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ULM Computing Center

My computer is very slow. Can you fix it?


The three most common reason for system sluggishness is the system needing a reboot, too little system memory for the programs you use regularly, and a malware infection.

  1. Begin by shutting down your computer completely and then power it back up. Restart the machine at least 3 times and see if the sluggishness is still happening.
  2. Second, You can check to see how much memory your system has by:

    a) Go to "start" --> "settings" --> "control panel", then choose the "system" icon.
    b) In the system properties window that appears it should tell you how much memory you have in megabytes (MB).

    Most people on campus are using Windows XP SP3 (service pack 3). The system properties window will tell you what you are using. The computing center recommends a minimum of 1 gigabyte or more of memory. If you run multiple applications at once you may want to upgrade to 2 - 4 GB (1 gigabyte is roughly 1000MB) of memory. New computers ordered for campus are required to have a minimum of 4 gigabytes of memory per state mandate.

    You may also turn off some of the windows visual elements in the system properties to save memory. While still in the system control panel, choose the "advanced" tab then click "settings" in the performance box. Uncheck all but the last 4 boxes and click ok. This will turn off little noticed visuals and will vastly free up memory. If an upgrade in memory and reducing visuals does not fix the problem, contact the callcenter (ext. 3333).

  3. it is possible that you have a malware infection. Some signs you might have an infection are:

    a) You have over a gigabyte of memory and only have a single program open and it is very sluggish in responding to commands.
    b) Any and all website you go to have the same popups.
    c) You find a new "antivirus" icon that pops up telling you that you have a virus.

    If you experience any of the above malware symtoms please call the callcenter (ext. 3333) for help diagnosing the issue.