Jul 17, 2010 -- posted by Navin
Computers tend to slow down especially if you are running under windows platform. Like most things a computer needs regular maintenance to keep it up and running at the optimum speed. In this post I would give you some tips and tricks on how to maintain your system to have it running properly and for a long time. This post I am specifically focusing on increasing your systems performance without having to lose or give up on any visual effects or tools. Later on I will also write a post on how to tweak your system performance for old PC’s.
1. Defragment: Disk fragmentation can have a huge impact on the systems performance. When the files are fragment the system takes longer to fetch the various parts of the file and join them together from the disk.
By default windows comes with a built in Disk Defragmenter utility that analyzes and defragments the system disk.
The Disk defragmenter can be found at Start -> All Programs -> Accessories -> System tools -> Disk Defragmenter
In the Disk defragmenter Dialogue box you can choose the drives you want to Defragment, you should first analyze the disk to check if you need to defragment and then click on the Defragment disk button to begin the defragmentation. The defragmentation can take long time depending on the state of the disk and the size.
2. Hardware updates: Another thing that can help improve the performance of your system is to upgrade your hardware drivers. Hardware updates can be found on your hardware manufactures website and also some of them can be automatically detected with the help of windows update.
3. Detect and repair disk errors: Over time hard disk can develop bad sectors resulting in slowed down performance of the system. It is a good practise to occasionally check your disk for errors and to try and let windows fix it for you. The Error checking utility can be found by right clicking on a drive in the Windows explorer in the properties dialogue box under the tools tab.
4. Keeping your disk free: Another good tip is to have at least 10% of your main system-drive as free space. This helps in ensuring that there is always some operating space available on the disk and also keeps defragmentation of the files low. You can always start by deleting the temporary files stored on your computer with the help of disk cleanup wizard. You can find it in Start -> All Programs -> Accessories -> System tools -> Disk cleanup. This will display a list of temporary files that you can remove.
Unselect the ones that you would like to keep and press ok to free up the space.
5. Clear the start up programs: Normally a lot of programs that you install set themselves to start in the background when you start your system. A good idea is to disable these programs from starting up as they just add to your boot times and slows down your systems performance. The easiest way to do this is by the MSCONFIG utility.
Open the run command (start \ run) and type msconfig. Under the startup tab you can find all the application that start in the background when you start your system. You should disable all the applications that you do not require to start up. This should be almost everything except some drivers and security applications. Next place to look for the startup programs is under Startup-> All programs -> Startup.
Removing shortcuts from that directory will only stop the applications to start on their own and not the applications itself.
6. Spyware check: Check your system for any possible spyware. Spyware can drastically slow down your system and although easy to spot sometimes they can be totally invisible and show no symptoms and thus it is a good idea to scan for them once in a while. Check out the post Spyware Detection and Removal for more information on how to search and remove spyware.
I hope you can get a lot more speed out of your system after following these simple steps. I would write another follow up post on how to increase your systems performance using a bit more advanced techniques.