“My computer hates me” is something I have heard countless times. There are reasons why your computer runs slow, crashes or just plain acts weird. Perhaps you’ve been neglecting it, or you’ve been unintentionally doing things that have been affecting its performance and security.

Below are several reasons why your computer hates you.

You’ve never created a disk image

Your computer hates you because you have no recovery strategy. You are under the impression the recovery partition on that old Dell or HP machine will save your bacon when you need to reinstall your Operating System. You’ve failed to consider what would happen if your hard drive crashed, rendering that recovery partition useless. Take the time to create your own image and store it on an external hard drive or separate internal drive for fast recovery in an emergency. Learn how to create a disk image here.

You never perform even the most basic preventative maintenance

Your computer hates you because it’s running hot. When was the last time you opened the computer case and blew out your fans? When was the last time you vacuumed around the floor where your PC is cooking? Hot computers run slow and ultimately fail. Consider cleaning up around your PC every six months or more to ensure it stays running cool.

It’s been ages since you’ve backed up

Your computer hates you because sectors are failing on its hard drive on an almost daily basis. Your hard drive will fail. It’s only a matter of when. Are your pictures, documents and favorites backed up to an external source? Consider getting a Network Attached Storage device like these.

You’re still running Windows XP

Your computer hates you because you’re running an insecure Operating System. If possible, upgrade to Windows 7 or Windows 8. If you simply need Windows XP for a specific program, consider running XP in a virtual Window using Virtual Box. Learn how to survive the death of Windows XP.

You never power off or restart your computer

Your computer hates you because it’s been awake for weeks. Just as you feel refreshed after a long night’s sleep, your computer will also benefit from an occasional restart. If you cannot spare the three minutes it takes your computer to boot in the morning, set up a schedule where your PC automatically shuts down at night and boots up in the morning before you wake up. Learn how to automatically boot your computer here.

You’re installing malware on your system

Your computer hates you because you’ve been actively installing malware on your system. When you open your web browser, does it go to a Conduit search page? Do you have rogue toolbars in your browser? You did that when you installed the freeware program (insert name here). The new freeware software model comes at a steep price for your security and computer performance. Read what you’re installing and don’t just click OK. Uncheck any boxes or decline the install entirely if it insists on installing extra junk.

You haven’t upgraded your hardware in years

Your computer hates you because you haven’t upgraded it in years. You can likely double your RAM or switch out to a newer, faster solid state hard drive. Those simple changes can make your PC seem like new again.

You’re using Internet Explorer

Your computer hates you because Internet Explorer is just plain bad. Ideally, you would want to run an alternate browser such as Google Chrome or Mozilla Firefox, but if you must run IE, make sure you are running the latest version.

Following the above tips will help you and your computer mend that broken relationship and become the best of friends again.