Are you sick and tired of it taking forever to open a website, file, or program? Did your computer seem to run a lot faster when you first got it? If your answers to these two questions were yes, then please read on. In this article, I am going to give you tips to speed up your computer. They can all be done today, even if you are new to computers. The seven steps that I will share with you are so easy; believe me, you can do it! These are techniques that computer technicians in several different support organizations do, and some charge a lot of money to walk you through these processes. You are going to get them today at no charge. Are you ready? Then let’s begin!


Step 1: Scandisk

It would help if you ran Scandisk at least once a month. This will make sure that your computer can read all of the information on your disk. How will this speed up my computer? I’m glad you asked! You see, your computer has in its hard drive what the technicians call redundancy. What I mean is if your computer is trying to read a file and the data isn’t read correctly from the disk, the computer attempts to read that information again and again a set number of times.

This results in slower loading times. When Scandisk is run regularly, this keeps your disk free of these storage errors and thus enables the computer to get the information it needs from the disk as fast as possible. Scandisk should be run before the next step every time. I know you’re asking, how do I run Scandisk? It’s simple. Find that icon on your desktop or in your start menu labeled ‘My Computer.’ In there, you will see a listing of all the drives on your computer. Right-click on the drive you want to scan and go to properties.

There, you will have a tools tab. Click on it. You will see a button that says check for errors. This is ScanDisk al, so-called check disk on different versions of Windows. There are two different modes: Standard and Thorough. Standard checks and makes sure that all the bits and pieces of your files are in a spot on the disk where it thinks they should be. In other words, it checks for filing errors. Thorough does a standard

check as well as it tests each spot on the disk where the drive can write something and makes sure that what it writes reads back the same thing. If it doesn’t read the same information back, it marks that spot as bad so that it is not used. This keeps down that redundancy thing we spoke of earlier. Wasn’t that easy? Now, on to Step 2.

Step 2: Defrag

The defrag should be run once a week if you use your computer more than 14 hours a week. This equates to about 2 hours a day. Most people who actively use their computers will fall into this category. Defrag, whose real name is disk defragmenter, is your best friend for speed. You see, when your computer writes something to the disk, it starts the disk to turn and drops bits of the data you want to write wherever there is a hole. It then tells the filing system where it placed that piece.

So your file could be broken into 20 pieces! Your disk takes longer to load the file because it has to jump around to different spots to gather the pieces together when it needs it. Defrag takes care of this by invoking the details altogether and writing them back to the disk in one piece. This way, when you need the information, it’s all right there. To defrag, it’s the same as where we went for Scandisk. You go to ‘My Computer,’ right-click on the drive you want to defrag, and go to properties. There, go to the tools tab. Click the Defragment button. Wow, this is getting easier by the minute! On to step 3.

Step 3: Background Programs

Background programs slow down your computer’s performance. They accomplish this by using up your computer’s resources. Resources are the combined power of your processor (brain), memory, and disk space; these three are equivalent to horsepower. This is where you will gain a lot of your speed back as well.

If you look at an area of your screen right now, I can show you a fraction of some of these that you never thought of. The place I want you to look at is called your system tray. It is located next to your clock, which is opposite your start menu. If your start menu is on the left side, then the watch is on the right. Next to the clock, you will see these little icons or pictures. These are programs that run on your computer whenever it boots. Guess what? These are background programs. They are there to help load things you need faster. If you are following this guide, you don’t need most of them. Do you?

Here is how you get rid of them and most of the others that you can’t even see. Sorry folks who are on Windows 2000, this step won’t work for you. If you read to the end, I will give you a bonus that will make up for it, I promise. OK, for the rest of you, click on start. Click on the run-type MSConfig. Click OK. You should get a system configuration utility. Be very careful here and follow my instructions exactly. Click on the startup tab at the top. You will have a list of all the programs that run when your computer boots or starts.

If you look down the list, there will be some names that are familiar to you. When you see those names, I want you to think: “Do I need this program running all the time?” If the answer is no, uncheck the box. For example, some of you may have heard of RealPlayer, and there’s a smart start icon associated with it. You don’t need a real player running when you will only be playing FreeCell, do you? 🙂 On to step 4.