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IT: All you need to know About PC Maintenance

IT: All you need to know About PC Maintenance

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The Top Nine Ways to Make a Windows PC Move Faster

As time goes by, a computer's speed can decrease. This is especially true for computers that have Microsoft Windows on them. This problem is evident as the system takes more and more time to respond to the actions of the user. These slowed actions include the opening of folders and files, internet surfing as well as other tasks. The good news is there are ways to speed up a slowed computer.

The list below outlines the things you need to do to improve the performance of your computer. To be the most effective, you should complete these steps in order. The key to success is doing the least invasive and simplest thing first. Complete each of these steps, in order, until the system begins to respond better.

The Most Important Rule is Do No Harm

If you are interested in improving your computer's speed, that is great. Just remember that the most important rule is doing no harm. Once you go beyond the scope of the Windows forum, if you begin to feel as if you have gotten in over your head, ask for help from people you know.

It is important to keep in mind that you have time. You have the ability to stop most of the processes listed below without causing any harm to your computer. Common sense and caution are essential when working with your computer. In fact, problems are many times much easier to fix than you think.

The Nine Steps to Increase the Speed of Your Computer:

1. Make Certain that Your Hardware is Adequate

In addition to everything that you are able to do with software to ensure optimal computer function, make sure you are using the appropriate hardware to sustain Windows. If you are not, this is a critical error and you must correct it to increase the speed of your computer.

2. Clean Up Your Desktop

Is your computer running slower? Is your desktop full of files? Is your hard drive light flashing while your computer is attempting to respond to the requested action? There is no need to fret; there are things that you are able to do to eliminate this problem.
3. Scan Your System for Possible Errors

To understand the problem, you must understand what an operating system actually is. The operating system consists of an assortment of files. Each of these files performs a different function. However, it is a possibility that over time, some of the operating system's files have changed. Some of these files may also be corrupted. If either of these situations occurs, the computer's speed could decrease.

You should utilize the utility named 'System File Checking.' This utility will inspect and then correct any problem that it finds with these files.
4. Scan Your Computer for Spyware, Adware and Viruses

All the Windows computers are susceptible to obtaining a virus. Viruses are malicious programs that cause havoc on your computer. These problems could be major or minor, depending on the kind of virus that is infecting the system.

Adware and Spyware are programs that companies create to obtain information about consumers. They do this so they are able to successfully market their products. Generally, these kinds of programs are not made for malicious reasons. However, Adware and Spyware can slow a computer down by using up some of the computer's memory.

By periodically scanning your computer and removing any Spyware, Adware or Viruses that you find, you will be able to improve your computer's performance.
5. Always Uninstall Any Unused Programs

Over time, you have more than likely accumulated various programs on the computer that you no longer use. When you install a program, connections are created between that program and the computer's operating system. Even when you are not using these programs, they have a tendency to slow your system down.

If you uninstall these programs using the original installation disk or file, you will be able to free up some memory on your computer. This may help increase the speed of your system's performance.
6. Adjust the Visual Effects on Your Computer for Better Performance

Windows offers numerous interesting visual effects, which include fading menus and animated windows. If you are running out of or already do not have an appropriate amount of operating memory, these visual effects do have the ability to decrease the performance speed of your computer. If you adjust or reduce these visual effects, your computer's system speed should increase.

In order to increase the speed on Vista computers, you may want to consider disabling functions and features that you do not use. To learn more read 'How to Speed Up Windows Vista.'
7. Do Not Have Seldom Used Programs Start Automatically

Programs use RAM, which is operating memory. It is also referred to as 'system resources.' If you have programs initiating at Windows startup, that you do not always use, remove them from your startup sequence. By doing this, you will speed up your computer's booting up process and performance.
8. Consider Defragmenting Your Computer's Hard Drive

Defragmenting should only be done once you have attempted all the other options available. If you have numerous programs and a lot of information on your computer, chances are that Windows has put pieces of files in different areas on your hard drive.

Windows may end up doing this for multitudes of programs and files, depending on the amount of space that is available. When you defragment your computer's hard drive, all the information for each of your files will be located in one place. This can result in a faster performing computer.
A Very Important Note

Prior to trying this, make sure you backup everything onto another computer, CD, disk or hard drive.

You should only defragment your computer if you have a reliable power source for the computer. If your computer shuts off while in the process of defragmenting one of its drives, it will cause you even more problems than you had before.
9. Reinstall Your Programs and Operating System

Once you have completed all the steps listed here, your computer should become faster and more responsive. If this does not happen, you may want to consider reinstalling your programs and the operating system.

This process is a 'clean sweep.' You have to back up all your user settings and data, then wipe your hard drive clean and begin re-installing the operating system using your original disks.

Next, begin reinstalling your programs and then restore all the user settings and data.

In the end, a 'clean sweep' can be nice because you fundamentally have a brand new computer. Your computer is now free of registry changes, software, errors and additions that turn a Windows computer from a quick rabbit into a slow moving tortoise.

The negative thing about the 'clean sweep' is that time and planning are necessary to do it properly. If your computer is only three to four years old, and continues running slower than it did when initially purchased it, this might be the only way to make a considerable difference in its performance.

Culled from: SpeedAnalysis

By: Director of IT at PerformerSoft


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