Speed Up Your Slow PC
Speed Up Your Slow PC
- Clean up the disk. Uninstall unneeded programs (especially those that run at startup and/or put something in the system tray), run Disk Cleanup, and defragment the drive. This is a good first step that will almost always take a few seconds off boot time and application loads for any computer.
- Run a full anti-virus and anti-spyware scan. You never know what’s lurking on your machine, and these anti-malware tools can help you get rid of other PC-clogging detritus on your PC, even if it’s not harmful.
- Clean up the registry. This is controversial, as some experts claim registry cleaners don’t really help. I’ve seen evidence to the contrary, so I recommend doing it if you’ve got a major slowdown. CCleaner is free and worth running.
- Delete old network connections. Your computer may be trying to connect to shared hard drives that no longer exist. In Windows Explorer right-click on any network shares you don’t actively use and click Delete. Under Tools, also click “Disconnect Network Drive” to see if there are any others lurking about.
- Stomp auto-starting programs. Click Start > Run and type “msconfig” at the prompt. Click the Startup tab and look at all that junk that loads when you launch your PC. Do you really need “Adobe Reader Speed Launch”? Probably not. Turn off anything else that looks useless, but be careful not to disable Windows system components.
Those are the easy and free things you can do. If your computer is still slow you need to move on to the bigger guns.
- Upgrade RAM. This is the one killer trick that will make almost any computer run faster. With an older PC, you will
rarely have enough RAM to run today’s memory-hogging operating systems and applications, and adding a high-capacity stick or two of quality RAM will give you a quick speed boost. Adding RAM is fairly simple, even for a novice, and you should be able to do the job in 5 or 10 minutes.
- Reinstall Windows. If the above tricks haven’t helped, it may be time to wipe the slate clean and start again,
reformatting your hard drive, reinstalling your applications, and restoring your data files from a backup. You’d be surprised how much more responsive a freshly reinstalled Windows system can be, as you’ve wiped out years of temp files, garbled registry entries, old versions of software programs that have been upgraded repeatedly, and all sorts of other electronic junk. Reinstalling is easy if you have the “recovery disk” that came with your PC, and only
a bit more involved if you’re using a retail copy of Windows XP. Just be sure you back up everything you want to take with you before you pull the trigger!
- Upgrade your hard drive. This is a more complicated solution, but if you’re reinstalling Windows (see previous tip) you might consider upgrading to a bigger and possibly faster hard drive, too. Hard disk storage is a performance bottleneck on every machine, and magnetic disks degrade over time. Some performance issues could be caused by a failing hard drive, even, and upgrading to a new model could really put some zip back in your system. As a bonus, you can use the original hard drive for backups or occasional storage, if you put it in an enclosure.
Turn Off Unneeded Windows Services
Unneeded Windows services that you can turn off:
- AdobeLM Service: Not all computers have this service, still it is useless, just disable it if you have it.
- Alerter: Disable this one if you are not on a network because you will not receive alerts.
- Application Management: Set this to manual.
- Automatic Updates: Disable it if you don’t require auto updating and patching of Windows. It is pretty
useless if you use auto-patcher by NeoWin to update your Windows OS. Thus, you will save bandwidth.
- ClipBook: Disable this if you are not on a network, since you don’t need to share anything.
- Computer Browser: Disable this too if you are not on a network, as you don’t need to browse and monitor
- Cryptographic Services: Set this to manual if you are not sure you need it.
- Distributed Transaction Service: Set this to manual.
- DNS Client: Set this to manual if you are not on a network.
- Error Reporting Service: Disable this useless service for reporting errors to Microsoft, because they
will hardly even reply to you for any error you get. Also saves lots of bandwidth.
- Fast User Switching Compatibility: Disable it if you have only a single user on your computer, or if you do
not use fast user switching feature much. That is, if you completely log-off and then allow other users to use your
computer, then you do not need this. Note that this service is completely useless for low memory computers.
- FTP Publishing: Disable this if you do not use FTP.
- Help and Support: Set it to manual or turn it off if you do not use the help feature often. You can turn it
on again when you want help.
- HTTP SSL: Set it to manual.
- Human Interface Device Access: Turn it off if you do not use hot-keys or remote systems on your computer;
if you use them sometimes, it is better turn it to manual.
- IMAPI CD-Burning COM Service: Set this to manual to save memory and time. Do not turn it off if you have a
CD writer or a DVD writer attached to your computer.
- Indexing Service: Turn it off, it uses lots of CPU. If you are an avid searcher, like a maniac, on your computer, leave it on since it will help you. If you know where your files are and do not use search that often, then disable it
for your good.
- InstallDriver Table Manager: Disable it, it does no harm in doing so.
- IPSEC Services: Set this to manual.
- Windows Messenger: Disable this if you are not on a network, it uses too much memory and it is a hog. Also,
it does no good and sometimes it is likely to become a security threat.
- MS Software Shadow Copy Provider: Set this to manual.
- Net Logon: Disable if you are not on a network.
- NetMeeting Remote Desktop Sharing: Disable this if you do not use Remote Desktop feature; in my opinion, it
is a pretty useless feature.
- Network Provisioning Service: Disable this, it is useless if you are not on a network.
- NT LM Security Support Provider: Disable this, its useless too.
- NVIDIA Display Driver Service: If you do not use the features of nVidia Desktop, this service must be
disabled; it is a big hog of memory.
- Office Source Engine: Disable it if you have a MS Office CD handy always, its helpful if your installation goes corrupt.
- Portable Media Serial Number Service: Set it to manual if you connect portable media to your computer,
otherwise disable it.
- Print Spooler: Disable it if you don’t have a printer.
- Protected Storage: Disable it if you don’t allow strangers to sit on your encrypted storage computer.
- Remote Desktop Help Session Manager: Disable it if you don’t use Remote Desktop feature for help and
support from Microsoft which most probably is a “Yes”.
- Remote Procedure Call Locator: Set it to manual.
- Remote Registry: Serious security threat if turned on, disable it no matter what.
- Removable Storage: Disable it if you don’t use removable storage drives, else turn it manual.
- Routing and Remote Access: Set it to manual.
- Secondary Logon: Useless feature for most, disable it or turn it manual.
- Security Accounts Manager: Disable it, it’s pretty useless, unless you use NTFS Encryption.
- Security Center: Damn useless and irritating feature. Disable it.
- Server: Set it to manual or disable it if you are not on network.
- Smart Card: Disable it if you don’t use smart cards on your computer.
- SSDP Discovery Service: Disable it of not on network or don’t have UPnP devices on home networks.
- Task Scheduler: Disable it if you don’t schedule tasks like defragmentation, error scans etc… and plan
to do it your self instead.
- TCP/IP NetBIOS Helper: Set it to manual if on network, otherwise disable it.
- Telnet: Set it to manual if you use this feature, otherwise disable it, especially if you are home users.
- Terminal Services: Since you aren’t using Remote Desktop etc… disable it for good.
- Uninterrupted Power Supply: Disable it if you don’t have an UPS attached to the serial port of your computer.
- Universal Plug and Play Device Host: Set it to manual.
- User Privilege Service: Set it to manual.
- Volume Shadow Copy: Disable it if you don’t backup using System Restore or Windows Backup.
- Windows Firewall/Internet Connection Sharing (ICS): Disable this if you have another firewall such as Norton or Zone Alarm installed, otherwise let it remain ON for better security.
- Windows Image Acquisition (WIA) : If you don’t connect/use a camera/scanner with your computer, disable
this service, else set it to manual.
- Windows Media Connect: Disable this if you don’t use things such as an iPod etc… for your Windows Media
- Windows Media Connect (WMC) Helper: Disable this if you disabled the one above or if you don’t need help.
- Windows Time: Disable if not on a synchronized network.
- Wireless Zero Configuration: Disable if not on a wireless network.
- WMI Performance Adapters: Disable it, useless service for basic usage.
- Workstation: Disable if you aren’t on a network. Or simply, if you are a gamer, just shut this one.
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