If you have a Windows-based computer, you may have noticed a decline in your computer's performance since you bought it. It may freeze up suddenly, or it just could be acting a bit sluggish. Instead of buying a new system, first try these quick fixes. If these don't work, then it may be time for a new PC.
Solution #1: Run anti-virus and anti-spyware software
Solution #2: Buy more memory This is one of the quickest ways to instantly improve the performance of your computer. If you are on the fence of buying a new one, this is one of the last steps to try before the upgrade. Not sure what type of memory you need? This is a important step. You can determine the amount of memory by right clicking on your "Computer" or "My Computer" icon and then going to properties. Under the computer section you will see the memory/RAM listed. If you are running with 512MB or less then it's probably time to upgrade. Before you run out to purchase memory be sure to talk to your PCTechs to find out what type you need.
Solution #3: Clean up your hard drive This can be completed in several ways. The most overlooked is your Temp folder. Not your temporary Internet files although they should be deleted too. The Temp folder can be located by clicking on Start then clicking Run. Type in the following command %temp% and then click OK. Delete all of the files in this folder. Some will mention they are locked or are in use by the operating system, so you can sort them by date and deselect the ones from the last few days then try to delete the rest. Don't forget to empty your Recycle Bin when finished.
Solution #4: Defragment your hard drive This step is a common answer you may receive to improve performance but since the improvements of the NTFS file system provided in Windows XP you don't have to run the defragmentation tool nearly as often. Because of this, you won't see the improvement you may be expecting like in Windows 98. Generally solutions 1 through 3 provided above will allow you to maximize your PC to it's fullest before having to purchase a new one.
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