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Web page version of: Is your Computer running slow?
A lot of people buy a new computer that runs fast at first, then months later it is running very slow.
It isn't the computers fault, it is because you have not maintained it to keep running at it's peak performance level.
So first, why does a computer start slowing down? Well to be honest it can be a lot of different things that can affect
a computers performance. We are going to concentrate on the users actions and how it affects the computer and what you
can do to get it back up to it's peak performance level and keep it running at that level.
The average user mostly uses his or her computer for surfing the internet, instant messaging, emailing, pictures and music.
First let's take the pictures and music. If you download music or pictures from the internet, beware, you can get bad
stuff imbedded in them that can affect the computer. Also if you install a lot of pics and music and then remove some in
order to install more, will have an affect on the computer. This also goes for software that you download or buy, install and then
when bored of it, remove it. None of these activities are bad, but they have effects on the computer that start to slow it's
Surfing, Iming and email. If you go to certain web sites, little programs or tracking cookies are put on
your computer. Also, if you open attachments in emails, little programs can be installed on your computer. If you
Instant Message a lot and go to web site links people send you or open things other people send you, all affect the
computers performance. None of these activities are bad, they are fun and that is why we have computers. So what the
heck are you trying to say Mike. lol These are just some of the activities that end up slowing the computer down and
the reason why you need to do some simple maintenance once in awhile or wait and take it to a shop and pay a Tech $90.00
to do it for you. Ya Ya Blah Blah Blah lol. Ya I know, boring, wait I just got an email, lol.
The following steps are what I do to cleanup someone's computer, after it has gotten to the point of
slow return, lol. I will list these chores on a printer friendly page to.
- The first things I do is to empty the Recycle Bin and Windows temp folder. steps are next.
- Recycle Bin is on the Desktop, right click on it and choose Empty Recycle Bin.
- Next go to Start-Accessories-Windows Explorer-My Computer-(C:) WINDOWS (double click to open)-TEMP folder, double click the
temp folder to open it, then go to Edit-click it once to open it-choose-Select All, everything will be highlighted blue. Then right click on a highlighted file and choose Delete. Yes you want to delete everything, when you do this make sure you have all programs closed. If it says it can not delete something, try right clicking on each separate file and delete it if you can't delete a file just leave it, you have a program running that has a file there.
- Next go to Start-Control Panel-Internet Options, double click it to open it. Then go to the General tab, should
be at that tab when you open options. Go to Browsing History and click the Settings Button, I am using IE 7, if
you have 7 then click the Delete Files under Temporary Internet Files. I usually click the bottom button, Delete ALL, ( I do not save passwords or usernames with IE or any browser, I use Password Safe and copy and paste them into the forms, that is why I delete them all ), if you use Windows IE auto complete, just delete the Temporary Internet Files, check the cookies with a Spyware program like AVG Free Spyware software. If you are using an earlier version, check the delete offline box and then the delete button. Ok, that clears your cache. Click Close and OK.
Ok, a little yakking before we continue to the next step. Whenever you install a program, knowingly or
unknowingly, it may put an Icon in your Taskbar, usually the bottom right corner of your screen. What are these
little Icons, all they are is a quick launch for some programs, do you need these, No, I have one in my Taskbar, it is
for my Anti virus Program. Most are placed there when you install a program, usually it will ask to put one there,
but others just install it. They are running in the Background and help to slow down the computer. How do you stop them?
- Next step msconfig. Go to Start-Run-type in, msconfig go to the Startup tab. These are little programs that startup
when your computer boots into Windows, are they needed, yes, some of them are necessary, but not all of them. To find
out if you really need it, open Google and type in the name plus .exe at the end of the name, see what the program does,
then decide whether it is necessary. I keep avgcc.exe checked because it is part of my AVG free Anti virus program and SFAgent.exe
is my Spam Blocker program. I have a nwiz.exe that is part of my GeForce driver program, but it will at times use 100% of my
CPU and is not needed, so I uncheck it. You can also check my Startup page Startup Programs. Some of the ones I have unchecked are, Adobe Gamma, Adobe Reader Synchronizer, Adobe Reader Speed Launch, jusched, nwiz, NvMctray, NvCpl, Nero Check, Hpcmpmgr, CTSysVol, Reader_sl,
some of these are auto updaters, some are options for my graphic card, some just launch the software faster, I like my computer to run as fast as it can so I disable them. You will have to reboot the computer, when it boots back up there will be a popup telling you there have been changes, check the box on the bottom left corner then OK and then it will not popup every time you bootup. If later you miss one of those startup programs just follow the same steps, but this time Uncheck it.
- Next step go to the Control Panel-Add/Remove and see if there are is any Software installed that is no longer used or
that has been installed without you knowing it. If there is Remove them, if you are not sure what they are, do a search on Google and find out about it. If you know what they are but forgot what they do, go to the start menu and start it up. When you buy a computer from a store it comes preloaded with a lot of software that has a 30 day free trial period and then it bugs you to buy it. I just remove it right from the getgo and download free versions, like anti-virus I use AVG Free Version, Anti-spyware I use AVG free Anti-spyware, Office program I use OpenOffice.org, Registry Cleaner I use RegCleaner all are free and work just as good if not better then the $$$ ones.
Well we are getting there. These steps are to clean up the system, there will not be so much to do after
these steps are completed. : )
- Next we want to check for Viruses and Spyware, if you have a virus program, update it and run a full system scan. If you do not have one go here and run a full system check for viruses and your Anti-Spyware software for spyware, I use free Anti virus AVG free Anti-Virus, for Spyware I use Free Malwarebytes Anti-Malware
- Next we want to cleanup any errors on the drive using Scandisk,
so go to Start-My Computer-right click on the C: drive and choose Properties-Tools Tab-Error checking-click the Check
Now button-check the Automatically fix system errors-click Start. It will tell you it cannot run now and will run at
the next boot, click Ok and restart the computer. Once that is done and the computer has boot back into Windows, next step.
- Next we are going to run Defragmenter, Start-My Computer-right
click on the C: drive and choose Properties-Tools Tab-click the Defragment Now button-click the Analyze button. It may
say that the drive does not need to be Defragmented, go ahead and click the Defragment button, take a break and let it
finish, may take 30 min to a few hours depending on how much stuff you have on your drive. When it is done a little popup box will be displayed, click OK and close the program.
- One last thing you can do is turn off some of Windows Services go to this page for Services info, I would for sure disable the Indexing Service, BIG resource hog, it makes searching for files on your computer faster, but slows your computer down when you are not searching, you don't need it running.
- Make sure that you only run one Anti-virus, one Anti-Spyware and One Firewall program, if you run two of those, like two Firewall programs it will create problems, remember Windows Firewall is on by default so if you buy a suite of programs, like Norton Internet Suite (where the A-V, A-S and Firewall are all together) remove any others that are on your computer before you install a new one and disable Windows Firewall if you bought one.
- Ok we should be done and your computer should be running much faster. One more thing to consider is how much RAM or
Memory does your computer have. Go to Start-Accessories-System Tools-System Information, look at the Total Physical
Memory, if you only have 256.00 MB you may want to add more. XP should have a min of 512MB and if you do any gaming or have multiple programs running put in a 1 gig. Go to this page on how to install RAM.
- Ok that is it, that wasn't hard now was it?
- I personally do not have my Anti-Virus or Anti-Spyware programs running full time, I have my Anti-Virus scanning my Emails full time and that is it, I do manual scans. Most people should let them run, they sometimes will slow your computer down, but you are protected full time that way.
- Scan System with Spyware scanner, after updating.
- Clear Browser Temporary Internet Files.
- Empty Recycle Bin.
- Empty Windows Temp folder.
- Run Scandisk.
- Run Defragmenter.
- Full System Virus scan.
Use this at your own risk.
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