Is your PC or Mac very sluggish? Do you find yourself waiting what seems to be an unreasonable amount of time for applications to open or perform standard tasks? Well there are a couple of easy actions to try to get that critical business tool functioning efficiently for you again:

  1. Check if you’ve used most of your hard drive free space.
    Just because you have a 60 GB hard drive, it doesn’t mean you can load every bit of it. PowerPoint decks, video/audio files can take up significant space. Offload whatever isn’t critical to an external hard drive.
  2. Make sure your anti-virus software definitions library is up-to-date and run a scan to check for unwanted pests.
  3. De-fragmenting your hard drive helps to make your OS and software run a bit more efficiently.
  4. Check for unnecessary programs that are loaded into memory but you never use.
  5. Add more memory.

I Feel The Need For Speed!

I find that adding RAM helps me extend the life of my older equipment and ensure the responsiveness I need. Time is money and I have the need for speed!

I just upgraded a year old iMac. By default it already had a total of 4 MB (a pair of 2 MB each cards). But I’ve been running more demanding software. For example, I run Windows on my Mac using Parallels so I can use the Windows version of Quickbook Pro (which unfortunately is superior to the Mac version, but that’s a rant for another day.)

Two excellent sources I’ve bought from (, have good documentation to help you determine your computer model number and recommend compatible memory. Pricing is competitive. Sometimes they offer free shipping. Plus you should search online for a promo code that might help you get a discounted price.

My Mac had 4 MB RAM and accepts up to 16 MB. After evaluating prices and need, I settled on 12 MB total being acceptable. So I ordered a pair of 4 MB each cards. to compliment the pair of 2 MB cards I already have installed.

Backup Your Hard Drive Before You Tinker Inside The Case

Always make sure you have a current backup of your critical business files. Memory installation isn’t hard, but what if you accidentally knock over the computer? Or somehow generate a static discharge while touching the components? Stupid accidents can happen and you want to reduce risk of accidental destruction of your valuable data.

After taking precautions, the installation process was easy. I’ve done this several times before with PCs and Macs, so I am comfortable with the DIY approach.

I turned the computer off, opened the access cover, inserted the 2 additional RAM cards into the empty slots. In moments I was booting up and logged in.

This particular iMac model has 4 slots and allows me to have a combination of 2 MB and 4MB cards. You definitely should check your Mac/PC specs to confirm what’s acceptable in your model.

Performance wise with 12 MB total, the software that used to respond slowly are now running much better. I dedicated 4 MB RAM to running Windows using Parallels. As a result, Parallels, Quickbooks and other Windows apps now open and respond much faster.

Mac video editing apps (Final Cut Express, iMovie) and audio editing app (Garageband) noticably render output much faster now. I’m happier because my iMac’s responsiveness doesn’t feel sluggish any longer.

Your Turn

Don’t settle for technology slowing you down. With a little research you can do the work yourself, save some money and feel proud that you got to roll up your sleeves, got under the hood for a bit, and accomplished something outside your comfort zone.

Hope this is helpful.