*UPDATED – July 8 2015*
Hello! I am ready with an in-depth analysis of the best system tuning suites for Windows. It took three years for this research to complete. This is not gross, so please give this article 5 minutes of your lifetime. Thanks!
So, what is a system tuning suite? Does it sound like TuneUp Utilities or iolo’s System Mechanic? Or Advanced System Care Free? Or Glary Utilities Free? Or even ToolWiz Care Free? Or even SlimCleaner? No. Nil. Nought. Never. Never ever.
It sounds to me like CCleaner and a handful other free apps.
So read on to know what actually works for a PC tuneup (and I am talking about the kind of gross tuneup guides that are scattered all over the web).
You need $0, 0 INR, 0 Euros or 0 of any currency. You need absolutely no cash for this tough job made simpler.
Download these utilities: CCleaner, CCEnhancer, Boost by Reason, BootRacer, Defraggler, PC Decrapifier, DiskFresh, FixWin, GigaTweaker, TweakMe!, TCPOptimizer, SpeedFan, Process Tamer, Process Piglet, Unlocker, Xtreme Download Manager, FoxSpeed Ultimate 0.15.
NOTE: Search for them at Google, or for more convenience, on Softpedia and MajorGeeks.
NOTE: I assume that you all know how to install any type of programs while being careless about toolbars included in them.
Now that you have downloaded all of them, firstly run a good antivirus
, then HijackThis and Malwarebytes Free Edition to remove all viruses and worms and browser hijackers.
Firstly install and set up BootRacer on your PC. Restart your PC with it. Note down the startup time it announces.
Now install Unlocker. It can handle anything that might conflict with your tweaking and program removing.
Now run PC Decrapifier. Follow the program’s instructions. Create a system restore point to reverse any changes. Tick toolbars you may find in the long list of installed programs and other crap apps. Not to mention the once-used apps you have forgotten about.
Now again run HijackThis to remove any browser hijackers which might have conflicted with other crap installations before.
Now install CCleaner. Do not run it. Install and run CCEnhancer. Update your CCleaner definitions (INI file) and close it. Now run CCleaner. Do remember NOT to select anything in the “Advanced” category. It will slower your PC cleaning process.
After you have done half the job, install FixWin and create a System Restore point. Repair some settings of your PC like icon cache, missing Recycle Bin from desktop, Internet Options defaults and the like. Restart your PC on prompt.
Feeling better about your PC? I still have to make it a F1 race car and not just a 14 second car. 🙂
Reset internet settings by opening MS-DOS Command Prompt using Administrator rights (i.e. “Run As Administrator” after right-clicking CMD.exe) and type “netsh winsock reset”. Restart computer.
Run TCPOptimizer. It is portable. Now you can see some options at the bottom like Windows Default, Current, Optimal and Custom. Do not worry, I won’t make you mess up with that. Just select “Optimal” and restart your PC on prompt.
Download FoxSpeed Ultimate 0.15 from SourceForge in Files section. Run as Administrator and use “/accel” command there. And now use Xtreme Download Manager as your download client.
Your internet connection will work better about 20-25%.
Now install and/or run GigaTweaker (depending on whether you have downloaded installer or portable ZIP). Now that you have entered the program, firstly create a system restore point (program will prompt you before opening). Then you have to adjust some settings, which I will mention here to make your job easier.
Go to System–>System and select “Launch Desktop and Taskbar in separate process” and “Force DLL unload from memory”.
Then go to Optimization–>System Boost. Select “Turn off the Search Indexer” and “Disable showing compressed ZIP files as folders” and “Disable showing compressed CAB files as folders”.
Now go to Optimization–>Startup Boost. You should disable the first two options. That won’t do you any harm, however risky they look to you.
Now go to Optimization–>Advanced. If you use a third-party burning toll like Nero or CDBurnerXP, select “Disable built-in CD/DVD burning feature”.
If you want few GBs of more disk space, select “Disable the hibernate function”. Though this will not help you much as there is usually a lot of disk space there in your hard drive.
Now go to Memory Management–>RAM and Disk Cache. Select 8 MB option for L2 cache. This should help you enough in getting a speed boost while opening/closing programs.
Close the program and restart your PC. Your startup time will decrease a lot. But there’s still a lot of room for improvement.
Install and run TweakMe!. First hand, create a System Restore point. The green text shows safe tweaks, the orange potential ones and the red ones ARE NOT BAD TWEAKS. They are slightly advanced ones which require advanced users to fiddle with. Do not worry as I will only recommend you the green and orange ones anyway.
When you click the dropdown button on top left corner, you can find more tweaks for SSDs and some fixes. Do use SSD optimisation options for even bigger boosts on PCs with SSD(s).
This is a bit tricky for novices so I will tell you the options to select.
Leave Action-Center category.
In Aero, select 1st, 2nd, 3rd and 5th options only.
In AntiSpy, select the first three options.
Leave Internet Explorer category.
In Performance, select 1st, 2nd, 4th, 8th, 10th and last option.
NOTE: You must disable “Disable Windows Defender” if you use a good antivirus and firewall already to prevent conflicts.
In Security, select “Don’t let Anonymouse users list SAM accounts”, “Restrict access to Base System Objects” and “Show File Extensions”.
In User Account Control, select “Stop Blacking Out the Screen” only.
In Windows, select “Disable Firewall” both options, “Disable WBEM Logging”, “Show Control Panel in My Computer”, “Show Encrypted and…” and “Show Run command on Start Menu”.
In Windows Media Player, select 6th, 8th, 9th, 10th, 11th and 12th options.
In Windows Update, select “Prevent Windows Update from…” option only.
After applying these tweaks, restart your PC. You will see a much bigger improvements. But there is always room for improvement.
Now install and run Boost by Reason (also known as Boost, though it might show up a hundred things on Googling with the lone term). In its Options (gear icon), enable “Auto Boost” function and hit the bar at around 85%. Now click the X mark and lose the program. It should minimize to the Taskbar Tray.
Whenever you feel like your PC is sluggish, single-click the Boost icon in the tray and click “Boost” button. Close the results window later.
Now install SpeedFan. Run it. Click the “Configure” button. In its Options tab, select “Start minimized”. Close the Configure dialog box. Tick the “Automatic fan speed” button on the main interface.
NOTE: STRICTLY DO NOT FIDDLE WITH THE SETTINGS UNDER ANY TAB EXCEPT ”Charts” and ”Readings”.
SpeedFan will keep your PC cooler in the summers enough to overcome any overheating anytime.
Now install DiskFresh. Run it. Check your hard drives for errors and repair those.
Now install Process Tamer and Process Piglet.
NOTE: Now remember these are special freeware that require keys since the author requires you to visit his site at least once. Sign up for free and get a 6-month key for both the programs. You can also get 2-month keys without sign up but you will have to put them every two months. In both of them, go to Help–>About and enter license key from the website. After one year of registration, you will get a permanent license key for all their programs at http://www.donationcoder.com. You can also choose to donate few dollars to get the permanent key immediately, but that does not solve the purpose because you do not have a penny to spend on tuning up your PC, as said earlier. (Though I am so impressed, I will donate him some dollars.)
Run Process Tamer and if required, double-click the weights icon in the Taskbar Tray. Its main interface should show up. Here, if you have a program like antivirus that runs continuously and eats up your CPU usage, set explicit rule for such programs as “Force Low”. Close the window and you are done forever. Forget it now.
Process Piglet tells you about the programs (like Firefox or Chrome) and games that eat up your RAM and gives you the option to forcefully restart them. Though in case of games, high RAM usage is alright unless you have less RAM installed.
Now install and run Defraggler. Set boot defrag immediately and restart. Now set full defrag on all drives. Let it complete.
FOR SSDs: Use “Optimize” option instead of Defrag. Defragging SSDs can render them useless in a short span of time because SSDs are not made for multiple read and writes as compared to HDDs.
For more on its linking with Firefox, see this page:
Now restart your PC. It should run like a F1 race car until the end of Earth or your Windows
Now run BootRacer once again. Compare the previous and new boot times. You should find a difference of about 1 minute for not-maintained-at-all PCs, 20-30 seconds for slightly maintained PCs and 5-10 seconds for nicely maintained PCs. Uninstall BootRacer. Whenever you feel like your startup is sluggish, check boot times. It is sometimes ONLY AN ILLUSION of less speedy PC when you often find your PC in good shape.
Hope you like this guide on PC maintenance. Do not forget to comment for appreciation or queries, or even objection. 🙂