The Speed Detective: Why is my Sage 50 running slow?
“My Sage 50 software system seems to run slower now than it originally did. Is it time for maintenance?”
Many computer programs seem to slow down after a period of time and some are not so fast to begin with! Sage 50can also run into some challenges as more information is added, the environment changes, and the list goes on. Without getting too technical, we will explore some steps you can take to investigate and help speed up Sage 50if it’s moving too slow.
Has it always been this slow?
If yes: Look at the Sage 50 installation. Does your system meet the minimum requirements? If it’s below specs, you may need to upgrade your computer. Also, Sage 502011 uses Pervasive PSQL Version 10.12 which along with other database changes has definitely improved performance, so you might want to consider a product upgrade.
If not: Look at what has changed over time to make Sage 50 slower. Have more people begun to use Peachtree? Has the database grown? If the answers are yes, you may also need to consider a computer, network or product upgrade.
Is the Sage 50database on a server?
If yes: Are all users experiencing the problem? If so, you have server or network issues. If access to other network resources such as the Internet or other servers remains brisk, then the server is probably the culprit. Read about helping slow machines, below. Note that although the Sage 50database resides on a server computer for purposes of sharing, the Sage 50programs themselves should be installed on each individual user’s computer for best performance.
Has expanding networked equipment slowly overloaded your network, or did the problem suddenly appear? If it’s a sudden change, look for failing network hardware which can consume all available bandwidth. This symptom can also represent an infected machine wildly broadcasting viral spores. Try temporarily disconnecting hardware from your network to see if the situation improves. If it does, then you have isolated the culprit.
If you are running Windows Vista, you may want to consider disabling the Microsoft IPV6 protocol in favor of IPV4. See http://support.microsoft.com/kb/929852
The mark of an overworked network is that performance is great outside of normal working hours, but degrades as more users arrive. The solution here is to revisit your network topology and break the network into smaller pieces so that traffic doesn’t collide. For example replacing a hub with a switch creates multiple independent network segments where communications flows independently; yet, traffic can still flow between segments if required.
If you are running on a wireless (Wi-Fi) network, consider switching to wired if possible. Most wireless nets are far slower.
Is your computer slow in general?
Be it a server or a workstation, if a computer is running slow, the user or users depending on it will experience frustrating delays. Factors depend on hardware such as insufficient memory; increased server usage; anti-virus programs scanning files on the fly; network configuration; local hard drive indexing on the fly; and many other factors not related to Peachtree. Here are some probable causes and solutions:
Many of the “free” programs available via the Internet were not written by professional programmers. Such programs can squander resources, even when they do not appear to be running at all. It’s a bad idea to install any non-essential software on a computer intended for business use. Install only programs from well known manufacturers, configure them with care, and keep them up-to-date. Many of these programs are nearly impossible to uninstall. If your computer is cluttered with widgets, social networking, and entertainment software the only practical solution is to back up the data externally, erase the entire contents of the computer, install essential software, and restore the data.
Note that some services, such as indexing, virus scan, and backups, can consume a lot of system resources. If these services are needed, try to schedule them for off hours.
Processing information generates heat. If the heat cannot escape, the CPU will deliberately slow itself down, thereby generating less heat, to prevent burnout. The system will also speed up the cooling fans in an effort to remove heat. If the fans are roaring and the system is so slow as to be almost unresponsive, this is the problem. It’s usually seen in machines which are seldom turned off as dirt and dust gradually accumulate internally. The cure is to dismantle the computer for a thorough cleaning.
Start Windows task manager. How busy is your CPU? If CPU Usage is steadily over 70% you have an overworked processor. Task Manager can show you what programs are using most of the CPU resources. Are these programs really necessary? If yes, move some of the workload to another computer or upgrade this computer to a faster processor. Otherwise remove the programs.
Short on storage
This topic considers Random Access Memory (RAM), which is the fast, temporary data storage within the computer. To see how much RAM your computer has, hold down the Windows key on your keyboard and press the Pause / Break key. At a minimum a computer should have at least 1mb of RAM for Windows XP and 2mb of RAM for Windows Vista or Windows 7. Insufficient RAM will cause the machine to use the hard drive for temporary data storage which is much slower than physical RAM. Then the computer will be very slow and you will see excessive hard drive activity. More RAM is better, up to the physical limit of the machine. To see if your RAM is overtaxed, in the Windows Task Manager utility the graphical displays labeled “PF usage” and “Page File Usage History” reflect overflowing RAM. In windows some Page File use is normal, but if the amount of Page File in use frequently exceeds the amount of your RAM size your computer will benefit from additional RAM.
Hard Drive Overworked
Your computer’s Hard Disk Drive (HDD) is the location for permanent data storage. On most computers, a small light illuminates whenever data is moving to or from the HDD. If this light remains on for long periods the machine will be waiting (and so will you) for data to be retrieved from the HDD. If that’s the case, and assuming you have enough RAM (see above), it’s time to look at the HDD more closely.
First, have your system check for HDD errors. You can learn how to do this here: http://support.microsoft.com/kb/315265 If the drive is error free, reorganizing its content can make it much more efficient, see how to Defragment your hard drives at: http://support.microsoft.com/kb/314848
If after doing these things, the hard drive is still very busy, it’s time to consider adding an additional drive and divvying up the workload. Most desktop computers can support two to four drives in total, but are originally shipped with only one. Faster hard drives may also be an option.
More than one of the above scenarios might be hindering your performance. All systems have bottlenecks, and sometimes correcting one of them can exacerbate another. If after trying the above suggestions you are at a loss as to why your Sage 50runs so slow, you should contact Accounting Business Solutions by JCS at one of its several nationwide locations which can be found at https://jcscomputer.com or firstname.lastname@example.org.
For more information on Sage Timeslips Premium/2017+ give one of our professional consultants a call 800.475.1047 www.jcscomputer.com
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