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There are many faults which contribute to a computer running slow. These faults can include memory problems, hard drive issues, or defects within the motherboard PSU. Sometimes, a computer running slow is due to the fact that there has been a very long boot for longer than one minute. Virus, hardware fault, software fault, and other things can result in a slow system performance. This is because, computers are based on information processing and communicating between parts. If, for example, the hard drive has a bad sector that is unable to read data, there will be a few moments until the hard drive reads the data correctly, the system will wait until the hard drive reads the data correctly. In fact, the hard drive will almost always read and correct the data. This happens so quickly that it is not noticeable. There is also a so-called EEC Error Correction Code. If the hard drive cannot correct the data using the ECC, it marks that sector and places it into the G-List or does not mark it if there are no spare sectors left. Usually, this is indicated by a scraping noise that comes from the hard drive. Operating systems do not have any warning signs that inform about hardware faults. Windows will sometimes give a message that it cannot read information from the memory. But, this does not always pertain to a memory problem. So, the hardware faults, and as a result, a slow computer system is not seen by the user.
A very good diagnostic tool to use when there is a presumed hardware fault is the Windows installation disk. The setup runs in file protection mode and will inform the user with a message saying if it is able to read or write a file. This message will indicate a hardware fault and will need a further investigation as well as troubleshooting.
Very often, a computer is running slow because there is not enough memory installed, or in other words, there is not enough RAM. Vista needs at least 2 GB of RAM to run at a reasonable speed. Windows XP also needs about 1GB of RAM to run applications such as Firefox. Firefox will take about 300 BM of Ram with a few tabs open, a part of the memory is needed for an operating system itself and for other applications that might run in the background.
For Windows 7, 2 GB of RAM is enough to run everyday tasks. Depending on the application, this amount can be increased to 4 GB for 32 bit systems, and more than 4 GB for 64 bit systems. The graphics can also take a part of the memory which can be from 128 GB to 2 GB. This is called shared memory with a graphics card and it is best to have a graphics card with dedicated memory.
If there is not enough RAM, Windows will create a file on the disk that holds a part of the memory needed for correct operation, and this is why computer speed decreases dramatically. The way to speed up a computer in this situation is to simply add more memory.
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Me holding a laptop hard drive