How can I speed up my computer?

Question

I have a compaq presario 8702 and it shows that I have used 1.77GB and it is running very slow. I need to know if I should replace the whole system or add to the old system. What do you recomend. Thank You Carole Hurliman

Answer

This question was answered on February 24, 2001. Much of the information contained herein may have changed since posting.

Hi Carole, thanks for writing.

You have told me 2 things--your system is running very slow, and that you have used 1.77GB of 2GB available on your hard disk I am assuming that the system ran OK for a time, and gradually has seemed to slow down.

Speed in a computer system is a function of several components

Processor speed is the single most important attribute for computer speed Memory is next Other systems that affect computer speed are the video display card and motherboard

You have not mentioned changing any components, so I will assume you still have the same physical computer you started with The only things you have added to your computer since you bought it are data, from files you have created, and software that you have installed It is my guess that the "slowness" that you are experiencing is due to your hard drive being cluttered with a whole bunch of new files and folders, and your system is not accessing them quickly when it is required to do so, because they are scattered here and there, not all together in one spot Your hard disk has probably become what is known as fragmented, and this condition will cause the computer to seem like it is running in mud.

You should try to defragment your hard drive to see if this will help It is best to do this right after having first started up your machine Having done so, I recommend first closing down any programs that start automatically when your computer starts Some of these will be in the StartUp folder of your "Start" menu Two things that are particularly helpful to disable temporarily are your anti-virus program (assuming you have one) and your screen saver.

Run "Defrag" by double-clicking "My Computer" on your desktop, then right-click your C: drive and select "properties" from the menu Then select the Tools tab In the Tools tab, first do an error check, selecting the "check now" button Let Windows fix any errors for you automatically Then come back to the Tools tab and select "defragment now" This could take a while, so don't be surprised.

Defragmenting will help restore some better organization to your files so your operating system can find files faster when needed, and bring your system out of the mud You can run Defrag every month or two to help keep your system tuned up Also, keep an eye on your free disk space If it gets full, you will need to either stop installing things, buy a bigger hard drive, or uninstall some things you don't need.

Good luck.

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Author

Posted by Robert of Chandler-Gilbert Community College on February 24, 2001