Do you find that your computer just isn’t as expeditious as it used to be? Your hard drive may be to blame. Your hard drive is responsible for storing all of the data you have on your computer in a safe and secure location. Over time though, either data can get corrupted or go missing, ultimately causing your hard drive to slow down.
The tools listed below should help you analyze your hard drive for errors or breaks to help it run in tip top shape at all the times:
1. Check Disk Utility
Within the Windows operating system is a handy little tool called the Check Disk Utility. Its job is to scan the hard drive to see if there are any damaged sectors or any abnormalities. Because damaged sectors could mean the end of your hard drive and data, it’s important that you run this check at least once or twice a month. The test will bring back results telling you whether or not the test passed or failed.Read more..
SNR is the abbreviation for Signal-Noise-Ratio, and refers to the ratio between the signal strength and the electrical interference, or “noise”, in the lines that you use to transfer data between outside networks and your PC. The lower the value of SNR, the higher will be the speed of data transfer. However, you may often find that your connection speed is considerably slower than it is supposed to be. This usually occurs due to noise in your connection wiring. As the electrical “noise” in your wiring increases, you will find the speed of your connection getting slower and slower.
Noise in network connection wires is a problem faced by most people who connect their PCs with some network, be it local, or otherwise. Unfortunately, there is no method of eliminating noise entirely from your connection. However, some factors can reduce noise to quite an extent. These are,
- Quality of connecting wires: This is a very important factor which is instrumental in reducing noise in your network connection. The wires should have proper foam insulation on top, and should have the color of opaque white on the outside. Wires with almost clear plastic covers have thinner insulation, and are not as effective in reducing interference.
- Tightened connections: The connectors should be tightened properly. Loose connections can cause a loss in data transfer speed. Not only that, having loose connections also exposes the connectors to other outside hazards, like moisture, dust, etc. In the long run, continuous exposure to these can form a layer over the connection points, greatly reducing signal strength and speed of data transfer.
- Sharp bends: The connecting wires should not be subjected to any sharp bends that cause the wire to turn at 900. Wires kept in this condition can slowly break on the inside, and cause leakage of electrical pulses. This is turn will eat away signal strength. Make sure that bends in the connecting wires, if any, are semicircular in shape.
- Quality of connectors: Even the best quality wires will fail to work to the full potential without the proper connectors. High quality connectors, albeit being expensive, can make the difference between a clear connection and a noise-riddled one. Always buy good quality connectors from reliable stores.
These factors can help in reducing the noise in the connection cables to a good extent. Take care of these factors to make sure that the potential of your internet connection or LAN connection is being fully utilized.1 Comment // Read more..
Ports provide a vital interface between devices and personal computers but they sometimes have their setbacks that curtail their speed when transferring information between devices, especially on an internet connection. Speed limitations may also come about as a result of defects with relevant software applications. In order for ports to work optimally, their designated port speed has to be appropriately matched with speed of the device that is connected. Parity is able to detect any of the errors in the transmission process and has an error detection function which is operated using a communication protocol.
On wall plates for computer ports, it is possible for there to be operational issues concerning signals but this is dependent on the set up of an individual computer. USB ports usually have a problem of losing signal especially if the cable is long. When this is the case, a device known as a booster cable is used. Software is usually well dedicated and unless there is a certain registry problem, it hardly slows the rate of flow of communication especially when the data is being sent at a defined speed.
The software being used manipulates the data accordingly in the form that it sent therefore it merely acts on what it receives. The hardware aspect of data transfer is more responsible for the maximum data quantity with its rate being measured in megabits per second or gigabits per second. The upgrade of port speed may be carried out on a backup network within a dedicated server. Software such as registries play their role in maintaining speed by controlling the system databases and computer operations. When there are significant registry errors, many operations are corrupted or cannot function, thus, there is a reduction in the overall performance of the computer including the various ports transmitting data.Read more..
The performance of a computer system can be improved by overclocking the processor. Novice as well as expert computer users can perform processor overclocking comfortably at no additional cost. Phenom II is one of AMD most outstanding products mainly because it utilizes the 45 nm DSL SOI manufacturing process. With the new Phenom II, users can reduce the amount of idle power and increase clock speeds to very high levels. According to AMD, clocking the processor through internal testing coupled together with cooling methods is able to make the processor reach high speeds of 7GHz. Other users who tested the clocking speeds were able to get speeds of 6.7GHz.
Using stock fan unit, the Phenom II can also be overclocked to speeds of up to 3.8 GHz. AMD introduced in processors an L3 cache that is shared among the processor cores. The voltage regulatory circuitry has been modified. Therefore, when overclocking Phenom II, there are certain factors that users need to know. To understand the functioning of overclocked Socket AM2, users should know that the systems use various frequencies that are independent. One of the frequencies is the processor frequency, which is the main parameter that affects the performance of the system. Other frequencies include DDR2 memory frequency, HyperTransport bus frequency and North Bridge frequency.
Computer users can be able to overclock the Phenom II by changing its multipliers. In addition, it can also be clocked when the clock generator frequency is increased above 200 MHz. The frequency of the clock generator can be altered in the BIOS mainboard setup. Increasing the frequency of the clock generator will not only improve the processor’s clock speed, but also increase the HyperTransport bus and memory bus frequencies. For a successful clocking experience, the main system component’s voltage should be increased. Increasing the frequency of the clock generator is the most vital part of overclocking.
Run this free internet speed test and check the performance of your internet connection too.Read more..
When you purchase a new hard disk, you will usually see it operate with optimum efficiency. However, as time progresses and you continue to load files in your hard disk, you will notice that its performance is gradually deteriorating. This can be for many reasons. Your hard disk may be performing in a sluggish manner because you have loaded too much data into it. If that is indeed the case, deleting some unnecessary files and freeing up disk space can remedy the situation to some extent. Running disk utilities like Disk cleanup, disk defragmenter and Chkdsk can also help improve the performance of the disks to some extent.
The speed of your hard disk indirectly effects the performance of your internet connection too.
So, if your hard disk has always performed in a sluggish manner, chances are that you are either dealing with a defective hard disk, or have an earlier version of Windows XP on your PC, which does not enable DMA mode for data or optical devices. In the latter case, you can try to fix the situation by enabling DMA mode by yourself. In order to do so, follow the steps given below:
- Go to Control Panel and open up the System applet.
- Click on the tab Hardware and then on the button Device Manager.
- Expand the tree named “IDE ATA/ATAPI controllers” by clicking on the plus sign.
- Now right click on Primary IDE Channel and select Properties.
- Select “DMA if available” from the drop down menu “Transfer Mode”.
- Click on the “OK” button. You will be prompted to reboot your PC.
- Click “No” and repeat the same procedure for the Secondary IDE Channel.
- Now reboot your PC.
If your Windows XP is of an older version, then this will set your disk drive to DMA mode, vastly improving its performance. However, if your hard disk is defective, then this will have no effect on your disk performance. In that case, your last resort will be to replace your hard disk.Read more..
If you have purchased a state of the art PC with a powerful processor, oodles of RAM and a high capacity hard disk, then you will certainly be interested in getting the best possible performance out of it. You should check the working speed of your PC at times to make sure that your new rig is working at the peak of its abilities. Here are some tips for checking how well your PC is working:
- CPU and memory usage: The CPU and RAM are constantly being used by your PC to run all the services and applications. So, it is good for you to know exactly how much of these two resources are being consumed by the applications. In order to find that out, open up the Task Manager by right clicking on the taskbar and selecting “Task Manager”. Open up the tab named “Performance”. On the lower panel located on the right hand side, there is a field named “Physical Memory (K)”. The first value under this heading shows the total quantity of memory (RAM) present in your PC. The second value represents the quantity of free RAM available at that moment. Now take a look at the bottom of the window. You will see “CPU Usage” written over there with a percentage value given beside it. The percentage value should be changing constantly. The lower this value is, the better it is for your PC. Unless you are running some heavy application like Adobe® Photoshop™, or have a lot of Explorer windows open, this value should ideally lie between 2% and 5%.
- Internet speed and available bandwidth: If you are using a high performance internet connection at home, then you would definitely want it to be really fast. You can check this speed of your network connection with the help of some websites. These websites have special tools that can scan your connection speed and let you know exactly how fast it is. You can test your internet speed for free on this same website too, simply click on ‘Begin Test’. It will check your upload/ download speeds, as well as how long it takes for an external website to reach your PC.
These tests will allow you to determine your computer speed and the speed of your internet connection as well. Do these tests frequently to make sure that your computer is performing to the best of its abilities.Read more..
There are many performance counters in every version of Microsoft Windows that is based on the WinNT core (i.e., WinNT 4.0, Win 2000, XP and Vista). These counters continuously monitor system performance and deposit the findings in the Windows registry. When you start any performance monitoring tool of Windows XP, such as System Monitor, these values are retrieved by it and displayed in a systematic manner.
The problem with the arrangement is that if you never use any system performance monitoring tool, the information will still be saved in the registry continuously, which can consume some CPU resources. Unless you want to monitor your system performance frequently, this is nothing but wastage of resources. If you have a really slow PC lacking in resources, you may find that your PC will often slow down visibly when you try to perform certain memory-hungry tasks.
You can disable the constant monitoring of system resources and turn off all performance counters by using the following tweak in the Windows registry:
- Click on the “Start” button, and then click on “Run”.
- Type “Regedit” in the box and click on OK.
- In the regedit window, expand the key HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE by clicking on the plus sign beside it.
- Expand the following keys one after another – SOFTWARE, Microsoft, Windows NT, CurrentVersion and finally Perflib.
- Right click on Perflib and select New from the pop-up menu.
- Select DWORD value.
- Name the new value as DisablePerformanceCounters (Note carefully the spelling and see that there are no spaces in the name)
- Right click on the value once you have created it and set the value to 1.
- Refresh the Regedit window by pressing F5.
- Close Regedit and reboot your PC.
- Your PC should now have all performance monitoring counters disabled.
Be warned however that if you apply this tweak, you will not be able to use System Monitor or other performance monitoring tools. You can only observe the CPU performance by typing perfmon.msc in the Run box and pressing Enter.
The perfmon will not be able to display complete information about your system either if you have applied the above tweak, but it will show how much of your CPU resources are being used by processes running on your PC. The number will be something between 0 and 100, the lower the better.Read more..
Is your 6-month old powerhouse PC showing telltale signs of aging already? Are you often experiencing system slowdown and sluggish response when running several processes at the same time? Do not ignore these signs. These apparently annoying signs may be hiding some more serious problems underneath.
In case you didn’t know, your Processor and RAM are jointly responsible for keeping your PC running smoothly. If either of those gets affected by slowdown, the other is bound to exhibit some of that as well. This is where the Windows® Task Manager comes in handy. This useful system tool can show you how much of your CPU resources are presently getting used up by the processes. However, simply knowing how much of the CPU is getting taxed by the processes is not enough to improve the performance of your PC. You have to know how to free up critical system resources that are not being used but still getting bogged down by unresponsive processes.
Your CPU resources can get wasted by memory hungry applications, especially when those crash. An unresponsive application will still continue to use up system RAM and Processor cycles, slowing down the entire system as a result. There are automated tools available that can warn you in case your CPU usage exceeds a certain danger threshold. These tools are pretty handy to have around. Not only do these monitor the percentage of CPU presently being used by the system, these also have the power to shut down unresponsive processes automatically, letting you know with a simple message box that tells you the problem has been resolved. You should get your hands on one of these tools in order to ensure that your PC never gets bogged down by useless processes, even if you are too busy to look after that.
Internet access speed is another factor, especially if your internet connection is not that fast. Did you know that when you access the internet, your PC gets exposed to all sorts of Trojans, viruses, and worst of all, hacking attempts from all over the internet? A good antivirus, along with malware and spyware removers can help you to prevent these problems. There are many spyware and malware removers that simply block these threats, without you even having to intervene.
Automated system protection and optimization tools are not always expensive. In fact, there are economically-priced tools out there that can be some of your greatest allies in your crusade of getting the most out of your PC.2 Comments // Read more..
Improving a computers performance without upgrading its hardware is very possible and it is neither expensive nor difficult. The reason to why the computers slowdown is due to spyware, viruses, temporary files, conflicts in software’s, residues of uninstalled trial downloads among others. There are steps in which a person can follow to improve the computers performance without one upgrading the hardware. The following steps will increase the computers performance drastically and assist a person in regaining sanity as well as saving one loads of cash. Even if ones computer is old may be three years of age and it is abit expensive to upgrade it, one can be able to use the following steps and the old computer will do some good for its owner at least for a couple more months or even longer.
First, one should be aware of the application or process they are running since this may be what slows down the system due to numerous programs operating at the same time. One can monitor the windows processes; by pressing CTRL+ALT+DEL this calls up the task manager that most processes run by. Using an uncontaminated system reduces the risks of spyware and viruses. Always make sure that the antivirus software one is using is up-dated with the latest definitions of viruses. Virus detectors should always be automatic in the computer that one is using so as no viruses can pass through undetected.
Updating the operating system regularly using the latest drivers helps improve the PCs performance. Also, one should check the operating system that the computer is using and try to research a recommended one. Disk clean ups and repairing of the discs is very important. Another method to enhance the PCs performance is by defragmentation. Defragging is a process that is used to locate any folders and consolidating files that are sitting in the hard drives. By managing the temporary files through cleaning the system helps the PC run smoothly and faster. Using the start up management schedule, the system is able to automatically clean itself the next time it starts up. With those few steps, one will be able to boost the computers performance without upgrading it. However, if this does not improve performance to ones satisfaction then one should upgrade it.Read more..