Articles in Category: Windows Performance
If your machine is slowing to a crawl and the disk light is constantly lit, there are a few things you’ll want to check.
There is one common reason computers slow down over time. The good news is, it’s often within your control.
Booting Windows is complex, but there are several possible opportunities for improvement.
Booting your machine can take time, but so can shutting it down. Various issues contribute to a slow shutdown.
The default settings for virtual memory are good enough for most. Tweaking virtual memory settings depends on your computer and what you do with it.
Hibernating is a convenient way to turn off a machine without shutting down all applications for a quicker restart later.
Windows startup is a complex process further complicated by the number of programs that add themselves to the list. Paring it down takes work.
A friend’s slow computer provided me an opportunity to review the four primary characteristics of computer slowdowns to help you diagnose issues in the future.
Registry scanners often report hundreds, if not thousands, of issues. Should you fix them, and if so, which? Here’s my approach.
The purpose of the System Idle Process is to get out of the way to let other processes run. So what does it mean if the SIP is using 100% CPU on your slow system?
Pagefile.sys is the “paging file” that contains Windows’ virtual memory. You can easily remove it — if you understand the ramifications.
Can a computer really do nothing? Yes and no. When it’s doing nothing, it has to do something, and that something is the System Idle Process, waiting for something to do.
Occasionally, one program uses all of your computer’s processing resources. Using Task Manager, it’s easy to figure out which program that is.
Your computer may slow down for many reasons; these are some of the less common ones still worth looking for.
Programs that identify identical files can be useful, but simply deleting the duplicates they find can cause more harm than good.
Log in and … wait. System slowness at log in time is not uncommon, and I’ll look at some of the possible causes and solutions.
The first thing a diagnostic technician may ask you to do is reboot your computer. Why?
Is the internet slow, or is it your computer? How to tell and what to do.
Software rot is the slow degradation of your computer’s performance for no apparent reason. I’ll review why it happens, how to prevent, and how to recover.
It’s very common for our usage and expectations of our computers to grow over time. Unfortunately, that means we’ll eventually run into its limitations.
The best registry cleaner is none at all. There may be cases where you want to use one, though, and I’ll review which I’d use and how to use them safely.
Not Responding is Windows’ way of telling you that a program might have a problem. Sometimes it’s benign, but sometimes it’s a sign of a deeper issue.
A PC running Windows can slow down for many reasons. Viruses, spyware, updated software, disk fragmentation, and more can lead to performance drops.
It’s not uncommon to run out of disk space. A free utility can show where your disk space is going so you can determine what steps to take.
There are a host of items that contribute to your computer’s (lack of) performance. I’ll review some of my top issues.
‘Fix All Your Windows Problems’ is a claim made by many products and utilities, and it’s best viewed with skepticism. We’ll look at how to evaluate some of those claims.
Hibernate and sleep are two optimizations to the boot/reboot process that can speed things up.
If your monitor suddenly goes black due to being out of RAM, it’s likely your computer has crashed.
For all practical purposes, it’s impossible to tell if someone has copied your files after the fact. Even with preparation beforehand, it’s extremely difficult.
Duplicate files on your computer can happen for many reasons, most of which are legitimate. Think twice about deleting duplicate files.
Programs typically don’t use all available memory unless they either need it, or they have a problem.
With older versions of Windows it wasn’t uncommon to want to reinstall from scratch every so often. Things are better in more recent versions. I’ll explain why someone like me might need to, and why the average computer user probably doesn’t any more.
Delayed start services are programs which need to start up “eventually” when you start your machine. It’s one of the ways that Windows tries to optimize startup.
Windows has the option of numerous types of software and hardware being installed. That leads to a complicated situation for standby to deal with. It easily goes wrong.
How can I find out what program keeps popping up in my taskbar and disappearing before I can click on it?
It’s not uncommon to see programs quickly come and go. There are a few ways to try and capture what they are; some technical, and some innovative.
The most effective way to speed up a system is to clean it up, have it run fewer programs, and give it more resources like RAM.
The menu that drops down on a right click is called a Context Menu. To fix it we need to first delve into why and how it works.
TrueCrypt creates a virtual disk drive within a file. As a result, defragging it makes some sense.
A cluttered desktop doesn’t slow down your computer in and of itself, but could be a symptom of deeper problems.
Windows is constantly starting and stopping programs as part of its normal operations. You can see exactly what programs are being run using a Windows technique called process auditing.
The system degrading over time sounds like a software problem. So how do we find out what’s using the CPU?
Many things can cause one computer to hog your bandwidth. But there’s a useful Windows 7 utility that may show you where the bandwidth is going.
Temp files that you can’t delete are often safe. Still, I am concerned that one of your files sounds like it’s related to known malware. The first step is to clean up.
While defrag programs use different algorithms to defragment your machine, one thing is for sure – they won’t defrag your machine 100%. But is it worth it to be that thorough?
Disk fragmentation can adversely impact overall system performance. Defragmenting your hard disk periodically can help. Even better, Windows may already be doing it for you.
Unexplained disk activity turns out to be fairly easy to identify with the right tools. We’ll use Process Monitor to track disk activity.
It’s best not to read too much into available memory. Windows memory management is the stuff of nightmares even for the people who understand it. For the rest of us, it’s just magic.
You’ve checked for dust, but the computer is still running hot. I’ll point you in the direction of a few more things that could be causing this heat wave… including a heat wave itself.
System instability is often the result of what we call “software rot.” It can be the result of installing and uninstalling lots of programs – and the cure isn’t easy.
Unallocated space as a hard disk partition is space that won’t be used. I’ll look at the two common ways to make unallocated space usable.