Speeding Up Your System

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3 Simple Ways to Speed Up Windows Vista

Windows Vista

So you have Windows Vista still? It’s still ~$100 to upgrade to Windows 7, and Windows 8 isn’t all that great, so it may be a better idea for you to speed up your Vista system a bit and hold off the upgrade.

Now, these steps won’t do the things a good tune-up can, but it can still save you some money and mild annoyance waiting for files to open.

If you are interested in getting a complete system tune-up, please contact us. We can also upgrade your PC to Windows 7 at a very reasonable price. Read more about our computer repair Temecula services today.


Here are 3 simply ways to speed up your Vista computer:

1. Turn off Aero Effects

Aero effects are visual effects that are automatically turned on with most computers, and it can make your windows and start menu look pretty, but it also slows your system down considerably.

How to turn off Aero effects:

  1. Right click on your Desktop and click “Personalize”
  2. Scroll down and find “Basic and High Contrast Themes”
  3. Click “Windows 7 Basic”

You’ll have to reapply your favorite desktop, but the other visual effects that Aero uses are now off.

2. Take advantage of ReadyBoost

ReadyBoost is a Windows tool that comes with Vista and can be used to speed up your system, especially if you have <2GB of system memory. Essentially, ReadyBoost uses flash memory cards or USB flash drives as RAM (Random Access Memory) to speed up your computer.

How to Use ReadyBoost:

  1. Insert a memory card or USB drive with 1GB or more of available space.
  2. Once the AutoPlay dialog box pops up, click “speed up your computer using ReadyBoost”.
  3. You can allow a certain amount of memory allotted for ReadyBoost, but we recommend clicking “Dedcate this device to ReadyBoost” to make is fast and simple.

3. Start Updating Manually

Vista has been around for many years, and it’s into Service Pack 2, which means it’s pretty stable and secure. We would never recommend to not update your computer at all, but having updates run automatically can cause your computer to randomly slow down and can also cause start-ups and shut-downs to take forever.

Instead, update your computer manually on a schedule of your choice – we recommend twice a month.

How to Turn OFF Automatic Updates:

  1. Open your start menu and type “automatic updating” then click enter.
  2. On the drop-down menu, select “Never check for updates”
  3. Click OK

How to Run Windows Update Manually:

  1. Open your start menu and type “update windows” then click enter.
  2. Click the “Check for updates” button
  3. Once the check is complete, click the button to install and download updates.

How to Wipe a Hard Drive

How to Wipe a Hard Drive

There are many reasons you may want to learn how to wipe a hard drive, but regardless of the reason, it’s an quick and easy process! This method also applies to flash drives and external hard drives and takes only minutes – sometimes even seconds – to complete.

As a local computer repair company who provides computer repair in Temecula, we often have to wipe a hard drive when we refurbish computers or part-out broken systems. If you don’t feel comfortable wiping a drive yourself or need assistance with reformatting your Windows PC, please contact us to get your free diagnosis today!

WARNING: This process will erase all information on the drive AND make it unrecoverable except by a professional!!!

Here’s How:

  1. Plug in the hard drive or flash drive you want to erase completely. (You can do this by installing the drive internally or through a drive docking station.)
  2. Open “My Computer” through the Start menu.

    My Computer (Example in Windows 7)

    “My Computer” (Example in Windows 7)

  3. Right click the drive you want to wipe out and click “Format…”.

    Right Click > Format

    Right Click > Format

  4. Click “Restore Device Defaults” then make sure “Quick Format” is checked then click “Start”.

    The "Format..." Windows

    The “Format…” Window

  5. Once the process is complete… The drive is empty!

That’s it – thanks for reading!

What other things would you like to learn about from our blog? E-mail us at info@69pcrepair.com and let us know!

Best Free Anti-Virus Software

avg_logo

What is the best anti-virus program? What anti-virus do you recommend? Which do you not recommend? We get these questions many times per week.

As a local computer repair company, we’ve run across many anti-virus programs, most of which claim to be free. Most of our customers prefer free software but most think they will get a less secure anti-virus program if they don’t commit to a monthly or yearly subscription. This is not true.

The only truly free anti-virus program we trust to protect our customers and even our own PCs is AVG Free. AVG Free has never let a threat get past on our systems, and has corrected virus disasters where Avanti, Avast and even Norton have failed. AVG uses little resources while running, the scans are fast, and the extra tools are invaluable.

A good anti-virus program can keep your computer up to speed and can protect you from even the most deadly viruses out there. AVG Free protects from spyware, malware, adware, and of course viruses.

Keep in mind we have no affiliation or commission agreement with AVG – this is not a biased advertisement. We honestly have been using AVG for years and have NEVER had an issue with it.

So to answer the question of “What is the best free anti-virus?”. The answer is AVG Free.

6 Ways to Increase Your Speed and Avoid Buying a New Computer

Old Computer

Computers are constantly being made better and better and similar to when you buy a car, your computer loses it’s value very quickly. Within months after you buy a new computer, the store you bought it from can stop carrying it, replacing it with the latest and greatest.

Buying a brand new computer will obviously solve the problem, but a better idea is to ensure your computer is cleaned out, running efficiently, and upgraded. Local computer repair companies call these services “tune-ups” and they are actually very effective. In this list we will discuss 6 easy ways to increase your computers speed and push back your new computer purchase by a long ways.

Hey you may even be able to dust off that old system (literally) and use it as a second computer for picture storage, kid’s homework, or maybe just another PC around the house to browse the internet with.

1. Dust it Off – Especially Laptops!dusty-case

This simple task can work wonders. The reason why is because dust blocks air-flow which means
your computer heats up very quickly and cannot be cooled efficiently. Overheated components slow your computer down considerably, and can even lead to system crashes and hardware failures.

Open your tower or laptop and blow the dust away with a can of compressed air that can be purchased at any big box retail store, or you can use a shop-vac with a blow feature. You’ll be surprised at how much dust your system has built up over the years. We recommend doing your dusting outside…

2. Clean it Out

If your computer is old, chances are your hard-drive has a relatively low capacity… Which also means that it’s probably pretty full… Full or nearly full hard-drives increase boot-up times, seek times, load times, heck just about ANY time it takes to do anything! The reason why is simple – the more on your drive, the more it has to search to find what it’s looking for.I tell my customers to keep their hard-drive under 50% capacity for best results.

  • Uninstall old games
  • Uninstall old programs you don’t use
  • Delete duplicate photos – Users often upload the same set of photos off your camera every time you plug it in (this happens a lot)
  • Transfer photos & videos to an external hard-drive, flash-drive or even CDs
  • Run a third-party program like AVG PC Tune-Up to remove unnecessary files
  • Install a new, or another hard-drive (see #5)

3. You Don’t NEED Toolbarstoolbars

Almost everyone has them, whether it’s a search toolbar, a coupon toolbar, or a special recipe toolbar, and nobody needs them. They are the supposedly “helpful” sections that get added to your browser right below the address bar. Toolbars in your browser are almost always useless and almost always slow down your browser load times.

Delete them! First delete them trough Windows Control Panel and if they aren’t listed there, find the programs in your hard-drive and destroy them yourself.

4. Scan for Viruses/Malware

It may not look like you have one but there is always a possibility you have some kind of virus or malware, spyware, adware, etc. that hinders your computer’s performance, especially online.

Do a simple virus scan after you update your virus software to eliminate any potential issues. We recommend AVG Anti-Virus 2013. We also recommend using Spybot Search and Destroy to get rid of any adware or spyware that may be hindering your system performance.

5. Upgrade, Upgrade, Upgrade!Ram-VISIPRO-2

Yes, upgrade! Upgrade that old thing! It’s never very expensive and the results can be pretty potent. Start with memory, then try the hard-drive, and even your video card if you play games or watch videos.

Try doubling your system memory and you will be very impressed at how much faster your system is and how much smoother you can multitask. You CAN have 2 hard-drives and no, it’s not complicated. Install a second 250GB or better drive and you’ll never need another place to store photos, videos, music, etc. A video card is a great idea if the computer is used for watching videos or playing 3D games.

If you don’t feel comfortable completing hardware upgrades yourself, a local computer repair company can do the work for you for a modest charge.

6. Improve Your Boot-Up Time… Drastically

There are some programs on your computer, perhaps many, that are set to automatically start when you boot up WIndows. This is the leading cause of slow bootup on systems we see.

To edit the programs that are allowed to run immediately at startup, take the following steps:

Windows XP:

  • Open your Start Menu
  • Click Run…
  • Type “msconfig” and hit OK
  • Click the tab labeled “startup”
  • This window displays a list of programs that run when your computer starts. Begin un-checking programs you don’t need started immediately, which is usually most – if not all.
  • Restart your system and behold!

Windows 7/Vista:

  • Open your Start Menu
  • Type “msconfig” and hit Enter. (You should be typing into the search box at the bottom of the Start Menu.)
  • Click the tab labeled “startup”
  • This window displays a list of programs that run when your computer starts. Begin un-checking programs you don’t need started immediately, which is usually most – if not all.
  • Restart your system and behold!

We hope you saw some improvements using these tips and we will continue to provide more tips and tricks on maintaining your PC and keeping things run smoothly.

If you live in the Temecula area and are interested in any hardware upgrades or a system tune-up, please contact us with any questions or to set up an appointment.