Speed up or tune up a slow computer
Why does a computer run slow?
A computer may run slow because of Two reasons, Hardware or Software.
Hardwares which cause slow performance issue are RAM(Random Access Memory- Physical Memory Stick ), Processor, Bad or Malfunctining Hard drive or any other Malfunctioning devices (like Malfunctioning Printer, Network Card, Keyboard or Mouse) connected.To resolve slow performance issue you have to either replace or upgrade them which I am gonna talk about later.
While Software issues are the major reasons to make your computer run slow.Software issues could be numerous which make your computer slow for example viruses in your computer, startup items, unwanted softwares, Low disk space , junk files , Malwares , spywares , adwares, Ransomware, browser addon softwares, Bad or outdated driver softwares, Outdated operating system files, Incompatible or outdated software in your computer, Leftover files and registry entries of uninstalled software.So I am gonna talk about all these reasons step by step and the tools used to fix them with description.
After doing all this troubleshooting I guarantee that your computer would definitely run at least 3 times Faster than before .
And this article is also gonna helpful for fellows who are working in a BPO for Tech support Position or who are going to appear for an interview for Tech Support Position.
So I start the troubleshooting with removing Junk and unnecessary files and software from computer to free the precious disk space.
Speed up or Tune up a Slow PC
Step 1. Remove Temporary Files to Tune up computer.
Temporary files, or foo files (.TMP), are files created to temporarily contain information while a new file is being made. It may be created by computer programs for a variety of purposes; principally when a program cannot allocate enough memory for its tasks, when the program is working on data bigger than the architecture's address space.It is normally created when working on a program or installing a software.
run the DOS or Windows disk checking programs they can find errors and may write these out as file fragments in .CHK files.
CHK is a file extension for a temporary file format used by WordPerfect for Windows. A CHK file can be created before and in between saves to safeguard data or to recover data after aprogram crash.The CHK file extension is also associated with file fragments saved by Windows Disk Defragmenter or ScanDisk.Temp files are typically deleted automatically when the program is closed normally, but if the program quits unexpectedly, the temp files are not deleted.So to delete Temp file first close all the open and running program even exit or stop the Antivirus running then press Windows Logo key+R to open Run dialog box as shown in the picture 6(a).Windows Logo key is Located at the bottom row of your keypad which could be second from left and looks like Windows Flag Logo. Now type %temp% and click okay , It's gonna show all the temporary files so click any one of the files and press CTRL + A to highlight them all and then hit Delete button.Confirm yes you want to delete them all as in the picture 6(b) and they all are gone.Some of the files will not be deleted and will show a message that the action can't be completed as the file is associated or open in a program as in the picture 6(c) so just check do this for all current items and click Skip.and close this window.
|6(a) tune up slow computer|
|6(b)- tune up slow computer|
|6(c)- tune up slow computer|
I am gonna first Laugh before I will write something because I remember the days when I was working as a Technical Support Engineer for one of the reputed Computer Manufacturer.The reason is people used to empty this prefetch folder assuming this will speed up the computer.There is a controversial topic and I believe Microsoft's website for these kind of topics.So according to Microsoft prefetch is something as written below.
"Each time you turn on your computer, Windows keeps track of the way your computer starts and which programs you commonly open. Windows saves this information as a number of small files in the prefetch folder. The next time you turn on your computer, Windows refers to these files to help speed the start process."
The prefetch folder is a subfolder of the Windows system folder. The prefetch folder is self-maintaining, and there's no need to delete it or empty its contents. If you empty the folder, Windows and your programs will take longer to open the next time you turn on your computer."
There is NO benefit aside from an absolutely laughable disk space gain of a couple kilobytes, and that is temporary. Do NOT delete the prefetch folder or it's contents.
If you already have deleted it unknowingly you better need to build the layout.ini file to speed up the boot process. Yes, The "Layout.ini" file contains list of system programs and files accessed during boot. It, also, contains a list of the most commonly used programs. This allows Windows and Applications to start more quickly. Sometimes, When a Service Pack is installed the layout.ini file fails to rebuild. Even under normal operation the layout.ini file can take up to 72 hours to rebuild.This will impact performance. I like to make sure the layout.ini has been rebuilt before applying any other Service Packs or Updates and I don't want to wait for the OS to do it.
The layout.ini file is located in the "C:\Windows\Prefetch" folder.To manually rebuild it: (click) the Start Button >>> Run >>> type-in the following command,
"Rundll32.exe Advapi32.dll, ProcessIdleTasks" >>> OK.
Check the "C:\Windows\Prefetch" folder and make sure the file has been rebuilt. An alternative command is "%windir%\system32\Rundll32.exe Advapi32.dll, ProcessIdleTasks".
The processed result is stored in Layout.ini in the Prefetch directory, and is subsequently passed to the Disk Defragmenter, instructing it to re-order those files into sequential positions on the physical hard drive.
This will further improve performance by minimising the distance that the hard drive's heads have to be moved from one file to the next.
It is possible to trigger this re-ordering (by running "Defrag.exe %systemdrive% -b" from the command line) without running a full defragmentation. (click) the Start Button >>> Run >>> type-in the following command, "Defrag %systemdrive% -b" >>> OK, this will run the command as shown in the picture 6(C-1).
|6(C-1)- tune up slow computer|
Step 3. Delete other temporary files using command prompt to speed up your PC.
Here I am referring to all the temp file which could not be deleted from %temp%.So we will be deleting all the .tmp, .temp, .chm, and files starting with tild(~) sign.And to do this you must start command prompt as an administrator.So go to Start search and type CMD look at the top search result it will be CMD,Right click CMD and choose Run As Administrator as shown in the picture 6(d). It will open the black command prompt window with prompt C:\Windows\system32> with a blinking cursor as shown in the picture 6(e).
|6(d)- tune up slow computer|
|6(e)- tune up slow computer|
1. C:\> del *.temp /s /a
2. C:\> del *.chk /s /a
5. C:\> del /f /s /q %systemdrive%*.log
7. C:\>del /f /s /q %systemdrive%*._mp
8. C:\>del /f /s /q %userprofile%Local SettingsTemporary Internet Files*.*
9. C:\>del /f /q %userprofile%cookies*.*
10. C:\>del /f /s /q %systemdrive%recycled*.*
11. C:\>del /f /q %userprofile%recent*.*
12. C:\>del /f /s /q %userprofile%Local SettingsTemp*.*
13. C:\>del /f /s /q %systemdrive%*.gid
|tune up slow computer|
|tune up slow computer|
Index.dat file is just like index at the end of your book which tells you where to find which information.Whenever you visit a website on the Internet; the address, time of visit, images, scripts, tracking cookies and web page contents are saved to your hard drive. The primary reason Internet Explorer does this is to allow quicker access to the site if you revisit again because the contents can be opened from your computer disk drive rather than downloaded over the Internet a second time. Information about these cache files, cookies and where Internet Explorer can find them on your hard drive is stored in the hidden index.dat file.The problem with Index.dat file is that it is never deleted or resized by itself or by windows and its size keep increasing and its also a privacy threat to your computer.
|6(g) tune up slow computer|
- Open Disk Cleanup by clicking the Start button . In the search box, type Disk Cleanup or Cleanmgr, and then, in the list of results, click Disk Cleanup.
- In the Drives list, click the hard disk drive that you want to clean up, So select c: drive and then click OK.
- In the Disk Cleanup dialog box, on the Disk Cleanup tab, select the check boxes for the file types that you want to delete, and then click OK.
- In the message that appears, click Delete files.
|6(j) tune up slow computer|
|6(k) tune up slow computer|
|6(l) tune up slow computer|
|6(m) tune up slow computer|
|6(n) tune up slow computer|
|6(o) tune up slow computer|
|6(p) tune up slow computer|
|6(Q) tune up slow computer|
|6(R) tune up slow computer|
|6(s) tune up slow computer|
Steps 8. Check your Hard drive for Errors (Run CHKDSK) to Tune up your PC.
Chkdsk (Chkdsk.exe) is a command-line tool that checks volumes on your hard disk drive for problems.You must run this too while tuning up your Slow PC. The tool then tries to repair any problems that it finds and which results in faster access of information from hard drive. For example, Chkdsk can repair problems related to bad sectors, lost clusters, cross-linked files, and directory errors. To use Chkdsk, you must log on as an administrator or as a member of the Administrators group.
You can also run Chkdsk from My Computer or from Windows Explorer.
|6(t) tune up slow computer|
|6(u) tune up slow computer|
Steps 9. Run Disk Defragmentation.(Defrag) to Tune up your Slow PC.
When your computer writes data into a file on your hard drive, it's not always able to place all of the data together. A section of a file might be written near the beginning of the disc, the rest of that file could be written near the end or can be written in a contiguous manner depending upon the availability of space on the disk.
If all the blocks (small pieces of data) are not arranged orderly in a contiguous manner it causes programs to run slowly, as the computer spends time retrieving the file fragments from all over the disk.
Defragmenting your disk volume arranges files (and free space) in an orderly manner, consolidating fragmented data on a volume (such as a hard disk or a storage device), reducing the time taken to read a file because it minimizes the distance that the hard drive's heads have to travel from one data block to other in order to access a file.There are various tools available to defragment the disk volume, and one version is included with MS Windows.In this version of Windows, Disk Defragmenter runs on a schedule but sometimes due to some reason it does not run for a long time,So you should run it manually or change the schedule it uses.
|6(v) tune up slow computer|
Fragmentation happens to a volume over time as you save, change, or delete files. The changes that you save to a file are often stored in a different place on the volume than the original file. This doesn't change where the file appears in Windows only where the bits of information that make up the file are stored on the actual volume. Over time, both the file and the volume itself become fragmented, and your computer slows down as it has to look in different places to open a single file.
To defragment your hard disk
1. Open Disk Defragmenter by clicking the Start button . In the search box, type Disk Defragment, and then, in the list of results, click Disk Defragmenter.You will get Disk Defragmenter window like shown in the picture 6(w) below.
|6(w) tune up slow computer|
|6(x) tune up slow computer|
|6(y) tune up slow computer|
|6(z) tune up slow computer|
2. Under Current status, select the disk you want to defragment.
3. To determine if the disk needs to be defragmented or not, click Analyze disk as shown in the picture 6(x). If you're prompted for an administrator password or confirmation, type the password or provide confirmation.
Once Windows is finished analyzing the disk, you can check the percentage of fragmentation on the disk in the Last Run column as shown in the picture 6(z). If the number is above 10%, you should defragment the disk.
4. Click Defragment disk now to Tune up your slow PC. If you're prompted for an administrator password or confirmation, type the password or provide confirmation.
Once it has finished defragmenting it will show you the status as shown in the picture 6(aa) below.
|6(aa) tune up slow computer|
Disk Defragmenter might take from several minutes to a few hours to finish, depending on the size and degree of fragmentation of your hard disk. You can still use your computer during the defragmentation process.
• If the disk is already in exclusive use by another program or is formatted using a file system other than NTFS file system, FAT, or FAT32, it can't be defragmented.
• Network locations can't be defragmented.
Step 10. Remove unnecessary items from start up to Tune up your PC.
Start up Items are the main cause of making computer run slower and slower as the computer's age grows.
These are the programs start automatically when Windows starts and uses the processor and computer resources while booting up and increases the boot time, few example of these programs are Yahoo Messenger, MSN Messenger,Google and yahoo updater services,third-party programs,Security software, printer software and driver updater. Software manufacturers sometimes set their programs to start at the same time Windows starts so that the program will open right away when you tap or click the program icon. Many of these programs run in the background are not obviously running.And these programs are not really required to start at the same time Windows start.
We will use the following methods to find these programs and stop them from running at start up.
1. Go to Run and Type Msconfig and hit Enter.
2. This will open system configuration utility as shown in the Picture 6(ab) below.
|tune up slow computer|
|6(ab) tune up slow computer|
3. Click on the Startup tab on the top and go through the list of Startup programs here and keep unchecking the items you don't really need all the time or don't wanna run, Go down the list and see if there’s any item you are sure they are not going to be required, You can turn if off,.Then click Apply and then OK.
Restart your computer and see if everything continues to work(don’t worry, if something gone amiss, you can always come back and revert your settings).
Clean hidden Startup from registry (Registry Editor) to tune up your slow PC
Sometimes even after removing the start up items from System Configuration Utility(Msconfig),Some programs still pops up because they have a hidden entry in registry which is the central database of Windows Operating System.To remove such entries go to Run and Type Regedit and press ok.
|tune up slow computer|
1. You will See Registry Editor window as shown in the Picture 6(ac) below.
|6(ac) tune up slow computer|
2. Find the key HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Run as shown in picture 6(ad).
And then delete the value associated with the program you want to remove.
|6(ad) tune up slow computer|
Here Startup items shown as in the picture above are not necessary so I want to delete that to Tune up my Slow PC.
This is the same registry key where you can also add an entry to automatically start programs whenever Windows launches.
to open a new startup application find the key [HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Run].
For each program you want to start automatically create a new string value using a descriptive name, and set the value of the string to the program executable.
For example, to automatically start Notepad, add a new entry of "Notepad"="c:\windows\notepad.exe"
So If you're trying to remove a program and can not find it in the StartUp folder (usually C:\WINDOWS\Start Menu\Programs\StartUp), then it may be launching from one of the registry keys below. To remove it, delete the value associated with the program you want to remove.
Disable unnecessary services to speed up or tune up your Slow PC
Now once you have removed the unnecessary Startup items from system configuration utility and also from registry then click on the services tab on the top in system configuration utility and then check Hide all Microsoft Services as shown in the picture below.
|Pic(ae) tune up slow computer|
And here uncheck all the not important services as shown above like Adobe Flash Player Update Service, Google Update service, Mozilla maintenance service, or any other service related to the software or program you are no longer using, then click Apply and then OK to Tune up the PC.
12. Do a little tweak in registry to Tune up your computer
Now the next step is to make a little changes in registry to make your computer super fast.So go to Run dialog box and type regedit to open registry editor and then make changes to the following registry key with the below mentioned key value to tune up your slow PC.
And I would recommend you to take the backup of the registry before you make any changes so that if you do any thing wrong or delete any of the keys by mistake you can always restore the registry back.
To back up the registry key right-click on the Registry key you plan on changing, and click "Export." The Registry Editor will prompt you to save a .reg file to your hard drive.
To undo Registry changes, just find your .reg file and double-click it. The .reg file will reset your Registry values to their existing values (but will not remove values that you've added).
[HKEY_CURRENT_USER > Software > Microsoft > Windows > CurrentVersion > Explorer > Advanced]
"DesktopLivePreviewHoverTime"="set the value according to your need, see below for the description"
[HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\ CurrentControlSet\Control\Session Manager\Memory Management]
|Pic(af) tune up slow computer|
|Pic(ag) tune up slow computer|
|Pic(ah) tune up slow computer|
Now let me also explain what these registry keys mean and what they do.So below are the information on the keys that you have to change the value for, in order to tune up your slow PC.Here some of the key like NoInternetOpenWith might not be available in your PC so you can either create it with their associated value as mentioned above or you can just ignore them.
AutoEndTasks - Forces Windows to automatically end user services when the user logs off or shuts down the computer.
HungAppTimeout - Reduces system waiting time before killing user processes when the user clicks on "End Task" button in Task Manager.
MenuShowDelay - Decreases menus show delay time, it'll make the menus show faster upon clicking.
WaitToKillAppTimeout - Reduces system waiting time before killing user processes when the user logs off or shuts down the computer.
LowLevelHooksTimeout - Reduces system waiting time before killing not responding services.
MouseHoverTime - Reduces popup delay time to show popup description faster when you move mouse cursor over an item.
NoLowDiskSpaceChecks - Disables the low disk space check so that you don't get the annoying low disk space notification in system tray.
LinkResolveIgnoreLinkInfo - Prevents Windows from wasting time in searching for a program which no longer exists in your system when you try to open its shortcut.
NoResolveSearch - Prevents Windows from searching for the disk drive to resolve a shortcut.
NoResolveTrack - Prevents Windows from using NTFS file system's tracking feature to resolve a shortcut.
NoInternetOpenWith - Disables "Search on Internet" prompt in "Open with" window so that you can directly see available programs list.
WaitToKillServiceTimeout - To tune up your PC reduces system waiting time before stopping services when the services are notified about shut down process.
DesktopLivePreviewHoverTime -This key value set the value for Aero Peek preview activation time.You may not find this key already in registry editor so you will have to create this DWORD (32 bit) key as shown in the Pic-(ah) above. Windows 7's Aero Peek lets you see the desktop when you move your mouse cursor over to the "show desktop" button at the end of the taskbar at the bottom right hand corner. The standard delay time for the Aero Peek preview is 500 milliseconds, or half a second. You can set the value to higher (a longer delay time) if you're activating it too often by accident, or to lower (a shorter delay time) if half a second is just too long.
Type in how many milliseconds (1000 milliseconds = 1 second) you want the delay time to be, and click/tap on OK.
NOTE: 500 milliseconds may be a good delay time to tune up your PC, but adjust the delay time to meet your needs though.
ExtendedUIHoverTime-When you roll over taskbar icons in Windows Vista and in Windows 7, little previews appear which is called Taskbar Preview. The standard delay time for these previews is 400 milliseconds, or just under half a second. If this is too slow (or too fast) for you, you can adjust the delay time as per your need to tune up your PC.
ThumbnailLivePreviewHoverTime - Whenever you move the mouse cursor to the taskbar over a running application icon, the thumbnail preview of the running application becomes visible. Also when you move cursor to the Live Preview Thumbnail (then all the running applications will become transparent and the application for which you have moved the cursor on will become active, to give you a clear display of the application. You will experience that windows is taking sometime to display the running application when you move the mouse cursor on its Live Preview Thumbnails.In order to Tune up your PC adjust this live preview delay time to the desired value for this key.
DisablePagingExecutive - Setting the value 1 for this key will move the windows Kernel (ntoskrnl.exe) to system memory.If the Windows Kernel is in system memory(RAM), it will run slightly faster than if it were on your hard drive.Setting this value to 1 is useful when debugging drivers, because all of the code and data is always memory resident. It also improves performance on machines with a lot of memory, because it prevents disk reads to get code or data and is the best tune up step.
To make the most of it I personally recommend you to use this tweak only when you have more than enough RAM for your workload otherwise on low memory systems this can force application code to be needlessly paged and reduce performance.
13. Scan the computer with Anti-Virus, Anti Malware, Anti-Spyware and Adware Blocker.
Now let me tell you that most of the time your computer and Internet both are slow because of Malwares, Viruses and Spywares, they are the hidden softwares or codes which keep running in the background and use your computer's precious resources ( Like Disk spaces, Processor, Memory, and Internet Bandwidth ). So in the process of optimizing your computer to Tune it up, you must run the scan with mentioned tools and clean your computer from viruses,Spywares and Malwares .And this is all what Geek Squad 's technician does and charge you $80.So Running scan with these Security software is a must, you should run the scan twice a month to keep your computer Tuned.There are multiple security software available in the market like Norton, Mcafee, Bit Defender, KasperSky, Avast, AVG, Panda Internet Security etc. But I would recommend not to Invest money in Security software because I have seen the situation thousand times that even the computer which has a Paid Security software with active subscription goes infected with Viruses like FBI-Virus or National Security Agency Virus, Adware and Malware.I would just have a Free version of Antivirus ( AVG , Avast , Avira, Microsoft Security Essentials ) and will scan my computer with MalwareByte (Anti-malware software) and Super AntiSpyware which I would buy for lifetime @ $50.Avast is a good Antivirus among all free versions of Antiviruses.So install this onto your computer and keep it updated and run the scan.You can download all these tools from download section of my Blog.But Avast could not be good for some of the computers which have Low memory, it could rather slow your PC down so in that scenario the best option is to install Microsoft Security Essentials which is also free.
|Pic(ai) tune up slow computer|
|Pic (aj) tune up slow computer|
14. Remove Unnecessary or Unknown software from your PC.
1. Click on Start button and then click on Control Panel in Start menu now under Control Panel window, first of all make sure you have changed the View By option to Small Icons at the top right hand side as shown in the picture.
|Pic-(ak) tune up slow computer|
|Pic-(al) tune up slow computer|
Speed up slow computer
tune up slow computer
Speed up pc
speed up computer
speed up windows
Make your pc faster
make computer run faster