Many of you may already know these, but just take a look anyways; it's worth a shot at least.
Well, through working with computers, upgrading, dealing with endless cases of people paying me to deal with spyware, firewall lapses, etc., I've come across some quick and interesting little things.
First of all, start-up programs. Little would you know how many load up in the background when you boot your PC -- and the toll it has on the initial time of running the first program. Now, there are fanatics of RegEdit, but the PC junkies know of the real-time Windows-based command.
Go to start/run/type in ---> "msconfig". Once it pops up, you have an application that displays the boot paths for your HD, and the start-up programs and services. This typically displays more/all the applications, where as 3rd party services can lapse. Additionally, foriegn (as in spyware) programs are also right there for you to see.
NOTE: Do NOT edit anything in the service tab unless you know absolutely what you're doing.
Secondly, anti-spyware programs. People are fans of Ad-Aware and Spybot, but through time I've found these to be essentially worthless comparitively to other alternatives. Windows Defender, the Microsoft anti-spyware tool was extremely effectively in its Beta 1 state, but somewhere in the transition to Beta 2 the quality detiorated.
The best bet? Ashampoo Anti-Spyware. Even if you're confident your protected, just download it, update (imperative), and then scan -- bet you anything your perception will change. Reason being this program takes much, much longer than Ad-Aware or Spybot, or Spykiller, or any mainstream alternative because it literally goes through every possible file, folder, and directory.
Link to Demo (Free; also the full version): http://www.download.com/Ashampoo-Ant...ml?tag=lst-0-7
Thirdly, the thing even the PC junkies forget about
: Registry cleaners. This is one of those things, especially if your PC has been running the same instance (as in you haven't reformatted) of Windows that you originally got, that can have a surprising difference on speed.
Additional to that, of course, is disk clean-up. A lot of bluntly put, shit, accumulates on your computer, and if you don't ever bother cleaning it out (and no, recycle bin doesn't classify as 'cleaning') then it not only takes up disk space, but speed as well.
I say these both together because the next application I'm going to recommend (keep in mind this is another one of those things I've used many alternatives for), has them both. Yet again, it's a Ashampoo product: WinOptimizer.
The download link is (demo but full):
To be noted is the fact WinOptimizer has several other options, including the next topic (basic but everyone seems to forget): defragmentor. Others include Windows kinks you can unlock; overall a very impressive application.
Forthly, and wonderfully stated already, the defragmentor. Got to love that thing no one seems to be capable of doing. But remember, it compresses and reorganizes paths, directories, and makes your computer more capable of quickly accessing what you need it to.
Now, I mentioned Ashampoo WinOptimizer had one, and a very effective one at that, but I've never quite felt secure leaving a "All-in-one" program to do something that a independent corporation focuses one product on. As a result, I've found a good disk defragmentor. And no, the default Windows one isn't an especially good way to go. Name is Perfect Disk 7.0
(And no, they're not selling anything, it's just so they have a referance point; one of these corporations that's not out to eat you)
Anyways, I'm sure most of you tech junkies know all of this. But for you guys who didn't, I hope this helps. And those who did, I encourage you to at least *try* these. Honestly, after dealing with the classic applications, I realized these were much, much better.