If you watch ESPN enough, you will eventually see an ad about software that will help you fix your PC. I believe this is ‘MyCleanPC.com’. I have also seen ‘MaxMySpeed.com’ advertised here. I’ve never tried these products so I’m not in a position to talk about their effectiveness or eventual cost, but hearing about these products prompted me to think. If you’re interested in doing some “tweaks” or maintenance on your own, you may want to consider some of the tips I’ve included here. All tips are valuable to help your PC run better and faster. If you’re interested in some of these “tweak” but are limited on time, I’d recommend following those tips that are in bold.
1. Run Chkdsk.exe found often in C:\WINDOWS\system32 (in XP). Start, Run and type Chkdsk.exe as your executable file.
*2. Run a defrag.exe from C:\WINDOWS\system32 (in XP). If necessary, run a defrag on your D drive too. Start, Run and type defrag.exe as your executable file.
3. If use Internet Explorer (IE), delete all temporary Internet files through IE.
4. Search for *.tmp files and delete them too.
5. Go to your Recycle Bin and designate a small percentage (1-2 percent) to be used for your Recycle Bin storage. This typically will free additional disk space.
*6. Monitor your anti-spyware and anti-virus software. These programs have the potential to put a tremendous strain on system resources.
*7. Consider deleting your profile and rebuilding a new one – especially if you experience “quirky” or unusual things occurring on your PC. Verify you have that authority and password with administrative privileges.
*8. Download Free Window Registry Repair to clean up your Registry. Run this at least once per month. For your first or second time of using this program, you may want to run this a number of times. Once you get your Registry clean, it may only be needed once a week or once or twice a month.
9. Increase the size of your Virtual Memory. In XP, for example, you select System Properties, Advanced, under Performance select Settings, click on Advanced, and select Change under Virtual Memory. If you have the disk space on your hard drive, you can adjust this additional hard drive space to use as Virtual Memory to aid in the performance of your computer.
10. Consider downloading Google Chrome or Mozilla Firefox , which may better utilize Windows system resources.
*11. Go to Add/Remove Programs and delete those programs you no longer use or need. In other words, if you don’t use it, uninstall it especially on machines with smaller hard drives.
*12. Consider running the Disk Cleanup in Windows. This will get rid of any unnecessary programs taking up unnecessary disk space. For example, it will address: Temporary Internet Files, Office Temporary Files, Recycle Bin, Downloaded Program Files, Temporary Offline Files, Offline Files, Compressed Old Files.
13. If you are desperate to delete files and need as much hard disk space as possible, consider deleting the hidden files under C:\Windows that begin with $NtUninstallKB950762$. Even folders deleted of security updates will free up a certain amount of disk space.
14. CPU Utilization. Your Central Processing Unit (CPU) is the brains of your computer. It organizes the processes in your computer to help keep it running smoothly. If you’re wondering if an application may be slowing down your system, you can check the Performance tab in Windows Task Manager to see if a given application is taking up too much processing power or memory.
As a reminder, I’d recommend implementing all the points that contain an asterisk. These will give you the biggest bang for the buck. Often, these techniques applicable to Windows 2000 or XP can be used for later versions of Windows such as Vista or Windows 7. Remember, the ideas are the same although the steps or location of these files may vary from Operating System to Operating System.