Understand what may be wrong with your system before contacting support and avoid being taken advantage of. Learn some of the terminology involved in your repairs, so that you can be more informed when requesting help from your technical support personnel.

DETERMINING IF YOUR TECHNICIAN IS DOING THE JOB RIGHT OR WRONG

PROBLEM: Your computer is slow.

  • 7 out of 10 times…it’s a virus.
  • 2 out of 10 times…operating system is corrupt.
  • 1 out of 10 times…it’s hardware limitations.

SOLUTIONS: You need to contact an expert that can perform the following tasks on your system.

Immediately while speaking to the Technician, they should be able to:

  • Discuss system symptoms and provide an immediate answer on possible issues and resolutions
  • Request and perform a physical system analysis
    • Immediately determine if it is an infection, software or hardware limitation

If it is a virus, the following needs to be performed:

Some of these steps may seem non-relative to viral infection, but a good Technician pays attention to the fact that a customer complaining about a system being slow, should be a system that needs extra steps taken in order to make it operate smoother and faster. There are some additional steps or details that have notbeen added to this list that will increase system performance, but have been omitted due to them being ZRTECH trade secrets.

  • Detect and remove the viruses from your system.
  • Detect and remove Ad-Aware software from your system.
  • Remove toolbars and bloat-ware from your system.
  • Perform a registry clean-up.
  • Perform a windows start up services optimization.
  • Install industry benchmarked anti-virus software.
    • We recommend Comodo as it is free, has outperformed competitors on our internal benchmarks over the years and is now ranked #1 free AV in the industry.

If your operating system is corrupt, the following needs to be performed:

An operating system is the primary software environment you interact with on your computer. It is how you are able to interact with the computer to run applications such as Microsoft Office or Google Chrome. There are 3 standard types of operating systems you may have running on your computer; Windows, OSX or Linux. Your technician should be able to identify which type you are running by asking you a few simple questions.

  • Determine if the operating system corruption is due to hardware issues.
  • Determine if the operating system can be fixed with a reset.
  • Discuss customer data being backed up.
  • Provide data backup options.
  • Provide operating system imaging options.

If it is a hardware limitation, the following needs to be taken into consideration:

There’s a pattern of consumers automatically blaming hardware limitation or age on the reason why their system is running slow. It is very seldom that this is the issue. It is up to your Technicians knowledgebase to determine the best solution. In the case that you are experiencing hardware limitation issues, below are common problems and solutions explained in the least technical manner.

There are mainly two culprits to a system running slow due to hardware limitations:

  1. RAM memory available
  2. CPU processing capacity
  3. Hard drive failure
  4. Hard drive speed

RAM & CPU & HDD explained:

  • RAM – Random Access Memory is temporary memory used by software in your computer to store small chunks of code that can be accessed actively by the processor to calculate what actions to take next.
    • Example:
      • Microsoft Word is opened. The computer sends small chunks of code to the RAM to await its turn in line till the processor is ready to calculate how to save your document as you’re editing it.
      • At the same time, you have an Internet browser opened and are researching cool jargon to type in your letter. The computer sends small chunks of code to the RAM to await its turn in line till the processor is ready to calculate how to draw those cool pictures from that website to your screen.
      • All the meanwhile, both of these pieces of software along with many others in the background processing your cloud data storage and such, are all trying to send chunks of code to your RAM.
      • You see the problem we are running into if your system doesn’t have enough RAM? It begins to slow down, because there are too many pieces of software waiting in line to send code to the processor to execute.
  • CPU – Central Processing Unit is the calculator that processes code needing to execute actions on your computer. As many say, it’s the brains.
    • Example:
      • You try to open windows explorer inside your computer to look at some files. The processor receives information from your Operating System (Windows) to initiate your hard drive and read a section of the disk where the files you are trying to access were previous written to.
      • At the same time, your processor is crunching code to figure out the next execution needed to make that Word document of yours look so user friendly and store the information to that same hard drive.
      • All the meanwhile, both of these tasks along with dozens of others that run your monitor, your cd drive, your keyboard and much more are all demanding that your processor execute their tasks.
      • You see the problem we are running into if your system doesn’t have enough CPU power? It begins to slow down, because there are too many tasks weighing it down wanting it to calculate faster and faster.
  • HDD – Hard Disk Drive is the device that stores all of your permanent information during and after the system is powered down. A Hard Disk Drive can be thought of like a cd player with many cd’s inside of it and a needle goes back and forth across each disc to read and write information.
    • Example:
      • You just got done writing the lengthy Essay or Contract using Microsoft Word and you want to save your changes permanently for future access. When you click the save button in any application, the information is stored permanently onto a disk inside of a drive.
      • The speed of a HDD is limited by the need to read and write information randomly across each disc. The needle scanning the surface can only move so fast and the discs can only spin so fast. This creates a bottleneck based on the type of HDD you have inside of your computer. Here you can see how this can be a limiting factor on how fast your computer can save and access information based on the type of application you are using and how heavily that application relies on permanently stored data. An example of such permanently stored data that dramatically impacts your systems performance is your operating system. Your operating system is permanently stored on your HDD, so when you access your operating system, you’re limited by the speed of the HDD.
      • HDD’s being built with spinning discs, makes them very sensitive to gravity and impact. Imagine what would happen if you were to spin a cd on a pencil in your hand and then you tilted your hand to the side; this would cause the disc to gyrate or create resistance. Now imagine that there is a metal needle on top of the disc that is spinning and you tilt it to the side; you can imagine how this needle would damage the disc due to pressure of the disc tilting against it. Lastly, imagine dropping your cd player on the ground while it was playing music. These visual exercises are showing you how easy it is to damage your computer’s HDD. If your system relies on the data stored on your HDD to run essential things such as the permanently stored Operating System or your saved pictures, imagine what happens to this data and your system’s ability to read it after the accidents depicted in this example. Now you can see how HDD failure affects your systems performance.
      • Mobile devices such as Laptops in particular with HDD are highly sensitive to damage due to the explanations above. This is why it is common to find HDD damage in mobile devices containing a HDD.
  • SSD – Solid State Drive is similar to a HDD in that it is a device that stores all of your permanent information during and after the system is powered down. The difference is that a SSD does not store information on discs, but instead on a circuit. Unlike a HDD that is limited by disc rotating speed, a SSD can be limitless in its ability to access data as fast as electricity can run across its circuit.
    • Reason for SSD:
      • An SSD can dramatically improve your system’s performance by removing the barriers encountered by a HDD. The lack of resistance found by reading information across discs makes an SSD far superior and greatly faster than using an HDD. Additionally, the lack of sensitive moving internal parts, makes an SSD highly desirable when it comes to preserving the integrity of your data.
      • By upgrading to an SSD from an HDD, you will dramatically improve the performance of your operating system and any permanent applications stored on the SSD. Additionally, you will no longer have to worry about moving or dropping your mobile device by eliminating moving parts that could cause disc corruption.
      • SSD’s have not become an industry standard in computers until the last couple years. So, it is higher likely that you will contain a HDD in the majority of your computers versus a SSD. It is up to your technician to determine what type of drive you have in your system and to advise you on your performance improvement options.