GREENSBORO, NC -- It's make over week on 2WTK and speeding up your slow going old computer is on this list. Tech expert Kent Meeker (firstname.lastname@example.org) has several ideas for you. Some cost money, others cost time.
Many of you are getting an alert about Microsoft XP no longer providing tech support. This is not a scheme, it's real. Tech expert Kent Meeker talks about how it affects you.
WEB EXTRA: WHAT TO DO ABOUT THE MICROSOFT XP ALERT
"It's usually not because you have too many pictures on your computer or because you have a lot of documents. Check your hard drive space. If you have plenty then you know that's not the issue. "
If however you do need more space on your computer:
Upgrade Your Internal Hardware (If Possible) / Typically, the most effective way to speed up an old "barely-chugging-along" computer is to upgrade some of the hardware components in your computer. More RAM, bigger/faster hard drive are two relatively simple inexpensive solutions. This is going to cost you between $50-$200.
Upgrade Your External Hardware
New computers offer more than just speed-they offer better external hardware, whether its a trackpad that doesn't stink, speakers that you can actually hear, or a built in SD card reader. Sometimes, all you need to make a computer feel nicer is to get better external hardware. If you hate your trackpad or keyboard so much, find a better on and use it instead. Don't like the speakers? Get a nice set of headphones instead. Upgrade your CD burner from that old, slow model, or get an external drive to free up some space on your internal one. External hardware won't necessarily make your computer run faster, but it can make you want to pull out your hair a bit less-and that's what making the best of a bad situation is all about.
Check for Malware and Virus's
This is the number one cause of system slowdown. Unwanted Malware and virus's can render your computer inoperable. If you suspect this is the case, turn off your computer, disconnect it from the internet, reboot, and see if your performance increases. If so, call a professional to inspect it.
The Time Consuming Fixes:
Perform Regular Maintenance
Before you do anything too drastic, you'll want to troubleshoot your machine and make sure it isn't being slowed down by something. An old incompatible program you haven't used in a while might be reeking havoc on your system. Maybe
Remove Useless Programs
Most (new) computers come preloaded with a lot of trial software you didn't want or need. Chances are, those programs are still on your aging computer….taking up room and, likely, are usable (trial expired).
Use Older Programs
So your computer slows to a crawl when opening the latest version of your favorite program. (Example: Microsoft Word, Excel, etc.). However, you could save time and money by finding a previous version of the software. It's a good assumption that it will run fine. (Check your system requirements prior to purchase of any software)
Install a Lighter Weight Operating System
Windows Vista giving you issues? (Slow boot times, slow program launch, slow internet, slow performance?) Install a previous version of your Operating System (Windows XP). You'll be surprised how fast it is. Maybe better than new. Note: Downside, might need a professional to reload your Operating System and obtain updated drivers as well as backup your data.