New computers start off fast with the full capacity of the advertised RAM and hard disk, but this speed can decrease a great deal over the following months. Extra programs specific to your needs will take a toll, but there are also added programs you will never use, spyware and malware from internet surfing, disk fragmentation from removing and adding software, and slow start-up due to all the excess baggage.
Keeping your new computer fast requires regular maintenance with the right set of tools. Many of these tools are free and come with the ability to establish a maintenance schedule, so you won’t have to worry about remembering to run them. Others can be manually set to run at times when you know the PC will not be in use.
Unlocking Maximum Potential Out of the Box
Anyone with a new computer is familiar with all the excess software, also known as craplets, manufacturers are paid to pre-install. This software is a drain on resources immediately, and most people never see the true capabilities of their computer. PC Decrapifier is a free program specifically targeting these programs for deletion.
Another area of concern with new and older computers is the start-up menu. Having a lot of unknown programs running at start-up can seriously slow things down. The free Autoruns will provide a list of all the start-up programs on your computer and detail about each. With this information, you can direct the program to eliminate or remove programs from the menu.
All-in-one Tune Up
Advanced WindowsCare V2 Personal is a free software package delivering all the basic tools necessary to keep your system running at optimum speed. It can clean out the mysterious registry, provide a user-friendly method of organizing start-up programs, clear history, and perform total system scans. After establishing a restore point, you can direct the software to perform a system scan. It will automatically detect problem areas and begin addressing them systematically, which is a process you can monitor or just allow to happen.
Internet security is a completely necessary thing, but does it have to drain system resources? Norton and McAfee seem to think so, and these programs are often part of the pre-install package. Getting rid of them is difficult, but the free Norton Removal Tool and McAfee Consumer Products Removal Tool makes it easier.
For free security that won’t reduce computing power, Avast and AVG’s Anti-virus software can both scan your computer, receive virus updates, and handle every aspect of internet security. It is also a good idea to find one or two stand-alone spyware programs. SpywareBlaster and Ad-Aware 2008 are both great choices. The former features a restore option in case of infection, and the latter allows suspect items to be quarantined before removal.
Updates and Energy Use
Running out-of-date applications and drivers is a major cause of system drag in some cases. Some programs will automatically update, but this is not always reliable. Driver Sweeper will find all types of driver updates and handle deleting the old ones. Secunia PSI performs total system scanning and handles all patches and update needs.
These are only a few aspects of computer maintenance. There are many other programs to help your computer achieve greater performance without need for an operating system update or new purchase.