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How does one go about isolating whether or not a piece of software/driver or a hardware issue is causing a problem with your PC? Or, how can you tell what combination of the two might be giving you issues?

Obviously, if you install new software and your PC starts giving you trouble you can usually narrow it down to that software. But, say for example, you install a new piece of hardware and a driver component from something else installed conflicts with that.

Just an example I can think of from my own personal experience... I have seen an installation of Kaspersky drag a computer down to pretty much a halt. After uninstalling, the comptuer seemed to be fine again. But, how would I know if Kaspersky is possibly conflicting with some drivers on the PC or some other hardware or software?

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  • There isn't a secret. The best way is a process of elimination. You try one thing and you slowly eliminate your possible sources of a problem. – Ramhound Jun 3 '13 at 19:50
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You invert the check. With your Kaspersky example, you take working hardware and change the software: this tells you that changes in performance are due to the software changes.

Instead, look at it from the other angle. Assume your software is constant, and change the hardware: Install Kaspersky on a different machine (same software, different hardware). You can then see how different hardware changes things.

This is most easily done with the minimum number of variables. Remove all unnecessary hardware and software that you don't need to boot the system.

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