Is your PC acting a little sluggish lately?
Well, some would think that like humans, computers slow down with age. Hey, it doesn't have to be that way!
The problem actually starts when you begin installing programs on your computer. You'd like to think you're installing only one program at a time, right? Wrong! Many installers put stuff into your computer you're not aware of. Aside from the main program, an installer may insert startup or background processes that usually aren't necessary, plus, some even ask you to install 'promotional' software in between or at the end of an installation. Be wary of:
a. "Run at Startup". Say no or uncheck.
b. Offers to install a toolbar to 'enhance' your browsing experience.
c. Offers to install supplementary software such as video or DVD players, unless you really, really need them.
d. Programs that come from unknown software vendors or sources. Be vigilant. Before you install something, do some research. Be sure that the software is free of viruses and adware.
e. Pirated software. The hackers who crack these programs may install viruses, trojans and adware into them. Not to mention that it's illegal.
f. Expired anti-virus programs. Leaving them expired is like a welcome mat for disaster.
g. Files downloaded off of peer-to-peer networks. Scan these files with your anti-virus before you run/open them.
Here are some tips to make your PC run faster:
Uninstall unused programs. Deleting a program folder DOES NOT uninstall a program. Instead, go to Start > Settings > Control Panel > Add/Remove Programs. Look at the list of programs installed. Do you absolutely need all of them? Remove programs that you have not used for more than 6 months. This helps free up disk space and memory usage.
Download a startup management program. Download the free software called Quick Startup (1.35mb). Having too many programs running at the same time can really slow down your PC performance. This nifty tool helps you choose which programs will run when your computer starts.
On the right panel, simply uncheck the programs that you don't need to run at startup. Samples of these are instant messengers (Yahoo! Messenger, Gtalk, MSN Messenger), video programs (Quicktime, Real Player, WinDVD), Office Suites (Microft Office, OpenOffice, Adobe Acrobat), CD burners and photo managers. If you don't know what you're doing, ask a tech-savvy friend to help you out.
Easy on the browser windows. Firefox and Internet Explorer are called tabbed browsers for a reason. Don't open new windows unless extremely necessary. Some users find Firefox as a memory hog, so you may want to look into IE. Opera is also an excellent alternative.
Warning: the following cost money
Stack up on RAM. If you've followed all my advice above and still find your computer to be slow, you may need to purchase additional RAM. If you enjoy surfing the Internet, chatting, playing videos and songs all at the same, you'll need at least 1GB of RAM. Getting a video card helps a lot too. Go to your nearest computer shop and explore your options.
Stack up on disk space. Purchase an external drive where you can store large files. Low disk space can cause your PC speed to dwindle. Seagate's line of external drives are quite good.
That wraps my first real post here on Yougottech.com. I hope you find it useful! Visit often, there's more coming soon!