loading

Level: Easy

Are you experiencing your PC running slow? Is your computer randomly freezing? Do you hearing crackling noises from the hard disk drive? How about fans being very loud? Well you’re in luck look no further! This is the ultimate guide you will ever need! This guide is for the general public who wishes to increase the speed of their computer. This will help you solve these problems and better the performance of your computer. Often people do not realize as website cache files and program registry inputs overtime slow down the overall performance of the computer. Sometimes it is filled with so much filth and dust that often overheats and shuts down unexpectedly. This guide is broken down into 5 sections which consist of 10 or less steps in each section:

  • Using Software Tools
  • Disabling Startup Applications
  • Uninstalling Programs
  • Cleaning Up
  • Performing Hardware Upgrades

MATERIALS:

All you need for this project is a little bit of patience and a few software programs that are already available on your PC - don’t worry we’ll get to it in just a sec! You will also need the following:

  • Compressed air duster
  • Screwdriver flat head and phillips
  • Vacuum with brush and hose attachments
  • Download Microsoft Security Essentials and Malware Bytes

PREPERATION:

Before we delve into this project, it is probably best that we first save all our work prior to shutting down the computer. If your computer is running extremely slow, then we will have to get into “Safe Mode”. Safe Mode is a troubleshooting option in Windows that starts your computer in a limited state. Only the basic files and drivers necessary to run Windows are started.

“Getting into Safe Mode (Optional)”:

Getting into safe mode requires a “sleight of hand” trick; if we miss the option then normal Windows will start. Just as you turn on your computer, immediately hit the F8 key a couple times which will lead to an options menu. There you will see the Safe Mode option. Select that option and hit enter. You will see a bunch of lines of texts, this is normal. You will know you are in Safe Mode once you see “Safe Mode” written on the corners of the screen and the desktop looks different. We can now proceed with our tune-up.

Step 1: Section 1: Using Preinstalled Tools to Optimize PC

These programs are very useful and are already available on your computer. The first step requires the use of software programs tools which are already built in the computer. When your computer is all booted up, you should be at your desktop screen. If not, exit any open programs there might be.

Step 1:

Click on the “Start Button” and locate “Computer”. This will open a new window showing you the available drives inside the computer.

Step 2:

Locate the “Local Disk” or “C” drive.

This is the hard drive that we would be working on. Right Click on the drive, and then click on “Properties”.

Step 3:

Click on the “Disk Cleanup” button.

This will calculate how much space we can gain from all the cache files the computer stores. When it is done calculating, check mark all the options and hit “Cleanup”.

Note: The “clean up” process involves of cleaning up of cache files, temporary files, recycle bins, log files, etc. It is safe to clean up all of these.

Step 4:

Locate the “Tools” tab and single click it.

Under this tab contains the required software tools that we are going to use today. It consists of disk error checking, defragment, and backup.

Step 5:

Click on “Check Now” for error checking of the entire disk drive.

This will scan the drive and potentially fix any errors or bad sectors it finds in the hard drive. Once it’s done, let’s go to the next step; defragmenting the hard drive.

Step 6:

Click on “Defragment now”.

This will just reorganize all the files in the drive. Don’t worry it will not replace your files anywhere! Just the 1’s and 0’s of the binary code. This will allow faster file searches and performance. The process will take at least an hour or 2, so let’s grab a meal and a movie and come back later!

Step 7:

Connect to the internet and download

“Microsoft Security Essentials” and “Malwarebytes”. These programs will help protect your PC against viruses and malware known to harm your computer. Microsoft Security Essentials and Malwarebytes in conjunction makes the ultimate security combo no money can ever buy. Of course, you can always go with the paid version of other security software such as Norton and Mcafee.

Step 8:

Install Microsoft Security Essentials and Malwarebytes on

the computer.

Step 9:

Run Microsoft Security Essentials.

This program will scan for possible risks within your computer. Once complete, run Malwarebytes.

Step 10:

Run Malwarebytes.

This program will scan for possible software that are installed as a virus without your acknowledgement.

Step 11: Section 2: Disabling Start-Up Applications

Startup applications take up the most time in fully booting up the pc. They can be turned off so you can get to your desktop and browse the internet faster.

Step 12:

Point out to “Run” In the Start button menu > All Programs > Accessories > Run, and click on it. Or as a shortcut, press the “Windows key and R” at the same time and a little window should open.

Step 13:

Type “MSCONFIG” in the Run Window

If it asks you for any security authentication go ahead and allow it.

Step 14:

Click on the “Startup” tab located on top of the window. You will notice a lot of programs being check for startup. Go ahead and uncheck the programs you believe you will not need.

Note: Only uncheck the programs and applications you recognize! Do not uncheck items you are unsure of such as system drivers.

Step 15:

Hit “OK”, confirm the prompt and hit Restart once you have disabled some startup applications.

Step 16: Section 3: Uninstalling Programs

Some of these programs known as “bloatware” are unnecessary and take up space in the hard drive. Programs such as browser toolbars and extra search engines could also invite viruses to your computer.

Step 17:

Locate “Control Panel” on the Start button, and click it. A new window will open.

Step 18:

Find “Programs and Features” link and single click it. Once the window has opened, only uninstall programs you recognize of what it does and you do not need it. The only programs you should be uninstalling here are Browser Toolbars, Search Engines, and program shortcuts such as Ebay.

Step 19: Section 4: Vacuum

This part consists of physically cleaning the computer. This step requires a bit of lifting or moving. Overtime dust may build up inside the computer. It is recommended to regularly clean up every 2-3 months. This section describes how to clean the PC.

Step 20:

Shutdown your computer, unplug all the cables and wires, and take out the PC to a well ventilated area such as by a window.

Step 21:

Lay down the computer to the side on a flat surface. Use the screwdriver if needed and remove the side panel.

Step 22:

Plug the vacuum in a power outlet and attach the brush with the hose.

Step 23:

Carefully vacuum to heavy dust particles inside the PC. Use the brush end of the vacuum around and the edges of the fans and vents.

Step 24:

Take out our handy dandy compressed air duster and then use the air compressor to blow out any remaining dust in hard to reach spots.

Step 25:

Put away cleaning materials and plug the necessary cables and wires in the computer and power it up.

Step 26: Section 5: Hardware Upgrade

Your computer is all cleaned up now and you should be able to notice a difference in performance. If however you still are not satisfied, then consider a RAM memory upgrade for a true computing performance. Adding more RAM helps speed up your computer as well as offering more multitasking productivity. Visit Crucial.com to see what types of Ram can fit inside your computer.

You may also consider your hard drive upgraded to a Solid State Drive. A SSD is a high performance plug and play flash storage device that contains no moving parts. As with traditional hard drives, they need to "warm up" before they can perform at optimal speeds, but with an SSD performance is undeniable even in a cold start and it is worth the upgrade.

Step 27: Wrapping Up

Congratulations! You have

successfully completed this guide and increased performance in your computer.

<p>Windows is not a virus. A virus DOES SOMETHING!!!</p>
<p>It should also be noted that if your system is equipped with a Solid State Drive (SSD) that you should not run disk defragmenter on that drive. It's unnecessary and doing so could shorten the life of said drive.</p>
<p>I agree with you, however newer SSD's are able to handle the defragment features. I have an SSD drive installed in my computer and Norton defrags it all the time and I have never experienced a problem. However, you are right, have you thought about the hybrid drives? Ones with an SSD and HDD built in together? I really do not know how those work, but wouldn't defragmenting on those be possible? Unless they're separate hard drives/partitions in one piece.</p><p><a href="http://www.pcworld.com/article/2047513/fragging-wonderful-the-truth-about-defragging-your-ssd.html" rel="nofollow">http://www.pcworld.com/article/2047513/fragging-wo...</a></p><p>Thank you! Appreciated your comment</p>
<p>Thank you all for your kind words as this was my first Instructable. I enjoyed making this instructable and enjoyed reading your comments. I do look forward to making more instructables in the future and better my instructions. </p>
Useful especially when you are a gamer
<p>I agree with you, I should add that in as well. I also notice myself performance slowing down whenever I PC game a lot. Games do take up a lot of memory and space. Thank you!</p>
<p>very useful, thank you!</p>
<p>Thank you! And you're welcome</p>
<p>This is spot-on. Great! I agree with the RAM advice; give it as much RAM as possible. If you have a USB thumb drive you can also utilize ReadyBoost in Win7 and 8. For stubborn issues, you can also boot into your system with a Linux boot USB and remove malware. You need to be certain that what you are removing *IS* malware, of course.</p>
<p>Thank you! I forgot about the ready boost feature, I'll be sure to add that in the next time. I'll look more into Linux boot USB, never heard of it.</p>
<p>A couple of comments. I do this for a living and do not recommend Malwarebytes. Especially the free version. It is incomplete and doesn't catch a lot of stuff. MS Security Essentials is outstanding and should be the only thing you need once your computer is clean. For cleaning the computer I recommend CCleaner. You can download it for free from Filehippo.com (great repository of tools) and does a much better and complete job of removing garbage, not only from the temp files but also for IE, Google Chrome, and Firefox. Once the temp files have been clean use the registry cleaner to cleanup the registry. I have never needed to backup or replace the registry entries. MSCONFIG should not be used to disable startup programs it is primarily used for troubleshooting and is a poor choice for long term use. CCleaner also has a Startup control tool for not only the startup programs but also IE Chrome and Firefox, extensions. The uninstall in CCleaner is also much better than the Windows Programs and Features. </p><p>For removing virus, malware and spyware I recommend ComboFix from bleepingcomputers.com. It is a heavy duty tool made primarily for geeks. But it usually does the job admirably. It is best run from &quot;Safe Mode&quot;, and always download it fresh for each use. If you don't know how to get into &quot;Safe Mode&quot; then this tool is not for you.</p>

About This Instructable

4,202views

47favorites

License:

Bio: I like sports, basketball to be specific, but I enjoy playing all types of sports. I like action adventure shooter games as well as RPG ... More »
More by imrmot:Windows PC Tune-Up 
Add instructable to: