So, one of my clients was having issues with a slow computer. It was taking a very long time to switch on, load from the login screen, and general computer performance.
His computer is a little old, but he didn’t have a massive budget for upgrading, and his requirements were quite expensive. His existing computer is an HP All-in-One 23-n101a Beats. The biggest issue I faced in upgrading his PC was the touch screen monitor. The touch screen was a feature he required, and replacing it would be very expensive. Starting around $600, this Acer, for example, is still a lot smaller than the clients existing monitor.
How can I work with this client’s slow computer, budget, and get him the result he was after? The HP All in one PC only has 8gb of ram. While this was decent for its time, these days, I like to run a minimum of 16GB of ram on a computer. The ram for his machine is old and expensive. An additional 8GB ram card is costing around $100 and not reusable if we need to build a new computer.
Given the client’s requirements, I started by clearing the junk from his computer. Running CCleaner‘s system scan identified a lot of tracking cookies, temporary internet files, and system junk. Additionally, I reviewed the installed programs and cleaned them out. Saving the client around 40gb of HDD space and the performance impact was immediate. His slow computer was back to loading within 25 seconds rather than the 60+ seconds he had been experiencing. I don’t know about you, but for me, 25 seconds load time is still painful.
Google Backup and Sync
Next, I set the client up on Google backup and sync software. As the client currently uses Gmail, this will slot in quickly with his day to day life. Additionally, this provides him access to his files from the laptop and mobile devices as well as his PC. It is relatively cheap, and Google offers free plans for small storage amounts.
Slow Computer SSD Upgrade
Now his files were safely backed up to the “cloud,” I could progress with the SSD upgrade to resolve his slow computer. I chose the Samsung 860QVO 1TB SSD for the client. As the current PC only has 1 sata slot, the 1TB SSD will provide plenty of space for growth.
Let’s move on to the installation. The best way to install an SSD is to do a clean install. Back up your files, do a fresh install of windows and start installing your programs again. Given the timeline and the budget of the client, this wasn’t a viable option. Additionally, he was missing many of his activation keys, so reinstalling programs was risky. To sum it up, I began the process of cloning his HDD to the new SSD and hopefully resolving this slow computer.
Take a system backup copy of your windows before the system before I replaced the HDD. This might seem like a silly thing to point out; however, the number of forums I read where the user has not done this is high.
Using EaseUS software, I was able to clone the HDD to the SSD easily. This software is easy to use and typically clones well. Enter problem number one. Unfortunately, this clone was corrupted with a common error. I attempted to repair the clone with windows repair tools. However, this was unsuccessful. I found this guide “How to use DiskPart to clean and format drive not working on Windows 10” excellent on the cleaning of the drive partitions if you are looking for help in that area. What to do? Restore from system backup is your solution.
After the SSD Install
After the restore was completed, I ran some quick diagnostics on the client’s machine and confirmed everything was performing as expected. Well, it was all performing a little better than expected. The boot time from the moment I press the power button to the moment I have logged in and can move around the desktop is under 8 seconds. A vast improvement from the 60+ seconds the client was experiencing before. Most importantly, if we need to upgrade the system in the future, the SSD is a vital part of a new system upgrade, so the client’s investment in the SSD is future proof.