10Sep Is Your Computer Slow After Updating Ideal to v9.4 or Higher? Here’s How You Can Fix This Whether you’ve updated your Ideal software to v9.4 or any other version since then, you may have started experiencing unreasonable slowdowns when looking up products in the system. Since this problem can severely impact your daily processes, your first reaction may be to call our support, which is absolutely correct. However, you can actually fix this issue yourself, because even if you do end up calling us, we will likely first walk you through all the steps listed in this article! With that in mind, here’s what we recommend doing to prevent or stop those annoying slowdowns: 1. Run the Windows Updates on Workstations and the Server Start by ensuring you are up to date with your Windows updates. And while we are on the topic, we also recommend that you maintain full control of when they are run – to make sure they don’t disrupt your daily operations. Windows tools: Scheduler can run these tasks in the off-hours. To manually run the Windows tools, right-click on My Computer and click Open. Select a hard drive and right-click on it; then select Properties. From there, go to the Tools tab. > Error-checking: To manually run error-checking (chkdsk/scandisk), click on the Check now… button. Checking the drive for errors will only run after a computer shutdown or restart, so plan to purposely restart at the close of business. This allows the scandisk utility to run for several hours (possibly 8 to 10 hours, depending on your system), and not interrupt other scheduled utilities. > Defragmentation: To manually defragment (for Windows 7 and older), click on the Defragment now… button. See Link: Click here 2. Shut Down, Reboot Close Ideal on all workstations every night, except the one that is using the Scheduled Backup utility. However, if you want, you can even close the workstation using the Scheduled Backup utility. Consider using the Shutdown/Restart process (to refresh memory) and then logging into Ideal. In Ideal, confirm no other users are active by going to Applications -> System Manager -> Companies. With your Company ID selected in the top section, you can view active users who are still logged in. If this list is not refreshing correctly, consider a server reboot. In fact, you should shut down all workstations, the server and the router at least once a week. After performing the shutdown, wait for two to three minutes, then turn on the router, and after that, the server. Let the server log into Windows before turning on the workstations. 3. Optimize for Performance We recommend that you optimize your Ideal database every week. The optimization procedure must be run from the server, preferably right after rebooting. Prior to the optimization, the system will make a Copy of the Database. Ideal will close automatically when the copy and optimization processes are complete. Here’s why you should go through this process: It compresses the size of the database, making it run more efficiently. It removes old log files and other copies of data files from the Ideal for Windows and IdealData directories. To optimize the Ideal Database: Have all users (except for the one on the server) exit out of Ideal by clicking the X button in the upper right corner of the program. Click “Yes” at the prompt to confirm that you wish to exit Ideal. > Note: To receive the Optimize option, the last user to exit Ideal should be logged in as an Administrator and exit from the server computer. Alternatively, with all users logged out, log in as an Administrator and close Ideal from the server. In the Safeguard Ideal Program Data dialog, click Optimize. A window will open displaying the progress of the Data Copy process that takes place prior to optimization. When the Data Copy is complete, the window and Ideal will automatically close. After that, optimization will begin. > Note: Optimizing will take significantly longer than simply making a copy of the database and exiting. 4. Update Ideal Determine which version (or build) of Ideal you are using. To do that, select Help -> About from the Ideal main menu. Whether it’s v9.4 or another version, you should be able to see it. To perform an Ideal Update and receive the latest changes, make sure all users are backed out of Ideal. The most critical time to give a server of any type a fresh restart would be just before running an update to your Ideal for Windows software. After that, select Applications -> System Manager -> Ideal Update from the main menu and follow the onscreen instructions. > Did you know? We receive an overwhelming amount of calls at the support department gets whenever a new release goes out. We document all calls and their resolutions. It turns out, more than 90% of these calls are resolved by having the dealer restart their server and then execute the update again. 5. Clean and Replace Hire a local tech to clean your computers. During cleaning, the computer should be disconnected from power and network cables, and the case removed. On average, a dealer should consider replacing their computers every three to four years to help ensure the computers are running the software at a high level and are functioning well in a shop environment that’s prone to more dust, dirt and grime than an average business. 6. Back Up Data and Store It Offsite If you are already using a backup system, confirm that you can restore from it. On a regular basis, in the business off-hours (weekends, mornings, etc.), open the backup program, go to your most recent backup and follow the vendor’s instructions to restore files. First, select at least one non-critical file (like a text file) and restore it. You need to know how to restore BEFORE you NEED to restore. Slowdowns due to real-time backups: To improve performance, schedule your real-time backups to pause during your busiest hours; then let them catch up in the slower hours. Our database is constantly writing new information throughout the day, and you want to avoid sharing resources with a backup program that is attempting to capture every transaction. > Did you know? Many of our dealers are now taking advantage of our Online Backup Service, which is set to run during the evening hours – when the system is not being used. This ensures a complete and secure backup of their Ideal software and data without the hassle of having someone remember to do it. Regular updates and maintenance routines are also scheduled during the overnight hours. Scheduled Windows updates often initiate a system reboot to complete the update process, which can get in the way of daily operations. Systems that we set up utilize the evening hours to perform maintenance routines, including downloading and installing Windows updates, anti-virus definitions, scanning for viruses and malware, and other regular Microsoft-suggested maintenance. 7. Other Performance Boosters Avoid radio stations or other streaming media on the server to allow the server to deliver the best level of resources to all users. Credit card terminals should be placed where they are visible at all times. Install a reputable anti-malware program. Avoid unnecessary surfing and don’t open emails from unknown sources.