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Kudos0

Poll: How do you speed up a computer?

Hello.  My name is Rowan Trollope, and I'm the Snr Vice President for Norton products.  I'm in charge of defining and building all of the Norton products.  I've been with Symantec since 1991.  Back when I was still programming for a living, I was an engineer working on Norton Utilities.  I worked on Diskedit, System doctor, and wrote Windows Doctor.

I'm very excited to see that this forum has been setup, and I plan to frequent the forum to interact with all of you.

One of the things I'm interested in right now is PC performance. I'd like to start a dialog with the technical experts in this forum to discuss how you help friends troubleshoot performance problems.  I often get asked by friends to help make their computers faster.  I have a standard "troubleshooting/diagnostic" routine that I go through, but I'm curious to see what procedure you use when you help friends try to speed up their PCs.

Post a reply to this thread and let me know what you do.

Replies

Kudos0

Re: Poll: How do you speed up a computer?

Hello.  My name is Rowan Trollope, and I'm the Snr Vice President for Norton products.  I'm in charge of defining and building all of the Norton products.  I've been with Symantec since 1991.  Back when I was still programming for a living, I was an engineer working on Norton Utilities.  I worked on Diskedit, System doctor, and wrote Windows Doctor.

I'm very excited to see that this forum has been setup, and I plan to frequent the forum to interact with all of you.

One of the things I'm interested in right now is PC performance. I'd like to start a dialog with the technical experts in this forum to discuss how you help friends troubleshoot performance problems.  I often get asked by friends to help make their computers faster.  I have a standard "troubleshooting/diagnostic" routine that I go through, but I'm curious to see what procedure you use when you help friends try to speed up their PCs.

Post a reply to this thread and let me know what you do.

Kudos0

Re: Poll: How do you speed up a computer?

Here are the steps I follow to speed up a PC:

1. First of all, I must be sure if the system is virus free

2. Then I uninstall unneeded programs

3. Disable unneeded Windows services, if possible.

4. Cleanup any temporary files

5. Cleanup Windows registry

6. Defragmentation

Kudos0

Re: Poll: How do you speed up a computer?

First thing, always, is to uninstall unnecessary software, or at least to remove it from startup. Then I defrag the hard drive... sometimes it boosts speed a bit. Cleaning up the system cache and setting a fixed virtual memory size (1.5 times the amount of RAM) to keep the file from growing too large. On older computers, turning off the visual effects can make a huge difference, as I witnessed with my dad's old dell with a pentium III processor... While products like PC Booster, TuneUp Utilities, or Advanced WindowsCare work really well, I don't really install them on other people's computers because I can imagine someone accidentally changing a setting that renders their computer inoperable. I use them on mine though .
Kudos0

Re: Poll: How do you speed up a computer?

I usually remove any programs in the registry that is attached to the run key that I feel do not need to be running at all times

Kudos0

Re: Poll: How do you speed up a computer?

In order for a computer to be slowed down, there must be programs running to take up CPU cycles. My basic strategy is to stop unnecessary programs from running automatically. The first places I look at are the various Run keys in the registry. They're located at

HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Run

HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Run

HKEY_CURRENT_USER changes as you log into different Windows accounts. The HKLM Run key is a favorite for many applications to place themselves in so they start up automatically. Prebuilt computers, such as those from Dell and HP, usually come with preinstalled software. I find that most people do not care for their features and so I start removing them from the Run key. This speeds up their startup times because there is no longer a big brawl between applications for CPU time during startup. Msconfig is also a nice tool to see which programs are starting up in this way.

The second thing I do is download Process Explorer and take a look at what processes are currently running. If there are any suspicious processes running (e.g. djvxdegabv.exe), then I google the exe's file name and look for signs of malware. Any bad guys will be deleted.

This is just to stop programs from running when they're really not needed. Getting rid of the mechanism for automatic execution doesn't prevent such programs from being run at a later date at the user's discretion. It's probably a good idea to have the computer's user/owner nearby to tell you if he/she wants a program to be running or not. For friends and family who are not tech-savvy, I usually make the decision for them.

Kudos0

Re: Poll: How do you speed up a computer?

There's no question that it all starts with uninstalling unneeded programs. Everybody and their mother wants to install and establish a open up business next to the system clock. Seems like nearly every free program that is legit these days comes with an "offer" for a toolbar or widget of some kind that you miss in your excitement in hitting "next" to get the primary app installed. Running a virus scan is another part of SOP (when working on friends computers), as is clearing out internet cache and tmp files. Seems like this is the same protocol and very little has changed since I started doing this 15 years ago. 

After that, I'm a big fan of autoruns (once available from the magnificant guys at Sysinternals, now offered from another group I'm less familiar with ) and ccleaner. I used to use SpyBot quite a bit, along with teatimer for my reg shield, but the notifications get annoying and I couldn't safely put it on anyone elses system without getting a call later that xyz program won't install. autoruns does a nice job of consolidating everything into a convenient location (run keys, browser helper objects, scheduled tasks, services, etc.) - it can be dangerous if your not careful, but that's what Google is for.

Those are my "essentials"

Mel 

Kudos0

Re: Poll: How do you speed up a computer?

Hi,

Thanks for the great topic.  I usually find the unneeded startup items and services.  Software as a Service (SaaS) is now what most developers of software is taking advantage and I understand the need and advantage of it but there are some unneeded SaaS that I hope some developers will check out before plunging.

I'm using WinPatrol to handle this by reviewing the startup items, browser helpers, tasks, services, processes and many more.  It allow users to view more info on the entry offline and online (for WinPatrol + customers).

Next is defragging the system using 3rd party tool.  Windows Defrag is handy but not as powerful as 3rd party.

Donna BuenaventuraMicrosoft MVPCalendarofupdates.com
Kudos0

Re: Poll: How do you speed up a computer?

Kudos0

Re: Poll: How do you speed up a computer?

At first I uninstall all unnecassery prgrams. Than I delete all left folders and reg keys.

Also I have a regular look at my start up program to be sure nothing is in the way

"All that we are is the result of what we have thought"
Kudos0

Re: Poll: How do you speed up a computer?


Vejdin wrote:

Here are the steps I follow to speed up a PC:

1. First of all, I must be sure if the system is virus free

2. Then I uninstall unneeded programs

3. Disable unneeded Windows services, if possible.

4. Cleanup any temporary files

5. Cleanup Windows registry

6. Defragmentation


+ 1 (With the help of Systemworks of course)
          --------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------Masis wrote:

Simple....visit microsofts...onecare centre..

http://onecare.live.com/site/en-Us/center/cleanup.htm (cleanup)

http://onecare.live.com/site/en-Us/center/howsafe.htm (scan)

http://onecare.live.com/site/en-Us/center/tuneup.htm (tuneup)

         ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------   Oops
 
Urrell
Kudos0

Re: Poll: How do you speed up a computer?


Urrell wrote:


          --------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------Masis wrote:

Simple....visit microsofts...onecare centre..

http://onecare.live.com/site/en-Us/center/cleanup.htm (cleanup)

http://onecare.live.com/site/en-Us/center/howsafe.htm (scan)

http://onecare.live.com/site/en-Us/center/tuneup.htm (tuneup)

         ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------   Oops
 
That's what I thought ;)
"All that we are is the result of what we have thought"
Kudos0

Re: Poll: How do you speed up a computer?

I use the current version\run registry entry edit to get rid of the garbage as well - esp for family/friends with kids they install all sorts of garbage. Doing an uninstall still seems to leave junk on the HD and in the registry, so I also recommend that they do a 'refresh' every 6 months or so depending how their machine is used. (For me I used to use NSR and now use Ghost to set up the machine with a clean install and the main apps I am going to use) . When I do the refresh I also run update to get latest fixes etc and then ghost the machine again

The rebuild seems to be the only way to remove all the bloat and restore the system to a well running 'puter

Mark

Kudos0

Re: Poll: How do you speed up a computer?

1.As a Chinese user, I always use this tool to speed up my computer, it is designed by a Chinese engineer and has already released its English version :http://www.kztechs.com/eng/index.html

I use Sreng to clean up the autostart items, disable or uninstall some unneeded services and drivers.

2.Regularly clean up the rubbish files and registry using McAfee's "Maintain Computer", or using a software named Super Rabbit. It's also a Chinese software. 

3.Sometimes I use norton ghost to recover my system to original, I think it's the most effective way to speed up a computer.

Message Edited by kangarooke on 04-10-2008 09:16 AM
Kudos0

Re: Poll: How do you speed up a computer?


kangarooke wrote:

1.As a Chinese user, I always use this tool to speed up my computer, it is designed by a Chinese engineer and has already released its English version :http://www.kztechs.com/eng/index.html

I use Sreng to clean up the autostart items, disable or uninstall some unneeded services and drivers.

2.Regularly clean up the rubbish files and registry using McAfee's "Maintain Computer", or using a software named Super Rabbit. It's also a Chinese software. 

3.Sometimes I use norton ghost to recover my system to original, I think it's the most effective way to speed up a computer.

Message Edited by kangarooke on 04-10-2008 09:16 AM
McAfee ???Where is Norton?
"All that we are is the result of what we have thought"
Kudos0

Re: Poll: How do you speed up a computer?

If presented with a system that is in need of speeding up, I've found the following steps helpful (in no particular order):

  • Clear the Prefetch cache
  • Modify MTU/TCP/Winsock settings based on my connection
  • Disable the Messenger Service to eliminate certain add pop-ups
  • Modify page file size depending upon amount of RAM and processor speed
  • Disable indexing on the drive
  • Clean up TEMP
  • Clean of cookies
  • Clean up Temp Internet Files
  • Run Windoctor
  • Review installed applications and remove unnecessary applications
  • Run Norton AntiBot
  • Run a Virus scan with any form of Norton AntiVirus 2008
  • Update security software to Norton AntiVirus/Internet Security/SystemWorks 2008 or Norton 360 Version 2.0 or newer
  • Defragment system
  • After verifying with the owner, disable Windows animations
  • Defragment boot sector
  • Defragment registry (older systems or systems that have had a lot of programs installed and uninstalled usually benefit from this)
  • Disable unnecessary startup items
  • Disable unnecessary Services
  • Run all Windows Updates
  • Adjust DNS cache size
  • Change Prefecth settings to startup items only
Kudos0

Re: Poll: How do you speed up a computer?

Hi,

Why tuneup my PC?

The only thing I do is using defragmentation software by O&O. If I install any software ( and I have not only firefox or so.. I don't click next next next accept next next next. I look for toolbars, background agents, advertisement and so on before I click install. And if this doesn't work I start the program search for autostart options and disable them if I don't want them. There are a few programs without this options than I look in the regedit to disable them.

Try to have up to date drivers, servicepacks and hotfixes for all software.

I don't need membooster, registrycleaner, tune-up utilities and antiwindowsphonehometools.

My Ps's running and running and running and running and they don't loos their performance.

(okay temporary internet files, and temp files I delete to)

cheerio

Lars 

Life is like an adventure- stupid story but fantastic graphics.Earlier we flew to the moon with a Commodore 64 Computer.....today we need a pentium pc to start Windows ;-)
Kudos0

Re: Poll: How do you speed up a computer?

Forgot to mention earlier....get some..FLASH MEMORY...tht would help!!
Kudos0

Re: Poll: How do you speed up a computer?

if you want to make IE launch much faster simply remove all the junk in the IE setting at tools->manage add-ons.

I noticed that only very few are actually required.

Message Edited by Tony_Weiss on 04-18-2008 05:42 PM
Kudos0

Re: Poll: How do you speed up a computer?

Two things I do first:

remove unwanted software and startup items

start disabling or setting unneeded services ( Windows and 3rd party ) to manual.

a good guide can be found at www.blackviper.com.

Kudos0

Re: Poll: How do you speed up a computer?


Vejdin wrote:

Here are the steps I follow to speed up a PC:

1. First of all, I must be sure if the system is virus free

2. Then I uninstall unneeded programs

3. Disable unneeded Windows services, if possible.

4. Cleanup any temporary files

5. Cleanup Windows registry

6. Defragmentation


I follow also above mentioned steps...For uninstall I use "Revo Uninstaller" info at http://www.revouninstaller.com This program cleans the win registry very good (if you want)  Evert Maurer (The Netherlands)
Message Edited by emaurer on 04-11-2008 02:46 AMMessage Edited by emaurer on 04-11-2008 02:47 AM
Evert Maurer (The Netherlands)
Kudos0

Re: Poll: How do you speed up a computer?

Speeding up a PC is easy

Visit Norton Systemworks Premier

Edit - Oops trying to be clever :smileysurprised

Message Edited by Urrell on 04-11-2008 09:13 AM
Urrell
Kudos0

Re: Poll: How do you speed up a computer?


Urrell wrote:

Speeding up a PC is easy

Visit Norton Systemworks Premier

Edit - Oops trying to be clever :smileysurprised

Message Edited by Urrell on 04-11-2008 09:13 AM
HahaIt works
"All that we are is the result of what we have thought"
Kudos0

Re: Poll: How do you speed up a computer?

Like most of the rest, I find that the typical neighbor or relative with a slow computer has installed a half a dozen picture editors with all the cameras, printers, etc., all of which have running processes; may have more than one security program running; have several toolbars or other widgets that download with itunes, google earth, or games, etc. etc.

So I bring up the task manager and Add Programs tools, print screen, and start asking "do you ever use...?" Then I start paring, cleaning, removing, uninstalling....

Of course somewhere near the beginning is an ADAWARE and virus scan, as I should have mentioned.

This almost always makes things run much better.  Worst to date, 44 items in the ADAWARE scan alone...

Kudos0

Re: Poll: How do you speed up a computer?

Starting at the beginning, when I purchase a new system, I begin by selecting a processor from the upper range of those available to give me a little leeway over the next several years.  I also include at least 1 GB of RAM more than the minimum then recommended (these days, that starts at 2 GB with Vista) and at least a fast 7200 RPM hard drive or even a RAID 0 array.  For what I do, I also select a high end video card, and as the system ages, I add RAM when needed to stay ahead of the curve.

Using information from a site like www.blackviper.com, I eliminate startup of unnecessary services, and I go through the options of all my applications and msconfig to eliminate unnecessary or intrusive startup items.  I set up schedules to periodically clean up and defragment the disks and registry, and I make sure my security programs (including NIS, of course) and operating system are properly updated and set to prevent unwanted intrusions and additions to the system.  Particularly when working on process intensive tasks (like image or video editing), I close down other unnecessary running applications to avoid file swapping with the hard drive.

-- Jim 

Kudos0

Re: Poll: How do you speed up a computer?

That's a great advise!

Only enable the ones we need. I often remove in some machine the add-ons that has been added without consent or remnants of misleading applications that is no longer installed.

Donna BuenaventuraMicrosoft MVPCalendarofupdates.com
Kudos0

Re: Poll: How do you speed up a computer?


Donna wrote:

That's a great advise!

Only enable the ones we need. I often remove in some machine the add-ons that has been added without consent or remnants of misleading applications that is no longer installed.


This is always advisable. That way you have better control as well.
"All that we are is the result of what we have thought"
Kudos0

Re: Poll: How do you speed up a computer?

1. Virus scan

2. Go thorugh my programs, see what I don't need anymore, or what I can reinstall when I need it, then uninstall those.

3. Run a disk cleanup, delete as much as I can

4. Disable Hibernation if it is enabled (takes up about 3 GBs of space on my computer)

5. Restart into safe mode

6. Defrag (I use JKDefrag, not the windows, as vista's is lacking)

I use safe mode to defrag because it runs faster, and more areas of the disk are open for filling.

Kudos0

Re: Poll: How do you speed up a computer?


saladbar1 wrote:

1. Virus scan

2. Go thorugh my programs, see what I don't need anymore, or what I can reinstall when I need it, then uninstall those.

3. Run a disk cleanup, delete as much as I can

4. Disable Hibernation if it is enabled (takes up about 3 GBs of space on my computer)

5. Restart into safe mode

6. Defrag (I use JKDefrag, not the windows, as vista's is lacking)

I use safe mode to defrag because it runs faster, and more areas of the disk are open for filling.


Thanx for your ideas saladbar
"All that we are is the result of what we have thought"
Kudos0

Re: Poll: How do you speed up a computer?

"Speeding up" is an important thing for everything in this world on these days. This is even applicable for computers. If you are not maintaining it, you can not expect the fastest results from it. Here we go my tips:

 

1. Remove all Temporary Internet Files & Cookies (start --> run --> type "inetcpl.cpl" to get in there)
2. Delete windows temp files (c:\windows\temp)
3. Delete all Downloaded Program Files
4. Delete windows prefetch files (c:\windows\prefetch)
5. Empty Recyclebin
6. Run a disk clean up (start --> run --> type "cleanmgr")

7. Get rid off all "unnecessary" start up entries (start --> run --> type "msconfig")

 

I would also recommend N360 v2.0 as it has got "PCTuneup" tool which does everything in just a click away. It also generates a well formatted report about your computer.

 

Try it out!!!

 

~srini~

Message Edited by srini on 07-11-2008 08:38 PM
Kudos0

Re: Poll: How do you speed up a computer?

For others computers:

"1. First of all, I must be sure if the system is virus free

2. Then I uninstall unneeded programs

3. Disable unneeded Windows services, if possible.

4. Cleanup any temporary files

5. Cleanup Windows registry

6. Defragmentation"

7. Check for updated drivers/bios.

8. Determine hardware vs software installed, upgrade if appropriate.

9. Disable un-needed bios features/options.

10. Defrag/optimise registry.

11. Explain the merits of installing software on a second hdd or partition.

For myself:

1. Backup any files needed (including save-game files).

2. Reghost to a good state.

 If I change hardware, or there is a new service pack, or it is 'that time', or someone elses system is just too bad, I will:

1. Reghost to a base-image state (ie: no drivers, no service packs, just base windows). (re-install windows on someone elses system).

2. Install service packs (offline)

3. Install Drivers (offline)

4. Install Antivirus/antispyware (offline)

5. Update virus/spyware defs.

6. Install applications to D: drive.

7. Make a ghost image.

Kudos0

Re: Poll: How do you speed up a computer?

For a thorough defrag, and to have an active defrag running in the background, try this, Smart and Better Defrag . I'll wait to submit my personal 2 cents on how to speed up your PC after I have read a couple more posts on here..Message Edited by johna on 07-12-2008 09:16 AM
Kudos0

Re: Poll: How do you speed up a computer?

Hi,

Excellent question ... short answer: it depends.

Long answer:

(1) Make certain I have the most stable / effective BIOS for my motherboard - won't always be the latest.

(2) Make certain motherboard settings exploit all latest features of hard drives.

(3) Multi-boot system with multiple operating systems ... 2 copies of XP PRO, 2 copies of VISTA ULTIMATE etc.

Have one copy as the pristine 'clean install' and the other as the dog (working) system.  Nothing is ever as fast as a clean, brand spanking new installation of windows - it's all downhill afterwards.

(4) Never allow MS to control system updates - wait a tick to see how they pan out (many cause mega hassles).

(5) Raid arrays ... love them / hate them ... they do speed life up so long as you are happy with the hassles.

Stick wth striping - high risk / max performance.  Useful with games.  Can moderate risk via scripted imaging in quiet periods.

(6) Use Mike Lin's STARTUP MONITOR ... www.mlin.net - brilliant / simple / effective -click and go.

(7) NEVER allow any apple software to go unchallenged - see 6.  The **bleep** stuff can be real tricky to clear out and it all costs (resources / performance).

(8) SLI - yes, it really really makes an enormous performance improvement (even two not so good graphics cards in SLI mode fly)

(9) Memory is dirt cheap - min 3.5 gig

(10)  Use task manager and you will see a few things only.  Get something much more accurate - eg: essentialnettools (www.tamosoft.com) ... not only see all processes but lets you track down where they are calling too / from ... brilliant.

(11) Ease off on Symantec options ... nothing is free.  (You asked for tips to speed up systems)

(12)  Visit Black Viper to see what I can strip off without causing blood flow to stop.

(13) Keep a weather eye on this site - always good for tips / tools / traps ... "I am not a Geek"

(14) The Lavasoft flavour of registry editor is excellent ... have not tested it in Vista - would never touch the registry without it.

(15) Driver updates - for everything ... takes a bit of testing to make sure they all behave well together.  

(16) Drive emulators - if you have memory to burn - really speed up games and installations (VirtualDrivePro)

(17)  Avoid Logitech drivers - buggy / resource heavy / always phoning home / often don't play well with other drivers

(18) Never use creative lab drivers - ever.

(19) Get latest CPU drivers from Intel / AMD - yes, they do make a difference in speed.

(20) Tweak ... in your dreams.  Sure, you *might* get a little gain but the bottleneck will always be the person and not the machine.

Happy speeding ....

MikeXP PRO SP 3XP PRO SP 2Vista SP 1
Kudos0

Re: Poll: How do you speed up a computer?

The following are the steps that I generally follow when troubleshooting someone else's computer. I say general because it doesn't apply to every situation.

Here it is:

1) First, I observe the general performance of the computer (kind of like visual inspection) to see how the computer responds. If I feel that the computer is in good condition, I take a deeper look at the settings to see if there's something I can tweak in order to increase performance.

If there are signs of malware infections, I will check with the security software installed and see if they are up-to-date or not. If they are, I will take a look at the settings to see if it/they provide maximum protection. If not, I will adjust it accordingly.

2) Second, I uninstall applications that are not needed, provided that the owner of the computer agrees to go on with the procedure.

3) I use a set of applications that help me clean out the junk, remove malware, and do other useful tune-up tasks. Note that these applications are located in a USB key so that I can bring it anywhere I go.

4) After degunking the computer, I will perform a several full system scans in order to sweep any malware that are running/hiding.

5) After I'm done with sweeping the malware, I perform one last system clean-up to remove erroneous entries/files left behind by malwares.

6) Last but not least, I perform a system defragmentation.

For most people, this routine works great. As for myself, I perform a more comprehensive inspection of my computer even if I know that it is malware-free.

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