How to speed up your PC

By David Virgil Hobbs

David Virgil Hobbs

Overcoming the "drive's contents changed: restarting" impediment to disk defrag; reducing the start-up programs burden.

You can get some idea of how fast your Windows computer is through start-control panel-system-system resources-performance. The percentage figure you find here gives you a rough idea of how fast your computer is running--the higher the percentage figure, the faster.

getting disk defragmenter to work

Running disk defragmenter, through Start-Programs- Accessories-System Tools-Disk Defragmenter is a well known method for making the computer faster by defragging it, as is a simple restart (start-shutdown-restart). Fragments of data generated by the PC in the course of its operation are not carefully placed on the hard drive for the sake of speed, so a fragmenting process results, but speed is enhanced when each fragment is more carefully placed by defragger applications.

Problem is that often people have trouble defragmenting their drives; sometimes it takes hours to defrag; sometimes even after hours of defrag the computer is incompletely defragged and defrag is unable to proceed beyond defragging a certain portion of the disk. This is usually because the defrag process is constantly interrupted by a message that reads: "drive's contents changed: restarting".

In such event to allow the defrag process to proceed normally, an end must be put to whatever process it is that keeps changing the contents of the disk as a result of which the defrag process is interrupted. This is accomplished by methods such as turning off the screen saver; running the free ad-aware to delete spyware that might be running on your computer; using the close program dialog box end task option to close down programs that might be interfering with defrag; and turning off your firewall.

To turn off the screen saver: right click on desktop--active desktop--customize my desktop-screen saver-set screen saver to "none".

To run the ad-aware, a free program widely recognized in the computer world as a leader in removal of spyware: download ad-aware from Lavasoft.

To end tasks by using close program dialog box: simultaneously depress ctrl alt and delete, and then one by one hilite and end task for all programs in the dialog box, EXCEPT systray, explorer, and your firewall.

to temporarily de-activate your firewall: BREAK the internet connection in some way that does not use the firewall, and then use the firewall's controls to turn off the firewall. BE SURE that you break the internet connection before turning off the firewall. Computers that are connected to the net by cable are typically subjected to attempted online break-ins a few times an hour. If you are connected to the net with your firewall turned off when you start or "boot" your PC even for a few minutes, someone could through the internet connection break into your computer and posess it.

If the pesky "drive's contents changed: restarting" interruption still occurs a couple of times at the beginning of the disk defrag process, even after you have done all the above, do not be disappointed or surprised. If you are patient the defrag will after these early interruptions continue uninterruptedly until the entire drive is defragged. A couple of early interruptions appear to be a normal attribute of the defrag process even when it is functioning normally.

Reducing start-up program load

The surprising thing is that defrag though it can speed up the computer considerably (often a simple restart will accomplish as much as a time-consuming defrag) does not actually add that many percentage points to your "system resources" percentile performance rating. You could well be dissapointed by what this rating shows after you defrag your computer. In order to speed up your computer even more you will have to resort to further steps.

It is amazing how many web pages you might have to wade through, how much condescending lecturing you might have to put up with, before you finally discover the simple solution that could add alot more percentage points to the percentile performance rating you can find in your computer's "system resources" indicator area, than the vaunted defrag process does. See the links below re reducing startup load to learn how to add these points to the rating. For example with Windows ME, all you have to do is: start-run-type MSconfig into the run dialog box-startup-delete all programs EXCEPT ScanRegistry, TaskMonitor, SystemTray, LoadPowerProfile (there may be more than one), SchedulingAgent, Pchealth, StateMgr, and any antivirus, firewall, or high speed internet programs. After you do this you could well be surprised at how many percentage points have been added to the performance rating.

Links re speeding up the PC, overcoming impediments to defrag, reducing startup load

Microsoft's free TweakUI for WIndows 95
Google Search drive's contents changed defragmenter
Google Search Start, Settings, Control Panel, System Performance
Google Search Start, Settings, Control Panel, System resources
Tech Tv's tips re speeding up a PC
Google Search system resources control panel speed
Costa Blanca News tips re speeding up your PC
online service broker's tips re speeding up the PC re determining system resources and RAM
Savoia computer re close program dialog box end task solution to defrag impediment problem
Lycos' guide to speeding up PC by increasing system resources's startup-load reduction solution for speeding up your PC
Google Search Start, Settings, Control Panel, System resources Performance
computerhope's system resources abc's
Jack's close dialog box, end task solution to disk defrag impediment
Bob Cerelli's tips re speeding up a PC
Sandia Labs re speeding up a PC
Tech TV's review of Norton Systemworks2002, an application designed to speed up your PC's tips for speeding up your PC
Google Search system resources control panel speed windows me
how and why re speeding up computer with defrag and by emptying the hard drive
Creative Element Power Tools to speed up Windows ME, XP, 2000
Abexo re hows and whys of defragmenters and their defrag aid software
Barry's close dialog box, end task solution to disk defrag impediments



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