Fix A Slow Computer Simply

by Rod Dunne on September 8, 2010

in Articles, Performance

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Improving computer performance is one of the easier PC repair and maintenance tasks that everyone can do, and which can improve your work productivity and enjoyment of using an optimized PC. Here, we’ll show how to fix a slow computer for free using Windows utilities, along with commercial options (registry optimizers and RAM PC upgrade). These techniques can be applied to slow laptop or desktop machines.

How To Fix A Slow Computer For Free

Start by checking you have enough free space left on your hard disk. This should be over 500MB (or 10% free) in order for the page file to expand as Windows uses it for virtual memory.

Improving the health of your hard hard drive and optimizing how it runs will improve overall computer performance (for applications & the OS). Start by running Scandisk to repair bad sectors on the hard disk. Next, use the Disk Defragmenter tool to optimize how data clusters are ordered on the drive’s memory. This improves disk read-write speeds and reduces RAM demands (caching file fragments).

Other hardware problems may exist so check the Device Manager to see if any drivers (device management programs) or hardware are at odds. This utility provides troubleshooting tips and update options for any problems you find.

An overheating PC can lead to degraded performance of the CPU and memory so check the vents are clear of dust and freely taking in cool air. You can also fix slow PC performance by making sure the air vents are not close to a heat source (e.g. radiator) to ensure only cool air is passing inside the machine. Also ensure the computer is kept away from heat sources (e.g. radiators). You can check the CPU temperature is kept below 55C using the BIOS sub-menus or freeware diagnostic tools like HWMonitor.

Now turn your attention to the running software on your computer. Start by streamlining the number of applications running at any one time (each using up CPU & RAM). The Resmon tool (Windows 7) or Task Manager can help you pick out programs using a lot of RAM. Make a decision on whether you should uninstall, disable or replace any of the non-critical programs.

Update Windows with the latest security and upgrade patches. This can also repair PC issues if running the worm virus detection patches.

Run an anti-virus scan for malware/adware/spyware and isolate and remove any bugs that are found. Most anti-virus applications can also perform trojan virus removal which is essential to protecting your personal data.

Fix A Slow Running Computer Through Registry Changes

Using registry cleaners can also improve PC performance by tuning registry settings for applications, operating system programs and modem settings. These settings can be non-optimized due to using default settings, being overwritten with non-optimum settings by newly installed programs or virus damage. Tools like Registry Easy and XP Repair Pro are popular options these days with a large customer base.

Fix A Slow Running Computer With RAM PC Upgrades

Finally, any post on PC performance would be remiss to not mention the benefits of upgrading the RAM on your PC. For most modern PCs, you should have at least 1MB of RAM to get the best out of your computer.

At the moment, memory prices are very low so it’s an economical option to consider. Also, it is increasing necessary to have plenty of RAM as many applications set minimum requirements for RAM/CPU/disk space in order for them to function properly. Our article on PC upgrade techniques steps through the process of adding more RAM to a computer.

Now that you know how to fix a slow computer it is important to realize that this is an ongoing activity. The constant changes to your PC will slow fill the hard drive and increase the number of running applications. Ideally, try to run these activities (in the ‘free’ section above) every four weeks to keep up computer speeds.

Related posts:
- How to make your PC run faster without upgrades.

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