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Improve your PC's performance

by ccierstraining

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Don’t put up with a slow PC. Find out how to measure and then boost performance in the first of a three-part series

A slow PC is frustrating, and even more so if only a short time ago it was humming along like a well-oiled machine. These slow-downs can have a variety of causes, ranging from simple problems such as faulty Windows settings through to more obscure complications, such as hardware that has been badly set up.

The good news is that many performance problems can be fixed quickly, and free – and that is exactly what this first instalment of a three-part series of articles will demonstrate. In the next article we will look at more complex free fixes, then in the final part we will show how to choose and install a solid-state drive (SSD) to give an instant, and guaranteed, performance boost.

What is slow?
It can be hard to spot a gradual deterioration in performance on a single PC – often, trying out a PC in a shop or using someone else’s speedy PC is the first time it sinks in. The most common cause of complaints about speed is when a PC takes forever to start after being turned on (this is sometimes called the boot time). Programs taking forever to open and Windows menus that are slow to respond come a close second in the annoyance stakes, and other popular complaints include jerky video playback and unplayable 3D games. In this first of our series of articles we will concentrate on improving boot time and general Windows performance, leaving graphics performance and other slightly more technical tweaks for the next instalment.

If you want to measure the performance improvements made by following this project, then your PC’s boot time can be accurately monitored using the free Bootracer program. Download it and double-click to open it. Click Extract All Files to extract the file to a convenient location, then double-click the extracted file (it is called ‘bootracer_380.msi’) to start the installation. When the program launches,Cyber Monday is a marketing term for the Monday immediately.Reviews for best Buy CoralDraw Graphics!Buy cheap Adobe Photoshop CS 5.1 Extended. What is Photoshop Extended? Adobe Photoshop CS 5.1 Extended software is the ultimate solution for advanced digital imaging click Start and choose Yes to restart the PC. When Windows restarts, wait until the large egg timer in the pop-up window disappears and the final boot time is shown. Click See Why to open the program and view details, or Exit to close the program. Details of each boot time are stored and can be viewed by clicking History in the main window.

Bootracer measures the time taken between the Windows logo appearing and the time when the Windows Desktop is ready to use. It does not measure the time it takes for the Windows logo to first appear. This delay is caused by the PC’s Bios starting up and it varies a lot between PCs.

Before trying out any of the fixes below, install Bootracer and restart the PC a few times to get an idea of the average boot time. This makes it easy to measure progress as changes are made.

Finally, a brief note about measuring Windows performance. There are many free programs for measuring a PC’s overall performance, but these typically try to bypass Windows in order to determine the ‘true’ speed of hardware components such as the hard disk or memory. The scores they produce are therefore not affected by changing settings in Windows. However, ‘benchmarking’ software like this can be useful sometimes, such as when comparing hardware components. We will return to this topic later in the series.When you think of buy microsoft office 2007 for women, one of the first things to people's mouth is the Nike Shox NavinaIf you work for a company that has a Microsoft Software Assurance agreement, you can scor microsoft office 2010 professional plus for a sawbuckMicrosoft visio 2010 premium takes diagramming to a bold new level with dynamic, data-driven visualization tools and templates

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