September 1st, 2015
We’re always looking for ways to speed up our PCs and laptops, aren’t we? We want to make them run more smoothly, reduce errors and Blue Screens of Death. There are plenty of free downloads which promise to help. But are we putting our computers at risk?
The Registry is infamous, and hundreds of software titles claim to be able to solve the problems it causes. These programs strip out bits of the Registry which they claim are useless or broken.
But the Registry hasn’t benefited from cleaning since Windows Vista, and doing so will not speed up your PC. You could even end up breaking Windows by using one of the poorly-programmed titles which are a bit gung-ho about their job.
You see the adverts everywhere online, trying to get you to scan your PC and ‘Update Your Drivers’. You can download software tools which will do this for you, and bring all your hardware drivers up to date.
But bringing a driver up to date only helps in very specific cases, and can actually cause more problems than it solves. Many crash-prone Windows systems have bad drivers as their cause, and some newer drivers are not compatible with your laptop from a few years back.
PC Speed up tools
You can find dozens of all-in-one suites which will clean the Registry, update your drivers and strip out tonnes of ‘unnecessary’ Windows components to help give your PC a speed boost.
As you can probably tell by now, carrying this out without the proper caution can really chop mighty holes in an otherwise healthy computer. You really need to know what you’re doing to make proper use of these software suites.
How to solve the problem
So are all these programs mere snake-oil, to be avoided at all costs? They certainly can bring unwanted extra malware onto your computer, and some titles try to get you to phone premium rate international numbers.
But not all these titles are untameable monsters. Here’s how to stay safe, while getting the best out of these titles:
- Only use these tools to target specific problems. If you’re having trouble uninstalling a program, a Registry cleaner might be needed, but only remove those entries related to your problem software. A good cleaner will let you do this.
- Only use software that’s been recommended by an expert, or someone you know who’s used it. I’d go with CCleaner for junk file clearance, SlimDrivers for driver updates, and System Mechanic for all-in-one cleaning. These titles let you pick and choose which problems to solve. Avoid the temptation to tick all the boxes!
- Backup, backup, backup your whole system before you do anything! And know how to restore from the backup when something goes wrong.
At Ship Shape Computers, I’ve seen my customers use every type of program to speed up their PC, often with devastating results. So think about what you’re trying to do, and use a tool that is accurate and reliable. And most importantly of all, make sure you can roll back any changes you make, before you risk making a bad situation worse.
Alternatively, call in someone who can carry out the pinpoint repairs needed without resorting to these scanners and Russian Roulette repairs!