Tuesday, 15 February 2011

Slow Computer? Why Does This Happen?

Its true, you can install Windows and never even get one single virus, you can install all sorts of anti-virus software, you can install the best firewall ever, you can pretty much keep your system clean and updated all the time and yet over the course of a few months it always ends up slowing down.

Why does Windows slow down over time even though it does not have any malware or viruses?

Windows slows down for one simple reason - the Windows "registry" starts off nice and small at about 30Mb on Windows XP, this is about 150Mb on Windows Vista and 120Mb on Windows 7, making them run slower than XP from the very start on the same hardware.

When you first install Windows it starts up and shuts down really fast, it seems like it wouldn't just slow down over time but it does.

Lets say you have your 30Mb registry and you've just installed XP. Now, you install the Microsoft .NET Framework 2.0, Nero Burning ROM and Microsoft Office 2010 - with just installing those three programs you have already increased the size of the Windows registry from 30Mb up to about 35Mb! This means, when Windows runs, it has to parse through another 5Mb worth of text in your registry!

Windows runs on this registry - nothing can work in Windows without it, because the registry is what tells the operating system where to find DLL, EXE and SYS files - the only files the whole thing runs on.

I have personally seen Windows XP registry's that are approaching 100Mb in size! That is more than three times bigger than when the OS was first installed. It is actually this that slows down your computer.

Think about it - if you had a virus causing the slow down, why would it only slow down partly, why wouldn't the virus just totally disable the computer altogether? Most people, when finding their computer is running slower, instantly assume they must have a virus, but this is just not the case. A virus will totally cripple your installation, it won't just slow Windows down... it will stop it in its tracks!

Also, what sort of a virus knows to take say 2% off your computers speed every day, or every week? Your computer slowing down more and more as the weeks and months pass by is simply because the registry is getting more complicated and more full.

How can this be fixed to restore the speed back to how it was?

That is the easy part, just get hold of a program that will sort your registry out in minutes, seconds even. This software will scan your registry for any keys and entries that are not needed and are only cluttering up the registry.

In addition to scanning and removing excess stuff in the registry, this software can also in most cases defragment the registry, this is done by removing all the excess "space" in the registry and arranging the registry in such a way that it can be used a lot faster by Windows.

The program above, Registry Easy, is probably the most effective one I have seen and it also has many features just not found in other so-called "registry optimizers". I guess the makers figured out that their program could contain a lot more features for about the same price, I love it and use it every day - there were other programs I used like Registry Mechanic and TuneUp Utilities OneClick Maintenance (try saying that with your mouth full!) and so on, there are thousands of them... but this one has allowed me to scrap all my other optimizer programs, basically because this does everything all in the one handy tool.

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