How To Fix A Slow Computer at Home

There are many faults on computers, especially on laptops which are related to the hard drive faults. HP laptops, for example, have on-board diagnostic software that can help tremendously. By pressing the ESCAPE button just after a power on, there will s be a menu with options. When you see this menu, choose Diagnostics. The hard drive test also can be reached from HP’s BIOS. BIOS itself rarely fails. If BIOS does fail, it would be a disastrous consequence such as crashing or not seeing the hard drive at all. We will leave everything in the BIOS as is.

We will focus on the two hard drive test and memory (RAM) tests. In my opinion, it really does not matter from which one to start with.

The hard drive diagnostics takes a while to complete. It is important to let the test complete all the way to the end or to find a faulty part. If the hard disk is problematic, a message will be shown. There is a debate between engineers about considering a hard disk with a bad sector faulty or not. I support the opinion of Michael Meyers regarding this hard drive issue. As mentioned in his book, CompTIA A+, the hard drive with a bad sector is considered faulty. But, bad sectors can be cured. As from my experience, bad sectors get marked or relocated if a disk zeroing is performed. The tests that are built into laptops do not show information exactly as to what happened with the hard drive. The tests will only show if it passed the test or not.

The memory diagnostic also takes a while to complete. Companies usually don’t do these tests to just replace the memory if there is no suspicious activity. It can take more than one hour to test the memory with Memtest if the amount of memory is 4 GB.

The good thing about memory is that it develops a fault very rarely. And, if the memory is 4 GB in the system and the operating system is 32 bit, the last 1 GB of memory is not used. This last 1 GB is the faulty cell in that 1 GB would never even be noticed.

If the hard drive and memory test passes without a fault, it is time to search for  a virus. I do not do virus removal from systems and always do a system reinstall. There is no antivirus out there that can repair an infected system by 100%. So, why take the additional risk?  There is a good program that can help identify is there a virus in the system and it will help you to decide if the reinstallation is necessary or not. MalwareBytes.

It is free to use this as a scanner, the free version does not have real time protection. Severe virus types that it scans includes a Trojan or worm. Severe virus types like adware are not scanned.

The software that sometimes comes with laptops can be a factor that influences system speed. This is called blat ware. Sony laptops have been known to suffer from this problem. Uninstall all software that you do not need including all games that came with the laptop, all HP Update managers, Bing Bars (Sorry Microsoft), and all other bars that came from the factory with the computer or have been installed by other programs by you not knowing it. From my experience, Yahoo Messenger also slows the system down. Uninstall all registry optimizers and all speed busters from your computer.

I don’t know what these programs are for and I have never seen a registry optimizer that really does a good job.  I personally have my own opinion about CCCleaner and it is not positive Use this only if you do need to free up some space, and for everything else do a complete system reinstall. 


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