Restore Your PC's PerformanceJennifer Martinez
Over time, you may find yourself wondering if your PC is running slower. Here’s why it might happen and what you can do about it.
Causes of System Slowdowns
Your PC may have come with one or two applications. Now, it may have dozens, and a hard drive full of files. Every added application and file can increase start-up and shut-down times and slow overall performance.
Many applications that communicate over the Internet, such as security programs and email programs, automatically launch upon start-up. The more applications you have, the longer it takes.
Many applications run in the background while you work, and often need to communicate with the hard drive. They may create a bottleneck at your PCs input/output (I/O) controller, or take time searching for free space on a large, crowded hard drive.
The more you use the Internet, the more you expose your PC to unwanted applications, such as viruses, spyware, adware or other forms of malicious code. This malware may be causing the biggest drain on your computer of all, degrading performance of applications you want to run, slowing your computer to a crawl and subjecting your computer to control of botnets and subjecting you to possible identity theft.
More Memory -- The Miracle Cure
The single most effective -- and cost-effective -- way to restore your PC’s performance is to add system memory. Increased system memory will make system crashes less likely, and will noticeably speed up:
Application launch, performance and exit
System shut down
Buying and Installing Memory
Although memory prices fluctuate, you can probably double your system’s memory for under $50 if you install it yourself. A computer retailer or service center can do it for you, but the simple installation may cost more than the actual memory. To install PC memory:
Choose the right memory type and size for your system. Memory retailers, whether online or in-store, can tell you which kind is right for you.
Use an anti-static wrist cuff, available for about $15 from memory dealers or electronics stores.
Follow the instructions that come with your memory and with your PC.
Additional Performance Enhancers
There are several other steps you can take to speed up your PC:
If an application icon appears in the lower right corner of your screen, right-click it and see if it allows you to exit the application or set it so that it doesn’t launch at startup.
Keep updated security software on your PC to protect it from viruses, adware, spyware and other malware that can slow your system and corrupt your important files.
Set virus scans, backups, Windows updates, and other automated processes to run at times when you’re not using your PC.
Upgrade to a hard drive with a faster RPM speed.
Keep your system tuned. Regularly perform Disk Cleanup and Disk Defragment (Start Menu/Programs/Accessories/System Tools) and remove unused files and applications from your hard drive.
Any PC can start running slower over time. By adding system memory, updating your security software and keeping your system tuned, you can restore your PC performance.
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