to get sentimental. You need to get used to deleting unused programs.  Collecting programs is not a good habit to get into.

*When you are looking for programs to uninstall, add these to your list.  They come preinstalled and you don’t need them.
Corel Paint
URL Assistant
SearchAssist
NetWaiting
Modem Helper
Google Desktop

Uninstall programs in Windows 2000 and XP (in Classic View)
  1. From the Start menu, select Settings, and then Control Panel.
  2. Double-click the Add/Remove Programs icon.
  3. Select the program you wish to remove and click Add/Remove.

Uninstall programs in Windows XP (in the default XP view)
  1. From the Start Menu, select Control Panel.
  2. Click the Add or Remove Programs icon.
  3. Select the program you wish to remove and click Remove.

Uninstall programs in Windows Vista
  1. From the Start menu, select Control Panel.
  2. In Classic View, double-click Programs and Features. If using the Control Panel Home view, under "Programs", click Uninstall a program.
  3. Select the program you want to remove, and click Uninstall. Alternatively, right-click the program and select Uninstall.

Uninstall programs in Windows 7

  1. From the Start menu (The Start menu can be opened by clicking the Windows logo in the bottom-left corner of the display)
  2. Open Programs and Features. The Control Panel is typically displayed in one of two different ways: either a Category View or an Icon view. Category view will have 8 or 9 icons with a few options under each one, while Icon view will be a large list of icons.
    1. In Category view, click the "Uninstall a program” link under the "Programs” category
    2. In Icon view, click the "Programs and Features” icon.
  3. Find the program you want to uninstall. Click the program in the list to select it.
    1. If the program you want to remove does not appear on the list, check to see if it has its own uninstallation tool. This will be typically located in the Start menu group, which you can get to by clicking Start ? All Programs ?Program Name or Company.
    2. If you can’t find the uninstallation tool anywhere, it may be malware and will need special procedures to remove. Contact www.wickedeasyfix for assistance.
  4. Click the Uninstall button. This will appear in the top toolbar when a program is selected in the list. You can also right-click on the program to find Uninstallation in the menu that appears. Click it to begin the uninstallation process. You will be asked if you want to continue. Select "Yes”
  5. Follow the prompts. 
    1. If the program refuses to uninstall, or reappears after being installed, you probably have a virus. To deal with a virus, you may need to run several different virus removal programs.

Uninstall programs in Windows 8

  1. Press the Windows key or hover the cursor in the bottom-left corner of the screen until a small image of the Start Screen appears, then click on the icon to toggle over to the Start Screen. 
  2. Locate the application you would like to uninstall and right click on the icon. A check-mark will appear in the right corner to indicate an application has been selected. Click Uninstall on the toolbar that appears at the bottom of the screen.

     

  3. The Programs and Features window will open. Make sure the correct application is highlighted, then press Uninstall.

Step Four-  Run ScanDisk or CheckDisk

This is a great tool. It checks your physical hard drive to make sure that it doesn’t have any problems.

ScanDisk on Windows 2000, XP, Vista and 7
  1. Double-click My Computer
  2. Highlight a local hard drive by clicking on it once
  3. Right-click the highlighted local drive
  4. Click Properties
  5. Click the Tools tab and click check now to check the drive for errors.
  6. The computer needs to restart in order to run scandisk without getting interrupted.
  7. I suggest letting Scandisk automatically find and fix any errors found

Checkdisk on Windows 8
  1. Right click the lower left corner of your screen and then click on Search (You will see the search box appear in the top right corner)
  2. Type cmd in the search box
  3. Right click on the Command Prompt and choose "Run as Administrator” from the bar at the bottom of the screen (The old style Windows Command box will open)
  4. Type Chkdsk followed by a space and then the drive you want examined (probably C) So, you would type Chkdsk C
  5. Then type a colon after the C, and then type (space) /f (space) /r (space) /x    It will look like this when you are done Chkdsk C: /f /r /x 
  6. Then just hit enter (return). It can take quite a while.  When it is done it will show you what it found and what it fixed

Step Five- Disc Cleanup

Disc Cleanup in Windows 2000, XP, Vista or 7

  1. Open My Computer
  2. Right click on the hard drive that you want to regain space. For example, right-click on the C: drive.
  3. Click Properties.
  4. Within the General tab, click the "Disk Cleanup” button located next to the pie chart
  5. Once in the Disk Cleanup window check each of the boxes (except "compress old files") that are taking disk space and click Ok and then Yes.

Disc Cleanup in Windows 8

 

  1. Right click the lower left corner of your screen and then click on Search (You will see the search box appear in the top right corner)
  2. Type Disc Cleanup in the search box
  3. Click> Free up Disc Space by Deleting Unnecessary Files
  4. Select the drive you want to cleanup from the drop down list (generally the C drive) and click OK
  5. Under Files to Delete select> Temporary Internet Files, Temporary Files, and any other files you would like removed. 
  6. When prompted, click Delete Files

 

Step Six- Defragment

Once you have removed programs and cleaned up your disc on your PC, you will want to defragment.  Think of it like reorganizing your sock draw. It makes everything neat, and it’s easier to get to your favorite socks.( You might even find the one you're missing)
Open your Start menu and go to your Accessories folder then click on System Tools. You will see Disc Defragmenter there. Click on your hard drive and click defragment.

Defragment Windows 2000, XP, Vista, 7 and 8
  1. Double-click My Computer or open Explorer
  2. Highlight the local hard disk C: drive by clicking on it once.
  3. Right-click the highlighted local drive and Click Properties
  4. Click the Tools tab and click the Defragment now button.

Step Seven- Make sure you have the latest Windows Updates

Now that you have given your PC a good Physical, (look to the right and cough etc…) make sure you have the software working to the best of it’s ability by making sure you have the latest updates

You can check to make sure you have all the latest fixes on your computer by downloading this free program from Belarc Advisors.  (I am not paid or work for them in any way.  I just find it to be a super easy/ free program)


*A couple of last minute tips:

One of the biggest bottlenecks of a computer is the hard disk drive. For anyone with a slow computer, or just looking for something to upgrade in the computer to improve overall system performance, upgrading from a traditional hard drive to a Solid State Drive (SSD) will significantly improve the overall system performance. If you want to do do this yourself check out www.ifixit.com

If your computer is older than 5 years, it might be time to upgrade. Older computers have older technology and they are not able to run the newer programs as well, and sometimes not at all.  The newer PC’s are so cheap now, it might be time for a new one, just saying.

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