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Friday, May 15, 2009

How to boost your PC performance

Basically a slow computer makes us less productive but actually we can maximize our PC's without adding new hardware or sending it to the technician. Here's a guide on how to optimize your PC's performance in easy steps. (For Windows XP)

1. When we use our computer overtime, we install certain software's but rarely uses or don't use at all and just takes up space and memory. Our first step is to look at our installed programs: Go to ->Start-> Control Panel->add remove programs and inspect the installed programs there. Look for programs that you don't use anymore like a game you don't play or a software you don't use and uninstall/remove it.

2. When our computer boots up, certain programs are loaded in the memory at start-up. To improve our PC's start-up time, we may want to remove some applications there that we don't want to start-up automatically. Go to -> Start->run->and type "msconfig". This will bring out the system config utility and click the startup tab. Careful not to mess with the settings on the other tab if you don't know what your doing as this may damage your Operating System. On the start-up tab inspect the programs there, look at the "command" column to find out what program the item is associated to. An example of the program we can remove is the yahoo messenger start-up item. If you don't want it to start-up everytime you boot your pc then you can remove this. Important software that "should" be running in your start-up item is your anti-virus(if you have one).

3. Next, we may want to clean up temporay files on our PC that are just taking up space. Go to->my computers->right click on your drive(ex. drive C:)->properties, and on the "general" tab, click cleanup. Do this in other drives as well if you partitioned your hardrive. Don't close the properties window just yet, we'll need it in the next step.

4. There are also other tools available in the "tools" tab, if you frequently turn-off your pc without shutting it down properly then you may want to check your drive for error. To do this just click "check now". And if you install/unistall programs frequently, chances are your drive is fragmented. You can defragment your drive to improve access time on your files by clicking "defragment now" in the tools tab.

5. You can also change your virtual memory settings so that your system will have enough space to use in case you ran out of RAM. Right click on my computer->properties->"advanced" tab-> on the performance section click settings-> go to "advance" tab->and click change under virtual memory->under "custom size" put a size above the recommended in the "Total paging file size of all drive" and click ok. This step is also applicable if you always encounter the error "your system is low on virtual memory"

6. Some hardware on your system might be causing your system to slow down because no drivers or corrupted drivers are installed. To check this, right click on my computer->properties->hardware tab->device manager->look for exclamation points or indicator that you don't have a driver installed for that hardware and right click on it->properties->driver tab-> and click update driver. If this doesn't work, you can try to refer to your PC manual on what specific driver to download or install.

7. If you still want to save some speed you can also revert back to windows classic theme. You can do this by:right click on your desktop->click properties->on the themes tab choose window classic. You can also remove unused icons in your desktop.

8.(optional) You may also want to clean up your registry using a registry cleaning tool.

As a summary of the steps...
1. Remove/Uninstall unused programs and software
2. Remove unwanted/unessential start-up items
3. Clean up disk space
4. Check your drive for error and defrag regularly
5. Increase virtual memory allocation
6. Install/update drivers for your hardware components
7. Revert to windows classic theme and clean your desktop of unused icons