Why is my PC slow?         

This page
is not how to make a PC faster than new. (more memory and  SSD drive would do that easy) Or buy a gaming system real. See a super simple list here.
It is always bad hardware or software or even both.  JUMP TO CLEANING MALWARE !
My page is not about slow internet, after all the actual internet can be slow at any time, but if running wifi sure it is, wifi is slow.(wired gigalan and fiber, not so slow)

The word slow is a relative term. (A is slower than B) what is B?
Slower than the day I bought it? or slower that my sons new PC?
Telling you why a new PC is faster, is a wasted effort,  same reason a new Mustang (Ford) is faster than say granddad's  POS '.(the maker was bombed out by NATO ! )
All most all PC run faster with more RAM, and for sure 10x faster with any SSD upgrade, the effect is nothing less than AMAZING how fast a SSD is and what it does too any old PC.
The second top reason for slow is infections.
A third might be a bad HDD?  they get old and slow down. (all do everyone) ever defrag it? If this old HDD has no more spare sectors,  it will run slow.(the smart data does not lie, if it's wrong the drive is now END OF LIFE)

The PC runs slower (NOW) because of  2 reasons,  a DEVICE  is bad (like a failing  HDD) or the PC has NEW BOTTLENECK issues. (mostly software caused slowness due to malware attacks, or simply INFECTED)
A bottle neck as the name implies is like when the police close one lane on the freeway (or turnpike) and now it takes 3 hours to get home not 1 hour.
The HDD can slow, the CPU can slow and the Memory can go full.   We always check this first ! "RAM or CPU overloading "

The first test is to control+alt+delete key (called the 3 finger salute) we go to task manager performance, are you out of memory?, is the CPU overloaded? My CPU is 3% now and memory 60% free.
If the CPU overloaded (processes too busy) or memory is full, this needs to be discovered why and corrected now. (see end of this page on how)

Also all PCs can overheat and all run slower or halt, the magic inside the Intel chip does that BY DESIGN.    (all things ok, just a thermal heat problem, most PC's must have fresh clean cool air to run)
The PC is just  computer,  and still works as a Von Neumann Architecture.

The facts are , anything that can slow the 3 buses of said Architecture, will slow the system down. Just like the turnpike issue, above.
PC's run buses, and are a shared resources.  the 4th bus is POWER. (address, data, control and power) 1,2,3,4 , no surprise ! power is first.

Step1a: (if a Laptop LT)
The first test we do is remove the silly old Laptop (if is that or a notebook) huge main battery, so the PC has full power. (hint 1, batteries love to fail and love to short, and overload power structures)
Running only on the AC wall power pack is best (it's not a charger at all,  the charger is a chip in side the PC, the power pack is just a simple 19vdc power pack that feeds said chip)
We next check ( a meter tool) for 19vdc if a laptop at the mother board if lower that say 18vdc, the pack is bad or the PC has shorts inside overloading the bus.

Step 1b: if a DT.
The desktop has PSU for power, and will most times shut off if power is bad. all by its self or told to do that by the MOBO (it's regulators failing)
We now feel assured that the power is ok. (a tech proves it, no tea leaves reading, bull)

Step 2, is boot from any LINUX CD/DVD or USB stick and run in LIVE CD mode, demo mode, "try me" now mode as Ubuntu 17+ states on its first screen.
The demo mode loads to RAM. and is lighting fast. (if not the PC is sick) I most cases it runs fast now.  (if not, we test memory, and lots of other tests to find out why , the top reason for slow here is OVERHEATED)
If the PC runs off this disk fast now , the PC's hardware is ok.( all of it is okay,  but the HDD? in some way...)
If Linux is happy, most times the HDD is bad, or is infected. (but which is it?, the answer is simple, do the HDD tests , all of them)
The HDD is fully tested for the SMART errors.
If the HDD tests fail or smart data shows a sick drive, it is  now replaced, end story of WHY. (install your OS fresh now on your new HDD)
The HDD is good if not we buy a new SSD and re-Install Windows. end story if  true.
Ok not overheating not bad HDD. so... what is next?
Btw (by the way) HDD can overheat too.  If the case has no working fan all HDD do that.  ALL. (SSD not, mostly)
Ok HDD not bad or replaced. If replace and it works ok, end story.
If the  HDD  was okay then the OS is bad.

A Bad OS discovered !  (but runs slow and is not a DEAD OS)
there is no order here, what works best, the most quickly very's by , luck , fate or classes of infections.
You can do the HP F11 magic recover and go back to Day1 new PC. (but all your data is gone and all add programs you added to the PC will be gone)
Due to that fact you decide to clean the infected system. Below:

At the Elevated command prompt (google that)
Type SFC /scannow.  (there is space after C and before /) must be a space.  this is Windows System File checker.
Then the DISM commands. (see full story)  paste these to the cmd.exe box , command line. 1 at a time.
DISM /Online /Cleanup-Image /CheckHealth
DISM /Online /Cleanup-Image /ScanHealth
DISM /Online /Cleanup-Image /RestoreHealth
Last with the Windows 10 installed ISO USB STICK Plugged in to USB jack and then Mounted (right click it and click mount)
Mine landed on Q: drive so.
DISM /Online /Cleanup-Image /RestoreHealth /Q:repairSource\Install.esd
This last command is very very powerful, but the ISO must match your current OS (build)

What I do is this: (all ways from Sunday) (most Pro's just reload the OS clean (fresh load of Windows, or Linux if wise) 
There are 2 types of protection before the fact and after the fact.   (do not run 2 or more A/V protectors at once before the fact software run only 1 or the fight each other (MS defender page read it heed it)
After the  fact (means infected pc) sure run the above if in fact it does run at all, some viruses block  normal scans. (say you run Defender or just ESET) Ok, the after the fact cleaners are a serial long process.
Warning do not run ROGUE malware cleaners that are actually a virus.  (study how to clean first and what cleaner are safe then act)
In all cases , if you can't run a cleaner because the system so infected, remove the HDD and clean  it off line (that means in other PC in USB  drive chassis (best)!
  1. At the command prompt type Msconfig.exe (it will then open task manager clicked there) Disable all startup files not necessary.(all with word update)  seen list at end of this page.
  2. I back up my data first .
  3. We run a vast array of malware scanners.  (with the HDD in this PC or in another and 2nd drive, or in any external USB drive chassis and runs scans per below.
  4. I run a full scan with your current A/V software, Windows Defender or ESET live scan. (doing it with the HDD moved to other PC is 10x more effective)
  5. We then run Malwarebyte free or paid. (google that name)
  6. I then run CCleaner (I do this weekly so ...)  do not add check boxes just click scan it all browser turned off. (alt+F4)
  7. Run HitmanPro
  8. Run Zemana.
  9. Google Off line malware scanners, (or live scans online) do not not installed over 1 A/V system level A/V package or it will be pure hell as they fight each other to the death. (Defender or not never 2+)
  10. You can in fact,  run 20+ offline or live online  scanners 1 by 1 , one at a time, if all this fails and fails with the HDD removed and used as non boot drive, then the OS needs a fresh load.
 Use these set of tactics.
  • Run  the main installed on your PC , the main A/V package, (See Defender on new PCs) then the installed malware cleaner
  • Run the installed malware scanner.
  • Run off line scanners. (a stand alone utility offered from all top makers of A/V)
  • Run the online web scanners. from the top 10 makers of A/V  I like ESET.
  • last move the drive to E: drive on some other PC,  not as boot. and scan it and clean it, just like the above states.
Try to learn all programs that run and scan show false Positives, (there are 2 types of detections, one is a known virus, and the 2nd is one that looks like bad dangerous code but is not known)
I will give one simple example of what looks dangerous,  a piece of code that messes with the ROOT. (or inside windows protected system files )  EASY no, ? 
There are over 6000 viruses in the wild. ( in the 5 year old report) Linux has the least and are all rendenred inert with updates.  Ubuntu has only 1 exploit now, and is blocked.
XP has 700+ exploits ,  less with SP3 but is still full of exploites and the pathetic old IE 6.
I ran Norton's NPE.exe scanner today (offline) and it told me my beloved Nitro11 is suspect and my beloved Imgburn.exe is suspect only because most folks using Norton, don't use these 2 TOP TOOLS. WOW !
What a load of crap that was,  non popular apps are now suspect?, even the BEST ! ones I have ! We  miss Peter real, not the fake Peter Norton.  (gee Peter fake if Virus total likes it then what is your silly beef)

Prevention: (if you download code, run this first, if it fails delete it)
My favorite online tool is Virustotal.

If the PC runs, open the start search window and type MRT.EXE.  and so a full scan. Built in to Windows 10 ,. run it !  Malware Removal Tool by Microsoft.
Last read this and blow your mind on just how many A/V scanners there are.... endless.

Also run root kit scanners.  (yah, sometimes a OS fresh install is 10x more easy,  load it run it and take a nap.)

My last good link on the word DEEP is here, DEEP SCANS.

Any CPU overload to say 100% or near, then  in task manager , then find what process does that and get rid of it. (uninstall what ever put that process there)  These are the prime shared resources.
( It can be a bad process (bad code so update it) or is  infected one (good is now bad) or a malware program doing it on purpose (pure evil).

Memory can overload easy, I have 12GB but some PC's have 3.  3 is not much today
If  you PC runs out or RAM memory, the PC then MUST simulate missing  RAM, with HDD Virtual memory, with drive swap file pages.  this runs slow as snail, the cure is : (some simple examples besides MORE RAM ADDED)
I just had to delete a email client APP,  that caused a huge memory leak,  this means the APP is a piece of junk (not Thunderbird my love) and sucked up all of my 12GB of RAM.
I had to find out which process did that, then found who owned it, and then did a full uninstall with my beloved,  REVO (life lic) uninstaller PRO. (nothing on earth is better for a PC this app, used as remove and clean APPS)
All software of any kind ,with a memory leak are bad apps, (or infected software)
A leak means and APP asking and getting  all  RAM endlessly or asked for it , then fails to release what it is not used, and then stacks up (asking for more , and it already has too much) It asks as and endless balloon.
It's like the HIPPO in Star Wars, drinking all that water and kicking Mr "FIN" to the curb. It is the same thing. (hogging all the water or RAM same same)
Best is  desktop memory/CPU meter, in the task bar 10x better so you are alerted fast to , HOGS GONE WILD.

Startup files not to delete. (and  some to delete) If you see something there not traceable to a valid use or product ? it's a virus.
A/V startup. Mine has Defender top of the list.
Malwarebytes or the like there. (I have 3 like this here, malware guards)
HP all in one, printer driver in mine. (must have it to scan documents)
My Audio driver (one 1/2 of it is here) there for Realtek sound chip set.
My spy protectosr from Neuber.(Security Task Manager) it blocks taker overs too ! (+WinPatrol v35+)
CCleaner background protector, is good to have. (and free)
I deleted all startups, with words update (one can have 10+  there,  and is a very bad thing having 10 things nag you every day and waste ram, doing it) {adobe whatever, Silverlight, JAVA whatever, and more)
It is your PC ,so  manage it in your own way and your own needs.
Be backed up and ready to fresh install, Windows 10.
One thing I do is not store any of my data on the C: drive, ever.  ( it's on drive 2,3,4 or on my servers data file servers, and on BlueRAY disks)  {my drive 2 is marked DATA ,making backups childs play}
The only hard part is loosing all installed apps, on a fresh install. (try the new W10 , inPLACE install, it works great)
One trick I do is have a registry protector that keeps any RUN or AutoRun  changes blocked  (it asks me did you do that?) if not I tell it black that forever, and find who it is doing that (a process)

Parting shots, to avoid above. (Prevention is best) Never open email attachments or click email links. ever. (do not be  a sucker don't suck in... to the evil forces at bay)
Never fail to run Virustotal.com on ANY downloaded driver or APP  , first thing to is run that and if infected , delete it now.
If you don't run APPS or have data.
What is there to lose? Windows is like dirty socks , change them weekly (LOL) (or get Linux)
If you must run Windows, get 10,  do not run older Windows, ever,  if you need to keep data or have any security at all.

A simple hit  list.
  • The PC is overheating, for sure Mr. CPU (Intel or AMD)
  • The HDD is bad (all do old and go slower and slower ever day from now, if the S.M.A.R.T tests fail) or just needs to be Defragged. (in the start search box type that word)
  • The CPU is overloaded (processes ran amok, bad Alpha or Beta quality junk programs or infected or? ,well find them and get rid of it )
  • The Memory is overloaded.(programs gone mad,sucking up all memory like crazy or you running a video editor with  ONLY  2 GB of RAM (fail you will)
  • The PC is infected. The Endless topic and super boring to the poor sod forced to clean it off. (it's like changing 100 dirty diapers) Reload the OS ! Cleaning off malware is like watching PAINT DRY.
  • You bought an old slow PC, WHY?

version 1.  12-9-2017