Part 1: The Operating System
One of the most common questions a computer tech receives is “why is this computer so slow?”. So this will be a several part series explaining why it’s slow, and what you can do about it. I will start with one of the biggest factors, your operating system.
The first thing I ask in return when I get this question is “Do you have Windows Vista?” Generally the answer is “Yes” in which case I proceed to explain Vista was a terrible product. Occasionally the answer is XP or 7, and then we move on to another reason it may be running slow. But the second most common answer is “I’m not sure, how do you know?” which is the next topic I will cover.
How to check your operating system?
1. Click the “Start” or “Windows” button in the very bottom left (in most cases)
2. Right click “My Computer” or “Computer”, then left click “Properties”
3. Toward the top of the window that comes up you should see “Windows Edition” below it will either say Windows XP, Windows Vista or Windows 7, followed then by Home, Professional, Ultimate or a few other types.
Now if you do have Windows Vista don’t panic, there are a few things you can do.
Ways to improve Windows Vista
1. The best thing to do is upgrade to Windows 7, however a license for window 7 will run you around $100, so if you don’t plan on using the computer much longer it may not be cost effective.
Another issue is that not all Vista machines are able to upgrade to 7 due to drivers not being available, in which case you would need to downgrade to Windows XP. I use the word downgrade loosely as many would consider going to XP from Vista an upgrade 🙂
2. If you decide that you must stay with, Vista you can make sure you have the most updated version of it as possible, as they have tried to fix as many of the problems as they could over the several years its been out.
First thing to check is that you have both Service Pack 1 and Service Pack 2 installed. You can find this out the same way you found out which operating system you had, 2 lines below where it said Windows Vista it with either say Service Pack 1, Service Pack 2 or nothing at all.
Your best bet if you don’t have Service Pack 2 loaded is to go to Windows Update and start running all your updates until Service Pack 2 comes up. If you don’t have either Service Pack loaded it will need to install Service Pack 1 before 2 will be available. If you do have Service Pack 2 installed then go to Windows Update anyway and make sure you have all the other non Service Pack updates loaded.
To access Windows Update click the “Windows” button in the bottom left, click “All Programs” and then click “Windows Update”.
And remember if you ever need help with any of the instructions in this write up, do not be afraid to contact Epic Tech with the contact form or phone number 701.426.2192.