A couple of months back, I had opened up my CPU for a regular clean-up. Yes, I do that once a month or two, due to the humidity in Mumbai there is a lot of dust that gets accumulated. And earlier I have actually had my Motherboard/RAM corrupted due to dust. CPU fan and Power Supply too have been affected due to the same issue. One of my engineers did tell me about this problem and since then I have tried hard to clean up regularly and since then, I have had lesser issues. Infact, since the past 2 years, I have never had to format my PC, never had a component corrupted.
Anyways, back to the story, after my last clean-up, I had noticed that my PC was working a little slower than usual. I never spent much time to really determine why exactly was that happening for almost two months now. In the recent times it was pretty much notable. Today, I thought, that I need to get to the root cause of this and fix it, it is definitely slower. So, first thing, I just un-installed many apps that were as good as waste on my PC, don’t use them anymore. Still nothing changed. Next, started to look into Task Manager Processes to check if any application is eating away extra memory. Could not find any application really doing much of an issue. But, after a close watch, it suddenly struck me that the total memory(RAM) that my PC is showing is 2GB, while I have two 2GB RAM’s inserted. Went into details, and it said 2GB RAM is reserved for hardware, while the other 2GB is the one that I am using for daily processes. I had never come across this kind of an issue earlier. But, I was certain that here was the problem and I need to do some research on this.
Next thing that I did was Google it out, searched across many forums, including Microsoft forums too. There were many who had faced a similar issue, but most of them were due to some settings of Memory Optimization under Win7 and BIOS settings. Most of them had their problem solved by tweaking these settings. On my PC, these settings were just fine. One guy said he had to format his HDD, create new partitions and then re-install Win7, and then the issue was solved for him. Now, this was not an option for me. I have a 1TB HDD and cannot afford to clear all the data. I don’t even have an External HDD to backup all the data. In the meantime, while I was searching for solutions, I came to know that my BIOS needs an update, there are some drivers that need some update. BIOS update was something that I went ahead with as I thought it may just solve my problem. Again the EXE for BIOS update was meant for 32 bit PC and not 64 bit one’s. So, had to find some other way to flash the update too, for which Gigabyte had a tool and I could do it manually via the tool. Update happened, and it didn’t solve my issue yet, instead ended up with another issue. At the first restart of BIOS update, it asked me to switch my HDD Access Mode to AHCI, which was currently set to IDE. I had heard somewhere that AHCI is the better, faster one, so I just said “YES” and moved ahead. But then my Windows crashed, it never started. Again, went back into BIOS settings, changed it to IDE and things turned well.
So, Google for the solution of the problem continued. Later came across a solution which explained that there are two channel slots for RAM in the latest motherboards, and similarly you have two types of RAM’s for that. So, for channel 1 only a channel 1 RAM will be compatible, and if you insert the channel 1 RAM into channel 2 slot, Windows will detect the RAM but will not use it and consider it as a hardware reserved RAM. I changed the slot of one of the RAM’s and my issue was solved. Finally! My PC was running smoothly again.
But now, AHCI thing was yet there in my mind. If I have the option to better my performance, I should. Why should I use the IDE option? Again, googled about this issue, and this was an easy catch. A minor tweak in Registry Editor followed by BIOS settings update, a couple of restarts and it was done. This update should help in the increase of read/write speeds, but I haven’t really tried that out, if it’s a major boost. Again, to end it, I updated almost all my pre-installed drivers and I could sense my PC had that little boost especially with the Intel H T Driver.
There are two main reasons for this post.
1. Check if you may be having this similar issue on your PC, if yes, the solution is mentioned above, if you yet. don’t get it, you can always mail me. This post may just help you recognize it too.
2. All of this took away half of my Sunday, but at the end, it’s worth it. Maintaining your PC, installing updates regularly, checking if things are working fine, clearing unused/stale data from time to time is very important, no matter what OS are you using. If there is an issue, spend some dedicated time on it via internet and forums and you will come to a conclusion. Lastly, if you get the solution, share it, it may just help others get to it faster. Similarly, in your life if you ever come across an issue, get to the root of it, spend some quality time in tacking the issue, and later share the solution.