Question:My system is suddenly running very slow. A report that used to take 2 minutes to generate is now taking 30 minutes. What could be wrong? Debbie G., Dracut
Answer:This particular problem was caused by a runaway process or program. The program was stealing all of the available CPU utilization and not allowing anything else to execute on the computer.
Here's a few things to consider when your system seems to be running slow.
Is there a process or program hogging all the CPU utilization? Press the CTRL, ALT, and DEL keys. A Windows 95, 98, or ME system will display a list of all processes running on your machine. An NT, Windows 2000, or XP machine will display more detailed information about the processes. CAUTION: Make sure that you close any programs before you attempt to end any processes. Your system may become unstable if you end an important process. You may lose any open documents and your system may require a reboot.
Do you have a virus scanner? Is it up to date? The majority of my service calls are made to remove viruses. You really should have a virus scanner on your computer. Purchase a virus scanner or find a free one on the Internet.
Did you recently install a new program? Did your computer slow down after you installed something?
Is there any spyware or adware running on your system? Most of the music sharing programs like Kazaa don't just allow you to download music. These programs also allow others to download files from your system. They also install programs to tell marketers information about you. While some spyware and adware isn't giving away confidential information about you, your computer is doing work for someone besides you. Here's two excellent spyware/adware utilities, spybot available at spybot.eon.net.au and adware available at www.lavasoft.de.
Is your hard drive fragmented? Have you defragmented your hard drive in the last few weeks? A fragmented hard drive will slow down your system performance. A fragmented hard drive doesn't happen suddenly, it is a gradual process. If your computer has gradually decreased in performance, defragmenting the hard drive will most likely improve performance.
Does your system have enough memory? Check the system requirements before you add a new program to your computer. You should be aware that system memory and disk space are both are measured in megabytes. It is easy to confuse the two. Memory refers to memory that is installed on your computer's motherboard. Disk space refers to available space on your hard drive.
Keep these questions in mind and you should be able to successfully diagnose your improve your computer's performance.