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By: Kyle Greendale
With the release of Microsoft's Windows seven operating system, a lot of the performance issues present in past installments of this computer mainstay have been addressed, showing a measurable improvement in areas that were once headaches for even the most capable machines. Still, despite what would seem to be Microsoft's welcome reply to the chorus of complaints about XP and Vista, the onset of problems is expected for even the newest release. No operating system is immune from the sort of error that results from any amount of issues: viruses, spyware, negligence, for example.

Despite how it's currently running, tomorrow could usher in a set of surprising problems, which is to be expected with even new machines. Windows 7 ( Vista, too ) has a robust set of tools - all included inside one easily accessed menu - that the annoyed user can make use of when attempting to diagnose the source of a problem.

Accessing these tools is as straightforward as entering a command in the search box that's located in the Start menu. Once you have entered "performance info" you will be greeted by a window from where you can select "Advanced tools."

After those tools are available, it becomes obvious that you have at your disposal an impressive assortment of diagnostic options that may - at the very least - aid you towards determining what lies at the source of your ailing system :

* Clear all Windows Experience Index scores and re-rate system

* View performance details in Event log

* Open Performance Monitor

* Open Resource Monitor

* Open Task Manager

* View Advanced system details in System Information

* Adjust the appearance and performance of Windows

* Open Disk Defragmenter

* Generate a system health report

One of the most informative tools you can use is Open Resource Monitor. Like Task Manager, Resource Monitor provides an overview of your system's resources, permitting you to manage the available resources ( RAM, storage, bandwidth ) your system has to work with. Unlike Task Manager, which is kind of vague in its detail, Resource Monitor works at the micro level - meaning, you are given a degree of specificity that illuminates how an individual process or application figures into the allocation of resources.

Another useful aid is the "Generate a system health report" option. Similar to having a physical at the doctor's office, this will assess your system's health, generating an analysis that can enlighten you on what areas you need to address when experiencing issues with your computer's performance. Taking just a few moments, the system research will return a report that details each critical facet of your system. Using this diagnostic analysis, you will be left with a clearer picture of how your personal computer is faring. For example, if there's a driver that's obstructing your capability to hear sound, this report will highlight that conflict.

These are just the tools that are reasonably self-explanatory in their use and interpretation. The more advanced tools - like View performance details in Event log - are just as advantageous, but they require an amount of expertise that your average user could be without.

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