Category: Blog

Our blog posts, we will add useful information for customers and others.

Slow computer, increase your memory to boost computer speed

Mar 5, 2018 by Patrick

Slow computers are a very common issue we see at our business customers and when customers bring a computer into the store.  How often have you had a day where your computer just feels bogged down and when you type it takes a while for the results to appear on the screen.  Sometimes a relatively cheap and simple solution is to upgrade your hardware. Adding more RAM (Random Access Memory, often just referred to as memory) can be a make the biggest impact to help speed up your PC.

Before upgrading the RAM, you should understand the other components in your PC, here is a break down:

CPU/Processor

The CPU is the brain of your computer, it is responsible for running the commands tell your computer to perform, also known as instructions. Today consumer-class CPUs handle billions and even trillions of instructions per second. While older processors can impact the actual speed of a computer, if your PC is newer (1 to 3 years old) it is likely not the bottleneck in your computer’s performance. Today, CPUs are equipped with two (dual), four (quad), or even more cores, this means the CPU can handle more instructions exponentially and consume less electricity.  Upgrading a processor is not a cost effective solution, if you would like a faster processor you may want to look at a new computer.

RAM/Memory

Random Access Memory (RAM) is the short-term memory of your computer. When the computer is turned off anything stored in RAM is gone.  While your computer is loading and running applications, the instructions get stored in the RAM. An instruction can be something as simple as a right click of the mouse.  Think of RAM as a bucket, this bucket is holding instructions the CPU is waiting to run, the more RAM the bigger your bucket. If your bucket gets full, the operating system uses a bucket it created on the hard drive referred to as a page file.  The hard drive bucket is much slower than the physical RAM.  Once your RAM bucket is full, the operating system will start filling the bucket on your hard drive.  Retrieving instructions from the hard drive takes longer, because it must spin platters, and it will appear your computer is running sluggish.  One thing you can do is close programs, but if you need that program to perform a task, you need to start it back up and you are right back to a slow computer.

Hard Drive

The hard drive is the storage device of a computer, where files are kept permanently.  On most computers, the hard drive is the bottleneck.  A standard hard drive is mechanical and has moving parts, there are limitations to how fast science can make them perform.  When compared to RAM, are very slow to write and access instructions, remember you also need to retrieve files/information.  If your computer needs to rely on your hard drive more than RAM, the computer will appear to slow down. While it’s great that your PC can rely on your hard drive in this way for those times it needs some extra memory, it can cause a major slowdown.

A newer technology being introduced is solid-state drives (SSD), The solid-state drive is electronic and provides amazing speeds, the speed comes at a cost, with the increased speed the price of actual storage goes up.  Today a 1 TB mechanical hard drive you can get about 240 GB of SSD capacity.

Other factors for slow performance

Have you ever thought my computer does not seem as fast as use to be?  If this is the case you may have malware and/or spyware can bog down your system, this can slow things down.  Before upgrading hardware, you should have a technician run a quick evaluation on your PC – it’s possible a little cleanup can make all the difference in the world. If the computer checks out without hardware errors and malware has been removed, you should consider upgrading the RAM.  Because RAM is fairly inexpensive and the easiest thing to upgrade, you may see a significant improvement in performance memory. Often the cost of the new RAM itself can be between $40 and $100, there are some factors such as the age of the computer, older memory is often more expensive.  This simple upgrade can help the most, if you are buying a new computer go with a minimum of 4 GB for someone surfing the internet and the occasional office document open, if you will have a lot of applications open at once look at a minimum of 8 GB of RAM.

Questions to ask:
– Is my computer running slow?
– Does it get bogged down by the time you have all my day-to-day applications open?
– Are you seeing pop-ups or going to strange sites?

Options:
– We can test memory and hard drive (may have bad memory or a failing hard drive)
– Upgrade your RAM
– Clone your existing hard drive to an SSD

Contact us at (414) 764-4465 x1 for a quick evaluation to see which option is the best option for you.

Backup your lifeline

Aug 14, 2017 by Patrick

This write up is about backups.  Over the years we have seen a lot of issues come up and many of them ended up needing a restore from a backup.  Many people just assume they are backing their computer/data up.  Hopefully after reading this page, you will think about a few things and make sure your backups are working.

You may need to recover from any variety of things such as: ransomware, disaster, human error, hardware failure, or malware/viruses.

One of the hot topics everyone is talking about is getting hit with a Ransomware virus.  This virus will come to your home or business in many different ways and this is a whole other topic at a later date.  When it does it encrypts all important files and demands money in the form of bit coins to unlock your files.  If you are already asking what is a bit coin you definitely do not want this to impact you or your business.

Disasters anything that can destroy something, often of no fault of your own.  Examples: weather, fire, floods, earthquakes, you get the idea.  The reason I decided to write this article on July 30, 2017 a big fire broke out in Brookfield, Wisconsin that completely destroyed a business building, along with all businesses inside.  Imagine if that was your building and all your records were on your server or in paper files.  Now imagine how would you recover this information, what if you cannot recover this information?  I am sure you have some type of backup, but is it attached to the server?

Backups can save the day, there are many different factors you need to consider when thinking about a backup plan:

  • Amount of data being backed up
  • Do you have any industry regulations you must adhere to: PCI, HIPAA, SOX, etc
  • Speed of recovery
  • How many devices do you want to backup
  • What if there is a disaster in my business or my home
  • Are you being alerted on your backup status

 

Depending on your answers, will depend on the best course of action(s) to take.  The price for recovery goes up by the speed you need to recover, how much data you need to recover, and do you want backups off-site.  Having your files off-site allows you to restore files from anywhere to any device.

Some questions to ask about your existing backup:

  • Am I or my IT company receiving update statuses on my backups?
  • If going to cloud, how reliable is the company?
  • If you have regulations am I in compliance?
  • Should a disaster happen and my building is accessible, can I get at any backups?
  • Am I backing up anything other than the server(s), should I?

 

No one solution is the best and every IT company will tell you their solution is the best, but you want to make sure you ask questions and know your data is safe.

If you have any questions or would like to talk to DK Systems about backups let contact us.  We would love to discuss your various options.

If you want to try a trial of Carbonite, click here, business customers with more than one machine, and for home users.

Call 414-764-4465 x1

IT and your small business

Feb 20, 2017 by Patrick

Over the years we have seen a lot of different issues come up.  I have written a short paper to help you and your IT.  This is not going to teach you how to do things, but it will give you some tips on what information you should have and services you might need.  In this IT support and your small business, we give you a checklist of things you should know, for example do you know your administrator username and password?  There is no obligation, hopefully it helps a few (or many) businesses.  If you need any additional help, we are here to help.

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