A blog for the work-at-home professional by a work-at-home professional.


I had a difficult day at work today. It all started this morning. My laptop booted very slowly and I had to wait for approximately 15 minutes before my computer was ready to use. Throughout the day, I had to restrain myself from smashing my laptop on the floor because the applications would freeze every now and then. A slow computer robs us of a very precious resource – time. So when your computer slows down, it’s really infuriating and frustrating. (No, the laptop in the picture isn't mine.)

I tried to call on a couple of my friends who are tech guys, but one of them is in Manila (which requires an hour-long plane ride to get to where I am), and the other had to attend his class (He’s still a college student).

Then, I decided to do something about it. (This is what a Proactive Pro would do, right? :0) ) I enlisted the help of my ever-reliable friend, Mr. Google, who pointed me to different websites where I was able to get some information on how to speed up my laptop. I found out that there are certain computer tasks that need to be done regularly, and this is what I’m about to share with you.

1) RUN AN ANTIVIRUS AND AN ANTI-SPYWARE PROGRAM DAILY– Viruses and spyware are bound to make your computer run like a turtle on Valium. They use your computer’s memory resources. The best thing that you can do is invest in a good Internet security suite like Kaspersky, which has outstanding features and a high detection rate against viruses, spyware and malicious codes and programs. However, there are a lot of free antivirus and antispyware programs all over the Internet that can give you basic protection, but only a few of them are trustworthy. Many antivirus and antispyware programs are actually malicious programs in disguise. For a list of safe antivirus and anti-spyware programs, refer to my previous post which is just below this one.

2) GET RID OF UNNECESSARY PROGRAMS AND FILES AT LEAST ONCE A MONTH – One of the reasons why your computer runs slowly is that you have installed too many programs and keep too many files. They eat up your hard disk space leaving the operating system very little room to work with. So take stock of the stuff in your computer. Keep what you need and get rid of those that you don’t. It’s that simple. But if you don’t want to get rid of anything, at least burn them on a DVD or a CD.

3) DEFRAGMENT YOUR HARD DISK – This is what I had neglected to do which is why my laptop was so slow this morning. Defragmentation is like putting books of the same category in the same shelf in a library.  It is done with a disk defragmenter, a software that sorts the files in the hard disk so they can be easily read by the computer. Windows has a built-in defragmenter.  To find the disk defragmenter, follow this path:
START BUTTON->  All programs-> Accessories-> System Tools-> Disk Defragmenter
Ideally, you should “defrag” your hard disk every other week, but there is no rule of thumb as to how often one should defragment.

4) FREE UP DISK SPACE BY GETTING RID OF USELESS, TEMPORARY FILES ONCE A WEEK – Some programs store temporary files usually during installation. These files and other useless files occupy a lot of space and can cause the computer to slow down. You can use CCleaner to clean up the junk in your computer. (Just in case you’re curious “CCleaner” used to be “Crap Cleaner.”)

5) CHECK FOR REGISTRY ISSUES AND FIX THEM – When a program is installed, an entry is created in the registry. Invalid entries in the registry occur when programs are not installed or uninstalled properly. These registry errors cause the computer to slow down so we need to get rid of them. This task should be done every three to six months depending on how often you install and reinstall programs.

There are a lot of registry cleaners being sold online. I use CCleaner for fixing registry problems. Yes, CCleaner also has a registry cleaner. However, I suggest you should back up registry entries just in case you need to undo the changes that have been made. The nice thing about CCleaner is that before it fixes the registry issues, it gives you the option to back up the registry entries.

CCleaner may be downloaded here.

CCleaner is free, but please donate so that it stays free and available.

When you do the aforementioned tasks regularly, your computer is bound to run smoothly, thus sparing you from the frustration and the anger that I had to suck up this morning. And the best thing of all, it’s worth doing because it saves you time.


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