Programs to Speed Up Your Computer

Dear Computer Lady,

Do you know if any of those web sites claiming to make your computer faster actually work?

Thanks, Bob

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Dear Bob,

The quick answer to your question is, “No”.

Let me explain why.

There are a couple of reasons why your computer might be slowing down.

1. You don’t have enough RAM. Ram is Random Access Memory. It is the amount of space your computer has to actually work on items at one time. If your computer were a person, the amount of RAM would be like the number of hands the person can use to pick up items and work on them at one time. Your computer might have had enough RAM when it was new, but as time goes on, new programs (like the latest web browser) require more and more RAM to run smoothly. Since RAM is a physical part of your computer, the only way to fix this problem is to purchase and install additional RAM sticks.
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2. You have too many programs running all the time. As you install programs on your computer, many of them are programmed to start automatically when windows starts. For example, when you install Adobe Acrobat Reader, a small program automatically starts every time you start your computer that checks for updates. These updates might only be available once every few months, but still your computer will check every day. Other programs that do this are, Microsoft Office, Google Toolbar, many printer programs and more.

Some of those websites that claim to make your computer run faster, might actually help you turn off these programs that are automatically starting, but you can easily do the same thing using the windows system configuration dialog box, or a windows optimizing program.
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3. Software Rot. The software on your computer can deteriorate in performance over time as it runs and accumulates errors. If you use your computer every day, like to play games or try out new software, or install and uninstall programs regularly, you will most likely start to notice your computer slowing down along with small errors here and there. As time progress these errors will become more serious and more frequent. I use my computer every day (sometimes I don’t touch it on a busy Sunday) and I love to try out new programs, so my computer tends to become slow and unstable every 18 to 24 months. The way to fix software rot, is to backup your files, format your hard drive and re-install your operating system and programs.

To get back to your original question, most of the programs that claim to make your computer faster are not addressing the three problems outlined above, and they are probably adding additional software to the programs that you are already running all the time, which in reality slows your computer down even more.

Elizabeth

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Comments

    • Daisyray
    • October 30, 2009

    Hi Elizabeth

    Thank you so much for your answer to this question. These are points that I have tried to put over to ‘geeky’ computer users (my boys) who know everything for many years. I do an annual Software Rot (I like your expression) cleanout and have a new system afterwards.

    Thanks for all the great advice over the years.

    • jgaspar
    • November 3, 2009

    ok so how do i back up my files and format my hard drive and re install my operating system and programs?

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