The speed of a computer is affected primarily by three hardware components in the computer: the processer or Central Processing Unit (CPU), the memory or the Random Access Memory (RAM) and the hard disk. Basically, it is hard to make any changes to these hardware devices without actually buying new ones, therefore the best way to optimize the speed of a computer short of buying new parts for the computer is to use a software-based method to speed up a computer running slow. We recommend PC Health Advisor.
With that said we are still going to look at HDD ( Hard Drive )
The hard disk should always be optimized for access so that programs can be loaded quickly from it. Data is stored as files on the hard disk. These are stored in such a way that, when a new file is stored, it is stored in empty spaces left behind by files that got deleted from the hard disk. If these spaces are not big enough to hold the whole file, the file is broken up into pieces and stored at different locations on the hard disk. This is known as fragmentation and it potentially slows down the speed of accessing the hard disk, thereby slowing down the execution speed of the whole computer. It is important to remove fragmentation from your hard disk on a regular basis. This can be done by using a built-in tool provided along with Windows: the Windows Disk Defragmenter. This tool will put together any fragmented files to a single location so that they can be accessed quickly. PC Health Advisor also has a built in defrag tool. However you can still use the Windows one. Vista and Win 7 user just need to type in defrag in the run command to open the program. XP user will find this under System Tools.
Another important factor to remember about the hard disk is to keep a suitable portion of the C: drive or whichever drive you have installed Windows on, free. The C: drive is used as virtual memory by Windows when loading applications and therefore it is required to have a suitable amount of free space, otherwise the problem of the computer running slow comes up.
Having a good 20Gigs of space free is not that hard in today’s world. You should remove junk temp files from your computer and empty your recycle bin to help remove some of the clutter on your system. PC Health Advisor also includes such tools but you can do this manually as well.
If you just don’t have much space left on your hard drive then consider upgrading to a newer hard drive with more space. For only around 100 bucks you can purchase a 500 Gig hard drive.
For more information head back to our main Slow Computer page.