The Ultimate PC Tune Up Guide

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Welcome to the Ultimate Guide to keeping your PC running fast and great. As I discussed in a prior article, the more you use your PC, the more your PC requires maintenance. Every email you read, every web site you visit, and every document you create, leaves little bread crumbs on the hard drive. Over the space of the days, weeks and months, these thousands and thousands of bread crumbs ultimately slow down your PC. Fortunately, there are ways to keep your PC like new, and in some cases better than new. Let’s get started.

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From Bloat To Craplet

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From bloatware to craplets seems like a logical progression for unwanted waste. Are computer manufacturers finally taking this logical approach to removing the crap-lets they’ve been dumping on us?

Yesterday I was setting up a new laptop for a friend. I wanted to get it out of the box and make sure there were no problems accessing the Internet. After testing and timing the laptops used for our last look at bloatware, I was worried that my friend would end up with a mess. Surprisingly the first boot went smoother than I expected. There was no flood of pop-ups or junk. Humph!

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I Hate this Keyboard!

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The word “performance” usually means CPU, memory, disk, or video performance to most people. That’s usually what I mean by it too. But after several months of experience with one particular notebook, I’ve found a component that has destroyed performance more than any other: the keyboard.

When PC Pitstop did a bloatware survey last year, we had several notebook PCs that we couldn’t return. I took one of them, the Toshiba Satellite A135, to use as a Windows Vista test system. Initially, I tried leaving all the preinstalled crapware on the system to see how it would perform. After a few weeks of that, I couldn’t stand it anymore. At least the crapware situation can be fixed, though, unlike the keyboard.

I hate this keyboard.

Take a look

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Unutilized D Drive Partitions

Our research shows that, overall, approximately 3.1% of PCs that have one physical hard drive also have an unutilized partition with drive letter D:. Our research indicates that 4.8% of portables and 2.4% of desktops have a D: drive partition that has 99% or more free space. It appears that it is common for some vendors to split the primary hard drive into two partitions. Often a drive is split into two equal partitions. If you think your hard drive capacity isn’t what you paid for, you might want to check to see if you have an unutilized drive partition.

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A Battle for Hard Drive Freedom

PC Pitstop research has shown that many PC vendors are making a practice of creating a separate partition on a system’s primary hard drive in which to store the systems’ original restoration information. Rob’s new video documents his crusade to reclaim his hard drive space on his new PC. Thanks to Acronis Disk Director Suite he was able to accomplish his goal.

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Vista – RAM Guzzler

In 1985, I remember fondly opening the box to my first PC. It had 768K of memory, a 6 Mhz processor, and a 10 MB hard drive. It was a state of the art, technological marvel. I wrote my master’s thesis in a program called EZ Writer, and I planned my life and balanced my books in Lotus 123. It did everything I wanted it and more. I never thought it was slow, except when I saved to the 5.25 inch floppy.

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