by Jonathan Sturdee
As Americans, we love our tech devices. We just can’t get enough of them – be it a cell phone, laptop/desktop, tablet, game console, etc. We use them all the time in our everyday lives and we are constantly buying new ones to play with, such as the newest iPhone or game console. We love to get new things.
But computers are a different story. According to ComputerHope.com “studies conclude that users should replace their computers at least every 4 years.” This seems fairly accurate for most people with decent computers, with the exception being people who know how to build them and can simply replace old parts. But for most people (myself included), we don’t know how to replace old parts to keep our computers running fast and usable. We simply wait until our computer gets to the point where it is basically unusable, then go spend $400-500 on another one. Now I don’t know about you, but I certainly don’t have that kind of money just laying around waiting for me to go blow it on a fancy new laptop or desktop. I would much rather figure out what’s wrong with my computer and fix the problem, and as a last resort scrounge some money together to go buy a new computer.
There are numerous ways that you can attempt to fix your computer. You can try an anti-malware software such as Avast or BitDefender, which both have very good free options. Or you can use Windows Defender, which is the default anti-malware software for Windows 10 and probably what your computer is already running, unless you installed another anti-malware software. All three are viable options that could help prevent most malware from infecting your computer; they will also scan it to make sure everything is running the way it’s supposed to. (My website (http://jonathansturdee.com/) has links for where to download and how to use these anti-malware/cleaning options.) But for older computers this probably won’t make it run any faster, because over time your computer will accumulate a large amount of junk files, slowing it down significantly. A good way to try and fix this is by using a cleaning software designed to remove unwanted files from your computer. The best tool for this job would be CCleaner, a free software that can be very useful in removing unwanted files. But unfortunately, this doesn’t work all the time. So last but not least you should try reinstalling Windows.
Luckily, reinstalling Windows 10 is extremely easy. It just takes some preparation beforehand to make sure you’re ready to reinstall. Reinstalling Windows essentially means bringing it back to the way it was when you first bought it, restoring all the factory settings, deleting all the files that have been added since you first started using it. It’s a complete restart, which sounds daunting, but it can work wonders. For example, I recently just reinstalled windows on my HP laptop. I have had it for a little over 3 years and it got to the point where it was pretty much unusable – it would constantly crash, the screen would freeze up, it was basically useless. I first tried to see if I had any malware on my system. Windows Defender said that my system was completely clean and so I tried using CCleaner, which deleted a bunch of useless files. Alas, my computer was still snail speed. So I decided that as a last resort before buying a new computer, I would try reinstalling Windows – I might as well, I was at the point that was I prepared to go buy a new laptop, so it couldn’t hurt to try. Before reinstalling, you’re going to want to backup all of your important files to a portable USB flash drive or hard drive. There is an option when reinstalling to save certain files, but you might as well be on the safe side and copy them to your USB drive. Once that is complete, you can start the reinstall. After about 6 hours (the time for the reinstall will vary), the reinstall was complete and my computer amazingly was as fast as the day I got it. A tutorial on how to do everything that I’ve just described (and links on where to find the anti-malware/ cleaning options and how to use them) can be found on my website listed below.
Jonathan Sturdee is a member of the Information Technology Senior Seminar course and is planning on a career in Information Technology. Website http://jonathansturdee.com/