3 Ways to speed up your Computer’s Boot time

3 Ways to speed up your Computer’s Boot time

By Jeandre de Beer / Kim Komando

 

fast1

 

As computers age, they naturally slow down – especially when they’re starting up. It’s just a fact.

It isn’t a fact you have to live with, though. There are some simple steps you can take to speed up a slow-booting computer. 

Now, the reason startup gets slow is that there’s too much information for the computer to load at once.

So, you need to trim the fat. These simple steps are the knife.

 

1. Ditch the non-essentials

 

Your computer is loading a whole bunch of programs at start-up. Some, like your security programs, are crucial. Other programs, maybe not so much.

Go to Start>>All Programs>>Start-up. Any programs or files in this folder will start when you turn your computer on. Simple delete the program or file icon to stop it from starting.

If you find a program you never use, you might as well just remove it completely. You can use Windows’ built-in uninstaller.

Of course, the Start-up folder isn’t the only place programs run from. You can use another free program Autoruns to find the rest.

It lists the programs set to start during boot and what each program does. It even knows enough not to remove essential programs like your security software.

I recommend disabling programs before you decide to remove them. That way if you accidentally disable something you need, you can easily turn it back on again.

 

 

2. Delay the start-up of  some programs

 

Read more

5 Things every computer user needs to know

5 Things every Computer User needs to know 

By Jeandre de Beer  / Kim Komando

computer user 2

A good number of computer users think the answer to the tech problems they encounter is to ignore the symptoms, upgrade to fancier software or buy a new computer.

Here are five things that won’t turn you into a tech guru overnight, but they’ll keep your computer running fast, make you more productive and save you tons of frustration. Best of all, they won’t cost you a cent.

If you’re the tech support person for your family and friends, be sure to share this with them. You’ll get more work done if your mailbox doesn’t fill up with subject lines like “Do I have a virus?” or “Help! Having Wi-Fi problems!”

 

 

1. Work faster using keyboard shortcuts

 

The great thing about computers is that they can work much faster than you can. But telling them what to do is often a slow process. Well, there’s a fix for that.

Say you’re ready to print a document. Instead of using the mouse to move a cursor around the screen and selecting “Print” from a drop-down menu, just hit Control+P on your keyboard.

There are dozens of keyboard shortcuts like this, from pressing Ctrl+S to instantly save the file you’re working on, to pressing Ctrl+Z to undo a delete etc.

It takes a little getting used to at first, but after you try keyboard shortcuts for a while, I guarantee that your mouse will start gathering dust.

 

 

2. Protect yourself from viruses and spyware

 

It’s critical that you keep your security software current. New viruses are unleashed daily. If your software is out-of-date, you aren’t protected. Malware can destabilize your computer, destroy files and steal personal information.

Every computer you own should have an antivirus program, a firewall and an anti-spyware program. Another huge threat right now is security holes in Java, a programming language used by Web browsers to run interactive content.

When a vulnerable version of Java is active in a Web browser, visiting a compromised website is all it takes for crooks to sneak malware on to your computer. In most cases, you won’t even know the site is compromised until it’s too late.

To stay safe, stop using Java — or stay on top of the upgrades.

 

Read more

How can you find out which programs are safe to uninstall?

How can you find out which programs are safe to uninstall?

By Jeandre de Beer / Kim Komando

uninstall 1Computers get cluttered and messy just like your car or house. In a car, junk in the engine can kill your fuel consumption – the same goes for computers.

One source of clutter on your computer is unneeded programs. Even worse, some programs seem to take over your computer.

These programs hog energy and memory, bug you with dialog boxes or pester you with ads. There’s only one thing to do – get rid of them.

Getting rid of unwanted programs helps, but you can run into all kinds of trouble if you accidentally delete a file that’s essential for your operating system.

Aside from the obvious operating system files, how do you know which programs you should remove? 

Should I Remove It? is a free program that can help you decide. It’s as simple as downloading the program and running it.

Should I Remove It? will scan your computer and make a list of the installed applications and programs.

Each program will have a status bar ranging from green to red.

But be careful! This doesn’t automatically mean you must remove the program if it’s yellow or red, or that you should keep it if it’s green.

 

Read more

Do you want to know which programs are using your internet data?

Do you want to know which programs are using your internet data?

By Jeandre de Beer / Kim Komando

internet 2

Have you ever wondered where your monthly internet bandwidth has gone to? 

Sometimes we are not even halfway through the month and all our data has been depleted.

Do you know what your computer is up to while you’re away, or what it’s doing right under your nose? 

If you have a server or firewall on your network it makes this task much easier – since all internet traffic can be routed through the server / firewall and a detailed report can be generated on who accessed what sites and the amount of data that a specific user consumed during the month.

If you are a home user or if you do not own a server or firewall – internet monitoring and management becomes more difficult.

Home users and small business owners usually do not have the need to spend a large amount of money on internet monitoring, but they still want to have basic controls over what happens with their bandwidth.

 

Is there a way to find out what happened?

 

Read more

8 Things happening inside your computer box

8 Things happening inside your computer box

By Jeandre de Beer / Kim Komando

Inside_computer

When your computer is working well, the parts inside work together to help you surf the Web, organize and edit photos, type documents and anything else you use it for.

Most of the times we do not think about the multiple different parts a computer has. When you do remember is when something goes wrong.

If your computer suddenly stops working and you need to purchase a new computer or upgrade your current one –  That’s when you enter a world of numbers and acronyms: CPU, RAM, eSATA, Gigabit, 802.11 … the list is endless.

Once you get past the letters and numbers, understanding what these parts actually do isn’t too hard. 

 

Let’s see how a computer actually works.

 

1. CPU 

 

The central processing unit is the part of the computer that “computes.” Most people just call it a CPU or processor.

The processor does the heavy lifting. It takes in numbers, does some calculations and returns other numbers.

A modern processor can do billions of calculations in a very short time. It’s hard to overstate just how amazing modern processors are; billions and billions of switches – known as transistors – crammed in a space the size of a thick postage stamp.

Many CPUs today have multi-core processors which put two or more CPU “cores” – the part that does the work – in a single CPU package. That allows us to get more performance with slower processor cores.

The benefit of more cores is better multitasking. Several cores can be working on separate tasks simultaneously. A slower multi-core processor can often accomplish more than a fast single-core processor.

The two most common types of multi-core processors are dual-core and quad-core. Dual-core processors have two cores, while quad-core processors have four. However, there are processors with as many as eight or more. 

There are two major processor manufacturers for computers: Intel and AMD.  AMD was big back in the mid 2000s, Intel has dominated the market since.

 

 

2. MOTHERBOARD 

 

Read more

Why am I receiving so many SPAM emails?

Why am I receiving so many SPAM emails?

By Jeandre de Beer

spam 2

 

Spam emails is a huge time waster. Spam is unsolicited emails that you receive – basically any email you receive that tries to sell you something that you did not sign up for.

You get to work on a Monday morning – already stressed out about the day’s tasks – you open your email client – and you see a mountain of mails waiting for you.

As you start to read through them you realize that most of the emails you received over the weekend is spam.

It takes forever to sort your email – deleting spam mails and moving legitimate emails to another folder. Before you realize it – you wasted an hour of your morning.

 

 

Is there any way to prevent spam? Read more

I have an Anti-Virus program – Why do I still get infected then?

I have an Anti-Virus program – Why do I still get infected then?

By Jeandre de Beer

virus 1

Many times a client asks us this question : I have an Anti-Virus program installed and I keep it updated on a regular basis. I update my Windows with the latest security patches, but I still seem to get virus infections from time to time – WHY?

This is a very good question, since so many believe that having an anti-virus program installed protects them fully from getting infected – sadly it doesn’t.

Staying protected is not easy.

 

In simple terms there are three components when it comes to virus infections : Read more

How do I protect my computer from Viruses?

How do I protect my computer from Viruses?

By Jeandre de Beer

computer-health

Viruses are common place today – and each day new viruses are released. Most of the times they make our computers slow and displays annoying pop up ads, but sometimes they can destroy data.

It is best to make sure that we are adequately protected against infection.

 

 

Here are four steps to keep in mind : Read more

Why has my computer become so slow?

Why has my computer become so slow?

By Jeandre de Beer

Slow Computer

 

 

It’s very frustrating to work on a computer that seems to take minutes to open a program or respond to a task.  It adds to our stress levels when we have a slow computer and deadlines that are looming.

We still remember the time we purchased the computer – it was fast and responsive – but lately it takes forever to boot into Windows, applications are slow to open and it seems the machine is sluggish to do just about anything.

 

Computers gets slow for a variety of reasons : Virus or Spyware infections, out dated software, not enough memory, faulty hardware and various other reasons. Read more