1) Why is my computer running slowly?
a. There might be too many programs running at the same time, or there could be a large program running in the background that you forgot about or didn’t close
b. Your computer might be running out of memory (based on the type of programs your running). Depending on the age and type of computer more memory can be added.
c. If your computer is old it might just need to be upgraded to a newer faster configuration.
d. The operating system (usually Windows) might need to be updated which can be done online and relatively easily.
2) Why does it take so long for the computer to start up?
a. There might be a lot of “background” programs that are set to startup when the computer starts. A good number of programs can be configured to delay the startup, or to only run when needed. This is a Windows setting.
b. Your anti-virus software might be configured to start a “scan” at startup (or right after). This will slowdown the computer and will impact programs like email and web browsers.
c. Or as mentioned above your computer might just be getting old and needs to be replaced or rebuilt.
3) When should I replace my computer?
a. Typically, if the computer is 5+ years old, and you are using it more frequently then before, you are going to get frustrated with it. This is a good time to consider upgrading to a new computer.
b. If your working environment changes and you need a laptop instead of your existing desktop (or visa-versa), it is well worth it to make a list of needs for your work/home environment. This will help us to decide which kind of system to consider.
c. If your just unhappy or bored with the computer you are using, a change in configuration just might make you enjoy using it again and your web searching will be exciting again.
4) How can I get more storage space on my computer?
a. A lot of times people run out of storage on their computer because they are just not diligent in deleting old files, documents, pictures or email. All of these items take up storage and if you don’t clean things up you have less space for new and seemingly more important things.
b. Most computers (either desktop or laptop) can add external storage devices that can add quite a bit of new storage easily and relatively inexpensively. With desktop computers you can add external (or internal) disk drives that plug into the USB ports. On laptops there are “thumb drives” that also plug into USB ports and can provide more storage than needed.
c. “The Cloud” is another alternative for storage, Microsoft, Amazon, HP, Dell and others provide cloud-based storage (for a minimal fee) that could be more than ever needed. However, it will require internet connectivity for any access, and based on your network speed the response can be sluggish.
5) What is the best way to keep it backed up, and protected from viruses?
a. As mentioned above it is important to be diligent about deleting old files and junk email, if you are backing up data that you don’t need it will be wasteful and costly. Make a scheduled routine to review your files, documents, pictures etc. and either copy them off to a backup storage (like external drive or thumb drive) and access them when needed.
b. Keep an eye on your emails and get use to deleting junk emails and spam email immediately. If you are not sure who is sending that email don’t open it, it is just that simple. It is very easy to get scammed by an email that promises all kinds of prizes or discount’s that you will never win or receive.
c. Make sure that you purchase a good quality and reputable anti-virus software product. I have used and recommend both Norton and McAfee anti-virus programs. They are reasonable priced, maintain active update processes and do their best to keep you protected.
d. And finally, “The Internet” it is a fantastic resource and has become the new standard for information. However, there is an incredible number of scams and virus paths on the web, just as there is useful and valuable resources. Take a minute and think about what and where you are looking, and be cautious with new websites or unknown resource sites.