Delmarva's Premier Small Business IT Expert
Contact: steve@stcgservices.com

Some Usefull PC Tips from STCGServices
  • Slow PC Tip 1 - Cache Cleanup: One of the most common things that happens to PCs as they get older is cache overflow.  Over time, your internet cache accumulates more and more files until it starts to bog down your systems performance.  While you can go to the control panel, internet icon and dump everything in your internet cache, this is only part of the equation.  A good freeware cache cleaner like Cleanup3.0 is highly recommended!  Just click the clean button, confirm that you want to cleanup your system and away it goes.  While cleaning out cookies will most likely dump some of your saved passwords, this is highly recommended as a security measure as well as helping to speed up your PC.
  • Slow PC Tip 2 - Defrag: Over time, your PCs hard drive stores and deletes 1000s of files.  This has the side effect of Fragmenting your file system and can have a seriously detremental effect on your PCs performance.  Depending on how much use your PC sees, it should be defragged once every 200 hours of use or so.  This equates to once every other month for a PC in use 40 hours a week.  Click "My Computer", Right click on your "C" drive, select "Properties".  A dialog should popup showing a pie chart of how full your hard drive is.  Note: When a hard drive passes 80% full, it will greatly effect your performance until it is brought back below this important threashold.  Click the "Tools" tab at the top and select "Defragment Now".  Depending on your version of Windows, you may see a dialog that states you do or do not need to defrag.  I would recommend defragging anyway, it can certainly not hurt your PC.  In serious cases, you may see a dialog that asks that you "fix" you file system.  Deffinately do this if it it asks you to.
  • Slow PC Tip 3 - Malware / Viruses: Surfing the internet can be a dangerous business.  There are millions of people who want nothing more than to make a penny off you.  All they need to do is sneak a small program onto your system that you probably wont even notice until it is too late.  These programs slow your system down, farm sensative information and can turn your PC into a Spam generating bot!  In order to prevent this, be careful how you surf and what Freebie programs you load from the internet.  A good Antivirus program is a vital first step and AVG is available free of charge.  To check for and elimante unwanted malware, most pros I know use a free program called Malware Bytes Free.  The free version only works when you run it, so anytime your system slows down or acts strangely, take some time and let Malware Bytes clean out the trash!
  • Slow PC Tip 4 - Program Loads: In todays world there are 1000s upon 1000s of programs available on the internet.  Some are good, some are bad and quite a few are just soso.  Malware is always a concern with anything you get, especially free programs.  These programs are quite often paid for with Malware, or small sneaky programs that farm information from your system and send it off to god knows where.  Another threat to PC speed is the Terminate and Stay Resident program.  These can usually be identifed by thier ability to "auto update".  Auto updating has some deffinate upsides such as keeping software up to date and loading security patches you may not otherwise know about.  However...  These abilities come at a cost in performance.  They load small programs that run in the background and will periodically check a website for upgrades.  They can then load the update in the background while you do other things, but this usually has the side effect of slowing your PC down.