Sony VAIO Slow?
I love my Sony Vaio laptop, but not when it runs slow...or worse yet, it freezes up to death and I have to hard reboot it.
Over time, I have learned my lessons after some trials and errors. And today I want to share with you the tips and tricks on how to speed up your Vaio laptop.
Note: this troubleshooting guide is for those of you who are experiencing Vaio PC performance issues, for example:
- It runs extremely slow
- Applications become unresponsive and freezing
- Web pages take ages to load
- The Internet or Wi-Fi is very slow
- It's slow to boot up or shut down.
- Windows (7, 8, 10, etc) crashes randomly
- Other performance issues...
Warning: if your computer can’t start up or Windows shows blue or black screen, stop using it immediately. Call VAIO support for advice, or take your laptop to a local computer shop for further diagnosis.
Why is My Sony Vaio so Slow?
The causes for each situation vary. Thus it's hard to make a conclusion. Nevertheless, in general most Vaio slow culprits fall into the following five categories:
- Malware or virus infection.
- Windows system problems.
- Third-party software issues.
- Improper using behaviors.
- Outdated or failing hardware.
Is there a universal solution to fix it? Probably not. I've heard people say reformatting the system and having a clean reinstall, but that is simply not correct. Plus, done incorrectly, you could lose all your precious data.
What to Do? Here Are 10 Speed Tips
I've sorted out a list of quick fixes (as seen below) — some techniques may work better than others. Therefore, use your common sense to selectively try out those you feel might work. You don't have to take all of them and it's very unlikely you'll be able to do so.
1. Talk to Sony Support If Your Vaio Is Brand New
If your new Vaio starts to act up, there could be quality issues related to installed hardware or system. Therefore, I highly recommend you contact Sony support and let them handle the problem for you. Possibly they will replace it, saving you time and energy once for all.
I've had the chance to contact their customer services and they are incredibly supportive. Many fellow Vaio users also have positive feedback on their support (see this Reddit discussion). So go ahead and give them a call (visit this official page for more support information).
Pro tip: before you hand off your laptop to them, don't do anything that may endanger your warranty (e.g. tear down the computer, install another operation system other than Windows, etc).
2. Remove Bundled and Unneeded Programs
I don't know if it's still the case in your region, but Sony was criticized for their unethical pre-installation policy for its Vaio laptops with some trial or ineffective programs. Most likely you won't use most of the installed software. Removing them for good or preventing them from auto-starting up is recommended. Same goes with other unneeded programs.
To quickly uninstall those unwanted programs, I like using CleanMyPC -- a great app that can keep your Vaio hard drive clean automatically. One super useful feature it has is "Complete Uninstall", which not only supports uninstalling programs in batch, but it also removes leftovers these programs often leave behind.
If you are okay with diving into the tech stuff, you can also do this manually by going to Control Panel (or All Apps in Windows 10), find these unused applications and remove them. If you are new to computer world, see this guide (Windows 8), or this one (Windows 10) for how to uninstall a program step by step. Not only removing these programs helps speed up startup times and prevent potential issues, but it would release a good amount of free disk space for you to save new files.
3. Make Sure Your Computer Is Free of Malware
I'll have to admit that all Windows PCs are prone to malicious software (or viruses, so to speak). I bet you should have heard about the power of virus attack done by hackers. Be aware that many harmful malware usually start with dragging down your computer performance.
That's why we're advised to install a security software on our PCs. I have to warn you though that some resource-hungry antivirus programs use more system resources than they should, which would result in a more sluggish PC. So pick a light one like Plumbytes Anti-Malware and run it to check your Vaio system on a regular basis. Bottom line — keep your laptop away from any harmful threats.
4. Disable Auto-Startup Apps or Services
You want your Vaio to start up fast, unfortunately there could be many programs or services competing to join the fun the moment you press the power button. This is typical if your computer is loaded with bloated software, or you forget to uncheck the box "run on startup" when installing new programs — hate the trap those unethical software developers set!
Keep your eye on some programs have been given permission to start automatically on startup or in the background. To to so, go to Task Manager -> Startup and find them and disable them. Again, if you are new to Windows OS, see the step-by-step instructions from HowtoGeek.
5. Less Game Time, Less Multitasking
If you are like me, a gaming fan who bought the Vaio notebook partially because of Sony's brand image in gaming industry; then you'd better watch out. Why? Because playing PC games on a laptop could "burn" it — when you run games on Vaio, lots of system resources (CPU, memory, graphic cards, etc) are allocated to ensure a smooth gaming experience, thus taxing your PC's overall performance. If you are really into gaming, go get a Sony PlayStation.
Meanwhile, computers are like humans, multitasking will simply make you inefficient. The reason is simple, human brain power has limitations, so does a computer brain. The more programs you run simultaneously, the slower your computer will all be. In short, consider change personal using habits and run less applications up at the same time.
6. Lighten Your Web Browser (IE, Chrome, FireFox, etc)
Modern web browsers are powerful, but they can drag down your Internet surfing experience if used inappropriately, e.g. you open too many tabs or windows at once, view heavy pages loaded with flash ads, install tons of plug-ins or extensions, etc. All these will add more burdens to the browser, causing it to run slower or become unresponsive — even worse, crash!
How to fix that? First, use Plumbytes Anti-Malware to check if your browsers are injected with Adware. Then remove or disable those unneeded plugins; If you can, also clear off the junks such as histories, caches, etc which could take several GBs of disk space; Last but least, try not to open too many tabs at once; once you complete viewing the content, close that tab and then move on.
7. Perform Disk Defragmentation On Vaio Hard Drive
Warning: this operation is for Vaio laptops with magnetic hard disk drive (HDD) ONLY. If you've upgraded your Sony with an SSD (Solid State Drive), DO NOT defragment the disk as it does no good to the SSD. You've been warned.
According to Microsoft, defragmenting a hard disk can improve your computer's performance. Because it rearranges fragmented data stored on the hard disk thus make it work more efficiently. Depending on the Windows version your Sony Vaio is running, you may schedule disk defragmentation in advance. Watch this video for how to perform defragmentation under Windows 10 or 8.
8. Clean up Hard Drive to Make More Space
Nothing slows down a PC more than having an almost-full hard drive (or solid state drive). Though it's hard to define a certain percentage of free disk space you need to keep, the more the better!
Once again, I'm using CleanMyPC and it does a great job in keeping my Sony Vaio hard drive clean and fast.
If you are a power user, you can also do this manually. There are usually three ways to free up your Vaio hard drive. One is to run the Disk Cleanup (in Windows 10, right click Windows icon on bottom left -> Control Panel -> Administrative Tools -> Disk Cleanup), select the disk drive you want to clean and continue. Second, manually check the "Pictures", "Videos" folders (or other places) where some large duplicated files usually exist. You can either delete them directly or transfer them to an external hard drive. In addition, you can uninstall those large programs that you rarely use as they can take considerable amount of disk space as well.
9. Test Hardware Issues using VAIO Care Utility
If you are using a relatively old Vaio laptop, chances are hardware is the culprit. An five-year-old hard drive will not only surely sow down your Vaio PC, but would result in many other potential issues (especially unexpected crash).
Fortunately, Sony has developed a hardware diagnostics tool — under The VAIO Care™ utility. Basically it enables you to perform quick tests on various hardware components including HDD, CPU, RAM, and so on. Check out this official page for more information.
10. Get Real Performance Boost by Upgrading Hard Drive and Memory
Beware that this tip will be more costly. But you get what you pay for — serious performance boost. If you are using an old Vaio, I highly recommend you do so, after all you still pay less compared to getting a new PC, right?
So what I am talking about here are: replacing your laptop HDD with an SSD, or adding more RAM (memory), or do both if possible. You can go to Crucial or Amazon to shop a desired SSD and/or an extra memory chip. Then follow the video guide below to finish the installation. Please note: be sure to check out your Vaio Manual first to understand all specifications, you may not be able to upgrade everything.
A faster Sony Vaio is better than a slow one. Due to the nature of computer hardware and software, it's sometimes inevitable that your laptop is going to run slowly with the passage of time. However, like a car, with proper maintenance it can still run strong. Plus, if you really love and take good care of your computer — always have a good using habit, your VAIO will pay you back. I hope you find the above speed up tips useful.
Cover image courtesy to Karlis.
The content on this page was last updated on April 21, 2017