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Mark MilesFlag for United States of America asked on

Refurb, Clean up SLOW PCs and Laptops.

We have several hundred PCs, Laptops in our fleet.  We often get users that put in a ticket complaining of slow devices.. 

"takes 10 minutes to boot up"

"everything just spins for 20 minutes at 5:00PM everyday"

"this computer is so slow"

I am trying to create a checklist to provide my support tech detailing everything that needs to be done REMOTELY to assist these folks and get there PCs moving a little better... (i.e. delete unused printers, perform Windows updates, etc..)  We have complete remote admin access to all devices.

Any help with a detailed list to 'REFURB' these PCs and get them running smoother would be MUCH APPRECIATED.  Software/tool recommendations as well.  Again, none of these devices are on hand - so can't perform any physical remediation.

PCLaptops NotebooksPrinters and ScannersSoftwareRemote Access

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Hello There

8/22/2022 - Mon

too many old 32 bit programs running in the background

Can you add memory and reimage them?

remote in and start task manager stop everything but windows and remote program have them list the programs they stop and note the improvement 
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William Peck
Mark Miles

@MacNuttin as mentioned in original question - we are remote with no physical access to machine, solely remote admin.  Almost all of these PCs are i5 with 8-16GB RAM and 64-bit systems.
Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert PRO / EE Fellow/British Beekeeper)

Hi Mark

I saw your question, and thought of these EE Articles, written by Andrew Leinart

Several Do it Yourself Ways of speeding up a Slow Windows Computer

How to Keep Windows 10 in Tip-Top Shape

both these articles should provide you with enough info using free tools to do what you need.
Scott Fell

Just answered here for something similar https://www.experts-exchange.com/questions/29224491/System-has-16-GB-of-memory-and-not-many-programs-are-running-but-it-keep-saying-low-memory.html#a43340497 

When I run into something like this, I perform the steps below and 90% of the time this fixes most issues.

  • Disable services you don't need
  • Disable start up items you don't need
  • Windows  update
  • Malware removal tool
Hit the Windows-R key or just type Run in the windows search box.  Then in the pop up type, msconfig. This brings up the system configuration popup. Click on the services tab and tick the box for Hide all Microsoft. Now look through the list and unselect anything that does not really need to be running.  Click Ok. If it asks you to restart hold off.

Next, back to your task  manager. Click the Startup tab.  Disable anything that does not need to be running when the computer starts. As example, you probably want to keep OneDrive but you don't need spotify on start up.

Lastly, check for updates by typing update in the windows search box.

Now restart the computer.

The last step is to use the malware removal. Although it is part of windows defender, run the malware removal program https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/download/details.aspx?id=9905 don't bother with the quick scan, use the full scan. The full scan will take anywhere from 2 to 6 hours depending on the size of your data.

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Nothing slows down a 64 bit faster than 32 bit virus protection and other 32 bit programs on the start menu 1)remote in and 2)start task manager 3)stop everything but windows and remote program. 4) have them list the programs they stop and note the improvement  5) examine the list for important programs and 32 bit programs that have 64 bit versions 6) Open Apps and Features to trim the start menu
Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert PRO / EE Fellow/British Beekeeper)

It might surprise you to learn a very large organisation that created the Windows operating system we learnt after discussing over coffee an unrelated issue they rebuild/redeploy the operating system on the Workstation PC every six months to ensure it runs smoothly they call it the six monthly service!

They compare it to a car service but we said we don’t change our engine every six months and they said but you do change the oil !!!

We do the same now since that meeting in 2019 and we found that reformat/redeploy really works! Redeploy  the latest build. They do provide free tools to do this

Biggest issue is updates and fragmentation!
Mark Miles

@Andrew Interesting!  Thanks for the info
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Mark Miles

@Scott, thanks for the info!

First thing I would check is to make sure the user out of frastration terminates the application of updates.
Outside the slow down because of spinning hard drives, users often interrupt the update on the startup side, will compound the issue.
Once the updates are allowed to install, issue might be mitigated to a point.

the above deals with bootup, shutdowns.

Users often report comparative slowdowns.
I'd ask if they purchased a new computer after which the work one is slow.

Boot times are one issue, but when it comes to "this computer is so slow" I generally start with Task Manager, Performance to see what the bottleneck is.  Quite often, an SSD will fix the issue, but I don't usually recommend that until we've seen that disk usage is high when the system appears to be slow.  It's important to know if CPU, RAM, disk, or network is the bottleneck.
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