Hard Drive Clutter – Speed Up Your Computer With A Tidy System




In order to carry out its job, your computer makes extensive use of its CPU, memory, and hard disk.  Of the three, the hard disk is by far the slowest when it comes to storing and locating information, so it’s often found to be the weak link when it comes to tracking down the cause of a slow computer.

The Desktop

The desktop is designed as a location to place shortcuts to frequently used programs and data packages.  A cluttered desktop not only makes it harder to use the computer – you have to dig through a pile of icons to find the one you want – but it slows the computer down.  Store your files in nested directories, not on your desktop.  Your computing experience will be greatly enhanced!

Programs

Every program stored on your computer is occupying precious hard disk space.  Often the program consumes other resources, too, launching part of itself into the system’s memory at boot up, so that it can better monitor its own performance, or launch more quickly when you select it’s icon from the desktop.

Too many programs will consume too much of your system’s hard disk space and too many other resources. One of the best things you can do to maintain optimum computer performance is clean up after yourself, and get rid of unnecessary applications.




Uninstalling Programs

You can’t simply delete the files and be done with the program.  Most software bonds with the Windows Registry, and creates links to the registry, dynamic link libraries, and other software.  You need to use the program management tool built into Windows.  Fortunately, it’s easy to do.   The program management feature is located in the Control Panel of all versions of windows.  In Windows XP it’s called Add/Remove Programs, in Windows Vista/7 choose programs>uninstall a program from the control panel. When you launch it, it’s a simple matter of selecting the program you no longer use and deleting it.

What Should I Get Rid Of?

You should delete programs that you installed, but no longer use.  This might include expired demos, programs (like media viewers) that you’ve simply replaced with newer software, or games that you no longer play.  You might also find that some programs, notably Microsoft’s Visual C++ programming language will be installed in several versions.  You should keep the newest one, but you can safely remove all previous versions.

What if I Don’t Know What a Program Does?

You probably won’t recognize all of the entries on the list.  For a comprehensive, searchable database of Add/Remove Programs entries, including recommendations about keeping or deleting the software, visit http://www.bleepingcomputer.com/uninstall/.

The Result

A hard drive with lots of free space is one of the keys to keeping your computer at optimum performance.  Files will be less likely to become fragmented, and more space is available for applications to use as virtual memory.

 

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