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Slow computer? The fast track to getting it running like new

Too much workload, file error, all data failed, forgot to save document
Too much workload, file error, all data failed, forgot to save document

Does your computer run slower than a snail on the Stortford school run? Genmar IT managing director Garry Moore says that with a bit of time and basic instruction, you could have it operating as good as new..

Many PCs we are asked to work on by both business and home customers have the same issue: The computer runs like a sloth in treacle.

Many of you suffer slow systems because you believe it needs replacing or will cost a fortune to remedy. This is rarely the case. With a couple of hours to spare and some basic instructions, you can have the computer running as good as new or maybe better if you invest a few quid.

Tidy up after yourself

PCs, like your teenage kids, leave a trail of debris in their wake, never cleaning up after themselves.

Installing or uninstalling applications, or just browsing the internet, creates files that are left like it’s someone else’s job to clear up. These files are easily removed manually, but it is a bit laborious.

I recommend you try the free version of CCleaner (www.piriform.com/ccleaner). Be careful to choose the free one and UNCLICK the Google toolbar option. This is a powerful tool and can easily wipe out things you need. Call or pop in for advice if unsure.

That looks nasty!

Nearly every PC we work on has some minor infections. Not surprising as, like you, your PC spends its time mixing with its peers. You pick up colds and other things too nasty to mention and so does your PC.

Good antivirus should be installed, but this is not so good at stopping malware. In addition to your AV software, I recommend using something like Malwarebytes (www.malwarebytes.com/mwb-download/). Chose the free version, install, update and scan, remove / quarantine any infections found. Scan again if highly infected. If concerned, contact us as it may be terminal!

Dust magnet

Computers are designed to suck in air across components that generate heat to cool them down, then spit out the warm air.

Working like a vacuum cleaner, it will attract dust. Dust means heat, heat means less efficiency.

Bigger PCs have a removable side panel enabling access to hoover out, or buy air-in-a-can to blast it out. Laptops are more delicate and have air intake and exhaust grilles.

Please be careful. Do not come to Genmar after electrocuting yourself because you did not turn it off, or because you broke it using your garage air compressor. Oh, and no washing!

Flash the cash

Most computers use traditional hard disk drive (HDD) technology. Being mechanical, they are slow.

Available for some time – but prohibitively expensive – are solid state drives (SSD). Becoming more affordable, they are up to 10 times faster. You need to know what you are doing to upgrade to one, but they make a huge difference.

RAM home the message

Most PCs have 2 / 4GB, but 8 / 16GB is accepted by most systems. Again, you may need assistance to fit, but it’s like changing a light bulb skill-wise and costs about £30 to go from 4 to 8GB.

It may seem like I am giving away our trade secrets, and I am sure that many of you will save a few pounds and have a speedy PC, but many of you will bring it to us.

* Genmar IT, Unit 12, The Links Business Centre, Raynham Road industrial estate, Bishop’s Stortford CM23 5NZ. Tel 0330 445 1234, visit genmar.co.uk or email@genmar.co.uk

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