Speed Up Your Computer (Part 1)

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via MakeUseOf.com by Will Mueller on 10/1/08


As you use your computer more and more, speed becomes a larger issue. Maybe you’ve downloaded a bunch of unnecessary freeware or you just have used your computer for quite a while - either way, computers gradually become not so fast. But today, I will show you how to speed up that computer of yours and make it like new! So here are just a few methods:

Disable Unnecessary Services

Windows comes with a bunch of services, or processes, in the background that help the operating system run and do the daily functions a computer does - except some of these are unnecessary. You really do not need to have all of the Microsoft services running in the background at one time - many of which don’t ever need to run at all. Of course, many services are necessary so you need to be very careful what you disable. But if you disable the correct ones you may just be that much closer to a much faster computer.

To disable services:

1. Go to “Start,” “Run,” and type services.msc
2. You may now disable any of the following services based on your use - or non-use - of them:

Task Scheduler - Used to schedule unattended tasks. If you do not need this you can turn it off.
Automatic Updates - Automatically checks for updates from Microsoft. You can just do so manually by going here.
Smart Card - If you do not use Smart Cards, you can stop it.
Error Reporting Service - This is the thing that pops up everytime a program crashes asking if you want to report what happened to Microsoft. If you always decide not to, then you can disable this one.
Telnet - Used to allow users to connect to your desktop remotely. If you do not need to access your computer remotely, you can disable this.
Remote Registry Service - You really do not need this one. It allows you to remotely edit your registry. Most people definitely do not need this.
Clipbook - Allows you to remotely copy/paste on a private network. It is unlikely many people will use this.
Alerter - This one is completely useless. SP2 automatically disables it for you.
Wireless Zero Configuration - This is necessary if you use Wi-Fi. If not, you can disable this.
Uninterruptible Power Supply - This is unnecessary if, of course, you do not have an uninterruptible power supply.
Windows Messenger - This service can be falsely used for spam. I highly recommend removing it. (Note: It is not related to the IM client.)


Stop Programs From Running in Startup

Part of downloading all of that freeware and even just installing work-related applications, a likely part of the installation process, is the unfortunate automatic setting of starting the application on startup. Gradually, your computer takes forever to startup and eventually it becomes ridiculously slow. You could use an application like StartupDelayer to delay programs from starting up, but many of those applications do not even need to be running at all.

So here is one way to stop those unnecessary applications from running:

1. Go to “Start,” “Run,” and type msconfig.
2. Click on the “Startup” tab.

You should now see a list of all of the programs that automatically start up. Many of these applications are nicely labeled with the correct names, but some are not. If they are not clearly labeled you can just check the path of the file and hopefully find the name of the program, but if not it is probably better to just not remove it.

When you are disabling services make sure not to disable any of the Microsoft Services. Many of the ones that you see on the startup are necessary. Once you have selected the services you do not need, simply click “Apply.”

Hope this helps some of you to get started on speeding up that computer of yours. Stay tuned for the next installment of WinHack!

(By) Will Mueller is a computer nerd and geek that has been working with computers for far too long. He currently works on one of his blogs at FirefoxGeeks.

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