10 Easy Steps to Speed Up Your Computer - Without Upgrading
By Jim Shutes Lapeer Tech Group
It seems that longer you own your computer, slower it gets! A lot of people will keep their computer until it gets so slow that they feel they need a newer, faster model. Some feel like reason it is getting slower is because it is getting older, when that is just not case. Your computer should run just as fast as day you brought it home – if you follow these 10 Easy Steps to Speed Up Your Computer.
1. Empty Temp directory regularly. After a short while, temp directory fills up with hundreds of temp files that always get scanned over when Windows starts up and when programs launch. This slows everything down immensely.
Rule of thumb for Temp Files: If you don’t have any programs open (and nothing minimized in bar below), then you shouldn’t have ANY temp files in your temp directory. If you do, delete them.
To delete Temp files, make sure NO programs are open, and…
a. In Windows 95, 98 or Me, go to C:WindowsTemp and delete everything inside Temp folder.
b. In Windows 2000 or XP, it is a little trickier. First, make sure that you can see hidden folders. Double-click My Computer. Click on Tools pull-down menu, and then on Folder Options. Click on View tab. Scroll down and click on Show Hidden Files and Folders. Click Ok. Now you can go to C:Documents and SettingsAdministratorLocal SettingsTemp folder. Delete everything here.
2. Empty Temporary Internet Files regularly. To empty Temporary Internet Files, go to your Control Panel and double-click Internet Options icon. Choose to Delete Cookies, and to Delete Files. This will clear all of your Temporary Internet Files.
3. Check your hard disks for problems.
a. For Windows 95, 98, or Me, double-click My Computer. Right-click C-drive and click on Properties. Click on Tools tab and choose to check computer for problems. If you choose to do a Thorough Scan, this will do hardware check for physical disk damage or sector damage. Choose to fix any errors it finds.
b. For Windows 2000 and XP, double-click My Computer. Right-click C-drive and click Properties. Click on Tools tab and choose to check computer for problems. Click on Check Now. You will then have two check boxes. The top option is for file check, and second option is for hardware (physical disk) check. Check either one, or both. At least check top one. Hit ok, and reboot. This may take some time, but let it run.
4. An even more thorough disk check, would be to use a 3rd party utility. One of my favorites is TuneUp Utilities 2004. It does cost $39.99, but they do offer a FREE download trial of 15 days. This program does a really good job of fixing software and physical hard drive problems. It also tunes up your system for increased speed, and streamlines your operating system for peak performance. Download it HERE... http://www.lapeertechgroup.com/downloads.asp
5. Or, you can do a few of performance tweaks yourself, if you have Windows XP. By default, EVERYTHING is turned on in Windows XP. It isn’t very streamlined for performance, but rather for appearance. You can turn off a few of unnecessary features, and Windows will still work just fine, and maybe a little faster.
To do this, right-click on My Computer and click on Properties. Click on Advanced tab. Under Performance section, click on Settings button. On Visual Effects tab, you will see a list of check boxes. By default, these are all on. You really don’t need any of them for Windows to run. Go through check boxes one by one, and determine which ones you can and can’t live without.
6. Turn off Active Desktop. Active Desktop turns your desktop into a web page, and allows you to have things like a real-time calendar, and up-to-the-minute weather or stocks. These are nice, but really slow down your computer. And even if you don’t use Active Desktop for anything, just having it active can cause a performance decrease. Turn it off.
a. In Windows 95, 98 and Me, right-click on desktop and in pop-up menu, choose Active Desktop. Inside that option, uncheck Active Desktop. If there is no check next to it, then it isn’t on. Don’t choose it. Instead, just click desktop again to get out of menu.
b. In Windows 2000, right-click on desktop and in pop-up menu, choose Active Desktop. Inside that option, uncheck Show Web Content. Again, if there is no check next to it, then it is not on. Do not check it.
c. In Windows XP, right-click on desktop and in pop-up menu, choose Properties. On Desktop tab, choose Customize Desktop. Now, on Web tab, make sure that there are no websites chosen here. If there aren’t any, then Active Desktop is not on. Cancel and go back to desktop.