Thursday, July 14, 2005

Simple tasks to help boost PC performance

CNET TechSpecials

July 15, 2005

Dear CNET members,
Between family, work, and everything in between, time is valuable. So, Evelyn, I'm with you when you say you don't want to spend a lot of time working on your machine. However, if your computer is an important part of your life, initially, you should take the time to give your PC a complete overhaul; eventually, PC maintenance procedures will become faster and less troublesome. Now let's get started. This week, I received an extraordinary number of helpful submissions from our members. And to start you off, we have two winning answers by Dana and Mark, both of whom are no strangers to this newsletter and who wrote incredibly detailed lists of tasks to help out with your sluggish machine. But also check out the huge list of honorable mentions and suggestions from our loyal members. With all this info, I have no doubt, Evelyn, that your computer will be back in the fast lane in no time. Everyone, please join us in this week's discussion with your additional tips and recommendations on this topic. And thank you for your willingness to help each other out.

(Just a friendly reminder to new subscribers to this newsletter: We have an archive of our past Community Help & How-to newsletters, which covers many technical topics. So give it a try, because I see a lot of questions that have previously been covered by our community members.)

Cheers!
Lee Koo
Manager, CNET community
Got suggestions? Send me an e-mail:
messageboards@cnet.com
Member Question of the Week
Q I have a Windows XP machine that's been getting more and more sluggish. I don't have a lot of time to spend working on the machine, so I was wondering: Do you have a detailed checklist of simple tasks I can do to help boost PC performance? Thank you.
Submitted by: Evelyn D.

Answer by Dana: Hi, Evelyn! Not knowing what your definition of "a lot of time" is, you may want to consider just dropping your computer off at the nearest computer store and having them take a look at it. Many repair shops have cleanup specials for around $50, which normally include many of the same recommendations I have outlined below. If you don't want to wait a few days for this service, your fastest method may be to purchase a new computer (just kidding, but it is an... Submitted by: Dana H. of Wayland, Massachusetts

Answer by Mark: Hi, Evelyn! You have a computer that is getting more and more sluggish as time goes on, and you want a checklist of simple tasks you can do to improve its performance? You are using Windows XP.

You say that you don't have a lot of time to spend on the computer, and while I understand this, (we all seem to live at breakneck speed these days), you may have to consider...
Submitted by: Mark F. of Littleover Derby, United Kingdom
Please click the following links for this week's:
Honorable mentions
Other recommendations from our members
For Dana's and Mark's efforts, we're sending them a choice of any Help.com Learning CD.
Community Buzz
Each week we take a look at topics discussed in the forums.
Best regards and enjoy!
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Check out next week's question:
Q My question is both simple and complex. It's simple because I can put it to you simply. My computer has lost--that is, "cannot find"--something called a rundll32.exe file. What is it, and where did it go? But it's complex because I've had this thing in a repair shop (twice); they installed (or said they did) what supposedly cannot be found. The machine worked well at the shop. But when I got it home and connected it up, it STILL could not find this thing. It keeps telling me it's needed to open certain e-mail attachments friends send me. This doesn't make any sense to me. Can you speculate/explain? I'm pushing 70, and all my kids are out of the nest--no help there. Please answer in jargon-free English. Running Windows XP.
--Submitted by: Allen O.
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