Tips to Keeping Your Computer Fast

Some days you notice that your computer is just running too slowly to be useful. It takes forever just to get some tiny little thing done. Here are some of my tips to getting that computer up to shape in no time (hopefully!).

1) Get rid of excess bloatware. We all have heard about this tip sometime or other. But most people just hear it and don’t realize when it happens to them. I will define bloatware as any software that you used so few times that it really doesn’t justify having the software installed in the first place. If you don’t edit photos, get rid of Photoshop. If you don’t play a certain game, or have no time to play it, then get rid of it. You can get a rough estimate of your usage of the program and the last time you used it in the Windows XP Add or Remove Programs Menu (from the Control Panel). This does not mean to go on a file removing frenzy… just get rid of what you don’t absolutely need. If you do need something but don’t want to get rid of it, read on.

2) Stop Start-Up processes. When you install most programs, they have some process or other which starts when you log into your computer. These processes update the programs in question and make the program load faster when you want to run it. But the problem is this: if you install many programs, each with a start up process, then your memory is taken up by these processes. When you want to run the program, it will be slower overall. It is better to just let these start up processes run when you start the program. Now, how do you turn off some of these processes? First, go to the Start menu -> all programs -> startup and remove any nonessential programs. Keep any drivers (for mouse/keyboard, wireless networks), firewall, anti-virus, and other programs you think you will need. Turn off any updates and such, even if you use a certain program all the time. Next, go to Start menu-> run… and run the “msconfig” program. You will get the System Configuration Utility. Go to the Startup menu. Many of the start up items look like gibberish, but some of them have program paths. Those are easy ones to tell what programs they are for. Also, if you can’t figure what the item is, just google it and you will get some hits as to what it is about. There are websites that archieve each process for you. Again, turn off non-essential items, not drivers or important things.

3) Run CCleaner. Google this program or use the nifty search bar on our blog to find our old post on this. Use this program to clean out old program data, temporary files, and other files that “clog” up the system. Also use CCleaner to fix errors in your registry thus making the pc faster in general.

4) Run the defragmentation. This moves all the files on your hard drive into a certain location instead of them being scattered all around. This make file access faster. You don’t need to do this alot, but once in a while it’s needed because when you add/remove lots of files, windows will not reuse the space but continue to use new unused space. By defragging, file access will be faster. You can use the windows defragger (my computer-> drive -> properties -> tools tab -> Defragment now…) or programs like diskeeper.

5) Use Anti-Virus Protection. Viruses and spyware can make your computer slower than an old dog on a hot summer day. Also, the AV programs eat resources as well. Try to use powerful protection like NOD32 or freeware like AVG. Avoid bloatware AV programs. Use the programs to scan your computer once in a while and get rid of anything malicious ASAP. Besides tampering on your computer, it is a killer of resources.

Using these tips will really make that computer of your shape up and become useful again.
Otherwise you could reinstall your operating system, but who wants that?

Or just buy a new computer…

Enjoy! Please post comments if you have other wants to keeping your computer fast.


Posted on July 24, 2008, in News. Bookmark the permalink. 5 Comments.

  1. For anti-virus software, Anti-Vir is the best free anti-virus program (highest detection rate), but it has a daily popup whenever you update. I’d say it’s worth it, but there are ways to disable it (it’s easy). For a non-free AV app, Kaspersky is generally rated as the best. I think Bitdefender recently rated a bit higher, though.

    I’d also recommend JKDefrag (JKDefragGUI for those who like GUIs) for the defragmenter. It’s free, and one of the best out there. It will easily do a better job than what’s built in to Windows, and it has many more advanced options.

    Users can also disable services in msconfig that they don’t need running as well (after checking the “hide all Microsoft” box). This won’t have as large of an impact, and is a bit more advanced, but it’s still there for those looking to tweak pretty easily.

  2. I personally recommend Sunbelt’s Counterspy VIPRE because it places a very low load on a slow PC. For the first time the program has been written to have a load and combines it with anti-spyware. I do wish however it included a built in firewall for robust PC protection

  3. I like my current style of NOD32 and Sygate, with Spybot to round it off. They are pretty low mem usage. However, technically, for those pressed for mem space, the default firewall should be fine.

    Using chrome will now help as well, it will clean up the space from FF or IE, if you keep to using less than 5 tabs or so, you will notice a huge difference.

    Also, yes, you can hide all services, but many times the services are stopped unless you are or were using it. Most users won’t need to go there, but you can do it.

    Also, a good defrag program would be Diskeeper as well. That’s my current tool, but JKD is really good as well.

  4. Though keeping Anti Virus software on your computer is a must, it does slow down your computer quite a bit.

    • If you are dual core or more, then the antivirus does not have a huge effect on slowing down your CPU practices. With a 72000RPM hard drive as standard, and at least a 1 GIG of RAM, this is not an issue anymore, only for older PCs.

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