When you first buy a computer, even after the first few programs are installed it remains blazingly fast! However after a few years of use your computer operation will slow down – imagine a partial blockage in a hosepipe that can not be seen. It's such a gradual process that you hardly notice, but the more you use that hosepipe the more blocked it will get. This analogy could have taken further and you might consider the hosepipe's connection to water which is not clean an added cause for blockage (= pirate programs? / Viruses / adware etc) or leaving the hosepipe outside for ages and not being hurt up (= no Maintenance / housekeeping), but as I do not do analogies …
So here are the top 8 ways to counteract everything that slows down a computer for FREE! Applicable to Windows XP or windows Vista, ignore this if you do not know what it means.
Defragment Your Hard Drive (s)
If you do not do this your hard disk (s) becomes fragmented by general use and when you new programs are installed. When you install a program the file is generally placed on one part of the computer but after a while bits and pieces of data are spread across the hard disk. By using Windows 'Disk Defragmenter' the software moves all the bits of data into roughly one place. You can get to the file by clicking:
Once the program has fully loaded click on the top drive and work your way down.
Disk cleanup steps 'housekeeping'. When you load most programs, often bits of data that may have been used while the program was running are left behind. Those programs do not generally bother deleting those, which can slow the computer down. You can easily and safely delete those bits of data by clicking:
If it comes up with a list of boxes make sure all are ticked.
Uninstall Unused Software
Uninstalling unused software speeds up the computer by freeing up space on the hard drive, cutting down on all the 'data sludge' that it has to wade through for normal use. To do this click the following:
Add or Remove Programs
Scroll thru the list and find the programs that you wish to remove
Click 'Add / Remove' or 'Remove'
If it requests you to confirm removal click 'Yes' or 'Confirm'
Run Windows Update
Windows update is a service update offered by Windows (surprise surprise). The updates
Are generally security related but they can also include patches for added
Stability. To run the update simply click:
And then complete the following
Check the circle next to 'Automatic (recommended)'
On the left is 'Change Settings'
Check 'Automatic (recommended)'
Disable Indexing Services
Windows Indexing Services is a service that categorizes all the files and folders on your hard drives. The problem with this is that it also slows down the computer considerably. To disable it click the following:
Right Click 'Local Disk (C :)'
Uncheck 'Allow Indexing Service'
Stop Unwanted Start-up Programs
When you start the computer and other programs automatically start that you do not need want at that time. Another problem is that it also slows the computer down. To remove the programs from start up (this does not remove the programs permanently) click:
XP – C: Documents and Settings All Users Start Menu Programs Startup
Vista – C: ProgramData Microsoft Windows Start Menu Programs Startup
(Note – this directory is hidden by default) Delete the programs you do not want in loading when the computer starts up.
RAM stands for Random Access Memory and your RAM helps to process all the information that goes through the computer. Broadly speaking the more RAM you have, the faster your computer. Unfortunately it does cost but prices are reliably cheap.
I use a website called 'Crucial' and they have a nifty little tool to help you sort things out.
Crucial – Homepage
Crucial System Scanner
Error Checking can help diagnose and even correct a wide range of hard drive errors. It helps stability, speed and may even fix a few errors. To do it click:
Open 'My Computer'
Right click on one of the Hard Drives (usually C 🙂
Click the 'Tools' Tab
Click 'Check Now'
Click both the boxes
Restart the computer if asked.
You may want to bookmark this page for future reference, Firefox: press Ctrl-d to bookmark or 'Bookmark this page' in 'Bookmarks'. Internet Explorer: Press Ctrl-D or 'Add to Favorites' in 'Favorites'. Before we continue it is highly recommended that you back up your computer.
I can not be held responsible for any problems that may be incurred while carrying out these recommended actions, however I may offer remote diagnostic assistance to help fix any existing computer problems.
I recommend you do this twice in a row and then repeat once a month. Hopefully after that your computer should be blazingly fast. If not, or if you want more speed try the links below. Also I do not recommend that you use any software apart from the software that comes with Windows.