how to speed up your computer or laptop

How to fix a slow laptop or computer

Here are a few ways to fix your slow laptop or computer. With new computer software and applications being released as often as they are, your computer needs to keep up. Many of us can’t afford a new computer every couple of years. Computer speed is very important, whether you’re watching YouTube or working on your blog. In the 25 years I’ve been working in the tech support industry, it’s still amazing to me how technology has progressed.

HERE ARE SOME TIPS to speed up your computer:

  1. Moving from a traditional spinning hard drive to a solid-state drive (SSD) is the best thing you can do to revive an older computer. Older hard drives are limited in speed because they locate data on the disc via a spinning platter, much like a vinyl record or CD. The disc must spin to locate the data. That takes time. This is why an SSD (solid state hard drive) is inherently faster than a mechanical spinning drive.
  2. Make sure you’re not running out of space. Just because you have a 512GB hard drive doesn’t mean you can fill it entirely. The computer needs at least 1/4 of total hard drive space available at all times in order to run smoothly. If you are getting close to passing this, it’s recommended to either purchase a new drive entirely or get an external usb drive to store data on. I love external drives. I keep one for all my photos and one for videos I create. Being a professional photographer, I would never store all the thousands of photos on my main drive. I have 2 external usb drives; one to work with and one for backup in case a drive fails.
  3. Upgrade your computer’s memory. This is known as RAM. It’s recommended to have at least 8GB RAM. My iMac has been upgraded to 32GB because of the video editing and audio mixing and mastering I do. Each computer is different so it’s important to get the correct memory. Check make and model for proper specs.

The single most important thing you can do for speed:

GET THAT SOLID STATE HARD DRIVE!

Replacing your spinning hard drive technology with a solid state hard drive is a quick and relatively inexpensive fix (compared to buying a new machine.) A new hard drive will breathe tons speed into your computer or laptop, even if it’s an 8-year-old Macbook pro like mine. There are tons of YouTube videos that walk you through the easy process of replacing a hard drive. I don’t recommend Geek Squad. Most of them are amateurs and have no idea what they’re doing.

HERE’S A VIDEO SHOWING HOW TO UPGRADE YOUR HARD DRIVE

 

Replacing your old hard drive with a solid state hard drive will make the largest impact in the speed of your computer. I highly recommend it.

old slow hard drive
Old standard hard drive. Data is read off the spinning metal platter.

Most laptops and computers before 2014 do not use solid state drives. They were using the old standard spinning drives with sata connections. IDE connections are worse and much slower in desktop computers. IF your desktop computer uses IDE cable (thin wide grey cable that connects to the hard drive) then I would recommend purchasing an entirely new computer altogether. Old school hard drives actually spin. The data is written to a metal platter, much like a vinyl record has grooves in it. The data is only accessed as fast as the drive can spin to retrieve the data. This is one reason spinning drives are bad. If the motor on an older spinning hard drives fails, you will lose all your data.

speed up your old computer
You don’t have to be a computer geek to upgrade your computer. BUT…If you have a geek at your disposal, it will be much better for you.

NERD TALK ALERT!

There were 2 main speeds hard drives ran at: 5400 rpm and 7200rpm. 7200 revolutions per minute sounds fast, and it is, but not when data is involved. By removing your hard drive and replacing with a solid state drive, you will see a night and day difference in the speed of your computer. It’s relatively easy to replace a hard drive, but as with anything, remember the order you took things apart.

A solid state hard drive has no moving parts and no spinning disc. This is solid state hard drives are so much better than the old traditional spinning drives. Your Iphone, smart phones and tablets such as the iPad use solid state hard drives. It’s instant access to your data. Since there are no moving parts, there is no heat generated, which is a great thing. I cannot recommend solid state hard drives enough. I have installed solid state hard drives in all my computers, as well as for for friends and coworkers.

Check out the HIGHEST RATED solid state drive on AMAZON. The Samsung 860 EVO

how to make your computer or laptop faster
Samsung 860 EVO solid state hard drive

I was much more willing to purchase the $150 hard drive instead of spending $1500 on a new Macbook. I recommend the brand Samsung, as they are the go-to for many, and a name you can trust. There are different storage sizes of hard drive and each come with a price. I would recommend 512GB for a great all around storage drive. This is plenty for your operating system, leaving plenty of space for music and videos. You can also save some money and go with a 128GB drive, then purchase a separate usb external drive to save your data to. 128GB just isn’t enough to save everything and you will run out of space fast. For the small price difference, it’s best to go with the 512GB.

  • Powered by Samsung V-NAND Technology. Optimized Performance for Everyday Computing
  • Enhanced Performance: Sequential Read/Write speeds up to 550MB/s and 520MB/s respectively
  • Ideal for mainstream PCs and laptops for personal, gaming and business use
  • Hardware/Software Compatibility: Windows 8/Windows 7/Windows Server 2003 (32-bit and 64-bit), Vista (SP1 and above), XP (SP2 and above), MAC OSX, and Linux
  • Included Contents: 2.5″ (7mm) SATA III (6Gb/s) SSD & User Manual (All Other Cables, Screws, Brackets Not Included). 5-Year Warranty

amazon buy button 2

Here is a link to the Samsung 512GB I purchased and installed in my 2010 apple Macbook pro 15″ screen. All connections are the same regardless of what size you buy. Simply remove your hard drive, install the new one, then reinstall the operating system (windows or mac os) and you’re done.

If you have any questions, let me know. If you’re in the Chicago area I can install for you. Contact me for a quote.

Thanks for reading my blog posts. If you like how I write and would like to follow my tech writing and photography, follow my BLOG.

Steve

My You Tube channels:

German Shepherd Weekly: Weekly short videos of my german shepherd, Leia
LEGO SPEED GUY: Lego speed build videos and entertainment
ROTTER studios: photography, film, movies, rants                                                            ROTTER TUBE REEF: saltwater aquarium care                                                                         The Joker Box: The Joker Impression – Tribute to Heath Ledger

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