Cleaning a Slow Computer. Make My Computer Faster!

Update: Some software on the market is actually a good thing to have. I'll be setting up a few "Do IT Yourself" guides as well as a couple of "Computer Boot Camp" lessons on how to keep your computer running as quick as it can. The Boot Camp series will be the best practices to follow once you have your Do IT Yourself PC Cleaned up!

As a tech I have seen all kinds of software claiming to make your PC run faster. From As Seen On TV to Local Geek companies installing programs that do what any tech can do in less than 15 minutes.
And you can do it too. Why not learn a few of the simple steps and best practices to keeping your computer clean?

Now, I'm not going to knock any of these online internet fix my pc sites but I will point out what you can do that might save you a few dollars and keep your computer running smooth.

By the way, I do remove all third party "Make My PC Faster" type of programs because they typically cause issues later down the road for us techs when we need to troubleshoot issues.

Most of the online downloads that offer computer speed increases are really not advertising correctly.
Your computer speed is determined by a balance of CPU, Memory and Drive. CPU Power, Amount of Memory, Seek Time and Transfer Time for hard drives.

Note: No software on the market is going to make Hardware faster.

Questions

1. What do these programs clean?
Typically these download programs will clean up:


Windows Registry
Temporary Internet Files
Temp Files
Internet Cached Files
Empty the Recycle Bin
Check OS (Windows) updates installed
Defragmentation of your Hard Drives if needed.
Create a Registry Backup
Clean out or clean up your Startup Items in only your Startup Folder


Depending on what service you use there could be a few more or less operations that are conducted.

Doing these operations do have computer performance benefits but do not Speed up your computer they just help keep your computer running at the Speed it was when you first purchased it.

Let me define a few words that marketing people use that are misused most times.

In Computer Terms here's what Technicians say.
Speed = "Speed is used to describe Transfer Speed or Hardware Speed."

Example:
The Speed of your downloads are 248Kbps.
The Speed of your Hard Drive is 7200 RPM.
Your Memory Speed is 333Mhz.
Your Slot Bus Speed is 133Mhz.

Fast = "Used to describe the offer all performance of a computer". Fast is a word used when we techs describe the Speed, Time and Performance of a computer with a single word.

Time = "Used to describe the process speed or performance".
We use Time to measure Program Response Time which would be called also "Quickness" of a computer.

Hard drive Seek Time is the time it takes your hard drive to find the information stored on it.
The Time you click Start to the time you see your start menu is also Time called Operating System Response Time.
Programs that open quickly have a short Load Time.

We use Time to determine computer issues most times..

Ok, now that I have set the definitions lets look at what makes things "Fast" and what makes things "Slow".

Disk Fragmentation:
This is a killer for laptops using 5400 RPM hard drives with seek times of 11ms or greater.
When your hard drive is fragmented it means your files, applications, etc are split up on different sections of the hard drive.
Here's a simple way to look at it.
If you store Music and have 1,000 iTunes in a single folder. When you create sub folders then copy over the Music to these subfolders you add to the location of where these files are stored.
Now you go back and start deleting the files you had in the large folder. Now you start to fragment the hard drive because you are taking out a part kind of in the middle.

If you do this hundreds of times your hard drive will be fragmented.
Your computer will start responding slowly even if it's not slow only because the hard drive has to "Seek" more for the files you want to use. This Seek is measured in Time.
Most people say "It's Looking" when they see the hour glass. It's actually Seeking and the longer you see the hour glass the longer time.
This has nothing to do with anything more than your hard drive.
Defrag is a standard feature which anyone can do anytime.

Next up is Program Removal.

Read 1st PC Tune-up

Wednesday May 2 2012
Speed up your PC, "Download Now"! Do you really know what you are downloading? Taking shortcuts when it comes to cleaning up your computers files, folders, registry, applications and software can and often will lead to problems down the road. Be sure you know what you are downloading before you click install.

Advanced XP Fixer

Tuesday Jul 26 2011
Advanced XP Fixer Removal. If you slipped up and installed the Advanced XP Fixer you are only looking for more headaches then you really want.

What is SGTRAY.EXE

Thursday Jul 14 2011
What is SGTRAY.EXE? Are you having any problems? For those that are not familiar with Veritas software you might find a small little program running in the background after installing Veritas backup software or other software like..

Remove Registry Items

Thursday May 19 2011
How to remove registry items correctly. Start up applications User RUN registry entry. Learning how to carefully remove items from your registry takes time and a little guts. You can completely hammer your computer if you don't take your time. Here I'll show you how to remove a single startup item from the REG RUN folder.

Check Disk chkdisk

Wednesday May 18 2011
Chkdsk /f Runs on Startup XP Vista every time. I have had a work station that has run Chkdsk every time since I replaced the drive. The reason I replaced the drive was because XP was finding drive errors or what we call sector errors and was not able to repair them.

Registry Cleaners

Wednesday Oct 21 2009
Registry Cleaner Windows Registry Clean XP, Vista, Windows 7 Registry Cleaning software often times offers enough features to clean up nearly all the points that might be slowing your system down during startup. Also it is the perfect method of clearing out hard to find startup programs.

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As a tech I have seen all kinds of software claiming to make your PC run faster. From As Seen On TV to Local Geek companies installing programs that do what any tech can do in less than 15 minutes. And you can do it too. Why not learn a few of the simple steps and best practices to keeping your computer clean?