PC Fix Options: How To Fix A PC Without Support

by Rod Dunne on April 15, 2010

in Articles, Performance

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The following preventive maintenance checklist of activities has helped maintain the performance of the three PCs that I use over the past few years. I have found that running these computer repair and maintenance tasks each month has lengthened the useful life of these machines (one has been running since 1998). All of these activities require no extra cost.

  1. Verify that each of your hard drives have at least 10% free space. Running a PC utilizes a lot of disk space for its virtual memory and file swapping. If you are under the 10% mark then the proceeding tasks will help free up some much needed space.
  2. Uninstall applications that you do not use often to free up disk space. Run this via the Control Panel. Be ruthless about removing applications you use infrequently. Removing applications may cause shared files to be lost/corrupted so check out our post on how to fix DLL errors if this occurs.
  3. Shut down seldom used software. Opening several browsers/documents will cache a lot of data in virtual memory that will slow down the primary applications you wish to use.
  4. Kill off any processes you (a) recognize and (b) do not require. This is different from closing applications in the Task Bar. Processes can be shut down using the Task Manager ‘Processes’ tab. Just be sure to only close off those executable processes that you are familiar with.
  5. Reboot your PC. Repeatedly using Hibernate and Standby mode causes a lot of data to be cached in the virtual memory of the computer that can be considered unused. A reboot also refreshes the RAM of any memory that has not been freed by closing applications and reducing the demands on RAM usage are key to making a faster PC. For more information, see our post on reboot computer options using the System Restore tool.
  6. Manually run the Microsoft Windows Update service (found in the Start Menu). Updates generally fix faults, some of which can be performance related so it is worthwhile to update regularly to get these benefits.
  7. Use a file and registry clean up tool (such as Windows own Disk Cleanup application or CCleaner) to remove the variety of cached and temporary files and data on your computer that is no longer needed. If you are on the Internet a lot then cached browser files will be using up a lot of disk space.
  8. Defragment all drives using Microsoft’s own defragmentation tool or a third party tools such as Regtool (registry repair and disk defragmentation in one). Some PC users would benefit from running these tools more often if they find that their PC is running slowly, if they are regularly installing and uninstalling a lot of applications or if using software that generates a lot of large files (e.g. music production software, video editing software).

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