After destructive reformat, computer soon returns to poor performance. Please help.

sheana11
sheana11 used Ask the Experts™
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I have lousy computer habits. I have a Windows desktop, home version 8.1, 64 bit . I did a destructive reformat after backing up all files, etc. But I have a lot of computer programs that I had to re-install, such as the Office Suite, Adobe Suite(including Photoshop, Illustrator and InDesign). On top of that, I have several stock market charting software programs that I use for trading.

In addition, my usage habits are terrible. I record webinars using Camtasia, and save them to the desktop, so I can find them, which becomes cluttered with icons. I also open up many windows in my browser and don't reboot daily.

I used to defrag and get rid of temp files(I don't delete history, either) Eventually, so much stuff is opened, my computer locks up and I have to use task mgr to shut down programs.

Which of my habits contributes the most to poor performance? What do the experts do to keep their operating systems running smoothly?

Lastly, many say desktops will soon go the way of the dinosaur, but I don't see how my phone can ever replace the wide screen for my more mature eyes. How do you feel about this?
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Matt MinorTechnical Systems Analyst

Commented:
Just as an initial comment, you seem to have some pretty resource-intensive applications running on your system (Adobe suite, etc). Does the computer have enough hardware resources to support the demand? (ie: Memory, processor etc). Ideally it would have a sufficient amount of RAM and a higher-end processor to run these applications smoothly. User habits can contribute, but I'm curious to see if the PC is configured to do what it is expected to.
Business Consultant (Owner)
Most Valuable Expert 2012
Expert of the Year 2018
Commented:
many say desktops will soon go the way of the dinosaur,  <--- Not in my lifetime. A smartphone cannot do the work I must do for my clients. The small form factor precludes this forever.

I used to defrag and get rid of temp files(I don't delete history, either) ... my computer locks up

Why not?  I run Disk Cleanup every week. Easy to do. I use Perfect Disk which automatically keeps my machine properly defragmented.

I also open up many windows in my browser and don't reboot daily.   <--- I close my browser occasionally. I turn off my laptop (which I use heavily) every day. I do not turn off my Desktop but I keep the browser closed for the most part.

Upgrade to Windows 10. With the Media Creation link you can reinstall Windows 10 and Keep Data and Applications.

Make sure you have top grade anti virus.

Then use Rules 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9 and 10:  NEVER go to dodgy sites.
When I read about your lousy computer habits instantaneous you remember me of my wife.
She does the same.
I clean her notebook once in a while, because she never does it.
Maybe you just need such husband...:)

I clean my PCs regularly, except the desktop which is full with folders and all kind of files, weeks and weeks, after which comes always a day and I spent time organizing and cleaning.
But I have done something else too. I use a free program to have many desktops and I jump form one to another, sometimes: http://dexpot.de/

"Which of my habits contributes the most to poor performance?"
Temporary files, too many tabs open in browser, especially when you have low RAM, not rebooting the PC.

"What do the experts do to keep their operating systems running smoothly?"
To clean the PC I use CCleaner.
Then I use WinAso.
SpyHUnter.
SpyBoot Search and Destroy
Malwarebytes
Advances System Care
Windows Defender and Avast Antivirus

Do you have a SSD?
If not, buy one, min. 250GB SATA III.
Works well with Win8.1 64 bit, which I use also.
Solved a part of the problems that my wife had when she used in her notebook a classic SATA hard disk.

"Lastly, many say desktops will soon go the way of the dinosaur, but I don't see how my phone can ever replace the wide screen for my more mature eyes. How do you feel about this?"

I use my smart-phone as GPS, Google Maps and other dedicated navigation software and my tablet only for web browsing. They will never (can) do the job of the softwares that I use on desktop or notebook, because they are too complex. Monitoring, email, web browsing, skype... things like that no problem for mobile, but the real heavy stuff never.
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Author

Commented:
Below are my computer's resources.....do I need to upgrade anything for the demands place on the systemCOMPUTER RESOURCESCOMPUTER RESOURCES?
Matt MinorTechnical Systems Analyst

Commented:
No, you should be good there. You COULD upgrade the memory as 'the more the merrier' but I'm not sure you'd need to run out and upgrade immediately.
JohnBusiness Consultant (Owner)
Most Valuable Expert 2012
Expert of the Year 2018

Commented:
The CPU should work (I prefer i5 but the i3 should work), memory is fine and it is 64-bit. It should work fine but you will have to upgrade drivers.
Do you have a SSD?
If not, buy one, min. 250GB SATA III.
Dave BaldwinFixer of Problems
Most Valuable Expert 2014

Commented:
I come from a very old school background where having too many programs open would almost Always crash the computer.  I have as few programs running as I can.  You should consider storing your webinars outside your profile (your desktop is part of that).  It's my opinion that the more you store in your profile, they slower your computer is.  This is especially true at start-up.

Note that even with 6GB of RAM, it is possible to have so many programs open that Windows will start swapping out to disk to make room for the next thing you want to do.  Your computer will get Very slow when that happens.
Steven VellaIT Adviser

Commented:
Although you have listed a number of things that you could improve on, they may not be causing the performance issues. Fixing them might generally help, but to find the most effective cure it seems you may still need to keep troubleshooting and isolating the issue and then decide on the appropriate action.
Memory, CPU and OS seem well spec'd.  Performance degradation can have numerous causes. Did the performance degrade at a specific time? Some causes apart from those you listed include:
o Installing an app or software that has caused the issue. If so consider restoring the PC back to before the install,
o Changing firewall settings on the PC or network switch or router that slows response time while the PC waits to connect to networked devices. Review your network devices and firewall settings.
o Corrupted OS can cause apps to perform incorrectly (e.g. starting multiple times). Repair or upgrade the OS.
JohnBusiness Consultant (Owner)
Most Valuable Expert 2012
Expert of the Year 2018

Commented:
I have as few programs running as I can.

I tend to go along with this. There is a difference, however, between processes (which consume memory and little CPU and the 100 odd of these cause me no issue) and program applications which may also use CPU.

Open Task Manager, set it to Hide when Minimized and minimize it. It should be dark green and below 6 or 7 % more than 95 % of time, If you are using more CPU than this, use Task Manager or Resource Manager to see what the issue is.
Top Expert 2013

Commented:
you probably can upgrade the ram to 8 - or even 16 GB
what model PC is this?

and do install an SSD - it's by far the best investment to get a good performance gain !

Author

Commented:
What is SSD? How is it different from SATA?

The defrag and removal of temp files, running anti-virus/firewall software and keeping up to date I implemented immediately.

How do I store files outside of my profile? Is it a certain directory or an external hard drive?

As mentioned above, I should have kept a record of computer performance after each change in software installation or update...at least a mental note. New Year's resolution!

John, what are rules 1,2,3,4,5,......
Top Expert 2013
Commented:
SSD is a disk made of memory - and a hundred times faster than a normal rotating disk
here a 250 Gb for 84 $
http://www.amazon.com/Samsung-MZ-75E250B-AM-Internal-2-5-Inch/dp/B00OAJ412U

it is the best investment i ever did for my pc
JohnBusiness Consultant (Owner)
Most Valuable Expert 2012
Expert of the Year 2018

Commented:
Rules 1 - 10 are all the same for emphasis - don't go to dodgy sites. More problems are self-inflicted than any other cause I know of.
Top Expert 2013

Commented:
yes, and on top most people never take the time to read what exactly they click on, or take the time to look on the net what it is, if they don't know.
just click -  and go further

i want to add that it's a real shame that the internet needs an AV at all - it is one of the best tools to have and use, so why do people amuse themselves by inflicting virus and malware....?
It is not about amusing. It is about interest and collateral damage.

Author

Commented:
Thanks for a ton of information on how to upgrade software/hardware, change my computer habits, etc. I wish I could give points to everyone, and that there were more than 500 of them!
JohnBusiness Consultant (Owner)
Most Valuable Expert 2012
Expert of the Year 2018

Commented:
@sheana11 - You are very welcome and I was happy to help. Happy New Year for 2016.

Author

Commented:
Happy New Year to you, John, as well and to all the geniuses on Experts-Exchange!

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