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  1. #16
    Super Moderator jwitalka's Avatar
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    MSconfig is a troubleshooting utility and doesn't do anything useful for routine startup
    Technically it is a troubleshooting utility but it can be used to disable unneeded Startup programs. I've successfully this way for years.

    Jerry

  2. #17
    Super Moderator RetiredGeek's Avatar
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    Hey Y'all,

    I use SysInternals AutoRuns for this task since it does the same thing and includes EVERYTHING that gets started where MSConfig doesn't. HTH
    May the Forces of good computing be with you!

    RG

    VBA Rules!

    My Systems: Desktop Specs
    Laptop Specs


  3. #18
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    Setting the number of processors does nothing to improve boot speed. Please see this article by someone who frequently investigates Windows internals - Tweaking Myth: Decrease boot time with msconfig. Read the description of the Windows boot process. By default, at the appropriate time Windows will enable all the processors and cores. Setting the number is used to decrease the available processors for debugging purposes.

    Joe

  4. #19
    2 Star Lounger
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    Joe, Thank You for that link!

    To be honest, I've fallen for the myth as well...

    There's no shame in being wrong, only in refusing to admit.

  5. #20
    5 Star Lounger RussB's Avatar
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    Software to improve PC performance

    Quote Originally Posted by HowardC View Post
    Is there any good software that anyone can recommend that I can use to improve the performance of my PC which is 4 years old?
    It has been my experience that removing software helps to improve performance more than adding adding software to any OS.

    So first uninstall everything that you do not need.
    Do you "Believe"? Do you vote? Please Read:
    LEARN something today so you can TEACH something tomorrow.
    DETAIL in your question promotes DETAIL in my answer.
    Dominus Vobiscum <))>(

  6. #21
    3 Star Lounger Not Brightest Bulb's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Just Plain Fred View Post
    HowardC,
    Hello... There are several software programs that could be of some help .. .I would not fall for any of these that advertise "Speed up your PC Blah, Blah for only.....$$$$" As the other posters have stated ...good advice...I will offer my 2¢

    1. CCleaner (Free) to remove any "Temp files" lurking on your PC ...If you're "feeling lucky today" you could even run their "Registry Cleaner"

    2. I have a PC that is over 7 years old ..That runs just as well as my new PC ( My Test PC that has 32 and 64 bit windows 7 on it) as well as my main multi-Boot UEFI PC )The PC's speed can be affected by ( not limited to) the amount of RAM that you have installed , Things that are enabled at start up, whether you have a 32 or 64 bit OS.

    3. My thought the age has not much to do with anything ( except for me personally ) PC wise... Unless there is something broken ( again like me) If you use your PC for the everyday stuff, and are not working for NASA computing "Space Station Launches" your PC should be running OK.

    4. I have XP and 7 \ 64 on the same PC with essentially the same software and the XP Pro SP-3 ( except for booting up ) is just as fast .

    5. So unless your a "Gamer" you really don't need special software to keep your PC "up to snuff" just a few "Tweaks" Regards Fred
    I have no problems but was just browsing my way through this thread. This reply should get a great common sens award.

  7. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ben09880 View Post
    Joe, Thank You for that link!

    To be honest, I've fallen for the myth as well...

    There's no shame in being wrong, only in refusing to admit.
    How true... but alas, that's not something everyone is willing to do.
    Rui
    -------
    R4

  8. #23
    Silver Lounger mrjimphelps's Avatar
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    I always enjoy reading through these postings, because all of the geeks share all of their tricks and tips, and you learn a lot from reading through all of them.

    The OP seems to be a non-expert, so I'm going to throw out one simple, basic idea which will be easy for him to handle, and which, in my opinion, is the most important of all.

    Get some good anti-virus / anti-spyware software and do a thorough scan and clean up on your PC. Once you have thoroughly cleaned up the computer, set up the software to update itself and scan the PC nightly, i.e., at a time when you aren't using the PC.

    I recommend Webroot. I've never used it, but the reviewers say that it is very effective, and that it doesn't put much of a drag on your system.

    I have found that Spyware/adware/malware is very often the cause of slow performance on your PC. Also, if you have spyware, your information is being stolen. Therefore, you have two good reasons to get it off of your system.

    If you do only one thing to improve performance on your PC, do this.

  9. #24
    Super Moderator bbearren's Avatar
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    I haven't done the reformat/reinstall dance since Windows 95 OSR2. The reason I was doing it then was because I was breaking it often, tinkering with the innards.

    I've never bought into the myth that "Windows needs to be refreshed with a re-install every (insert timeframe here)". Regular routine maintenance is required. The PC needs to be opened up and physically cleaned out from time to time. Dust accumulates on everything inside the case, diminishing cooling capacity, and excessive heat can cause numerous problems, including having an effect on performance. I use canned air to blow out the dust about every 6 months. The frequency depends on your PC's environment.

    Keeping the hard drive(s) defragged helps prevent performance falloff. Some say that with bigger hard drives it doesn't matter. Yes, it does. A contiguous file will load faster than a fragmented file, regardless of whether it is on a 32MB drive or a 1TB drive. Physics simply won't be denied. Windows 7 and 8 have Windows own defrag run as a scheduled task by default. I use a different defrag program, but I also have it run as a scheduled task.

    Registry cleaners are generally snake oil. There is considerable difference in using a program such as Revo Uninstaller which scans the registry for leftover keys/values in an uninstall and allowing for deleting those keys/values, and letting some registry cleaner report 1,759 registry errors that need to be immediately fixed. The registry is dealt with in Windows using a binary search, and dead entries are totally ignored, as in not even looked at. They don't/can't slow down Windows. If an entry is missing, you will get a popup telling you something could not load or be started. Otherwise, the registry itself is of no concern as far as speeding up a PC. Some folks swear by their favorite registry cleaner, I never use one.

    The best speed tweak for any PC is more RAM, if you're not already maxed out, and RAM prices are very economical these days. 32-bit Windows can use up to 4GB RAM (if the motherboard supports it; some older laptops only support 2GB). 64-bit Windows varies by edition, but can go beyond the 4GB limit of 32-bit. I have my desktop and both laptops maxxed out on RAM (the most the motherboard will support). Not that I rushed out to buy RAM; I watched for good sales, and bought it at great prices.

    Junk/temp/tmp files can be deleted, sure, but the only way they can slow down a PC is if the hard drive is nearly full and badly fragmented. Windows own cleanmgr.exe in extended mode is sufficient for keeping junk files under control.
    Create a new drive image before making system changes, in case you need to start over!

    "Let them that don't want it have memories of not gettin' any." "Gratitude is riches and complaint is poverty and the worst I ever had was wonderful." Brother Dave Gardner "Experience is what you get when you're looking for something else." Sir Thomas Robert Deware. "The problem is not the problem. The problem is your attitude about the problem. Do you understand?" Captain Jack Sparrow.
    Unleash Windows

  10. The Following User Says Thank You to bbearren For This Useful Post:

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  11. #25
    Bronze Lounger DrWho's Avatar
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    Without reading every word, I still think I concur.

    The only reason that I ever even do a Ghost Restore is when some POS software causes a problem on my HD.

    Other than that I do my weekly maintenance which keeps my PC clean, mean and running like a scalded cat.

    Just like with my car, good maintenance can overcome thousands of possible problems.
    In a million miles, I've had no serious problems with my car.....same with my computer.

    Too many users are just too stupid or too lazy to take care of either their cars of their computers.
    I fight with the guys, every day, who only want to service their cars once a year. That's grossly STUPID!

    Likewise with the computers. They require regular maintenance to keep them running GREAT.

    Experience is truly the best teacher.

    Backup! Backup! Backup! GHOST Rocks!

  12. #26
    Super Moderator CLiNT's Avatar
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    Issues surrounding dll files [dll hell/ OS decay] in Windows XP systems and earlier, make clean installing necessary on a regular basis.
    There are no if ands or buts about it...
    Impeccable maintenance & usage care along with drive imaging, would be the only exception to the above.
    And we all know that most people just don't do much maintenance of any kind, let alone data back up.

    The biggest performance related issue I see with people's computers, is this mis-match between what is installed software wise,
    and the hardware spec capabilities of the system. I can't tell you how many times I've seen weak systems loaded to the gills with software
    that shouldn't be there because the hardware spec wasn't designed to run it all at once.
    More often than not, people buy cheap computers with weaker specs and run it like a higher end machine.

    You just can't install & run multiple startup programs along with full disk encryption on a 5400 RPM drive with a 1.something GHz processor
    and NOT expect a serious drop in performance and responsiveness.

    Adding more memory when all the rest of your hardware is anemic, and lacking a well maintained system, will NOT be the answer to anything.
    DRIVE IMAGING
    Invest a little time and energy in a well thought out BACKUP regimen and you will have minimal down time, and headache.

    Windows 8.1, 64 bit
    Motherboard: DX58SO2*Chipset: X58 Express/Intel ICH10*BIOS: SOX5820J.86A.0888.2012.0129.2203*Processor: Intel Core i7 CPU X 990
    GPU: Nvidia GTX 580*Memory: Corsair 12 GB, 4x3@1600*PSU: Corsair HX1000*Hard drives: REVO X2 160GB*OCZ VERT X3 120GB*5 mechanical storage drives (12 TB) total.

  13. #27
    Super Moderator bbearren's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by CLiNT View Post
    Issues surrounding dll files [dll hell/ OS decay] in Windows XP systems and earlier, make clean installing necessary on a regular basis.
    There are no if ands or buts about it...
    I respectfully disagree. Windows 98 for 3 years, not a single reformat/reinstall. Windows 2000 Professional for 3 years (2 of those years on an AMD K6 III 450MHz), not a single reformat/reinstall. Windows XP (through each of the Service Packs) for 5 years, not a single reformat/reinstall. Dell Latitude D800 on XP for 10 years (and still going, now dual booting Windows 7 Ultimate on a 1.7GHz Pentium M), not a single reformat/reinstall. No performance degradation with any of them. My D800 is by no means as quick as my E5420, but it is still as quick as it ever was.

    Quote Originally Posted by CLiNT View Post
    Impeccable maintenance & usage care along with drive imaging, would be the only exception to the above.
    And we all know that most people just don't do much maintenance of any kind, let alone data back up.

    The biggest performance related issue I see with people's computers, is this mis-match between what is installed software wise,
    and the hardware spec capabilities of the system. I can't tell you how many times I've seen weak systems loaded to the gills with software
    that shouldn't be there because the hardware spec wasn't designed to run it all at once.
    More often than not, people buy cheap computers with weaker specs and run it like a higher end machine.

    You just can't install & run multiple startup programs along with full disk encryption on a 5400 RPM drive with a 1.something GHz processor
    and NOT expect a serious drop in performance and responsiveness.

    Adding more memory when all the rest of your hardware is anemic, and lacking a well maintained system, will NOT be the answer to anything.
    Given the option to add "Tune-up Software" or add RAM, I'll go with adding RAM. A system with minimum RAM, software bloat, a slow drive and constant thrashing of the paging file will definitely show improved performance with maxed out RAM. I've never seen a cheap 32-bit computer with 4GB RAM installed OEM, or a cheap 64-bit with 16GB RAM. I've also never seen a significant increase in RAM not have a noticeable improvement on performance.
    Create a new drive image before making system changes, in case you need to start over!

    "Let them that don't want it have memories of not gettin' any." "Gratitude is riches and complaint is poverty and the worst I ever had was wonderful." Brother Dave Gardner "Experience is what you get when you're looking for something else." Sir Thomas Robert Deware. "The problem is not the problem. The problem is your attitude about the problem. Do you understand?" Captain Jack Sparrow.
    Unleash Windows

  14. #28
    Plutonium Lounger Medico's Avatar
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    Part of the reason why you have had no problems, thus not necessitating a reinstall is the way you cut up Windows to work the way you wish it to. Plus you are a maintenance fiend, as am I. I would not consider you an average user. For the average user of Windows, these reinstalls were often the only way for these individuals to get their systems "fixed".

    It takes a concerted effort to keep our systems running at peak performance, and most of those average users don't have the inclination to do this maintenance, or just do not know how, or even that it's necessary.

    "Ignorance is Bliss" until things don't work any more!
    BACKUP...BACKUP...BACKUP
    Have a Great Day! Ted


    Sony Vaio Laptop, 2.53 GHz Duo Core Intel CPU, 8 GB RAM, 320 GB HD
    Win 8 Pro (64 Bit), IE 10 (64 Bit)


    Complete PC Specs: By Speccy

  15. #29
    Super Moderator CLiNT's Avatar
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    No, he's definitely not the average user, at least not the one I've had in mind.
    DRIVE IMAGING
    Invest a little time and energy in a well thought out BACKUP regimen and you will have minimal down time, and headache.

    Windows 8.1, 64 bit
    Motherboard: DX58SO2*Chipset: X58 Express/Intel ICH10*BIOS: SOX5820J.86A.0888.2012.0129.2203*Processor: Intel Core i7 CPU X 990
    GPU: Nvidia GTX 580*Memory: Corsair 12 GB, 4x3@1600*PSU: Corsair HX1000*Hard drives: REVO X2 160GB*OCZ VERT X3 120GB*5 mechanical storage drives (12 TB) total.

  16. #30
    Super Moderator bbearren's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Medico View Post
    Part of the reason why you have had no problems, thus not necessitating a reinstall is the way you cut up Windows to work the way you wish it to. Plus you are a maintenance fiend, as am I. I would not consider you an average user. For the average user of Windows, these reinstalls were often the only way for these individuals to get their systems "fixed".

    It takes a concerted effort to keep our systems running at peak performance, and most of those average users don't have the inclination to do this maintenance, or just do not know how, or even that it's necessary.

    "Ignorance is Bliss" until things don't work any more!
    Yes, I have long held that my system is inherently a bit more stable than a typical Windows installation. And I do place a high priority on system maintenance, but the vast majority of my maintenance is carried out by Task Scheduler, so I don't really spend a lot of my time on it.

    I very often suggest to an OP with flaky symptoms on her/his machine to run sfc /scannow. A close second to that is to run chkdsk. These are both great, powerful tools, free and part of Windows. They're high on my list because I have used them with great success over the years.

    I don't consider myself an average user, either, nor you. But in light of that, I feel that the large number of visitors to the Lounge are here for the most part to learn some of the problem solving techniques that you and I and the rest of us here have picked up, stumbled across, and collected over the years, and they also have a desire to progress beyond the "average user" status.

    Reformat/reinstall teaches one how to reformat/reinstall, and little else. Applying some common but very useful tools and digging into the nature of a problem's cause is a great way to learn how to progress past "average user". Learning troubleshooting techniques and recognizing the beginnings of problems helps one move beyond "average user". My goal is to help them along on that journey. There's no real need to remain "an average user".
    Create a new drive image before making system changes, in case you need to start over!

    "Let them that don't want it have memories of not gettin' any." "Gratitude is riches and complaint is poverty and the worst I ever had was wonderful." Brother Dave Gardner "Experience is what you get when you're looking for something else." Sir Thomas Robert Deware. "The problem is not the problem. The problem is your attitude about the problem. Do you understand?" Captain Jack Sparrow.
    Unleash Windows

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