Tag: Windows 10

Hallett Cove Onsite Computer Support : Slow laptop after Windows 10 update

A customer in Hallett Cove contacted me today saying his laptop was very slow and behaving strangely after a large windows 10 update had gone through. He said it took quite a long time for the update to complete and when it rebooted he wasn’t able to log in as per normal.
I found that his laptop has got stuck in a type of hibernation loop where it had gone to sleep after the update (possibly due to low battery) and wasn’t waking up properly to allow him to log in. I pulled out the battery from his laptop for 1 minute and then tried to boot up again with the battery in and was able to trigger the Windows repair menu. After a few more steps repairing his Windows startup and getting the update in question to successfully complete this time – he was back up and running.

 
Mark JANSEN 
280 6 - Hallett Cove Onsite Computer Support : Slow laptop after Windows 10 update
DIGITAL INSITE 
Adelaide Onsite Computers + Support 
Mobile : 0404 110 526 
Office : (08) 8387 9023 

Panorama Computer Support : Blue Screen of Death in Windows 10

I had the pleasure of helping a customer this week with his Windows 10 PC that was displaying the BSOD (Blue Screen of Death) at random intervals while he was using it but most especially when trying to play videos from YouTube. The error messages didn’t really have any common theme to them but all seemed to point to some sort of hardware failure. I initially suspected his video card as it was a Nvidia Geforce 650ti froma few years back.
He had already had 3 technicians look at the PC and charge him quite a lot of money without actually fixing the problem. As you can imagine he was quite dissapointed and frustrated by the whole situation and desperately wanted it resolved.
I proceeded by assuring him that I will get to the bottom of the problem and began by removing any unneeded software and scanning for viruses. Even after removing all suspicious programs the computer was still crashing in under 5 minutes of playing YouTube. Time to dig deeper…
Next up was hardware testing. I started by removing his graphics card and replacing it with one in my workshop but unfortunately the PC was still crashing in the same way. Testing the RAM with memtest was next and while all tests passed for over an hour of solid testing the PC still crashed in Windows just the same. Next I tested all of his hard disks by simply removing all but his primary SSD… still crashing. Lastly I ran a linux based stress test program outside of Windows that tests for motherboard faults etc and it didn’t miss a beat. Strange…
So after all my testing I concluded that the hardware was fine and the problem must lie elsewhere. Reinstalling Windows 10 was the final option but before I went down that road I had another idea to make life a lot easier. I disconnected all of his hard disks and connected only an SSD from my workshop to his PC to eliminate all risk of data loss for my customer (data loss for my customers is NEVER an acceptable outcome in my books). Now I was able to safely reinstall a fresh version of Windows 10 as a test to see if something had corrupted his installation. Everything worked OK and was rock solid stable with the fresh install of Windows 10 with nothing but device drivers installed so this finally proved where the problem lay… Windows 10 and not his hardware. I was relieved for him that this was the case as his PC was quite a high spec model with a nice i7 4770 processor, 16GB of RAM and plenty of other high quality upgrades so it would have been a shame to say he needed to buy a whole new PC.
So the story ends by safely reinstalling Windows 10 on his primary SSD, installing his device drivers then moving and merging all of his personal data and profile back to their original locations. Just to be extra sure everything was fine I tested his PC by leaving YouTube running for over 8 hours playing 15 videos simultaneously and it never crashed once. As you can imagine he was quite happy with the end result and was finally able to use his PC again without it crashing every 5 minutes and didn’t have to buy a whole new system.
Mark JANSEN
DIGITAL INSITE
Adelaide Onsite Computers + Support
Mobile : 0404 110 526
Office : (08) 8387 9023

My computer is so slow! How to tell what’s causing it… (Windows 7 / Windows 10)

We’ve all had or worked on a slow computer at some stage and it can be extremely frustrating when you’ve got things to do and it’s slowing you down from getting there. The thing is, computers don’t think for themselves and only do what they are told so there’s not much point getting angry at an inanimate object – instead it’s better to take a little bit more of a better look as to why your computer is running slow.
The first place I tell my customers to look if their computer is running slow is the programs or apps on your PC or laptop. In a nut shell, the more programs you have running on your PC or laptop the more work your computer is doing and the slower it’s going to be. The less programs it’s running, the faster it is… funny about that hey 🙂 So, an easy way to get a speed boost (even if it’s just a small one) is to remove any programs or apps you don’t need any more. This can easily be done by using the control panel on your PC then look for “uninstall a program” under the word “Programs” or simply click on “Programs and Features” in Windows 10 and you should be able to work it out from there.
The next step to speeding up your PC is to disable unwanted programs in your computer’s startup. This can be done in Windows 7 by clicking Start then typing MSCONFIG and pressing enter. Go to the startup tab and look for any programs you don’t need always starting up when you turn on your PC and turn the tick box off. Don’t worry, this isn’t the same as uninstalling a program – it simply makes it so it doesn’t auto start when you boot up or log in. You can still manually run the program from it’s shortcut any time you need. In Windows 10  you can do exactly the same thing through ther Task Manager. Press the keys CTRL + ALT + DEL and click on  “Task Manager” on the screen. You’ll see a tab at the top called Startup – click on this and look for any programs you don’t need to auto start when you log in. Right-click them and choose disable. You should find this should help speed up your PC if it’s running slow.
Now the last section of this article covers the hardware in your PC or Laptop. If your PC or laptop is running slow and you’ve already done the steps above and it’s still painfully slow, then it might be that the hardware in your PC is worn out and possibly out of date. The best way to see if this is the case is to run your program of choice (eg. Word, Excel, Youtube, or your favourite game) and then press the keys CTRL + ALT + DEL and click on Task Manager. Go to the performance tab. Windows 7 gives you your CPU usage and your RAM usage which lets you see how hard the CPU (essentially the brains of your computer) is working or how much RAM (sort of like the short term memory of the computer) is being used. Windows 7 Task Manager won’t show you the hard disk usage on this screen but can be seen by clicking the “Resource monitor” tab then clicking on the “Disk” tab. Look for the small blue “Highest Active Time” box and if it’s percentage is very high then your hard disk is getting used to it’s limit. The Windows 10 task manager is much easier to read and gives you all of the things you need on the performance tab (CPU, RAM, HDD).
Basically, what you want to do is see which of these is hitting high percentages when you’re running your program of choice. If the CPU is 98% but the HDD (Hard Disk) and RAM are around 20% then you know it’s your CPU that’s the limiting factor. If your CPU is 5% and RAM is 50% but the HDD is 99% then you know that your hard disk is not delivering data quick enough to the other parts of your computer and it’s the limiting factor. The same above applies for RAM if it’s reading a very high percentage on the chart.
If you find your RAM usage is high then there’s a very good chance you can upgrade the RAM in your PC or laptop. Most PC’s and laptops usually have a spare expansion slot and if they don’t you can often remove a smaller stick of RAM and replace it with a larger one. Get a professional like myself to do this though as you can damage parts in your PC or laptop with static electricity etc if you don’t know what you’re doing.
If your HDD (Hard Disk) usage is very high in Task Manager then you’re probably an ideal candidate for an SSD upgrade (unless you already have one installed). Again, get a professional to install an SSD because if it’s done right by using cloning tools etc if can be a nice easy, pain free experience. Get it wrong and you may have to completely re-install Windows.
If you are finding that the CPU usage in Task Manager is very high then it’s showing that the processing (maths computation) side of your PC or laptop is not being able to keep up with the workload. CPU’s can be upgraded but it’s not a common thing to do as it often requires a whole new motherboard. Laptops don’t usually tend to CPU upgrades very well so if your CPU is the limiting factor in your laptop it’s probably just old or a bit of a weak CPU and it might be time to look at upgrading to a new model.
I hope this helps give you a little bit of insight into why your PC or laptop is running slow and what you can do about it.
Have a great day guys 🙂
Mark JANSEN
DIGITAL INSITE
Adelaide Onsite Computers + Support
Mobile : 0404 110 526
Office : (08) 8387 9023

Lonsdale Computer Support : Fun and games with SQL

Fun and games trying to get some circa 2005 Point of Sale SQL based software to network to the two other sales PC’s at a catering business in Lonsdale today. Windows 7 64bit and any versions above that really don’t like to play nice with apps designed around the older SQL builds and have a huge hissy fit when you try to run them as they were originally coded for 32bit environments. Upgrading the whole software package to the latest version wasn’t an option as it would have cost thousands of dollars and would require my customer to upgrade their old but perfectly working sales terminals in the store… so that’s where I come in 🙂

A whole lot of tweaking, hot fixes and some plain old trial and error got me there in the end and now the main point of sale PC that handles all of the stock levels and sales is talking nicely and sending and receiving packets to and from the sales terminals in the shop and behaving just like it should – except it’s now running like lightning thanks to Windows being installed on an SSD and much better hardware in the system.

They’re back in business so I’m happy. On to the next job…

Mark JANSEN

DIGITAL INSITE

Adelaide Onsite Computers + Support

Mobile : 0404 110 526
Office : (08) 8387 9023