15 Things to check if your Computer is slowing down

on Friday, January 22, 2010

     Viruses are every where.  In your CDs, DVDs, hard disks, in the cyberspace, waiting for an opportunity to pounce and do the kill.  While viruses are not the only reason for slowing down your computer, they are involved in a large majority of cases.

   Malwares and spywares are also an area of concern for all of us.

   If you have noticed that your PC has recently slowed down, do the following :-

1.   Run an Antivirus.   Viruses can create havoc and can even bring your computer to a halt.  Scanning your computer for viruses is the first and foremost thing you should be doing when you notice that something is wrong.  There are many antivirus softwares available in the internet for free.

     Avast, AVG are some of the free ones.

2.   Run a Disk Check.   When your hard disk becomes corrupted due to errors, Checkdisk comes to your help.  This utility detects and corrects errors in hard disk.

     To run Checkdisk, go to run and type chkdsk : \f \r and press enter.  The \f option fixes errors in the disk.  \r is used to locate bad sectors, if any, and recover information.

3.   Open System Configuration Utility and remove unwanted files.

     This utility can be evoked by typing "msconfig" (without quotes) in the Run menu and pressing enter.  When it comes up, go the Startup tab and remove (uncheck) unwanted files.

4.   Open Startup folder and remove unnecessary files.  It will be in your %systemroot%:\Documents and Settings\%username%\Start Menu\Programs\Startup.  Remove unnecessary files from the folder.

5.   Check startup items in the Registry and delete them if they are not required.

6.   Defragment the drive.   You can do that by typing "dfrg.msc" (without quotes) in the Run menu.  Disk Defragmenter is a system utility to analyse your hard disk and can locate & consolidate fragmented files and folders.

     The data in the hard disk gets fragmented due to frequent creation and deletion of files & installation & uninstallation of programs.  Just like searching a cupboard with items not kept arranged takes a bit longer time than searching an arranged cupboard, the tidier your hard disk is, the efficient it would be.

7.   Run a Registry Cleaner.  Registry is the backbone of Windows Operating System.  It also gets cluttered due to frequent installation & uninstallation of softwares.  (Many of the softs do not remove their own entries from the Registry).  A Registry cleaner can clean your Registry from clutter and thereby making your computer fast.  While there are many efficient cleaner softwares, this one is from Microsoft - Regclean

8.   Stop unnecessary services.  There are numerous services running in the background without being noticed.  Many of them will be of no use to an ordinary user.  You can disable them by going to Services by typing "services.msc" (without quotes) in the Run.

9.   Upgrade Virtual Memory.   Virtual memory is a temporary storage space used by your computer to run programs which require more memory (RAM) than it has.  Related post

10.  Adjust for best performance.   Right click My Computer and select Properties.  Under Advanced tab, click on Settings button under Performance.  In the Visual effects tab, adjust for best performance.

11.  Remove Sound Schemes.  Go to Control Panel and select Sounds and Audio Devices and go to the Sounds tab.  Change the Sound Scheme to No Sounds.  Though this change will not give you a big boost with regard to performance, it can help a bit.

12.   Uninstall unnecessary fonts.  The more number of fonts you install, the slower your computer would be.  Uninstall the fonts you don't require.

13.   Malwares/Spywares.  Go to Malwarebytes and download their AntiMalware for free.

14.   Delete Temporary internet files and cookies. 

15.   Upgrade your RAM.  Even after all these measures you still feel that your computer is not fast enough, its time to upgrade your RAM.

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