UCLA Center for Digital Humanities Support

UCLA Center for Digital Humanities Support

Slow Computer? How to "Degunk" (PC)
PC only (Windows XP). How to disable unneeded startup items, run Disk Cleanup, and run Disk Defragmenter.

Disable unneeded startup items

Many applications run in the background unnecessarily and hog up system resources. If there are programs that automatically startup with Windows, you can disable this “feature” in some…

  1. Dig around the program menus for “Preferences”, “Options”, “Settings”, or anything else that implies “You can change stuff about the program here”
    1. If the program has an icon in the tray (lower-right part of the screen), right-clicking the icon may reveal a menu
  2. Look for and uncheck any option that indicates “Run this program at Windows startup” or anything similar

Contact your DTA if you can’t find the option or if you’re interested in disabling other startup/background items using alternative methods.

Run Disk Cleanup

This frees up some room on your hard drive by emptying the Recycle Bin and removing unneeded temporary and setup files. Do this about once a month.

  1. Start the program from Start => Programs => Accessories => System Tools => Disk Cleanup
    diskcleanup.png
  2. Select the default drive, C:, and hit OK
    • The program may take a few minutes to process. Enjoy a light snack
  3. Check all options except the last two (“Compress old files”, “Catalog files…")
  4. Hit OKand confirm the prompt
    • The program may take a few minutes to delete files. Enjoy another light snack.
    dcleanupscr.png

Run Disk Defragmenter

Over time, your hard drive increasingly becomes “fragmented”. Without getting too technical, I’ll just say “defragmenting” your hard drive makes it run more efficiently. Do this also about once a month, preferably after running Disk Cleanup (above).

  1. Start the program from Start => Programs => Accessories => System Tools => Disk Defragmenter
    ddefrag.png
    1. Make sure the default drive, C:, is selected.
  2. Click the Defragment button
    ddefragscr.png

 

The process may take around an hour, so you may want to enjoy a meal or teach a class meanwhile.

 
 
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