Desert Sky Computing

Remember 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 pretty happy that you bought it. 

You had quick boot up from when you first turned it on to the windows opening screen. You could also keep several programs open at the same time with no problems.  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 in a day after a blue screen of death or virus infection? 

 It does not matter, in almost all cases we can get it back to the day we first opened the box. I say in most cases because unless we do a full format to the hard drive and reinstall, everything, 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 of your hard drive and 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 hard to do, in fact much is extremely easy.  I wanted to cover as many things as possible because you might have the one thing no one else has.

If this is the first time you are going to optimize your computer, we are 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 we can and by checking everything you will know if you have gotten it all.  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.   First of all, lets take a look at what slows a computer down and wow are there a lot of things.

  1. 01. Unnecessary programs taking up valuable disk space
  2. 02. Unnecessary files loading in your start-up
  3. 03. AdWare flashing pop-ups and/or redirecting you to websites you did not plan on going to.
  4. 04. A virus infection caught from an attached file in you mail or infected from a download.
  5. 05. Malware like rootkits, worms, Trojans and the list goes on.
  6. 06. Junk files filling up your Internet Temporary files folder or an overstuffed recycle bin.
  7. 07. A badly defragmented hard drive
  8. 08. A badly defragmented Windows registry
  9. 09. Broken links and other issues in your registry
  10. 10. Not enough room on your hard drive
  11. 11. Windows settings working against you.
  12. 12. Newer programs that require more memory
  13. 13. Slow protection software running in the background
  14. 14. Too many programs

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 a group of files that can be downloaded free from the internet.

Items 07, 10, 11, can be corrected with Windows files probably already on your computer.

Finally, items 12 13 and 14 can be corrected with hardware or software changes.

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 Internet Explorer or Chrome or Firefox, you pick up temporary internet files that can stay on your computer until you remove them.  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 fiel from you computer still leaves it on your computer on your hard drive and in the registry,

Obviously if you are infected with malicious software it will slow you down if for no other reason than it is going to do what it wants to do and not what you want to do.

Over time a 500G hard drive seems beyond an every day 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 1g of memory will not cut it any more and no one should be operating with less than 4g.  I recommend 8g, a bit of a luxury but it will help your computer multitask a lot faster.  I use 32g which is excessive but I am a bit of a nerd, you do not need anything like that.

And then there is Bloatware,  a lot of bloatware comes on some computers, games, photo editing software, most of which is just a bunch of junk that creates revenue for the computer manufacturer by allowing third party vendors to put it on our computer. When you download a file from the internet you may be unintentionally downloading bloatware in the background like the large number of Toolbars available for your browser,  Yahoo Toolbar, Google Toolbar, Conduit Search, Bling Toolbar, the list goes on and on.  You DO NOT NEED THEM!. You may want one and that is fine it is your choice but every browser has what it need to operate without extra add-ons which are bloatware.  They will slow you down.


Windows Registery

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 program from your computer bits and pieces leave themselves behind. Even Windows itself can loose track of where some programs are supposed to be and this confusion causes you time.  Imagine if you were told to look behind door number 4 for something but someone has moved it behind door 6 now you are headstrong and every time you look you are going to check door 4 first because that is where it is supposed to be.  That is what windows does in a way.  It does things pretty fast but the more things it has to do does add up.   So cleaning the registry is something that you should do on a regular basis.  There is software that will take care of it for you but it is an unnecessary expense.  We are going to use Free Software that does exactly the same thing the only difference is you have to push the buttons, are you tough enough to do that?

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 legitmet software creates an enormous amount of junk files on your computer Google Earth is a good example. and some just accumulates over time like browsing on the internet.  In any case you don't need them and they are very easy to remove. Once again you can buy some fancy software that will do it automatically but many companies make a free version of the same program that you operate manually.  Other hardware manufacturers are just as bad, printers, scanners, and DVD/CD players can add programs to your computer. Even your computer adds files to temp folders that should be cleaned.

Viruses, Malware, Adware And Other Malicious Software

This category of items is a little more difficult to remove from your machine but by following my instructions it will be easy. We will check first to see if you have them and then explain how to delete them.  Once again, we will be going with the free option because if you already have them, the free version will remove them just as easy as the paid version. In the long run though, I recommend buying a "Security Suite" that will protect you from getting infected in the first place.  Check here to see my recommendations.

Hardware Changes

Some things just need to be upgraded!   If you computer came with less than 4g memory or you hard drive was pretty small in the first place or even if the graphic card installed on your computer is too slow,  With the proper instructions they are all very easy to upgrade.

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.  You may be using what is often called "Hogware" or programs that hog all your resources just to run.  Most of these can be replace with more streamlined versions or updated.  Main offenders are 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 storage space and should run while your computer is not being used and perform scans quickly.  Unfortunately, some are just the opposite.  they take up so many resources protecting you that they slow you down more than help. 

Window Issues

Computer hard drives can get overloaded with unnecessary programs, constantly adding and deleting files can overtime defrag your hard drive and you need to reorganize it like your sock drawer only it is all done automatically for you.  Drivers can become outdated and not function properly.  These are all problems that windows can take care of for you.  As a matter of fact Windows has a large number of programs that most users never knew existed and therefore don't use.  i will be covering these on another page. They will take you to the next level of efficiency.