Photo by Ayhan YILDIZ from FreeImages

This month our resident guru Adam Brown continues with simple instructions on how to get more performance from your PC


1. Check if you may have a virus slowing your PC

A common reason for a PC running too slowly is that a virus has made its way on your hard drive and started duplicating itself like mad or using up valuable system resources and memory, severely slowing down your computer.

Scan for spyware or virus using your favorite virus scanner, or use AVG free antivirus software or a good online solution like MacAfee Freescan – see

2. Disable unused network ports or other controllers

Do you have any unused network connections that you could disable, or even any other PCI slot devices that you could remove totally if not in regular use?

3. Run Scandisk

Try running scandisk to check for system file errors or bad sectors that could be repaired.

Right click on C drive –> Click Properties –> Click Tools –> Click Check Now –> Check both boxes and click Start

A scan will be scheduled for the next time you start your computer.  Beware – it can take a long time so it might be a good idea to leave it running overnight rather than get annoyed when you need to start your computer in a hurry!  Use a UPS if your power supply is unreliable.

4. Operating System needs updating

Sometimes an operating system can have certain bugs or need patches and updates in order for it run correctly.  It’s also important to get security updates to avoid getting viruses that slow down your computer. It’s best to manually update otherwise you can waste time getting a lot of unnecessary software which is what we try and avoid. 🙂

5. Do not show Hidden Files

Sometimes showing hidden files is useful but it also means your GUI has to load up all these random hidden files, most of which are temporary ones and this can slow down your PC.

In any windows folder Click Tools –> Click Folder Options –> Click View –> Click Do not show hidden files and folders –>Click OK

6. Check what processes and programs are running

Hit Ctrl Alt Delete (all at the same time) to start the task manager, then click processes to see which application is using most of your system resources.  Closing something using a lot of resources before running a software application can help speed it up.

Highlight the appropriate process –> Click End Process

Beware of closing any old process: look up the name on Google first to find out what it is. You can also identify primitive viruses this way so keep an eye out for things that look strange. Lots of normal programs do have strangely named processes though.

7. Slow PC in games?

You can also play around with video card settings to get the best smoothest game play while sacrificing some graphics quality.

Right click your desktop –> Click Properties –> Click Settings –> Click Advanced –> Click on your graphics card control panel and follow on-screen instructions


If none of these solutions have improved your PC performance, come back next month for advice on hardware solutions!

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