Problems In The Cloud: Trouble With Amazon Servers

Technology progresses through the years. It gets more and more advanced that anything that can’t keep up disappears into oblivion. Many of the processes right now that make the world go round also rely on technology. So, it is not surprising that chaos follows once problems arise with these complex technologies.

This premise was just proven (yet again) by a glitch that affected Amazon servers last month (Amazon may just want to consider our Dell Services:, which consequently affected the business of many popular websites and even that of ordinary people using it. It only goes to show that technology – in a way – is just like us, imperfect and capable of making costly mistakes.

Amazon’s S3 cloud service experienced an outage of several hours on Tuesday that caused problems for many websites and mobile apps that rely on it, including Medium, Business Insider, Slack, Quora and Giphy.

The company said earlier on Tuesday that it was experiencing “high error rates” on the platform affecting a large part of the east coast of the US. Then on Tuesday afternoon, Amazon posted on its service health dashboard that the issue had been resolved.

So, what happened to the company’s cloud service that resulted in this (costly) problem?

The Amazon Simple Storage Solution (S3) is used by tens of thousands of web services for hosting and backing up data, including the Guardian, which was heavily affected.

The problem had also affected some internet-connected devices, such as as smartphone-controlled light switches.

The outage even affected a site called “is it down right now?” which monitors when other sites are down. 


In as much as we think highly of technology, it is still vulnerable to human error. Inc. said a human error at its cloud business caused sweeping outages across the internet for several hours earlier this week.

Amazon said efforts to fix a billing system bug caused prolonged disruptions Tuesday. An Amazon Web Services employee working on the issue accidentally switched off more computer servers than intended at 9:37 a.m. Seattle time, resulting in errors that cascaded through the company’s S3 service, Amazon said in a statement Thursday. S3 is used to house data, manage apps and software downloads by nearly 150,000 sites, including and, according to

A major failure from what appears to be a minor maintenance procedure highlights that AWS, and the cloud computing industry in general, still have some maturing to do, said Ed Anderson, an analyst at Gartner Inc.

“The fact that an incorrect keyboard entry could bring down an entire region shows they have some operational issues,” Anderson said. “Even though they are the world’s biggest cloud provider, they still have some work to do to refine their processes.”

Amazon said it is “making several changes as a result of this operational event.”


But then again, the damage has been done but it helps a lot that their server functions have been recovered and restored. The company issued a statement saying they are looking into the matter and will be making changes in the processes they follow so future mistakes like this one can be avoided at all cost.

An enormous number of sites, including Airbnb, Business Insider, Expedia, Medium, Netflix, Quora, Slack, Trello, and the Securities and Exchange Commission experienced issues related to the outage, VentureBeat reported at the time of the outage.

“S3 has experienced massive growth over the last several years and the process of restarting these services and running the necessary safety checks to validate the integrity of the metadata took longer than expected,” Amazon said.


Amazon already issued a public apology to those who have been affected by this major glitch but it also raise awareness that machines aren’t that reliable after all. In spite of all the technological advancements modern life has afforded us, human error persists to be the most reported reason for the majority of tech malfunctions.

It is high time to evaluate the life we have lived so far and determine if we need all this technology in our lives. Soon enough, science will be able to bring to life artificial intelligence and more mind-blowing discoveries that will set the pace on how we should all live our lives whether we like it or not.

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Data Pricing Benefits From Competition

We are all aware of the law of supply and demand, right? That when the demand is high and the supply is low, the prices go up. Or that the price goes down because the supply is high and the demand is low. So, let us be reminded of the role of competition in the market. Prices usually go down when there is too much competition in a specific market. Data recovery prices ( in our industry have come down over 50% from just 10 years ago, as an example.

With technology dominating the world today, it is not surprising that many entrepreneurs want to join in on the bandwagon and get their piece of the cake. And as such, having many players in the field has a significant impact on commodity prices. For instance, aside from the actual gadgets, data recovered from RAIDs is a sought after commodity as well as it allows people to communicate on a global scale.

 Consumers can expect better service at cheaper rates with telecom majors gearing up to wage a price war to protect their market share in mobile data services.

On Friday, Bharat Sanchar Nigam (BSNL) introduced a special promotional offer giving away unlimited calls at Rs 339 plus unlimited data with fair use policy of 2GB per day with 28 days’ validity. BSNL’s move is in response to RJio’s aggressive pricing policy.

Meanwhile, telecom operator Idea Cellular has said it will also start selling 1GB and above mobile data plans across its 2G, 3G and 4G networks all at the same price by the end of this month. “Idea will allow open market data recharges of 1GB and above to work on Idea’s 2G, 3G or 4G network without any differential prices and this will be rolled out nationally by March 31, 2017,” a company statement said.

Prices are likely to come down further, according to Tapan K Patra, director, Association of Competitive Telecom Operators. 

“Data consumption has increased in India significantly. The rates that are being charged will fall further,” he said.


Even remote places now have access to the Internet and it is the reason why data has become more in-demand than ever. People from all walks of life need data for various reasons and telecom companies will do everything to make sure they get the bigger profit than their competitor.

It’s no secret that the global economy has been under strain since the 2008/9 economic crisis.

Global financial institutions and our reserve bank have downward revised South Africa’s GDP in recent years.

This in turn has put pressures on the growth and investment projections that companies set themselves year-on-year while rising to the challenge of social-economic development.

Mobile communication companies like Vodacom have invested heavily in infrastructure and complemented this with investment in human resources, communities, and contributions to economic transformation.

Despite the challenging economic environment, Vodacom continues to outperform its targets – evidenced by the

Group’s 5.3% growth in service revenue in the first half of the current financial year and its strong performance in 2015/16.

This has enabled Vodacom to prioritise its commitment to the digital and knowledge economy by investing in its network infrastructure.

Including the current financial year, Vodacom will have invested R27.4 billion in its network in South Africa over a three-year period – as pressures to keep up with coverage, speed, and quality demands intensify.

And there will be lots of changes on data pricing to make sure they stay competitive.

Accordingly, Vodacom’s pricing transformation plan has seen the company reduce the price of data and voice by more than 60% and 57% respectively over the past four years.

However, Vodacom acknowledges that more needs to be done to respond to consumer needs and the company remains committed to data cost transformation.


Data is such a precious non-tangible commodity. Considering that data was unheard of before the web exploded and became a household name, telecom companies have milked a lot of money from consumers who will gladly shell out their hard-earned money just so they stay connected to the Internet in their day-to-day. And the beauty of competition benefits the consumers in general because the price of data goes down without them ever sacrificing connectivity.

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Data Warehousing: Why Businesses Do Not Find It Appealing And What Works

Most of us are clueless about most computer lingo. As long as we know how to use a computer or laptop and make our way around the web, then we feel that we are good to go. But as technology progresses and more and more of the processes we use become increasingly complex for our simple minds, it helps to learn about one tech concept at a time so we do not hear crickets chirping in the background the next time we encounter it.

Data storage is a crucial concept nowadays where conventional means have been shadowed by more advanced ones – just think of the cloud. Things like Cloud backups are critical, especially considering data recovery prices ( are not going lower. Oh, and there is also data warehousing – an equally important process that makes business all over the world go round and flourish.

Data warehouse was coined by William H. Inmon in the 1970s. Inmon, known as the Father of Data Warehousing, described a data warehouse as being “a subject-oriented, integrated, time-variant and non-volatile collection of data that supports management’s decision-making process.”

It mainly involves the extraction and storage of modeled or structured data. Data warehousing takes care of important data that a company needs in its conduct of its business. The downside is that it is costly and difficult to make and maintain, which makes it quite unpopular to entrepreneurs, aside from its many limitations.

Traditional data warehouses are limited to structured data. Presently, there is an urgent need from the business world for quick access to new data. We are talking about data coming from outside the organization and unstructured data which makes up approximately 75% of the information in an enterprise. Cambridge Semantics says this is essentially combined with “the decreasing costs of data storage in recent years and the emergence of big data and NoSQL toolsets, in which enterprises began turning to data lakes as an alternative to the challenges of creating yet another data warehouse.”


So, what is gaining traction nowadays? Have you heard about a data lake? What it is and how is it different from a data warehouse?

The bulk of that was from operational systems, some cherry-picked for analysis, but the majority packed away in cold storage where it sat idle. By comparison, Colony Brand’s data warehouse contained just 10 to 15 terabytes of data, which was used for specific business analytics and reporting. The discrepancy between the two got Cretney and his team thinking: What might the data science team uncover if it had access to the data stuck in the SAN?

To make cold storage data available and to push the company in a cloud-first direction, Cretney, a big believer in cloud computing before he came to Colony Brands three years ago, turned to Amazon S3, a data storage service, and Amazon Redshift, a cluster database that will replace the company’s data warehouse. His plan, set in stages with the first to be completed in April, is to build a data lake, making more data more accessible for more analytics.

It provides the same benefits (or even more) of a data warehouse without most of its limitations – to the delight of businesses all over the world (especially the ones with an established online presence and centralized operation).

Data lakes or data hubs — storage repositories and processing systems that can ingest data without compromising the data structure — have become synonymous with modern data architecture and big data management. The upside to the data lake is that it doesn’t require a rigid schema or manipulation of the data to ingest it, making it easy for businesses to collect data of all shapes and sizes. The harder part for CIOs and senior IT leaders is maintaining order once the data arrives. Without an upfront schema imposed on the data, data lake governance, including metadata management, play vital roles in keeping the data lake pristine, according to experts.


What technology teaches all of us is that if something does not work, we can always innovate and make it better or just get rid of it completely if all else fails. The aim is to always make things better and streamlined as more advanced technology is made available to us as the months and years go by.

It helps to know about all these things even though it mostly applies to technology on a bigger scale – something not all of us are privy of or has access to. Yet, you likely have realized by now that all these things affect our lives one way or the other. Just think of your computer’s hard drive, for instance. You may take it for granted and don’t really know much about it but you get all stressed out once something bad happens to it and your data is now lost (temporarily or for good). But if you have an idea about hard drive data recovery for a specific brand (, you know that you may still access your files and you can save your tears for later (in case your data is eventually lost for good).

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Should You Upgrade To A Windows 10?

There are only two types of computer users in this world: a Mac user and a Windows user. Only a small portion of the population uses Mac and the rest uses windows operated computers. It is the iPhone and Android version in the computing world.

The human race has gone far in the computing world. From the outdated Internet explorer to the most recent operating system that is Windows 10 (which debuted in 2015), we are yet to expect many more updates on this most commonly used OS today until a new version is released by Microsoft.

Windows 10 has been hailed by many as a vast improvement over the previous generation, marrying the best features of ‘classic’ Windows with the best bits of windows 8.

However, no software is exempt from glitches, bugs and other assorted compatibility issues – least of all Windows 10. While it’s not as bug-riddled as previous Windows versions, there are nonetheless a series of common problems that have been persistently identified by fans.


Experts in the field are also in the loop on common problems experienced by Windows 10 users. Some installation problems have already caused a lot of people to consider our services ( It’s something Microsoft undoubtedly intends to improve:

Slowly but surely Windows 10 has been getting better and the sizeable Creators Update due this month will improve matters further. But the biggest (and, for some, deal-breaking) problem at the heart of the operating system has surfaced again…

This week Microsoft MSFT -0.74% pushed out a mysterious driver for Windows 10, Windows 8.1 and Windows 7 and it immediately began causing problems.

Listed only as “Microsoft – WPD – 2/22/2016 12:00:00 AM – 5.2.5326.4762” users were left confused as to what it did or what to look for to correct the problem. BetaNews quotes a Microsoft forum post user saying it “is the driver for Windows 10 Mobile devices” and Windows blogger Günther Born claims it is an Android driver.

And this is where Windows 10’s worst feature struck.

For Windows 7 and Windows 8.1 users the faulty driver was not a problem as it is an optional update that had to be manually installed. But Windows 10 owners didn’t get that luxury as the operating system installs all driver updates automatically and without warning.

Furthermore, Windows 7 and Windows 8.1 users who did accidentally install it can simply roll back their systems to a previous restore point, but Windows 10 does not create restore points automatically and the feature has to be manually enabled. This means affected users are in a lot more trouble.


The new Windows 10 maintains a delicate balance of the many old features Windows users love along with new features and updates people can’t get enough of.

Microsoft’s latest operating system is a much bigger hit than its ill-fated predecessor, Windows 8. In the year and a half since launch, Windows 10 has attained a 25 percent desktop operating system share, with more than 400 million copies installed—a faster adoption rate than any previous version of Windows. By comparison, all versions of Apple’s operating system account for just 7 percent of worldwide computers, according to data from NetMarketShare.

Microsoft bills the operating system as a “service,” meaning it’s continually updated via the cloud. A case in point is last summer’s Anniversary Update, which added impressive new features like digital ink support, as well as some helpful design improvements, many of which were prompted by the vast amounts of user feedback Microsoft has collected. In October the company announced that the Windows 10 Creators Update would arrive in “early 2017.” This will add a 3D-capable version of Paint (more on that below), and game broadcasting. More productivity, creativity, security and gaming features are on the way, too, according to Microsoft. The previously announced My People unified communication feature announced for Creators Update has been postponed to the next major update.

In between those major updates, Windows 10 users have received a completely updated version of the Photos app, new Cortana capabilities, and new features in the built-in Maps app. The most recent feature news between major updates comes in the Windows Mail and Calendar apps. Below, you’ll find more on all of these.


Many people have held on to the much-loved Windows 7 for a long time now, afraid to make the change. Those who were more open to changes shifted to Windows 8 a long time ago. However, Windows 8 did not have the appeal of its predecessor. Then came Windows 10 giving Windows users the best of both worlds.

Like any other piece of technology, Windows 10 has its pros and cons. Many issues were reported soon after its launch but over time Microsoft was able to fix those certain computer errors by continually updating the system – something we can still look forward to until the company decides a new system should take its place.

Should You Upgrade To A Windows 10? is republished from


Recovering Data from a Crashed Hard Drive: Immediate Steps to Take After the Crash

Hard drive crashes are inevitable. It will happen to you eventually if you hold on to your computer long enough. Not many people prepare for this occurrence, believing that it will never happen to them, but it does. So its important to know the initial steps to take should your hard drive crash.

The very first thing that you should do is to detach the hard drive from the computer and attach it as a secondary drive on an alternate computer. If your data is accessible from another computer then you know that the problem does not lie with your hard drive. However, if it is your hard drive that has crashed, you have options. There are a few ways to go about recovering data from a crashed hard drive. The first option is to download recovery software; if it is a simple software corruption issue then recovery software should do the trick. However, if the problem with your hard drive turns out to be more serious and/or physical then its time to look into data recovery services.

The blog article Recovering Data from a Crashed Hard Drive: Immediate Steps to Take After the Crash Find more on: Hard Drive Recovery Group


Easily Restore Deleted Files? Of Course!


recovering-deleted-filesEver been the new guy at a company and been given a huge project to work on? Your nerves are probably shot and your hands are probably shaking. You can’t afford to screw up but it’s more likely that this is when you will. Maybe you’re diligently working away on the Johnson file when you accidentally delete a file. No big deal, right? You can just recover it from the recycle bin. Except when you go in to recover it your shaky hands slip and you end up permanently deleting the entire file. Before you start panicking and wondering when you’ll get fired don’t lose hope! There are programs available to help you save your butt, and your job:

Few tech disasters can send your stomach into free fall quite like realising you’ve deleted something important from your laptop or phone, with no obvious way to bring it back. Luckily, if you find yourself scrambling to restore your deleted files, there’s still hope. Free tools and apps are widely available to help you recover your deleted data no matter what platform you’re using. Here’s what you need to know.

On most modern forms of storage, deleting a file doesn’t actually delete it — it usually just tells the operating system in charge that the space the file is using is free for other data. If you can get in quickly enough, it’s possible to bring your file back from its digital grave before something else has rushed in to take its place, so speed is of the essence.

Back up, back up, back up


If you want to stick with local file storage for your backing up needs, then OS X has Time Machine and Windows has File History, and of course there are a ton of third-party options to choose from as well. If you buy an external hard drive or networked drive, it will often come with a backup program included.

In the case of Dropbox’s apps, for example, load up the web interface, then click Deleted Files to see a list of recently erased files and folders. Click Restore next to any entry to bring it back. Deleted files are kept for 30 days or a whole year if you’ve signed up for Dropbox Pro and the Extended Version History add-on.

Windows and Mac

If your files are gone from the Recycle Bin or the Trash, then you need a dedicated third-party tool to search for and recover your erased files. Recuva is one of the best and most well-respected options for Windows, while DMDE and PhotoRec are both worth considering as alternatives for undeleting your data.


Alright, have you caught your breath now? You’ll notice that there are options for every kind of operating system, so even if you’re doing work on your Android tablet and manage to royally screw up you should be relatively safe if you followed the steps in the article.

With this secret weapon in your back pocket you should be well on your way to moving up that corporate ladder.

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Deal With Ransomware Attacks Like A Pro

There’s a new waransomware-hackery to take hostages and it doesn’t involve your pets. Hackers now find a way onto your computer systems and hold your entire digital world for ransom. Unless you pay X amount of dollars by a certain time all your information is going to be deleted and you’ll lose that paper you were working on for your class or all your customer’s personal data will be made public. It seems no one is immune to these attacks but that doesn’t mean you have to be afraid of them. It’s important to know what to do to prepare and prevent ransomware from infiltrating your system and accessing your information:

You’ve likely heard all about “crypto ransomware,” or simply “ransomware,” a specific type of malware that attempts to hold your digital existence hostage by encrypting personal files and then offering decryption keys in exchange for payment. When the malware first takes root, it shows no outward signs that anything is wrong. Only after the malware does its nefarious work in the background are you presented with the ransom, typically via demands for Bitcoin or other forms of digital currency.

Some early ransomware was riddled with software bugs that made it possible to recover encrypted files that had been held hostage, but newer variants that use robust symmetric and asymmetric encryption are much more troublesome. (Symmetric encryption is typically used to rapidly scramble files, and the asymmetric encryption can then be applied to the original symmetric keys so data can only be recovered by cybercriminals with the appropriate private keys.)

Some of the latest ransomware variants are also designed to punish payment procrastination, and they double or triple their ransom demands as stipulated deadlines pass. The ransomware threat is very real, but proactive individuals and organizations can protect themselves.

Protection against ransomware attacks all about backups

Fortunately, it is relatively easy to duplicate corporate files, and regular, systematic backups are an effective strategy to combat ransomware. Of course, backups are useful only if they’re created before a malware attack, so it’s a good idea to immediately and regular backup important files.

Unfortunately, simple file backups aren’t always enough. Some backup implementations are vulnerable to crypto malware, and backup archives can also be encrypted by cybercriminals. Some cloud-based file synchronization services replace good files with corrupted versions. So the capability to roll back to specific points in time for data recovery, and the duration of time backups are stored — as well as the amount of time and resources it takes to access stored files — should be crucial considerations for people and organizations that want to prevent ransomware complications.


There are three specific strategies that the article mentions such as using dedicated backup software, NAS backups and cloud backups. It’s important to read each strategy and determine which one works best for your life or business. You can prevent ransomware attacks if you are proactive instead of reactive.

Don’t get caught between a rock and a hard place. Cover your butt.  Your home life and your business will thank you for it.

The following article Deal With Ransomware Attacks Like A Pro was originally seen on HDRG Blog


Destroying Hard Drives 101: The Acid Test

hard-disk-in-acidLook at the news today and you’ll probably find at least half a dozen articles on a data breach somewhere. Between Sony, Ashley Madison and the Department of Homeland Security (ouch) it feels like no one is safe. I mean, if these big guys can’t keep your digital information safe how are you, average Joe/Jane supposed to do it?

Well there are ways to protect your data that you might not have thought of before. You can throw your hard drive in the ocean, you can smash it to pieces with a cinder block or you can just not store data digitally ever again. But there’s one other thing you might not have thought of before:

The more information you put online or in the digital space, the more opportunities there are for nefarious types to get at it. You can hardly go a day without reading about another massive data breach. How is the average person supposed to protect their sensitive documents and photos not of their genitals? Well, change your crappy password. Right now. It’s bad. Second, destroy, physically destroy hard drives containing sensitive information before disposing of them. You could use a hammer, but why not acid?

YouTuber NurdRage is here to help. In his latest video, the voice-modulated scientist shows us what will happen to a hard drive when placed in hydrochloric and nitric acids. Hydrochloric acid is nasty stuff. It’s the reason why your stomach lining has to be replaced every few days. It will get through most materials. The strong acid makes short work of the hard drive motor and casing, but the platter remained intact. So NurdRage decided to put the platter in both hydrochloric acid and nitric acid. The former handled the aluminum in the platter and the latter erased the thin film of data from the disk. Problem solved.


How bad-ass is that? Bet you never thought of melting your no-longer-relevant hard drive with acid. If that doesn’t scream evil genius I’m not sure what will.

The important thing to remember is that you are responsible for your own information. If you don’t want people to potentially get their hot little hands on your discarded data you need to do everything you can to keep it safe.

If you’re going to go the route of using acid to remove traces of your data you may want to make sure you have the proper safety training and equipment on hand. You don’t want to end up in the hospital for burning off your fingers because you were trying to erase proof of your embarrassing high school photos.

So be smart and safe about it. Okay, now we’re done acting like your mom.


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Data Recovery Tools You Should Look To

dmde-recovery-toolThere’s nothing worse than spending four hours on a final assignment for school or an important project for a big client than having your data suddenly disappear. This is a common issue and it affects more people than you’d think. It’s important to ensure that you’re backing up your data and there are several ways to do that. Some options include regular backups to a cloud program or scheduled backups to an external hard drive.

There is an important thing to remember though: there are essentially two types of hard drive failure (read more here: and not all options work for both.

You’ve got your logistical failure which means a program or software is no longer working the way it’s supposed to. This can corrupt your data and make it hard to read. If this is the case, check out these programs that can help you recover what you’ve lost:

Data recovery can be an expensive business, which is why it’s no substitute for backing up your key documents, photos and other data on a regular basis. But that’s of little comfort to anyone – even those with good backup regimens – who suddenly find themselves confronted by the stomach-churning feeling of data loss.

As soon as you’ve become aware of data loss, it’s critical you stop using the drive affected immediately. Whether the drive itself is failing or you’ve simply deleted a file accidentally, this is the golden moment when you may be able to get your data back without an expensive purchase or trip to a data recovery specialist.

We’ve cherry-picked five of the best free data recovery tools in the business. Just pick the one closest to your requirements and with a bit of luck (and no small measure of help from the app involved), you could yet save your files.

  1. DMDE Free Edition

The most effective way to recover files from a dead hard drive

Our favourite free data recovery tool is often overlooked. DMDE Free Edition scores major points because it’s capable of recovering data from a wide array of drives, including 2TB+ drives rescued from a fried external drive enclosure with proprietary formatting (it’s a long story).


There are four other programs in the list aside from DMDE. Recuva, which is great for recovering those files you accidentally delete from your recycle bin, PhotoRec, which assists in the recovery of all types of file formats, MiniTool Partition Recovery Free, which can help recovery an entire drive or partition and finally Paragon Rescue Kit 14 Free Edition (say that ten times fast) which can help you if you’re having issues booting Windows.

All of these programs have an extensive list of pros, but remember we said earlier there are two types of failures?

The second type of failure is a physical failure. This means that a physical part of your hard drive is broken. These software programs aren’t going to help you recover anything if it’s a physical failure. You can identify a physical failure by the sounds your hard drive is making. Does it sound like it’s clicking? Maybe it’s making a whirring sound. These are signs of a physical failure and you’d be doing yourself a favor if you checked out what not to do in the event of a physical failure before downloading a bunch of programs that won’t help you.

In the meantime, happy computing and don’t forget to back up your work!

The post Data Recovery Tools You Should Look To is courtesy of Hard Drive Recovery Group Blog


Here’s A Quick Way To Speed Up Your Computer

It’s agony to wait. Whether you’re waiting for the next episode of your favospeed-up-computerrite show to come on, waiting for your food to finish cooking or waiting for your computer to just turn on, it can feel like torture.

No one likes waiting and people are getting more and more impatient than they ever have before. They want to be able to find the answer to their question five minutes ago not five minutes later. Admit it. You may just be one of those people.

Computers require maintenance and if you use something often enough you are going to be faced with wear and tear. This is going to lead to a loss in speed. Which sucks.

You might think that you need to buy a new computer every two years or so because technology is advancing and you need a new one to keep up and keep those speeds where you like them. This is where you’d be wrong:

No matter how much money you spend on a computer, if you don’t maintain it regularly, it can become noticeably slower in a fairly short period of time.

Properly maintained, there’s no reason your computer shouldn’t perform reasonably for at least five or six years, if not longer.

Keep in mind that the more time you spend on the internet, the more your computer is exposed to unwanted programs and malware that can have a big impact on your machine’s performance.

There are plenty of do-it-yourself steps you can take to help improve performance, but if those don’t yield the kind of improvement you’re looking for, having you computer serviced instead of replacing it will still be your best bet.

Start with boot times

Start your evaluation with the length of time it takes your system to boot up from a cold start. The longer it takes, the more likely your computer has been loaded with programs that have inserted themselves into your startup routine.

Not only does this cause your computer to take forever to start, it hogs up valuable working memory (RAM), which makes everything slower.

You can do a quick test by opening the MSConfig utility and switching to the “Diagnostic startup” mode, which tells the computer to only load the basic necessities at the startup.


Also, have you ever heard of defragmenting your hard disk? It’s a super easy process that you can access through the Windows Disk Cleanup utility. You should probably do that at least once a month. It’ll definitely help get rid of all those files that you don’t use.

Warning: do not defragment your SSD drive… For one, it is not necessary. Also, an SSD drive accesses all data directly, and isn’t subject to the same access issues that a regular HDD is. The main reason you want to avoid this is that SSD drives, if continually exposed to writing and re-writing (exactly what a defragment does), will fail. Read more about this here:

These are all simple steps that anyone with super basic computer knowledge can do. If you aren’t sure if you’re running the right tools you can ask someone you know to show you how. Once you get in a routine you’ll be able to keep your system running smooth and quick, just like you wanted.

Isn’t it nice to not have to wait fifteen minutes for a cat video to load?

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