There are a few reasons for a slow computer.
See below for software I use or do not mind using if it did not clash with other software I am using.
Proper Air Flow:
You may not know it but the inside of your computer needs proper air flow. The fan inside your power supply is typically the exhaust for the air flow while the vent on the front of your computer is the intake. Block either of these vents and your computer will choke up and overheat. If you look inside your computer, which you should do from time to time, you will be able to follow the path between the two vent points. Anything that gets in the way will reduce airflow and limit the cooling of the critical components. Extra power cords will need pulled aside. Dust and anything else that can block a vent, see Dusty Computer below, can cause overheating issues. From time to time you need to remove the side of your computer and use a can of compressed air to clean it out. How often you do this depends on a few factors. 1) How dirty your house is. 2) Do you live next to a farm. 3) Pets. 4) Smoking.
Believe it or not you need to open up your computer and dust just as often as you dust your house. You !DO! dust your house right?
There are several ways to open your computer with mainly all located on the back side. Some require a phillips screw-driver to unscrew 2 screws so the side panel slides right off. Some just require you to push a tab in to slide the panel off. I’ve seen some (mainly older computers) that require removing 4 phillips screws and sliding the entire case off. Entire case meaning both sides and top is one piece. Make sure to go outside for proper ventilation while cleaning out the computer. Start by using a can of compressed air on all the fans inside the computer. Then, if needed, pull out bigger pieces by hand. Then use the can of air to clean off the circuit boards. Then, with a q-tip, try to carefully clean out under the fan blades of the fan attached to the processor. Not sure what that means? Look at the picture just below here. It is the bottom of the two fans in the picture. It is typically a smaller fan and attached to the motherboard (the largest circuit board). You are scrapping off the dust and smoke that built up on top of the metal used to help cool the processor.
Installed and Uninstalled too much
Keep in mind that every time you install something you create the posiblily of a problem.
Problem can happen 2 ways.
1: Something goes wrong during the install process. Older version of a file gets copied when it should not. Corrupt file copied. Bad installer file.
2: When you go to uninstall the program. If a program or Windows locks a file as “In Use” then the file cannot be deleted. Usually the uninstaller for the program requires a reboot to fix that issue, but it doesn’t always go as planned.
1: Uninstall and Reinstall the program can fix a corrupt file. The “older version” issue can be a bit harder if you do not know which file or how to get the newer file back. Keep in mind a System Restore to a previous date can fix some of these issues.
2: There are special programs out there that can track down these files and pointer references and clean them up for you. Some are free and some cost money. Try to keep to companies with a good reputation. Votes: Zonealarm and Lavasoft
Virus and Spyware
STAY OFF THE PORN SITES!!!! ? Just kidding, but those sites are targets for viruses. Hackers also target legit sites.
Ok, ok, so it happens. You thought the site looked good and reputable. You miss-clicked that email instead deleting it. Make sure you have an antivirus installed. See software votes. Keep in mind whichever antivirus you install, it cannot find every virus out there. If the virus is too new it will not get caught. Sometimes, as long as the virus did not disable it, you can use the System Restore to go back a day or two to basicly remove the virus. System Restore will probably not delete the virus itself, but it will delete the reference pointers that tell the virus to start up. Sometimes even System Restore will not fix the problem because the virus sat too long and Windows made backups of the virus. So restoring your computer will just restore the virus and you will be back to where you left off.
Something else to keep in mind. If you get Malware, there is a good chance you don’t even know you have it. Some Malware is getting better at staying hidden. That type of Malware does not want to be found because it is there to collect personal information like usernames, passwords, and credit cards. If you knew it was there then you wouldn’t use any of that information. System Restore MAY help with removing the Malware, sometimes you will have to restore from backup, but if you are not careful then you will just be restoring the original file that downloaded the Malware to begin with.
If you are running a MAC or Linux computer, keep in mind that you are not safe either. There are Malware and Viruses out there as well, it’s just not as much as the popular Windows.
My vote for helpfull software
Zonealarm has free and paid versions of their software for Antivirus and Firewall. They also offer paid versions with many more features. Don’t forget to check around, you may find it free elsewhere.
Lavasoft for a free antivirus. They also offer paid versions with many more features. Don’t forget to check around, you may find it free elsewhere.
Microsoft Security Essentials: Protects against viruses, spyware, and other malicious software. I haven’t tested it myself yet but heard it works great.
More to come when I get around to comparing and testing.