Computer running slow? – Speed up your computer without spending a dime

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Believe it or not most symptoms of a slow or sluggish PC isn’t the result of a virus or adware or malicious programs but rather the system just getting full of files and invasive programs.  Here’s some easy steps to take to fix your computer problems and speed up that old PC.  Remember to back up your system, especially if you’re not sure about a certain step.  Steps beginning with * are absolutely safe to do.    

Your hard drive – The hard drive is the device that stores all of the programs, music, pictures and data on your PC.  Over time this gets filled up and more importantly un-organized.  Picture taking the pages of an encyclopedia and jumbling them up, eventually you’ll find the information you want, but it’ll take way longer than it should.  Try to get at least 10% of your drive space empty, this will greatly speed up drive performance. Follow these steps to clean up and optimize your systems hard drive.

  1. Delete unused programs – Hit the start button, go to control panel, then add/remove programs.  Uninstall all programs that you no longer want.
  2. Delete all unwanted documents, pictures and music.
  3. Go to system tools and do a ‘Disk Cleanup’.
  4. *Open up Internet Explorer, on top choose tools, internet options, on the general tab delete browsing history.  Then in the same area go to ‘setting’ and turn down the amount of space for temporary internet files.
  5. Go to Start, run, then type in %temp%, delete everything in the window that opens {these are temp files}.
  6. *Once everything is deleted, empty your recycle bin.
  7. *Now defragment your hard drive. 

At this point run your antivirus and adware programs, the temp directory and temp internet file area are two of the places virus’s like to hide.

Now that your file system is cleaned up and optimized it’s time to check what programs are auto-loading at startup and taking valuable memory resources.

  1. Go to Start, Run, and type msconfig and hit enter. Under the ‘startup’ tab you will see all the programs that are starting up automatically.  Disable the ones that you don’t need, ie.  Do you really need adobe acrobat to launch automatically at startup, or itunes?  If you’re not sure, leave it alone.  
  2. Go to Start, programs and look inside the ‘startup’ folder, delete what you don’t need from here as well. 
  3. *Check your system tray, on the bottom right, and right click and close any programs you don’t want running right now.

Drivers – Updating your drivers can have a significant effect on your PCs speed, especially video drivers for games, go to the manufacturer website for your video card, motherboard and sound card.  Note:  If you have any doubt or are unsure about updating your motherboard drivers than DO NOT do it, If you do this incorrectly you WILL, not might, kill your PC. 

After you complete all the steps above you should reboot your system.  If the antivirus/spyware sweep you did earlier did in fact find something follow the hard drive cleanup section again just to make sure. 

Now that your drive is squeaky clean and optimized, your loading programs are lean and mean, and your drivers are up to date your PC should be much faster than it was.  Now stop reading and go login to your favorite game and frag someone!

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