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PC slowdown question

By oneyunguy ·
I am fairly computer literate but could use some help on a couple things.

Alot of people ask me to help them with their pc that ahs slowed down or begun to have sluggish performance.

What are things for me to check for to possibly remedy the situation?

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A couple of checks

by Jacky Howe In reply to PC slowdown question

Best way to Speedup Windows is to have an appropriate amount of (RAM) Memory installed.
I've found that for a 32bit System running XP, Vista and W7 they run comfortably with 3GB of RAM.

Also check the amount of free space left on the Hard drive as users have a habit of filling them up. When I get below 17% I start removing and Backing up.

Using the system configuration utility

Press the Winkey + r and type msconfig and press Enter.

To stop a program from running at start-up, go to the Startup tab in this utility, and uncheck the box next to the program. It can sometimes be difficult to understand what programs are listed on the Startup tab.

To get more information about a listing, expand the width of the Command column near the top of the Startup tab. Expand it enough and you'll see the start-up command that the program issues, including its location, such as C:\Program Files\Nero

The directory location should be another hint to help you know the name of the program.

When stopping programs from running at start-up, it's best to stop them one at a time rather than in groups. You want to make sure that you're not causing any system problems by stopping them. So stop one, then restart your PC. If it runs fine, then stop another and restart. Continue doing this until you've cleared all the programs you don't want to run automatically.

Each time you uncheck a box and restart your PC, you'll get a warning that you've used the System Configuration Utility to disable a program from starting automatically. If you don't want to see that warning, disable it by checking the box in the dialog itself.

After you've used the system configuration utility to identify programs that run on start-up, you may want to try disabling them from within the programs themselves. So run each program that starts automatically, and see if you can find a setting that allows you to prevent it from running on start-up.

You should Backup your files to an external hard disk drive or removable disk drive, such as a CD/DVD.

To open the Backup or Restore Wizard

Click Start, point to All Programs, point to Accessories, point to System Tools, and then click Backup.


For information on how to use this tool: http://www.microsoft.com/windowsxp/using/setup/maintain/backupfiles.mspx

Clear Out Unused Programs

The first step in tuning up your computer's performance is to remove any unnecessary programs.

Follow these steps to remove unneeded programs:

1. Click Start, and then click Control Panel.

2. Click Add or Remove Programs.

3. Scroll through the list and examine each program. Windows XP lists how often you use a program and what day you last started it. You shouldn't remove anything labeled as an Update or Hotfix.


4. Click each program you no longer need, click the Remove button, and then follow the prompts to uninstall it.


Note: You may have to restart your computer after removing a program. After your computer restarts, repeat the steps above to remove more programs.


Free Up Wasted Space

Cleaner: Windows

When you first open Ccleaner you will have an option to Analyze or Run Cleaner, after checking the left Pane and making your choices. Delete all Temp Files. If you scroll down you will see a greyed out box that has Advanced next to it. Left click on it and keep pressing OK to all of the responses. I normally Untick Windows Log Files and Memory Dumps as they may come in handy.

You don't have to install all of the add ons or shortcuts just the one to the Desktop.

http://www.ccleaner.com/download

Clean up the Registry

CCleaner can be used to tidy up your Registry. Backup the Registry as you go along, rescan again and again saving as you go until there are no errors left.


Defragment Your Computer

1. Open My Computer, right-click Local Disk, and then click Properties.

2. On the Tools tab, click Defragment Now. The Disk Defragmenter opens.

3. Click your first hard disk, and then click Defragment.

4. If you have more than one hard disk, repeat this process for each hard disk listed starting at Step 3.


Disconnect Unused Network Connections

The problem with network drives is that Windows XP will attempt to connect to the network drives when Windows starts. If the remote computers don't respond immediately, Windows will wait for the connection.

To reduce this problem, disconnect any unused drives by following these steps:

1. Open My Computer.

2. On the Tools menu, click Disconnect Network Drive.

3. Select the network drives that you no longer need, and then click OK.

Keep on top of Malware

Download Malwarebytes Anti-Malware, install it and update it and scan the PC.

http://download.bleepingcomputer.com/malwarebytes/mbam-setup.exe

http://www.bleepingcomputer.com/forums/lofiversion/index.php/f79.html

* Double-click mbam-setup.exe and follow the prompts to install the program.
* At the end, be sure a checkmark is placed next to Update Malwarebytes' Anti-Malware and Launch Malwarebytes' Anti-Malware, then click Finish.
* If an update is found, it will download and install the latest version.
* Once the program has loaded, select Perform Quick Scan, then click Scan.
* When the scan is complete, click OK, then Show Results to view the results.
* Be sure that everything is checked, and click Remove Selected.

Keep your AntiVirus software up to date.

Use this as a Guide:

How to configure paging files for optimization and recovery in Windows XP
http://support.microsoft.com/kb/314482/en-us

Registry Hacks to Speed Up XP Hack

http://downloads.techrepublic.com.com/abstract.aspx?kw=registry&docid=173620

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Thanks !

by oneyunguy In reply to A couple of checks

Theres alot of things there! thanks a bunch.
I always make sure to 'ghost' someones drive before scanning for malware/adware/virus'.

I also know that "Windows Search" can be a resource hog, tuning that off in some circumstances can bring a pc back to speed.

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There's probably a lot more

by Jacky Howe In reply to Thanks !

but that covers the basics.

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