Tech – for Everyone

Tech Tips and Tricks & Advice – written in plain English.

Rejuvenate your PC

When my computer was fresh-out-of-the-box, and all shiny and new, it was speedier than it is now. It had a spring in its step that seems to be lacking now. Can you relate?

There are reasons for this ‘slowing down’, of course. Some of them are just ‘facts’, and there’s not much we can do about them, and others we can (should) remedy. Today I’ll list and review the basic PC steps, which will optimize your computer’s performance, and provide you with the links to my more detailed How-To’s.

*Your files:
A primary cause for PCs ‘slowing down’ is simply that there is more stuff (files) on your hard-drive now, and the more you put on there, the more there is for your computer to keep track of (index). You have added applications (programs), Updates, and all your files, and the volume on your hard-drive has grown– probably quite a bit! [note: to function properly, you should always have at least 10% “free space” on your drive.]

Clean off the junk. As you use your machine, and browse the Internet, you will pick up scraps of files (temps), and you will put things into the Recycle Bin, etc., and I recommend that once a week you use the Disk Cleanup Tool to “take out the trash”. My article on this tool is here.

Get organized. As you machine writes data to the hard-drive, which it is doing a lot, it places things in the first available block of space to save time. The first available space is not necessarily the best or most logical place, though, and we need to come along after and put things in better order. The tool for this is a “defragmenter”, and it should be run at least once a month. I wrote an article on how to set this tool to run automatically, here.

Make space. You may also want to make more space on your hard-drive, and do some “serious cleaning”, by going into the Add/Remove Programs area of your Control Panel and uninstalling any programs you never use anymore.

Get physical. It may seem a bit un-intuitive, but excess heat can cause your PC to run slower, and so I highly recommend a physical cleaning of your machine as well… particularly removing the dust and lint build-ups around your fan vents (depending on your environment, you may want to do this every couple of days). Every so often, (say, 1/month) open the cover (usually a side panel) and use a can of compressed air to blow out all that dust and dirt and pet hair and…
[note: you want to do this to your printer, too. For more on that, click here.]

Today’s free link: Believe it or not, some people just prefer not to use the tools built into Windows, and insist on using specialized “3rd-party” tools to do the job (imagine that), and a top-rated (free) disk defragmentation tool is the Auslogics Disk Defrag.

Copyright 2007-8 © Tech Paul. All rights reserved.jaanix post to jaanix

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July 18, 2008 - Posted by | advice, computers, file system, how to, performance, software, tech, tweaks, Windows | , , , , ,

1 Comment »

  1. Hey Paul,

    Very timely advice. These issues you discussed in your article are critical to getting the most out of a computer. Regular maintenance is as necessary for a computer as it is for an automobile.

    Thanks for the advice.

    BM

    Like

    Comment by Bill Mullins | July 18, 2008 | Reply


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