|Three Things You Can Do to Keep
Your Computer Running at Maximum Performance
by: Larry Andrew
Although there are many things that can affect the performance
of your computer, there are a few simply things you can
do each month to help keep your computer running at maximum
performance. This article will focus on two problems that
impact the performance of your computer and will then
explain what you can do about it.
Problem #1: Computer Hard Disk Files
Your computer is always writing information to your hard
disk, no matter what you do. Your computer attempts to
keep all file information in the same location on your
hard drive. As you add and delete files, blank spaces
are left between your files. As you add new programs or
files, your computer tries to use these blank spaces.
Over time, this reading and writing of files can affect
the way your computer performs. The files eventually become
scattered in multiple locations on your hard disk rather
than in the same location.
Your computer will still find the information. However,
the more scattered the information becomes on your hard
drive, the more accesses your computer has to make to
find (and gather) the information. This requires your
hard disk to work harder and do more reading/writing than
is necessary. It will slow down your computer by as much
as 200% and causes increased wear and tear on your hard
Problem #2: Spyware
If you use the Internet, at some point you will download
a file or software program onto your computer. Sometimes
you will know something is being downloaded to your computer.
Other times you will have no idea. (Although this article
will not talk about small files called cookies,
you may want to look up information on this subject. Cookies
are written onto your computer from the Internet.)
Free computer programs (often referred to as Freeware)
are a big hit on the Internet. Every day thousands of
users download these free programs. Although
there are some great freeware programs, these programs
often have advertisements or tracking code associated
with their use. The term Spyware refers to
programs that gather information about your computer and
(Internet) surfing habits without your knowledge. This
information is then sold to a third party company as a
means of generating revenue.
The problem with Spyware is that it also impacts the performance
of your computer. It can make your computer very sluggish
Three Steps to Improved Computer Performance
Now that weve discussed two problems that affect
the performance of your computer, lets discuss three
things you can do to get your computer performance back
to normal. You should do these three steps in the order
presented. Ideally, you should repeat them about once
a month or whenever you notice a change in your computers
Step #1: Delete Spyware
The first thing you should do is to delete spyware files
or programs from your computer. To do this, you can use
a free software program such as Ad-Aware SE Personal Edition
from LavaSoft. To get the program, go to www.download.com
and search for Ad-Aware SE (without the quotes).
Select Download Now and follow the installation
instructions. Once the program is installed, you can scan
your computer for spyware files. Then, you can select
and delete them from your computer.
Note #1: Always be sure to use the Check for updates
now option to keep your program current.
Note #2: You need to be aware that when you delete spyware
files, some of those free programs you downloaded
may not continue to work correctly. If you have a program
youve downloaded and want to continue to use, check
very carefully what you select to delete from the Scanning
results once the scan has been completed.
Step #2: Clean up your Hard Disk
Once the spyware is removed, you need to clean up temporary
and unwanted files from your hard disk. To do this on
your windows PC, select the start option in the lower
left hand corner of your computer screen. Then, select
the program option. Under the program option, select Accessories.
Under the Accessories option, select System
Tools. From the System Tools option, select Disk
Select the drive you want to clean from the pull-down
menu and select OK. Usually, this is Drive C. If you have
more than one hard drive, select one at a time. This program
will then scan your computer for files that could be erased
from your computer. You can safely erase all temporary
and Recycle Bin files. You can also check the box of any
other files you want the program to erase.
Step #3: Defrag your Hard Disk
Once all the spyware and temporary files are removed,
you need to defrag your hard disk. This process simply
rewrites your computer files so they are no longer scattered
all over your hard disk, but are written in the same location
for quick sequential access.
To defrag your hard disk on your windows PC, select the
start option in the lower left hand corner of your computer
screen. Then, select the program option. Under the program
option, select Accessories. Under the Accessories
option, select System Tools. From the System
Tools option, select Disk Defragmenter. First,
select the hard drive from your computer. Usually, this
is Drive C. However, many computers have multiple hard
drives. Select one at a time.
You can select Analyze to have the program
check out the hard drive and see if it needs to be defragged.
The program will prompt you at the completion of its analysis.
Use the defragment option as prompted.
Note: If youve never used this option before, I
would recommend that you select the defragment option.
Once, youve completed these three steps, your computer
and hard disk should be able to operate at maximum performance.
Dont forget to repeat these steps at least once
a month or whenever you notice a change in your computers
About The Author
Larry Andrew is an educational consultant, author and
publisher of www.ez-software-review.com. Learn how to
purchase cheap, reliable and quality software for your
home, school and business.