Everyday Issues

 EVERYDAY ISSUES: PERFORMANCE, ERROR MESSAGES AND PRODUCTIVITY                                                08/22/12

Anyone, who uses a computer with any frequency, has encountered problems with sluggish performance, puzzling and sometimes scary error messages and productivity.

Performance issues that cause computers to take too long to boot up, open applications and save files to your hard drive usually are caused by one of three things.

First, your computer has accumulated a glut of unnecessary files including temporary files that are stored on your hard drive and deleted files that are sitting in your Recycle Bin. These files can be eliminated using the Windows disk cleanup, which is fairly quick and easy to perform.  Visit our Tech Tips for step-by-step instructions on performing a Windows disk cleanup.

The second potential cause of performance issues is insufficient memory. Many older computers were equipped with limited memory.  Now that the cost of computer chips has dropped dramatically, newer computer models have significantly more memory.  If you want to replace your computer’s memory chips or add to an existing machine, contact a knowledgeable computer technician.

Spyware or virus infections are the third  most common causes of computer performance issues.  While the leading antivirus software programs including Norton-Symantec, McAfee and Trend Micro provide very good virus protection, their spyware protection typically is insufficient to protect today’s computers. Spyware collects information about individuals such as user logins and credit card information without their knowledge. Install separate spyware products such as Malwarebytes or SUPER-AntiSpyware to be safe. Both are free and available on the Internet to residential users.

Another everyday concern for computer users is error messages that pop up when a problem has occurred.  These range from the relatively harmless “file not found” to the heart-stopping announcement that “a system failure has occurred.” Most error messages occur when programs are attempting to run but the file structure or a portion of it is missing. Spyware and viruses can damage file structures.  Errors also can occur after installation of software updates when the vendor doesn’t properly remove earlier versions of the same file.

Regardless of the cause, error message corrections should be performed by a knowledgeable computer technician, who knows how to fix the problem without losing critical data or corrupting files. 

Productivity issues can be equipment related or manmade. 

  • Older computer equipment can be a financial drain on your business and adversely affect your employees’ productivity because of downtime due to repairs. It’s recommended that businesses replace their computer equipment every three years to maintain a reasonable level of productivity.
  • Installing the latest updates from software vendors is another way to improve productivity.
  • Training your employees to use keyboard shortcuts instead of relying on the mouse can increase productivity 15 to 20 percent, which translates into one, eight-hour day a week.  Here’s a link to a table of keyboard shortcuts http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Table_of_keyboard_shortcuts.  Start by learning a handful at a time. Some of the more common keystrokes are used for editing and copying and saving screenshots.

If you have any questions or concerns, contact System Resolutions….

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