Over time and use with a windows machine you may notice that it does not run as fast as when you first got it.
This is usually because of a number of different problems that can occur with regular use of a computer. The smart computer user knows about these things and how to repair them on their own rather then having to hire a technician to solve the problem, (costing you time with out your computer and usually around 50 dollars an hour).v
Possible problems usually include one or many of the following things:
They happen, even if you spend all the money you can on antivirus software, you likely don’t even know you have one.
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Loosely falls under the same definition as a virus but with some negligible variations, can also include programs that hit you computer with nasty pop ups and redirect you to web pages you don’t want to visit.
This is a comprehensive list of all programs that have ever been installed on your computer, sometimes when you uninstall a program some information can still be left on this list, the longer you have your computer the larger this list is likely to be.
To much junk
Unused programs and applications (different browser menus, and other programs)
Start up programs
On the bottom right of your computer beside the clock is usually a bunch of icons. These represent programs that are running on your computer at a given time, the problem is that not all programs that are running display an icon in the taskbar. There is usually much more programs running at a time that you are unaware of.
So lets get started then. Bellow are some tips almost any computer user can performe, to help speed up your computer.
1. Restore Point
Before we get started we are going to record a windows restore point. If at any point you feel you’ve made a big mistake you can always go back into the windows restore program and reverte to where you’re computer was at before you tried to fix it. This should give you the confidence to play and adjust settings on your computer without the worry of messing it up. To do this you go to the start menu -> Program files – > Accessories -> System tools -> System restore.
A new program will open from there all you have to do is ask your computer to set a restore point, later if needed you can revert to it. Ais a virtual snap shot of your computers settings. It may take a few moments to process.
2. Safe Mode
Because you probably have viruses and unwanted programs slowing down your computer, in order to make the clean up process easier and more efficient we will put your computer into safe mode to run quicker. Safe mode is a basic start up of windows without all the extra bells and whistles that slow down your computer. Also if there is any viruses or programs running on your computer they will very likely not be running in safe mode.
To get into safe mode simply restart your computer then right as it is starting up press F8 on your keyboard, A menu will come up listing some options for you, you need to select Safe mode with networking so that you can still have access to the internet.
It is important to press F8 at a precise time as windows is starting up, some computers will prompt you on the bottom of the screen as its loading but its OK if you just keep pressing it until the menu loads, you can definitely press it more than once.
3a. Windows Updates
Windows frequently releases security updates for problems they find with their operating system. It is usually set up to do it automatically but most people ignore it for whatever reason. Even if this is not the case go to [http://www.windowsupdate.microsoft.com] and run through their automatic updates program. Its really easy just basically keep clicking yes and next until it is complete. Once the updates are finished it will prompt you to restart your computer, do so before you continue onto the next step.
3b. Restart Again
The computer will likely restart you into normal windows mode, we will continue to work on your computer through safe mode as it will run the next steps quicker, and we can pretty much guarantee that the viruses won’t be running as well. So restart your computer again and enter intoagain.
OK the easy step to do now is to run a virus scan. Even if you don’t have an anti-virus program on your computer you can still scan your computer for free. The site I recommend is antivirus.com put on by a company called trendmicro, this company mainly profits from its corporate clients but offers a free online scan to public users. Simply go to antivurs.com and look for their free online services for home and office use. Then follow the instructions to run the housecall program on all your local hard drives. This program will provide a current scan of your computer removing all known viruses. Its updates everyday with new definitions so you always know you have an up to date program.
There are a couple other virus programs I should mention. Some of the commercial versions of virus software (Norton and Mcafee) are usually expensive, and require a subscription. In addition to the cost they all use a lot of your computers resources to run. So if you are trying to remove virus to speed up a computer by installing Norton you likely won’t notice a difference in speed as it is probably making just as slow.
The solution is to get AVG free edition, Which is a free virus program for all to use, They do also have a subscription version that has a few more features but even the full version of AVG uses way less resources on your computer then norton or Mcafee.So after you’ve finished fixing your computer if you do want to install an antivirus program you may choose to.
4b. Restart in normal mode
At this point you will need to restart you computer and let it boot normally to get out of safe mode
This program isn’t very well known to most computer users but it is crucial to keeping your computer clean and organized. MSCONFIG is a windows program on all windows machines that controls all start up settings. To access it go to your start menu and click on the run command then type MSCONFIG and press enter.
This program will open in a new window and there will usually be 4 tabs at the top of the window. The main one that you can edit with little difficulty or computer knowledge is the start up tab, click on it and you will see a list of all programs that start when your computer starts up. In reality there is really only 2 or 3 programs that are absolutely necessary These are your systray and anything to do with windows explorer. At this point what you can do is go through the list and uncheck any programs that look suspicious or that you know are malicious or unwanted. When you apply the settings it will ask you to reboot. Once the reboot is complete if all is well you can uncheck more of the programs from the list and see if you computer will still run as you need it. Usually I uncheck almost all of them then add the ones I absolutely need back in after. You can also work in reverse and gradually remove a few at a time and make sure your computer is still OK after each reset. You will need to perform this step a number of times until you have the computer running as quickly as possible with the programs you need.
Usually some of the types of programs that are OK to have on your start up include your software for your burner, msn, your antivirus software, printer software,windows themes.
Tip: If your not sure what a particular program does then you can Google all the information list in the startup list on that program and you can usually get an answer.
Similarly to MSCONFIG and the start up list. Your computer registry stores a list of all programs that have ever been installed on your machine. So if you’ve had your computer a while and added and removed a lot of programs there can be a lot of entries in your registry. A handy program also available on the antivirus.com site is the Hijack This program. This program allows you to clean up and edit your registry.
Be very careful with this step, only remove entries you are sure that are old and unused. This can mess up your computer if done incorrectly, that is why the hijack this program is a good tool to use. The risk of failure can be reduced by setting another restore point before you perform this task.
The windows program that is used to allow you to perform the same task is called REGEDIT. I would only suggest this program for advanced users, and I only use it when I know specifically what program I want to remove from the registry as I can search for it with the find and replace tool.