08 Sep 2008 @ 8:39 AM 

Windows is well known for being a very slow and inefficient operating system. What makes matters worse, is that there is the tendency to slow down even more with time. After a few months from a fresh installation, your system will be extremely slow and unstable. Here a few things you can try to do. Please note that I don’t even consider Windows Vista; this is something you don’t want on your computer!

The radical solution would be reinstalling the system from scratch. Everybody hates to do this, but sooner or later you will need to plan for a fresh installation of your system. For this reason have handy all your software (Operating System, Printer Drivers etc.). Unfortunately nowadays many computer manufacturers don’t include the original Windows CD/DVD; ask them (sometimes they don’t even give you a manual) how to create and burn the CD/DVD. They save a few bucks (for themselves) and put you in a nightmare. Talk of customer satisfaction!

Even if your system is fresh and relatively fast, try the following 2 things and your computer will be much faster. The first of these 2 solutions, will save you money because you won’t (probably) need to add RAM Memory to your computer.

1) Windows has a nice look, but this look costs a lot in term of system resources. If you can accept a look like Windows 98, this is the solution for you. Click on Start then right click on My Computer, then on Properties. Your system window will appear. Click on the Advanced tab, then under the section Performance, click on Settings. You should have the tab Visual effects already selected; if not, select it. You should have the option (radio button) Let Windows choose what’s best for my computer; it’s never a good idea letting Windows choose for you, With this selection, Windows should choose a list of settings good for your computer’s performance, while, at the same time, keeping a nice appearance. If you select Adjust for best performance, and then Apply, you will thank me. Restart the system if required. To go back the previous situation (getting a slower computer) simply redo from start and then select Let Windows choose what’s best for my computer. My LapTop is a rocket now.

2) Another bottleneck of Windows is the virtual memory management. When Windows needs more memory than physically installed on your system (another way for manufacturer to show a better price, but the system is inadequate) it will use a virtual memory. So what does this mean? Virtual memory is a memory created on your hard disk and it is used by Windows in order to transfer there, files data etc. not needed at the moment, but probably needed in a near future. All this disk swapping slows down your computer (a disk is much slower than RAM memory). Add to this the fact that Windows keeps in memory stuff not really needed, and sooner or later during the day, you will notice that your disk is working more than usual and your PC is almost dead. Unfortunately, by default, Windows allocates dinamically this virtual memory; this means that if Windows need more virtual memory, operations will be even slower because the system must allocate a bigger chunck of memory. Now I am going to show you how to create an efficient, and big enough virtual memory. First of all, we need to defragment the hard disk. This means that at the end of this long operation, the free space on your disk will be contiguous, making your computer a bit faster. Don’t skip this step! In order to do this, click on Start, then All Programs, then Accessories, then System Tools, then Disk defragmenter. Finally a window with this application (disk defragmenter) opens. Click on the icon of the disk containing your operating system (usually C:), then on Defragment. Once operations start, go for a walk; depending on the size of your disk (and somebody says that size does not matter!) and the level of fragmentation this procedure can require quite a time. Once the disk is in tip top shape (don’t worry Windows will make soon a mess of your disk), it’s time to work on your virtual memory. Click on Start then right click on My Computer, then on Properties. Your system window will appear. Click on the Advanced tab, then under the section Performance, click on Settings.This is the same procedure you already followed for improving efficiency on visual effects. Now click on the tab Advanced, and at the end of this window you will see a section called Virtual Memory. Click on Change; the new window has a few things to notice; your system should have selected the radio button System Management Size. Click on Custom Size and in the 2 boxes Initial size (MB) and Maximum Size (MB) input the same value. You should use as value a number between 1.5 and 2 times your real RAM Memory. Click on OK, then your computer will ask you to reboot (which is the best way Microsoft found to waste your time). Do it and enjoy faster start ups and shutdowns. If not, ask Microsoft for a refund! It’s a shame that you have to pay for a crappy (or not working if you prefer a polite language) operating system, while Linux is free of charge (and it works), and Mac OS although not free at least works (and it costs much less than Windows Vista).

Posted By: admin
Last Edit: 29 Aug 2011 @ 08:06 AM

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