Speed up your computer

Everyone wants a faster computer and there are so many dubious and outright scams catering to this want. They offer to do everything from the basic cleanup to tweaking your CPU, memory and video card - heh.  Puulllease - If Intel, AMD, Nvidia, Microsoft and Apple combined don't have this handled then I sure don't trust a $9.95 piece of bloatware to do it better. And registry cleaning?  Wow - one of these incredulous pieces of software found 384 registry "errors" (unneeded lines that aren't hurting anything). Again, puulllease.  The registry can be 6,000,000 lines long. Your computer doesn't even know if a few lines were cleaned up.  But, if you clean up a few of the wrong lines in the registry your computer can be bricked and not even boot, much less be able to restore the registry back to before it was cleaned. For the most part, as this test from PCWorld showed, computers run the same or slower after cleanup than before. But, PC Magazine touts the latest and best cleanershere. It's a confusing topic that seems to have no end.

There is also the modern myth that your hard drive needs to be defragged regularly to maintain speed and performance.  If by regularly you mean once a year then I would maybe agree depending on your usage.  But once a week/month is just unwarranted.  Hard drives today run the NTFS file system.  Know what that stands for?  "New Technology File System" and guess what?  It doesn't fragment files like the old FAT16 and FAT32 files systems used back in Windows 95/98 days. You don't need to defrag your HDD like before and you don't need anyone else's software. All Windows versions comes with a nice defrag utility built in. You really only need to use it sparingly (10% fragmentation or above per Microsoft).