Windows ReadyBoost – How to Use It and a Performance Analysis

Windows ReadyBoost is a cool feature that is newer and only available in Windows 7 and Windows Vista. You plug in a USB flash drive and then Windows can use the flash memory to increase its memory size since flash memory is faster than most hard drives. If your computer is running slow, enabling ReadyBoost could be a good thing to try if you have a USB stick sitting around.

How to Enable ReadyBoost

Turning on Windows ReadyBoost is super easy. Just take your flash drive and plug it in to your PC. After you do this, Windows should pop up a message asking how you want to use the flash drive. Click on the option that says “Speed up my system Using Windows ReadyBoost”. That is it. Keep in mind that you will not be able to use any space that you give to ReadyBoost.

If the ReadyBoost popup did not come up automatically for you, then you may have disabled the ReadyBoost service. Click on Start -> Type services.msc into the search box, hit enter, and then check the ReadyBoost service to make sure it is enabled.

Analyzing ReadyBoost Performance

Generally speaking, ReadyBoost helps your computer’s performance a lot more when it comes to tasks that are not CPU intensive. So, application load/close times, application switching times, etc saw the most improvement. AmandTech performed a benchmarking test which can be found here.

In their test, they found that adding 1 GB worth of ReadyBoost flash memory took seconds off of different application load and close tests. For example, using 512 RAM + 1 GB ReadyBoost, they were able to open Adobe Photoshop CS3 13 seconds faster. This is a nice improvement.

More RAM is always Better

Not matter how you look at the performance tests by AmandTech, the bottom line is that adding more memory is the better thing to do. Just by adding another 512 MB of RAM, they were able to cut load times of Photoshop by 26 seconds. Compare this to the 13 seconds cut by using 1 GB of ReadyBoost. So, you if you don’t a flash drive sitting around and you are looking for more performance, upgrading your memory is the way to go. However, if you already have a flash stick sitting around that is not being used, you might as well put it to good use and boost your PC’s performance.

How do I know if I have a Virus?

A virus can be a tricky thing to identify and can be even trickier to get rid of. Today, I thought I would talk about some of the ways that you can identify a virus or malware on your computer.

Your Anti-Virus Gives a Warning

A warning from your antivirus program is the most obvious way to tell you have a have a virus. Often times, these are also the easiest viruses to get rid of since your antivirus can often successfully remove these types of viruses.

Constant Popups

If you are experiencing constant popups, then you may also have a virus. Generally, these will be drastic and won’t necessarily be browser popups. Also, you may notice that they popup when you are not even trying to browse the Internet. An example of this is a popup that tells you that your computer is infected and that you need to purchase their antivirus software to fix your PC. In this example, this popup will NOT be from the antivirus you currently have.

Your Computer is Now Extremely Slow

Another sign of a virus is that your computer was very peppy and all of the sudden it has become so slow that it is almost unusable. This could be another problem for sure, but a likely issue is that a virus or malware has taken over your computer.

Constant Weird Behavior

Another common sign of a virus or malware is constant weird behavior. Weird behavior can be a lot of things. Some examples include programs constantly opening that you haven’t opened, you keep losing control of the mouse/keyboard, when trying to browse the Internet you keep getting redirected to random sites, etc. All of these plus more are signs that a virus or malware has infected your PC.

These are the most common signs of a virus or malware. Also, keep in mind that a virus can be something that you don’t see as well. Some malware tries to stay hidden on purpose so you don’t detect it. It will stay hidden and try to spy on you to get sensitive information such as passwords and financial information.

A Virus can be nasty and that is why it is important to have a good anti-virus program installed. You should also keep the anti-virus definitions up to date and you also need to keep your operating system up to date as well.

Slow Running PC? Think about Adding Memory

So, your computer has been running really slowly lately and you have been thinking about getting a new one. Before you scrap your old computer, you should give some consideration to upgrading your memory. This is especially true if you mainly use your computer for email, web browsing, and Microsoft Office.

Many of the newer programs use more and more resources, particularly hard drive space and RAM. If you have never upgraded your memory for your current computer, you may be able to bring it back up to speed with a simple memory upgrade.

First, I recommend running the Crucial Memory Adviser. This tool from Crucial will scan your computer and let you know your current memory setup and how much memory you can add. If you have less than 2GB of memory and you are able to bring your system memory up to or greater than 2 GB of memory, then a memory upgrade may really be able to help you regain computer speed.

Installing Memory is Pretty Easy

The great thing about a memory upgrade is that is very easy to execute on your own, even if you don’t feel that comfortable digging inside your computer case. Generally, you just need to unplug the computer, take of the cover, and snap in the new memory.  Here is a full guide on installing memory for more help.

Memory is Inexpensive

Another great thing about a memory upgrade is that generally it is a pretty cheap upgrade when considering the amount of performance you can get out of this upgrade. When I look to upgrade a computer, I usually try to see what kind of upgrade I can get for under $100. If I can’t add that much memory for under $100, then I may think about a new computer. However, if I am able to go from 1 GB to 4GB for $100 or less, for example, then I would do this before buying a new PC. There have been many times when I have been able to help a friend or family memory improve their PC performance significantly for less than $50. I would consider this well worth it when the alternative is a new PC for hundreds of dollars.

Tools to Defrag Your Hard Drive

The hard drive is one of the slowest pieces of hardware on a computer. It is ideal to keep the hard drive running as efficiently as possible One easy and great way to keep the hard drive running well is to defragment your hard drive regularly. In this article, we will be looking at tools you can use to defragment your computer’s hard drive.

Windows Defrag Tool

The Windows Defragmentation tool comes with Windows, does a good job, and is easy to use. To Defragment your hard drive, open up “My Computer”, Right Click on C:, Click properties, Click the “Tools” Tab, Click “Defragment Now”, Click Defragment, click OK. That is it. The great thing about the Windows tool is that it is built-in and super easy to find and use.

Defraggler

Defraggler is a great tool by piriform. This tool is free and easy to use. In my opinion, it also does a better job than the Windows Defragmentation tool. It has many cool features such as a way to defrag free space and a cool tool visualizing space usage on your hard drive and in memory. You can find defraggler at http://www.piriform.com/defraggler.

Auslogics Disk Defrag

The last tool we will talk about is Disk Defrag from Auslogics. This is another great tool. It is easy to use and also is free for home use. We also thought this utility did a bit better than the Windows defrag tool. It was quicker and had more features that the Windows built-in tool. You can find it at http://www.auslogics.com/en/software/disk-defrag/.

No matter what tool you use, it is crucial to defrag your hard drive often. I would recommend doing this at least monthly. If you have not defragged in awhile, it may be worth defragging multiple times in a row, especially if you are using the Windows tool. This will help keep your computer from running slow.

Must-Dos When Your Computer is Infected

Here is a great article by mike darwin talking about what do do when your computer gets infected with spyware or a virus.  This is a great how-to for getting rid of the problems.

By Mike Darwin

If you see the message, “Your computer is infected. Windows has detected spyware infection”, on your PC, be wary about installing just any anti-spyware software program. This could just be a clever way of tricking PC owners into downloading spyware into their computer system.

Spyware programs, along with computer viruses, have become among the top Internet threats that PC owners and Internet surfers face. When one’s computer system becomes spyware infected, one becomes very vulnerable to identity theft. Through these programs, it becomes easier for some malicious software developers to steal information about the PC owner. What makes this even worse is that new spyware programs are created every day, each one more sophisticated and more potentially damaging than the previous versions.

Spyware can be a source of major computer trouble. Because it is, PC owners have to get themselves a reliable anti-spyware software program. However, if one’s PC is not yet infected with spyware, certain steps have to be followed to keep it that way. In addition, PC owners should be aware of the methods on how spyware can be transferred or injected to one’s computer system.

One of the proven and tested ways of getting that dreaded spyware infection is when you click a link on a message that suddenly appears on your screen telling you that you need an anti-spyware software. When this flashing message appears on your screen, close it by using the ctrl/alt/delete method that is usually used to manually close some programs. Do not use the close button, as it might be part of the active link that is waiting to be transferred to your PC.

PC owners have to be careful about downloading certain programs to their computer system. Moreover, Internet users also have to veer away from free downloadable programs as these are almost always unreliable. Always choose paid anti-spyware software programs instead. To help you in making a good choice, make sure to read the reviews of these products. With an efficient anti-spyware tool in your arsenal, you will no longer receive deceiving messages saying that your computer is infected with spyware.

PC infested with stubborn spyware and adware? Read this detailed anti-spyware software review and discover which is the most highly-rated spyware remover in the market.

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=Mike_Darwin
http://EzineArticles.com/?Must-Dos-When-Your-Computer-is-Infected&id=1752408

Why is my computer so slow?

Computers can seem to run slow for many reasons.  However, their are many things a user can try to determine the nature of the slowness and what factors are causing it.

Computers that are very old can be expected to seem slow next to a brand new system.  However, an older system can be optimized to perform to the best of its ability.

Here are a few common places to look for the reason your computer is slow:

  • Lack of Memory
  • Hard drive is too full
  • Hard drive is too fragmented
  • You have a Virus
  • You have some spyware that is slowing your system down
  • You have your settings up too high

I will elaborate on the above places in the future and give tips on how to determine if you have a problem.

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