Tech Lolz: My Computer is Feeling Down! What Can I Do?

Hello guys and gals. Today we are going to tackle one of the most persistent issues with computers: their inevitable slowdown. At some point, they get to be so slow that you feel like they are depressed every single day. An internet user felt quite empathetic and tried to do something about computer depression. Here's how:

Does Your Computer Have Feelings?

I came accross the following discussion for today's episode: Do computers have feelings, too?.

Before we go ahead and share more about this discussion, I would like to be honest with you and say that I believe that computers have feelings. Since female computers are made of sugar and spice and everything nice and male computers are made of snips and snails and puppy dog tails, it makes sense that they can feel emotions, as we do.

Sad Computer

Let's take a look at the original comment from Gorgon Zola:

"I swore at it and threatened to kill it a while ago, and now I think it is mad at me. Let me explain.
My computer has been acting up lately. It doesn't listen...I tell it to do something and it just ignores me. I go to open a new page and it takes forever, and it does it on purpose, I'm starting to think.
I emptied all the useless cookies and programs, and and scanned and checked it thoroughly. I gave it a registry cleaner and a new antivirus, I got it TWO search and destroy bots, I even upgraded to the new Explorer...what more could it possibly want from me!? It STILL starts to run slow half an hour after a virus check!
Please, any suggestions except "Buy it flowers" would be appreciated.
I've already tried that; it didn't work."

At The Office

Buying it flowers didn't work? Oh snap! Dude, you are in real trouble now.

Why Computer Slowdowns Occur

Just like us people, computers sometimes have a bad day when they just want to be left alone. Only they are not left alone. They are not like humans and have the capacity to operate 24/7 should we need them to do so. Imagine a corporation having to put all of its servers to sleep at the end of the day just because they are exhausted after a full day's work. That never happens! Computers are machines, and in between their transistors, cables and hardware components they do not have a soul. They sound so evil, don't they?

I feel weird having to say that. It feels as if it should have been a known fact. Nevertheless, this is why I am here for you. First to make fun of people's dilemmas and then to set you back on the straight path.

Taking a look into the actual slowdown issue, there are countless things that can cause a computer to slow down. If it's a progressive slowdown, meaning that it becomes worse day-to-day and month-to-month, then it could be: a hard disk failure that's bound to happen soon, your hardware is too old for the programs you are running, you installed way too many programs and they run at startup, bloatware, Windows issues, malware and the list could go on forever. If the slowdown occurred suddenly, then this might need further investigation. But first, let's take a look at what the Internet had to say on this matter:

A Chineese guy/gal said:

"No, computers don't have feelings. But it is still important to be patient with your computer.
Even though you ran a virus check, I still think it's a virus. I recently got a virus and it bypassed all the scans and checks I put on my computer. What the virus did was it opened 500 something processes without me knowing. The 500 useless processes quickly took over all the computer's resources and they made everything else go at a slow pace. Launch the Task Manager and check how many processes you have running. If you have XP then normally you should have 20-50 processes. If you have Vista then you should normally have 50-100 processes. Anything more than that means that you have useless processes taking up your system. Don't try terminating the processes, cancel one and three more takes its place. I solved my problem by reinstalling my system, unfortunately I haven't found a way to fix the problem without reinstalling my system.
Look out for the useless processes. They should look something like this: ay58lfiu98q.exe
Just look out for anything that is totally random inside the Task Manager.
Your computer can give people the finger? I WANT ONE!!! "

As far as agreeing with the comment above, I am a bit conflicted. Yes, there are viruses that can bypass your computer's protection. But no, having more than 100 processes does not mean that this is why your computer is slow. You can have 120 processes running and your computer could still be blazing fast.

So first thing you need to do is ensure that your computer's hardware is not way too old and dated. You can't ask too much from a computer with a single core processor and less than 4 GB of RAM. If your computer's older than 3 or 4 years, consider upgrading. Be realistic with your expectations.

Let's take another comment from Arpanet :

"They get upset at you if you forget to clean dust out of their usb ports.
It's like a yeast infection, yikes."

hp Elitebook 8560w: Mic, Headphone, and USB 3.0 Ports

Hahahaha. Yikes! Yeast infections are horrible. So your morning routine should be something like this: wake up, wash your face, brush your teeth and clean the USB ports. Not yours of course… unless you think of yourself as a computer. :)

The user Code said:

"I hope a lot of AI developers are reading this...
This is completely coincidence. Stop being paranoid; trust me if your computer had feelings then.... well just watch Terminator. How long have you had your operating system? If you run Windows then that might be the problem. You need to reformat your OS every year or so with Windows."

As always, some people tend to be a bit paranoid. He makes some good points but we no longer have to format Windows every year unless you get a weird feeling of accomplishment out of it. It's not how long you had the same operating system installed, but how tidy you kept it, how old the computer is and whether some piece of software or hardware has started to malfunction.

How to Avoid Computer Slowdowns

All jokes aside, keeping your computer in a good running state for a longer time isn't really that much of a hassle.

Just clean temporary files now and then, ensure that the computer is up-to-date, remove all the bloatware, ensure that you have one and only one good antivirus software installed, avoid dodgy websites and clean up the dust from your computer once every few months. You can find some really good practices in this old guide we published: How to Setup a System from Scratch? The Best Installation Order.

If the slowdown is massive, you might also consider checking the hardware: the fans might not be working well and things get both slow and hot, the hard drive might be dying and it has to be replaced with a shiny and snappy SSD drive or some other hardware component or driver might be failing. As long as you take care of your computer, as you would with your car for example, it will work well and deliver every time you need it. And your computer will never feel depressed, I assure you.

And if it makes you feel better, you can give it a name and pretend it has feelings, just don't wait for it to start working faster while you pet it saying: "Good boy! Who is a good boy?".

Tornado Baby ;) [184/365]

Conclusion

At the end of this episode, I have to disappoint you and say that computers do not have feelings. You have to be a bit high or way too empathetic to think or feel otherwise. :)

Before you go, do share with us your problems with computer slowdowns (or depressions, however you want to call them) and how you have fixed them.