Fixing a slow computer and performing maintenance

Written by on Sunday, August 10, 2008 22:44 - 4 Comments

Fixing slow pcs and maintenance

If your Windows based PC seems to be running slow, and programs are taking a long time to load, there are a few simple things that can be done before you start to panic.  Since Windows operates by swapping memory to and from a cache on the hard drive, the condition of said drive can be an important factor in the overall performance of the machine as a whole.  Regular maintenance can go a logn way towards keeping your machine running at top performance.

Run antivirus and antispyware programs.  These unwanted items can significantly reduce the speed of PC, and some are capable of making it completely nonfunctional.  Even when such programs are not maliciously affecting the system, each one that loads into computer memory uses resources that could be directed to other tasks, thereby slowing down the system.  Animated mouse pointers are a huge drain on resources, also.  While it may be aesthetically pleasing to have a mouse pointer which is animated, you must consider the implications of such things, and if performance is a key issue, it is probably best to disable them.

The next step is to perform regular system maintenance.  The recycle bin is a handy tool to prevent accidentally deleting files, but by default it is allowed to use as much as 10% of your hard drive, which takes away from resources available for important performance tasks, such as swap files.  When you know that the recycle bin contains files you no longer need, empty it.  Running cleanup, in addition to emptying the recycle bin, will remove old temporary files, cookies, and other unnecessary files.  Likewise, cleaning the system registry will make system resources available that are used by programs that may no longer be of use.

Another important task that should be performed regularly is system defrag.  When a file is written to a freshly formatted hard drive, it is written out in one long block.  As files are moved and deleted, the resulting empty spaces are refilled with new data, but the data becomes broken into pieces which fit the empty blocks left by previously deleted files.  In time, this results in your programs being spread out across larger segments of the hard drive, and more and more processor time is required to load those files as it has to search out segments on your drive.  Eventually, some file segments may even become lost or corrupted, resulting in lost data or programs that are inoperable.  By running defrag, you are able to reorganize the hard drive, putting all of the pieces back together again.  This will increase system performance, sometimes making run noticeably faster. ')}

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Aug 16, 2008 1:59

I think Cleaning up the startup can be added to this very good list. Typing ‘msconfig’ in Run would make you see a list of items that start up as your windows boots, so minimizing the number of startups can make the windows booot faster. Also we can take a clue from the system tray area. The lesser the items there, the leser memory is used. Anyways nice tutorial, and an Antivirus is a must.

Aug 16, 2008 2:22

I think what makes a computer really slow is installing too many programs on it. I always make sure I install only the basic software I need on my PC and try to stay away from all freeware tools am not really sure of.
Certain software you download and install on to your computer might not uninstall completely when you try to remove it. It is not always obvious what registry keys they have added so you might not be able to remove them.
Also, certain freeware software might install additional software onto your computer without your knowledge

Aug 17, 2008 5:47

Choosing the right antivirus and antispyware softwares is important but spywares, adwares and malwares are born everyday that some always gets through. I make it a point to format my harddisks at least once a year. Reinstalling software is a hassle but it’s worth it.

Aug 28, 2008 6:57

I agree with all of you guys and I’ve also tried all of those suggestions, but it just goes on and on and you really have to do it at least once a week. I’m currently using tune up utilities because it doesn’t just fix registry errors but it can clear up unnecessary files like old system restore files and other temporary files. It also checks disk fragmentation and it does a disk defrag when needed.

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