At ZeroDataStress, we seek to help as many people as we can with their technical issues. Unfortunately, not all technical issues can be covered on one page or solved by the average person. However, one of the most common customer problems we encounter (and easiest to solve) is “My computer is so slow! What can I do to speed it up?”. If your computer is running slow, there are a few things you can do to help speed it up.
Disable programs from running at startup
First, you may have a lot of unneeded programs running in the background. If you don’t need things like all those instant messenger programs or photo gallery software running all the time, disable them from running at startup (also called “starting with Windows”). It will help optimize utilization of your RAM (Random Access Memory), which is solid state and also many times faster than using your mechanical hard drive for virtual RAM. You can generally find the option to disable starting with Windows in the Options or Settings section of the program in question. Once you uncheck the option to “Start with Windows” or “Run on Startup”, click on Apply to save your preferences, then hit OK to close the window.
If you can’t find the option to disable a program from starting with Windows within the program itself, run msconfig to disable it(available only on Windows XP/Vista/7). Click on the Start/Windows logo button. For Windows XP click on Run and type “msconfig” (without quotes). For Windows Vista/7 click in the “Search Programs and Files” box and type “msconfig” (without quotes). Then press Enter. The System Configuration window will come up. Now click on the Startup tab. You only want to change things on the Startup tab if you know what you are changing. Go through and uncheck the items you do not want to run at Windows startup. Keep in mind, you will have to play it smart when unselecting some items. Certain things such as audio device and videocard related items you will generally want to leave as is. Other items you will have to use your judgment on whether you need them or not. You can always reboot, check to see if things work right, if not, go back into msconfig and reenable the program.
If you don’t need or never use the program, you can simply uninstall it by going to the Control Panel. The Control Panel can usually be found by clicking on the Start/Windows logo button. Once you get into the Control Panel, look for “Add/Remove Programs” if you are using Windows 2000/XP. If you are using Windows Vista/7, look for “Programs and Features” or “Uninstall a program” if in category view. Then select the program from the list and click Uninstall.
Add more RAM (memory)
One of the best things you can do in addition to the above is to add more RAM (Random Access Memory) to your system if you are running anything less than 1GB (1024MB) of RAM. We suggest you have 2GB or more to run Windows Vista/7. However, 1GB of RAM is good for Windows XP depending on what you run in the background. More RAM is never a bad thing and easy to install. Consider that new computers come with 4GB (4096MB) to 8GB (8192MB). A good site to find memory for about any computer is Crucial. Granted, this does require you to physically open the computer and install it onto the motherboard. Be forewarned: Always shutdown and unplug the power cord from the computer. Then, before handling the memory, be sure to discharge any static electricity built up in your body by touching the metal part of the case. You can seriously damage your computer or your new memory if you discharge static electricity into your computer, or power is still applied to the computer when installing.
As always, if you don’t feel comfortable handling any of the above tasks, contact us to schedule a date/time for one of our techs to perform the tasks for you. We are always happy to help you have a better computing experience!
More to come!