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Why is my computer slow?

Computer are becoming one of the most essential tools of the 21st century and most people find it hard to live without one. In the fast-moving information age, the speed of computers has also become a determining factor in who wins the race to become the most successful. Therefore it is not a surprise that one of the most frequently asked questions for computer users is ‘why is my computer slow?’

The computer may be slowed down due to many reasons, most of which are caused by software applications running on the computer. The Operating System of the computer is the platform on which all the software applications available on the computer run, and therefore most of the operating system functions are very important in determining the speed of the computer. Therefore if you are asking yourself the question ‘why is my computer slow’ you should look to your operating system for the answer.

When storing data on the hard disk, the operating system stores them as files. When a file is deleted, it leaves behind a chunk of empty space on the hard disk. When a new file is being written to the hard disk, the operating system will check if the new file is too large for the chunk of space left behind by the old file. If it is too big, it will be broken in to small parts that will fit in to the free space and stored at different locations on the hard disk. This causes the operating system to take more time when reading those kind of files as it has to access different parts of the hard disk to get at a single file. This is known as fragmentation. To prevent fragmentation, Windows provides a utility known as the Disk Defragmenter, which will take the fragments of files and put them together speeding up the process of accessing them. The Disk Defragmenter can be found by going to the Start Menu->Accessories->System Tools.

The Windows Registry is another area which could be the cause for a slow computer. The Registry is designed to store the application execution settings and user preferences on a computer and it is used to boot up the operating system quickly as well as to load applications efficiently. If this registry gets cluttered with unwanted entries, inevitably the computer slows down. It is important to remove these unwanted entries which can be done manually by accessing the Windows Registry Editor, or RegEdit.

The use of utility software is a good way to speed up the processes of a computer. PC Health Advisor developed by ParetoLogic is a good example for a utility software application that you could use to fix the problem of a slow computer. It contains a registry cleaner as well as various system monitoring software that can be used to bring your PC up to optimum speed.

If you are faced with the question ‘why is my computer slow?’ you should now be able to answer that question

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