slow-PCAs an IT professional, there’s a good chance your own computer runs rather well. After all, you (should) know exactly what to do to address issues that have an impact on performance!

Improving the performance of an employee’s troublesome PC is inherently more difficult than maintaining your own. It doesn’t help that employees have a tendency to say, “my PC is slow” without offering you any further information to go on.

A PC is usually slow for a number of reasons, such as:

  1. The machine is under-specified – either there’s not enough RAM to support the number of applications in use, or there are disk bottlenecks due to the use of large files.
  2. Hardware is failing – perhaps a hard drive is on its way out?
  3. There is a malware infection – regardless of the quality of your antivirus software, malware can sometimes creep in due to user actions (such as unknowingly clicking on malicious links).
  4. “Bad” software is installed – ironically, considering the above point, a common culprit is a poor quality antivirus product that impacts performance. Keep an eye out for third party software that may be full of adware – this can also hinder performance.
  5. There is a bottleneck on the LAN – sometimes it’s the network itself that can cause an employee to perceive their PC as “slow”.

Obviously there are other potential reasons why PCs become sluggish and perform below par, but the list above acts as a fairly good starting point.

Even armed with this list, troubleshooting isn’t always easy. Quite often you will sit at the “slow” PC and think it works perfectly fine.

Getting to the root of the problem is not hard if you use a workstation-monitoring tool, such as the one included in GFI Cloud.

One of the most useful features GFI Cloud provides is the ability to look back at historical performance data on the PC in question. Analyzing this data can quickly provide you with clues and some patterns. For example, you can quickly tell whether I/O problems are at disk or network level.

On Windows machines, the Event Viewer has long been a useful source of troubleshooting information. GFI Cloud also interfaces with this information, making it easy to keep a regular lookout for errors and alerts, rather than something you do “on the fly.”

Also, jumping back to point four on the list, GFI Cloud includes its own antivirus module – one that’s designed to ensure low system utilization, thus giving you one less potential problem to eliminate.

There’s always a way to speed up a sluggish PC, but it’s not always obvious what it is. Where GFI Cloud’s monitoring functionality excels is in helping you take the correct actions every time. If disk I/O is struggling, maybe it’s time to swap that user’s hard drive for an SSD. If the network is the bottleneck, perhaps the employee would be better plugging in the Ethernet cable instead of stubbornly using the Wi-Fi network.

There’s always a way and there’s always a solution (unless there really is no hope – which GFI Cloud will point out). For normal day-to-day troubleshooting, GFI Cloud can really help you solve the problem. Faster PC, happy employee, and fewer helpdesk calls. Overall, less stress!

Check out our new whitepaper – Top performance related issues on a Windows workstation – and find out how GFI Cloud can make IT admin easier.