Saturday, March 17, 2007

Save that Old PC!

Reviving that old PC with no money down!

As we all know, as time goes on, windows ages on your pc. It slows down, thinks about things a little more and responds a bit more slowly than it used to. Does that mean that your PC is no good, should it be retired? NO Way I say!

Follow me to the fountain of youth for your computer! No magic elixir or tonic, just a plain and simple approach. Windows has many enhancements and annoyances, which if properly balanced and adjusted can make a world of difference in your computer's performance.

For starters, lets remove some of the items in your start up folder, or system tray. You can selectively remove the unneeded and non critical applications from stealing valuable resources and memory. The start menu itself can be a tricky place in itself. Personally, I like my system running with the basics. In your control panel is an icon for start menu and taskbar, (its' faster to just right mouse click on the actual start button, and select properties) Select "Classic Start menu" then click the taskbar tab at the top. Remove the checkmarks for "Group similar taskbar buttons, and Hide Inactive Icons" This allows you to see exactly what is running in your system tray, as Windows hides most of these details by default. Next, lower your display colour quality. If you have a dedicated video card with 32 bit color capabilities, you may be able to skip this step, but I would suggest at the very least, lower the colour quality to 16 or 24 bit. To do this, right click any unused area on your desktop, select properties with the left mouse button. Select the settings tab, and finally the color quality slider in the middle right area.

Next, we should change the desktop theme and wallpaper to the absolute minimal - while in the display properties menu, select Theme, and then windows Classic from the drop down menu. Go to the desktop tab, select None from the drop down list, and finally, on the Appearance tab select Windows Classic Style. On that same tab, you can also select the Effects button and remove the checkmarks for transition effects.

One of the most important changes you can make to effect the speed and operation of your computer (other than lots of memory) is to change the performance settings of the pc. Right click my computer, then select properties, Advanced tab, and then the performance button. Change the radio button to Adjust for best performance" You can also disable the error reporting service by selecting the Error Reporting button, and set to that to disable error reporting.

Many of these changes will take the bells and whistles away, leaving you with a boring looking computer and desktop, but the speed and performance gains will be well worth it on your next reboot. Some times a good old stock system is better than an aftermarket system - hands down!