5 ways to speed
up your PCBy following a few simple guidelines,
you can maintain your computer and keep it running smoothly. This
article discusses how to use the tools available in Windows 7, Vista,
and XP Service Pack 3 (SP3) to more efficiently maintain your computer
and safeguard your privacy when you're online.
Free up disk spaceThe Disk Cleanup tool helps you free up space
on your hard disk to improve the performance of your computer. The tool
identifies files that you can safely delete, and then enables you to
choose whether you want to delete some or all of the identified files.
Disk Cleanup to:
- Remove temporary Internet files.
downloaded program files (such as Microsoft ActiveX controls and Java
- Empty the Recycle Bin.
Windows temporary files such as error reports.
optional Windows components that you don't use.
installed programs that you no longer use.
- Remove unused
restore points and shadow copies from System Restore.
2. Speed up access to dataDisk fragmentation slows the
overall performance of your system. When files are fragmented, the
computer must search the hard disk when the file is opened to piece it
back together. The response time can be significantly longer.
Defragmenter is a Windows utility that consolidates fragmented files
and folders on your computer's hard disk so that each occupies a single
space on the disk. With your files stored neatly end-to-end, without
fragmentation, reading and writing to the disk speeds up.When
to run Disk Defragmenter
In addition to running
Disk Defragmenter at regular intervals—monthly is optimal—there are
other times you should run it too, such as when:
- You add a
large number of files.
- Your free disk space totals 15
percent or less.
- You install new programs or a new
version of Windows.
3. Detect and repair disk errorsIn addition to running
Disk Cleanup and Disk Defragmenter to optimize the performance of your
computer, you can check the integrity of the files stored on your hard
disk by running the Error Checking utility.
As you use your hard
drive, it can develop bad sectors. Bad sectors slow down hard disk
performance and sometimes make data writing (such as file saving)
difficult, or even impossible. The Error Checking utility scans the hard
drive for bad sectors, and scans for file system errors to see whether
certain files or folders are misplaced.
If you use your computer
daily, you should run this utility once a week to help prevent data
Run the Error Checking utility:
- Close all open files.
Click Start, and then click My
- In the
My Computer window, right-click the hard disk you want to search for bad
sectors, and then click Properties.
In the Properties dialog box, click the
Click the Check Now button.
In the Check Disk dialog box (called Error-checking
in Windows 7), select the Scan for and attempt recovery of bad
sectors check box, and then click Start.
Example of Check Disk Local Disk
- If bad sectors are found,
choose to fix them.
the "Automatically fix file system errors" check box if you think that
your disk contains bad sectors.
4. Protect your computer against spywareSpyware
collects personal information without letting you know and without
asking for permission. From the Web sites you visit to usernames and
passwords, spyware can put you and your confidential information at
risk. In addition to privacy concerns, spyware can hamper your
computer's performance. To combat spyware, you might want to consider
using the PC
safety scan from Windows Live OneCare
. This scan is a free service
and will help check for and remove viruses.
5. Learn all about ReadyBoostIf you're
using Windows 7 or Windows Vista, you can use ReadyBoost to speed up
your system. A new concept in adding memory to a system, it allows you
to use non-volatile flash memory—like a USB flash drive or a memory
card—to improve performance without having to add additional memory.