Archive for May, 2011
Updating Can Have Positive Effects
There are updates, and then there are updates. Which updates should you apply? You should at least consider any update that comes your way. Whether you install it or not will depend upon what’s being updated. You may not need to install updates for functions you don’t use, but even that strategy can come back to haunt you later.
For security updates, consider applying these immediately. These important updates can help keep your computer safe. Microsoft typically releases updates on the second Tuesday of each month (“Patch Tuesday”) but there is a second “Patch Tuesday that may happen on the fourth Tuesday of each month.
OS updates are generally mixed in with security updates. You may or may not be able to separate these from the security patches. OS updates are usually offered as a way to fix functions that don’t work, correct errors in the programming of the OS, or extend new features.
Once you apply security and OS updates, you may find that some of your device drivers don’t operate correctly. They may not operate at all or they may operate slowly or at least more slowly than they did before. At this point, check for driver updates. If you find a driver update that applies to your hardware, install it to see if it corrects the problem.
Don’t forget to apply any patches or updates to your applications, particularly if the manufacturer of the application indicates that a patch or update corrects security issues. Unlike OS updates, there are no rules of thumb for driver and application updates. You’ll either have to check manually for updates, or set your computer to inform you of new updates as they become available.
Finally, after you’ve done all of this patching, run a registry cleaner like Speed Up My PC to clear out any old bits of code in the registry that no longer operate or aren’t needed anymore. You’ll be surprised by what a difference updating and cleaning out your registry can make in terms of computer speed.
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Features of Speed Up My PC
Speed Up My PC has been on the market for years. It’s a mature product that contains all of the tools and features you’ll want to have on hand when you’re experiencing slow computer performance. Speed Up My PC is optimized for Windows XP, Windows Vista and Windows 7.
Uniblue Systems, the makers of Speed Up My PC, understand that there are a variety of reasons for slow computer performance. That’s why Speed Up My PC contains memory optimization tools, a memory cleaner, a startup items utility that ensures your computer starts up only what you want it to at boot time; a reliable registry cleaner; s system scanner; and tools to optimize the performance of your CPU.
Speed Up My PC starts its work with a full system scan. The scan examines the major components of a system to help identify areas where performance problems may have taken up residence. Speed Up My PC examines all of your system settings, startup items, and the status of the installed RAM, the CPU and the hard disk. Once a snapshot of the entire system has been made, Speed Up My PC goes to work to optimize the performance of each of these significant components.
Speed Up My PC allows you to identify, disable or uninstall performance thieves that may be slowing your computer system down. This may include unnecessary startup items, toolbars, adware, spyware or malware, unneeded system components and more. By removing unneeded (and potentially dangerous) programs, you can increase the security of your PC, too!
Unlike many ordinary registry cleaners, Speed Up My PC is very affordable. For less than $30 you can have an excellent registry cleaner plus all of the helpful tools and diagnostics you need in one, reliable fast application. Speed Up My PC is available in both 32-bit and 64-bit versions. Download your copy today and let Speed Up My PC make a significant improvement in the performance of your slow computer today!
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Avoid The Temptation To Reload
While reloading the OS may have been a first choice at some point in the evolution of the Windows OS, it certainly isn’t one today. There’s very little to recommend reloading the OS until you’ve gone through every other possible alternative. Reloading the OS is time-consuming and you lose a lot of valuable stuff – like your hardware drivers and system updates. You’ll need to reload, reconfigure and repatch everything, including the OS and all of your hardware drivers.
If you’ve decided that the reformat route is the one you’re taking, you’ll need to back up all of your applications and data – unless you go super-hard core and reload your applications, too. In that case, you’ll just need to back up your data, but you’ll also have to apply all of the patches or updates to your applications.
The bad part about reloading is that it doesn’t always resolve the problem. If having too little memory causes your slow computer problem, for example, all of the reloading in the world isn’t going to touch this one. If your hard disk is nearly full, it’s still going to be nearly full when you’re finished reloading the OS. I will say that reloading the OS is one way to clean the registry, but you can use a registry cleaner and get the same effect. I recommend SpeedUpMyPC for this particular task.
There are better ways to speed up your computer and prevent it from slowing down again. You know the drill: remove old applications and files; kill unnecessary startup items; defragment your hard disk; add more memory if you’re running short; patch your OS and drivers; add disk space if necessary; use a reputable registry cleaner; get rid of viruses; malware, adware and spyware. If you haven’t done these things, you’re selling yourself short by thinking that an OS reload is the cure for what ails your PC.
Photo Credit: tripleigrek, via Flickr
More Is Better
More is certainly better when it comes to memory, whether you’re talking about physical memory or hard disk space. In some cases, the computer uses hard disk space as a substitute for physical memory, so having extra hard disk space available is always a good plan. Keeping your hard disk from filling to capacity will help improve your computer performance.
You can configure the amount of hard disk space your computer reserves for use in memory-intensive operations. Your computer will use hard disk space as temporary file storage, especially if it needs to transfer data in and out of physical memory. This act of swapping data between physical memory and hard disk space is called paging. Paging is normal, but you don’t want your computer to page too much. If your computer does a lot of data swapping between physical memory and hard disk memory, you really need to consider a physical memory upgrade.
You can set aside a certain portion of your disk for use as “scratch space.” If nothing is defined, your computer will set aside a certain amount of disk space for these paging processes anyway. If you completely fill up your hard drive, your computer has no memory to use for paging. Performance problems are guaranteed at this point.
To avoid this, clear out files you don’t need anymore. It’s not enough to drag files to the Recycle bin; you need to empty the bin too! Once you’ve created extra space on your disk, your computer can page more efficiently. Candidates for immediate removal include temporary files, downloaded files you no longer need, and cache files from browsers. Disk Cleanup, a built-in utility from Microsoft, will eliminate the obvious clunkers from your file system and free up some space.
If you’re a pack-rat when it comes to computer files, consider moving “collections” off to DVD or some other near-line storage. Perhaps an external hard disk would fit the bill? Transfer your file collections off to external storage and leave your main hard disk open as much as possible. The general rule of thumb is that when your disk usage exceeds 80%, it’s time to add disk storage space.
In the next post, I’ll cover what to do once you’ve cleaned out your hard disk and freed up a little extra space.
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