Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Computer Pimpin' 101

At least once every two weeks, one of my friend calls me and asks me to fix his computer. I understand that it is not everyone that is a geek like me so I put together a little guide that I think anyone could follow to speed up their PC. 

1. System file checker
The system file checker is  a command-line program that will scan all of your Windows associated files to verify if they are still in their original state and if not, it will fix them.

- Click on Start Button
- Click on Run
- type in : "sfc /scannow" (without quotes)
- A black screen will appear, let the command execute

2. Error checking
This will check for errors and correct them on your hard drive.

- Right click on C:
- Click on Propreties
- Click on Tools
- Click on Check for errors
- Check the 2 checkboxes
- Click on the Start button
- A dialog will appear saying that you can't do it now, plan it for next restart
- Restart your computer and dont turn it off until you actually get to Windows

3. CCleaner
CCleaner, also known as Crap Cleaner, is a very good program that will fix errors in your Windows registry.

- Go to and type in download ccleaner
- Download latest version from file hippo
- Install but be carefull and don't let the installer install yahoo toolbar
or any other crap
- Run the registry cleaner and fix errors until you dont get more errors

4. msconfig
MSConfig is a Windows console that lets you select the services and programs that start when you turn your computer on.

- Click on Start Button
- Click on Run
- Type in : "msconfig" (without the quotes)
- Click on the Start up tab
- Uncheck any application you dont want to start when windows starts

5. Defrag
When you save files on your computer, all the data is not saved in one big block on your hard disk. Instead, the data is split in small bits everywhere on your disk. The Disk Defragmenter will group the data altogether so it will be faster to read it.

- Click on Start button
- Click on Programs > Accessories > System tools
- Click on Disk Defragmenter
- Defrag until you do not see a change in the fragmentation graphic.

6. Increasing page file
Your computer's short-term memory is called RAM. Windows also uses your hard disk for extra RAM and you can boost the amount to get better performances.

- Right-click on My Computer
- Click on Propreties
- Click on Advanced
- Click on Advanced Tab (if you on a version later than XP)
- Click on the Settings button in Performances
- Click on Advanced Tab
- Modify the pagefile or virtual memory
- Your pagefile should be 1.5 times more than your amount of RAM
- You can add pagefile on any harddisk just make it the same amount of your RAM

7. Chrome
Chrome is the best Web Browser out there. Firefox and Opera are not that bad either but Chrome beats them all.

8. Use the right programs (those are all free programs)

- Burning CD/DVD/ISO files : DeepBurner
- Videos : VLC and also download k-lite codec pack
- MP3 : NOT iTunes IF YOU DONT OWN AN IPOD !!! Winamp instead
- Zip : 7zip
- Text files and other office files : OpenOffice 
- Antivirus : AVG Free Edition

9. Remove UAC (only for Windows versions later than XP)

- Go in Control Panel
- Click on Classic View
- Click on User Account
- Click on Activate or deactivate user account control
- Deactivate it
- Restart windows

10. Language Bar
Remove language bar and any other languages than Canadian multilingual
standard, to remove it just right click on it and figure it out, its pretty

11. Do ALL your windows updates !
It is very important that you keep your Windows updated if you want your computer to run smoothly. Don't bother with not important updates.

12. Use this on short-cuts you use a lot, NOT ANY SHORT-CUTS !

- Right click on short-cut
- Click on Propreties

For XP and under :
- In the target box add "/prefetch:1", it should look something like this
"C:\Program Files\Mozilla Firefox\firefox.exe" /prefetch:1

For later versions : 
- In the target box add "/superfetch:1", it should look something like this
"C:\Program Files\Mozilla Firefox\firefox.exe" /superfetch:1
- Click apply

13. Remove unnecessary stuff

- Remove all unnecessary icons on your desktop, put them in folder at least
- If you dont use the quick launch short-cut bar, remove, else remove
unnecessary icons
- Remove items from your start menu by right clicking on your start button bar,
you can also hide unnecessary icons beside the clock in the menu
- If your computer is reeeeeeeeeeallly slow, remove the background image if you
have one

14. Tell Windows not to show the welcome screen
Do this only if your only have one user account on the computer

- Click on Start button
- Click on Run
- Type in : "control userpasswords2" (without quotes)
- Highlight the user you want to log into automatically, then 
uncheck the box for : "Users must enter a username and password to use this

15. Make sure all your drivers are up to date

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