Spring Cleaning Your Computer System
Let me ask you a very simple question; is your PC running quick enough for you?
Or are you spending too many extra seconds or even minuets staring into cyber space waiting for the page to load? It can be very frustrating and cost you a lot of time.
So why is this happening to your system?
Well there are of course lots and lots of reasons why this could be happening, and although you might think that it is normal behaviour of which you have become so accustom to and have accepted for what it is. Be very aware that it is not normal to have a slow PC and a slow internet connection; you need to rectify it as soon as possible. Without meaning to worry people, you could have been the victim of a malicious system hack and be riddled with computer viruses.
Always be very cautious when downloading anything from the internet, even updating your system with familiar named resources can compromise a computers capacity to run smoothly.
So what must you do?
Firstly, and probably the most important thing to do is to have regular system backups in place. Ideally this should be done on a weekly basis or if you use your PC a lot then even daily. There are automation programs out there which will do this for you, should you ever forget. Personally I use Drop box for all my data files and HD Clone for backing up my hard drive, and these are free.
So with the backup in place it is time to see exactly why your computer is slow to start-up. It is a good idea to check through your ms-config file and take a look at the start-up tab to see what is running in the background when you start your PC. Basically here you can tick and un-tick exactly what you want running, but always keep things like your antivirus software ticked. Remember that the less you have ticked the quicker the computer will start. If within this index you do not recognise anything then un-tick it, this could be a key logging program. If in any doubt at all simply Google the name to see what it is and if it is necessary, this is the best and easiest way to find out if the program is suspect or not. Then still within ms-config check out the services tab and in the same way uncheck what you feel do not need or recognise, but again keep the antivirus ticked. Also here be careful not to un-tick any licences you have with things like Apple for instance, as this may stop them working properly. To save these settings click the apply button.
Another good idea is to check out how much memory is being used on your computer, we do this by checking through the task manager program built into your machine. In order to get the task manager up simple pres these three keys at the same time, ctrl, alt & delete and then choose the task manager key. Go to the performance page and check the memory on your system, you will see some green bars and four black and green graphs in the display.
The amount of memory being used must obviously be less than the physical amount of memory on your PC. If this is not the case the system will grind to a halt because you are using too much ram. This causes the hard drive to supplement the physical ram, which will slow everything down. The CPU usage should be fluctuating in small amounts between 10% and 30% anything higher than this could mean you have something like an anti-virus or defrag program running in the background, this is quite normal if the computer has just been switched on. If the CPU usage is still high after the machine has been on for a while then you will need to check out the processes tab. This tab will show what is using up your ram. You can end any process that is using too much ram by right clicking on it and selecting end process. Tread carefully here because you are looking for once again programs that look suspect and need to be removed from the computer. If after investigation you find an incriminating file then unfortunately the best and safest way to clean it up is to reinstall your operating system and choose the re format hard disk option. This is the reason for always backing your system up regularly, and running a good antivirus software program such as Kaspersky.
With regard to antivirus software, it is always a good idea to avoid the free online security packages; these will almost certainly slow your system down. Besides they are free for a reason, paid versions will do a whole lot more and not eat into the memory as much.
There are a few more ways to speed up your computer on a regular basis, for the less technical amongst us these are highlighted below.
It amazes me how few people regularly defragment there drives. Regardless of which Windows desktop operating system you use, make sure you either manually defragment or set the machine up to automatically defragment. The performance of your computer will drop considerably if this is not done. Usually, the built-in Windows defrag tool works fine.
Have you ever filled up a disk to 100%? If that disk contains both your operating system and your data files, your machine is going to come to a screeching halt. One of the first things people check on a machine that is running slowly is how much of the hard disk has been used. One of the tools I like is Ccleaner. It quickly clears out all temporary files for you and anything else you ask it to such as cookies, stored internet passwords. So I suggest that before you run the program check exactly what it will be cleaning up on your system. Ccleaner will also clean out your registry issues for you as an optional choice.
If you are using a Windows operating system you should definitely have an anti-malware, spyware program on your machine. I recommend using a program called Malware-bytes. Simply run the free quick scan and see what, if any, errors come up. You may or may not want to get rid of whatever the program finds; again do a Google search if you are at all unsure of what has been found to be malware.
Check out ways to protect your site