“Help, my PC is slow and I don’t know why!”

Jenny Carpenter

As an IT professional, there’s a good chance your own computer runs rather well. After all, you should know exactly what to do to address issues that impact performance.

Improving the performance of an employee’s troublesome PC is inherently more difficult. It doesn’t help that employees have a tendency to say, “My PC is slow” without offering you any further information.

140673649A PC is usually slow for a number of reasons, such as:

  1. The machine is under-specified. Either there’s not enough RAM to support the number of applications in use, or there are disk bottlenecks due to the use of large files.
  2. Hardware is failing. Perhaps a hard drive is on its way out?
  3. There is a malware infection. Regardless of the quality of your antivirus software, malware can sometimes creep in due to user actions (such as unknowingly clicking on malicious links).
  4. “Bad” software is installed. Ironically, considering the above point, a common culprit is a low-quality antivirus that impacts performance. Keep an eye out for third-party software that may be full of adware, which can also hinder performance.
  5. There is a bottleneck on the local area network (LAN). Sometimes, it’s the network itself that can cause employees to think their PCs are slow.

There are other potential reasons why PCs become sluggish and perform below par. But the list above acts as a fairly good starting point.

Even armed with this list, troubleshooting isn’t always easy. Quite often you will sit at the “slow” PC and think it works perfectly fine.

Getting to the root of the problem is not hard if you use a workstation-monitoring tool like the one included in ControlNow.

One of the most useful features ControlNow provides is the ability to look back at historical performance data on the PC in question. Analyzing this data can quickly provide you with clues and some patterns. For example, you can quickly tell whether I/O problems are at disk or network level.

On Windows machines, the Event Viewer has long been a useful source of troubleshooting information. ControlNow also interfaces with this information, making it easy to keep a regular lookout for errors and alerts, rather than something you do “on the fly.”

Also, jumping back to point 4 on the list, ControlNow includes its own antivirus module – one that’s designed to ensure low system utilization, thus giving you one less potential problem to eliminate.

There’s always a way to speed up a sluggish PC, but the answer isn’t always obvious. Where the ControlNow monitoring functionality excels is in helping you take the correct actions every time. If disk I/O is struggling, maybe it’s time to swap that user’s hard drive for an SSD. If the network is the bottleneck, perhaps the employee would be better plugging in the Ethernet cable instead of stubbornly using the Wi-Fi network.

There’s always a way and, with ControlNow, there’s always a solution.

Check out our white paper: Top performance related issues on a Windows workstation. Learn how ControlNow can make IT administration easier, start your free trial here.