Simple Speedup guide for XP/Vista/Win7/Win8
This guide is a small subset of the full
guide, containing only those actions which're most important, simple to do,
and which do not pose a risk of harming your machine. It should be fine for
novice users, however caution is advised. Do not do anything you're unsure
Step One: delete stuff
- Go through your computer and back up old projects and data onto CD, DVD
or external hard drive. Get rid of personal stuff that doesn't need to be
on the hard drive anymore. If backing up onto DVD, (a) be careful when
touching the underside of DVDrs as they can be made unusable extremely
easily, (b) select a good media - either verbatim or taiyo yuden are pretty
- Download and run PC
decrapifier. Remove any software you know you don't use. Do not remove
anything you're unsure about, but remove any 'toolbar', 'anti-spyware' or
'pc speedup' types of software. If you're running a Norton, Mcafee or AVG
antivirus, remove those as well (these are performance draining,
problematic and will be replaced later on). If a program asks to reboot,
deny it. Continue uninstalling all applications until all are finished,
then reboot when PC Decrapifier says it's finished. If you had a Norton or
AVG antivirus, after you've uninstalled them and rebooted you will need to
also download and run the Norton
Removal Tool or AVG
Removal Tool's, respectively.
- If you're using internet explorer, install a better and more secure
browser (internet explorer is the biggest target of malware) like Chrome or Firefox, and use that
- Download and run Ccleaner Slim. In
particular tick the boxes for "Hotfix uninstallers" (XP) and "Old prefetch
data". Then click on 'Run Cleaner'. Also run the registry cleaner in this
- Run window's Disk Cleanup utility (programs->accessories->system
tools) (Vista/7/8: Right-click the program and left-click on "Run as
Administrator" in the drop-down menu that appears). Tick all boxes and then
click 'Ok'. This may take a while.
- Download, unzip and run Wises Registry
Cleaner. Run the registry cleaner and then clean. Also run the 'System
Tuneup' section, reboot, and then finally the 'Registry Defragment' section after rebooting and reloading the program.
Step Two: prep and check
- Download and install Malwarebytes
- let it update itself and then run a scan. If it finds something, let it
clean it, then run your regular virus scanner on it's normal scan mode. If
it finds and cleans any malware, make sure it's removed by rebooting and
running the cleaner again on 'Full' mode. If the malware is still there,
talk to a computer technician.
- Download and run HDDScan - click the
'SMART' button, and if you get any 'yellow exclamation mark' boxes next to
any of the SMART values in the results, talk to a computer technician -
your data and drive may be in danger of being lost.
Step Three: disable stuff
- Disable windows sounds.
(XP) Go to control panel -> sound and audio devices -> sounds.
(Vista/7/8/10) Type 'sounds' in the search box. Click the resultant
Change the sound scheme to 'No sounds'.
- Go to Control panel -> system -> advanced -> performance ->
settings -> Visual effects and change to "adjust for best performance".
Then tick "Smooth edges of screen fonts" and "Themes" and hit ok.
- Disable default screen saver.
(XP) Go to Control Panel->Display->Screen saver tab and change
screensaver to 'none'. Then click on 'monitor power' and make sure your
screen turns off after 20 minutes or so. This saves on power and prevents
long-term damage to the screen.
(Vista/7/8/10) Go to Control Panel and search for 'Personalization'
(without quotes). Click on the resultant icon. Click on 'screen saver' and
change your screen saver to 'none'.
Step Four: defragmentation time...
- Download and install Mydefrag.
Do not install the screensaver. Do install the scheduled tasks. Now, run
Mydefrag and run "System Disk Monthly" on your system partition (usually
"C:"). Once finished, close and run the application again, and if you have
any other partitions visible ("E:", F:" etc), run "Data disk monthly" on
them. Monthly defrags can take some time.
- If you are using any of the following applications - Firefox, Chrome,
Epic, Iron, Opera, Palemoon, Skype, Thunderbird, Yandex, Cyberfox -
download and run Speedyfox. This application
defragments the profile databases for each of these applications, resulting
in a much faster startup for each of them, particularly skype (please note
that regular defragmenting will not affect the fragmentation of your
Step Five: re-enable stuff
- (Win8) If you're like the majority of people and find the Windows 8
'Metro' interface a major waste of time and patience, switch back to any of
the older-style start menus by installing Classic Shell. This will force Win8
to boot to the desktop interface like older versions of windows and restore
the start menu. once you click on the new start menu, it will ask you which
one you would like (XP/Vista/Win7-style). You're welcome.
- If you removed a virus scanner earlier, it's time to install one. You can
either buy one (I recommend NOD32) or
get a free one - either Microsoft Security
Essentials (MSE), Avira
free (better than MSE, but pops up a suggestion to buy the full product
every so often) or Avast Free (better
for older computers than Avira in my experience). Whatever you install,
install on default settings, and let it update itself and then scan your
system. For Avira, you don't need to register it (untick registration box
at bottom when prompted). For Avast, you need to register it with an email
If you're running Win8, you already have MSE running by default if you
don't have another virus scanner installed. Confusingly, this is called
'Windows Defender', but is completely different to what 'Windows Defender'
was in previous versions of windows.
- Change your power settings:
(XP) Control panel -> power options -> power schemes and change to
"Home/Office" or "Laptop" (if you have a laptop).
(Vista/7/8/10) Control panel -> Power options - either put on 'Balanced'
or your manufacturer's "recommended" option.
Step Six: drink some tea
Or coffee, whatever, I don't mind. Congratulate
yourself on how awesome you are, and pat yourself on the back. Feel better?
All advice given without guarantee - use your brain - if anything
dies/fries/stops/explodes, talk to a local computer technician (not me).
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