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Why is my Computer Slow?


To address this question we have to realize that there are multiple reasons that computers are slow.

We can explore each one of those areas, however please note on this particular question it's not going to be possible to completely diagnose your computer without a professional looking at your computer. Hopefully this will give you some idea of why your computer is slow.

1. Hard drive failure we have an earlier blog in this series on how hard drives fail. Old traditional hard drives are mechanical devices they have a spinning disc within a case with a little read and write head. This head moves mechanically read an write the data to the spinning disk of the hard drive. Because of this mechanical operation these disk can degrade in breakdown overtime. In fact a spinning disk drive depending on the quality will not last longer than 5 years. There are some that can last longer depending on the quality but a typical spinning disk HDD hard drive lifespan is usually only about 5 years. Most hard drives are very cheap these days HDD hard drives have a limited amount of times with their reading right head can run across it without it degrading. Think about it but if you scratch a surface or etch into a surface enough times there's going to create some issues over times in the plate that the hard drive writes to can get pits and valleys in it. Physically these are microscopic it can't be seen by your eye without getting under some type of magnification. This is what happens to the hard drive surface. When your computer starts getting slow and you are waiting for something to process you're trying to pull up a document all of this is information that is on the hard drive. The hard drive has to read for you so that your computer can pull up that document or that email file. It will take longer and longer periods of time for the hard drive to be able to retrieve that data.

2. Caching and not “cashing” in the sense of cashing that check but CACHEING. Cache is temporary storage that you may also hear referred to as memory. Caching is the idea that you keep a certain amount of information quickly available to you on your computer for frequently used tasks. Such as your email or such as an application that you use often, and your computer can process quickly. Computers manufacturers are trying to make smarter computers so when you start up your computer and maybe you go into your browser or you open your email those pieces will become a part of your boot up cache. Any program that you have running is running some processes in the cache of the computer. The more processes you run the more you use your cache. Your operating system will change overtime so the operating system that you bought your computer with is not the same operating system you have now. You will need more cache to run the operating system as you need more items in your cache your computer slows down because likely you can't store everything in your cache. You need to upgrade your memory or increase your cache. Which is not always possible depending on the age of your computer or the capabilities of your computer.

3. Slow is processing speed this is the main brain of the computer. The processor has a certain speed that it can work through any request that you throw at it. The in-depth details of a process are beyond the scope of this blog. Today processors can have multiple cores which is essentially multiple processors running in one chip. Or you can have multiple physical processors with multiple cores within your computer. These also have certain electrical speeds with that they run it in the higher the number multiplied by the number of cores gives you your speed.

Consider If your computer got an updated operating system or you added multiple new applications. The computer has to process through all of the requests that the application and the operating system is throwing at it. If you have an slower processor with a lower cache than the operating system or applications need and a failing hard drive you will have a very slow computer.

Is you computer slow? These are the common issues that contribute to a slow computer but not all the issues. DataCom Technologies is an IT solutions company and we specialize in helping make your computer systems run efficiently.

Contact us.

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