5 Ways to Keep Your PC’s Speed Up With Windows 7’s Built-In Utilities

windows_7With every advancement in technology, computers have become faster and more adept at running even the biggest and most resource-hungry programs. That said, these machines will still get bogged down if they’re overworked with too much data to store and process. Even the mighty Windows 7, with its faster boot times and more efficient memory caching than previous OS iterations, isn’t immune to diminishing speeds.
In case your Windows 7-run PC slows down to a snail’s pace, below are five tips to bring it back up to speed again


1. Clean Your PC of Spyware

Spyware is a type of malware that gets your personal information without asking for your permission. Unlike most viruses whose effects are usually activated within certain time frames (i.e. they only slow your computer down at the point of activation), spyware continuously works in the background to get what it needs and sends it out to its intended recipients. This means that its processes take from your computers precious resources. It also means that the more spyware your computer has, the slower it will run.

You can fix this situation by downloading security updates using your OS’s Windows Update feature; particularly the Malicious Software Removal Tool and various Security Essentials updates.

2. Delete Temp Files

Just because you don’t have a tendency to hoard files doesn’t mean that your hard drive won’t accumulate unnecessary files over time. With every program installed and with every website visited, Windows uses up space for temporary files which a) it needs to help install the former, and sometimes fails to delete after the fact; and b) needs for the latter for caching purposes.

To get rid of these temp files, make use of Windows 7’s built-in Disk Cleanup app, which you can easily access through the Start Button > All Programs > Accessories > System Tools series of menu entries.

3. Defrag Your Hard Drive

Windows has a particular feature that fragments files if need be to make use of every available space. While definitely a useful feature that conserves as much space as possible, the downside is that it tends to make your hard drive’s access speed slower in the long run since it’ll take that much longer to piece different parts of a file together.

Fortunately, Windows has another feature that addresses this very drawback, albeit one that you have to activate manually: Disk Defragmenter. This feature rearranges your hard drive so that all files have their fragments grouped together again. As an added perk, you’ll find that sometimes, megabytes (or gigabytes) of space might even be freed up.

Ideally, you should run this program at least every other week; or else do so whenever you install many programs or add a huge number of files in one go, or when your hard drive only has 15% or less of free space.

You can access this program through the same menu entries that you use to get to Disk Cleanup or by right-clicking on a hard drive, choosing Properties, going to the Tools tab, and clicking on the Defragment Now button.

4. Detect and Repair Disk Errors

The more you use your computer, the more files the hard drive processes, and the greater the chance that it’ll develop bad sectors due to misplaced files, which significantly slows down processing time if left untreated. While not a particularly common occurrence, it does happen, and is intensified when your computer falls victim to sudden power outages, physical impacts, and such.

To make sure disk errors don’t happen, run Windows’ Error Checking utility every once in a while, especially if you’re a heavy user. Like Disk Defragmenter, you can access this by right clicking on a hard drive, going to Properties then Tools, and clicking on Check Now.

5. Make Use of the ReadyBoost Feature

Introduced in Vista, ReadyBoost is a feature that speeds up data processing by using non-volatile flash memory (like, say, your USB flash drive) as additional RAM. To access this utility, simply right-click on your flash drive and go to the handily-labeled ReadyBoost tab.

Every machine will reach a point where it just won’t perform as well as it used to, and a computer is no exception. They all will eventually need a bit of maintenance to keep them running smoothly. With the tips above, you can definitely keep your PC’s speed up (as well as extend its lifespan) for as long as possible.

Damage Assessment: The Harmful Effects of E-Waste

damage-assessment-harmful-effects-of-e-wasteUnless you belong to a generation earlier than Gen X, the concept of recycling has probably already been ingrained into your consciousness for as far back as you can remember. This concept applies to various types of wastes, from plastics, to metals, and recently, to electronics as well.

That said, knowing about something doesn’t necessarily mean adhering to it; and if the amount of discarded electronics in the past few years is any indication, it would seem that many of us really couldn’t give a rat’s hiney about the e-waste problem.

Staggering Stats

In a study conducted by the United Nations Environmental Programme, no less than 20 million tons of e-waste are generated every year. Of that figure, 5.5 million tons are comprised of computers, cell phones, and television sets.

In the U.S. alone, we generate about 2.37 million tons of e-waste. While steps have been taken (specifically, e-recycling) to address the e-waste issue, the fact of the matter is that as much as 1.7 million tons still make it to our landfills. That’s more than 70% of discarded electronics not being recycled right there, which translates to valuable landfill space occupied by electronics (along with other types of wastes) which could have been prevented.

Chemical Pollutants

The danger of e-waste doesn’t just stop at landfills. Electronic devices also have chemicals like cadmium, lead, and lithium which, if left unchecked, make their way through the ground and seep into groundwater. As you can imagine, the effects this has on the environment are truly devastating, and are most assuredly long-term.

Wasting Resources

There’s also the throwing away of resources to consider. Many electronics contain valuable metals like copper, platinum, and gold. Lots of energy is already being consumed just mining for metals like these.

To throw away devices with these metals instead of having them recycled means that mining companies will have to spend more time and energy to acquire more metals, which moreover are non-renewable in the first place. More mining hours also equals more greenhouse gases generated. This is on top of the gases already coming from the decomposing waste.

Easy Accessibility

Proper awareness is required if many consumers are to be expected to catch on to e-recycling. Also, e-recycling has to be made more convenient for people. This means that instead of having them drive for hours just to get to the nearest e-recycling center, why not bring e-recycling to them instead?

This is what companies like eCycleBest.com are doing. They take care of the specifics like covering the shipping costs, and having a system set up to track the delivery and processing status of recycled devices so that consumers are kept updated all while being in the comfort of their own homes.

A Brighter Future

Believing in a cause is one thing, but sustaining it is quite another. If e-recycling is to keep on rolling, it has to be within easy reach of the common electronics consumer. E-waste’s consequences are already palpable and frightening even as we speak. To curb the negative trend, awareness and convenience for consumers is key; something that eCycleBest definitely hopes to bring about.

Who knows? A brighter, greener future might still be achievable in just a few years’ time.

eCycleBest: Electronics Recycling at Its Best

eCycleBest is a website founded on the great desire of a team of electronic recyclers to take care of the environment. It is a team bent on protecting the environment through recycling gadgets and other electronics. It believes that gadgets and the environment should go hand in hand rather than one destroying the other. eCycleBest also buys old devices to give them new life and sell them to gadget lovers who do not have enough money for new ones.

Excellence, Empowerment, Environment

This electronics recycling website has an ultimate mission that can be summed up with three E’s: Excellence, empowerment, and environment.

As a recycling company dealing with electronics consumers, one of their primary goals is to make sure customers are happy. Its customer service is the best because it offers customers a hassle-free experience. eCycleBest does this by providing free protective packaging and free shipping for all its customers. It has an easy-to-follow structure, from getting a quote to receiving payments. eCycleBest wants to make it sure that everything is efficient and can bring excellent service to its customers.

The site not only strives to become the best recycling site that gadget resellers would want, it also works hard to be a better partner for environmental causes. It takes big steps towards change through fund raising opportunities for non-profit organizations. It also helps businesses and individuals donate gifts and equipment to charities. In a way, it creates bridges between donations and fundraisers through electronics recycling. Through eCycleBest, customers are one step closer to a better and greener world.

If it is not obvious now, eCycleBes strives to be an eco-friendly site. It minimizes its carbon footprint by making green operational choices. Its goal is to make an impact by reducing electronic waste by saving and recycling gadgets. It tries to make big and small steps so that laptops, smartphones and tablets will come full circle in the electronics cycle. It works hard to find old devices and recycle them so that other consumers will maximize their value.

Why Choose eCycleBest?

Unlike other refurbishment sites, at eCycleBest, privacy is of greatest importance. Once it receives your gadget, all sensitive information on the gadget will be deleted at once. It uses licensed Linux-based software to wipe information from all kinds of devices with different operating systems so that there will be no trace of personal data on the device itself.

It also has a team of highly trained and certified technicians that know everything about gadget assessment. This means that the process is accurate and quick. Consumers can also get their cash fast through PayPal or a mailed check.

The best thing is that after the device is thoroughly assessed, customers will receive an email or a call from the site’s reliable customer service representatives. From there, payment will be sent on the day the customer accepts the offer and chooses the payment option they want. At eCycleBest, convenience is everything.

If you are looking for a trustworthy site to sell your laptop, smartphone or tablet computer to, look no further because at eCycleBest, electronics recycling is at its best!