A computer is a device that gets old very fast. Usually, after a few years of regular using, we have to upgrade it, either with more memory, new hard drive, or better graphics (and there’s more!) Anyway, there are some actions that when regularly performed, can extend our computer’s life and capableness. Today we present methods of enhancing system performance that are build in the Windows software.
By emptying disk space, you can increase your computer’s performance. Together with Microsoft Windows comes Disk Cleanup (Start => All Programs => Accessories => System Tools => Disk Cleanup), facilitating the cleaning of disk space. With this tool, you can specify files that can be safely removed, then remove some or all of these files. These tools provide services such as:
- Deleting temporary internet files.
- Removing downloaded files, such as Microsoft ActiveX controls and Java applets.
- Emptying the Recycle Bin.
- Deleting Windows temporary files.
- Removing optional Windows components that are not used.
- Removing installed programs that are not being used.
Tip: A huge part of our disc is usually occupied by the temporary internet files because the browser saves all the visited pages in the cache to allow faster access to them in the future.
Disk fragmentation will reduce the overall performance of your computer. When you open a fragmented file, the computer must search the hard disk for its fragments to connect them together. Because of that the response time of your PC may be much longer. Disk Defragmenter (Start => All Programs => Accessories => System Tools => Disk Defragmenter) is a Windows device used to consolidate the fragmented files and folders on your hard disk so that each occupies a single space on the disk. Defragmentation should regularly be performed, for example, every month or quarter.
Tip: Before you defragment a file you should analyze it to find out about the estimated time of the defragmentation.
Checking Hard Drive
To optimize the performance of your computer, you can use the tool to check hard drives (Start => My Computer => Right click on the partition => Tools => Check), which allows you to check the integrity of the files stored on your hard drive. Damaged sectors may appear on the hard while it’s being used. Such sectors may be the cause of a reduced disk performance, and their presence may in some cases make it difficult or even impossible to save the data (for example, files). Tool for checking errors can not only scan hard drives for bad sectors, but it also scans for file system errors so you can determine whether the location of specific files or folders is correct. In the case of daily computer use, it is recommended to run this utility once a week to prevent data loss.
Tip: Before you run the tool to check errors, close all the files. The “automatically fix file system errors” box should be checked only if you suspect that your disk contains bad sectors.
Protecting your computer from spyware. Spyware is software that collects personal information without the knowledge or consent of the user. Information collected by spyware include the list of visited websites, user logins, and passwords. Spyware not only violates your privacy, but it can also reduce your computer’s performance.
Visual Effects Customization
Customizing visual effects: (Control Panel => System => Advanced => Performance => Settings => Visual Effects). In settings, we can adjust the number of visual effects displayed by the system to the performance of our computer. Choosing the Custom option we will be able to enable or disable the effects. By checking the box “Let Windows choose what’s best for my computer,” we will enable the system to automatically the optimum settings, based on computer specifications. Selecting one of the two following options will respectively enable or disable all the visual effects. Users of less powerful computers may opt out of the additional visual effects for the improved system performance.
In the Performance Options by selecting the Advanced tab, you can configure the priority of CPU and memory usage by the programs. Users of workstations or stationary computers should check the Programs box. In this way, the running application in the foreground will have a higher priority than the service running in the background. The priority of certain programs running in the system can be modified in the Processes tab in Windows Task Manager. By default, every process running in the system is set to a Normal priority. When switched to High, the program will have priority in the queue to the CPU, while with the low priority the performance is going to decrease.
Virtual Memory Configuration
In the Performance Options, you can also configure the virtual memory of the computer. Virtual memory is a reserved area on the hard drive, which can be used by the system and programs, as ordinary RAM. Since the average access time to the hard drive is 1000 times longer than to RAM, virtual memory can hardly be regarded as the functional equivalent of RAM. The optimal file size of the virtual memory can be calculated basing on the amount of memory on your computer, according to the formula: file size = 1.5 * RAM.
This file can be created on any number of hard disk partitions. To prevent fragmentation of this file, set the initial size equal to the maximum file size. Users whose computers are equipped with one hard drive (regardless of the number of created partitions), should put the swap file on the same partition on which Windows is installed. In contrast, users of computers that have multiple hard drives should move the swap file to disk (or disks) that is not containing the operating system.
The configuration of services will be done using the Services in Control Panel under Administrative Tools. Your computer’s performance is affected by the number of services that run automatically at system startup. Depending on which system services we make use of, we can change their startup mode or even turn off the unused services.
Before disabling the particular service, it is good to check the Dependencies tab within the Service Properties if there are no links between the one we want to shut down and other services used in the system.
Other methods of optimization of the system:
- The system installed on the first hard disk partition (the fastest read)
- Use a secure file system (NTFS)
- Update operating system and software,
- Use antivirus software
- Periodic cleaning of the interior unit.
Those were just some simple teams that may with certain problems but not with everything that may be wrong with your PC. So remember to treat it responsibly, use antivirus (or two), always check twice before clicking a link or downloading something, and regularly clean not only the software but also the hardware =]
Faster computer equals more effective time management!
2 thoughts on “Enhance Your System Performance – Windows”
nice article and pictures are very good explanations
Hello. remarkable job. I did not expect this. This is a splendid story. Thanks!