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   ► KBIT Water-Coo...Windows Users   Print This     
  From the September 2009 Issue of Prestwood eMag
Windows Users:
Speed Up Your Windows Computer for FREE
Posted 11 years ago on 7/28/2009
Take Away:

If your computer was fast but is now slow, you can use techniques such as adware removers, defrag, and others to bring your PC back to life! You can also add hardware to speed up your computer (RAM, SATA HD, better video card, etc.).


Before proceeding with these suggestions, make sure your computer is protected. Refer to our Protect Your Windows Computer for FREE article for suggestions.

Speed Up a Slowed Down Computer

If your computer was fast but is now slow, you can use techniques such as adware removers, defrag, and others to bring your PC back to life! These techniques help you get the most out of your existing software.

1. Uninstall Programs

Using the control panel applet Add/Remove programs, remove all programs you do not absolutely need.

2. Adware/Malware

Use any of the following programs to find and destroy adware and malware that has creeped onto your computer like barnicles on a ship. My preference is to use a combination of Spyware Blaster and Spybot only to find and fix problems.

Although I prefer Spyware Blaster and Spybot, Ad-Aware is also a good free product.

If I find any problems with any of the above, I run the following additional utility:

If Malwarebytes finds something with it's quick scan, I'll do a full scan. If the full scan finds more, I'll scan with another one of the above tools (usually Ad-Aware) for that extra effort. However, at some point you probably just need to do a clean install of the OS.

3. Microsoft Disk Cleanup

Disk cleanup is usually used to free up a croweded hard drive but I like to run disk cleanup to clean up extra files on slow computers prior to running Defrag.

4. Defrag

Defrag your hard drive at least once a month.

5. Non-visual Settings

There are a number of non-visual settings that can speed up your PC. Here are the settings I set:

  • Page file: Use a fixed page file. I usually set mine to 2048 MB. If I have a computer with two hard drives (not partitions), I will set two 2048 MB page files (one on each hard drive).
  • For business computers, I prefer to turn off all visual settings. However, even in a business environment many want a pleasant work experience so I bend on this suggestion most of the time.

6. Review Shares

Review your shares in Computer Management.

7. Turn Off Visual Settings

If your computer is a business computer or you don't need the extra visualizations, turn them off.

8. More Settings

If you want to maximize visual and non-visual speed settings, you can pay for a program like SpeedUpMyPC or xxxx 

9. Vista: ReadyBoost Flash Drive

Add a ReadyBoost flash drive of 1 to 3 times your RAM size. Vista allows 1 ReadyBoost device but Windows 7 allows multiple.

Add Hardware

You can also add hardware to speed up your computer (RAM, SATA HD, better video card, etc.).

More RAM

With the price of RAM you should have at least 1GB of RAM. If you commonly use several programs consider getting 2 or 3 GB of RAM. If you're running 64-bit Windows, you can add lots of RAM but for a workstation you'll probably get the most bang for the buck with about 8 GB of RAM.

Faster and Larger Hard Drive

How do you know when you need a faster or larger hard drive? Well, you can always use a faster hard drive. You need a larger hard drive when you only have about 20% free space on your existing hard drive.

Better Video Card

If you play a lot of games, then you should get the best video card you can afford. You don't necessarily need to go out and get the latest $800 video card, but if you're a gamer, find the best $100 to $200 video card currently available.

More Info

KB Post:  10 FREE Must-Have Net Admin Apps
KB Post:  Protect Your Windows Computer Using FREE Tools


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KB Post Contributed By Mike Prestwood:

Mike Prestwood is a drummer, an author, and creator of the PrestwoodBoards online community. He is the President & CEO of Prestwood IT Solutions. Prestwood IT provides Coding, Website, and Computer Tech services. Mike has authored 6 computer books and over 1,200 articles. As a drummer, he maintains and has authored 3 drum books. If you have a project you wish to discuss with Mike, you can send him a private message through his PrestwoodBoards home page or call him 9AM to 4PM PST at 916-726-5675 x205.

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Linked Certification Question(s)

The following are practice certification questions with answers highlighted. These questions were prepared by Mike Prestwood and are intended to stress an important aspect of this KB post. All our practice questions are intended to prepare you generally for passing any certification test as well as prepare you for professional work.


1 Beginner Level Question

Question #1: Multiple Choice

To speed up a computer, you...


Uninstall unused programs and utilities.


Defragment the hard drive.


Run antivirus software AND run anti-adware/malware software.


All of the above.


None of the above.

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