Welcome back to Computer Repair Vancouver; today we will be continuing with our discussion regarding slow computers! You may remember that we began our discussion several weeks ago by looking at the major causes of a slow computer. Although we will not rehash these causes in great deal, here they are as a short reminder:
- Computer Infections
- Older Computer Parts
- Lack of data organization (fragmentation)
- Processes/Programs running in the background
- Out-of-date Windows operating system
- Drivers which are old or corrupted
- Hardware problems
- An overheating computer
- A corrupted registry
Today we will focus on the first cause of a slow computer: a computer infection. We will briefly discuss this particular cause as well as how one should attempt to rectify the situation.
During the past few months members of Computer Repair Vancouver have already spent a considerable amount of time discussing computer infections. A computer infection is a general term which refers to a situation in which malware resides on your PC. Now malware is a blanket statement for all kinds of malicious programs including: viruses, adware, spyware, Trojans, worms, and root kits. For an in depth analysis of computer virus repair or computer malware repair go back to the respective articles and take a read through them.
In general, the term malware is given to any program which does something behind your back, which is likely not ok with the user – you. It may steal your data, it may annoy you with pop up ads, it may attempt to copy itself and move onto other computers, or it may simply grind your system to a halt – resulting in a slow computer.
Malware is fairly easy to avoid; stick to big name sites and don’t enter any shady areas of the Internet. Despite saying this, there are times when you can become infected anyways. One of the most popular ways to become infected is by downloading and running an email attachment. The email may seem harmless, written as if it is coming from a friend or companion; however, the attachment within it is just waiting to spring onto your computer. This is why members of Computer Repair Vancouver always recommend that people do not open emails which they are uncertain of. If necessary, contact your friend or acquaintance and ask them if they did, indeed, send you a message. If they did, then you can open it with peace of mind. If they don’t know what you are talking about, don’t open it. Now you may think that computer experts like ourselves are never tricked by such pranks. Frankly, this is generally true. However, several months ago we did get an email from what appeared to be Canada post stating that they had found a missing package from a while back. Coincidentally, a package or ours had actually gone missing several months back; therefore, we jumped straight into the email and attempted to open the pdf attachment. It was only a few seconds later that we realized we had been duped. So let this be a lesson to you all – even computer experts can be fooled. As a corollary – don’t be too hard on yourself when you make a mistake.
Repair a Computer Infection
An infected computer is oftentimes a slow computer. So what are you to do? Simply remove the infection and attempt to prevent such things from happening again.
Now we have already discussed, extensively, how to remove viruses and other malware. However, this is a good time to bring all of our information together in one location.
- In order to remove any viruses, download and install either Avira AntiVir Personal or avast! free antivirus. We determined these to be two of the top free anti-virus software packages out there today. You can also try Microsoft Security Essentials if you like. Once you have installed any of these programs (just choose 1 at a time) make sure to update it and then proceed to perform a full scan. Once the scan has been completed choose to delete whatever problems have been detected.
- In order to remove any other forms of malware, download and install, both Malwarebytes Anti-Malware and SUPERAntiSpyware. As above, once they have been installed make sure to update them then run them. Computer Repair Vancouver tends to execute Malwarebytes first and then SUPERAntiSypware second (as the latter generally does a good cleanup job with respect to hard to remove problems).
If, after trying a variety of anti-virus and anti-malware programs your computer is no faster than it was before, we believe that it is time to move onto our next step (which we will be posting in the relatively near future). It is true that some form of malware could be causing your slowness; however, it is unlikely. The software applications (discussed above) tend to do a fairly good job removing computing threats. The only time they do not is when a major new threat appears, and if this is the case you will likely hear about it on the Internet right away.
Hopefully you have found our first part on this series to be useful and informative. Come back to Computer Repair Vancouver soon as we will be discussing the second potential cause of a slow computer: an old machine.