Once again I am working on a friend’s computer. It’s a pretty nice laptop, but it had became intolerably slow and glitchy. Best Buy told them it was out of warranty, and that it had a memory defect, then sold them a new laptop. Would I be willing to look at it?
As expected, there wasn’t anything wrong with the memory; it was just clogged up with junk software and the pre-installed anti-virus had expired. I spent about two hours un-installing stuff, running Malwarebytes, and Windows update. When I’m done, it should be fine.
The junk software is one reason your computer was so affordable; various software companies PAY the computer manufacturer for that foothold on your newly-purchased machine. Then there is the inevitable cruft that computers pick up while knocking about on the Internet.
Can the fudged-up computer syndrome be avoided or repaired? Yes.
- First is to remove the junk software. Try Decrapifier. Yes, that is the actual name of the program. Download it, run it, choose what other programs to remove. And make a donation, because Decrapifier is donation-ware.
- Trial software, including Microsoft Office and McAfee or Norton antivirus, may also pester you or cause problems. (Windows Defender antivirus comes with Windows. If you remove McAfee or Norton, you can activate Defender. Never run more than one antivirus at a time.)
- If the computer has been used in the wild, run the free download version of Malwarebytes to detect and remove malware. This is one product you can use with your antivirus software. After using the free version, you may want to upgrade to the Pro version.
- Run Windows Update a few times, with the necessary system-restarts, to patch the operating system. Set the system for automatic updates, and check regularly to make sure those updates are being installed.
- Upgrade to Windows 10 if you can. At least, upgrade Windows 8 to version 8.1.
- Be very, very skeptical of installing most programs. Check them out first.
There you have it. The computer I was working on is running fine now. I wish they had upgraded to Windows 10 back when that was a free offer. Otherwise, good to go. Now my friend has to figure out what to do with 2 laptops.
- (Another option is to install Linux. Ask your local Linux nerd about taking this path. You can do anything in Linux that you can do in Windows, but with different programs.)
- (I generally don’t fix people’s computers, but stories about Best Buy service department kinda bring out the Robin Hood in me. Too many people have told me that they bought a new computer because.)