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Use These Simple Upgrades to Keep Your PC Humming Along

The days of replacing PCs every couple of years are largely over. These days it is possible, and even preferable, to keep an old computer running for many years. Even though the pace of technology keeps accelerating, many home users find that their old PC is perfectly capable of doing the things they need to do.

This is especially true for computers whose main function consists of surfing the web, checking email and the occasional spreadsheet or letter. These simple functions are well within the capabilities of even the oldest PC, and many computer users find that there is simply no need to upgrade a PC that still works well.

Of course older PCs can be prone to problems like slow performance and frequent crashes, but these problems are not always caused by the age of the hardware. Other factors, like infiltration by spyware, adware and viruses, lack of memory, and a hard drive running at near capacity may be to blame. Fixing these problems can be accomplished for very little money - certainly for less than the cost of a new PC or laptop.

So if your once blazing fast PC is now chugging along like an old steam locomotive you may want to take these easy and inexpensive steps before trashing it for a newer model. Keeping an old PC running can save you hundreds of dollars and hours of hassle, so these steps are definitely worth a try.

Take a Look at Your Programs

If you are like most PC users there are programs on your PC you rarely if ever use. These unneeded programs are taking up valuable storage space, and they could be slowing your PC down by starting when the computer powers up. So point your mouse to the Control Panel, choose Add/Remove programs and take a look. From trial programs that looked great at the time to bloatware that came bundled with your PC, you may find lots of things that can be removed.

Removing these unneeded programs can help the computer run more smoothly and speed up performance. When looking for programs to remove look especially hard at peer to peer file sharing programs like Limewire and Kazaa. These types of programs can open the door to viruses and other malicious programs, and removing them is often a great way to restore lost performance. Even if no malware is present these programs can slow the system down as they search for files. If the programs are no longer needed it is a good idea to send them packing.

Remember to Add More Memory

Once upon a time computer memory was an expensive luxury, and memory capacity was measured in kilobytes instead of gigabytes. The days of prohibitively costly memory are certainly behind us. These days the most cost effective upgrade PC owners can perform is a memory upgrade. Computer memory is cheap to buy and easy to install for most users. Users who are wary of opening the box can often hire a professional to do the work for only a couple of bucks, since the installation literally only takes a couple of minutes.

In most cases adding more memory is the simplest way to boost performance on an older model PC. . The improvement is perhaps most dramatic for PCs that have been upgraded to a newer version of the Windows operating system. Upgrading from earlier versions of Windows to Windows XP, or from XP to Vista, requires a boost in memory. If your PC has been running slowly since its operating system was changed the culprit is most likely a lack of memory. Adding memory can restore lost performance and give your current computer many more years of faithful service.

Store it All

If a memory upgrade is the most cost effective upgrade, adding additional storage capacity is second on the list. Just like memory, hard drive storage used to be very expensive, but things have changed dramatically. These days drives capable of storing hundreds of gigabytes of data can be found for only a hundred bucks or so, and often for a great deal less.

Computer owners who are comfortable opening the PC case will find it easy to install a new or additional hard drive. Those who are less technically inclined can easily find external hard drives that provide a great deal of additional capacity for a very affordable price. Simply removing old files from a hard drive running at near capacity is a great way to boost performance and keep that old PC humming along.

Taking these simple steps is a great way to keep an older vintage PC running like new. While there is certainly room for new hardware, in many cases spending hundreds of dollars on a new computer is simply not necessary. In many cases it is more cost effective to upgrade the old PC than to purchase a new model, and in many cases those upgrades are very inexpensive. Following these simple steps has allowed many computer users to keep their old PCs running for many years without any trouble.


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