How to make your PC Faster & Stronger
1.Clean Up Windows
The Disk Cleanup does a pretty handy job of wiping out junk you don't need such as Microsoft Office temp files and old error reports. To run Disk Cleanup, open My Computer. Right-click the drive the OS is installed on and click Properties. Under the General tab, you'll see a Disk Cleanup button. Click it and the app will run an analysis of the machine. You can dump the Downloaded Program Files, Temporary Internet Files, Offline Webpages, Microsoft Error Reporting Temporary Files, Recycle Bin, Temporary Files, Web Client/ Publisher Temporary Files, Temporary Offline Files, Offline Files, and Catalog Files for the Content Indexer with no ill effects.
2.Take Advantage of ShadowCopy
Windows Vista includes a nifty feature that makes incremental "shadow copies" of your document files. This lets you revert to a previous version of a file if you, say, suddenly realize you screwed up your resume and need to access the one from a month ago. Unfortunately, ShadowCopy is one of those premium features that's only included with Windows Vista Ultimate (or Business). Home Premium users can go pound sand. Or so Microsoft thought. Apparently, all Microsoft really did was remove your ability to access those previous versions- the documents are still backed up if you have System Protection enabled in Microsoft Vista. To make sure it's switched on (it is by default), right mouse-click My Computer, click the System Protection link, then the System Protection tab. There should be a check mark for each drive you want shadowed.
To access the previous versions of your file, download the free app ShadowExplorer from ShadowExplorer.com, install it, and voila, you can now browse through the tons of backed-up files. A drop-down on the upper left-hand side of the window lets you view the backups by date.
One more thought: If you're suddenly a little freaked out that almost all of your documents are secretly being backed up and, for the most part, hidden from you by Vista, you can erase all of those backups by turning off System Restore (right-click My Computer, select Properties, then System Protection, and uncheck the C: drive), or purge all but the last system restore point (go to Disk Cleanup, select More Options, then Clean Up, and delete what's unneeded).
3.Scan for Updates
Just go to DriverAgent.com and click the Web Scan button on the left. The app will run a quick check of your drivers against Phoenix's database of updated drivers and tell you what devices need updating.
4.Search and Destroy Malware
start with SuperAntiSpyware (www.superantispyware.com). After installing the app, you can opt to have it protect your home page or not. When you get to the General and Startup tab, select "Start SuperAntiSpyware when Windows Starts," "Use Windows XP Style Menus," and "Integrate with Vista Security Center." Also select "Do not scan when SuperAntiSpyware starts" and "Check for updates before starting on startup." Perform a complete scan and nuke anything that moves.
Now, download Malwarebytes Anti-Malware (www.malwarebytes.org
). Install it, run an update, and have it conduct a scan.
5.Decrap Your Drive
PC Decrapifier (www.pcdecrapifier.com
) will automatically uninstall and delete the majority of trialware applications that are preinstalled on new PCs. Just download the free app, install, and run it. It will ask you if the PC is new or not. If you select not new, the app will create a system restore point.Once you're ready to remove the offending trailware, click Next and PC Decrapifier will automatically remove the junk.
6.Optimize Your Startup
Startup Delayer (www.r2.com.au
First, download and install the app. Once you've launched it, you'll be greeted with a list of applications that are scheduled to run. You can disable apps you don't want to launch, like the annoying Adobe Updater, by unchecking them.
7.Defrag Your Drive
You can order Vista to perform a full defragmentation. You do this by going to Start, typing CMD, right-clicking the Cmd.exe app that it finds, and selecting "Launch as administrator." Now type defrag c: -v -w. The -v option is for verbose and -w is for full defragmentation. Those are the basics you need to know; to see all of the available options, type defrag /?
into the command line.