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Five Simple Tips to Boost and Maintain Computer Performance

Preventative Measures That Go a Long Way Toward Protecting Your Technology Investment (November 20, 2008)

SAMMAMISH, WA -- (Marketwire) -- 11/20/08 -- We have all experienced the excitement that comes with a new computer. Unfortunately, as many of us have experienced, pretty soon it takes twice as long for your computer to start, error messages start to appear, and gradually, you begin to notice that your computer is considerably slower while your frustration grows at an exponentially faster rate.

Slowdown in your computer's performance can be caused by a myriad of issues, and the first step in the resolution of these issues is to understand what factors are causing the computer to lose performance. Some of the most common and frequent causes of low performance include:

-- Too many programs or processes running -- Malicious processes running (viruses, spyware, malware) -- Inadequate random access memory (RAM) and processor speed -- Hard drive errors, capacity, or fragmentation issues -- A poorly maintained or corrupt registry

Dealing with a slow, sluggish computer can be frustrating at the least and may even end up costing hundreds of dollars to fix, but there are some relatively simple steps that you can take to not only prevent these issues, but increase the overall performance of your computer as well.

These steps are easy to implement and the tools required can be obtained for little, if any, out of pocket expenses. Moreover, not only will these steps help increase performance of your computer, but they act as preventative measures to help you get the most out of your investment:

1. Regularly run system maintenance programs -- System maintenance programs will check your hard drive for errors or fragmentation, and will also remove unused files. This can go a long way toward preventing decreased computer performance.

Fragmentation refers to the way files are physically located on the hard disk, this means that fragments of what you see as a single file are actually scattered around in different places on the drive. This is entirely invisible to you, but it can slow down the speed at which data is accessed because the disk drive must search through different parts of the disk to put together a single file. When you defragment a hard drive, the fragments are relocated in a more precise and efficient way.

This is actually quite simple to check: the basic tools to do this already come pre-installed of your computer. For those seeking a more thorough maintenance program, there are numerous products available for free online and for purchase at retailers.

2. Regularly check for viruses, spyware, and malware -- Viruses, spyware, and malware can wreak havoc on your computer and drastically decrease its performance. Detecting and cleaning these malicious pieces of software is an essential part of the process to improve the performance of your computer. This can be done through numerous antivirus/antispyware programs out in the market.

3. Regularly check for registry errors -- The registry is where all of the essential settings and other information that the computer and applications use to run is stored. Over time as you use your computer and add and remove programs, problems arise in the registry. While the registry is important for the programs that you use regularly, continued maintenance of your registry, through registry cleaning software, is a crucial component of preventing a slow computer.

4. Simplify your computer's start-up -- Your computer can only do a certain amount of things at one time. Even though you may only be actively using one program, numerous programs can run in the background without your knowledge. Many of these programs install themselves to start automatically when you start-up your computer; they will drastically increase your startup time, and decrease the speed of your computer while you're using it.

There are several ways to resolve this issue: first, remove programs you no longer use. Second, implement startup shields or a similar program. Startup shields allow you to see and control which items run on startup. There are many startup shields available for both Windows and Mac computers, and are available as stand-alone products or as part of a suite of products.

5. Check the RAM -- Sometimes the cause of a slow computer is simply a hardware problem: the new operating systems currently in the market are so sophisticated that they require more RAM than ever before to run smoothly. RAM stands for Random Access Memory: this is your computers "workspace," it uses the RAM to run all the live programs and it empties when the computer shuts down.

In the case of RAM it is very simple, the more you have the better. It is reasonably easy to upgrade your RAM. RAM chips are sold at every major electronics retailer and are relatively inexpensive. The only caveat being that different models of computers have different limits on the maximum amount of RAM that can be installed.

About BluePhone

BluePhone was founded to "demystify technology" and help its members get the most from their technology investments by eliminating the hassles, fears and runarounds of resolving problems with computers and digital devices. BluePhone Personal Tech Experts are certified solution engineers who diagnose and fix problems that plague computer users today -- security (spyware, antivirus, spam, firewall), configuration (software, hardware, peripheral devices), and performance (slow speed, crashing, and tune-ups). BluePhone membership includes unlimited assistance for all the computers in a household (up to 3 PCs or Macs) for $199.95 per year. One-time service calls are available at $89 or monthly membership $24.95. BluePhone offers a best-in-industry 30-day money back guarantee. Members get assistance 24 hours a day, 365 days a year by phone, email, chat or remote computer access. For additional information, visit or call 866-727-BLUE (866-727-2583).

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Martin Levy
Martin Levy Public Relations
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Copyright @ Marketwire

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