Computer Optimization

image-of-flaming-computerRemember when you first received your new computer and how much faster it felt than the one you just replaced. No desktop clutter, you zipped around the internet and overall, you were happy that you bought it You had a quick boot up from when you first turned it on to the Windows Home screen. You could also keep several programs open at the same time with no problem.

When did that change? Was it just a little bit over time until one day you noticed that you were kind of sluggish again or did it happen all at once after a blue screen of death or virus infection? It usually does not matter; in almost all cases we can get it back to the day you first opened the box. I say in most cases because unless we do a full format to the hard drive and reinstall, everything from scratch, which none of want to do, it will always keep some junk around. So, I am going to assume that you don't have a clone copy (mirror copy) of your hard drive, in which case you can just install the cloned copy and you are good to go. If not let's show you some the things we can do to get it running fast enough.

Blitzkrieg Approach

Please don't let the volume of information on this page scare you. It is not as hard as it looks. In fact, much of it is extremely easy. I wanted to cover as many options as possible. If this is the first time you are going to optimize your computer, I'm going to assume everything is wrong, from excessive junk files to a virus we are going to hit it with a multilayered attack. Why, because it is just as easy to do and by checking everything you can rule out problems. This is not hard work, it can be time consuming but go watch a movie or have a cup of coffee, you don't have to be around for a lot of this. Before we start, let's look at what slows a computer down and WOW, are there a lot of things.
  1. Unnecessary programs taking up valuable disk space
  2. Unnecessary files loading in your start-up
  3. Adware flashing pop-ups and/or redirecting you to websites you did not plan on going to.
  4. A virus infection caught from an attached file in your email or infection from a download.
  5. Malware like rootkits, worms, Trojans, Ransomware and others.
  6. Junk files filling up your Internet Temporary files folder or an overstuffed recycle bin.
  7. A badly defragmented hard drive (IDE Only) I do not encourage defragging your SSD Drive.
  8. A badly defragmented Windows registry
  9. Broken links and other issues in your registry
  10. Not enough room on your hard drive
  11. Windows settings working against you.
  12. Newer programs that require more memory
  13. Slow protection i.e., antivirus or antimalware software running in the background
  14. Too many programs open at once.
  15. Even too many tabs open in your browser.
  16. Clashes with drivers and devices on your system.

I told you there were a lot. Most however are easily fixed. Let's break them down into types.

Items 01, 02, 06, 08, 09, 10, can be corrected with simple Optimization software.

Items 03, 04, 05 can be corrected with some free files that can be downloaded from the internet.

Items 07, 10, 11, can be corrected with Window's internal files .

Items 12, 13, 14 and 15 can be corrected with hardware or software changes.

Item 16 is more complex depending on the cause.

Now how did we get so slow? There are a lot of reasons your computer appears slow and most of them are just poor housekeeping, did you know that every time you view a page in a browser like Edge or Chrome or Firefox, you pick up temporary internet files that can stay on your computer until you remove them. Two good solutions are CCleaner and Wise Care 365 remember to select the free versions.

Every time you delete a program, Windows knows you might want a second chance at getting that back, so it stores the deleted file in the Recycle Bin. So, deleting a file from your computer still leaves it on your hard drive and some information in the system's registry. While you can delete the files in your Recycle Bin yourself it is faster and easier with CCleaner and/or Wise Care 365. Note: it is best to use CCleaner first.

Obviously if you are infected with malicious software, it will slow you down. Most of the time these programs are designed to make their creator money. They do this by holding your computer ransom and prevent you from using it until you pay a fee. Sometimes, they post believable warnings that encourage you to call them and provide a number to and have them fix the problem for you. They may try to have you to purchase their services on an annual basis. Do Not Call that number!! Also do not allow them access to your computer. Remember Microsoft will never initiate contact. The person on the other side of that phone is not from Microsoft or your computer maker.These antimalware / antivirus products offer free versions: Malwarebytes, Malwarebytes Portable , Norton Power Eraser, Emsisoft Emergency Kit. The first Malwareytes link is geared for ransomware attacks, the second allows the user to repair their computer from the internet. There is also a download to remove Adware on this site that is very effective in removing PUP's Potential Unwanted Programs. Emsisoft also Scans and repairs from the internet.

Over time a 500G hard drive seems beyond an everyday user but you would be surprised, loading movies, songs and photos on your computer can use enormous amounts of space. As far as memory goes, that 1gb of memory will not cut it anymore and no one should be operating with less than 4gb. I recommend 8gb, a bit of a luxury but it will help your computer multitask a lot faster.

And then there is Bloatware, a lot of bloatware comes on some computers. Programs like games, photo editing software, music and other software is preloaded by the manufacturer. Most of which are just a bunch of junk files that creates revenue for the computer manufacturer by allowing third party vendors to put it on our computer. Uninstalling programs can be performed using Windows uninstaller but these two free programs do a faster and better job:. Revo Uninstaller, and Geek Uninstaller.Both of these uninstallers also remove unwanted data from your registry.

Also, when you download a file from the internet you may be unintentionally downloading bloatware in the background like the large number of free Toolbars available for your browser, Yahoo Toolbar, Google Toolbar, Conduit Search, Bing Toolbar, the list goes on. You DO NOT NEED THEM! You may want one and that is fine it is your choice, but every browser has what it needs to operate without extra add-ons which are bloatware. They will slow you down. This page on the website explains the process to remove unwanted plug-ins, and toolbars.

Windows Registry

Windows uses a database to store all the configuration settings and options for operating your computer effectively. It is called the Windows Registry, Not only does Windows use it but every program you put in your computer must use it. They must register with windows and without getting into technical terms, they don't always work well together. Sometimes, when you delete a file or uninstall a program from your computer bits and pieces leave themselves behind within the registry. Even Windows itself can lose track of where some programs are supposed to be and this confusion causes you time. Windows does things pretty fast but the more things it has to do adds up. So, cleaning the registry is something that can fix many of these types of issues. The two programs CCleaner and Wise Care 365 are capable of cleaning your registry.


Potential Unwanted Programs (PUPs) are one of the most common offenders. They normally offer no significant risk to your computer, but they may. PUPs are often downloaded unknowingly while downloading free software. One of the biggest offenders is when you try and download a seemingly innocent file like "Free Backgrounds" or "Screen Savers". Some otherwise legitimate sites can't turn away the pay they receive by hiding these PUPs within a free download of an antivirus. That is why it is very important to know the site you are using before clicking on "download now"

EMSISOFT has an excellent explanation on their Blog titled "Top 10 Ways PUP's Sneak Onto Your Computer. And How To Avoid Them."

Junk Files

Junk files are any files that no longer serve a purpose on your computer and there may be a lot of them. Some legitimate software create an enormous amount of temporary files on your computer Browsers are especially prone to this. In any case you don't need these files and they are very easy to remove.

Other hardware manufacturers are just as bad, manufacturers of printers, scanners, and DVD/CD players can add programs to your computer. Files you thought you deleted are just residing in the Recycle Bin. Located on your desktop. Viruses, Malware, Adware and Other Malicious Software This category of items is a little more difficult to remove from your machine but the Antimalware programs with links above will allow you to scan your computer from the internet.This gives you a unique ability because an infection cannot block the scan. If you are already infected, the infection may prevent your antivirus or antimalware programs from see the infection or might disable th program altogether. I am often asked what the best Antivirus or Antimalware programs are. I believe that the bestselling programs are all about the same. If you are using Windows 10, Windows Defender is as robust as the third-party programs and saves you money.

Don't Invite Trouble

Here is what is important to understand. Viruses have to be invited into your system. Clicking on an infected email, downloading an infected file, clicking on an infected webpage, or allowing a caller to have access to your computer. Even the best programs cannot protect you, once you allow them in. Most of these programs will offer warnings but they must be heeded for them to be affective.

Soon to be released, Windows 11 will be offering a host of new methods to prevent infections. More on that later.

Hardware Changes

Some things just need to be upgraded! If your computer came with less than 4g memory or your hard drive was small in the first place and is a slower IDE version you can easily improved your speed by installing additional memory or newer much much faster SSD drive. Even if the graphic card installed on your computer is too slow your overall performance will be affected. I encurage you to visit this site to test your system. It will show how you compare with thousands of computers with the same confguration. PC UserBenchmark. Sometimes replacing your weakest component will greatly speed up your computer. Hardware Changes Some things just need to be upgraded! If you computer came with less than 4g memory or your hard drive was small in the first place and iss a slower IDE version you can easily imporove your speed by installing additional memory or newer much faster SSD drive. Even if the graphic card installed on your computer is too slow your overall performance will be affected. I encourage you to visit the site to test your system.

It has a user guide and will test your PC against thousands of computers with the same confguration. Sometimes just replacing your weakest component will greatly speed up your computer.

Software Upgrades

You must keep you computer software updated to perform efficiently. Most Windows and internet program upgrades include security fixes that also protect you from infection. They are set to autoupdate by default and normally you do not have to do anything. However, if you pause updates using Windows Settings, you must remember to update any security fixes yourself.


You may be a victim of what is often called "Hogware". These are programs that hog all too many of your systems resources just to run. Most of these can be replaced with better behaved versions or updated. Main offenders are poorly constructed antivirus programs, antispyware, or similar types of programs that run in the background and do so ineffectively. Antivirus programs should have a small footprint, meaning it does not take up a lot of memory, network bandwidth or storage space. They should be capable of running while your computer is not being used and when used perform scans and fixes quickly. Unfortunately, some are just the opposite. They take up so many resources protecting you that they slow you down more than help.

Driver Upgrades

Each component on your computer from your monitor to hard drive requires a Driver. A Driver instructs the computer on how to handle the hardware. This is usually not a problem but unfortunatly, any new Windows Update can update a driver. Updates are normally a good thing but some upgrades to drivers for your existing device are not backwards compatable and will cause the system to crash. My computer has a graphics card that is not compatable with the new Windows drivers, so, I have to prevent Windows from downloading the new driver or it will no longer work. Fortunatly there are ways to block driver updates. Jim Hiller from Daves Computer Tips explains it quite well.

Software Upgrades

Yes, you can keep Windows 10 from updating your system but there are times that you must keep you computer software updated to perform efficiently. Most Windows and third-party upgrades include security fixes that help protect you from infection. Use your Windows 10 Settings Tool to check for important updates.

Window Issues

Most of the older computer IDE (Integrated Drive Electronics) and SATA (Serial Advanced Technology Attachment) hard drives can get overloaded with unnecessary programs. They are constantly adding and deleting files. Over time they can become, defraged. This is just a term that your files and programs stored on your hard drive are very disorganized which can take more time to load and write to your hard drive. There are times you need to reorganize it.It is all done automatically for you if you have it set to do so, or you can simply right click on your drive in file Explorer, choose Options and then Tools select Optimize and defragment drive by clicking on the Optimize button. Note: If the drive is very fragmented it may take a long time to accomplish, just let it continue until done. If you are fortunate enough to be using only SSD Drives you do not have to defrag them. It is encourged that you do not. It will cause undo use and wear the drive down, and because the SSD is so much faster defraged files are not noticed.

  1. Remember! There is no charge for the information.
  2. There is no charge if none of your files are recovered. There will be a minimal charge if some files are recovered.
  3. If your computer requires repairs, during this recovery process, I will quote you a suggested price for the repairs.
  4. The quote is for that repair only.
  5. I am here to help Mesquite residents by offering the lowest prices for quality repair and services. If you live in one of the surrounding areas there may be a travel charge that will be discussed prior to my visit.
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