The Family IT Guy

I visited my brother-in-laws yesterday (I mentioned that in my previous post). My wife had mentioned to me that their PC was running very slow and was very noisy. Now I know they’re not overly IT literate, so I thought I’d help out.

My external 2.5 hard drive was packed full of software, I had a PC toolkit with me and a box full of hardware goodies. And a pencil and paper.

We got there whilst they were out – thankfully we knew where the key was, so we were able to get in – and I set to work. The side of the base unit came off and I started it up. Good lord that was noisy. It’s not an overly powerful machine and only has 2 fans in entirety (one rear case fan and the processor fan). The rear fan was, well, rubbish – it was very low quality and had a PSU power connector, so was bypassing the “proper” connection on the motherboard. I had a spare so swapped it over and connected it appropriately. The processor fan was okay but dusty – as was the heat sink underneath. I used my compressed air can to give that a good clean. In fact, I cleaned the rest quite thoroughly too.

The memory.. well I didn’t have any spare of that type so I wasn’t able to help. But they were running XP Pro with 1GB of memory, which should have been fine.

So, I booted into the BIOS and ensured that Cool N’ Quiet was active (it was an AMD machine) and all other measures of that sort.

After that, a swift boot into Windows showed the root of many of the problems – some spyware. That was swiftly removed. I also installed the latest AMD processor driver, did a thorough clean of the system (Ccleaner coming in handy, as always) as well as various de-fragmentations (main file system, registry and page). They also had so many IE toolbars installed that the main browser window was only about half the screen – many of these toolbars have come, by default, from the ISP software and various other software they’ve installed (shame on BT for the former). They don’t actually have a great amount of software on their machine so it was easy to pick over where things had come from.

And that was it. I was down a fan but had a cracking Indian meal that evening, and they were very grateful for my help.

The noise isn’t 100% though. Although Cool n Quiet is definitely switched on, etc, the fan doesn’t appear to be powering down so is still hammering along at full speed – strange. But it’s still a hell of a lot better than it was.

I’m also available for weddings and Bar Mitzvah’s 😉

Posted by David Artiss

Enterprise Happiness Engineer for the WordPress VIP team at Automattic. Gamer, film lover and general fan of all things Marvel, Star Trek and Star Wars. Failed comedian. Writer for The Big Tech Question. World's Greatest Grandma.

Talk to me!

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.