Speed Up Your Computer

Whether you have a Windows 98 or Win XP, here are some things you can do that will speed up your computer so it runs better.

Run disc cleanup on hard drive.

Run the disc cleanup utility on your hard drive. To access this you double click the My Computer icon and right click on the hard drive that is your main drive, usually c. Click the properties button and under the general tab psree the disc cleanup button. It will go through a check to see how much space will be saved by cleaning up the disc.

This will do things like get rid of files you do not need in your temporary folders and compress files you don’t use very often. This will also delete your recycle bin and a few other locations that store unnecessary files. Let the computer clean up all of it after it checks.

Put a check in all the boxes that have an amount after them. Then let it run, you can probably go do something else while this runs, go watch a movie or take the spouse out for a dinner. This might take as long as one to three hours to run. Often times what I do is let this or disc defragment run at night when I go to bed. I turn on the utility and then shut off my screen, then go to bed. In the morning it will probably be done and your ready to start your day.

Run disc scan.

Double click on the My Computer icon and then right click the hard drive of your computer. Click the properties button and go to the tools tab. Then click on the error checking. This runs a scan disc to check for errors on your hard drive.

If you have more time you can do the option for fix errors and bad sectors but this will take longer. If you do this your computer might ask you to restart the computer. It needs a fresh start up and no programs running in the background to run.

Otherwise you can just do the regular error check and it will take a few minutes. This will search the hard disc for errors and mark them for the computer to know what not to use on your hard disc as far as spots that are not reading correctly. It flags these spots and uses others for writing to. If you choose to fix errors it will try to overwrite these spots and if that is unsuccessful it will flag the spot as bad, not using it in the future.

Run Disc Defragment.

On the same page as the error check your can run disc defragment. This will take programs and files and rewrite them so that your disc does not spend time searching for parts of them on the disc if they are all over the disc.

I know this sounds odd but when you write information onto the disc or install programs, the files and such are not necessarily put on the disc in the same spot. Thus it is defragmenter and with this utility you can put all the programs together again.

It starts at the physical beginning of the disc and starts with the first thing it finds, it then writes this to the end of the disc in a large empty spot. It continues doing this with all the programs and files it finds until it has enough space to put that first program back at the beginning. It then goes on to the second and so on.

You don’t have to worry about what it is doing and if it gets confused juggling all this as it does it automatically and it might take awhile as I mentioned. I turn off the monitor and let this run at night till I get up and it is usually done. Unless you have a very large disc this should be done in under eight hours. If your have a smaller drive it will take that much less.

Clean up your Internet Explorer.

This little bit of advice is for those with Internet Explorer. Double click the icon for IE and open the Explorer. Click tools and then internet options. This will bring up a page with settings on it for your web browsing, under Temporary Internet files deletes files and delete cookies. This will get rid of files you have visited and saved for your computer to know you’ve been there.

This is the history of your web browsing and it can build up quickly. Now look at the days you want to keep the history and put it as low as you can. I use a day for mine. If I
Forgot that website I was at yesterday and want to go back fine it’s in the history. But you don’t need to keep a history of all the places you’ve visited over the last week or month.
If you think you are doing this to see where your kids have been, think again. They know how to delete these things probably before you did. Under settings it tells you where the file is for your history and they can delete any ones they don’t want you to see before you get home.

If you want to keep an eye on your kids as they surf the web either use passwords and the restrictions in the security tab or there are programs that let you spy on other users of the computer available. Check out CNET for some trial programs to see if you would like to use one of these, their under security in the downloads section.

Personally I just watch what my kids do. I have the computer that is hooked to the internet in the room next to my living room and watch what they do. I know this is not the safest but I also trust my children and they know the dangers and consequences of going to sites that I would not approve of.

Also on the page with the Temp files is an icon marked settings, go to this and you will see a slider bar down toward the bottom of the window that pops up. You should set this slider to a low number, this is the amount of disc space it sets aside to use for the temporary files. I also recommend you set the check for newer version to every visit to the web page. This will keep it simple for your computer and with a low setting on the size will keep the file from getting too large.

If you have long waits for web pages to load this is the main cause, the temporary internet files folder is too large. The computer is checking the page you are visiting against all the ones in the file. If you have recently visited it fine it will load using that info, but with a small file it will just go quickly through the file and it may take a second or too longer to load the page than if you had been there just recently.

I keep mine at 1 MB to keep the file small and manageable.

After you do all these things you will hopefully be able to start doing more with your computer. These are a good start on maintaining your computer and simple ways to help it run better.

One daily choir you should do is emptying the recycle bin, this tends to build up and is an easy way to keep your computer in top shape.

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