Thursday, May 13, 2010

Comments on a question posed by my friend Harry Studley.

My friend Harry Studley has a question, which I think hits a subject that is of interest for most of the readers of this blog.

He said:

"Hey George..
lately my notebook (vista 32bit w/dual/core pentium) has been running a good bit slower than in the past. I have used oi bit, ashampoo etc. to perhaps clean it up a bit, with no success.. I went through the config utility and found a ton of "services" most "running" and some "stopped". also in the startup tab there are a LARGE number of pgms. I don't recognize, most from MS but others from various authors.. My Q is: Is there a proscribed/recommended set of "start-up"/"services" settings? I suspect this plethora of things running consuming resources may be the culprit.. What do you think ??

Harry S "

OK Harry, here is my response:

There are many reasons why a computer can run slow, and the longer you use your computer and if you do not take steps to clean it up: defrag the hard drive, restore the registry, check for viruses, spam etc. etc. :

One thing for sure will happen, everything will slow down.

Harry, I don't know what version of Ashampoo you have, but I would upgrade to at least version 6 or 7 which is now available, but I'll get back to this in a moment.

You say you ran msconfig and looked at the tab "services". I suggest you do not mess with that section in the msconfig because it does not tell you whether each service is needed or important and if you deactivate by chance a service that is required, you can get yourself in all kinds of trouble.

The tab under msconfig that tells you which programs automatically run when you turn your computer on is the "start up tab". Here you can deactivate programs that you don't want to start automatically. As you install new programs, most of them install themselves to start up automatically, that being the reason why they show under that "start up tab". You must be careful when you deactivate a program, if you don't know what it is. (It is kinda confusing when you look at the list of all programs that start up automatically).

There is a web site that explains what all these programs are, (showing the exact addresses that pop up under the start up tab), whether you can or should deactivate each one, (some of them are spam or viruses etc.). This site has thousands of entries, all shown alphabetically, therefore you can get to them fast.

Once you find what the program stands for, then you can deactivate it knowing that it is OK.

The address for this very helpful web site is as follows:

Now getting back to Ashampoo:

Go to tab "Modules", select "Optimize Performance" go to "Startup Tuner" and click on it. This section basically does the same as "msconfig" but a lot better because it tells you in detail what the programs and services are.

There are two very important sub selections: "Auto Start" and "Services".

If you click "Auto Start" it shows you all the programs that are started automatically, however you can see where they can be found in your hard drive. Each program has a small square box which is either checked, (on) or unchecked, (off). You can then make your selection of the programs that should be on or off.

If you click "Services" it shows you a list of the services that are "started", "manual" or "disabled".
As you click on each service, it tells you what it does, whether it is required and a recommendation whether you can disable it, start it or put it on manual modes.

Harry, another important matter that can run the computer to a snail's pace is fragmentation. There is a great free defragmentation program, "Defraggler"

Please read my post of May 11 that refers to the above Web address:


Download and use Defraggler as well as CClear and you'll do OK.

Finally, there are two other programs that will clean up all your spy programs, spam etc. They are well known: Ad Aware and Spybot. They are free and can be downloaded just by Googling the names and finding the proper addresses.

If all of the above did not help, call me and we will talk more about your problems.

George Freire

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