Tip & How-To about Computers & Internet

Speeding up your sluggish computer that used to be fine.

From the first time you turn on your computer after buying it, it slows down over time. You will notice that clicking on a program takes longer than you are used to, you get "wait" icons when doing certain tasks and so on. Following these few steps will help get it back to par.

1. Regularly scan for viruses and spyware. They are the most common culprit to a sluggish system and various errors. There are so many programs out there that claim to do this for you, but I have only found a very few that I trust and that actually do the job. My tool of choice is a program called "MalwareBytes" that can be downloaded from http://www.malwarebytes.org/ for FREE.

The program is simple to use and pretty much self explanatory. Upon the first time running it, it will auto update its definition files so it can catch new infections. After it updates, you want to run a "Full Scan". After about 20-30 minutes, it will generate the results of what it found and you can click what actions you want it to perform on the infections found. Pretty easy and straight forward.

2. Regularly delete unneeded files. The less files on your computer, the less files your computer has to go through to find what it needs to perform tasks...which speeds things up. Examples of unneeded files would be whatever is in your "temp" folder, temporary internet files and files "you have created" (not system files) that you have no use for anymore.

Clearing your temporary internet files can be done through your browser or by manually navigating to where the files are stored and deleting them. The option to have your browser do it for you will be labeled something similar to "clear history", "clear private data" or other similar wording. I can not give any specifics because they are different from browser to browser and even from version of a browser to the next version.

Another way to delete unneeded files is to navigate to "My Computer" and right click on your hard drive (C: Drive). In the pop up menu you want to select "properties". On the "general" tab there will be a button named "Disk Cleanup" next to the pie graph picture of your hard drive space....click it and follow the prompts.

During this step, you also want to "uninstall" any programs you do not use anymore. This can be done through the "add/remove programs" or "programs" in the "Control Panel".

After you are done, empty your "Recycle Bin" aka "trash".

3. Reduce the amount of programs that run when you boot your computer. This greatly effects how long it takes for your computer to start up. An added bonus is that you free up system resources for programs you actually use.

Here is how you do it.
Vista/Win7: The little Windows icon at the bottom left hand of your screen (Start Menu), click it and where you normally would do a search at the bottom of it, type in Msconfig and hit enter.

XP: Bottom left hand side, the Start menu is labeled "Start". Click it and then select "run". When the run box opens, type in Msconfig and hit enter.

Now that you have opened up Msconfig, you are ready to move on to actually using it.

You will see that the program has a few tabs at top, the one you want it called "Startup". You are now greeted with a decently long list of entries with check boxes next to them. A box that is checked means that the program listed starts up when your computer turns on, to make that program not start...you want to uncheck it.

Now you are left wondering, "What programs do I uncheck". In general, it is okay to uncheck every box, but you will lose functionality of various things like keyboard shortcut buttons and things of the like. This is where http://google.com comes in very handy. The program that is listed, plug its name into a Google search to see what it is and does. You do not need programs like instant messengers to auto start or any other non-essential programs. If you have a keyboard that use the shortcut keys on, you will want to let that program start so they work. Here are a few other programs you want to start: Virus scanner, windows defender, security programs, touchpad (laptop), sound card programs, video card programs (example: ATI Catalyst) and other programs for your connected hardware. Some examples of unwanted programs would be: Real player updater, java, quicktime, winamp, dumprep, adobe or any other program you only occasionally use.

After you are done going through the whole list, click "apply" then "OK". You will then have a new prompt asking you if you want to "restart" or "exit without restart"....the changes will not be made until the computer is restarted.

After you restart, once the computer gets to your desktop you will have a pop up telling you that you made changes. There will be a checkbox at the bottom that says "DO not warn me again", click it and hit the OK button. Try your computer out, see if everything works that you want to work. If a certain thing does not work, go back into Msconfig and recheck the box for it and reboot. You are now done with this step.

4. Defrag(ment) your hard drive. Vista and newer do this automatically, XP does not. What this does is it moves around files on your computer so they are easily findable. Your hard drive gets fragmented from normal daily use and files being deleted. Fragmentation causes your hard drive to take longer to find needed files, thus slowing down your PC.

To manually run "defrag" you need to open up "My Computer" and right click on you hard drive then select "properties". You now want to click on the "tools" tab. Once at the tools tab you will see that one of the few options is "Defragmentation"....click it. Be forewarned, this process usually takes a few hours to complete. After it has finished, reboot and you are done.

5. Reinstall Windows every 1-2 years. This will give you that 'new" computer feel once again also. Make sure you back up EVERYTHING you want saved before doing so because a reinstall will erase it all. Common things that are overlooked during this process are files in your "My Documents" folder, bookmarks/favorites, emails and anything else not staring you in the face.

The process to reinstall windows is different from computer to computer, consult your user manual for specific directions. If you do not have a user manual, open up Google.com and type in "How to reinstall windows on ". There are two basic ways, 1 is you have a disk that you pop into your CD drive and the other is you press a button sequence during bootup to make it start.

Well here you are all done now, enjoy the renewed speed you just gave to your computer!

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3 Answers

why does it take my computer a long time to boot up, loading, and shutting down?

indicates that then hard drive is on the way out
first step is to save everything onto an external hard drive
then take it to a computer repair shop for an inspection
check how much space is on the hard drive because if you have a lot of junk on it , that slows down the start up and shut down p[rocesses
you can go to device manager and do a defrag of the hard drive to free up space

Aug 09, 2017 | Time Computers & Internet

1 Answer

common problem...running slow...real slow...the "f"

You may notice that your laptop is running more and more slowly over time. There could be many reasons for this, including spyware and viruses, files getting disorganized, too many start-up processes, and new programs you have installed since buying the computer. Fortunately, there are a number of things you can do to restore fast performance on your PC.

1.Back up your PC before attempting to tweak its performance. This will protect your data in case you inadvertently cause any problems to your computer's configuration while attempting to fix it. To back up your files, click "Start," and then "All Programs," "Accessories," "System Tools," and "Backup."
2.Remove any unnecessary programs that may be slowing down your computer. Click on "Start," then "Control Panel," and "Add or Remove Programs." Scroll down the list of installed programs and click on the "Remove" button next to any program you no longer want or use. This could include free trial software that you never use, or programs that you once used but don't need anymore. Do not delete a program if you're unsure of its function.
3.Run the Disk Cleanup tool to get rid of any other unneeded files that might be filling up your hard drive. Do this by double-clicking on the "My Computer" icon on your desktop, then right-click on "Local Disk" and then choose "Properties." Under the "General" tab, click the "Disk Cleanup" button. The Disk Cleanup tool will examine your hard drive and offer you a list of nonessential files that can be deleted. Check the boxes next to the file types you wish to delete, and then click "OK." This could free up several gigabytes of disk space.
4.Defragment your hard drive. To do this, open "My Computer," "Local Disk," and "Properties" as explained above, and then on the "Tools" tab, click "Defragment Now." In the Disk Defragmenter window, select your hard drive and click "Defragment." This will put contiguous portions of your files close to one another on the hard disk, which speeds up the computer's read time.
5.Disable some programs that start running automatically when you turn on your computer. Although some of these programs are vital and should not be touched (like your anti-virus program), others are not needed at start-up and bog down your boot-up process. Click "Start" and then "Run," and then type "MSconfig" and press "Enter." Examine programs under the "Startup" tab, and uncheck the boxes next to the nonessential programs. Be careful to uncheck only those programs you are sure of not needing at start-up (such as music players). If you are unsure of a program's purpose, leave it alone, because it could be an essential start-up process.
6.Check the RAM memory of your laptop and consider upgrading it. This can improve your computer's performance dramatically. Right-click the "My Computer" icon and then click "Properties." Click on the "General" tab and note the amount of RAM you have on the lower part of the window. If this is less than 1G, you might want to purchase more RAM and add it to your laptop. There is usually a removable panel on the bottom of the laptop where the new RAM can be added. However, you will have to know what type of RAM is compatible with your computer, as well as the correct way to install it. If you are unsure of how to install RAM or what kind of RAM to buy, take your computer to a professional to have the RAM installed.

I hope you find it very helpful. Best regads.

Aug 22, 2011 | Computers & Internet

3 Answers

my computer too slow always get the not responding reply.

Eliminate Viruses and Spyware
Step 1

Run your antivirus program. There may be something slowing your computer that you can remove. It is a good idea to run your antivirus program every week.
Step 2

Remove spyware. Run a good spyware tool at least twice a month.
Step 3

Use a pop-up blocker, if you have one. Check your antivirus program.

Dispose of the Extras

Step 1

Delete your document files for anything you no longer need. Saved pictures, audio and video files in particular can slow your computer.

Step 2

Remove unwanted programs from the Control Panel area. Old toolbars or games the kids downloaded off the Internet are a good place to start. Look for software you no longer use, such as the old printer you threw out last year.

Step 3

Clean out your email. Old messages are a constant drain on your computer's resources. Go through every folder, deleting everything you do not need. Leave no mail! Finish by emptying the Deleted Items folder.

Step 4

Turn off unnecessary programs. Check your taskbar for icons that show running programs. Disable anything you are not currently using.

Run Maintenance

Step 1

Run the Disk Cleanup tool located in your Control Panel. (Windows only. For other operating systems, please check the Resources section below.) This will remove temporary files, cookies and unnecessary components to speed up your computer.

Step 2

Defragment your computer. Defragging takes some time, but will speed your computer significantly. You can find the tool in your Control Panel. Run it monthly.

Step 3

Check for disk errors. Sometimes corrupted files slow down your computer. To find and fix these files, Go to My Computer and right-click on C drive. Choose Properties, then Tools.

Nov 22, 2010 | Computers & Internet

1 Answer


Whenever I have a customer tell me their printer seems to be running slower, 9 times out of 10 its what they're trying to print...not the printer. Heres a couple of things to do and ask yourself. First I'd do a test print from the printer itself. Does it kick it right out? Then go to the printer folder on the computer, right click on the printer, go to properties..click print test page. Does that come out pretty quick? Okay if they seem relatively fast then its beginning to look like something other than the printer. Try printing the job that seems to run slow. Then try printing from a different program. Is there a difference in speed? The job that prints slow may have graphics or require more memory then it use to. Perhaps you changed the graphics content on the page and the printerr is taking more time to process it. Adding more memory to the printer can help that.

Did you make any software change to the printer about the same time you noticed the slow down?
Have you changed the font color in the computer to something other than black for that particular print job? I've seen monochrome (black and white) laser printers slow down because its trying to convert the job to say violet or some other color. Its a black text printer and apparently printing color confuses it ..lol My bet is..if you really sit down and think back...something changed in the content of what your printing thats taking it longer to process it. Hope this helps!

Jul 10, 2009 | Dell Office Equipment & Supplies

1 Answer

toshiba mk 4004gah

When Windows starts up, a number of programs will start automatically. Most of them don't need to start but they do. The more programs that start up, the longer your computer will take to load everything.

The first thing to do is to get rid of all the junk in your computer. Uninstall any program you no longer want.
Clearout all your old temporary internet files.
Do a registry and adware clean.
Get rid of old documents and files, anything you do not need.

To see the programs that start when you boot up:
Click Start
Click Run
Type msconfig
Click OK
When the window opens Click Startup

You will see a vast number of programs that your computer loads each time you boot. You can uncheck a lot of them. Do a google search for startup programs before you uncheck anything. There are some good guides that will tell you what to allow to start and what you don't need. Note any unchecked program will not be deleted or uninstalled and will still work when you want them. You will need to restart your computer if you make any changes in msconfig

I would also suggest you defrag your hard drive.
Go to Start-Programs-Accessories-Syatem Tools-Defragmenter
Follow the instructions.

Do not rule out the possibility that you have a virus or some other spyware program running in the background which slows things down. Check these out too.

Feb 10, 2008 | Toshiba (MK4004GAH) 40 GB Hard Drive

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