Saturday 27 December 2014

Windows installed new updates

This phrase is one that I dread to see when I sit down at my personal computer. What it always seems to mean is that some 'bug' (or 'bugs') in the operating system have been 'fixed' ... as a result of which my computer will work even slower than it did previously, and a program or two that are already installed will no longer work in the way I have come to expect.

My computer is over five years old, and runs on Windows 7. Over time the speed at which it does things has slowed to such an extent that I sometimes have to wait several minutes for it to fulfil a request, and its ability to do more than one thing at a time has become seriously impaired. I have tried to speed things up by deleting programs that I no longer use and by transferring old files to a removable, back-up hard drive ... but this does not seem to have had much impact at all.

I am coming to the conclusion that I am going to have to buy a new computer ... which is a great pity as there is basically nothing wrong with the one that I have. Its only failing seems to be that its processing chip can no longer cope with the increasing complexity and size of the programs that I have installed ... and the recent 'new upgrades' seem to have been the final straw.

Luckily the post-Christmas/New Year sales will soon be upon us, and it might be a good time to think about buying a replacement computer ... but therein lies another dilemma. Do I stick with a computer that runs on a Windows operating system, or do I go with Apple?

Now that is a difficult conundrum to sort out ... and one that I need to seriously think about before making a purchase.


  1. Having worked in IT since before it was called IT you would think I would have words of wisdom for you.

    Unfortunately the IT world is one of bias and that flavours any answer that an IT person will give you.

    I would never ever dream of buying an Apple product despite being an Apple specialist for many years.

    Maybe it was the simplicity of use, the inability of opening the case and swapping bits about or perhaps that Apple were the only company who would make an Apple put me off.

    I always enjoyed seeing the infinite variety of manufacturers who made a Windows PC, the opening of the case to swap out a faulty component or the infinite ways that a Windows system could be screwed up and the even more infinite ways you could fix it.

    However if I was you Bob, and money was no object I would buy an Apple if all you were to be doing was a variety of word processing, image manipulation and web editing.

    On the other hand if you were to be tight on funds and also liked to play computer games then a Windows PC is the one for you.

    Then there is the desktop/laptop/tablet option which I cannot help you with as I would probably buy one of each.

    Go with your head and not your heart.

  2. There are other things to try first if you haven't already:

    Upgrade your current machine. Go to the Cruciaol website, download the Crucial memory tool and run it - you may be able to upgrade memory or hard drive. This is usually quite easy and may only involve removing/replacing a few screws plus the parts.

    Check clutter on your od machine.l Do you use either Advanced System Care or Glary Utilities? These could help tune up your machine and perhaps clear some clutter.

    Have you gone through and deleted unused programs? These may be taking up hard drive space - a full hard drive slows your machine down - or may be running/loading/doing things in the background using resources.

  3. Also if you have not run a "disk defrag" in a long time, you might want to do so . . . sometimes that helps.

    But if you are going to purchase a new computer there are a lot of solid 'puters at reasonable prices if you look around a bit. They might not be top-of-the-line, latest bells-and-whistles . . . but do you need all of that?

    Be honest with yourself and figure out what you really do with a computer and decide what you need (and what you don't).

    -- Jeff

  4. Wasn't it Goering who said "Whenever I hear the words 'vital IT upgrade', I reach for my revolver...?"

  5. Jim Duncan,

    Thanks for your very helpful, informative, and authorative suggestions. I taught IT for some years and understand the theory behind the use of Microsoft Office applications, but I must admit to having a serious weakness when it comes to the hardware side of things.

    Until I bought an iPad and iPhone I was wedded to the use of PCs that used Windows OS, but they opened my eyes to the strengths of Apple products.

    The bottom line is cost ... and the price of Apple products is very off-putting. I had not thought about ease with which Windows PCs can be upgraded ... and the price of reasonable Windows PCs is very tempting.

    I have yet to make a decision, but your input has been very helpful.

    All the best,


  6. Xaltotun of Python,

    Thanks very much for your suggestions. I had not heard of the Crucial memory tool, but I will certainly look at it.

    I do regularly use the various system tools that are available to tune up my PC, and have had a real purge of programs installed on my computer. Likewise I have transferred lots of old files to storage media. Despite doing all of this my PC seems to be slowing down more and more after each update ... so I think that it is about time that i gave serious thought to buying a new computer,

    All the best,


  7. Bluebear Jeff,

    Thanks for the suggestion. I do regularly defrag my hard drive every week (and used to love the way Windows used to show the process taking place).

    I have set myself a realistic price that I am willing to pay for a new computer and a baseline specification that I want to achieve. I have trawled through what the main online retailers have on sale, and I think that I can get what I want at the price I can afford.

    All the best,


  8. JWH,

    If it wasn't Herman the German who said it ... it should have been!

    All the best,



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