Totty Trains

Improving your PC's Performance

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There are lots of things that you can do to keep your PC running well (apart from having a firewall, virus protection, and spyware protection). The descriptions here are based on Windows XP, but will be similar for other Windows operating systems.

Delete Unused Files

PCs work much better when there's lots of disk space free. Fortunately, Windows includes a Disk Cleanup utility, which gets rid of lots of unnecessary files. You will find a lot of temporary files that aren't needed any more.

The disk cleanup utility can be run by clicking on Start>>All Programs>>Accessories>>System Tools>>Disk Cleanup. Select the files that you would like to delete, and then click on OK, followed by Yes.

Compress Files and Folders

WinXP can work with compressed folders in the same way that it works with normal folders. To compress a folder:

  1. Right-click the folder, and click on Properties.
  2. Click on the General tab (if it isn't already the active tab).
  3. Click on the Advanced... button.
  4. Click on Compress Contents to Save Disk Space, and then click OK twice.

Degragment your hard disk

When files are saved, each file isn't saved in one single place, but saved in lots of different places. Imagine the difference between 10 books on a bookshelf, and thousands of sheets of paper on the floor. To degragment the disk (or combine the thousands of sheets of paper into several books), run the Windows Disk Defragmenter.

This is run by clicking on Start>>All Programs>>Accessories>>System Tools>>Disk Defragmenter.

Running a scandisk

Windows's scandisk is used to find, and repair, errors on your hard disk.

This is run by right-mouse-clicking on the C:\ drive in My Computer, clicking on Properties, clicking on Tools, and then clicking on the "Check Now" button. It is normally enough to select "Scan for and attempt recovery of bad sectors", which does not require the PC to be rebooted.

Running an online PC health check

Just to check that your PC is as good as it can be, it's worth running a PC health check. I often use PC PitStop.

Other steps

If the steps above don't help speed things up, then there are a few other things worth looking at:

I will add more information about these other options soon.


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Created on: 18 Feb 2006. Modified on: 21 Feb 2006.
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