How to fix your terrible computer!!

Have you noticed that your computer never seems to be as fast as it was when you first bought it? Every time you browse a webpage, load software, or get an update…new programs, services, and possible viruses are loaded onto your computer. Most of it is not bad, but nearly all of it slows your machine down. Depending on the severity of your computer, sometimes a fresh install of the O/S is in order, but if you want to try to fix the problem, before starting from scratch, here is a collection of resources that I use when fixing my computer (or my friend’s computer)….

Startup

Slow Startup? Check out your startup applications by running “msconfig” and browsing through this list of Startup Applications.Check each one out (a time consuming process) and see if you NEED it in your startup.

Processes

Check out Black Viper’s Website and specifically the section on Windows Services to see which Services you can safely disable to help speed up your computer. (This is fairly technical, but a great resource)

Windows just will not load

Option A: If you happen to have the original O/S CD or DVD, just boot from it by pressing the “boot options” key (F12?) when your startup screens appear. Option B: If you happen to create an ultimate recovery CD, just us it. If your machine still loads, maybe think about creating one for when it doesn’t Option A nor B worked? Looks like it is time to save your data and install a fresh OS.

  1. From lifehackers article: Use “Ubuntu Live CD or Knoppix Live CD:Both are Linux distributions. You can use the free tool UNetBootin to transfer the ISO you downloaded to a thumb drive, which is necessary if you’re backing up to DVDs, and recommended in any case to speed things up.”
  2. Then follow the steps outlined at lifehacker to save your important files to DVDs or an external drive.
  3. Re-Install your OS

Bloated and Slow

First use Revo Uninstaller Portable and run it off your USB stick to deactivate the AutoRun programs you don’t need all that often. Most of these apps are just running constantly so that you are able to scan a little faster, print a little sooner, or open that video a little quicker. The other 90% of the time, it just runs in the background, slowing down your computer waiting to be used. If that doesn’t do the trick, run through the apps suggested by lifehacker below and leave Microsoft Security Essentials on your machine to help protect it from future “stuff”

Keep this From Happening Again

Now that you have done all this work, you don’t want to do it again next month.

  1. Install Firefox or Google Chrome for a much faster and more secure browser.
  2. Make sure the have an updated anti-virus application loaded. Microsoft Security Essentials was recently rated #1 and it is free.
  3. If it is on your machine, get rid of Mcafee’s bloated antivirus application. (Be sure to do #2 above)
  4. Run CCleaner’s full and free version everyonce and awhile.
  5. Take a look at Lifehacker’s autoinstall package of useful free software. Hosted at Ninite (what is all this software? Take a look at the descriptions here)

Other Resources

Take a look at Lifehacker’s article: The Complete Guide to Saving Your Windows System with a Thumb Drive ***Thanks to Lifehackerwho  does it again with a great comprehensive article “How to Fix Your Relatives Terrible Computer”