Uninstall Old Programs
Click your start button, then head to Control Panel- Add/Remove Programs.
Here you will see a list of programs that are installed on your machine.
Read through the list and uninstall any programs you no longer need. If you
aren't sure what something is, it is best to leave it for now. You can use
an internet search engine to find out about it later.
Clean Out your Web Browser's Cache
Many people fail to realize their browser usually keeps a record of the
sites that they visit daily. You may want to get rid of this for several
reasons. For the purpose of this article, we want to get rid of all the
temporary files, history and cookies. You need to know beforehand that a
full clean-up may get rid of some of your saved usernames for specific
sites. Internet Explorer users should click, Tools, Internet Options, and
the General Tab(Default). Here you can delete your cookies, delete your
temporary files, and clear your history.
Scan your computer for Spyware and Adware
This is by far the most common problem I encounter. If you constantly get
pop-up windows from sites you have never visited, you may be infected.
Spyware and Adware are programs installed on your computer that track the
sites you visit and send you unsolicited ads related to your frequently
visited sites. You should download two programs to remove these programs;
Spybot Search and Destroy and Ad-Aware. You can find both of these programs
by visiting www.download.com and searching for their names. After
downloading and installing the programs, make sure you run them. You may be
surprised by what is installed on your computer without your consent.
Update and Run Your Virus Scan Software
Make sure you have virus scan software on your computer. If you don't,
McAfee offers a free program you can use over the net. Visit http://www.mcafee.com
and click "Home and Home Office". If you already have virus scanning
software, update it, and run a full check
Double-click your My Computer icon on the desktop. From their, right click
your hard drive(c: is the default), select Properties, then select the Tool
tab. Now you need to select Check Now in the error checking section. Once
you click "Check Now" a small window will pop-up. Check the "Automatically
fix the system errors" box and hit the Start button. Follow the instructions
your system gives you from this point.
Run Disk Defragmenter
This is by far the longest step in this article. I suggest you perform this
procedure last. It may be best for you to let this program run overnight or
while you are at work. Over time, the information on your hard drive may
become fragmented. Imagine being assigned a file clerk position at your job.
Would it be faster and easier if the files you need to sort/retrieve are all
in one location and alphabetized? Or, would it be easier for you to randomly
look for the files all over the office?
Sometimes your computer needs to "look for files all over the office".
Defragmenting your hard drive will correct this problem. To run this program,
double click My Computer, and right click your hard drive (c: is the default)
and select Properties. From the Properties window, select the Tools tab and
click Defragment Now. You can also click the Start Button- Programs-
Accessories- System Tools. Make sure you run ScanDisk before you run Disk
There may be errors on your hard drive that need to be fixed before you
defragment. I would hate for you to run this program, head to work, and find
out the program stopped on its own once you get home.
These are just a few things that you can do to boost your PC performance. If
you would like further tips and tricks, visit www.24-7computers.com.
About the Author
Willie Long is the webmaster at www.24-7computers.com. He has 8+ years
experience working in the Information Technology field.