Computer running slow?

gromack
gromack used Ask the Experts™
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Looking for suggestions, or a good article for an answer to that age-old question 'Why is my computer running slow?'
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JohnBusiness Consultant (Owner)
Most Valuable Expert 2012
Expert of the Year 2018

Commented:
You need to tell us what OS.

For any computer with a hard drive, delete temporary files (users and windows), then run Disk Cleanup and Disk Defrag (admin tools).

Run a thorough A/V scan followed by Malwarebytes.

Look for processes starting up that (a) you no longer need or (b) legacy non compliant software. Uninstall all that.

If Windows 10, follow this with a Windows 10 Repair Install from the Microsoft Media Creation Link and Keep Everything.

Please let us know
Before fixing a problem, I try to identify the cause.  In the case of a slow computer, I'd try to look at different statistics.

When is it slow?  Booting?  Running local programs?  Internet?

If it is just the internet that is slow, there are a number of tests to do.

Assuming that it is not an internet-only issue:

For example, run Task Manager (ctrl-alt-del, Task Manager), More details (lower-left corner, if present), Processes.  Look at the column headers.  Are any of the percentages consistently high (above, say 70%)?
Look at the hard drive LED on the front of the computer.  Is it on steadily or blinking?
Check your hard disk space to make sure it's not getting full.

Though there's nothing usually wrong with running disk cleanup or defragging, I rarely use those.

I agree with John's suggestion about A/V and malware scans.

I'd also look at what you are using for A/V and anti-malware.  I've seen plenty of slow computer issues caused by paid A/V programs whose subscriptions have expired.

I'm very reluctant to do the Repair Install with Keep Everthing because it doesn't usually keep everything (applications can be an issue).
Robert RComputer Service Technician

Commented:
a slowing computer can be due to a hardware problem as well. ie if you have a laptop that has blocked vents the computer can run slower, because the system is running hot. Or if the harddrive is has platters the hard drive can develop delayed sectors which will cause the computer to run slowly as the drive tries to read these delayed, sectors. If this the case the computer will gradually become slower and slower as time goes on until the drive totally fail. Many computers have built in diagnostics to test for hardware problems. For software issues the other contributors have given good advice.  you can also you msconfig to turn off things that do not need to be running at startup.
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Top Expert 2013

Commented:
first, you need to post the specs and OS of the pc
the problem you ask has hundreds of answers, so we must narrow it down
did this happen suddenly, or did it grow ?  any hard or software installed lately?
you can Always do a clean boot, to check if it runs better -  that would eliminate a lot of causes

Author

Commented:
Computer in question is a Windows 7 Pro, running on a desktop.
Had the user left it on over the weekend, like I had asked, I'd give specs, but will have to post them tomorrow, as the office is 65 miles away!
Top Expert 2013

Commented:
ok, understandeable that you cannot post it directly

Author

Commented:
Digging through my records, I see its an optiplex 3010 Intel i3 with 4 GB of ram!
Maybe time for an upgrade...
JohnBusiness Consultant (Owner)
Most Valuable Expert 2012
Expert of the Year 2018

Commented:
If you did all the steps in my posts and followed other suggestions, then yes, try upgrading memory and see what that does.
Top Expert 2013
Commented:
is this the pc you have ?   https://www.cnet.com/products/dell-optiplex-3010-core-i3-3220-3-3-ghz-none-series/specs/
that ram can be upgraded to 8 GB
but it has a rotating HDD - if you upgrade that to an SSD, your system will be about 20x faster
i just bought 4 Kingston 480 GB SSD for 70 Euro each

Author

Commented:
Yes, that's the one, currently only has 4 GB ram. TAsk manager shows 199 MB of ram free.
AM looking at ram & SSD now...
Top Expert 2013

Commented:
that seems too little free ram
what does the disk show in resource monitor?

Author

Commented:
MA.JPG
JohnBusiness Consultant (Owner)
Most Valuable Expert 2012
Expert of the Year 2018

Commented:
Also open Task Manager, set to Memory and watch it for a bit. The above is just a point in time

Author

Commented:
Just sitting idle, with Outlook, Quickbooks & maybe Word or Excel open, it was showing the 199 free.
JohnBusiness Consultant (Owner)
Most Valuable Expert 2012
Expert of the Year 2018

Commented:
It is not a strong machine, so keep everything closed when you are done except Outlook and open only what you need and close it right after.
Top Expert 2013

Commented:
memory and disk already show peaks of 100%
Robert RComputer Service Technician

Commented:
Even if you close an app it still could still be held in a buffer in case the app is launched again. To prove this restart your computer and launch the one app and you can see that the memory usage will be lower.

Author

Commented:
Ram & HD upgrade will happen over the weekend.
Top Expert 2013

Commented:
ok post result

Author

Commented:
Not abandoned!
Just installed ram & SSD, have screenshots to post later & waiting for user feedback in the morning.
Top Expert 2013

Commented:
o problem, i hope all went well?

Author

Commented:
Much improved & thanks to all!
I also upgraded his Office to 2016 (was running 2007), but now searching in outlook returns nothing found, tgime for another question...

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