Saturday, April 14, 2007

Is Your PC Depressed?

Has your PC lost its vim, vigor and verve? Does it take long, deep sighs when you ask it to do anything? Has it lost its youthful good cheer, its joi d'vivre? Does it no longer have that spring in its step, that "can do" attitude? I've got a couple of tips that just might turn things around, some electronic Zoloft, if you will.

Many computers get bogged down because they have too many chores they're trying to do in the background. These chores are weighing on your PC's mind, stressing it out, so when you ask it to do something else, it wants to spit in your eye. Some of these chores you put on your PC yourself when you installed all those applications that run on the QT, in the background. Some of these chores are Windows services that you don't need to be running all the time, or maybe ever. So let's look at how to take some unnecessary stress off your poor machine.

Stop File Indexing

Windows likes to index all the files on your hard drives so that it can find them quickly if you ask it to. It takes a lot of system resources to do this, and it really isn't very useful for most users. Windows will still be able to find stuff, it might just take a little longer. To disable file indexing, double click on the My Computer icon on your desktop, then right click on your C drive, and click on Properties. Uncheck the "Allow Indexing Service to index this disk for fast file searching." Next, apply changes to "C: subfolders and files," and click OK. If a warning or error message appears (such as "Access is denied"), click the Ignore All button. Do this for any other hard drives you have, including external ones.

Stop Programs You Don't Need from Running in the Background

Many of the applications you install come with annoying crap that runs in the background. You can see them on your system tray (the icons on the far right of your taskbar). Visit this page to find out how to put an end to this madness. What you're going to do is clean out the unwanted stuff from your Startup folder and use your Windows configuration utility to tell the unwanted apps to cut it out.

Disable Unneeded System Services

To help you figure out which services to disable, I'm going to put you in the good hands of the folks at Black Viper. Follow their instructions and give your PC a much needed break.

Remove Unneeded Applications

Many of us install programs that we end up never using or not liking. If you never get rid of them, your system can become overburdened. To remove them, Click Start>Control Panel>Add/Remove Programs. When the applet has populated itself with all your installed programs, scroll through the list to see if there are any you don't want anymore. Click on the Change/Remove button to cast them out one by one.

When you're done, your PC should be a happier camper.

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