Reset or Something Else?

Suggestions for how to best get my computer running better (especially during games).

I am assuming that the best route is to simply do a system reset, which I haven't done in years though I imagine the process probably hasn't changed that much. I'm not too worried about losing files, though I need to spend time collecting pics and tax files first. Also, I am eventually going to get a new pc built for me (Gameguru has been busy of late) and I want this one to go to my son.

So is it best to simply reset? Or, is it better to try a software solution to clean up files that are A) hogging resources and B) unnecessary?

Thanks.

If you want a fresh clean system, I'm a fan of doing a clean install off a USB drive.

What issues are you getting though? Are you sure you don't have hardware failing? Game performance shouldn't be dropping off, modern Windows versions are quite good at maintaining themselves.

Oh, make sure to disable Game Bar. That just causes problems.

Make sure to run temperature checks. If your performance is slowing down, some form of cooling may be failing. If you have a liquid cooler on your CPU, that becomes much more likely; we've seen a lot of those burn out. I've lost two of the darn things, and the second time, it was a fairly gradual problem, and I blamed the game that was setting off the symptoms, Subnautica. It took me about two months to finally realize that the problem wasn't the beta code, it was crappy hardware. That was a freaking unbelievable hassle, and I was so happy to finally solve it.

Once you've proven that your hardware is fine, then start digging into software reasons for a slowdown. A clean install should clear that up, as long as you don't promptly reinstall whatever was was originally causing the issue. But it's kind of a slash-and-burn approach to computer maintenance, and is quite costly in terms of time. It usually takes me about four straight hours for a full OS reinstall, driver installation, and various tweaks, and I'll probably be tinkering with it occasionally for weeks afterward. It's not a thing to do lightly, IMO. Figuring out the problem and fixing it may be less costly in terms of total time.

MrDeVil909 wrote:

If you want a fresh clean system, I'm a fan of doing a clean install off a USB drive.

What issues are you getting though? Are you sure you don't have hardware failing? Game performance shouldn't be dropping off, modern Windows versions are quite good at maintaining themselves.

Oh, make sure to disable Game Bar. That just causes problems.

I had not heard of Game Bar, but it was turned on. I've now turned it off.

I was prefer to play games on PC but stopped because A) I was too busy B) I want to use my PS4 3) and most importantly sometimes when I was in a game it would make my screen and sound go completely black, and I would have to hard restart. It happened in Inside. And it happened in Skyrim, but only after I put like 12 hours in Skyrim. At that point I could load and play for like 15 minutes and this mess would happen. So, I stopped plating PC games.

My sons were into Minecraft, then Roblox, and now Fortnite. Fortnite runs okay, usually, but since last week or so it's become super laggy. It could be the game, but I know there are issues with my PC. While the game is laggy we've gone to Task Manager and have noticed that memory is running super high (85+%), but I will be honest I am a PC idiot so I don't know what it's supposed to run at if all is running efficiently.

I might have failing hardware, that was one of the things suggested a while back when I came here about my Skyrim issues. If that's a possibility I'd like to be able to test and isolate this, and see if it is something that can be repaired.

My current plan is to buy a new PC and Game Guru is going to build one for me (though he has been busy so I've been on hold for a couple of months). When I do get a new PC I'd like to take this one- which was on the low end of mid-range when I bought it 2-5 years ago- and give it to my son to play Fortnite in his room.

Thoughts?

Malor wrote:

Make sure to run temperature checks. If your performance is slowing down, some form of cooling may be failing. If you have a liquid cooler on your CPU, that becomes much more likely; we've seen a lot of those burn out. I've lost two of the darn things, and the second time, it was a fairly gradual problem, and I blamed the game that was setting off the symptoms, Subnautica. It took me about two months to finally realize that the problem wasn't the beta code, it was crappy hardware. That was a freaking unbelievable hassle, and I was so happy to finally solve it.

Once you've proven that your hardware is fine, then start digging into software reasons for a slowdown. A clean install should clear that up, as long as you don't promptly reinstall whatever was was originally causing the issue. But it's kind of a slash-and-burn approach to computer maintenance, and is quite costly in terms of time. It usually takes me about four straight hours for a full OS reinstall, driver installation, and various tweaks, and I'll probably be tinkering with it occasionally for weeks afterward. It's not a thing to do lightly, IMO. Figuring out the problem and fixing it may be less costly in terms of total time.

My PC isn't nice enough to suffer the problem of liquid cooling, so that is good at least. As I mentioned in my response to Dev I'm just not sure how to isolate whether it is hardware or not. It sounds like it could be possible. One good thing about a full reinstall is I could finally find a way to kill the PlaysTV app, which I otherwise have been unable to delete.

I have done full restores before I found them mind-numbingly long and stupid affairs. Hopefully it is better now?

Also, wherever I got my computer from (don't recall) installed Windows, but did not give me a USB drive it. Where would I go to pick one up, if I do have to restore the computer?

I would actually rather find a way to isolate the problem, rather than restore, for sure. I just am not super savy. I know that there used to be programs you could run that would do full diagnostics and list every possible program running into a long text file (I recall having to search for particular .dll files after someone helped me walk through the process of using such a program)- I'm not sure if programs like this are still favored, or not. I really know just enough about PCs to know that I don't know a darned thing about them.

A Windows 10 install is super quick off a USB drive. Just Google the Windows 10 media creation tool. I like to download the iso then make a bootable drive using Rufus. You can use the tool to make a bootable drive directly. You can just reset, but I'm old fashioned. I prefer to do it manually.

Does the pc only give problems when gaming? Those issues sound like graphics card problems.

First, install Display Driver Uninstaller, boot your pc into safe mode and use it to delete your display drivers. Reinstall drivers and install MSI Afterburner and set it to monitor temps while gaming.
If you get a crash, go check Afterburner's logs.

If temps got too high you may have a dead fan. If they didn't you may have a failing card.

If the problems happen outside of games I'd suggest downloading Seatools and running some hard drive tests.

If all looks fine then at this point I'd reinstall Windows. It is a bit of a nuclear option, but it's so easy these days.