The steps jgweed talks about in the Slow Computer Checklist should be part of yor regular maintenance and need to be done. The first three steps relating to anti-virus and anti-malware tools are self-explanatory.
For the others, there are numerous tutorials which you can read and learn how to do them. Learning is part of protecting yourself. If you don't understand something, then you can always ask but you need to at least try. I have posted some more detailed information on these steps with links to tutorials and related information.
Defrag your system
. Disk fragmentation slows the overall performance of your system. When files are fragmented, the computer must search the hard disk when a file is opened. Disk Defragmenter consolidates fragmented files and folders on the hard disk so that each occupies a single space on the disk. This speeds up reading and writing to the disk. Read "The Importance of Disk Defragmentation
" for instructions.
Check for disk errors
by running CHKDSK
can be run from the Recovery Console
, the command prompt
or through the Windows GUI
To run chkdsk from the Win XP GUI
see these instructions
To run chkdsk from the command prompt
see these instructions
To run chkdsk from the Recovery Console
see these instructions
.The problem with running CHKDSK from Win XP is that it will not check files that are being used by Windows. Using chkdsk in the Recovery Console with the /r switch is a way to resolve this.
Check for damaged, altered or missing critical system files
by running the System File Checker
. If SFC discovers that a protected file has been damaged, altered or missing, it restores the correct version of the file from the cache folder. You must be logged on as an administrator or as a member of the Administrators group to run sfc and it may ask you to insert your XP Installation CD so have it available.
Clean up your hard drive
by removing unused programs and transferring old data, pictures, music files to a CD or an external hard drive. When you have moved/saved the files you want to keep, run Disk Cleanup
and let it scan your system for files to remove. "Dont clean out the Prefetch folder" - This is a common myth that will not improve performance.
Check for any unnecessary running services
. If you have a typical installation, many services are configured as "automatic"; that is, they start automatically when the system starts or when the service is called for the first time. Use "Black Viper's Services Configuration
" to help fine tune this area.
Check for any unnecessary applications loading at startup
when Windows boots with MSConfig
. Some startup programs are necessary so be careful what you disable.
If you are unsure what any of the startup entries are or if they are safe to disable, then search one of the following Startup Databases:Startup Programs DatabaseStartupList IndexNote: MSConfig.exe is a troubleshooting utility used to diagnose system configuration issues. Although it works as a basic startup manager which allows you to enable/disable auto-start programs, msconfig should not be used routinely to disable startup programs.
A better alternative is to use a startup manager. If you have have Spybot S&D 1.4
installed, launch it, go to Mode
and select Advanced
. Then go to Tools
, select System Startups
. You will be provided with a list of programs that load when Windows starts. If you untick an entry it will no longer run at startup. This will allow you to experiment and see how your system performs with any of them disabled. Other startup managers you can download and use for free are Startup Control Panel
and Starter by CodeStuff
any third party "Memory Manager
" or "Optimizer
". Windows XP memory management was designed to make the best use of Ram and these memory management utilities defeat that purpose. They push applications out of RAM into the pagefile, creating holes in the RAM and by doing so, slow down your computer.
Disable some visual effects
. While visual embellishments that may be attractive, they dont do anything else for you. Disabling some of them frees up system resources and makes the operating system perform better. Right click My Computer, choose > Properties > Advanced, click on "Settings
" under performance...UNcheck
all the visual effects, except for the last three. Click "Apply", then "OK", then "OK" again. Then right click your desktop and choose > Properties > Appearance > "Effects
the first two boxes and hit "OK".