Please read how to fix a slow computer Part 1 before going any further, that is where we discussed RAM, Virtual Memory and ReadyBoost.
The next process we would like to accomplish is freeing up space on our hard drive. If you have a hard drive that is over 75% full I would suggest upgrading your hard drive to a larger one. A 500GB hard drive sells for under $80USD in most retail outlets. To free up space on your existing C:\ drive please do the following:
For Windows XP users Click Start | click Control Panel | click Add Remove Programs, then start uninstalling applications that you never use.
For Windows Vista users Click Start | Click Control Panel | on the left column click Classic View | Click Programs And Features, then start uninstalling any unwanted software applications. For example if you don’t use any of the games your computer came with start by deleting those.
Now that we have uninstalled all the applications we no longer require, let’s move on to cleaning most of the crap out of our system. When we surf the internet a lot of files are cached locally to our computer for fasting loading the next time we visit the web site. When you load an application like Microsoft Word for example a lot of files are cached to the prefetch folder for faster load times etc. The quickest way to delete these unwanted files is by using a software program that will do it for us. The best program I have found on the market for this procedure is CCleaner. I call the program Crap Cleaner because it does just that, cleans the crap from your system. The best thing about it is it saves you time and it is Free. If you would like to do the steps manually please do the following:
Before continuing any further let’s make sure your system is setup to view all files. To accomplish this do the following: Go into control panel and click on “folder options”. In the folder options window click on, “View”. Place a check mark in “show hidden files and folders”. Uncheck “Hide extensions for known file types”. Now you will be able to see file extensions on your computer and view hidden files and folders.
For Windows XP users – Right Click Start | Click Explore | Click Username | Click Local Settings | Once you are in local settings you will see two folders, one is labeled Temp and the other is labeled Temporary Internet Files. Open up these folders and delete everything inside of them. There may be one or two files that you will not be able to delete, don’t worry about it. You will also see a History Folder, it is safe to delete everything in it also. Next, open up the windows folder and scroll down to Prefetch, open it up and delete everything in it.
For Windows Vista users – Right click Start | select Explore All Users | select Users | select Username | select AppData | select Local | once in this folder you will see a folder labeled Temp, delete everything in this folder. Next click on the Windows folder, scroll down to the Prefetch folder and delete everything in it. Scroll down to the Temp folder and delete everything in it.
Now that we have deleted most of the temp files on our system it is time to start cleaning up the needless start up items we have installed. To do this do the following: Press the windows logo key on your keyboard and at the same time press the R key. This will bring up the run command box. In the Run box type in the following: “msconfig” and press enter on the keyboard. Once the System Configuration Utility has launched click on Startup. Uncheck any items that you do not want to load at startup. It is usually safe to uncheck items such as Adobe Version Cue, Cyberllink Power Cinema, Bluetooth software if you are not using Bluetooth devices and the GoogleToolbarNotifier. Don’t worry about making a mistake here, you can always put a checkmark back in the option if the software is needed. When you are finished making adjustments Windows will notify you that the system needs to be restarted for the changes to take effect. Go ahead and restart the system.
When the system has loaded I would suggest using the system for a while to determine if your settings are correct. If the settings are correct go ahead and create another restore point on your computer. We discussed how to create a restore point in Part 1 of how to fix a slow computer.
One more minor tweak before we move on to part 3 of our tutorial. We can get rid of all the visual effects rather easily which will speed things up. For Windows XP users do the following: Click Start | Right click My Computer | Select Properties | Click Advanced | under Performance, click Settings | Choose Adjust for best performance.
Windows Vista users do the following: Click Start | Right Click Computer | on the left pane select Advanced system settings | under Performance click Settings | Choose Adjust for best performance.
Now that we removed all the crap from our system let’s move on to the third part of how to fix a slow computer