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Slow PC

This page is going to be a “work in progress” for a while. Why? Analysis of a Slow PC can expose several root causes and it is not uncommon to find more than one contributing factor on a computer.

HD (Hard Drive) or SSD (Solid State Drive) and Slow PC

For many years PC's were delivered with a Hard Drive. The electrical mechanical components in a HD (hard drive) are significant contributors to the performance of a desktop computer. In recent years computers are available with SSD (Solid State Drive). SSD is dramatically faster than HD. Computers with a HD can exhibit siginficanlty improvements in, boot time, load time and update time, if the HD is replaced with an SSD. SSD costs have dropped significantly.


Slow PC is a symptom with many causes. Determining why the PC is slow, requires analysis.

If the PC will get to the point of letting you log in, then the next step might be:

Observe what the PC is doing with the Task Manager. The Task Manager is like the dash board of a car. It can indicate what part of the PC is overheating or running low on resources. Here is some knowlege about Task Manager.

Things the Help Center volunteers frequently discover with the Task Manager are:

  1. Multiple instances of antivirus programs. Typically they all want to do similar activities at system boot time, and the result is a lot of resource consumption that degrades the user experience. The typical solution is: uninstall the extra antivirus programs.
  2. The system is configured to invoke/start unnecessary programs at system boot. The solution. Disable the unnecessary programs at boot time. One tool that facilitates this action is the autoruns program from

How do you invoke the Task Manger?

Here are 4 options for starting the Task Manager.

  1. Right-click the Taskbar and click on Task Manager.
  2. Open Start, do a search for Task Manager and click the result.
  3. Use the Ctrl + Shift + Esc keyboard shortcut.
  4. Use the Ctrl + Alt + Del keyboard shortcut and click on Task Manager.

Now What?

You should see something like this: I need to figure out how to capture and import an image.

Make sure the “Process” tab is selected. Now you should see columns for CPU, Memory, Disk and Network. If the system is SLOW then one of those columns probably indicate something close to 100%. A system that is not exhibiting slow behaviour, typically indicates values below 10%. It is not uncommon for just a couple of programs to be contributing to high utilization of CPU or Disk.

Tell Task Manager to sort on CPU or Disk

Clicking on the CPU column will sort the columns based on CPU utilization. The process using the most CPU resource will be at the top of the list. Clicking on the column again will reverse the sort order.

Clicking on the Disk column will sort the columns based on Disk utilization. The Process using the most Disk resource will be at the top of the list. Clicking on the column again will reverse the sort order.


Do a google search for: “troubleshooting with task manager”.

Windows 7 Task Manager

An alternative to Windows Task Manager is Sysinternals Procmon. Procmon has additional features.


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computerclub/helpcenter/slowpc.1559660529.txt.gz · Last modified: 2019/06/04 15:02 by pb