Expert-Approved Techniques for Troubleshooting Common

"In the dynamic landscape of the digital age, the role of technology has transcended beyond convenience to become a cornerstone of our daily lives. As a leading producer of laptops and desktops, Holoware is deeply cognizant of the challenges users face when their computing devices fail to deliver the desired
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Windows issues ( White Paper Part – 1 )

Overview

In the dynamic landscape of the digital age, the role of technology has transcended beyond convenience to become a cornerstone of our daily lives. As a leading producer of laptops and desktops Holoware is deeply cognizant of the challenges users face when their computing devices fail to deliver the desired performance.

This white paper is designed to be a beacon of knowledge, illuminating the path for users to troubleshoot common issues that can impede computer performance.

From grappling with high CPU usage and slow boot times to wrestling with low disk space and memory leaks, we delve into a myriad of problems that users frequently encounter. We offer expert-approved solutions for each issue, equipping users with solutions to optimize their systems for enhanced performance and reliability.

Whether you’re battling a sluggish internet connection, frequent system freezes or crashes, slow application performance, or update errors, this white paper provides practical, easy-to-follow advice. We also tackle issues like disk fragmentation and system file corruption, offering tips to safeguard your computer’s health and prolong its lifespan.

Our mission is to help you extract the maximum potential from your computer, ensuring a smooth, efficient, and enjoyable user experience. So, let’s embark on this journey of exploration and discover how you can troubleshoot and resolve common computer issues.

1. High CPU Usage

Problem

Excessive CPU usage can slow down the system and lead to unresponsiveness. This can be caused by multiple factors such as running too many applications simultaneously, having resource-intensive processes, or outdated device drivers

Solutions

A. Identify and terminate resource-intensive processes: 

Use Task Manager to identify the processes that are consuming a high percentage of CPU resources. Terminate unnecessary processes to free up CPU resources.

  1. Open Task Manager:

  • There are several ways to open Task Manager:
  • You can choose any one of the options mentioned below to open Task Manager
  • Right-click the Taskbar and select Task Manager.
  • Press Ctrl + Shift + Esc on your keyboard.
  • Press Ctrl + Alt + Del and choose Task Manager.
  • Press Windows key + X, then select Task Manager from the power-user menu.
  • If Task Manager opens in compact mode, click the More details button to switch to advanced mode.

  1. Navigate to the Processes Tab:

  • In advanced mode, you’ll see various tabs. Click on the Processes tab.
  • Processes are grouped under Apps, Background processes, and Windows Processes.
  • Expand a group to see all processes by clicking the chevron-right icon or right-clicking and selecting Expand.

  1. Identify High-Resource Processes:

  • Look for processes consuming excessive CPU resources.
  • Pay attention to both Apps and Background processes.
  • Note that some processes may have multiple instances (e.g., multiple browser tabs).
  • Check resource usage: Click on the CPU, Memory, Disk, or Network columns to sort running processes in ascending or descending order based on resource usage.

  1. Terminate Unnecessary Processes:

  • Select the process you want to end.
  • Click the End Task button at the bottom-right corner.
  • Alternatively, right-click the process and choose End Task.

  1. Monitor Performance:

  • Observe how system resources change after terminating processes.
  • Check if your computer’s performance improves.

Remember to be cautious when terminating processes. Some are essential for system stability. If unsure, research the process online before ending it.

B. Update device drivers: 

Outdated device drivers can cause high CPU usage. Regularly check for driver updates and install them to keep your system running efficiently

  1. Open Device Manager:

  • Press Windows key + X and select Device Manager from the menu.
  • Alternatively, search for Device Manager in the Windows search bar and open it.

  1. Locate the Device Category:

  • In Device Manager, you’ll see a list of hardware categories (e.g., Display adapters, Network adapters, Sound, video, and game controllers).
  • Double-click the category corresponding to the device you want to update.

  1. Update the Driver:

  • Right-click the specific device you want to update.
  • Select Update driver from the context menu.
  • Choose Search automatically for updated driver software.
  • Windows will search online for the latest driver. If found, it will install it automatically

  1. Restart Your Computer:
  • After the driver update, restart your computer to apply the changes.

  1. Check for Windows Updates:

  • Regularly check for Windows updates, as they often include driver updates.
  • Go to Settings > Windows Update and click Check for updates.

By following these steps, you can ensure that your device drivers are up to date, which will help maintain system stability and improve overall performance

C. Disable unnecessary startup programs: 

Some programs automatically start when your computer boots up and can consume significant CPU resources. Use the Task Manager or System Configuration utility to disable these programs

  1. Open Task Manager:

  • On Windows 10, right-click the taskbar and select Task Manager.
  • On Windows 11, right-click the Start button and choose Task Manager.

  1. Navigate to the Startup Section:

  • Click More details if needed to expand Task Manager.
  • Switch to the Startup tab.

  1. Identify and Disable Unnecessary Programs:

  • You’ll see a list of programs that start with Windows.
  • Right-click any program you want to disable and select Disable.

  1. Restart Your Computer:
  • After making changes, restart your computer to apply them.

  1. Using System Configuration:

  • Press Windows + R, type msconfig, and press Enter to open System Configuration.
  • Go to the Startup tab to see a list of startup programs.
  • Uncheck the box next to any program you want to disable.
  • Click Apply and then OK to save the changes.
  • By disabling unnecessary startup programs, you can improve your computer’s boot time and reduce CPU resource consumption. This simple optimization can lead to faster and more efficient system performance.

Remember to strike a balance between necessary and unnecessary startup programs. Disabling non-essential ones will help speed up your system and reduce CPU load.

2. Slow Boot Time

Problem

Lengthy boot times can delay productivity and frustrate users. This can be due to numerous startup programs, insufficient disk space, or disabled Fast Startup feature.

Solutions

A. Clean up disk space:

Insufficient disk space can slow down the boot process. Regularly clean up your disk space by removing temporary files and unused applications

  1. Open Disk Cleanup: 

  • Click on the Start button or press the Windows key. In the search box, type “Disk Cleanup”, and then, in the list of results, click “Disk Cleanup”.

  1. Select the Drive: 

  • If prompted, select the drive you want to clean up, and then click “OK”. Usually, you’ll want to clean up your main system drive (C:).

  1. Disk Cleanup Calculating: 

  • Disk Cleanup will calculate how much space you will be able to free on the drive. This process may take a few minutes.

  1. Select Files to Delete: 

  • In the Disk Cleanup dialog box, scroll through the content of the “Files to delete” list. Check the boxes for the file types you want to delete. Common selections include “Temporary Internet Files”, “System error memory dump files”, and “Thumbnails”.

  1. Start the Cleanup: 

  • Click “OK”, and then click “Delete files” in the confirmation dialog box.

  1. Wait for Disk Cleanup to Complete: 

  • Disk Cleanup will then go through the process of deleting the selected files. This may take a few minutes.

Remember, Disk Cleanup is a powerful tool, so always double-check that you’re not deleting anything you might want to keep. Also, it’s a good idea to back up your data before running a disk cleanup.

B. Enable Fast Startup: 

Fast Startup is a feature in Windows that helps your computer start faster. You can enable this feature in the Power Options

  1. Open Control Panel

  • Press the Windows key + X and then select “Control Panel” from the menu.

  1. Go to Power Options

  • In the Control Panel, select “System and Security”, then click on “Power Options”.

  1. Choose what the power buttons do:

  • On the left side of the Power Options screen, click on “Choose what the power buttons do”.

  1. Change settings that are currently unavailable:

  • At the top of the next screen, click on “Change settings that are currently unavailable”.

  1. Enable Fast Startup: 

  • Scroll down to the bottom of the window and you should see “Turn on fast startup (recommended)” under Shutdown settings. Check the box next to it.

  1. Save changes: 

  • Click on “Save changes” button to apply the new setting.

Now, Fast Startup should be enabled on your windows computer. This feature should help your computer start up faster after a shutdown. Please note that Fast Startup does not affect restarts.

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3. Low Disk Space

Problem

Insufficient disk space can impact system performance and lead to errors. When you encounter the “insufficient disk space” error, it means that the free space available on your storage drive (such as a hard disk or SSD) is not enough to complete the operation you’re trying to perform.

Solutions

A. Uninstall unused applications: 

Applications can take up a significant amount of disk space. Regularly review your installed applications and uninstall those you no longer use

  1. Open Control Panel
  • Press the Windows key + X and then select “Control Panel” from the menu.
  1. Go to Programs and Features:
  •  In the Control Panel, click on “Programs”, then “Programs and Features”. This will show you a list of all the applications installed on your computer.
  1. Select the Application
  • Scroll through the list and find the application you want to uninstall. Click on it to select it.
  1. Uninstall the Application
  • At the top of the window, click on the “Uninstall” button. Follow the prompts to uninstall the application.
  1. Repeat as Necessary: 
  • Repeat steps 3 and 4 for each application you want to uninstall.
  1. Restart Your Computer: 
  • After you’ve uninstalled all the applications you don’t need, restart your computer. This will ensure that all changes are applied and that any files the applications were using are fully deleted.

Remember, uninstalling an application will remove it and all its data from your computer. Make sure you won’t need the application or its data in the future before you uninstall it.

B. Delete temporary files and clear the recycle bin: 

Temporary files and the recycle bin can take up a lot of disk space over time. Regularly delete these files to free up disk space

Delete Temporary Files:

  1. Open Disk Cleanup: 
  • Press the Windows key + R to open the Run dialog box. Type cleanmgr and press Enter.
  1. Select the Drive
  • If prompted, select the drive you want to clean up (usually the C: drive) and click “OK”.
  1. Select Temporary Files
  • In the Disk Cleanup dialog box, check the box next to “Temporary Files”. You can uncheck all other boxes if you only want to delete temporary files.
  1. Start Cleanup
  • Click “OK”, then “Delete Files” in the confirmation dialog box. Disk Cleanup will delete your temporary files.

Clear the Recycle Bin:

  1. Find the Recycle Bin: 
  • Go to your desktop and find the Recycle Bin icon.
  1. Open the Recycle Bin: 
  • Double-click on the Recycle Bin icon to open it.
  1. Select All Files: 
  • Click on the “Manage” tab at the top of the window, then click “Select All”.
  1. Delete the Files: 
  • Click on the “Manage” tab again, then click “Delete”. Confirm that you want to permanently delete the files.

Remember, deleting files from the Recycle Bin will permanently remove them from your computer. Make sure there’s nothing you need in the Recycle Bin before you empty it

C. Move files to external storage or cloud services:

If your disk space is still low after cleaning up, consider moving some files to an external storage device or a cloud service

Move Files to an External Storage Device:

  1. Connect the External Storage Device: 
  • Connect your external storage device to your computer. It could be a USB flash drive, an external hard drive, or an SD card.
  1. Open File Explorer: 
  • Press the Windows key + E to open File Explorer.
  1. Select the Files: 
  • Navigate to the files you want to move. You can select multiple files by holding down the Ctrl key while clicking on each file.
  1. Copy the Files: 
  • Right-click on the selected files, then click “Copy”.
  1. Navigate to the External Storage Device:
  • In the left pane of File Explorer, click on the external storage device.
  1. Paste the Files: 
  • Right-click in the right pane of File Explorer, then click “Paste”. The files will be copied to the external storage device.

Move Files to a Cloud Service:

  1. Sign in to Your Cloud Service: 
  • Open your web browser and sign in to your cloud service (like Google Drive, Dropbox, or OneDrive).
  1. Navigate to the Upload Area: 
  • Find the area where you can upload files. This is usually clearly marked with an “Upload” button.
  1. Select the Files: 
  • Click on the “Upload” button, then navigate to the files you want to move. Select the files and click “Open”.
  1. Wait for the Upload to Complete: 
  • The files will be uploaded to the cloud service. This may take a few minutes, depending on the size of the files and the speed of your internet connection.

Remember, moving files to an external storage device or a cloud service will remove them from your computer. Make sure you won’t need the files on your computer before you move them.

4. Memory Leaks

Problem

Memory leaks gradually consume system resources, causing slowdowns and crashes. They occur when a program fails to release memory it has allocated but no longer needs, leading to a steady decrease in available memory. Over time, this can significantly impact system performance and stability.

Solutions

A. Windows Memory Diagnostics:

The Windows Memory Diagnostic Tool is a free utility from Microsoft which can check your system memory for problems, including memory leaks. Here’s how to use it:

  1. Open the Tool
  • Press the Windows key and type “Windows Memory Diagnostic” into the search bar, then select the application from the list.
  1. Choose an Option: 
  • You’ll be presented with two options: “Restart now and check for problems (recommended)” and “Check for problems the next time I start my computer”. If you’re ready to check now, choose the first option. Your computer will restart immediately.
  1. Wait for the Test to Complete:
  •  After restarting, your computer will show a blue screen with the Windows Memory Diagnostic Tool running. It will automatically run a standard test, with progress indicated at the bottom of the screen. This process may take several minutes.
  1. Review the Results:
  •  Once the test is complete, your computer will restart again. To see the results of the test, you’ll need to view the System Event Log. You can do this by opening the Event Viewer (search for it in the Start Menu), then navigating to “Windows Logs” > “System”. Look for events sourced from “MemoryDiagnostics-Results”.

B. Use Resource Monitor

In addition to Task Manager, you can use Resource Monitor (available in the Performance tab of Task Manager) to identify memory-intensive processes and troubleshoot memory leaks.

  1. Open Resource Monitor: 
  • Press Ctrl + Shift + Esc to open Task Manager. In Task Manager, switch to the “Performance” tab, then click on “Open Resource Monitor” at the bottom.
  1. Navigate to the Memory Tab:
  • In Resource Monitor, go to the “Memory” tab. Here, you’ll find detailed information about your system’s memory usage.
  1. Monitor Memory Usage:
  • Check the various sections under the Memory tab to monitor memory usage. Look for any processes or applications that use a significant amount of memory.
  1. Identify Memory Leaks: 
  • Pay close attention to the “Commit” column. If you notice that the “Commit” value keeps increasing over time for a particular process or application, it may indicate a memory leak.
  1. Check Memory Usage Trends: 
  • Observe the memory usage trends over time. If you see a continuous increase in memory usage without any corresponding decrease, it could be a sign of a memory leak.
  1. Monitor Handles and Threads: 
  • In addition to memory usage, keep an eye on the number of handles and threads associated with each process. A significant increase in these numbers could also indicate a memory leak. Click on the CPU tab in the resource monitor.
  • Check the box next to the process you want to monitor under the Processes section.
  • Look at the Thread Count in the process list for thread monitoring.
  • Expand Associated Handles and Associated Modules sections for handling and module monitoring.
  • Look for any processes with unusually high memory usage, handles, or threads. These processes are more likely to cause memory leaks.
  1. Take Action:
  • Depending on your findings, you can take appropriate action to address memory leaks. This may involve closing or restarting memory-intensive processes, updating software, or seeking further assistance.
  1. Repeat Monitoring: 
  • Periodically check Resource Monitor to monitor memory usage and ensure that any memory leaks have been resolved.

Remember to leave the Resource Monitor open for a while to accurately spot any potential memory leaks. It’s also important to note that occasional spikes in memory usage can be normal, especially when an application is in active use. A memory leak is usually indicated by a continuous increase in memory usage even when the application is not in active use.

Conclusion:

In this white paper, we’ve explored some of the most common issues that Windows users encounter and provided expert-approved solutions to troubleshoot them effectively. From tackling high CPU usage and slow boot times to addressing low disk space and memory leaks, we’ve offered step-by-step guidance to optimize system performance and enhance user experience.

However, this is just the beginning of our journey toward resolving Windows issues. There’s more valuable information and insights to come in Part 2 of this white paper. We understand your eagerness to delve deeper into troubleshooting techniques and further enhance your computing experience.

So, we invite you to stay tuned for Part 2, where we’ll continue our exploration and equip you with even more expert tips and tricks to overcome common Windows challenges. Together, let’s empower your computing journey and unlock the full potential of your device.

Thank you for your patience and continued trust in Holoware. We’re committed to helping you navigate the complexities of technology with confidence and ease.

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