From Iolo Labs press release: Following nearly a year of research, iolo Labs, iolo technologies’ independent research arm, has discovered two new key factors that result in the symptomatic loss of computer performance over time.
While it is commonly known that hardware limitations such as inadequate memory levels, low storage capacity, processor bottlenecks, or even malicious software infections can hinder computer speed, the universal – and more entropic – phenomenon of gradual and ongoing degradation of PC performance with continued use remains unexplained by these hardware-based factors and has confounded computer users for decades. Since 1998, iolo Labs has analyzed millions of PCs in an effort to quantify the seemingly inevitable performance entropy that occurs during everyday computing use, and to create software and tools that can effectively reverse and prevent it. With the addition of two newly identified factors – program misalignment caused by file system entropy, and resource deadlock caused by incremental software redundancy – iolo Labs now counts a total of nine root causes of PC slowdown.
Nine Root Causes of PC Slowdown
- Program misalignment – Slow start-up, sluggish program behavior
- Available RAM decline – Universal system slowdown
- Windows start-up bottlenecks – Slow Windows start-up
- Redundant programs – Lock-ups, general system slowdown
- Mismatched internet settings – Lost connections, slow internet browsing
- Registry errors- Unpredictable hesitations and freezes
- Registry bloat – Universal system slowdown
- Fragmented system files – Excessive hard drive churn, freezes
- Accumulated clutter – Sluggish behavior, premature drive failure
Program Misalignment and Data Entropy
In the 1980s, when programs consisted of single large files, disk defragmenters were invented to ensure those files were stored contiguously on the hard drive, thus reducing drive head movement needed to read them. In today’s world, complex software programs consist of a small main program and potentially hundreds of dependent files. Yet disk defragmenters fail to understand and accommodate the critical interdependencies and relationships between each program and its supporting set of dependent files. While the vast arrays of files enabling programs to run may initially be perfectly aligned for maximum performance on a new PC’s hard drive, they tend to become misaligned and scattered across the hard drive as a result of Windows and program updates, and even the act of disk defragmentation itself. iolo Labs refers to the resulting phenomenon as File System Entropy. As the level of entropy increases, it causes severe amounts of unnecessary hard drive head movements and overall processing fatigue, which translates into programs that take increasingly longer to load and are progressively less responsive over time.
Redundant Programs and Resource Deadlock
Regularly uninstalling computer programs that aren’t being used has long been a key act of digital housekeeping aimed at freeing up extra storage space and increasing speed by releasing the memory and CPU resources demanded by these programs. However, iolo Labs research has discovered that redundant software – programs that duplicate or overlap in their functions – represent a much greater threat to performance and stability. As multiple programs that attempt to provide the same functionality are run simultaneously, they often end up attempting to “lock” the same vital system resources for their exclusive use. The ensuing phenomenon of resource deadlock nearly always produces acute performance loss and unpredictable freezes, in some cases rendering a machine completely inoperable. iolo Labs research confirms that proactively identifying and removing unused redundant software can be a significant factor in restoring a PC’s speed and stability.
iolo Labs has been working directly with the iolo technologies engineering team to aid in the development of tools that effectively pinpoint and address these newly discovered root causes of PC slowdown. These new tools are planned for general public availability later this month as part of the company’s anticipated System Mechanic 10 product release.