Are you having issues with slow computers in your business environment? Several different issues can arise that cause a computer to run slowly.
This article will go into detail about what makes a computer run faster. We will explore solid-state drives, malware, viruses, disk cleanup, and random access memory (RAM).
Install solid-state drives in computers that are running poorly.
One of the biggest issues that we see in our work is failing hard drives. Mechanical hard drives usually have a lifespan of about 4-5 years and then they start to slow down and fail. Once the hard drive beings to fail you may notice your computer freezing and dragging when you are trying to get your work done.
This can be very annoying and it can affect productivity. Time is money and if you are waiting 5 minutes for your computer to open your internet browser, there is an issue. You may also notice hard drive issues when booting your device. If powering on your machine is a task that you have to schedule, it may be time to take a look at solid-state drives.
If you are using a mechanical hard drive (HDD), you can expect read/write speeds of 80-160 MB/s while a solid-state drive (SSD) can average between 200 MB/s and 550 MB/s. The solid-state will run faster and speed up computer read/write times.
Replacing a hard drive can be risky if you do not take the proper precautions.
- You should always have a backup of any important data just in case something goes wrong in the migration process.
- When disassembling your computer to replace the hard drive, you should use extreme caution not to damage any of the other very sensitive parts in your machine. This is especially important when working on a laptop.
- Be sure to choose a solid-state drive and migration software that works well and has good reviews. Doing some internet research beforehand will help you tremendously in the long run. If you are not sure how to proceed, consult with your managed services provider or a local computer technician.
Our favorite solid-state drive to use for our clients is the Samsung 860 EVO SSD. This solid-state drive performs like a dream compared to any other hard drive we have worked with. Here are the specs of the device:
Sequential read speeds: 550 MB/s
Sequential write speeds: 520 MB/s
Available capacities: 250GB, 500GB, 1TB, 2TB, 4TB
Price: Starting at $54.99
Link: Purchase this device on Amazon.com
The other amazing feature of this hard drive is the migration software that comes along with the solid-state drive. The Samsung Data Migration tool makes transferring your old hard drive to your new solid-state drive a breeze. This prevents you from having to use third-party tools that oftentimes don’t perform well. When you purchase a Samsung SSD, you get the whole package for an amazing price.
** NOTE: Data migration and hard drive replacements can be tricky and they don’t always go as smoothly as you hope. If you do not have experience doing this, you should consult with a professional to ensure you don’t lose any data or damage your device.
Clean up computers and check for malware and viruses.
Since computers were invented, malware and viruses have been around to plague machines with a myriad of problems. One of the biggest issues caused by malware and viruses is poor performance. Not only can these bugs cause a slow computer, but they can also compromise data so it is important to regularly check for these.
Step 1: Check for malware
The best tool on the market for cleaning up malware is Malwarebytes, a freemium program that scans your machine for malware and removes it. Malware could likely be slowing down your PC.
The best part of this anti-malware program is the fact that it is straight to the point and performs very well. When you install Malwarebytes, no bloatware comes along with it. The program downloads quickly and you can immediately scan without providing any personal information. You don’t even have to create an account.
They do offer a premium subscription that adds functionality to the program. You can visit their website to find out more information about Malwarebytes Premium.
Once the scan is complete, you will know if there is malware or potentially unwanted programs on your machine that could be affecting performance. You will then be given the option to quarantine or ignore the problems.
Your managed services provider should be on top of these issues but some malware slips through the cracks and can cause performance issues. Malwarebytes should be used alongside your normal antivirus program and a disaster recovery plan. It is a good idea to check with your MSP or tech provider to make sure your business computers are protected.
Step 2: Check for viruses
Viruses can be more tricky but there are ways to check for these pesky bugs. You can use the free Kaspersky Virus Removal Tool to check and see if there are any viruses on your device. You can also use your antivirus program to perform regular scans.
Your device must remain virus-free, especially if you are handling sensitive information such as client payment information or health-related information. Viruses and malware can put your device at risk and can cause data breaches.
One pillar of managed services is monitoring your devices. Your provider should install antivirus software and configure automatic quick and deep scans to check for these issues. If you do have a virus, it can be hard to remove. Consult with a professional to ensure your device is treated properly.
Step 3: Clean up any programs or files that are unnecessary
Many times, our hard drives fill up with data and programs that we no longer use or need. One great way to improve the performance of your machine is by cleaning up.
Clean up your unused programs:
Every once in a while, you should check out the list of programs and features on your computer to assess what you use and what never gets used. Many programs eat up hard drive space and by decreasing the amount of data on your drive, you can improve performance.
Here is a tip for accessing your list of programs quickly. Instead of searching your computer for the programs and features list, simply open the “Run” dialog (Win Key + R) and type “appwiz.cpl“. This will open a list of all programs installed on your device. From here, you can remove anything that is no longer in use.
Run a Disk Cleanup:
Once you have removed programs, you can run disk cleanup on your machine and this will remove old system files that are no longer necessary. This will help free up some space on your drive. This is being demonstrated on a Windows 10 PC.
You can access disk cleanup by opening the file explorer and navigating to your C:\ drive.
Once you are in File Explorer, you can right-click “Local Disk (C:) and select “Properties”. Once you have selected properties, you should see “Disk Cleanup”.
This wizard will help you clean up system files to keep your computer clean and performing at its best! Some examples of these files are unused operating system update files, the recycling bin, and old temporary files that pile up.
Step 4: Consult with your managed services provider or a computer professional.
All of these steps are pretty standard but by consulting with your managed services provider or a computer professional, you can ensure that every measure is being taken to improve your business’s computer performance.
MSPs will help you implement a plan to ensure every computer is running perfectly so you have less downtime and higher performing PCs.
Add more Random Access Memory (RAM) to slow computers.
If you are noticing your computer slow down when you are multitasking, you could likely use a RAM upgrade. Random Access Memory assists when you are running multiple programs at one time.
If you regularly keep 10 tabs open in your internet browser and 4 other programs running, you are putting your RAM to work. You may be used to working this way and you probably don’t want to change how you work. By adding more RAM to your machine, you can improve your computer’s performance so you can continue multitasking and getting your work done.
You can check how your computer is using the RAM by simply opening the task manager. A quick shortcut for doing this is CTRL + SHIFT + ESC. This will show you how your computer is using memory, disk, CPU, and the network.
If you need help choosing RAM, you can use Crucial’s tool which scans your PC and gives you options for RAM upgrades. This is a great tool that makes this process much easier as there are many different types of RAM but only one type that will work on your machine.
When installing RAM, you should have experience taking computers apart safely. If you don’t have this experience, it is best to consult a professional. When handling memory chips, you run the risk of damaging them with static electricity. A computer professional will have the proper tools to prevent this from happening. You can also damage other components inside the PC if you are not careful.
Once you have added more RAM to your machine, you should notice that your computer runs smoothly no matter how many programs you are running. This is great for you because you can keep productivity up and work like you are used to.
There are several different ways that you can speed up your business computers. It is necessary to have computers that are efficient and productive because time is money.
How to make your computer faster:
- Upgrade the computer to a solid-state drive and get rid of your old mechanical drive.
- Check for malware and viruses and clean up old programs on the machine.
- Add more RAM to the computer.
Some problems are beyond what was mentioned in this article. You should always consult with a computer professional if you have questions about improving your business computers.