Utilizing Computer Performance Test and Repair
There are several methods commonly used to locate “glitches” in different areas of a PC that cause it to act differently than it should. These simple computer performance tests can be done in minutes and cost nothing. Let’s look at what is available.
Test 1: Quick Computer Performance Test Using Windows Sidebar
There is a quick and easy way to see what is going on with two of the very critical elements effecting a computer’s speed: CPU usage and RAM usage. The CPU is the Central Processing Unit and “processes” each function. It has been described as the system’s motor. The RAM, Random Access Memory, is the short term storage area for all critical configurations that is accessed by the CPU over and over again. If these two areas of the PC are not working properly or they are overloaded your computer will be slower than it should.
The Windows Sidebar is a program that works like a pop-up on your screen . It can be activated at any time from the bottom tray once is has been activated. You can find it by going to “Programs” and then “Accessories”.If you click on the Windows Sidebar it will appear on the right side of your screen and from there you can Add or Delete items such as a calendar, clock, weather, etc. It will disappear when you click on another area of the screen but can always be opened again from the icon in the bottom tray.
The sidebar also features a set of meters that show what percentage of your PC’s capacity is being used at any one time. This will give you a quick look at the CPU and the RAM anytime you like. If your PC is running slow use this as a computer performance test right on your screen.
Test 2: Testing Internet Speed vs. Computer Performance
This online computer test will eliminate the possibility that the problem is coming from your IPS or Internet Provider. With so much of our computer work being done on the internet sometimes it is hard to tell if its one or the other.
In just a minute this Internet Performance Test will tell you your connections speed to your ISP. It give you the up-load and the down-load speeds actually to your computer. Download speed is what you hear the most about and is usually the most important. Today it should be at least 4.0 mhps and probably much more unless you are in a rural area. If you have doubts about your speed contact your Internet service provider directly.
Test 3: Do A Computer Performance Test On Your Network
Many times our computer problems arise out of “local” problems. Networks are not just in offices or businesses today. Your home is a network with other computers, printers, phone or cable connections, modem, router, etc. Each of these can be a cause of a computer, or computers, not operating correctly.
Testing these components is little more than taking the time to check and eliminate any problems. Your wireless router can be removed from your connection by hard-wiring your computer directly to the modem. If this doesn’t solve the issue then try disconnecting all but one computer and see if the speed is better.
There are of course many other things that cause us to have slow and poor performing computers. Viruses, malware, and spyware can force your PC to run programs that should not be running and use up valuable capacity. Hopefully we can go over more of these in later posts.
Also don’t forget our “sponsor” and the easy and free scan that can identify your problems in just a few minutes. There is no obligation to purchase the software, so give it a try.
Before A Computer Performance Test – Do A Backup
Sometimes in our hurry or frustration we can forget a very important computer feature that is available to each of us and is easily used – the data back up. Backing up your computer can save time, money, and even resources that are irreplaceable.
Setting Up Auto Back Up Feature
Windows operating systems have easy backup features that can be up and running in no time. And the automatic back up will provide you with peace of mind as time goes on and you add more information to your computer that you certainly do not want to lose.
As you can see in the picture above the computer has not had the Auto Backup feature turned on. You can simply select this and it will ask you where you want to store the backup and what files do you want the program to backup. You then schedule the times – how often and what time of day – that you want future backups to be done.
You find the “Backup Status And Configuration” by going into your Programs menu and finding Accessories. Then click on System Tools. After using it the first time the feature will be in your start menu for easy access.
You can also see the option of a complete computer backup. This is a good idea every once in a while to save all your settings and other data that you might not back up on each regularly scheduled one. This will save info such as contacts, emails, email address, etc.
When doing a backup your computer will not function for other uses so you may want to schedule them at night or other times when you don’t normally use your PC. Also the complete back up can take an hour or more to run depending on the amount of data you have stored on your computer. Any inconvenience will seem minor if you have a computer crash and can’t recover your files.
In the picture of the backup you can also see the “Restore” feature. This is where you would go to restore your saved back up files after you get the computer back to running or get a new computer.
Use Available Computer Performance Tests First
Another great way of testing computer performance is to use Windows Defender. It is a program that you have on your operating system that will scan for spyware and malware. But it also provides a great deal of other information.Windows Defender is not usually set to run on a computer by default. You may need to set it and start it. You can first find Windows Defender by going to All Programs and clicking on it. You will see a box popup telling you that the program is not turned on (probably similar to the picture above). Click the link to turn Windows defender on and it will open a screen for you called Tools and Settings. Here you set up how often for it to run a scan and if you want the program to try and fix the problems it finds or just quarantine them.
If this is the first time you have used Windows Defender you will want to let it run a scan. This can be a quick or complete computer scan. Due to the length of time it will take, it may be better to set the whole PC scan for a time when you will not need to use your computer.
Software Explorer Computer Performance Test and Information
There is also a feature named Software Explorer. This program will provide you with information on what is running on as well as what applications are starting up automatically when you start the computer.
Pull up each of these under the “category” drop down. As you look through them you may find some that you are not familiar with or show no publisher and are not permitted. This could be a malicious program. Many times these programs will be set to open at startup and spyware programs will then send out information about where you are going on the Internet and what you are looking at.
You don’t want to remove an application just because you don’t know what it is. Take the name and/or the file name and do a Google search for it and see what pops up. Most malicious software will be identified this way by protection companies and easily found and identified online.
Even With Protection We Can Still Get Viruses On Computer
Some virus protection software is better than others. There are name brand anti-viruses that are expensive and yet do not catch some of the most common viruses. Here are a couple of things to look for in your selection of an antivirus.
First is whether or not the software will scan outside storage such as flash drives. When you take a flash drive or other external data storage and move it from one computer to the next, it can move a virus onto the next PC. This can easily happen a school where it is common to take your flash drive with a document on it to be printed or emailed and load it into a school computer. The PC it is connected to can load a virus into your flash drive. And if you own computer does not catch it the virus will then move from the flash drive into your computer when the drive is connected again.
All antivirus software will scan incoming emails, attachments, websites, etc. But many do not check flash drives. They consider them “internal” drives even though they are removable. You can check this when you start a PC scan and see if you have to manually ask the software to scan a drive or does it do it automatically.
Second is if the antivirus will do a whole computer scan in “boot” or DOS mode before Windows opens. Many viruses can hide in a Windows based program and be undetectable. However a boot scan may catch them “out in the open” before Windows starts. This type of scan will have to be scheduled since it will have to run before the operating system starts. You may want to set it to run during the night or when you will not need to be using your PC since it can take several hours to do the scan.
Finding Answers With A PC Performance Test
If you find that you can take your morning cup of coffee in a shorter period than it takes for your computer to start up, you should conduct a PC performance test and find out what can be done to make it work faster. These tests can show you exactly how much the machine has slowed down, so you can pick an appropriate remedy.The slowing of a computer can be caused by a number of factors. The memory that you have may become overloaded, especially if you install memory-intensive programs. Some programs, especially those that use high resolution graphics, such as those used in computer design and imagery, take up a lot of memory. This means that your computer may start exhibiting a reduction in speed especially when these programs are running
The computer may also be infected with viruses. Some of these viruses are designed to steal information from your computer including the registry. If the registry is being hampered by the operations of a virus, or is some of its settings are changed for purposes of stealing personal information, your computer will slow down. Performing a PC performance test will show if there is a virus that has infected your registry and you can get a virus removal program to clean your registry.
A PC performance test will also show how much of the system resources are being used up by programs that you hardly use. Some of these programs affect the start-up time and keep processes running in the background that will reduce the speed of your computer. Take a note of the programs that you do not use. Then look at the system tray and find out how many of these are running processes in the background. Remove these programs and then run the test again. You should note a marked improvement.
There are special and free programs, that you can download on the Internet to test computer speed. These programs will scan your computer and identify how much of your system resources are being used by the legitimate programs and also how much is being used by spy-ware, viruses and malware. Most of these are equipped with utilities that you can use to remove unwanted programs.
Look through the Internet and see what computer performance test you can use for your computer. If you are not satisfied, buy a program to test computer speed and get to know what is causing your computer to slow down. After running repair processes, you will notice a marked increase in the speed of your computer.