Five Ways To Keep Your PC Running Smoothly

How To Keep Your Monster PC Running Fast

Getting a High-Performance Custom PC is always a bunch of fun. It’s powerful, fast, and looks awesome. But over time, it can wear down. Luckily, there’s a few things you can do to keep your powerhouse system running smoothly.

STARTUP PROGRAMS

When software is installed, it is generally defaulted to run at startup (unless you choose otherwise). Over time, this can add up, resulting in longer boot times, as well as extra memory in use automatically.

Windows has a few tools to counteract this though. If you are running Windows 7, type “MSCONFIG” into your Startup Menu, navigate to the startup tab, and disable programs that you don’t need every time you boot.

You probably don’t need iTunes and Adobe PDF, but it’s a good idea to always load your printer driver, as well as anti-virus.

NOTE FOR WINDOWS 10 USERS

If you are running Windows 8-10, right-click on the taskbar, and click on task manager. Navigate to startup programs, and disable the programs that you don’t use. These changes will take effect upon your next reboot.

System Cache and Windows Registry

This is a common issue, and one which is easily remedied. When you browse the internet, and use your computer, cache builds up. Cache allows the easy retrieval of links and items, but over time, a large amount of cache can slow your PC down.

I recommend downloading a software package called “CCleaner” (you only need the free version). Use this link to learn how to run it.

SSD Optimization

If you have an SSD, welcome to the party. If you’re still using a HDD, go buy an SSD. PNY sells a 120GB SATA SSD for about $40.

SSDs are different from HDDs in that they don’t become fragmented. However, they still require care and maintenance. Samsung makes a software package called Magician, which is very useful for keeping that hot-rod SSD working like a champ. If you don’t have a Samsung SSD, I’ve embedded a link to SSD Tweaker, a free alternative to Magician.

As with HDDs, don’t let your SSD fill up. It will become much slower once it loads up with data. A 120GB SSD will have about 112GB usable, and you should keep about 15-20GB free at all times.

HDD Defragmentation

HDD Fragmentation occurs from the spinning nature of the disk itself. When HDDs become heavily fragmented, they run slower, decreasing access times, as well as read/write speeds.

Luckily, Windows has a tool pre-installed, Disk Defragmenter. I’ve embedded a link here on how to use this tool.

Windows Update

Please update your PC

I know it’s a pain in the rear, just do it. Also, I typically set Windows Update to update itself before it runs OS updates. If an update “breaks” your PC, you can always use System Restore to roll back to an earlier point in time.

Not updating your PC is basically leaving yourself open to cyber attacks.

Don’t want to get hacked? Update your PC

Dust Bunnies

I know bunnies are cute and fluffy, but dust bunnies are not. They block airflow, and create deadly hot zones in your PC that can damage components.

Once a month, you should take an air can (not a fluffy furniture duster), and blow out dust and debris that has built up in your PC (if you have a laptop, make sure you keep track of those screws).

Don’t use Clorox wipes to clean your PC, you’ll only short-circuit it when you turn it back on.

If you want someone else to clean your PC out, TFC does offer system checkups. Check out our Services page to see what we offer.

If you have any questions, comments, concerns, or something else, feel free to contact me at chris@topflightpc.com