Fix Up That Slow Computer - 5 Useful Tips for Speeding Up that Slow Computer
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Fix Up That Slow Computer - 5 Useful Tips for Speeding Up that Slow Computer!
Everybody knows the feeling of a computer on its last legs. Everything runs painfully slow, and with every click you pray that it won't crash. Popups riddle your computer, and you wish all of the troubles would just go away. With this short guide, I will give you 5 super-useful tips that will definitely speed up your computer, and make you believe that it is brand new.
1.Zap your spyware! Statistics show that almost all computers are infected with various forms of adware and spyware. There are programs out there, some free and some paid, that will scan and remove all traces of spy/adware that it can find. There are two free ones that I recommend, Adaware and Spybot. If you run these two and delete everything, you will definitely notice a difference, but they will not get everything. Personally, I run Adaware, Spybot, and XoftSpySE. It is very affordable, and I find when I use all three, each one finds stuff that the others do not, so its a great combination. The $30 certainly beats having to buy a new computer! Each of these programs are pretty self-explanatory, simply run each an delete everything that it finds, and you'll find your computer running a lot smoother.
2.Install anti-virus software and a firewall, run them, and keep them up-to-date! Its amazing the number of people who do not do this, and it really puts their computer in jeopardy. I remember a statistic that a Windows PC connected to the internet without a firewall usually becomes infected within 20 minutes. Don't be a statistic, its very easy to do, just keep your anti-virus and firewall software up-to-date. For anti-virus and firewall software, I use McAfee. If you are a Comcast high speed internet subscriber, you should be able to get these for free from Comcast.net. Otherwise, you could go to a local computer store or go to McAfee.com. Other popular anti-virus/firewall suites include Norton, and Trend Micro Internet Security. Personally, I used to use Trend Micro and had no complaints, but switched to McAfee through Comcast and have no complaints about them either. Steer clear of shady so-called anti-virus programs, however, as you don't want to find a virus-infested "anti-virus" program.
3.Defrag your hard drive! Everytime you use your hard drive (basically whenever you're using your computer!) files are getting all scattered about on your hard drive, which slows down the time it takes a file to open because it takes longer for your computer to find it. Windows has a built-in utility to do this, which can be found by going to My Computer, right clicking on the icon for your hard drive, going to Properties, clicking on the Tools tab, and then clicking on Defragment. This process will clean up your hard drive, by rearranging file storage and allowing files to be found more quickly. This can take a few hours, so you should run it overnight or before you leave for work, and it is suggested that you run it once per month.
4.Clean and optimize your registry! The registry is a very important part of a Windows computer, where essential system information is stored. Whenever you install a program, information is most likely added to the registry. When you uninstall a program, all of the information isn't usually removed. Spyware, adware, and other unwanted programs can also infect your registry. This is the main cause of error messages, blue screen errors, overall slowness, and even crashes. There is a very neat program called Registry Fix, which scans your registry for errors and repairs them. They offer a free trial that will just scan it for you and tell you what the problems are, and then for $37 you can purchase it and actually fix the errors. It it finds any errors, which is most cases will be in the hundreds, I would definitely recommend purchasing it, as the effect will definitely be visible. This is a awesome little program.
5.Restrict what starts on startup! Does your computer start up very slowly? That is because you have lots of programs that start up whenever your computer starts up, most of which you probably don't want to, possibly even spyware and adware. Click on Start, then Run, and type "msconfig" (without the quotes" into the box, and press enter. Now, click on the startup tab. The only absolutely essential programs are: ScanRegistry, TaskMonitor, SystemTray, LoadPowerProfile, and your anti-virus and firewall software. There are other programs that you may want, so if there is anything that you aren't sure about, then type its name into Google. There are many websites that have a database of almost every task imaginable, and they will tell you what the program is, and whether you need it or not. After this, you will notice a very visible improvement next time you startup your PC. On a slightly related note, go to your Control Panel, click Add/Remove Programs, and uninstall anything that you need. You'd be amazed at how many programs you have that you never use, or could easily do without, that will free up disk space and improve computer performance.
Those are the 5 tips that are essential to maintaining a healthy, speedy computer. None of the things are things that you should only do once, you should repeat them on a continual basis. Create some sort of schedule, maybe setting aside an afternoon every month to go through everything, and I guarantee that your computer will benefit. Maintaining a healthy computer sure beats the hell out of having to buy a new one!
About the Author
Andrew Summits is a computer enthusiast/specialist. If you have any questions about this article or about your PC, send him an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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Article Published/Sorted/Amended on Scopulus 2007-01-15 11:16:08 in Computer Articles