After regularly being asked this question and as a repair option, I thought I would point out some of the reasons why your computer or laptop could be slow, freezing or randomly rebooting. Below are the common reasons (in no particular order) that you can check or attempt to fix to the technical level you feel comfortable with.
- Faulty power connection – Check possible extension leads, power boards, power leads from wall power point to lead into back of computer or the power adaptor to socket in your laptop. Most desktop motherboards or laptops will have a power LED so you know if power is getting to the computer or device.
- Faulty power supply in desktop, power adaptor in laptop or DC power jack in laptop – Same again check if there is an active power LED illuminated.
- Dusty and overheating – A clear sign of this is the fans will be running at a high speed trying to cool the system down. On a normal cooling system the cooling fans will be quiet and may at intervals of more intensive use speed up and be noisy for short periods.
- Faulty hardware. RAM, GPU (Graphics card), HDD (Hard Disk Drive), SSD (Solid State Drive) – This may not be an easy check unless you have spare parts that you can use for the time being to see if the problems go away. If you have multiple RAM Modules installed then you can try taking some out, rotating through them one at a time until you find the faulty one. For the HDD/SSD, you can try check your systems even viewer, click here if you are unsure how. https://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/aa996634(v=exchg.65).aspx . Look in Windows logs then System. If you see Hard Disk errors appear then you could try to do a check disk and potentially fix the problem. Two ways to try are, in windows go to This PC (Win10) or My Computer (Win7) and on the drive that shows the issue in event viewer eg C: Drive right click, then Properties, Tools Tab at top, then Error Check. The other is a command line as per this link https://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/ee872425.aspx . AND take backups of your system and/or files. As for the graphics card if you don’t have a spare some motherboards have built in graphics so you could revert back to that for the time being to see if you still have problems.
- Insufficient RAM for amount of running programs or background services – There are potentially too many background services running or there are too many programs open and running at the one time. Both of these could be taking you over your limit. To check open your Task Manager, Performance tab and check your memory usage. One way to do this is right click on the taskbar at the bottom of screen by default and select Task Manager. Look to see if you are close or over limit when you would normally have these problems.
- Damaged or incorrect drivers installed for devices – For one reason or another your hardware drivers could be corrupt or outdated for your current operating system. All manufacturers regularly update their hardware drivers for security patches, known problems or new features. It’s a good idea to regularly check
- Virus, Malware etc – Depending on the severity of the infection. It could be just a quick scan and clean with your current antivirus program installed on your computer or eg Malwarebytes. It could need an offline/bootable rescue disk to do a deeper scan and clean like AVG, ESet or Kaspersky to name some you may know of.
- Incorrect Bios settings – System bios settings have so many variants and names from motherboard features to manufacturer. CPU Clock speeds are one to not change unless you know what you are doing. Best solution when in your BIOS setup is find the “Load Defaults” or “Load Optimised Defaults” (or similar) to put settings back to normality in case things have changed for what ever reason.
- Faulty external devices – If you have USB flash drives, Hard drives, Card Readers and other devices of this nature, they could be faulty or have a faulty USB or power cord causing your computer problems.
- Old computer – After 3 years all these types of devices do need replacing or upgrading the parts that can be as much as we don’t like to accept that. For example. In that time, three plus series of CPU’s have passed and new technology has evolved. It is also the reason most companies and accountants depreciate them.
If your computer or laptop is older, then there are plenty of cheaper upgrade options to speed it up. Keep the operating system clean by removing software that you no longer use, remove printers from printers and devices in the control panel that you don’t have connected anymore. Programs like CCleaner can help to clear registry, unused files and some more difficult to uninstall programs.
If you wish to upgrade to much newer technology than you currently have then work out your needs or tasks for the new machine and set a price. What we like to suggest with rather old or failed machines is put the old hard drive into an external USB Case or the new desktop computer.
Just some of my thoughts and suggestions.