When I meet a client’s computer for the first time, I go through a little routine to check for problems, improve performance, and speed up boot times. You can do it to your own computer too.
- Use Task Manager to see how many processes are running and determine how much tweaking I have to do to startup.
- Use msconfig to streamline the startup process
- Install CCleaner to cleanup temporary files
- Check on the amount of RAM in the computer. If less than 1 GB for XP or less than 2 GB for Vista or 7, I recommend an upgrade.
- Pull up Crucial.com and run the memory scanner to determine what type of RAM and how much RAM can be added. Print out the results and add Crucial’s phone number.
- Talk about current security software and switch them to Microsoft Security Essentials (Windows Vista or 7) or Avast (Windows XP) if agreeable (see sidebar for links)
- Reset Internet Explorer and/or upgrade to IE 7 or 8
- Recommend using Google Chrome or Mozilla Firefox as primary browser
- Use compressed air or a shop vac to blow dust out of the machine, if necessary
After performing these few tweaks, the computer usually breathes and runs much better. And usually these steps take less than 15 minutes to perform, and I can continue onward and answer the questions and solve the problems I was originally called in to do more efficiently.
Take the time to look through my tips linked in this article and you, too, can keep your computer running at its best!