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Monday, August 1, 2011

Speeding Up A Windows Computer: Generalized

As it so happens, over time, computers tend to slow down. This is especially noticed when using a windows based operating system. What happens over time is that your computer collects lots of data, mainly from using the internet but also from installing and uninstalling programs. Over the years this build up of out dated information slowly eats away at system resources and clogs up RAM and the CPU effectively sapping away much desired performance. Most people do not realize the issue and will pay high amounts of money in order to "improve performance" yet most of the time there are a few simple steps to be followed. Some people will say to upgrade the amount of RAM your computer has or get a better processor and sometimes this will help increase performance but in time you will have the same problem. It is better to clean up your computer instead.

Think of your computer as a drain, as the drain clogs up water can not flow through as efficiently until eventually it backs up. To fix this you clean up the drain. After it is cleaned out the water can once again flow freely. The same is true with your computer in that data in the form of Cookies, Cache, and Registry values are what is clogging up your CPU or "drain" if you will. To clean the drain you can either manually clear it with tools or use a chemical cleaner but for best results both are used. With a computer it is not always recommended to clear out entries unless you know exactly what you are doing. The "cleaners" you will be using are the programs. Every program I use in this post will be free and include a download link.

The first thing we want to do and usually the most important is clean out any viruses, spyware, adware, and other malicious files. To do this we will download Super Anti Spy-Ware from HERE and run the program. When you get to the main screen select (Check for updates) from the lower left corner. This will make sure that the tracking software is up to date and can find the most problems with your system. Once that finished you can run the scan and manage any issues that are found at the end. Another thing to do with files is go through your computer and delete anything you don't really use or need. (programs to)

Alright so now that we have cleared out a large portion of problematic files it is time to move on to the next major cause of speed issues, the Windows Registry. The registry is where system values are kept that help run all the programs on your system as well as the actual system itself. Over time some values become obsolete but still linger around. This is especially evident when installing, uninstalling, and updating programs. The values that stay behind can pile up and eventually cause a dramatic drain in performance. While it is possible to manually manage the registry it is not recommended unless you are very knowledgeable in such techniques. Instead I recommend using this file HERE to automatically clean up loose entries. This program will pretty much reconstruct your entire registry so that it only has values necessary for system use.

The final thing on my list of suggestions is one of the less frequently needed and done but can improve performance slightly. Defragmenting the hard drive is used to combine files in such a way as to improve the efficiency when being used. There isn't much to it and so if you want to defragment your HDD with Windows 7 you will go to the start menu, search for defrag, click the disk defragmenter program and follow the instruction on the program. If on XP open My Computer, right click on your hard drive (usually C:\) click properties, go to the tools tab, click Defragment Now, click Defragment. There are other ways to achieve this with different programs that can be downloaded and some anti-virus software can also perform such a task.

If all else fails you can always upgrade the RAM and CPU but this is not always an available option whether it be due to cost or your system being incompatible with an upgrade. What do you use to speed up your computer? Leave your comments and thoughts down below and as always have a great day.

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