A slow computer can really impede on a person’s ability to be productive and stay connected.
The following 6 steps are methods that any computer user can try if they wish to speed up their computer.
Scanning the Computer for Viruses and Spyware
Viruses can cause a computer to function slowly or in some rare cases, stop working altogether. They are also capable of corrupting files to the point where the data cannot be recovered.
Along with viruses, spyware are also a threat to a computer. Spyware is a term given to malicious software that can steal an individual’s personal information, monitor their internet surfing habits and computer settings, and compromise software functionality.
Both, viruses and spyware use up a lot of system resources making the computer quite slow. They are very easy to pick up (mainly from the internet) and difficult to locate which is what makes their removal a task. However ther are several softwares that can be either bought or downloaded for free which scan and guard against these types of infections.
System Registry Repair
The system registry is used to store the configurations of an operating system (OS). In other words this is the place where the computer keeps track of all the software installed, any user-created settings, and all associated hardware.
Whenever a file is deleted or a software is uninstalled, the information of that file or software still remains in the registry. After many installs and uninstalls, the registry becomes cluttered with unnecessary information. This causes the computer to slow down since it takes the OS longer to access and read from the registry.
There are many programs that are designed to scan and remove invalid entries from the registry. It is recommended to scan your registry atleast once every week to check for errors.
Manually trying to clean up and repair the registry can lead to major problems and shouldn’t be attempted by anyone other than an expert.
Freeing Up Disk Space
This step doesn’t really speed up a computer but it helps removing the clutter from the hard disk.
It can be done on a Windows Operating System through the Disk Cleanup utility which can be found by going to Start > Accessories > System Tools > Disk Cleanup.
By doing this, the hard drive is no longer bogged down with many little programs and files that are essentially just wasting space.
Defragmenting the Hard Disk
Windows breaks down files into fragments and stores them across the hard disk. Fragmentation happens each time a file is modified. The modifications or fragments are stored in different locations in the empty spaces of the hard disk. Over a period of time, files that are modified often or are frequently accessed get more and more fragmented and scattered. This slows the computer down because the computer needs to locate all the fragments of the file before it can open.
By defragmenting the disk, fragments of a file get rearranged and are brought closer together, making it easier and quicker for the OS to access the file.
To defragment your hard disk, click on Start > Accessories > System Tools > Disk Defragmenter. Select the drive you want to defragment and click OK.
Alternatively you can use a third party application to do this.
Speeding up the Startup by Removing Unnecessary Components
Most programs set themselves to start up automatically when windows boots up.They also run in the background consuming precious system resources, making other programs unresponsive. By removing these programs and services the computer can startup much more quickly and more system memory can be alloted to the other programs.
To do this, open RUN (in the Start menu), type MSCONFIG and hit ENTER. From the STARTUP tab you can then select the services or programs you want removed.
Repairing Hard Disk Errors
With daily usage of a computer, running a check on the hard disk should be done often, preferably every week . The reason for this is simply because, over time a hard disk can develop bad sectors. The term “bad sector” refers to a region on the disk where the data for whatever reason is unreadable.
Windows has a built-in Error-Check tool which can be used to fix disk errors. When a check is run and a bad sector is detected that region is marked as unusable. The hard disk will then remap needed programs and files to a different sector. This can speed up your computer considerably and increase overall performance.
These steps are very easy to do and won’t require you to have any advanced computer knowledge. Instead of spending money on buying expensive hardware and upgrading your computer you can try these steps to keep your computer running smoothly. It is important to note that these methods are ongoing maintenance and should be done regularly to avoid having to deal with a slow computer again.