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  1. #1

    How to speed up your computer.

    (1) Defragment

    Control Panel > System and Security > Administrative Tools > Defragment and Optimize your drives

    Defragmenting you drives is not necessarily needed because you computer is set to do this automatically, unless your settings have been changed.
    You don't defrag SSDs because SSDs do not suffer from fragmentation errors due to the way data is written to and accessed on a SSD, which is totally different from HDs. Wear due to "excessive" writes was only a problem with initial generation of SSDs. Today's SSDs (especially with modern operating systems) do not suffer from that problem.
    If you are going to defrag an HDD, it is best to do any cleanup first (uninstalling no longer used files, disc cleanup, cleaning temp files)...

    (2) Disk Cleanup

    Control Panel > System and Security > Administrative Tools > Free up disk space (DO NOT clean up system files unless you have 8.1 Installed. It can cause your PC to freeze on configuring Windows Updates as well as not ever finish.)

    Disk Cleanup (cleanmgr.exe) is a computer maintenance utility included in Microsoft Windows designed to free up disk space on a computer's hard drive.
    The utility first searches and analyzes the hard drive for files that are no longer of any use, and then removes the unnecessary files.
    There are a number of different file categories that Disk Cleanup targets when performing the initial disk analysis:

    Temporary Internet files
    Temporary Windows files
    Downloaded program files
    Recycle Bin
    Removal of unused applications or optional Windows Components
    Setup log files
    Off-Line files

    (3) Check for Viruses and Malware

    Some good free versions are included, but not limited to...

    Malwarebytes
    Microsoft Sercurity Essentials
    Windows Defender
    Avast

    (4) Power Options

    Right click the power icon in the lower right corner after you login and see your desktop > Power Options > High Performance
    Pros: Higher performance and brighter screen (for notebooks)...
    Cons: Potential for more heat generation, The CPU fan will turn on more frequently, shorter battery life...

    (5) Be careful of programs you Install

    I know myself from experience that a lot of programs ad "bloatware"... Bloatware is other software added in to the software you were initially trying to install, be careful when Installing programs!
    You have the option not to download bloatware but you have to read the fine print, most of the time... A lot of times bloatware has license agreements that make you think it's the program
    you were trying to install. If you click "Accept and download" after you have already clicked it once (the first time for the actual program, usually), more then likely you installed bloatware...
    Last edited by Corrine; 01-19-2014 at 10:33 AM. Reason: Add iJoshstephen's changes
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  2. #2
    x BlueRobot's Avatar
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    Re: How to speed up your computer.

    If you change the Power options to High Performance, then your going to reduce the battery life of your laptop much more quickly.

    For the point about changing the Startup items, it would be best if you added a note regarding which items should be left enabled, otherwise people will end up disabling the trackpad on their laptop etc.
    Last edited by x BlueRobot; 01-11-2014 at 09:14 AM.
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  3. #3

    Re: How to speed up your computer.

    I would assume anybody with common sense would know the high performance option would drain your battery faster, but then again there are many people lacking that type of sense. You are definitely right about the startup items part though. It was one of my tutorials and I rushed it, what can I say? I would also assume most people would also scroll down to see our replies. Thanks for the feedback.

  4. #4

    Re: How to speed up your computer.

    Respectfully of course, especially in regards to tutorials, assumption is not always the safe route. You have to take into account that the target audience most likely reading 'How to speed up your computer' is reading it because they don't know how, and would like to know.

    When a user reads:

    Right click the power icon in the lower right corner of your screen > Power Options > High Performance
    There are no pros & cons discussed, so said user may just automatically assume it provides nothing but a performance benefit and there are no cons.

    I think you should go into detail, and explain not just why these methods are good for speeding up your computer, but how + the pros & cons.

    Regards,

    Patrick

  5. #5

    Re: How to speed up your computer.

    Good thinking.

  6. #6
    Corrine's Avatar
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    Re: How to speed up your computer.

    Adding my thoughts:

    Defragment -- Defragging isn't generally needed often on new operating systems and it is generally not recommended for SSD’s (Solid State Hard Drives) since an SSD wears down every time they are written accessed. If you are going to defrag an HDD, it is best to do any cleanup first -- uninstalling no longer used files, disc cleanup, cleaning temp files (I recommend Temp File Cleaner TFC by OldTimer. It will clear out all temp folders for all user accounts (temp, IE temp, java, FF, Opera, Chrome, Safari), including Administrator, All Users, LocalService, NetworkService, and any other accounts in the user folder. It also cleans out the %systemroot%\temp folder and checks for .tmp files in the %systemdrive% root folder, %systemroot%, and the system32 folder (both 32bit and 64bit on 64bit OSs). It shows the amount removed for each location found (in bytes) and the total removed (in MB).

    Disc Cleanup -- Since you mentioned

    [Most everything is compatible with 7 or below there are Just different ways of doing it.]
    I'll add for Windows 7 users: Until KB 2852386 was released for Windows 7, it was not advisable to mess with the C:\Windows\Winsxs folder. However, that optional update changed the Disk Cleanup wizard to provide the ability to delete superseded Windows updates in Windows 7 SP1, reducing the space used by the WinSxS ("Windows Side by Side") folder. (More at Improvement to Windows 7 SP1 Disk Cleanup).

    Msconfig -- Msconfig was never intended as a permanent solution to removing programs from start up. It is meant for troubleshooting. Using WinPatrol provides the ability to safely remove programs from start up as well as easily adding them back in if desired. WinPatrol is compatible with Windows 8/8.1.
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  7. #7

    Re: How to speed up your computer.

    Ah, yes, that's also very important what Corrine mentioned in regards to msconfig. Another great alternative is Autoruns - Autoruns for Windows
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  8. #8
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    Re: How to speed up your computer.

    Just to add a few comments on Corrine's post re defrag/disk cleanup:

    The bigger the hard drive and the more drive space there, is, the less you need to think about defragging on a modern system. On a large modern drive with ~50% free space, a manual defrag 2x a year should be ample; if you use W7 or later, the default auto defrag will do fine.

    As a general guideline, keep drive free space greater than 25%, especially for the System (Windows) drive and smaller capacity (say sub 250GB) drives. Once the largest contiguous free space size is less than the largest fragmented file size, a full defrag becomes impossible or bogs down the system for a very long time.

    For road warriors/metered users, fully cleaning the web browser cache before hitting the road can be a bad move for the wallet as well as initial browsing times on regularly used web sites. Browsers cache files that are infrequently modified - so they don't need to be re-downloaded each time you visit and to reduce the time needed to display the site. Better to reduce your browser cache storage size to say 250-400MB and set the the browser(s) to check for changed files automatically.
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  9. #9
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    Re: How to speed up your computer.

    My 3 cents:

    Defragging - First and foremost, manual defragging with W7 and W8 should NEVER be needed - IF the user didn't dink with the W7 and W8 settings and [hopefully] left the default settings alone!

    By default, W7 and W8 run scheduled defragging on hard drives weekly. And not only that, but W7 and W8 use their various "fetch" routines to work in conjunction with Windows defragger to arrange the files and programs YOU (the user) use during your normal computing sessions. This action "optimizes" Windows and program load times so your computer boots faster and loads your favorite programs faster. Since this is done with the native Windows defragger only, the use of 3rd party defraggers should be discouraged. They (3rd party defraggers) do not work with Windows to optimize YOUR programs. And because 3rd party defraggers are not needed, they also waste disk space.

    It should be noted while a 3rd party defragger may(??) be a little more efficient at defragging, that advantage is quickly negated as soon as you start using the computer again as new files (especially lots of temp files) are saved, and old files modified.

    Quote Originally Posted by Corrine
    Defragging ... is generally not recommended for SSD’s (Solid State Hard Drives) since an SSD wears down every time they are written accessed.
    That certainly used to be true, Corrine, but not any longer. With today's generation SSD's, increased wear due to a limited number of writes is no longer a problem or concern. But you still don't defrag SSDs because is it is simply not necessary. Fragmentation does not cause problems with SSDs due to the way data is accessed - which is electronically through data circuits; not a mechanical arm that must move into position.

    With a hard drive, the read/write (R/W) head physically moves across the platters. Fragmented files forces the R/W head to jump back and forth to pick up the scattered fragments. This can significantly impact performance, increase heat generation and wear and tear on the drive's arm motor.

    With a SSD, data is directly accessed electronically so scattered fragments are picked up just as quickly as sequentially saved fragments.

    With W7 and W8 scheduled defragging on SSDs is automatically disabled when the SSD is detected. On hard drives, unless the user manually changed the settings, W7 and W8 perform scheduled defragging weekly anyway.

    Finally, the reality is (as alluded to by both Corrine and satrow), larger drives suffer much less from fragmentation issues than smaller drives because they tend to have much more free space available. The reality is, if your hard drive is so heavily fragmented that defragging actually provides significant performance gains, it most likely means you really need to be looking at adding more disk space - either by adding drives, replacing with larger drives, or uninstalling user installed programs that are not being used.

    Quote Originally Posted by Corrine
    Msconfig -- Msconfig was never intended as a permanent solution to removing programs from start up. It is meant for troubleshooting.
    Exactly! You should not disable items in MSCONFIG except during troubleshooting. And then you should change them back when done. That said, while many things loaded when Windows starts can affect performance, the reality is those items (if behaving properly) should only impact boot times, then step way back into the background, consuming a minimum amount of RAM and 0 CPU cycles - until needed.

    If too many items loading at boot significantly impacts your performance, it typically is a sign you have a small amount of RAM and you need to add more (or one of those startup programs is misbehaving).
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  10. #10
    x BlueRobot's Avatar
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    Re: How to speed up your computer.

    Just to add, if your disabling startup programs because you don't need them, why don't you just remove the program completely? You may wish to add a point about factory bloatware, and watching out for installers which come bundled with bloatware.
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  11. #11
    Digerati's Avatar
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    Re: How to speed up your computer.

    You may wish to add a point about factory bloatware, and watching out for installers which come bundled with bloatware.
    Excellent point! When installing ANYTHING, users should ALWAYS select the "custom install" option, then carefully step though each install page and uncheck any option that wants to install (foist on your system) some toolbar, download manager, browser add-on, or other program you don't need (bloat).

    I appreciate program developers (especially for free programs) need to feed and shelter their families too and therefore, I "tolerate" those install routines that want to add (foist) extra stuff (bloat and "fluff") when presented with "1" page of options. But sadly, there are some that go too far (IMO) and force users through several pages (often with very cryptic or hidden options). See my 2nd post in this Wilder's Security thread to see what I mean.
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  12. #12
    x BlueRobot's Avatar
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    Re: How to speed up your computer.

    Sometimes they'll simply add a list of programs which will come bundled in the terms and conditions, so there able to bundle in the additional programs without notifying the user, and not break any legislation. This has happened to me before.
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  13. #13
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    Re: How to speed up your computer.

    If a program adds fluff and bloatware without informing the user, or without providing an easy means for the user to opt-out of said junk, I immediately uninstall the program and all the fluff, and then add that program to my "do NOT recommend" list. Egregious offenders get added to my "programs to avoid" list.
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  14. #14
    x BlueRobot's Avatar
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    Re: How to speed up your computer.

    iJoshstephen are you going to update the original post?
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  15. #15

    Re: How to speed up your computer.

    I can't, it doesn't have the option to...

  16. #16

    Re: How to speed up your computer.

    Is there no 'Edit post' button next to 'Reply' under your original post? If not, I believe I may have found a bug and/or vB related issue if you cannot edit your post.

  17. #17

    Re: How to speed up your computer.

    Quote Originally Posted by Patrick View Post
    Is there no 'Edit post' button next to 'Reply' under your original post? If not, I believe I may have found a bug and/or vB related issue if you cannot edit your post.
    There is no edit post button.

  18. #18

    Re: How to speed up your computer.

    Okay, something I'll need to bring up with Staff then.

    Anyway, in the mean time, you can either create a new thread with your more revised version of the original, or you can write it up, PM me, and I'll edit it into your post. I think a new thread will be better off.

    Regards,

    Patrick

  19. #19
    Digerati's Avatar
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    Re: How to speed up your computer.

    Okay, something I'll need to bring up with Staff then.
    Pretty sure the site software only allows post edits for a few minutes after originally posting, or maybe until someone else posts a reply. I don't believe it is a bug, but a setting.

    The problem with editing original posts is no email notifications are sent out to inform thread participants of any changes.
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  20. #20
    x BlueRobot's Avatar
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    Re: How to speed up your computer.

    Quote Originally Posted by Digerati View Post
    Okay, something I'll need to bring up with Staff then.
    Pretty sure the site software only allows post edits for a few minutes after originally posting, or maybe until someone else posts a reply. I don't believe it is a bug, but a setting.

    The problem with editing original posts is no email notifications are sent out to inform thread participants of any changes.
    It's not a bug, it's a setting like you have said. I've seen this same behavior on other forums. If someone else or you don't write another post then you can still edit your post, otherwise the editing option disappears. I think it's so the other people within the thread always get notifications of any changes you've made, or any updates to your problem.
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