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Old 05-28-2014, 08:18 AM
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Sunny Sunny is offline
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Troubleshooting Performance Issues-Part 1

One of the most common complaints computer users have is slowness, locking up and performance issues.
There are many different reasons why this can happen. When your computer is new there is plenty of hardrive space, the hardrive is not fragmented, there are not many programs installed and probably not many programs loading at startup, temp files have not accumulated, the computer is virus and spyware free. But over time as you use your computer, install new programs, surf the web, download programs, your computer may become slower. You may pick up a virus or other malware infection. Your hardrive becomes fragmented, program are loading at startup. Try these suggestions to get things moving again.

Startup programs
Startup programs are programs that load and run in the background every time you start your computer. Many times when you install new software the programs are added to the startup list. That means each time you start your computer that program is loading and running in the background. You may not see the program or be aware that it is running, but if you start task manager or look at the icons in the system tray you may see the programs that are currently running.
Some programs need to run at startup, for example your anti-virus software is a program that must run all the time. But most programs do not need to load and run each time you start your computer. If you want to use a program you simply open the program and run it when needed.
Each one of the programs running in the background uses system resources and memory and can potentially cause a conflict with other programs you have installed. Go to the links below and read more about startup programs and which are safe to disable. Then use the lists provided on those pages to lookup the programs that are running on your computer and eliminate what is unnecessary. Eliminating startup programs will improve boot time, speed up your computer, use fewer system resources and leave less room for conflict.

http://www.pacs-portal.co.uk/
http://www.3feetunder.com/krick/startup/list.html
http://www.bleepingcomputer.com/startups/

There are third party utilities you can install to manage startup programs.
Autoruns is a comprehensive program that shows you what is loading at startup and allows you to disable programs that are unnecessary. It is a powerful program so be sure to read the directions on the site before using the program.

http://technet.microsoft.com/en-gb/s.../bb963902.aspx

Instructions on how to use Autoruns
http://www.top-windows-tutorials.com/autoruns.html

Autoruns user forum
http://forum.sysinternals.com/

Startup Control Panel is another free utility that will allow you to manage startup programs.

http://www.majorgeeks.com/files/deta...e_version.html

Adjust for best performance
Windows XP, Windows Vista, Windows 7 & Windows 8/8.1 all allow you to adjust for best performance.
Windows XP
Right click my computer and choose properties from the right click menu.
In the properties window click the advanced tab.
Under the performance subsection click the settings button.
Put a check in adjust for best performance. Scroll down and select the last two options. If there are other options you think you absolutely need check those but you should be fine with the last 2. Apply the setting and reboot.
Windows Vista, Windows 7 & Windows 8/8.1
Right click my computer or this PC and choose properties from the right click menu.
Click advanced system settings. In the system properties window click the advanced tab.
Click the settings button under performance. Put a check in adjust for best performance or custom. Adjusting for best performance will disable a lot of the visual and audio effects in Windows Vista, Windows 7 & Windows 8/8.1. If you would like to pick and choose which options to enable/disable put a check in custom and choose the options you want.

Error checking utility
Windows has a tool called the error checking utility. It will scan your hard drive/hard drives for bad sectors and file system errors and attempt to fix those errors. Run the error checking tool before running disk defragmenter.
Windows XP, Windows Vista, Windows 7 & Windows 8/8.1
Close any open programs.
Click start > my computer or this PC.
In the my computer window right click the hard drive you want to check and choose properties from the right click menu.
In the properties dialog box, click the tools tab.
Under error checking click the check button.
In Windows XP and Windows Vista In the check disk now dialog box put a check in “automatically fix file system errors” and “scan for an attempt recovery of bad sectors.” In Windows 7 & Windows 8/8.1 click the check button.
The scan will start. If you are running a scan on the main hard drive where your operating system is installed you will be prompted to reboot the computer to run the scan.

Disk Defragmenter
A hard drive consists of sectors. As you use your computer, surf the web, create and delete files, install and uninstall software the hard drive becomes fragmented and bits and pieces of your files are scattered out across the drive. This makes accessing programs and files slower because Windows has to look in different places for the bits and pieces. Running defrag collects all of this information and puts it back in the original location.

Windows XP
Click start > all programs > accessories > system tools > disk defragmenter.
The disk defragmenter window will open.
Choose defragment now.

Windows Vista, Windows 7 & Windows 8/8.1
Windows Vista, Windows 7 & Windows 8/8.1 automatically run disk defrag once a week. You can change the schedule or run defrag manually if you choose.
Click start > all programs > accessories > system tools > disk defragmenter.
Or
Click start > search programs and files. Type defrag.
In the search results window click disk defragmenter.
The disk defragmenter window will open.
To run defragmenter manually click the defragment disk button. The tool will analyze your hard drive and start the defrag process.
To change the scheduled time that defragmenter runs click the configure schedule button. The disk defragmenter modify schedule window will open. You can change the frequency, day, time and which hard drives to defragment. You can also disable the scheduled defrag.

Note: If you are using a SSD (Solid State Drive) or USB Flash/Thumb drive there are not moving parts. There is no need to defragment a SSD.

Disk cleanup
Windows XP, Windows Vista, Windows 7 & Windows 8/8.1 have a utility called disk cleanup. It is a tool that will delete unnecessary junk files from your computer.

Windows XP, Windows Vista, Windows 7 & Windows 8/8.1
Click start > all programs > accessories > system tools > disk cleanup.
The tool will scan your hard drive for files that can be deleted. If you have more than one hard drive installed you will get a prompt to choose which hard drive to scan.
When the tool has finished running the disk cleanup window will open.
In the files to delete list choose the files you want to delete by putting a check in the box. Remove the check from the box for the files you don’t want to delete.
Click the view files button to view the list of files.
Click the OK button to delete the files.
You will get a prompt asking if you are sure you want to delete the files. Click delete files to delete the selected files.

Windows Vista, Windows 7 & Windows 8/8.1 will have more options that Windows XP. Windows Vista, Windows 7 & Windows 8/8.1 create shadow copies of your files. You can use shadow copies to restore a file to an earlier time. You can delete the shadow copies using the disk cleanup utility. I prefer not to delete shadow copies unless I am running extremely low on disk space. Shadow copies can be very useful to recover a file if necessary.
In the disk cleanup window click the cleanup system files button.
When prompted choose the hard drive you want to scan. Click OK.
Click the more options tab.
Click the cleanup button under system restore and shadow copies.
You will get a prompt asking if you are sure you want to delete the files. Click delete files to delete the selected files.

Clear your browser cache
Every web browser creates a cache. A cache consists of stored web pages, images, cookies, temporary internet files and other downloaded content. Cookies are small text files that are collected by your web browser for pages you visit on the internet. A cookie file stores information about your browsing habits. The web sites address, the information you filled out on the site, the time of your visit, your location and other personal information so clearing your cookies can protect your privacy. Not all cookies are bad. For example a “session” cookie is used by web sites to ensure that the user is recognized when moving from page to page within the web site. Session cookies are often used when shopping online. Session cookies are no longer valid once the user leaves the web site.

Internet Explorer
Open Internet Explorer.
Click the tools menu > internet options.
Click the general tab.
In the browsing history section click the delete button.
Choose the content you want to delete.
Click OK.

Mozilla Firefox
Open Mozilla Firefox.
Click the history menu > clear recent history.
In the time range to clear dropdown choose everything. Unless you don’t want to clear the entire cache. You also have option to clear just the recent history.
Click the arrow next to details.
In the details window put a check next to the content you want to delete.
Click the clear now button.

Uninstall any unnecessary programs
If you have programs on your computer that you no longer need or use uninstall them. This will free up disk space and system resources. Many programs include an uninstall option. If the program does not include an uninstall option use the add/remove programs feature in control panel to uninstall the program.
Uninstall using the programs uninstall option
Click start > programs.
In the programs menu find the program you would like to uninstall.
Click the program to select it or open the program folder.
Look for an uninstall option.
If the program has an uninstall option select it and follow the prompts to uninstall the program.
Reboot the computer when you are finished.
Uninstall using add/remove programs
Click start > control panel > add/remove programs. (In Windows Vista, Windows 7 & Windows 8/8.1 click programs and features).
Scroll through the list of programs and find any that you no longer need or use.
Click the program name once to select it.
Click the uninstall or change button.
Follow the prompts to uninstall the program.
Reboot the computer when you are finished.

Continued in Part 2
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Last edited by Sunny; 05-28-2014 at 08:58 AM.
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