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Slow running computer?

Ken Steele

Question: Quick, Slow, Slow – Does your computer remind you of ballroom dancing?

Answer: In ballroom dancing, ‘quick, slow, slow’ is a tempo for the feet to follow, and all is well. If your computer was running ‘quick’ but now is ‘slow, slow’, it may be time for a spring tune-up! Here are a few suggestions to help your computer run at its peak performance.

  1. Replace AVG anti-virus software with some other brand such as AVAST.

    AVG is still a very good product. But, with the advent of AVG version 8.0, the product can now use up to 40% of your computer’s processing power. The former versions used only a fraction of that power, leaving your computer with the power to deal with its other tasks without being overtaken by AVG’s now-voracious appetite for CPU time.

    For your benefit, and as part of Motherlode Internet’s commitment to its subscribers, an upgrade to AVAST (and removal of AVG or other anti-virus program) is yours at no charge. Simply bring your computer into the MLI office!

  2. Check the amount of RAM memory in your computer.

    A low amount of built-in RAM memory (the ‘memory chips’) will bring slower and slower response from the computer with each passing day that new software is added, or few features are turned on when the computer is started. Many software vendors want their software to be loaded as the computer starts, and run 100% of the time the computer is ‘on’. Over time, more and more load is placed on an already stretched-to-the-limit machine.

    Computers with only the bare minimum acceptable amount of RAM memory are most at risk of slowing to agonizingly lethargic levels of speed. For Windows XP with 256MB or less, or Windows Vista with 512MB or less, a memory upgrade is in order. If your wife’s or husband’s computer seems to start and run much faster than yours, you may be a victim of low RAM memory.

    Here’s how to check your RAM memory: Look on the desktop for ‘My Computer’
    (if it does not appear there, then click on ‘Start’, then find ‘My Computer’ in the Start menu). Right-click on ‘My Computer’. Click on ‘Properties’. There, you will see RAM memory (example: ‘256 MB of RAM’).

    Typical memory for an average computer is as follows: Windows XP – 512MB or more (at least 512MB is recommended). Windows Vista – 2GB to 4GB (at least 2GB is recommended).

    Mother Lode Internet can install the additional memory at a modest cost to you.

  3. Check the processing speed of the computer (‘CPU’ speed).

    Using step 2,above, look at the computer’s Properties. This time, look for the number of ‘MHz’ (Mega Hertz, million cycles per second) or ‘GHz’ (Giga Hertz, billion cycles per second). For XP, 1.3GHz or less may result in a slow computer; for Vista, 2GHz or less. If the computer has only a bare minimum of memory, and runs slowly after using tips in this article, there is little else that can be done. It may be time to purchase a new computer with a more current, faster CPU.

  4. Remove temporary Internet files.

    In Internet Explorer, click on ‘Tools – Internet Options – temporary Internet Files’. Select ‘Delete Files’. There may be hundreds or thousands of temporary files. You may also choose to delete cookies and surfing history. This may also be a good idea.

    Well, we have covered some ideas to speed up your ‘quick, slow, slow’ computer. If you have any questions or comments, please call Mother Lode Internet Tech Support at (209) 536-5800.

— Ken Steele – MLI Tech Support

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