There are many problems that can cause performance issues but it is important to determine if your computer itself is the problem or a faulty peripheral device or a slow internet connection is causing the issue. Before beginning troubleshooting it is best to determine what the actual issue is
Is your computer running slowly?
If your computer seems to run slowly all the time but not restarting or freezing the computers resources are likely inadequate or are being used by programs running in the background.
Use the task manager to determine which programs are running and how much of your computers resources they are using. If the performance tab of the task manager indicates excessive use of either CPU, memory or disk you will notice a performance impact.
Once you have determined which program is using excessive resources you need to decide if the program is necessary – if it is necessary you need to free up resources by closing other programs that are unnecessary or increase the available resources by upgrading your CPU, memory or hard drive.
Different types of software can have vastly different hardware requirements – if only a selection of programs you use are running slowly you should check to make sure your computer meets the software manufacturers minimum requirements.
Viruses, Spyware and malware can all contribute to slow performance therefore it is important to use an Anti-Virus or Internet Security package and make sure it is up to date.
Constantly freezing or restarting?
If your computer is freezing or restarting the first step is to determine when – does it freeze or restart on boot? When you open a certain program? Randomly?
If the computer freezes or restarts when you open a specific application it is best to ensure your PC meets the minimum requirements to run the software – if it does it is best to follow up with the software’s manufacturer there may be an update that resolves the issue.
If the PC freezes or restarts randomly it is important to check inside the PC and make sure the fans and heat-sinks are clogged with a build-up of dust which prevents them cooling effectively.
If you do find an excessive amount of dust inside your PC, unplug the computer and take it outside, using compressed air blow out as much of the dust as possible.
(Keep the nozzle ~20cm away from the computer at all times this prevents the air pressure damaging delicate parts)
Downloads seem to take forever?
If your PC is performing well but tasks involving the internet such as browsing or downloading are slow it is best to perform a speed test to make sure the issue does not involve your internet connection.
To determine if the issue is caused by a slow internet connection :
- Turn off all the devices in your network except one. (Preferably not a device using WiFi)
- Restart your modem/router
- Visit a site that tests your internet speed – we recommend
Your internet speed should be at least 50% of the speed advertised by your ISP (Internet Service Provider). Many factors affect the speed of your connection such as
- The length of copper wire from your premises to the exchange – this is always higher than the distance ‘as the crow flies’.
- The number and type of digital services used by other customers over copper pairs within the same cable sheath.
- The configuration and quality of the copper wire between the exchange and your premises.
- Electrical interference from outside sources (such as electric motors).
The configuration of the copper wiring within your premises (i.e. use a central splitter for optimal performance).
- Your computer’s software configuration and applications (in particular, how they use the uplink back to the exchange).
- Your ADSL hardware.
- The capacity of, load on, and access data rate of the destination host computer which you are accessing.
If you are not receiving the speed advertised by your ISP you should contact them and have them test your connection there may be a fault that is affecting your internet speed.