How can i improve the performance of my PC ?

Question

My computer had been getting sluggish aver the past couple of months. Then, all of a sudden, it would just cut off after 5 minutes of use. The time would lessen more and more until it wouldn't turn on at all. It turns on for literally 4 seconds, then cuts itself off before anything appears on the screen. Help!!!

Answer

This question was answered on February 16, 2007. Much of the information contained herein may have changed since posting.

There are five basic ways in Windows XP to improve the performance of you PC Perform these steps once a month or once every other month to insure optimal performance.

-Free Up Disk Space

-Speed Up Access to Data

-Detect and Repair Disk Error

-Protect Your Computer Against Spyware

-Protect Your Computer Against Viruses

*Free Up Disk Space*

By freeing disk space, you can improve the performance of your computer The Disk Cleanup tool helps you free up space on your hard disk The utility 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.

To use Disk Cleanup

1.Click Start, point to All Programs, point to Accessories, point to System Tools, and then click Disk Cleanup If several drives are available, you might be prompted to specify which drive you want to clean.

2.In the Disk Cleanup for dialog box, scroll through the content of the Files to delete list.

3.Clear the check boxes for files that you don't want to delete, and then click OK.

4.When prompted to confirm that you want to delete the specified files, click Yes

*Speed Up Access to Data*

Disk 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.

Disk 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.

To use Disk Defragmenter:

1.Click Start, point to All Programs, point to Accessories, point to System Tools, and then click Disk Defragmenter.

2.In the Disk Defragmenter dialog box, click the drives that you want to defragment, and then click the Analyze button.

3.To defragment the selected drive or drives, click the Defragment button.

After the defragmentation is complete, Disk Defragmenter displays the results.

4.To display detailed information about the defragmented disk or partition, click View Report.

5.To close the View Report dialog box, click Close.

6.To close the Disk Defragmenter utility, click the Close button on the title bar of the window.

*Detect and Repair Disk Errors*

In 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.

1.Click Start, and then click My Computer.

2.In the My Computer window, right-click the hard disk you want to search for bad sectors, and then click Properties.

3.In the Properties dialog box, click the Tools tab.

4.Click the Check Now button.

5.In the Check Disk dialog box, select the Scan for and attempt recovery of bad sectors check box, and then click Start.

6.If bad sectors are found, choose to fix them.

*Protect Your Computer Against Spyware*

Spyware collects personal information without letting you know and without asking for permission The information that spyware collects ranges from a list of Web sites that you visit to usernames and passwords In addition to privacy concerns, spyware can hamper your computer's performance You can either purchase a spyware product or download a free version of spyware Microsoft offers a free reliable version here: http://www.microsoft.com/athome/security/spyware/software/default.mspx

*Protect Your Computer Against Virus*What is anti-virus software?

Viruses are usually malicious software that you need to protect your computer against You need anti-virus technology to help prevent viruses, and you need to keep it regularly updated You can purchase anti-virus software from trusted company's such as McAfee or Norton, or you can download free reliable anti-virus software from reliable sources If you choose this route I would recommend AVG anti-virus software by Grisoft found here: http://free.grisoft.com/freeweb.php/doc/2/

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Author

Posted by Ryan of Chandler-Gilbert Community College on February 16, 2007