I wrote this when I was, like, 15. Tagged as Life Skills
Slow compy y’got there. Mind if I help you spruce it up? During normal use computers aren’t usually slow because they can’t handle your hot new word processor. They’re usually slow because of applications that run in the background and hog system resources. Many of these background apps are unnecessary to the good running of Windows (I don’t think this problem would be so bad on Macs) and safe to disable. So what you’ll want to do is ferret out as many junk programs as you can so that when your compy starts, it won’t have to load and run so many apps and will therefore run much faster.
Let’s say you're running Windows 95–ME (I’m most familiar with those, this might work on earlier or later versions too, though). What you would do is:
- Go to Run in your Start menu
- Type “regedit” and hit Enter.
It might be nice to explain what’s going on here: this screen is your computer’s registry. If you’ve ever installed a program, chances are that it made an entry into the computer’s registry regarding where it was installed and what files it’s referring to. Windows did the same thing when it was installed and made a few entries regarding what files should be run at startup, and this is what you’ll wanna have a look at.
- Run (click on the folder icon, not the plus sign)
What you’ve just done is access the list of programs that are scheduled to “Run” when Windows is started. At this point, check the entries on the right side of the screen and make the following checks:
- If the entry’s path has “Rundll32․exe”, “Autoexec․bat” or “Autoexec․bak”, do not delete it. These are required Windows files and you’d be better off leaving them there.
- Is the entry named something reasonable? If it’s a jumble of numbers, go to the listed path and try to open the file. If nothing happens, go to its Properties and check its Version information. If it doesn’t say that it’s a Windows program it’s probably a malicious program. Kill!
- Do the paths lead to directories which you know are valid? Valid directories are C:\Windows, C:\Windows\System32 and the directories of programs you known you’ve installed.
- When in doubt, open up the ․exe file and check its Version information. If it doesn't mention Microsoft anywhere and the file is located in C:\Windows or C:\Windows\System32, it has a high probability of being malicious.
- Is the file named loadqm․exe? If so, you can delete the entry and it will give your computer a boost—that program is the auto-update function of several Microsoft products (including MSN Messenger) and it is always on and running, draining computing resources.
A very handy way to make sure you don’t delete anything important is to write down all the entries right after you’ve formatted.
Restart and that should do it. If you’ve deleted enough funny entries your computer should run much sweeter. And please, if you’re not sure about the entries you’re deleting, Google the exact entry name or filename (put the name in double quotes) and you’ll find out all about it. If you’re still not sure, better leave it alone.