* Click a shape in the chart for more information
Before doing anything, always make sure you have a complete and recent backup. These steps are going to change tons of files and settings. Things don't always work the way intended. Saving yourself some time isn't worth losing all your data.
Use Windows system recovery to create an image of your hard drive on an external drive. Even if you're just going to clone your system, it's a good idea to backup everything just in case. Just a heads-up, this will take some serious time.
I personally really like How-To-Geek's instruction
- Click on Start go to Getting Started and then select Back up your files.
- "Create system hyperlink"
- Select where you want the image to be saved
- Select which drives you want to backup
- Wait about 1min/gigabyte
- Create system recovery disc (if you haven't already.
What slows computers is things getting messy. Start fresh. This is also a good time to get rid of programs you don't use. I recommend only installing software as you need it. When reinstalling, be careful of the default settings on some programs. They'll want to add in all sorts of garbage (spyware, changing default programs, bringing over tons of read me files no one ever looks at...).
A common problem are indecies. Systems use Indexing to speed up search results. Unfortunately, lots of times these indexes go crazy. It can get caught in a loop where it re-indexes indecies over and over again. That's not going to speed things up, it's going to grind things to a hault.
There's no solution to this besides reinstalling your OS (hence why it was suggested before)
First: find and record all your product keys. You shouldn't lose your software becasue you reinstall.
How-To Geek has a good explanation of how to reinstall windows. I recommend you start there.
Open the Resource Monitor
For Windows 7 and later:
- Start icon
- search "resmon"
Verify you can see all proxesses from ALL users and the entire system.
Sort by CPU Usage (CPU tab).
Anything taking up 20-40+% is a hog. Kill it. If this is going on, you have a problem.
Sort by Ram.
If you're totally maxed out on ram, it can either be the program bleeding ram, or you can just need more ram for your system. Casual users don't need a lot of ram, but if you have 40 chrome tabs open, or are working with a virtual machine, you're going to need more than 8 gigs.
Common Problem: Antivirus software
For more background on the Resource Monitor, you can watch this guy scroll through a writeup on Youtube. I found it pretty helpful
- determine the exact model and specs: gpu z
- run a stress test like furmark to check its thermal performance - stability and psu ability
- proceed to something like this Heaven Benchmark for testing gpu - drivers performance.
at all these tests gpu should always maintain ~100% usage. else you are into trouble and you really should state the rest of your hardware."
Test everything you can...
If you've made it this far and it hasn't fixed your problems, we need to talk upgrades.
Upgrading ram is incredibly simple, and usually very cheap. For less than $100 bucks (usually less than $40) you can typically double your existing ram. You'll need to get the right type of ram, and need to know what the maximum your machine can handle, but bang for your buck, this is a great place to start.
Get a SSD!
SSD's are basically giant memory cards. Instead of having spinning platters, it just has your files. No spinning means no searching. When you switch to an SSD, you'll never go back. Your computer will boot up in about 20 seconds. Searching for files in monster folders takes 2 seconds. I can't stress this enough, get a SSD
Other things you might want to do...
- Clean out your fan. A hot machine is a slow machine
- test/replace your battery
- buy a new machine. Things break, but also, maybe you're just ready for something faster.