It’s difficult to see what’s lurking deep inside your computer. If your computer is taking longer to boot up, running slower or beginning to crash, you may be in troubled waters. Let’s take a deeper dive into what’s going on beneath the surface of your computer and explore a few telltale signs that may indicate trouble ahead.

My computer takes forever to warm up in the morning!

Over time, computer hard drives process an incredible amount of data. All the data you save or reference, applications you run and changes you make are stored here. Over time, you may notice it takes longer and longer for your machine to warm up, especially when you power on for the day.

Unfortunately, drives don’t last forever and slow boot times, intermittent application crashes, and long load times can be a red flag indicating your drive is on its way out. If your machine is exhibiting these symptoms, it may be time to consider upgrading to a solid-state drive (a more modern and faster version of older hard drives) or replacing your machine altogether.

My computer is hot, and the fans are loud!

Hard drives aren’t the only component to go over time. Our next stop is your computer’s processor—the center of the machine that orchestrates every action your device makes. Your processor relies on other components in your system to run smoothly and coolly. That means if your fans sound like a motor boat preparing to leave the dock, it may be an indication that your machine is running hot.

This is especially true for laptop users since these machines are compact and have less room to “breathe”. If your machine is ever hot to the touch or constantly running warm, make sure your fans are working and none of the vents are covered!

My email is slow, documents take forever to open, and all my programs are crashing!

The hardware we covered so far contributes to the quality and convenience of your user experience, but even the best hardware can’t outperform an infected system. Whether your machine is top of the line or recently purchased but slowing down, consider running a malware scan and cleaning out your machine’s temporary files and cookies.

There isn’t a one-size-fits-all solution to a failing hard drive or corrupted software programs. However, a good rule of thumb for when your machine slows down is to check if your machine is under warranty—if it’s around four or five years of age, consider replacement.

Need help diagnosing computer sharks that may be hiding beneath the surface? Send us an SOS by clicking here, and we’ll throw you a line!

First published in our July 2019 IT Radix Resource newsletter