• LangaList: Is high disk usage a RAM problem or a PC problem?

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    Another pearl of wisdom from Fred Langa: If a PC is running slow despite having reasonably current and otherwise-healthy hardware, then too-little RAM
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    • #1955888

      From a tech perspective:

      We start by looking at all resident programs.  For an everyday user, the system tray (the notification area that hides all of those icons from you) is one place to check.  The Windows 10 Task Manager (or in Windows 7, the MSCONFIG utility) provide a list of items that run at startup.

      Some of these items do constant little background checks, especially if they’re from PUPS (potentially-unwanted-programs) which can consume system resources.  Additionally, anything that claims to monitor for driver updates, system updates, or support (e.g., HP SupportAssistant, HPUpdate) should either be disabled from running at startup, or if it cannot be, uninstalled.  Dell Command Update can be set not to automatically check, and Lenovo’s update utility is the same.  Also, if a product asks to provide regular feedback to its developer, tell it no.  This means you have some program communicating sporadically back to its mothership, and that uses resources.  Also run a Malwarebytes scan to see if it finds anything unusual; it’s free for a reactive check of one’s system.

      If a system is still slow after that, it could be RAM.  It could also be a slow hard disk drive.  We’re not even spec-ing desktop systems with hard disks to clients any more, because SSDs make a huge difference and have come down so much in price.  An 8GB RAM system with an SSD is almost always going to outperform a 16GB system with a hard drive, so this is worth it.

      If you have less than 8GB, I’d definitely do a RAM upgrade, but if you have less than 8GB and have only a hard drive -it’s time to check the age of your system, and if it’s more than 5 years old, evaluate the price of a new system (one with the RAM and a solid state disk and Windows 10, since you’re probably still running 7) and compare it.  It may just be time to pull the trigger on an upgrade.

      We are SysAdmins.
      We walk in the wiring closets no others will enter.
      We stand on the bridge, and no malware may pass.
      We engage in support, we do not retreat.
      We live for the LAN.
      We die for the LAN.

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