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Speed Up PC

I was recently asked to speed up a slow laptop. Here are the steps that I took:

  • Apply Windows Updates: The computer had downloaded lots of updates (including Vista Service Pack 2) that were just waiting to be installed. This was a multi-step process since not all the updates could be updated in one package.
  • Run Spinrite: This checks for and automatically fixes hard drive problems
  • Remove Browser Toolbars: Google, Yahoo, and other toolbars in Internet Explorer and Firefox just slow down and junk up the browser without any real benefits.
  • Remove Google Desktop: This is a redundant desktop search tool that just slows down the computer.
  • Open Windows Task Manager, search for processes, and remove unnecessary applications and start-up items. This is done from Add/Remove Programs, from the startup folder and from msconfig.
  • Turn off Windows sidebar: This feature available in Windows 7 and Vista by default just loads pictures and a clock which people don’t use.
  • Remove some Windows features, as mentioned in 12 Ways to Speed Up and Slim Down Windows Vista.
  • Update Firefox: Firefox 4 has significant speed improvements.
  • Remove paid Antivirus and install Microsoft Security Essentials which typically uses fewer system resources and is a good and free Antivirus.
  • Run Disk Defragmenter
  • Update Power Settings: This laptop’s settings were to run the CPU at a max of 50% both when unplugged (to save the battery) and also when plugged in. The max CPU should be set to 100% when plugged in unless the computer is having overheating problems.
  • InstallĀ Foxit Reader: This is faster and less annoying than Adobe Acrobat which I removed.

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