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How To Speed Up Your PC.

Posted by Drew Pilton on: 2007-01-28 03:45:46

Self SEO > Hardware Articles

One of the most annoying things I have noticed with personal computers is the noticeable drop off in speed and performance as the system gets older. When I first buy the system or when I have freshly installed Windows the whole system seems to zip along, programs open faster the system starts up faster. A few months of hard use later and I get more and more frustrated, I am forced to wait for everything as my PC grinds along apparently making hard work of the smallest task.

However, as I am about to explain there are reasons for this and there are ways to restore your PC to its former glory. All the time you are using your computer there are many tasks running in the background, things like task schedulers for various programs, animated desktops and icons, automatic update monitors and even worse many things that you don’t need or use at all. The longer you have your computer the more software applications you install, the more of these background tasks are running constantly while you work. All of these are competing for processor time. One extreme way to redress this is backup all you data, reformat your hard drive and install Windows from scratch, along with all your favourite applications. This is a very time consuming job and not for the faint hearted. There are some people who do this on a yearly basis, as this is a very efficient way of curing any Windows errors that have developed over time.

For those who would prefer not to go through this time consuming process here is a list of procedures you can follow regularly to keep your PC healthy and performing well.

Uninstall Unnecessary Software.
This is kind of obvious but many people don’t bother. As well as software which you purposely installed in the past and just don’t need any more, there are many applications which are installed without you asking for them at the same time as programs you wanted. Things like download managers, audio players, toolbars and other branded marketing gadgets that annoy the heck out of you. To uninstall these unwanted guests go to “Control Panel” then click “Add/Remove Software” and remove them.

Use Microsoft Disk Cleanup Utility.
When you install software or browse the internet your computer is storing “Temporary files” and “Temporary internet files”, these files are left on your PC but are no linger needed. Over time your PC will amass a huge amount of these files and Disk Cleanup Utility will clean these out as well as compacting older files which are still needed. To start Disk Cleanup go to “Start” > “Accessories” > “System Tools” > “Disk Cleanup”.

Get Rid Of Viruses And Spyware.
Use a reputable antivirus application such as Norton Internet Securities to scan your PC. You can set most antivirus programs to perform a complete system scan at regular intervals or you can perform a scan manually if you prefer. Whichever way you choose this MUST be done regularly.

Use Windows Update.
Microsoft is constantly working on improvements and correcting flaws in there Windows operating system. Every now and then they will release update patches for your Windows system to improve performance, cure bugs, correct hardware compatibility problems and address any security issues which can be exploited by hackers. It is advisable to set windows to update automatically or to use Windows Update on a regular basis. To do this go to “Start” > “All Programs” > “Windows Update”, You must be connected to the internet for this.

Clean Your Registry.
Your registry stores important information about your computers set-up and configuration. Over time the registry gets cluttered up with registry entries that are no long relevant and theses entries can confuse windows or just slow it down considerably.
It is not recommended that you make changes to the registry yourself unless you know what your are doing, so to clean it properly you will need registry cleaner software such as Error Doctor. A registry cleaner will scan your registry for redundant entries and remove them. It is very simple to use and I recommend it. For a detailed description of the registry and how to clean it visit:-

Defragment Your Hard Disk.
Over time and with regular use the data on your hard disk gets scattered across the disk and stored in fragments. This will make your hard disk work much harder trying to find and access each fragment of information. To correct this problem your hard disk needs to be defragmented regularly. To do this go to “Start” > “All Programs” > “Accessories” > “System Tools” > “Disk Defragmenter”.

Reduce Your Startup Selections.
Ever time you start your computer there are many items, which begin running during the startup process. Because all of these are drawing from your processor this can slow down the startup time considerably. Many of theses will remain running in the background while the PC is on. Some of these startup items are not required and so can be switched of without any problems, so improving startup time and overall performance. To manage the list of startup programs, click on “Start” > “Run“, and type MSCONFIG. Press Enter, and select the Startup tab. If you see items in the list you know you don't need to run at startup time, Uncheck the box next each item and press Apply. If you are unsure about an item you can Uncheck it and reboot. If an application stops working just go back and recheck the box.

Buy More Memory.
As well as performing the above tasks at regular intervals you can make a huge difference to the speed of your computer by increasing the amount of memory it has.
When Windows is running it uses large amounts of memory to function. To avoid running out of physical memory in will use a portion of your hard disk as “virtual memory”. The problem is that virtual memory is much slower than physical memory. So the more virtual memory it needs the slower your PC will run. To reduce the amount of virtual memory used it is necessary to increase your physical memory as much as you can afford. Increasing your memory size is probably one of the best ways to speed up your computer.

The auther is dedicated to PC security and PC health.
See the Error Doctor to Clean your registry

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