Sunday, January 20, 2008
10 Easy Steps For Speeding up a Slow PC - Part 1
This is part 1 of a 10 part series on tuning up your PC. When you get a new PC you marvel at how fast it runs and handles all your tasks and applications. However, as time rolls on, your PC may start to gradually become slower and slower. Your PC also may bog down abruptly. Either way, there are a few easy steps the average computer user can take to get that PC back to its peak performance. Stop Viruses and Spyware Ensure that you have antivirus and anti-spyware software installed and up to date. Viruses and spyware can not only slow a computer down, they can be a security risk. Windows XP comes with Virus Protection software, but XP does not provide enough protection and a standalone program is best (note: ensure that the Virus Protection in XP is turned on). There are many choices for virus protection software, both commercial and free applications. One popular and effective anti-virus program is AVG. AVG Anti-Virus Free Edition 7.5.472 can be downloaded, installed and used for free from download.com. No matter which program you choose, ensure that you keep your software and definitions up-to-date. It is best to use the auto-update option in most programs. Whenever you use your computer to access the Internet, you will eventually receive spyware. Spyware can be harmless or malicious. The first thing is to make sure that you XP Firewall is running. Although not the perfect protection, it does provide some. Make sure that your XP is up-to-date and turn on the Auto-Updates option. Once again, there are many choices for spyware protection. For the home user, there are several free programs that will provide very good protection. One is Ad-Aware and can be downloaded at download.com. The other program is Spybot Search and Destroy at: safer-networking.org Ad-Aware and Spybot can be installed on the same computer and they both can run at the same time. NOTE: Do not install more than one third-party anti-virus program (it is okay to have Windows XP Virus Protection on with another anti-virus program running). As with the anti-virus, keep spyware software up-to-date. If after updating and running your anti-virus and spyware programs, you think that you still have some spyware or virus, run your computer in Safe Mode and run the programs again. The software mentioned above, along with keeping your operating system up to date, will provide reasonable protection from viruses and spyware. Author of simplepctalk.com blog James Owens has over 18 years experience with computers. He holds a BS in Computer Studies from University of Maryland UC and is currently employed by a major university in Indiana as the Assistant Director of Technology.