Monthly Archives: September 2017

Speeding Up A Windows 7 Computer

Everyone wants a fast Windows 7 computer. This is especially true of people who play games. So the question is what makes a Windows 7 computer fast? How can you speed up your Windows 7 computer without paying an arm and a leg to increase the speed.

Several things make a computer fast. The most important is keeping it clean. A new Windows 7 computer is like my 2 car garage in 1985. At that time it help 2 cars no problem. Today is holds no cars. There is no room because other stuff has been stored there.

The same is true of most computers today. When they were purchased they were fast because they were empty of software. Over time software accumulated in the computer. The most egregious software is memory resident software. Often we use programs for a short time and then never again. However, these programs often have memory resident components that slow down the computer. A clean computer is a fast computer. How to clean is computer is the focus of another article.

In this article the focus is on what makes Windows 7 fast. So the first step is to measure Windows 7 speed. There are benchmarks and diagnostic programs that measure performance and speed. While they do a good job, they are not the measure on what a computer user considers fast. To me fast is responsive. Windows 7 has a responsive measurement tool called the Windows Experience Index. It is a measurement scale ranging from 1.0 to 7.9 currently. Newly purchased computers typically score in the range of 3.4 to 4.5.

To find the Windows Experience Index, click on START, then point to COMPUTER, click the right mouse button (the other mouse button), and use the normal mouse click to open PROPERTIES from the bottom of the menu. the overall rating is displayed smack dab in the middle of the display. A click on the Windows Experience Index to the right of the overall rating number should reveal the rating for each of the Windows Experience Index categories.

The Windows Experience Index measures Processor speed, Memory speed, Graphics card desktop performance speed, graphics card 3D gaming and business performance, and hard disk transfer rate. It rates the overall performance of the computer as the lowest score in any of these categories.

Many computers today have quad-core processors running at 2.5 to 3.2 GHz with DDR3 memory. Such systems typically score in the 6.9 to 7.2 range for CPU and memory speed. Generally, CPU and Memory are not a major consideration in making a Windows 7 computer fast. My laptop running an Inter i3 dual core 2.13 Ghz CPU and memory performs in the 5.9 to 6.1 range.

Disk drives in computers are Serial AT Attachment (SATA) drives. They rotate at 7,200 rpm. This is typically twice the 3,000 rpm at which automobile engines cruse. Laptop drives may run at 5,400 rpm. High performance drives operate at 10,000 rpm. So why the focus on rpm speed. A large part of disk performance is the time it mechanically takes to move the disks read/write mechanism. Part of that mechanical performance is the rotational speed of the drive. So 5,400 rpm drives are slower than 7,200 rpm drives. Most SATA drives have a Windows Experience Index of from 5.6 to 5.9.

What remains is the graphics card performance. That is the area which makes the Windows experience index run in the 3.4 to 4.5 range.

How do we make our Windows 7 computer more responsive? Changing processor and memory are costly. They are likely the fastest components already. Changes there make no sense. With Windows XP, increasing the computer’s memory size from 256 MB or 512 MB to 3 GB or 4 GB noticeably improves performance. Most Windows 7 computers today come with 3 GB to 6 GB of memory. Windows 7 64-bit Edition can use more than 6 GB. My computer has 16 GB of memory. However, application programs mostly are written to use no more than 4 GB or memory. So most of the 16 GB memory is unused. Right now my computer seems to be using 10 GB of memory. Increasing memory size in a Windows 7 computer is not likely to result in a noticeable improvement in responsiveness.

It is possible to improve responsiveness with a faster disk drive. This requires disk drive replacement. Two drives can improve performance: 1. Solid State Drives (no moving parts) and 2. High RPM drives (10,000 rpm). Both types of drives are expensive with Solid State Drives (SSD) being the most expensive. Solid State Drives also wear out over time (several years) depending upon use. The smaller the SSD, the quicker it wears out. SSD are the fastest drives because there are no mechanical parts.

Computer Viruses and How to Deal With Them

1- What is a computer virus:

A computer virus is a software program which is able to replicate itself and spread from one infected computer to another. The infected objects can be system, program or document files. After infecting your computer, it might slow it down, damage the contents of the infected files, mislay the data or defect your computer systems normal operation.

The virus can also use your computer to propagate illegal adverts and send spam emails that exploit security (adWare), steal your personal information such as bank account number, credit card number etc. (SpyWare). Some types of viruses might use your computer to create a bot net (virtual computer network) to attack other server systems and websites etc.

2- Type of viruses on Windows based computers:

There are a number of computer viruses that can impede the functioning of your computer. Here are some of the different types of viruses:

Trojan Horse: It is an email virus that is created by a file attached to the email. If opened, it may scour your hard drive for any personal and financial information such as your social security, account and PIN numbers. Once it has collected your info, it is sent via the internet to a hacker or thief.

Macro Virus: It is a computer virus that infects the Visual Basic language documents for applications such as Microsoft Word, Microsoft Excel etc. This type of virus can cause damage (such as removing data on the hard disk for example).

Worms: It is a program that has the ability to self-replicate itself. It can move from one computer to another and replicate itself in your computer system then spread hundreds of its copies to other computers that might cause wide spread damage.

Rootkit Virus: It is a program that is possible to cover the processes, files and data in the computer Registry (a database which is used to save Windows’s system and program settings). Rootkit is usually used to hide the activities of viruses and processes which harm your computer. It is to help a hacker to control the system.

Bootsector Virus: A virus which attaches itself to the first part of the hard disk that is read by the computer upon bootup. These are normally spread by floppy disks.

Logic Bombs: It is a program that is used to send many data to the same email address and overwhelm the system or block the server connection. It is also used to threaten others (for example mail bomb etc.).

Memory Resident Virus: This type of virus dwells in the RAM. From there it can overcome and interrupt the operations executed by the system. It can corrupt files and programs that are opened, closed, copied, renamed etc.

Multipartite Virus: These viruses spread in multiple ways. It might vary in its action depending upon where it’s installed and the presence of certain files.

3- How do you get a virus and Prevention:

These are 3 common ways that your computer may get infected by viruses:

Email: You get an email from a person that contains one or more viruses. If the attachment is opened, the viruses may infect files in the computer. The viruses might also send emails to people from your email address book or email folders automatically. So, you should not open unknown attachments in emails or do a virus scanning after opening them.

Internet: If you download an exe file or a data file from the Internet or other shared networks, viruses might be transferred to your computer. Sometimes the free software programs on the Internet have viruses especially if downloading from sources such as Torrent or Usenet news groups. Therefore, if necessary, you should download files from trusted resources.

Peripheral devices: The devices such as MP3 player, USB thumb drive, Memory card or CD Rom are also means for spreading viruses. So, remember to do a virus scan for them after they are connected to your computer.

Troubleshooting a Broken Computer

When computers fail we are helpless. Sometimes the failure is due to a virus attack. However, other hardware failures could be the source of the problem. With new computers there are some simple hardware component replacements that fix ailing computers. These are simple replacements that literally anyone can do with a screwdriver and patience. Most often the failed component to replace is the power supply, the hard disk drive, or a failed CD or DVD drive. This article helps you determine the source of the computer failure so that if it is a simple problem, you could repair your computer. Alternatively, you would know when to have a professional help you repair your computer after the problem is identified.

Let us start from scratch. In this case we have our malfunctioning computer powered off. The first step is to power it on and observe. When the power button is hit, do lights light up in the computer? On both tower computers and laptop computers there are lights that light when power is applied. A good idea is to take a picture of your computer when it is running properly so it helps you remember how it looks, what lights are lighted, and what the color of the lights are. Good power to the computer is often indicated by a green or blue light. Orange lights indicate a malfunction and indicate that the computer has power somewhere.

When there are no lights, the power supply is likely to be the source of the failure. Laptop external transformers can be tested and replaced. They run under $100. There are aftermarket replacements. The next test for a laptop and a desktop computer is to use a new external laptop transformer or a new power supply as a test for the failed power supply.

Power supplies for desktop computers are available on-line and from local stores. They also cost around $100. A new supply does not need to be installed in a computer to test the power supply. Just lay the computer on its side with the chassis open, place the new power supply on top the old power supply, disconnect the old power supply one connector at a time, and connect the equivalent connector into the computer one power supply connector at a time. Once the new power supply is connected try powering on the computer. This tests the power supply.

A new power supply that provides more watts is fine. This means a 300 W power supply can be replaced by a 500 W power supply. It is best not to reduce power supply wattage (replace a 500 W power supply with a 300 W power supply), but OK to increase it. Power connections to floppy disk drives can easily short out the power supply when the connector is not plugged in precisely correct. If the computer does not turn on, then disconnect the floppy drive power and try with the floppy drive power disconnected. Finally, all power supply connections are keyed and have a connector clip. When connecting the power connectors make sure the connector clip is lined up correctly.

If the new transformer does not fix the laptop computer power, then you can return the laptop to the manufacturer for repairs or buy a new laptop. If you buy a new laptop, the data can be removed from the old laptop’s hard disk drive and moved to the new laptop’s hard disk drive. With a desktop PC, just un-bolt the old power supply and bolt in the new one. Replacing the power supply in a computer is cleaner and easier than replacing the spark plugs in a car.

Now let us return to our troubleshooting. The next possible error indication is that the computer does not boot and there is no display. Monitors have a light on the bottom right. When this light is green, the computer is sending a video signal to the monitor. If the light is a large, then the computer is not sending a video signal to the monitor.

Why Is My Computer Running Slow? Fix Your Problem Quickly!

If you are asking, ‘why is my computer running so slow how to speed up computer’ then you are at the right place. Many computer users have this question in their minds after they have purchased brand new computers only a few months ago. During the first few months of the purchase, it runs at blazing speed but as time passes, it becomes painfully slow.

The fact of the matter is that the computers are not to be blamed for your query: why is my computer running so slow, how to speed up computer. Mostly, it is because of lack of computer maintenance which prevents it from running at its original speed. Moreover, there are various things that come into play for making the computer slow.

Most of the time, it is in fact not the computers to blame but it is because you have not maintained your computer to keep running at its peak performance level. So, why does a computer begin slowing down? It can be lots of various things that play a role here. Therefore, if you have the question, why is my computer running so slow, how to speed up computer, then the answer is in the following lines.

The first thing to do is to ensure that the computer is virus free. Malware, Trojans, Spyware and other dangerous programs are the common culprits for slowing down the computer. For example, illicit activities can be performed by a Spyware without your knowledge such as sending hidden data to particular destination for exploiting the weakness of the system. This may compromise your password, login, credit card details. This will lead to your question: why is my computer running so slow and how to speed up computer.

Therefore, to ensure that the system is clean you need to use an updated antivirus for scanning the computer. It is of great importance to install a good anti-virus on your computer. After scanning the PC if it is still slow then you can follow the next procedure. That is, deleting unnecessary programs and files on the desktop. If you have too many shortcuts displayed on the desktop then it will slow down the computer. This is another answer to your question: why is my computer running so slow and how to speed up computer.

Upgrading the memory of the computer is another way to increase the speed. If your PC is more than a year old then probably it is not able to meet anymore the memory requirements. So, it is recommended that a computer should contain minimum of 1 GB memory for the latest updates of software.

Another reason for your computer to run slow is because of overheated processor. Therefore, you need to make sure that the processor is not overheated. Extreme heat results in substantial reduction of the performance of the computer. Some processors have the capability to automatically decrease the speed as a compensation for heat related issues. This may be one of the reasons for your question: why is my computer running so slow and how to speed up computer.