Without a lot of training in computer repair or at least years of curiosity and research, it can be hard to pinpoint the exact cause of a slow computer. Although some of the more obvious signs of virus infection such as pop-up ads and fake warnings are easier to catch, there are many times when slow performance simply means that it's time to clean up your computer. Take a look at a few issues that have nothing to do with viruses if virus scans are showing up negative.

Slow Performance Issues Without Dangerous Files

Computer performance doesn't last forever, whether you're using a computer with a moving parts hard drive or one of the newer Solid State Drives (SSDs) with no moving parts. Both technologies eventually wear out because of minuscule damage that eventually adds up.

Platter hard drives eventually become scratched or worn out as magnets create peaks and valleys in the surface, while SSDs use an electrical charge (a form of heat, like any electricity) that can eventually wear out storage cells. In either form of wear out, random data eventually becomes inaccessible, and even attempts to relocate and repair data to safe areas will eventually fail as more areas become damaged.

Age-based wear and tear isn't the only "natural" slowdown cause. As you pack more files on a hard drive, it simply takes more time to search for that information. Random Access memory (RAM) plays a part in keeping the most common files at easy, fast access, but even memory can fill up--and as you add more memory, the same search problem can happen.

It's always good to have enough free space on your hard drive and to clear out files that the system isn't using. This does not mean that you need to get rid of your own old files, but instead a cleaning of temporary files that make it easier to find common information. Most major operating systems (OS) have built-in cleaning functions, and there are third party cleaning programs available with different methods of continuous organization.

Storage Solutions To Create Efficient Computers

When cleaning is done, a new storage drive may be in order to store your information. Most major operating systems also have a warning system for when you have too much information, which is a sure indicator of needing a new drive with more capacity. This can be in the form of a physical drive inside the computer, a pocket drive (known as thumb drives, USB sticks, and stick drives) or even online storage.

Internal drives can be hard to install if you aren't a professional, as it involves working near many cables, fans and electrical contacts that could lead to bigger problems if you nudge or disconnect the wrong thing. At the same time, internal drives are often the cheapest way to get a major boost in storage space.

There's no deep market or complex technology reason for the cost; an external hard drive is simply an internal drive with a case that allows quick connecting to ports such as USB ports. You're simply paying for more parts with an external drive for the sake of convenience.

If you'd like help selecting the right technology for extra storage or would like suggestions on how to keep your computer's file system clean, contact an IT services professional.