Resolving a slow-running computer

From the course: Windows 10: Advanced Troubleshooting for IT Support

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  • Course details

    Expand your troubleshooting skill set by learning how to resolve some of the more difficult issues you might encounter when supporting Windows 10. This course covers advanced troubleshooting concepts for experienced IT support professionals in an enterprise environment. Instructor Andrew Bettany dives into a wide range of topics, including hardware devices and network and remote connectivity. Throughout the course, Andrew provides practical demonstrations and examples that can help you confidently tackle challenging situations. Discover how to troubleshoot group policy issues, solve BitLocker lock out issues, use a shim to resolve app compatibility problems, and much more.


    • Click here to view Andrew Bettany’s instructor page

      Andrew Bettany

      Azure Skills Lead for Higher Educations UK. Modern management consultant specialising in Azure, Teams and Microsoft 365.

      • Andrew Bettany is a trainer and author specializing in Microsoft technologies and social media strategy.

        Andrew focuses on cloud and mobility technologies, including Windows 10, Office 365, Microsoft Intune, and Microsoft Azure. He is a keen networker who is passionate about helping people—from young adults to apprentices and career changers—pursue and achieve their learning goals and gain certifications. For eight years, he managed and grew the IT Academy at the University of York, until deciding to focus more on other opportunities, consulting, authoring, and freelance training. He also sits on several company boards as a director and advises on business development and strategy.

    Skills covered in this course

  • Windows advanced support

    - [Narrator] A computer can run slowly for several reasons. This can include having not enough RAM, being an older generation CPU, or even on a modern PC, you may have disk drive fragmentation, which can cause the PC to operate slowly and the processor may be throttled to run slower when in battery saver mode. Let's take a look at how we can resolve each of these issues. When a traditional hard disk becomes de-fragmented, the performance speed can slow down. On a de-fragmented disk, the data is saved in several locations, so during the data retrieval process, the disk needs to work extra to check multiple places to find the data. The processor also needs to wait for the files to be retrieved by the hard drive. Windows 10 will automatically de-fragment disks on a scheduled basis but you may wish to carry out this process yourself. Also, unlike a traditional hard drive, if the PC contains a solid state drive, then there is no need to de-fragment the drive since data is held in the RAM chips inside the SSD and not on traditional, spinning disk platters. For a traditional disk, you can launch the Disk Optimization Tool by typing de-fragment into the Start menu, and then click Analyze and then Optimize the Disk. If you have an SSD drive, you should not de-fragment the disk as this can lead to premature wear. RAM is needed by the processor to store data and programs that are used by the PC. If a PC does not have enough RAM memory, then it will swap data to and from the hard drive, which is slower than using RAM. This then, slows down the PC. If the PC is worth upgrading and adding more RAM, it should improve performance. You can use the built in Task Manager to identify if all of the RAM is in use and how a PC responds when it is in the load. If the Memory chart is constantly over 80% used, then you should seriously consider upgrading the RAM. Typically, PC's should have at least eight gigabytes of RAM to run Windows 10, multiple Internet browser tabs, and modern apps comfortably. To find out what type of RAM you're currently using, and therefore what type you need to upgrade the machine, you could open the case, locate the RAM chips and make a note of the type, speed and size and have a look to see if you have any spare slots on the motherboard to add in new modules. If you don't, then you may need to replace the existing RAM for larger capacity units. If you don't want to open the PC, you can also open a Command prompt and then type the WMIC command as shown on screen, or if you want to infer both information, type WMIC memory chip list full, Command. We've mentioned hard drives earlier, where we upgraded the drive to be an SSD drive and this will have made a huge difference. The second largest impact will be adding more memory. So just boosting the PC to eight gigabytes or 16 gigabytes of RAM. Overall though, this may not be worth doing. If other components are old, such as if the CPU is an older generation.

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