Have you been maintaining your PC on a regular basis? Defrag, scan disk, checking for parasites (spy/adware), making sure you don't have every program in your PC starting by default, emptying your Recycle Bin, clearing your temporary internet files,etc.
Not maintaining your computer can put a real strain on it; so much so that it can have problems like you're describing.
Here's a list of things that should be done on a regular basis:
- Scan disk - at least once a month
- Defrag - at least once a month
- Clear your Temporary Internet files - at least once a week
- Scan your system for parasites - at least once a week
- Make sure your anti-virus software is kept up to date - whenever your automatic update feature has new info/files
- Make sure you install all the Critical updates, for your O/S - whenever they become available
- Repair/defrag your registry - at least once a month.
That's the short list, but it should keep your PC running smoothly. Here's where to find/what to use to accomplish the above tasks:
- Scan disk and defrag should be located in Start > Programs > Accessories > System Tools
- Clearing your cookies, history, web cache should be located in your IE browser in Tools > Internet Options... > General tab
- Programs to clean/prevent parasites (spy/mal/adware) can be found at AdAware, Spybot Search & Destroy, and Spyware Blaster (all are free; the first 2 clean & repair, the 3rd prevents).
- Your anti-virus software should be set to automatically notify you, usually once a week, when new files are ready for download.
- If you haven't set your PC to automatically notify you when critical updates are ready, you can go to Microsoft Windows Updates to download them.
I saved the Registry for last, because I wasn't sure how to do it without specific software. I searched this site and found the answer in another post. Fredg's Win95/98 instructions are:
]Registry Repair should be done maybe every month.
To Repair the Registery:
Turn off the computer; or reboot; then immediately press F8, (or, could be F5) located on top of the keyboard. Keep it press down until an options window comes up, then release it.
(If F8 or F5 doesn't work, then re-boot, and immediately press down the CTRL key, hold down until it comes up to the options screen).
Use the up and down arrow keys on the keyboard to select "Command Prompt Only".
You will now see C:>
Type in SCANREG /FIX (there is a space between the G and the / ).
You will now see C:>SCANREG /FIX
This will take about 5 minutes or so.
When finished, press Enter for OK.
Manually, turn off the computer, wait a few seconds, the turn it back on.
If you don't have the "Command Prompt Only" option, then re-boot the computer normally.
Go to Start/ShutDown, then choose "restart in ms-dos mode".
It will come up to C:\windows.
Type in CD C:\
It will look like C:>windows CD C:\
It will then be at the C:> prompt.
Then type in SCANREG /FIX
When it returns to the C:> prompt, then manually turn off the computer, and turn it back on.
He lists a number of other things, in the same post, that you might want to check out: internet explorer
question. If you need help with a different O/S (WinME or XP), I'll post back later.
Hope this, and fredg's post, help. I just remembered I'd forgotten a couple things... like limiting your start-up programs, but this should keep you busy for a bit. I, or some other kind soul, will post the instructions for reducing your start-up load a bit later (I'm off to church). Rose