Knowledge Base

Troubleshooting Slow Performance Issues on my Dell Desktop


Table of Contents:

  1. System Freezes Up
  2. System is Performing Slow

1: System Freezes Up

This article provides links for basic solutions on System Performance issues.

What is happening?

Random lockups (System freezing and nothing responding) is usually, but not always associated with a hardware failure or incompatibility of hardware or software. A state-of-the-art system may experience a freezes due RAM failures, virus or malware infections of other changes that may seem to be totally unrelated to the problem. System freezes may be very intermittent then gradually increase in frequency or they may abruptly start for no apparent reason.

Perform a Hardware Test

Run a system diagnostics or enhanced Preboot System Assessment (ePSA). In order to verify your hardware’s integrity, it is recommended to access the boot menu by turning the computer on and tapping the key during POST At the boot menu, select the option for "Diagnostics" or "ePSA". If a hardware failure is detected, it is likely a factor in your system freezing issue.

Try a clean boot

If diagnostics do not identify any failures, you may have a software conflict. You can try to eliminate items for troubleshooting purposes by configuring yout system for a "Clean Boot". Microsoft KB929135 - "How to perform a clean boot in Windows" is a good guide for this step.

Additional performance troubleshooting information:

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2: System is Performing Slow

What is happening?

No matter how fast system might be, it might get slower over time. A state-of-the-art system may experience a performance hit after installing a dozen programs, load antispyware and antivirus tools, and download volumes of data from the Internet. The slowdown might happen so gradually that you hardly notice it, until one day you're trying to open a program or file and wonder why the system is now slow.

Perform a Hardware Test

Run a system diagnostics or enhanced Preboot System Assessment (ePSA). In order to verify your hardware’s integrity, it is recommended to access the boot menu by turning the computer on and tapping the key during POST At the boot menu, select the option for "Diagnostics" or "ePSA".

Try the Performance troubleshooter

The Performance troubleshooter checks issues that might slow down your computer's performance, such as how many users are currently logged on to the computer and whether multiple programs are running at the same time. To access the Performance troubleshooter follow these steps.

  1. Click the "Start" button
  2. Click "Control Panel"
  3. In the search box at the top right, type "troubleshooter"
  4. Click "Troubleshooting"

Uninstall programs you never use

Sometimes you decide to install software that you think might be useful in the future. But then you realize months have passed and that software has yet to be used. Unused software on your computer might slow it down by using memory, disk space, and processing power. It's never too late to remove these and free system resources. To uninstall a program, use these steps:

  1. Open Programs and Features by clicking the "Start" button , clicking "Control Panel", clicking "Programs", and then clicking "Programs and Features".
  2. Select a program, and then click Uninstall. Some programs include the option to change or repair the program in addition to uninstalling it, but many simply offer the option to uninstall. To change a program, click Change or Repair. If you're prompted for an administrator password or confirmation, type the password or provide confirmation.
Note: Use care in uninstalling applications. You may need a product key, media for the application and/or need to download the application to reinstall it. If the product key is lost, generally it cannot be replaced and this may cost you money to replace an application or digital key.

Defragment your Hard Drive

Note: Disk Defragmenter applies only for mechanical hard drives. Systems with Solid State Drives (SSD) do not require de-fragmentation as this applies only to mechanical Hard Disk Drives (HDD).

Fragmentation makes your hard disk do extra work that can slow down your computer. Disk Defragmenter rearranges fragmented data so your hard disk can work more efficiently. Disk Defragmenter runs on a schedule, but you can also defragment your hard disk manually. Use these steps to Defragment your Hard Drive:

  1. Open Disk Defragmenter by clicking the "Start" button . In the search box at the bottom, type "Disk Defragmenter", and then, in the list of results, click Disk Defragmenter.
  2. Under Current status, select the disk you want to defragment.
  3. To determine if the disk needs to be defragmented or not, click Analyze disk. If you're prompted for an administrator password or confirmation, type the password or provide confirmation.
Note: Once Windows is finished analyzing the disk, only run defragmentation if it is recommended by the analysis. Defragging when not needed is a waste of time and resources.
  1. Click Defragment disk. If you're prompted for an administrator password or confirmation, type the password or provide confirmation.
Note: Disk Defragmenter might take from several minutes to a few hours to finish, depending on the size and degree of fragmentation of your hard disk. You can still use your computer during the defragmentation process.

Clean up your Hard Drive

Note: A MINIMUM of 10% of the hard drive/Solid State Drive should be available. This disk space is used by Windows performance caching and having less than this amount free will have an adverse effect on system performance.

Unnecessary files on your hard disk take up disk space and can slow down your computer. Disk Cleanup removes temporary files, empties the Recycle Bin, and removes a variety of system files and other items that you no longer need. Below you’ll find step-by-step instructions on how to run Disk Cleanup.

  1. Open Disk Cleanup by clicking the "Start" button . In the search box at the bottom, type "Disk Cleanup", and then, in the list of results, click "Disk Cleanup".
  2. In the Drives list, click the hard disk drive that you want to clean up, and then click "OK".
  3. In the Disk Cleanup dialog box, on the Disk Cleanup tab, select the check boxes for the file types that you want to delete, and then click OK.
  4. In the message that appears, click Delete files.
  5. Defragging helps but it's been proven that a full hard drive is slower than a clean one. (Because it has to shift through many files to find what it needs) It’s always a good idea to have an a second data drive or an external hard drive for your documents and movies.

Run fewer programs at the same time

If you find your PC slowing down, ask yourself if you really need to keep all your programs and windows open at once. Find a better way to remind yourself to reply to e‑mail messages rather than keeping all of them open. Make sure you're only running one antivirus program. Running more than one antivirus program can also slow down your computer

Check for Viruses and Spyware

If your PC is running slowly, it's possible that it's infected with a virus or spyware. This is not as common as the other problems, but it's something to consider. Before you worry too much, check your PC using antispyware and antivirus programs. A common symptom of a virus is a much slower-than-normal computer performance. Other signs include unexpected messages that pop up on your PC, programs that start automatically, or the sound of your hard disk constantly working. Spyware is a type of program that's installed, usually without your knowledge, to watch your activity on the Internet. You can check for spyware with Windows Defender or other antispyware programs. The best way to deal with viruses is to prevent them in the first place. Always run antivirus software and keep it up to date. Even if you take such precautions, however, it's possible for your PC to become infected.

Restart regularly

Restarting closes all the software running on your PC, not only the programs you see running on the taskbar, but also dozens of services that might have been started by various programs and never stopped. Restarting can fix mysterious performance problems when the exact cause is that the computer is running too many services. Restarting the system may also allow queued updates to install that may help your Windows performance and or security.

Additional performance troubleshooting information:

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Article ID: SLN208432

Last Date Modified: 04/14/2016 05:56 AM


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