How to speed up your computer
Paul Watson, PC Technician Friday, November 21st 2008
Hare become Tortoise…
Has checking your e-mail become an hour long ordeal? Do you fall asleep waiting for your computer to finish booting up? Do you have a dozen apps that you do not even use popping up every time you touch your mouse, making even the simplest computer task a chore from hell?
Well, do not worry my friend. You are not alone. Even in this day and age of dual core processors, multi-gigabyte ram and terabyte hard drives, a slow computer is a very common ailment. No matter how fast you make these machines, our brave new world of information overload, spyware, malware, and registry problems are going to slow your computer down. Sure, it would be nice to be able to buy a brand spanking new computer every year, with all the newest upgrades to keep up with the times, but lets face it, most of us are stuck with machines that are a few years, if not a full decade behind in the times. Even those of us who have the cash to buy new machines end up getting frustrated as we watch are blazing new beauties transform into slow moving nags in a matter months. So, short of tossing out our computer every couple of months, there must be a way to restore our computer back to its original speed and keep us from feeling like we are stuck in the late nineties. Well, my friend, I have some good news. There is.
Upgrade your DDR RAM
If you have an older computer with less than one gigabyte of RAM (random access memory), you might want to look into upgrading your RAM cards. RAM is what allows you to multitask on your computer. If you have an inadequate amount RAM, you might find it hard to keep more than one application going at once, meaning that you might have to completely shut down your Itunes before you can run your Word program. Installing new RAM cards is a relatively easy task that does not require you to have a masters degree in computer engineering. It pretty much just pops nicely into its required slot. Soon you will be able to “Rock the Casbah” as you type up your annual report.
Invest in AntiVirus and AntiSpyware software
Sure, shareware is fun, and those free downloads always seem like a good idea. Unfortunately, the cost of these free online goodies usually ends up being viruses and spyware. Computer viruses are found everywhere and anywhere from e-mails to mp3 files, and once they get into your system, they can reek havoc and make the most ordinary task almost impossible. Spyware is another thing that can foul up your computer and enable people to not only figure out your browsing habits, but also obtain crucial personal and financial information that you may have stored on your PC. Once infected, ridding your computer of this memory sapping Malware is a task of Sisyphus like proportions. Investing in a good Antivirus program is the best step you can take. Some good recommendations are Norton, or AVG. For those of you who do not like to spend money on such things, I recommend downloading the free one month trial of AVG anti viral protection along with Spybot, which is a free antispyware download that works great.
Clean up your Hard Drive
Lets face it, the more junk your computer has on it, the longer it takes to do stuff. One of the simplest things to do is to clean out your hard drive. If you have Windows, just click on the Start menu, go to the systems tab and click on Clean Disk and rid yourself of all your temporary and unused files. Your computer likes to store all of the sites you visited in a cache for quick reference later, but this can end up slowing you down instead of making surfing faster, so get rid of them. You can also delete programs that you never use and get rid of stuff you thought you already have gotten rid of, but really just placed in the garbage bin. Another thing you can do is run the Defragmentation program which will organize all your files, instead of having all the bits of information scattered about on your hard drive.
Fix your Registry
Your computer’s registry is what makes your computer go, and many things out there can end up messing it up. Malware, programs that were never full deleted, spyware, viruses, and program bugs can all foul up your registry leading to slower response from your computer and a multitude of other problems, such as applications that refuse to open and even hardware problems such as speakers that refuse to work. Getting a good registry fixing program is one of the best ways to make your computer faster.