Tech Talk

We’re visiting general topics to answer the questions you’ve always wondered about. If there’s something you want to know, send us your question with “Tech Talk” in the subject line. It just might become a future Tech Talk topic!

A. We’ve all been there – you have a million things to do but your computer is running at a snail’s pace. Unfortunately, there are a number of things that could be causing this, but here are some of the most common issues:

  • The computer needs to be restarted – always try this first.
  • There are too many programs running in the background – if you’re running Windows 7 or higher, open Task Manager to see what programs are running and how much memory and CPU they’re using.
  • There’s malware on your hard drive – use a free program like Malwarebytes to quickly scan and remove malware from your hard drive.
  • There isn’t enough free space on your hard drive – you should have at least 5% of total disk space as available free space on your hard drive.
  • The hard drive is corrupt or fragmented – run ScanDisk or consult your IT provider to make sure there’s nothing wrong with the hard drive.
  • Your computer has a virus – make sure your antivirus subscription and definitions are up to date. Don’t have antivirus? Call IT Resource to get an antivirus package installed.
  • If the computer runs slow everyday, it may just be showing its age – consider upgrading your memory if the computer is more than a few years old.

Give these suggestions a try first. If you’ve exhausted all the options listed, you may want to consider having a professional take a look at your machine. – Leo Reap

If you’re running Windows 10 with the latest patches, it makes no difference. If you’re not directly modifying files or actively writing files to the USB drive, you can pull out a drive at any time without using the Safely Remove Hardware process. Windows 10 has a feature called “quick removal” that is the new default policy for devices that lets you remove external storage media at any time.

If you’re not running Windows 10, it is best to eject the device using the Safely Remove Hardware and Eject Media taskbar icon. This ensures you won’t lose any data in the process. – Steve Nowak

A. Wireless connections are very similar to light in how they operate. The radio waves that carry the data need to travel between the device and the access point, and similar to light, the radio waves can’t phase through anything in their path. Wireless data can certainly travel through lightweight material but there are a few things that really put a damper on connection integrity – like walls, metal, electrical wiring, etc. These items can either slow the connection or completely block it, depending on the circumstances. If connectivity is low in a certain area, try moving the access point to a different location and try again, or it may be time for a wireless extender, which essentially takes your wireless connection and expands the range and coverage for devices to connect. – Kodi Brandt

Free Wi-Fi networks are certainly convenient, but there can be risks associated with them. They’re not as secure as a private network so tech-savvy criminals could use the connection to facilitate malicious activity, like steal your passwords and personal information. You should proceed with caution, even if the Wi-Fi connection is password protected. – Justin Graeff

Tech Talk Contributors

IT Consultant Grand Rapids
Kodi Brandt - Help Desk Technician

Fun fact: I program a lot in my free time, mostly to work on my game Masquercade. + Kodi’s bio

IT Consultant Grand Rapids
Leo Reap - Vice President & Senior Partner

Fun fact: I play a little guitar…. very little. + Leo’s bio

Justin Graeff - Network Engineer II

Fun fact: I go through 5-6 jugs of orange juice each month. + Justin’s bio

IT Consultant Grand Rapids
Steve Nowak - Network Engineer II

Fun fact: I’m pretty good at electrical and mechanical work. The repair of small engines and home projects of sorts come naturally to me. + Steve’s bio