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Accelerating Microsoft Applications

Making your Microsoft applications run faster is usually contingent on making Windows run faster. The two pretty much go hand in hand. If you are using Vista, or worse still, XP, then you have probably gotten used to seeing the wait cursor.

One thing you can do right off the bat to make your applications run more efficiently and faster is to upgrade to Windows 7. The architecture is more streamlined, using less system resources. If the bucks for an upgrade is not in your budget now, there are several other things you can do to improve your performance.

Look at the number of programs you have opening when you start Windows. Chances are you have an anti-virus program, a spyware detector, a messaging program like Yahoo Messenger, or MSN, and other programs that run when you start your system. If so, it is time to trim the tree and eliminate the extra programs you really don’t need to run at start. You would be surprised at the resources you can reclaim by shutting down these superfluous programs.

In the days when memory was measured in kilobytes, you needed to eliminate the TSR (Terminate and Stay Resident) programs running on your system under the old Windows 3.1, or you ended up with a memory bottleneck.

Restart your computer at least once per week. There is nothing wrong with leaving your computer running, but by performing a complete shutdown once a week you will clear the memory.

Check the services that are running constantly. You can get to the services by clicking on Start, and following the menu to Administrative Tools. You will be best served by googling Necessary Vista (or XP) services to make certain you don’t shut down something vital.

Some things are obvious though. If you don’t have an iPod, or don’t connect it to your computer very often, you can shut down Apple Mobile Devices. WARNING: Do not fly by the seat of your pants here. Shutting down the wrong services can be detrimental to your Windows installation. One of the best sources available is BlackViper.com . This site has comprehensive guides to the services that are vital in Windows XP, Vista, and 7. What’s more, the site gives you the information for each flavor of each OS, Home basic, Home Premium, Business, etc.

Defragmenting your hard drive will help speed up your computer. As files are placed on the drive, bits and pieces (maybe that should be bytes and pieces) are placed where there is room. As a result, files are fragmented all over your hard drive. If you think of your hard drive platters as a clock face, part of a file may end up at 12:00, while another segment of it is placed at 8:00. Defragmenting your drive will put your files back together. This way, when you access them the drive will not have to work as hard.

If you have all of the graphics options turned on, you can gain a lot of speed by disabling most of them.

Be careful with using these suggestions. Trying one at a time, and then see if your performance has improved is best.

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