4 ways to speed up your computer’s performance

August 16, 2007

Free Up Disk Space

By freeing disk space, you can improve the performance of your computer. The Disk Cleanup tool helps you free up space on your hard disk. The utility identifies files that you can safely delete, and then enables you to choose whether you want to delete some or all of the identified files.

Use Disk Cleanup to:

Remove temporary Internet files.
Remove downloaded program files (such as Microsoft ActiveX controls and Java applets).
Empty the Recycle Bin.
Remove Windows temporary files.
Remove optional Windows components that you don’t use.
Remove installed programs that you no longer use.

Tip: Typically, temporary Internet files take the most amount of space because the browser caches each page you visit for faster access later.

To use Disk Cleanup

1. Click Start, point to All Programs, point to Accessories, point to System Tools, and then click Disk Cleanup. If several drives are available, you might be prompted to specify which drive you want to clean.

Disk Cleanup dialog box

Disk Cleanup calculates the amount of space you will be able to free.

After a few minutes, the process completes and the Disk Cleanup dialog box closes, leaving your computer cleaner and performing better.

Speed Up Access to Data

Disk fragmentation slows the overall performance of your system. When files are fragmented, the computer must search the hard disk when the file is opened to piece it back together. The response time can be significantly longer.

Disk Defragmenter is a Windows utility that consolidates fragmented files and folders on your computer’s hard disk so that each occupies a single space on the disk. With your files stored neatly end-to-end, without fragmentation, reading and writing to the disk speeds up.

When to Run Disk Defragmenter

In addition to running Disk Defragmenter at regular intervals, optimally monthly, certain events warrant running the utility outside of the monthly rule of thumb.

You should run Disk Defragmenter under the following circumstances:

You add a large number of files.
Your free disk space nears 15 percent.
You install new programs or a new version of Windows.

To use Disk Defragmenter:

1. Click Start, point to All Programs, point to Accessories, point to System Tools, and then click Disk Defragmenter.

Disk Defragmenter dialog box

Click Analyze to start the Disk Defragmenter.

Detect and Repair Disk Errors

In addition to running Disk Cleanup and Disk Defragmenter to optimize the performance of your computer, you can check the integrity of the files stored on your hard disk by running the Error Checking utility.

As you use your hard drive, it can develop bad sectors. Bad sectors slow down hard disk performance and sometimes make data writing (such as file saving) difficult, or even impossible. The Error Checking utility scans the hard drive for bad sectors, and scans for file system errors to see whether certain files or folders are misplaced.

If you use your computer daily, you should try to run this utility weekly to help prevent data loss.

To run the Error Checking utility:

Important: Be sure to close all files before running the Error-Checking utility.

1. Click Start, and then click My Computer.

3 Responses to “4 ways to speed up your computer’s performance”

  1. genre Says:

    Most often the HDDs end up being treated like a closet, where everything is dumped. And when large files like video and music get stored and deleted often, the drive will get fragmented leading to slowdowns and other reliability issues. The disease has to be treated before it proliferates and the drive runs out of free space.

  2. Blackdart Says:

    Defrag regularly to maintain hard drive performance. Try a good defragger like Diskeeper that is easy to use and has intelligent automated operation so that a defrag is one less thing to worry about.

  3. Kevin Says:

    One other good way I have found to speed up my machine (vista) is to turn off all of the visual effects in “advanced system settings.” While the visual effects do liven windows up somewhat, none are necessary, and they do sap away at the machines overall speed. I am a medium-experienced user, and was hoping to find some magic remedies to my painfully slow machine. (inspiron 1525) Although obvious, these 4 actions are indeed a good way of keeping your machine up to speed and healthy! Also, disable ANY un-necessary “startup programs” these cain your ram, and i find that the majority of the crap that would like to run every time i switch my machine on, is completely un-needed for me! k

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