I have been attending to a whole host of computer users recently who have been wondering why their computer has got so slow.
There are, of course, many reasons why a computer slows down but an extremely common reason these days is the fact that your computer simply doesn?t have the resources to cope with the modern world any more.
A great example of something that suffers under the pressure of resource hungry programs mean is RAM ? Random Access Memory ? Having adequate RAM is essential to a speedy computer. Without enough your computer will grind to a halt and all you will hear is the whirring of the hard disk every time you move you mouse ? sound familiar?
People often think that if their computer ran ok when it was bought then it should still be capable of running the same speed now. This is true to a degree but only if you strip back any software you may be using back to the same software you used on day one.
I am shocked to visit people who are running Windows XP with only 256mb of RAM. Computer suppliers were selling cheap computers with this minimal amount of RAM right up to about 3 years ago. With just Windows XP on and nothing more running the computer would be sluggish, install all the updates ? especially service pack 3 (This will install by default if you have automatic updates on) and your computer will grind to a halt.
Another huge change that has occurred since the days XP could run ok with 256mb of RAM is internet security. With firewalls, antivirus and adware/spyware programs running resources are quickly consumed. These programs have accelerated in size over the last few years with all the new threats the internet brings. These have become very resource hungry.
The point I am trying to get at is that you need to ensure that your computer has enough RAM ? 512mb is just about acceptable but will struggle. I normally recommend 1gb minimum for XP and 2gb minimum for Vista.
If you are unsure how much RAM you have then you can check by looking at your system properties and here is a handy shortcut to get there ? within windows press and hold the windows key on your keyboard followed by the pause button.
If you find that you need more RAM it is generally a simple procedure to change and at the moment RAM is pretty cheap so get in there quickly!