11-24-2003 slow computer?
Q: Why is my computer running so slow?
A: This is the most common question that people ask about their computer. If your computer has slowly decreased in performance over a long period of time, defragmenting the hard drive could be a solution to your computer performance problem.
When defragmenting with older operating systems like windows 98, you need to start your computer in safe mode to successfully complete a disk defragmentation. If your computer has suddenly started to crawl, it is a good bet that your computer has picked up a virus, trojan, or spyware. The first thing to do is to run a virus scan on your computer. If you are able to connect to the Internet, www.norton.com and www.mcafee.com offer online scans. You don't need to buy anything to scan your computer for the latest viruses but don't think that you don't need a virus scanner. The trick is to stop viruses before they infect your system. Adding a virus scanner to an older computer may make a slow computer run even slower but you need to have some strategy to do virus scans. Newer virus scan technology does a scan on every file opened. This feature can really bog down older computers. There are a few things that you can do to optimize a virus scanner for your particular situation. Virus scanners don't find spyware but there is a great freeware tool, spybot, available at www.kolla.de. This tool has saved me and my customers countless hours of trying to find and remove spyware. The progam is free with no strings attached but the author requests donations. You don't want to forget to donate or software engineers will not be motivated to develop great tools like spybot. If you don't find any viruses, trojans, or spyware on your system, did you recently install anything on your computer? Believe it or not sometimes troubleshooting computer problems is a lot like detective work. Many times you can find and solve a problem by recalling what was recently done on your computer. News: Here's an old story with a modern twist. Hackers from the darkside are resorting to protection rackets on the Internet. They attack an online business with a DOS (denial of service) attack. There are a few variations of this type of attack but the victim is overrun with computer traffic. Think of this like your phone constantly ringing. Eventually you disconnect the phone. How would you conduct business without your phone? Imagine if you had an online business and your computer was constantly being disconnected from the Internet. The bad guys approach the business and demand money to prevent another attack. Sound familiar?