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10 Terrific ways to boost productivity of your Windows PC

written by: Ashwin Satyanarayana•edited by: Rebecca Scudder•updated: 9/17/2008

The Personal Computer exists for one reason alone: To enhance your productivity by doing things quickly, efficiently and deftly. As such, boosting PC performance is of paramount importance. Here are some great ways to speed up your PC to increase your productivity.

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    As someone at the gamerswordbd.com mentioned very aptly “Computers are a bit like life - no matter how good (or fast) it is, we always wish that it would be a bit better”. It can’t be further from the truth, can it be? The Personal Computer, as you know, exists for one reason alone : to enhance your productivity; to help you do things quickly, efficiently and deftly. All over the world, people now PCs for their work and this sole machine is responsible for a revolution that has swept up the grandeur of work to an unfathomable degree and brought about a fundamental change in the way things are done.

    While PCs do exist to do increase your productivity and mine, there are certain things that can be done to increase your PCs productivity. Let’s see some terrific ways on how to do that:

    PC’s performance boost can be made possible by paying particular attention to two things, among others: System Maintenance and Over-clocking. Both will be covered here among other small tweaks that you could do:

    1. Do the Due Diligence First - Computer House-keeping: Cleaning up is a therapeutic act not only for human cleanliness and healthy living, but also for your Windows PC. Paying attention to some basic computer house-keeping schedules like running the latest version of a stable and well-updated anti-virus; anti-spy-ware; anti-malware, emptying the temp file folder; emptying the “pre-fetch” folder; purging the contents of the recycle bin; running chkdsk etc. All of these are a must-do list and it might help if you set the automatic running modes (available to make your life easier) and let the computer take care of its own highly critical but mundane chores and don’t forget to back up your system at regular intervals.

    2. Use Anti-crash software: Get yourself a copy of software called as Anti-crash from dachshundsoftware.com which does something real nifty. It keeps a tab on all the various programs that a busy small business person, executive or professional is operating on and even those that seem to be working in the back-ground and intercepts each time there is a possibility of the PC going unstable or just before it is about to crash and retrieves the PC back to a stable state. Think of it like a watchdog that keeps an eye on your over-zealous friend who is a chronic suicide jumper, waiting to jump off the cliff.   Having that kind of protection is highly valuable when working on critical jobs.

    3. Drivers & Hardware: Most drivers are other component parts need some software updates to keep them in a high-performance mode, so when you are connected online, let the drivers and hardware components detect “live updates’ and allow the downloads. If you do have any peripherals that you don’t use much but the drivers are still on your computer, it is best if you remove them -- game ports, IR ports, MIDI devices. If you are not sure about these things, you can simply disable them which isn’t the same as removing them. Windows comes with a ‘Device Manager” which can make just that simple for you to use.

    4. Start-up is slow because your computer is has “Start-up Rush” :  After years and years of surfing the net, installed and uninstalled hundreds of programs, there are bound to be software that loads automatically at windows start-up. This is one major deterrent in the PC performance and all it needs is a little knock on the head. Go to these program “preferences” and uncheck the box that says “Start-up at windows”. Windows, as it is, has a lot of default services that start up by default -- things you don’t need and then you shouldn’t be adding to the much. Use the Windows System Configuration Utility (Msconfig) and the Services Console to Manage your start-up preferences. Winpatrol is a software ( a freeware) that you might want to use for extended ease.

    5. Use the PC Speed Booster Tool bar: There are a few browser add-ons like The PC Speed Booster or even the WinBoost application that enable free system resource enhancing checks; anti-spyware and anti-malware scanning and block pop-ups while you surf the net -- all in an effort to enhance your PC performance. These tools are also capable of doing free registry checks and come equipped with built-in 1-click privacy controls that can make your life easy by erasing history, cookies & cache with one button.

    6. Really, do you need all that Software? : The best way to improve your PCs performance is to decrease the number of programs running on it because these redundant programs tie-up a lot of memory for their functioning. Go to “Control panel >Add/remove programs” and pick and throw all those un-necessary programs out.

    7. Maintenance : A regular maintenance schedule is necessary for any machine and your windows PC is no exception. You must regularly format your hard-disk, run well- scheduled de fragmentation trials ( This is very critical!)  And keep trash out at all times. Regularly clean-up the web browser history, purge cookies, empty “temp” folders etc. Lack of maintenance alone is enough to crash your PC beyond repair.

    8. Push it harder: Over clocking is nothing but pushing your PC do go over its designated frequency of processing. It is like putting your computer on steroids. Your computer processor has a pre-determined frequency -- set to be optimal by the manufacturer - which gives it the speed and agility. You can, in fact, push to an extent and improve your PC’s Performance. However, going overboard and pushing it beyond a certain limit can prove fatal.

    9. Go Web Based, As much as you can : With the advent of scores of web-based programs and applications, there is a likelihood that you can go online and complete most of the functions that were hitherto only possible by downloading it or installing it on your computer and then working on them. With increasing storage capabilities made available to most service providers, you don’t have to download anything on to your computer.

    10. Disable Some Services that are not needed while using Windows XP: Windows XP automatically launches a lot of services that you might not even need for your regular operations -- you can disable of these by using the “Administration tools” function and ensure that these services are set to “manual “. You can use them when you have to but until then they won’t be used. This brings down your memory usage on these extra programs thereby freeing up the memory leading to increase in productivity.