Is your laptop driving you mad? Or do you have a laptop from a client that keeps coming back to you? You are in the right place where you will find everything you need.
If you do not know exactly what is happening with the laptop I recommend following these steps:
1. Check the hard drive with GSmartControl. It is free software that can be downloaded from here.
2. Download into it MalwareBytes and check whether there are any viruses.
3. Double check that the laptop is not overheating. For this purpose use OCCT and stress test the laptop to the limit. If it can’t pass the normal test it has a fault somewhere.
4. Make sure it has enough memory to run.
5. Sometimes small storage space, i.e. a hard drive, can prevent the laptop from running optimally. Windows has its own way of managing memory resources and stores parts of the memory on the hard drive.
6. Clean it. Though cleaning probably should be in first place, I think it depends on the age of the laptop. New laptops do not need any inside cleaning, while older ones most certainly do.
GSmartControl is a small application that will tell us the health of the hard drive that is inside the laptop. Every laptop has this hard drive and today it can be referred as SSD (solid state drive).
We will download it from sourceforge.net, install it and run it. We need to click on the drive we need. Usually if there are no drives connected to the laptop with the USB it shows only one drive. I do not use other applications to check the hard drive. There are a few of them out there, but they tend to be too optimistic and can show that the hard drive is good when actually it is not.
Here is our GSmartControl welcome screen.
Yes, there is a SSC drive that is unfortunately not recognised this time by GSmartControl. I am looking for a good app to diagnose SSDs and if you know one please let me know.
I have a hard drive connected to the laptop with a USB adapter and here is how healthy it is.
This drive is not healthy at all. What we need to look for is whether there any red lines. In this case there is one and if we see this we need to transfer our data somewhere else as soon as possible.
What this red line means. This means that the hard drive used its reserved sectors, transferred the data onto them and marked bad sectors as un-writable. This means in my opinion that the hard drive is faulty and GSmartControl also marks is in red. However, CrystalDisk info does not show this hard drive to be faulty. It’s really strange.
MalwareBytes is probably the best antivirus and antimalware application. The good thing about it is that if you need to scan your computer it is free. Actually, this is what we need to scan our computer once. If we need it to run in the background and auto monitor this function is paid.
OCCT is probably the best tool for stress testing the laptop. The idea is that if there is some dust inside that prevents cooling or the laptop has a dry paste on the processor heat sink etc., all this will be revealed during this test. The laptop would shut itself down or would become unresponsive. There is a little chance that the laptop can be damaged this way. Please use the default settings that are set when the program starts. You can test either CPU or GPU. A GPU test will reveal those graphics chip faults that the laptop may have.
The Linpack test is a brutal one and not many laptops pass it. Why it is included here I have no idea.
HWMonitor is another application that monitors many temperatures in the laptop. You can install it and see what’s going on when you put some load on your laptop.
I am not a fan of HWMonitor but I use it just to double check the temperatures.
There is one rule here, which is the more the better. On laptops that run 32-bit operating systems you can put up to 4GB memory from which just 3.2 GB will be used. 4 GB is because those memory modules can be in pairs like 2GB and 2GB and it is recommended to use the same modules. If you decide to make the total of 3GB then the memory modules will differ and this would cause some problems. We will not talk about this here.
Laptops that run 64-bit operating systems can have almost an infinite amount of memory (a very big number).
Some of the memory that we put in our laptop is sometimes used by the graphics card. So, we need to account for this and assume that the total amount usable will be 200MB or so less.
If you have a 32-bit Windows I do not recommend upgrading to a 64-bit version. This is because the 64-bit versions are choosy with drivers.
Windows has its own way managing the memory. It takes some space from the hard drive and uses it to make memory chunks. As shown above, it has made hiberfil.sys and pagefile.sys which in total take up 3GB space. This may not seem much, but there are a few more files that also take some space, bringing the total space taken to 5GB or more. This may also not seem much, but if you have a laptop that has 32GB eMMC drive this would look alarming.
Temporary files will also take up some space. Windows updates are especially hungry for drive space and can reach up to 2GB and more.
The short answer is all the fans if it has one. Some netbooks do not have fans at all. Some rare laptops have two fans. Apple MacBooks sometimes have two fans installed.
If you have a Dell Inspiron 1525 laptop then it is easy to clean the fan inside. The only thing that we need to do is to unscrew the bottom lid and the fan will be located next to the heat sink.
Me holding a laptop hard drive
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