May 09

Speeding Up Your Computer Part 3

remote computer repair

Now in the last article I mentioned how some software can negatively impact the performance of your computer. I used, and always use, AOL as an example. There are so many things packed into AOL software, so many of which not a lot of people even use, that this piece of software can be terrible for performance. A lot of customers whose computers I work on still use AOL and I completely advise against it if you’re on an older machine, or a machine lacking memory.

But before we get into that let’s talk about how to check your machines memory, and talk a little bit about how much you should probably have when running certain OS’s (operating systems) and programs. To check your memory you want to right click on “My Computer” (or “Computer,” in Vista and Windows 7.” This will be located either on your desktop (the main screen with your icons when you first start up your PC), or under your start menu (the round ball, as one of my customers calls it, in the bottom left hand corner of your screen on Windows Vista/7). After you RIGHT CLICK “Computer,” you want to left click Properties. Your memory will be displayed here.

Look for installed memory (RAM), or if it doesn’t say this, just look for “KB” “MB” OR “GB” depending on your machine. The number before this abbreviation is how much memory you have. It will also list what version of Windows you have here. Windows XP should have at least 512MB, Vista should probably have at least 3GB and Windows 7 you can probably get away with 2GB but I would prefer 3GB. Memory is fairly cheap these days, especially on Ebay and if you find a tech like me, you can have it installed dirt cheap also. You may get a good price for your RAM and replace it by an increased one.

Now back to software. Things like AOL use a ton of memory. Now unless you have, for example, Windows XP with 1GB of memory, Vista with 4GB of memory, or Windows 7 with 3-4GB of memory, I’d recommend against software like AOL. Other popular software, although getting much better now, is Internet Explorer. Photo editing software uses a lot of memory, Microsoft programs such as Word can use a lot of memory. Suspicious of a memory-hog? Hold “Ctrl,” hold “alt,” then press delete. XP will start your task manager, Windows 7/Vista you’ll have to click to start task manager, but then look under processes. This will list how much memory each software is using.

Now how to replace programs like these? AOL is mainly just used for email and web browsing. This can easily be replaced. Download Firefox (www.firefox.com) to browse the web or Google Chrome (www.google.com/chrome) to browse the web even faster than AOL can handle. Email? This depends on your provider, if you’re using AOL for email, you can cancel AOL, or even keep AOL, and login to your email through www.AOL.COM. Now you’ve replaced this big chunky program without getting rid of your email or web browsing capabilities.

Looking for other software replacements? Stay tuned for part 4 of Speeding Up Your Computer. In the mean time you can check out ways to fix my laptop to find more solutions to speed up your laptops.

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