|by Naomi Okinaga
If you are observing that your desktop or laptop is performing a bit slow, these are some steps to optimize your computer:
- Make sure your Operating System is current with all updates.
Mac: Go to the top left apple icon, and click on "Software Update".
PC: Go to http://update.microsoft.com or while in Internet Explorer (IE), go to the menu item ‘Tools' and select ‘Windows Update'. You don't want to be running a compromised system with viruses or trojans (small applications that look innocuous, but might be using resources.)
- Be sure to keep your antivirus software updated. You don't want to have a virus that is running extra cycles on your machine and slowing down your processor.
- For PC: Install an anti-spyware tool. This will check to see that other extra processes aren't running unnecessarily and using up computer resources. There is more information at http://www.hawaii.edu/help/kb/?action=view&kbid=593#anti-spyware
- Check that you have enough RAM (Random Access Memory) . Having enough RAM for your processing will speed up your machine. For Windows XP or Mac OS, our general recommendation is at least 512MB of RAM, preferably 1GB.
- Uninstall unnecessary programs that you no longer use.
- Check your hard drive and use a disk utility to optimize.
Mac: in the Applications and then the Utilties folder, click on Disk Utility, select your hard drive, click on ‘Verify disk permissions' and ‘Repair Disk Permissions', repeat until clean.
PC: in the Accessories and then System Tools Menu, the Disk Defragmenter and Disk Cleanup can optimize your machine when used cautiously (don't turn off your computer while these processes are running.)
- Scan your computer to check for viruses (or spyware). In addition to keeping your antivirus up-to-date, run your antivirus scans during an off-time that won't interfere with your normal schedule. (If at the beginning of the day and you don't want it running a long scan at that time, schedule it during your lunch when you might not be at the computer.)
Of course if the above fails to make a difference, it might mean that you should do a ‘clean install'. This is not for the faint of heart and more likely appropriate for a Windows user. Or the problem might be related to older hardware, in which case you might consider purchasing a new computer. You can always call the ITS Help Desk at (808) 956-8883 or (800) 558-2669 from the neighbor islands to ask for help in evaluating your computer or recommending a new one.
These are 2 other articles to reference (caution: some advice is not for the novice.)