Welcome to my World

This blog is filled with the things I love. Family, Nature, gardening, my pets, cooking in the fireplace, all things vintage, and the simple pleasures in life. Being a farmgirl at heart, I consider myself a 'Modern Day Laura'

Friday, April 27, 2012

Speeding up your Computer

Don't believe the hype! Computer makers want us to believe that we need a new computer every few years, need the latest operating system or new Office program. YOU DON'T. If your computer fills your needs, and the programs you have currently work for you, then you DON'T need the latest version of anything! After all, they want to make money! I spent a little over $100.00 (and I was lucky to get it that cheap), for a student version of 2007 MS Office for my business. It's the same as the 'regular' MS Office version, and I don't even know what the difference is. Why spend hundreds of dollars? Do you think I bought the 2012 version? No way. The programs work great for me, and who needs more functions every year released with a new version anyway? I don't think I use half of the functions I have on my 2007 version as it is. The point is, if it works for you, then it's all good. I want to share with you how to maintain your computer, because new is not always better, your just filling the pockets of the big corporations.

We all go through it, the computer starts running slow, taking forever to start-up, or a program to load. You want to throw the computer across the room. You don’t need to pay someone to speed up your computer, you can do it yourself. Just follow the steps below. If your computer is still not running right after you do this, there may be another issue that requires a technician.

I’ve had my current computer for 7 years. During this time I’ve spent countless hours on the phone with Dell support (yippee!), and being advised by people who knew about computers. I’ve learned a lot. Eventually my warranty expired. I was on my own. I’m going to share with you what I’ve learned. I’ve used all the steps below and they work. Depending on the operating system you are using, going about the steps may vary, but you will have the same result. At one point I was certain my computer was shot, and after doing a complete overhaul (restoring to factory settings, and only putting back on my computer what I really needed), my computer is running like new!

If you are willing to spend a little time performing the following steps, you’ll be amazed! You do NOT need someone else to do this, unless you simply don’t want to be bothered. If you have any questions, just ask, and I’ll do my best to help.

To restore a computers performance, there are several steps you'll need to take, as there is more than 1 reason your computer is not running right. Between the temp files that build up surfing the web, pictures on the hard drive, programs running, adware, registry errors and more, issues can arise at any time. Give yourself at least an hr or so to do this.

1. CLEANING UP - First clean out your cache, cookies, temp folders. (you can clear out your temp folders 2 ways- either through tools, options- on the homepage of the browser you use or by going to start, run, and type in 'temp'. then erase the files in the temp folder.) If you are not sure how to do this, just google it, as the procedure may differ depending on the operating system you are using.

2. TURNING OFF UNUSED PROGRAMS – (For Windows XP): Go to 'start', 'run', and type in 'msconfig'. When the menu comes up, click on 'start-up', and click on 'disable all', then click ‘ok’… you will probably be prompted to restart your computer. This step alone makes a big difference! The reason we un-check programs in the startup menu, is because the more programs running at the same time when the computer starts up, the slower it runs.

3. EXCELLENT SOFTWARE- There are many programs out there promising to 'fix' your computer. I've tried many. Be aware that some programs will cause conflicts with other programs already installed on your system. Also know that one single program cannot solve all issues. I've found the programs that work well for me and cause no conflicts on my computer. Here's what I use: Malware Bytes (free) & Advanced SystemCare PRO 5 (free for basic version, only 20.00 to upgrade) I use both of these, plus I have AVG (and it’s free). At one point my computer ran so slow, I was sure I needed a new one. It runs great now, and I've had it for 7 yrs. Note: only run one of these programs at a time, or else your computer may freeze, or just take forever to do the scans. I recommend either running a scan with either the Malware Bytes, and then the Advanced System Care to correct inital problems, or you can do this step after you've cleaned up the hard drive and temp files. Remember, every program running uses memory, and the more memory being used, the slower your computer will run.

4. MAKING ROOM - It's also good to make sure that you remove any unused programs and files you don’t need or use. This can free up a lot of space on the hard drive. The less space used, the faster. (in windows XP) go to your control panel and then to add/remove programs'… from there you can see all of the programs on your computer and can decide which ones to keep or remove.

5. PICTURES – We all take a lot of pictures, but pictures can take up a lot of space on your hard drive. I highly recommend buying a flash drive and moving all your (or most of) your pictures onto it.

6. BACKING UP IMPORTANT INFO- Several years ago I started out buying an external hard drive to save copies of everything important on my computer. You never know when your computer will freeze, or totally fail. What a terrible thought, losing important pictures, documents etc, that are stored on your computer! Well, I’ve since filled that external hard drive and don’t even use it anymore. I have since purchased 3 flash drives. You can buy them in various capacities. I have a business, and I have countless files, labels, spreadsheets, etc. The thought of losing it all scares me! Then in my overly cautious mind, I always think, what if…I can throw that hard drive into a fire protected safe and never have to worry. Label every hard drive if needed, and keep them in a safe place.

I’ve used many programs and find that what I use now keeps my computer running great, and there is no conflict (causes freezes, etc). Performing these steps will make a big difference in how your computer runs…. and your computer will start-up faster too.

1 comment:

Candy C. said...

Great info, thanks Connie! :)