Saturday, May 13, 2006

Optimize Windows XP

You don’t need expensive software programs, like Iolo’s System Mechanic or Norton’s SystemWorks, in order to optimize your computer’s performance. Windows XP comes with several system utilities to clean up and maintain your computer. Follow these (5) easy tasks to get the most out of your system.

  1. Cleanup the clutter that your computer accumulated over time by using Windows’ Disk Cleanup. To access Disk Cleanup go to Start menu> All Programs> Accessories> System Tools> Disk Cleanup. Make sure Temporary files, Download files, Temporary Internet Files and Recycle Bin are checked. Compress old files doesn’t delete any files but, instead, Windows compresses files to free up hard drive (HD) space. If you have plenty of free space on your HD then there is no need to compress these files.

  2. Trim down on the number of startup programs using the “msconfig” command. Go to Start menu> Run> type “msconfig” and [Enter]> Startup tab. Uncheck any program that you don’t need at startup and the click on [Apply]. Caution, do not uncheck your antivirus and firewall programs!

  3. Speed up your computer by defragging your HD. Go to Start menu> All programs> Accessories> System Tools> Disk defragmenter. Click on [Analyze] to see the amount of fragmentation on your HD. Click on [Defragment] to start the process.

  4. Remove any spyware and/or adware by using Microsoft’s Window Defender Beta 2. Download and install Windows Defender. Scan your HD and quarantine any suspect malware. Allow Windows Defender to load on startup in order to monitor your computer and stop any malware that tries to get on to your computer.

  5. Use System Restore to create restore points to undo any harmful changes to your system. Go to Start menu> Help and Support> Undo changes to your computer with System Restore> Create a restore point.

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