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Possible Duplicate:
Tips to increase performance of a Windows computer
Keeping windows installation clean

I just got a new laptop with a completely new install of Windows. It runs very fast, however after installing many development applications, its already began to run slower.

I know in time, Windows becomes slower. My question is, what can I do routinely to clean and keep it fast?

Using Windows 7 64 Bit.

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migrated from Nov 19 '11 at 1:49

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marked as duplicate by slhck, Linker3000, random Nov 19 '11 at 14:16

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Woops, sorry I don't go on SuperUser alot, mainly just StackOverflow. I'll do this – liamzebedee Nov 19 '11 at 2:03
How much RAM is installed in your computer? I find that 8 GBs is a reasonable minimum for Windows 7. – Randolf Richardson Nov 19 '11 at 4:47
I have 4GB, since I'm only 14, I can't really afford something like that. Oh and just because I'm 14, doesn't mean I don't know how to program or I'm a noob – liamzebedee Nov 19 '11 at 5:06
I'm running it on systems with 1,2 and 4gb, all seem to run ok. – Journeyman Geek Nov 19 '11 at 12:52
up vote 1 down vote accepted
  1. Disable Windows Update ;) (works for me)
  2. Use Microsoft Windows Security Essentials - no need for any other antivirus program
  3. OK to use Internet Security program - but I never do. Keep installed Malwarebytes and SuperAntiSpyware programs, scan once a month or when you feel something wrong in the system - like a virus or worm. (does the job for me without Internet Security)
  4. Use a solid color for your wallpaper (black works most of time - also saves power)
  5. Run msconfig and disable any unnecessary start-up programs. [VERY IMPORTANT] which can include anonymous usage statistics reporting software, update checkers etc.
  6. Don't shutdown every time, use Hibernate Windows - but make sure you do a full restart once a week.
  7. Make sure disk defragment check is scheduled - so the hard disk will run it when system is idel (makes file access fast)
  8. Do a disk cleanup once a month (at least) - make space in your system volume & makes it faster
  9. Make sure there is always few Gigabytes free in your system volume. Never keep it filled to Red all the time.
  10. Windows 7 does most of disk checks and defragment checks when system is idle - so don't try to shut it down as soon as possible without leaving it idle always - helps windows maintain itself. ( Leave your system idle for few minutes and monitor HDD activity - you will see this happens)
  11. Remove unnecessary gadgets from desktop and Add-On s from browsers. Keep everything simple.
  12. Routinely check start-up programs and running services, you might find unwanted items taking CPU time.
  13. Disable Aero Theme - I hate to do this - but helps if system is out dated to run Windows 7. ( and to play some games - sometimes I Stop explorer.exe and restart it after I finish the game)
  14. Last but not least - when you feel some program disturbing efficiency and making the windows unstable - find a better one for the job and get rid of that as soon as possible.

These are few best practices. Try them.

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This is excellent +1. Where did you find this information? I would really like a list of all 'core' services and processes that NEED to be started at startup, then I can just program something, to kill everything else. – liamzebedee Nov 19 '11 at 12:16
Why on earth would you want to disable Windows Updates? – slhck Nov 19 '11 at 12:48
Also 8GB is not the minimum for Windows 7. For Win 7 32bit its 3GB (if you install 32bit OS for a 4GB RAM still windows can only use up to something close to 3GB only since it's 32bit - you need 64bit OS to make full use of RAM 4GB or more) and for 64bit 4GB is more than enough for day to day use. – Zerone Nov 19 '11 at 12:51
@slhck Because when you leave your computer on for 2 hours, when you go away, and you come back realising that Windows update has 'helpfully' restarted your computer and installed new updates, and in the process, has closed all you applications that you have left open – liamzebedee Nov 19 '11 at 12:55
I would expect the people who write the OS to know better than most users. If you don't patch, you leave your system vulnerable to infection. I have perfectly functional installs up 5-6 years old (easily!) , which hardly need any tuneup, and i almost religously install updates – Journeyman Geek Nov 19 '11 at 12:59

Rule 0: Do not install crap. Keep what you essentially need, and use something like SVW for non persistant applications.

One does not need to clean what isn't dirty

If you want a list of essential services, black viper has a list which also explains what many of them do. That being said, you shouldn't need to turn off services unless you had to absolutely squeeze every bit of performance out a system

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Well said, yeah if you using it for developer work then keep it lean. – ianc1215 Nov 19 '11 at 1:56
Crap and no backups will eat up more productivity than anything else. – surfasb Nov 19 '11 at 2:09

I use CCleaner every so often, it cleans up temporary files that windows and other programs generate, removes old registry items and can stop programs from running at startup. Is good for freeing up some space and can provide a slight speed boost.

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I currently use this. – liamzebedee Nov 19 '11 at 1:51

I would look as see how many background processes are running, if you are taxing the disk or the CPU fairly hard you will notice a slowdown and the machine will become sluggish. I run into this problem if I running VMware on my laptop and also running something like Winamp + Chrome.

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