- Computers & Software
How to speed up your Computer - 22 Ways to fix a Slow PC
Fix Slow PC
One of the most asked question is how to Speed up your computer or how to Fix a slow PC , and we all want to get the maximum speeds possible with our hardware and software configurations.
There are many causes for your PC running slow and these can include software and hardware issues. Some of the most common reasons are
- High Performance Options set on Windows (uses a lot of memory, its not worth it just to look good)
- Running Out of Disk Space
- Computer needs a serious clean up and perhaps a fresh installation
Speeding up Computer , Software Methods
Remove Auto Startup Programs - Have a look at your startmenu and see which programs have been setup to start up on boot up. This can dramatically slow down the loading of your operating system and can be very frustrating when you just want to jump on your computer and get something done quickly. Avoid programs that ask for automatic startup and sign-in.Main reason for PC slow start.
Clean up Disk Space - Try freeing up some room on your hard-drive , a hard drive that's totally chocca block full of files will not run at maximum speeds. Try doing a disk cleanup to remove any unneeded files or unused desktop icons , temporary internet files and things like that.
Start -> Programs -> Accessories -> System Tools -> Disk Cleanup
Defragment your Harddrive - It's a good idea to defragment your hardrive every 3-6 months or so, to make sure all your hard drive files are nicely ordered and that each hard drive sector is behaving as it should. Files can get out of hand sometimes and this helps to keep them under control. Defragmentation is also designed to help speed up access of hard drive files.
Start -> Programs -> Accessories -> System Tools -> Disk Defragmenter
**Change Performance Options on Windows - This can make a lot of difference , now with these new operating systems so caught up on looking so sleek and smooth they sometimes seriously neglect performance. For an example even XP and Vista can run slow on some machine with full graphics and everything setup. To modify your windows graphics and set it to a lower level follow these steps
Right Click on My Computer and Click Properties
Click Advanced and under Performance Click Settings
Here you can manually select what you want windows to look like or click "adjust for best performance" Its amazing how well this can fix a slow PC.
Increase Physical / Virtual Memory - You can also choose to increase your virtual/pyhysical memory , this memory is simply spare space on your harddrive windows uses just as it would use spare memory/RAM.
to access this right click my computer and click properties, Click Advanced. Under Virtual Memory click change and here you can select a custom size and then hit set, otherwise you can just use system managed size.
Windows Performance Settings
Speed up Computer, Software Methods continued
Check if you may have a Virus slowing your PC - A common reason for a pc running too slow is that a virus has made its way on your harddrive and starting duplicating itself like mad or using up valuable system resources and memory severely slowing down your computer.
Scan for spy ware or virus using your favorite virus scanner, or use AVG free antivirus software or a good online solution is MacFee Freescan www.mcafee.com/freescan
Disable unused network ports or other controllers - Do you have any unused network connections that you could disable , or even any other pci slot devices that you could remove totally if not in regular use.
Try running scan disk to check for system file errors or bad sectors that could be repaired you can run scandisk from command line using chkdsk or you can simply right click on your drive and select properties than selection error checking under tools, and if will setup a scandisk procedure next time you restart.
Operating System Needs Update - Sometimes an operating system can have certain bugs or need patches and updates in order for it run correctly, its also important to get security updates to avoid getting virus's that slow down your computer. Its best to manually update otherwise you can waste time getting a lot of unnecessary software which is what we try to avoid. :)
Do not show Hidden Files - Sometimes showing hidden files is useful but it also means your gui has to load up all these random hidden files most of which are temporary ones and this can slow down your pc.
you can change it from any windows click , Tools -> View -> Do not show hidden files and folders
Check what Processes and Programs are Running - Hit Ctrl Alt Delete and enter the task manager then click processes to see which application is using most of your system resources, closing something using a lot of resources before playing a game or running a software application can help speed it up.
Beware closing any old process look up the name on Google first to find out what it is. You can also identify primitive virus's this way so keep an eye out for things that look strange. Lot of normal programs do have strangely named processes though. To fix slow pc only use windows services you actually need.
Slow PC in games Increase Speed Decrease Quality - You can also play around with video card settings to get the best smoothest gameplay while sacrificing some graphics quality. Right click your desktop and select properties. Now goto Settings -> Advanced and look for your graphics card control panel , may be displayed when your right click your desktop for me it shows NVIDIA control panel. Great fix slow PC while playing games.
Unneeded Windows Services - Turning off un-needed Windows services. Good explanation of which services can be disabled without any trouble. Beware though I wouldn't disable any old thing some people do this and end up having to format anyway. Link to site here
Speed up the Boot Sequence - There is also something you can try to speed up your boot sequence if your pc slow start it involves changing the default boot timeout value , the boot timeout is just the amount of time it waits before selecting the default operating system, this is not really useful unless you have several operating systems installed and you are not there to select the one you want straight away.
But try changing the timeout of 30 seconds to 3 -5 seconds , to do this goto Start -> Run, then type msconfig and under Boot.ini you will see timeout 30 seconds change that.
ReadyBoost - Ready boost for windows vista uses harddrive space from usb devices and other external harddrives as memory to speed up a slow pc. Find out more Here
Its really time for a Format, Fresh Install - Maybe its time to do a fresh install and format that harddrive you haven't formatted for the last 5 years. Its usually recommended to do a fresh installation every now and then.
It doesn't mean you have to lose all your files or anything like that you can make backups or just simply partition your harddrive into two and do a fresh install on a separate partition to where all your backup files are. Find out how to do a Fresh Install
NTFS not FAT32 - Remember when your formatting to choose NTFS and not FAT32 ,16 or anything else, NTFS formatted harddrives are much much faster than the older FAT32 standard.
Speed up Computer , Hardware Methods
CPU overheating , needs cleaning - A computer that's overheating is never going to run at its best, so even more so in the hotter months your computer may be a little sluggish and this is normal. If its playing up for no reason try de-dusting your CPU and case to allow better air flow. Fix slow pc by giving it a good clean every 3 - 6 months, more often in a dusty carpeted environment.
You can check out some methods on how to clean your computer here
Harddrive Dying - If you start to hear weird noises from your harddrive like the disc is not spinning inside it properly or unusually loud noises this could be a sign of a harddrive near death or overheating.
Add Some More RAM - This is an easy way to speed up your computer especially with cheap RAM prices these days, remember to check what type of RAM your motherboard supports and its usually best to stick with the same brand of RAM instead of mixing it up to avoid conflicts.
Bios Settings - Go into your BIOS and check that your computer is set to run at high performance.
Overclocking - Very popular option to increase speed and get more out of a CPU is to overclock it , and get it to run at a faster clock speed than it was designed to. Be careful doing this as you need to monitor the health of CPU carefully and ensure it doesn't overheat. Heat is the biggest danger to overclockers.
Some motherboards allow overclocking through the BIOS , or with simple software program otherwise there are hardware methods.
Also to NOTE: Avoid those registry fix or windows speed up programs, they hardly ever are legit or sometimes a virus in disguise and if they do work well its not going to be free. Its just going to be a script that does pretty much the things I have stated above . Goodluck
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