There are many factors that can contribute to the state of a computer being considered “unhealthy”, many of which can lead to slow performance and crashes. It is important that you follow routine maintenance of your computer in order to ensure that it performs optimally and to ultimately prevent crashes from occurring. The following tips are a good place to start.
1) Upgrade your Operating System – Microsoft regularly releases incremental software updates for security, fixes and feature enhancements, and Service Packs, a single installable collection of the incremental updates. Keep “Automatic Updates” enabled will make sure that these are automatically downloaded and applied.
Windows XP users can find this by clicking Start -> Control Panel -> Automatic Updates, or you can manually update only critical updates by browsing to:
Windows Vista & 7 users can do the same by clicking Start -> Windows Update
2) Reduce memory usage – The more applications you have running in the background the more likely you are to overload your computer’s resources and to potentially cause a crash. Close programs if they’re not in use, uninstall applications that you don’t need, and prevent programs from automatically launching upon Startup.
Every icon in your tray area (lower right-hand corner of your Taskbar) represents a program that was launched on startup and is using memory. Some of these are important, e.g. Antivirus or security programs, but most are not needed. You can usually prevent programs from launching upon startup by going through the settings of each individual program.
3) Update your device drivers – Drivers can be described as software that allow your computer to communicate with its various devices, including the devices that power your display, sound, or external devices such as your printer or external hard drive. Device manufacturers also frequently update their drivers for fixes and enhancements. You can find the latest drivers by visiting your PC or device manufacturers website.
4) Keep your Registry clean – The Windows Registry is a database that keeps track of various settings and options for Windows and 3rd party programs. Installing unnecessary programs, improper removal, or failed uninstallations can all contribute to a bloated Registry. A registry optimization tool, such as ChicPC-fix, can keep your registry optimized by removing invalid and redundant entries.