Increase Computer Speed & Performance in 15 Steps

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We all know the frustration of waiting for a computer to load a webpage or download a file, and it can be tempting to give up and buy a new computer. However, you can take several easy steps to speed up your computer and avoid the expense of a new one. Here are 15 tips to help keep your computer running fast and smoothly.

1. Uninstall Unnecessary Programs and Applications

Over time, you may have accumulated a lot of programs that are taking up space and slowing down your computer. You can go to the Control Panel’s Programs and Features page and uninstall any programs you don’t use.

2. Delete Temporary Information to Increase Computer Speed

Temporary files and information, such as those in the recycle bin, can also slow down your computer. Delete everything in the recycle bin and delete temporary and cached files to free up space.

3. Update Often

Regularly updating your computer is essential for performance and security reasons. Go to the Start Menu and type Windows Update to check for updates.

4. Configure Startup Programs

Many programs open and run automatically when your computer starts up, which can slow down the system. You can disable or enable these programs by going to the startup tab in msconfig.

5. Remove Unnecessary Background Processes

Use CTRL-ALT-DEL to open the task manager and identify any background processes that may be using up resources unnecessarily.

6. Increase Computer Speed and Hard Drive Storage

If you’re using a traditional hard drive, freeing up, space can help improve performance. Experts recommend leaving 5-10% of free space for optimal performance.

7. Use a Solid State Drive (SSD)

SSDs can be more expensive than traditional hard drives but offer faster performance and startup times. Consider investing in an SSD if you can afford it.

8. Disable Visual Effects to Increase Computer Speed

Fancy visual effects can be fun but can also slow down your computer. Go to the System Properties menu and click Advanced System Settings to disable visual effects.

9. Run Disk Cleanup

Windows has a built-in tool called Disk Cleanup that can help you eliminate temporary files, system files, and other unnecessary items.

10. Defragment Your Hard Drive

Defragmenting your hard drive can help improve performance by organizing files and making them more accessible for your computer. Go to the Start Menu to access the tool and type Defragment and Optimize Drives.

11. Use Anti-Virus Software

Viruses and malware can slow down your computer and compromise security. Install and regularly update anti-virus software to keep your computer safe.

12. Disable Unused Services to Increase Computer Speed

Windows has many services that run in the background, but many may not be necessary. You can go to the Services menu and disable any you don’t need.

13. Clean Your Computer

Dust and debris can accumulate inside your computer and cause it to overheat, slowing down performance. Please clean your computer regularly to keep it running smoothly.

14. Upgrade Your RAM to Increase Computer Speed

Adding more RAM can help speed up your computer if you’re running out of memory. Could you check your computer’s specifications to see how much RAM it can handle and upgrade if necessary?

15. Reinstall Your Operating System

If all else fails, you can try reinstalling your operating system. This will wipe your computer clean and start fresh, which can help improve performance.

In conclusion, you can take several easy steps to speed up your computer and avoid the expense of a new one. By following these tips, you can keep your computer running fast and smoothly for years.

Haunted Office – A Phone Story

a long hallway in a building with no doors

The following story and events are true, however, to protect the families of the innocent, all names have been changed. Thus, any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, or businesses, is purely coincidental.

This is a transcript of a police interview with Stephen Corey. Taken by Det. Giles Gerald at 11:05 a.m. this morning. 

Det. Gerald –

Please state your name and title. 

Mr. Corey –

I’m the founder and CEO for North Shore Software Inc. 

Det. Gerald –

Tell me what happened. 

Mr. Corey –

We’ve been at the 1692 Osborne Ave location since May 10th. It was rainy, but it was actually pretty warm that morning, if you recall? I got to the office at 6:30; which is an hour and a half early as I like to have some time to myself before the staff arrives. It was strange that there were several cars in the parking lot, but it’s not really unheard of to have cars in the lot from people that get a ride from the bar just across the street on Sundays this time of year. 

I didn’t think much of it as I gathered my things and went up to the office, but the first real curious thing was that the door to the office was already unlocked. This is Monday, mind you, ya’know, and there have been maybe one or two instances in the thirteen years I’ve owned this company that someone has beaten me to the office on Monday. I’m always the first one there; especially on Monday. So, I suddenly got a very cold feeling and was extremely worried that we’d had a break in. So instead of just barging in and potentially putting myself in a bad situation, I decided to go back to my car and call the office to make sure that I was just being paranoid and that there was, ya’know, people there who were, um, ya’know, were supposed to be there.

The phone rang twice and then Sarah answered. “Thank you for calling North Shore Software, this is Sarah, how can I direct your call?” 

Det. Gerald –

This is Sarah Glanvill? 

Mr. Corey –

Yes, she’s our receptionist.

Det. Gerald –

Continue

Mr. Corey –

I was immediately, ya’know, put at ease when I heard her voice, so I hung up without saying anything and headed into the office. Mind you, this was a very brief stretch of time; less than a minute or two. Then, I got back to the door and went to open it and it was locked. Obviously, this was alarming, but I thought that, ya’know, it being Halloween and all that, someone was trying to mess with me a bit. So my first thought was to pound on the door. At this point, I wasn’t so much scared or annoyed, but was trying to be a good sport. I thought that Sarah, who is one of my longest-tenured employees, was just having a little fun with me. After a few seconds, there was an identical pounding on the other side of the door. 

I remember saying something like, “Okay, okay, this is fun,” as I went to unlock the door with my key. Mind you, the plan is to move over to electronic locks pretty soon, but right now we still have the wood door that came on the place with your typical locks, ya’know. Well I put my key in and it won’t turn. Now I’m starting to get annoyed, because all I want to do is start the day and I’m thinking this prank is going a little too far. I pound on the door again, and again the knocks are returned. You’ll see all this on the CCTV, but I tried to unlock the door a couple other times with no luck.  Then, I call to end the charade and convince myself that Sarah is doing all this to mess with me. I ask her to unlock the door. 

So, as I went around the back to get in the building, I’m annoyed. I call up and she answers “Thank you for calling North Shore Software, this is Sarah, how can I direct your call?” I’m like Sarah, “This isn’t funny anymore. Let me in the building!” I get nothing, but “North Shore Software, this is Sarah, how can I direct your call?” At this point, I’m at the back door. I hang up, not finding the humor in this whole thing, and I go to unlock the back door. I unlock the door and I get halfway in and the door slams and locks. 

At this point I’m just standing there angry and dumbfounded. I try the lock and the key won’t turn. It’s as if the locks were magically changed. I start pounding on the door yelling and swearing. Just then I see headlights shining down the alley on the south side of the building. They are coming from the parking lot. I walk toward the parking lot and the lights go off and as I get to the front of the building. I hear: “Good morning, Mr. Corey. Happy Halloween.” It was Sarah. Even though I just saw her pull up, my blood is up, so I start yelling at her, asking her why she would keep the prank going so long? She has no idea what I am talking about. 

I start barraging her with questions, and accusations, really. She starts to plead and cry, not only because she is being accused, but because she must have thought I was losing my damn mind. By now it’s 7 (a.m) or just after and I’m in a frenzy. Then, I put my phone on speakerphone and Sarah, who is standing right in front of me, on the verge of tears, answers “North Shore Software, this is Sarah, how can I direct your call?”

I’m not so sure I’ve ever felt more insane and more sorry. She was as surprised as I was to hear her voice. I knew then that I was dealing with something I didn’t understand. Ghosts I don’t believe in, but at that moment I thought for sure there was something paranormal going on, ya’know. I was, um, well, scared. Other employees began to pull up and I didn’t know what else to do so I called you guys and told them to go on home and work remotely until I knew what was going on.

Det. Gerald –

What happened when the responding officers got there?

Mr. Corey –

Obviously, I’m upset. At this point I was convinced there is someone in my place of business who isn’t supposed to be in there…or ya’know, something… I couldn’t see any lights on, but someone is actively trying to keep me out of the building. Officers Mather and Cotton came pretty fast and asked Sarah and I a bunch of questions about what was going on. I told them what I told you and they said if I let them in the building they would go in and see what is going on. I told them that the door was unlocked when I got there and then was locked and that someone slammed the back door on me after that. 

We went up to the door and the door unlocked fine. They went in and it was quickly pretty evident that no one broke in. They returned in minutes to say that there was nobody there and the place was clear. By then more officers had showed up and Sarah helped me by sending workers away as I looked around to see if I could figure out who the hell was there. Then, the officers said the back door was not locked. Obviously, this surprised me. 

Det. Gerald –

So who do you think was there?

Mr. Corey –

That’s the thing, nothing is missing. I looked through the CCTV footage and I didn’t see anyone entering or leaving. The only thing I saw on those tapes was me struggling with the doors. Someone broke in; I’m sure of it, but I can’t tell you for certain who it was. 

Det. Gerald –

Maybe you imagined it. Have you been dealing with more stress than usual?

(Just as Det. Gerald asked the question, an unknown number called Mr. Corey’s phone).

Mr. Corey –

No. 

(Mr. Corey ignored the call)

No. I can’t really explain any of it, but I…

(Phone rings again)

Can I take this?

Det. Gerald –

Yeah.

Mr. Corey –

(into the phone) Hello? (inaudible; Mr. Corey then presses the speaker button on his phone) 

Phone –

“…this is Sarah, how can I direct your call?” 

Mr. Corey –

Who is this? Who is this??! (hangs up).

Det. Gerald –

What was that?

Mr. Corey –

That was Sarah the receptionist, but it obviously wasn’t. 

(Just then the phone rang again: Unknown number)

Det. Gerard –

Give me the phone. 

(Mr. Corey handed the phone to the officer and he answers it and puts it on speaker)

This is Detective…

Phone –

“…North Shore Software, this is Sarah, how can I direct your call?”

At 4 Corner IT, we can assist you and your company’s technological needs. Thus, you will have the peace of mind that you will get the end-to-end telephone customer service your business needs without the chance of being haunted by a human or specter. Contact us today at 954.474.2204 for more information. 

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Small Business IT Consultant: Utilize Network & IT Consulting

outsourced it main advantages of network and it consulting small business it consultant

Small business owners often face the difficulty of having to do everything on their own or only having a small amount of staff that don’t possess the knowledge base needed to run a business smoothly. IT is one area often left behind when you are thinking about staffing your small business. This is because most employees have a small amount of IT knowledge. Companies figure they can use their staff’s pieces of knowledge and fit them together as an IT solution. However, by doing this, you could be wasting both valuable time and money. Here is a quick look at why you may consider hiring an IT consultant.

Help Your Small Business by Hiring a Small Business IT Consultant

Hiring a small business IT consultant can help save your business money and help free up time for other projects.

Utilize Your Time Better

When you are using your own time or the time of other non-IT specialized staff members on IT solutions or problems, time is being spent away from other projects that benefit your business. By hiring Network and IT Consulting staff, you will have a dedicated person or team to research equipment and programs. Additionally, they will install them and troubleshoot any issues. No longer will you need to pull a staff member from what they are working on. You can call your small business IT consultant and know your problem will be fixed.

Eliminate the Costs When Hiring Full-Time Staff

Hiring a consultant eliminates the need to hire a full-time staff member. You will save money by not having to pay a full-time wage, benefits, and other expenses that may come when hiring a full-time staff member. You are also keeping a cubicle, desk, or office space. This can help if you are already short on space or allow you to use that space for your staff or client needs.

Streamline Your Technology

When you hire a network and its consulting firm, you hire a consultant or team with a whole new level of knowledge. This knowledge can help your company purchase the best equipment for your specific needs. While doing this, your small business IT consultant can help you streamline your IT equipment and processes, allowing things to run more efficiently. This can help reduce your technology budget and give you a system that caters to your business’s specific needs.

If you are looking for an IT consulting firm to help improve your small business while saving you time and money, contact us at 4 Corner IT.

Best Practices for IT Service Management

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Practices for IT Service Management

Most businesses today rely heavily on IT service management to resolve IT issues that arise from time to time, which promotes sustainability within their business operations.

In that case, IT service management (ITSM) focuses on ensuring that your IT requirements are in line with what you aspire to achieve as a business operator. Additionally, ITSM shifts companies from addressing problems when they occur to the prevention of eventualities.

So, for your organization to overcome IT-related challenges, your ITSM strategy should include the design, delivery, monitoring, and management of the use of IT services within your enterprise. Here are some of the ITSM implementation best practices.

Do Not Wait for The “Perfect Time”

Most individuals will wait for the “perfect time” to make particular decisions, the “right time” to take action, or the “ideal time” to deploy a particular plan. However, it is important to note that there is never a “perfect time” to start something, neither is there a “perfect solution” for every problem affecting your organization at present or in the future.

For that reason, you need to appreciate the fact that the ITSM requirements of your firm will vary on different occasions, but you cannot fail to implement the service because of this fact. Additionally, deploying an ITSM strategy will bear a specific impact on your business operations, which is okay.

The reason, in this case, is that ignoring the need to implement ITSM may result in the loss of customers due to the absence of particular processes or poor deployment of the same. So, implementing ITSM is paramount whichever way you look at it as an entrepreneur.

Prioritize Your Clients

Some of the considerations for most business owners before making specific decisions include the risk factor and their financial obligations. The reason is that entrepreneurs will ultimately transfer both the risk and cost of any process to the consumer. Therefore, as you work towards implementing ITMS, you need to ensure that each of your products and services avails value to the end user.

As a result, you will strengthen your relationship with customers as they enjoy value for their money when you decide to implement the ITMS.

The 80/20 Rule

When referring to the 80/20 rule in ITSM the implication is that 80% of business processes are useful to entrepreneurs, while 20% are critical, 20% of infrastructure manager installations are responsible for 80% of service outages, and 20% of your users as a service delivery manager are the cause of 80% of recurring IT issues.

As such, the best practice, in this case, is maintaining essential details on resolving problems manually whenever they arise even as you automate processes.

If you need more information on IT service management best practices, contact us today!

Speeding Up an Old Computer

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Speeding up Old Computers

It happens to every computer eventually: it starts to become less responsive, more sluggish, and just much slower overall than it used to be. It’s frustrating to deal with, but it’s a fact of life for all technology.

Many people simply buy a new computer to replace their slow, aging one. However, there are many ways to speed up an older computer if you want to hang onto it a while longer.

Clean Out the Junk

Many computers start to slow down because they end up bogged down by too much useless clutter. Although it’s not the most impactful change, freeing up hard drive space will help speed up your computer. This is especially true if it’s near capacity.

An easy way to clean up all this unneeded junk is to use CCleaner, which is a program that automatically deletes unused junk files for you. It also allows you to easily uninstall any programs that you’re not currently using to help free up even more space.

Change Startup Programs

A lot of programs will automatically startup when you first boot up your computer. While this may seem convenient, since you won’t have to start them yourself, having too many startup programs can make your boot up times significantly longer.

Once again, CCleaner comes in handy here. One of the tools that it has built-in allows you to change which programs will launch when Windows starts up. If your computer feels especially sluggish when you first turn it on, then disable as many of these startup programs as possible.

Scan for Viruses

It goes without saying that viruses and other malware will slow down a computer more than anything else. So, making sure your computer is virus-free is very important.

Luckily, Microsoft has a free antivirus program that you can use called Windows Defender. It’s built into all versions of Windows from Windows 8 and up. If you’re using Windows 7 then you will need to install Microsoft Security Essentials (MSE) instead.

Make sure you run your antivirus program regularly to ensure that your computer stays virus-free.

Reformat

Sometimes, a simple tune-up or freeing up hard drive space just isn’t enough. Your computer may end up becoming plagued with corrupt files, driver problems, or broken registry keys. In some cases, it’s possible to go through and fix each of these manually, but it is very difficult and time consuming to do.

The easiest fix when your computer has issues like these is to reformat it. This means wiping the hard drive and reinstalling Windows.

To do this, you will need to get your copy of Windows and follow through with its installation instructions. Microsoft has made the process incredibly simple and streamlined from Windows 7 and up. Just be sure to install over your current installation so that it wipes everything clean.

While all of the above should speed up just about any computer, they still might not do a good enough job. In that case, all you’re left with is upgrading the parts in your computer. However, you have to be pretty computer savvy to do this. Or you can try to find someone else who can do it for you. If that’s not an option, then, unfortunately, it’s probably time to upgrade to a brand-new computer.

If you’re confused or need further instructions, then don’t hesitate to contact us today!