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How can I increase my computer speed?
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I've heard a lot of comments from my clients and people thinking that a slow computer is caused by malware. However, a slow PC might have several causes other than malware. In this thread I will be giving you a step by step guide on how to speed up your PC. The main thing that slows your PC down, if it's not malware, is clogged up Temp files.

Here's a list of common causes of slow machines:

 

  • Low amount of memory (RAM)
  • Multiple protection systems installed
  • Many programs on startup
  • Full temp folders
  • Fragmented hard drive
  • Forgotten programs
  • Multiple of the above



1. Low amounts of memory (RAM)
I have had a lot of teachers asking me why their school PC was slow. One of the highest causes was the low amount of memory in their PCs. A lot of old PCs used in some schools still have 256 MB RAM in their machine while Windows XP already has a recommended of 512 MB and Vista is even more demanding with a stunning 1024 MB (1GB). Having a low amount of memory can cause the PC to take ages in performing what we would think to be simple tasks. While this is usually true, the PC doesn't only have to run the simple task, but at the same time keep services up, your Protection software running and possibly more programs that are running in the background. Therefore it is a good idea to have at least the recommended amount of memory in your machine for the operating system that you are running. If you are going to be running a lot of programs at once, consider taking at least 512 MB above recommendation to keep everything running smoothly.

2. Multiple protection systems installed
Although I know a bit about Malware and how to remove it, I found online someone who explained it very well in simple words.  Below is what he said and I agree 100%

QUOTE
This is a common mistake many users make. They think that having more than one Antivirus and Firewall installed will protect them in a better way. It won't.. On the contrary..
Rather than giving you extra protection, it will seriously decrease reliability and effectiveness ! The reason for this is that if both products have their automatic (Real-Time) protection switched on, your system may lock up due to both software products attempting to access the same file at the same time. Also, if more than one Antivirus and Firewall installed are not compatible with eachother, it can cause system performance problems and a serious system slowdown. It happens quite a lot that a system won't even boot properly because of more than one Antivirus and Firewall installed.
When having general computer problems and you have more than one AV/Firewall installed, this can be the main cause of your problems.

Concerning Antispywarescanners, it's ok for you to install more than one.However, it's not advised that you let them all start up with Windows, running as a Real Time scanner. Only keep one running in the background and disable the rest, because AntispywareScanners are also resource hogs. They are actually all doing the same, so it's really not needed to have more of them running in the background. After all, you do not use more than one different vacuum cleaner either to clean your carpet with.
Just let the Antispyware scanner(s) scan once in a while on demand.

END QUOTE




3. Many programs on start-up
Having many programs in the startup will slow your computer down. Taking out programs that aren't necessary on startup will reduce the resource requirements on boot and will generally make the PC run faster. To remove programs from your startup list, follow the instructions below.

XP Users:

  • Open Start Menu and select "Run..."
  • In the run box type: msconfig and press enter.
  • A window will appear, go to the Startup tab.
  • In the startup tab, disable tick boxes on all the programs that don't necessarily need to be started at boot.

Vista Users:

  • Open Start Menu and in the white box type: msconfig
  • Click msconfig.exe that appeared in the list and confirm the UAC.
  • A window will appear, go to the Startup tab.
  • In the startup tab, disable tick boxes on all the programs that don't necessarily need to be started at boot.



4. Cleaning the Temporary Folders.
As a lot of you might know, the more Windows has to load the slower a PC will be.
The temp folders can fill up quite quickly and having a temp folder of 2 Gigabyte won't do windows any good.
The steps below are easy steps using a simple program to clean out your temp folders.

Please download ATF Cleaner by Atribune.

    Double-click ATF-Cleaner.exe to run the program.
    Under Main choose: Select All
    Click the Empty Selected button.

If you use Firefox browser

    Click Firefox at the top and choose: Select All
    Click the Empty Selected button.
    NOTE: If you would like to keep your saved passwords, please click No at the prompt.

If you use Opera browser

    Click Opera at the top and choose: Select All
    Click the Empty Selected button.
    NOTE: If you would like to keep your saved passwords, please click No at the prompt.

Click Exit on the Main menu to close the program.
For Technical Support, double-click the e-mail address located at the bottom of each menu.




5. Defragging your Hard Drive.
While temp folders are one way to clog the speed of your system, fragmented files are another. The more fragmented your files are the slower the hard drive will be to run programs smoothly. A defrag is recommended to keep your hard drive clean and fast. It is recommended that you do not run any programs whatsoever when you are defragging your hard drive as running applications will make them unable to be moved.

Please download JkDefrag by Jeroen Kessels

  • Unzip the program to a folder.
  • Reboot to release most of the files in use.
  • Double Click JkDefrag.exe to run the program.

Note: Everything is done automatically the moment you run JkDefrag.exe

6. Keeping it clean!
Something that is highly underestimated is the simpleness of 'Keeping it clean!'. Installing a lot of programs will eventually use up your resources that you could use to keep your PC fast.Removing old programs that you never used, or those 'one-day-fly' programs that you try out but don't meet your criteria, will free up space and memory to be used elsewhere. Whenever you are done with a program, remove it from your system so the resources free up. Below are some steps to get rid of some unused programs.

  • Open Start and select Control Panel
  • Open Add/Remove Programs(XP) or Programs and Features(Vista)
  • Go through the list carefully and see if there are any useless programs that you can remove.
  • Remove all the programs that you don't need any more.



7. Little tweaks for speed.
There are a few tricks that you can use to speed up your computer if need be. Below I will make a list of tweaks for either XP or Vista (watch the title) that will help you speed up your PC. Some tweaks are for both XP and Vista, others are for a specific OS.

Disabling Indexing Service (XP)
Quoting from the Windows Help and Support website:

QUOTE
By default, all of the most common files on your computer are indexed. Indexed locations include all of the files in your personal folder (such as Documents, Pictures, Music, and Videos), as well as e‑mail and offline files. Files that are not indexed include program files and system files. The locations that contain those files are not indexed because you rarely need to search those files, and so not including them in the index makes your searches perform faster.


Like many other people, I know where my files are located, so I never use the indexing service. Therefore, I turn it off.
The indexing service is a service that scans your personal files and folders and stores which files are there in an index (hence the name).
Then if you perform a search, the search will then first go through the index to see if it is there. This will speed up searches drastically.
Though if you never use the search function, you're better off turning it off. Below is how.

  • Open Start and select "Run..."
  • In the run box type services.msc and press enter
  • Scroll-down to Indexing Service and double-click it.
  • If the service status is "Running", then stop it by pressing theStop button.
  • To make sure this service doesn't run again, under Startup Type:, choose Disabled


Disabling Indexing Service (Vista)
Not much different from the XP Indexing service. Here is how to disable it.

  • Open Start Menu and type: services
  • Click the Services program that popped up in the list and confirm the UAC.
  • Scroll down to Windows Search and double click it.
  • If the service status is "Running", then stop it by pressing theStop button.
  • To make sure this service doesn't run again, under Startup Type:, choose Disabled

 

If still slow the problem might be, you need typing class!
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I hope this post is a good resource on how to keep your School, Office and home PC fast and smooth.

For more useful computer help click the "Technical Advice" button on the top menu

 

Last Updated (Wednesday, 21 October 2009 16:58)