Slow Computer Solutions

by Rod Dunne on June 30, 2010

in Performance, Registry Cleaners Articles, Tips and Tools

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Having a computer with a slow startup or general performance issues are some of the most common problems for PC owners. Here, we’ll take a look at some generic slow computer solutions, techniques and computer optimizer utilities to help you get a faster PC.

Hardware

The largest gains that can be made in PC speed are through adding more random access memory (RAM) to your system. This doesn’t resolve the root cause of your slow computer performance (see the next section for tips on solving that) but it will give an immediate boost to any slow PC.

Installing RAM on a desktop or laptop is a relatively simple task. The main points to watch out for are that you get the right memory modules for your computer, most RAM will need to be installed in pairs and use an anti-static wristband to avoid shorting out any of the components. Slow laptop performance is easily improved by upgrading the RAM which can be easily inserted by removing in most cases (check your laptop documentation for details).

An even easier approach is to use a USB flash drive that is ReadyBoost enabled. This lets you plug in the memory to a USB port and then assign a quantity of its memory to the computer as additional system RAM.

Software

The alternate way to fix slow PC performance is to look at what is causing your PC to run slow in the first place and resolve that. This may not always be apparent so the following tips should help resolve the majority of performance problems when you find your computer running very slow.

Disk Defragmentation: Over time your hard drive stores data into splintered segments (fragments) around the drive. Accessing these fragments takes additional disk access time and memory resources. To fix a slow computer, use the Windows Disk Defragmenter tool monthly to optimize the data cluster ordering on the drives.

Disk Space: Slow computer performance can often be due to Windows not having enough drive space for virtual memory. Keep at least 10% free disk space by cleaning out unused software and temporary/cached files. Our post on computer clean up options goes through several ways of getting back hard drive space.

Registry Optimization: The Windows registry is the main source of configuration settings for your entire computer and is prone to faults and non-optimum settings as more and more applications are installed. Manually changing this file is not recommended. Instead, use registry cleaners such as XP Repair Pro to back-up and repair registry files. These tools also act as a startup optimizer, improving boot performance by tuning registry settings.

Performance Information & Tools: Windows 7 users will also find the ‘Performance Information & Tools’ section of the Control Panel contains additional slow computer solutions (e.g. reducing the number of visual effects in Windows) that can prove useful.

Related Posts:
- For XP users, we have a post on troubleshooting Windows XP slow startup problems.
- Simple ways to make your PC startup faster.
- How to make your PC run faster without doing an upgrade.

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