To Buy or Not to Buy: An Agent’s Guide to Determining the Fate of your Sluggish PC.

by Geek Squad Agent on ‎02-08-2012 01:06 PM (18,888 Views)

Geek Squad Agents often hear: “It was so fast when I got it, but it’s really slow now!” Don’t start digging a hole in the backyard yet.

 

Computer sluggishness is often software related. You might have picked up malware, which can be removed by a professional. It could also be the result of resource mismanagement problem like too much software running at the same time. If you look at a list of software on your computer, you may find more has been installed over the years than you thought. Sometimes a simple optimization – the oil change of the computer world – could be enough to clean up the clutter and put some life back into the old box. You can often do this at home and can be as simple as uninstalling programs you no longer need and disabling things like browser toolbars and extraneous startup items.

 

But maybe you’ve optimized your computer and it’s still as sluggish as a frozen snail. There’s probably more going on than a software issue. Maybe a piece of hardware is starting to malfunction and needs to be replaced. Or maybe your computer hasn’t quite caught up to the present day and needs a loving hardware upgrade. It’s important to consider the age of your pc, upgrade potential and cost, and your computer’s relative value, before investing hundreds of dollars in upgrades. New hardware can be a either good investment or a waste of money. Some careful analysis will often help you determine the best course of action.

 

RAM (random-access memory) is the least expensive hardware to upgrade and may be a good starting point if your machine has 2 gb (gigabytes) or less. You can spend less than a hundred dollars on new RAM and gain a significant performance increase because the amount of RAM in your computer dictates how many applications can run comfortably at the same time. Visit bestbuy.upgradebase.com to see if your computer could benefit from a memory upgrade.

 

The next thing you might consider replacing is a failing hard drive. Your drive may be on its last legs if your machine has extremely slow performance, experiences random shut downs, and occasionally refusals to boot. A hard drive is the device that holds all of your personal information and operating system, which is why it is important to save your stuff. If you backup your machine regularly, replacing a hard drive can be a good thing. Newer hard drives often offer significantly more space and may give you a performance boost.  A new hard drive will cost between 100 and 200 dollars and if you’re handy with a screwdriver, can be easy to install. You will also need a copy of your operating system to install on the blank drive. If you don’t have these discs, contact the manufacturer of your computer to order them.

 

If you’ve replaced the RAM and the hard drive, or replacing them won’t help, things will start to get expensive. Though every situation and household budget is different, I use the ‘rule of three’ when deciding the fate of my computers. If the computer in question is over 3 years old and repairing or upgrading it will cost more than 300 dollars, it may be time to send your old friend to the great recycling plant in the sky. Your local Best Buy is happy to recycle your used electronics for free and our friendly PC sales team can talk you through the transition. Geek Squad can also assist you by transferring your data from your old machine to your new one. For the remainder of the month of February, when you purchase a Microsoft Premium laptop, the data transfer is free!

 

As always, for a more complete optimization, hardware consultation, or virus removal your local Agents can give you a hand. Like mad scientists, we bring dead things back to life using the power of electricity. (Insert maniacal laugh here.) Call 1-800-GEEKSQUAD, chat with an Agent onwww.geeksquad.com, or stop by your local Precinct at Best Buy to learn more with a free consultation.

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