Speeding up your computer

Discussion in 'Computing and Networks' started by Duane P Wetick, Apr 2, 2010.

  1. Duane P Wetick

    Thread Starter Active Member

    Apr 23, 2009
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    I would like some ideas on speeding up one's computer by deleting files, add-ons, cookies and other junk that just slow everything down. Doing this weekly or a daily cleanout plan will help. Any working rituals will be appreciated.
     
  2. BMorse

    Senior Member

    Sep 26, 2009
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    keeping temporary files and add-ons deleted would be a good start, and also running defrag would also help in speeding things up..... there is usually a lot of programs that reside in the system tray that run when the system is started (such as OpenOffice Quickstarter, Winzip, Messenger, Yahoo addons, etc.), some of these can be turned off if not always used, this could also speed up startup time and also alleviate extra burden on the processor while trying to do other things....

    B. Morse
     
  3. rjenkins

    AAC Fanatic!

    Nov 6, 2005
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    Number one is reduce the size of Internet Explorer's cache.

    On older versions that defaulted to something like a third of the disk space..
    Even the newer versions use something like 80MB.

    Clear it and put it down to 10MB or so.

    Useful utilities: 'Spybot Search & Destroy', 'Innovative System Optimizer' and CCleaner.

    Spybot can block web sites that host malware, as well as doing as scan on demand to make sure there are no nasties on your machine. It also deletes temp files before scanning to save time.

    System Optimizer can clean duff entries out of the registry, which fixes no end of odd problems and slowdowns. It also has a startup program manager so you can disable any unwanted junk addons or unwanted system tray items, plus other tools.

    CCleaner is a temporary file deleter.

    One of the big problems with Windows (other than the registry) is that directories are created and extended into whatever free space is on the hard drive. They end up scattered all over it.

    Normal defrags generally don't fix this. The only one I know that definitely can is 'Diskeeper'. That has an option to do a defrag while the machine is starting, before Windows runs and locks the directories. It can also optimise the swapfile & MFT, which all together can have quite an effect.
     
  4. retched

    AAC Fanatic!

    Dec 5, 2009
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    Not using windows is the biggest leap in speed I have ever seen.
     
  5. Duane P Wetick

    Thread Starter Active Member

    Apr 23, 2009
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    That might be ok for you but 99% of the rest of the world uses windows. Maybe the new Ipad will change everything. The problem with all suggestions received so far is: How do implement them? Defrag? Does that run on XP? How do you reduce the size of the cache? And so forth.

    Regards, DPW [ Everything has limitations...and I hate limitations.]
     
  6. retched

    AAC Fanatic!

    Dec 5, 2009
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    You can still use windows software, and I do. I have no problems with and am not anti-microsoft. I was just blown away by a dual boot experiment Ive done with Ubuntu. I know many people would rather use 100 megs of drive space for music of video or IE cache, than to try a dual boot scenario. You can use XWindows and WINE to run any windows programs you require. I have them set up on my desktop and they load just as seamlessly as any native software.

    It would make no sense to run an operating system that would keep me from 99% of the rest of the world. So I dont. But I have also found that it makes no sense to run an OS that consumes 60% or more of my computers resources just to sit still.

    Until Windows 7, (Including XP and Vista) the resource grab was huge. I have heard from a few Windows 7 users that it is a very good upgrade and is very powerful without using nearly as many resources as previous releases.

    If your system is getting up in years, and you want to regain the speed of your processor back, I would give a dual boot a try. OR you can boot from CD and see what I mean. No harm done. You will loose nothing. You can open and edit all of your old documents.

    Many people (As I did) dont want to have to ask for help when starting a Linux distribution, but If you are already asking for how to speed up your system, this is not much of a difference.

    The navigation is the same and you will be quite familiar with function.

    As you may know, LTSpice has no Linux version, I use it daily as well as many other Windows only packages.
     
  7. retched

    AAC Fanatic!

    Dec 5, 2009
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    As for your questions. To change your cache size in IE,
    In your tools menu, select internet options.
    In the Internet Options window, you will see an area for Cleaning or Emptying cache.
    Cache size is also located there. There is a box where you can change the cache size.

    For your Defrag in XP, Click START, PROGRAMS, ACCESSORIES.
    Under ACCESSORIES, you will see Disk Defragmenter. Click on it.

    When the window opens, you can select the disk or disks you wish to defragment. Select the disk with the system installed (Typically C: ) and depending on your version, you may have some options for how 'deep' you wish to defrag. For first time use, I would start at night before bedtime and select the slowest most thorough option. This can take a few hours, especially it the drive is large and has been in use for a few years.
     
  8. SgtWookie

    Expert

    Jul 17, 2007
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    I cheat :)

    When I partitioned my drive, I set aside a good chunk for drive C, but also several other drives.

    My OS is on C:

    D: is just 4GB; the only thing on it is the Windows page file; and it's a fixed size, 3x my memory. Not a chance of it getting fragmented. Every once in a while, I'll set it to 0 bytes, re-boot, then set it back to 3x my memory size.

    E: is just for the internet cache. I don't care how badly it gets messed up or fragmented. It sure makes it easy to clean up after MSIE.

    F: is for my applications. Most people just take the default and install everything on C:. Well, with all of the upgrades going on, I don't have to worry so much about doing a major defrag, as the only thing on C: is the OS anyway.

    G: is just a 750mb space I have set up for composing CDs before burning them. At the time I set it up, that was the standard CD size. It just made it easier to have a dedicated partition for that purpose.

    H: is where I store all of my downloaded datasheets and other misc stuff.

    Takes a bit of extra playing around when setting up your drives, but I've been doing it this way since when the biggest drive you could get was 340MB, and FAT-32 was not yet available.
     
  9. kubeek

    AAC Fanatic!

    Sep 20, 2005
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    Sgt: why do you still use MSIE?
     
  10. SgtWookie

    Expert

    Jul 17, 2007
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    I don't.
    I'm using Google Chrome.

    I partitioned the drive when I WAS still using MSIE.
    The only time I DO use MSIE is when I'm forced to do so - like on Microsoft's support site.
     
  11. Wendy

    Moderator

    Mar 24, 2008
    20,765
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    I also cheat. I have removable hard drive bays, and several hard drives. If the urge hits I'll add another hard drive to my library, something like Linux. I have one set up for video digitization that has been optimized for that application. When the video file is created I move it to another computer using my house network.
     
  12. kohlrak

    New Member

    Apr 7, 2010
    14
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    When it comes to HD usage relating to speed of computer, all i can say is correlation does not imply causation. So...

    1. Defragging is nice if you're using NTFS.

    2. If you see your HD light come on when switching between programs (not starting up programs or saving files) then you're swapping/paging alot, which means you don't have enough ram to do what you do. Consider adding ram.

    3. If that isn't enough, consider CPU or GPU upgrade. If your problem is games, then you want to upgrade the GPU. If your problem is the internet, then try messing with the CPU (which is harder, so don't mess with that unless you know what you're doing).

    4. Windows specifically has a round robin approach. This means that most programs get their own fair share of cycles, whether they need them or not. So, closing programs you're not using is a real bonus. Consider closing programs that you may not see on your desktop as well.

    5. (Last ditch attempt, but definitely the most effective) Consider alternative programs.
     
  13. Duane P Wetick

    Thread Starter Active Member

    Apr 23, 2009
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    Very good suggestions from everyone...keep them coming.

    Regards, DPW [ Everything has limitations...and I hate limitations.]
     
  14. kohlrak

    New Member

    Apr 7, 2010
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    I'm not sure there's much more you can do safely... Well, aside from google searching "performance glitches" or something like that (to sort out weird bugs like windows only ever using 1 core or something like that). It would certainly help to know what the bottleneck of your computer is. When do you notice the slowdown that you're trying to improve?
     
  15. retched

    AAC Fanatic!

    Dec 5, 2009
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    If you are using XP, one BIG speed increase is to shut off all the pretty stuff.

    Every time I set up an XP box, the FIRST thing I do, Is go into the Display and performance options and select "For Best Performance".

    There are quite a bit of resource using stuff you dont need. For instance:

    Drop shadow under mouse pointer.... jeez...

    The computational power required to recognize and shadow a possible of 16 million different colors as the mouse scrolls...

    And Outline while dragging. Instead of seeing a dimmed out version of the "stuff" you are dragging, you can see just an outline. There are about 25 different "options" that just make it pretty. If you shut them off, XP looks like win98 and runs alot faster. This also works for Vista and Windows 7. So after the pretty colors wear out their welcome, shut them off and notice a major performance leap.
     
  16. bharatdada

    New Member

    Apr 18, 2010
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    I recommend you to use opera
     
  17. studiot

    AAC Fanatic!

    Nov 9, 2007
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    Well a large part of my business is pc support and optimisation.

    I am always meeting experts who 'know how to optimise a pc', before they know what they are optimising it for or what the hardware consists of.

    Number one

    What do you (want to) use your pc for?

    Number two

    What are the current specs? Speed, Memory, Processor type, Hard drive capacity and utilisation.
     
  18. retched

    AAC Fanatic!

    Dec 5, 2009
    5,201
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    I was talking this from a general point of view. Getting it back to the original, out of the box consideration.

    You are correct. If you were willing to change hardware or set-up the PC for a specific use these need to be known. Especially when it comes to distribution of memory and such. If you have Photoshop running, and you want to multi task, you should adjust the amount of memory that Photoshop 'reserves' while open. This will limit the amount of resources avail to the rest of the computer.

    But in general, standard weeding and maintaining can go a long way.
     
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