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View Full Version : How do YOU keep your machine running fast?



n1ghtl1fe
01-31-2012, 07:34 PM
Just wanted to start a thread for people to share tweaks, utilities, and other useful maintenance information that they use to keep their G series in optimal running condition. The way I see it you can have a Ferarri but if you don't keep up with maintenance you'll be slower than a Prius :p If this gets big enough I'll do my best to keep this first post updated with links and recommendations you all have posted.

I know everyone's approach will be different , Ill start off with what I do and then change this post as more users recommend/recommend against what I have posted. So everyone feel free to post anything you do or use to keep your laptop running smooth. tweaks, optimization programs, maintenance, anti-virus, etc. Also, dont be afraid to kindly disagree with me or other posters. Hopefully we can all learn a little something.

The most important step (as several users posted below) is to start with a CLEAN INSTALL of Windows. This will remove all the bloatware that comes pre-installed and allow for a better performance/stability.
-There is some Asus software that is still recommended to install, for information to help you decide what you want to install check out


Basic Maintenance

Remember to always have some sort of back-up when making changes to your OS. Check out Dstrakele's post covering this and the importance of only installing programs you have reason too. Link (http://rog.asus.com/forum/showthread.php?10272-How-do-YOU-keep-your-machine-running-fast&p=70321&viewfull=1#post70321)

Defragging Hard Drive

-Windows 7 has its own defragmenting software built into the OS and is actually set out of the box to defrag at a scheduled time weekly. This works best for most but I personally disable this feature and use Auslogics Disk Defrag and run it weekly. It has an option called Optimize and honestly I have noticed a slight speed increase since I started using it.
Auslogics Disk Defrag Link (http://www.auslogics.com/en/software/disk-defrag/) FREE

Startup Programs and Services

*Create a Windows restore point before changing any of these, editing something incorrectly can cause windows not to boot properly*

-Each time you boot windows automatically opens up programs in your start-up folder (duh). By sorting through these programs and eliminating those you find unnecessary you can speed up boot times and overall performance. There is also a set of services that run in the background That our either needed for your OS to function properly or are needed for a program. If you look through these services that are running you can usually find a few you don't find needed (ex. for me I disabled Adobe Acrobat Updater). I don't find the need to have an updater service using my resources for a program I rarely use and can simply check for updates next time I open it.

-Be Careful what you disable or change, general rule of thumb here is if you can't figure out what the start-up program or service does leave it alone. Otherwise you risk windows not booting.To find and edit these you simply open your Start menu and type "msconfig" (without quotes) in the search bar. This will allow you to go to either the Start-up or Services tab and make changes.

-A program I use and strongly recommend for both noobs and advanced users is called SlimCleaner. It's also free and has an Optimize section that allows you to view both Startup programs and services and easily edit them. What makes this program really stand out on this note is its rating option that allows other users to rate and comment on what each startup entry and service does. It makes it easy and much safer to change these entries because you'll know what each one does and whether or not its necessary for your OS. It also has a restore list that allows for you to easily revert any changes you have made.

SlimCleaner Link (http://www.slimcleaner.com/) FREE

Registry Cleaners

-In my opinion a good registry cleaner is needed for any windows PC. Each time you install/uninstall programs, use certain programs, etc. new entries are made in your windows registry. Overtime the registry or OS is constantly accessing can become unorganized and filled with old or unnecessary entries, slowing down your pc overall. Cleaning up the registry a bit can have a great impact on your overall performance.

-Now people who are knowledgeable about windows OS can access these entries through opening Start and typing in "regedit" into the search bar. But for 95% of people I strongly recommend against that because chances are you'll case more harm than good.

-I personally use CCleaner to scan my registry and remove invalid or unnecessary entries. CCleaner has plenty of options and allows you to create a back-up in case you deleted something that was needed. I've been using it for years and am yet to have to restore a back-up though the program does a good job and finding entries to remove without hurting anything.

CCleaner Link (http://www.piriform.com/ccleaner) Free


*Anti-Virus programs and other sections to come, let me know what you guys want to see included in here!*

dstrakele
01-31-2012, 08:01 PM
I fully shut down my machine when I'm done with it - no Sleeping or Hibernating. I also switch off the surge protector connecting the router, cable modem, power adapter, and printer.

When you sleep or hibernate your laptop, memory that has been leaked during normal application operation is not recovered. More and more memory is lost until you do a reboot to recover it or the laptop locks up or BSOD's, forcing you to recover the lost memory. You see this a lot in smartphones. Users complain their smartphones are rebooting unexpectedly on them. They never turn them off or restart them.

If you look at your laptop's or smartphone's available memory, you'll see it slowly decrease over time until you restart it. I never turn off my smartphone, but I do have an application restart it at 3:00 AM every day. Frequent reboots help you avoid problems and performance degradation.

Turning off the cable modem and router not only saves electricity, it helps prevent problems. Many of the networking problems reported by users can be solved by a simple restart of their modem and router. It is always one of the first things your ISP tech support will have you do.

xeromist
01-31-2012, 08:30 PM
I use Avast as opposed to something like McAfee as it is lighter weight. It still provides decent protection but it doesn't hog your system resources the way that some of the business class AV programs do.

Another excellent way to keep your system fast is to use an SSD but keep it less than 70-80% full. When they get really full they slow down.

Other than that I don't allow anything to run resident that uses a lot of CPU or memory passively. I like to have Origin only run on demand. Steam doesn't seem to be an issue but you can have that not run on startup as well.

BrodyBoy
01-31-2012, 08:40 PM
1. Clean install
2. Clean install
3. Clean install


Oh, and did I mention clean install? In 25 years of building, repairing, and using PCs, I've never found anything as universally effective as running a clean Windows installation free of junkware, crapware, and bloatware. (And IMHO, all Asus utilities fall into at least one of those categories!)

I also think avoiding redundant security software is important. One good program is all you need.

dstrakele
01-31-2012, 08:57 PM
I also think avoiding redundant security software is important. One good program is all you need.

+1 Mr. Brody! This is definitely a case where more is NOT better...

Antivirus software employs kernel mode filter drivers to catch the beasties that plague computer systems. The kernel mode filter drivers of different Antivirus programs do NOT play well together. Their conflicts can result in system lockups and BSOD's. Some of the better Antivirus applications will detect the drivers of other Antivirus products and warn you to uninstall them first, but most will offer no such warning.

I know the G74 models come with a pre-installed, run-at-startup trial of Trend Micro Antivirus. If you wish to install another Antivirus, make sure you uninstall the Trend Micro trial first.

smellons
01-31-2012, 10:52 PM
These are all great tips!

I highly recommend a clean install! They clean out tons of bloatware and any kind of residual fluff that may have come with your laptop that you don't need. The difference is enormous!

Ccleaner! The registry cleaner and temporary file cleaner are great! Plus, the ability to turn off start up programs leads to faster boot times and less programs running!

Chrome! 'Nuff said!

Edit: Also, forgot to mention the antivirus issue. I use Microsoft Security Essentials and haven't had any problems. It's also pretty lightweight.

For malware and other spyware, I keep Malwarebytes on hand and updated.

fuzon1337
01-31-2012, 10:59 PM
Ccleaner! The registry cleaner and temporary file cleaner are great! Plus, the ability to turn off start up programs leads to faster boot times and less programs running!

You can also access to turn on/off programs during start up in msconfig (in start menu) :) (but then you should know what you turn on and off)

But I also love to use CCleaner, good program to clean my notebook ^^

KRAYGON
02-01-2012, 01:09 AM
when ever i play games i do the old crysis trick which is avalable on pg 21 of youre org crysis manual

the only back ground tasks that i have running in taskmanager for gaming under my user name are explorer.exe and taskmgr.exe

by selecting end process on all the the other programs running under my user name it just leaves the above two process's

DO NOT end process under the header SYSTEM / LOCAL SERVICE / NETWORK SERVICE

i do this every time i play a game as all the setting's will reactivate upon boot up

kraygon

chrsplmr
02-01-2012, 02:14 AM
I learn something new here everyday... amazing.thnx.
I rarely shut this V down or reboot it ... unless playing OC with it...
i run no active anti virus .. just router firewall/mac filtering ect. (MSE installed)
Same basic tweaks since win98 really...just a bit more to shut off..haha
I run pretty much straight Microsoft--i dont mess with Bill--it has cost me to much time already.

and most importantly for me .. no one touches her .. she is mine.

I dont believe any two boards, cpus, ram sticks or gpus are alike..each
unique a little this way or that...
in this I know I am very lucky .. because I know I have the best running V
on the forum.....planet....running a T1100----bar none---

Wanna race ? hahahhahaha..

ColonelS
02-01-2012, 02:32 AM
1. Clean install
2. Clean install
3. Clean install


Oh, and did I mention clean install? In 25 years of building, repairing, and using PCs, I've never found anything as universally effective as running a clean Windows installation free of junkware, crapware, and bloatware. (And IMHO, all Asus utilities fall into at least one of those categories!)

I also think avoiding redundant security software is important. One good program is all you need.

+1 for this

fostert
02-01-2012, 03:13 AM
Simply minimize the number of processes running at any one time. Period. Not only do they eat RAM, but they all take CPU cycles too, and therefore are a load on your resources. Although your CPU usage monitor says your cpu is 99-100% idle, I don't believe it; rather I am beginning to think that the cpu load is calculated normalized against your nominal average system load of TSR (terminate and stay resident) programs. I have found that if you measure cpu temps during "idle" with your normal bunch of processes running, then shut all but the windows critical stuff off (using the task manager, or perhaps booting into safe mode), cpu "idle" temps drop by a couple of degrees. Therefore there must be a small but constant load on the processor from running processes.

Fresh installs are a must too, as Brody sez. Defragging constantly doesn't prevent the need for them, it only extends the time between filesystem slowdowns thru self-corruptions.

dstrakele
02-01-2012, 03:36 AM
Anytime you install something to your system, there is the potential that it will cause problems. The key to avoiding this problem is:

1) Don't install anything unless you have a reason. Some people just want to run the latest of everything, the latest driver, the latest version of a game or application, the latest BIOS. Windows 7 recommends you let Windows Update automatically download and install the latest updates.

There's no need to hurry... When a new driver, game, or application version comes out, just relax. Monitor the developer's forums to see what type of problems are being encountered by the early adopters and how they are resolved. In the case of Windows Update, configure it to let you decide when to download and install the updates. Choose to view the KB article about the update to see if it truly applies to your system. If it's a fix to a problem you've never encountered, consider NOT installing it. If it's a Security Update that plugs a vulnerability in a Windows component you've never used, but can be mitigated by disabling that component, consider the disable procedure rather than install the update.

2) Leave yourself an easy way to return your system to a previous state if something you install causes problems. Windows System Restore is a good first line of defense. If you just installed a bunch of Windows Updates, and now your system is locking up, restore it to the time before the update installation, then take them one at a time.

2a) I've seen 2 different users in this forum just about done with their clean Windows install. They updated all the major drivers and only need to install this unimportant bluetooth driver. BAM! It borks their entire Windows installation. In one case, the user lost administrative rights to his account and thus did not have the permissions to run Windows System Restore to undo the damage. Since his account was not an administrator, he couldn't create a new Administrator account. How easily this could've be solved if the user created a "Maintenance Administrator account" to allow that level of access if the user's account became damaged.

2b) One thing I've yet to see is a person report Windows System Restore failed, but he/she resolved the problem by restoring the last stable Windows System State from a backup. You go through all the trouble of installing a clean version of Windows, updating all the relevant drivers, and the system is running perfectly in this pristine, unfragmented state. Yet so few people bother to back it up at this point, even though it's SO much easier to simply restore it than recreate from scratch.

I guess I've yet to see a user report he resolved his problem by restoring from a backup most likely because they don't need to post about their problems. They always know how to resolve them! Consider being one of these people!

2c) Partition Cloning software, such as Acronis True Image, gives you the ability to backup a stable system complete with applications and all the configurations. You just restore the image and you're back to where you were BEFORE you got into serious trouble. This allows you to fearlessly install and play with the latest beta drivers.

2d) Suppose you actually have to use your gaming laptop to perform actual honest-to-god work! You can't afford to be without a working computer. If you have a lot of disk space, consider installing a 2nd instance of Windows 7. One instance can have all the risky pioneering betas installed in an attempt to gain maximum performance. The other instance can be used solely for work.

So then you're gaming your butt off at lunchtime and Windows 7 blows up - no way you can make it boot. You still need to get the monthly report out, so you simply boot into your 'work' instance of Windows and in 2 minutes, you're making your boss proud, meeting that deadline with ease, and knowing you can restore or troubleshoot your gaming Windows 7 instance at your leisure.

fostert
02-01-2012, 04:06 AM
With regard to item 1 of DS's post above: minimizing the number of processes running goes hand-in-hand with minimizing the number of new installs. Seems like everything these days wants to launch itself at boot, and stay running in the tray all the time. Adobe stuff, java, skype, etc are even hard to turn off once they're in there!

zsld0423
02-01-2012, 05:01 AM
1. Clean install
2. Get an SSD
3. I use a program called Soluto to manage the startup programs and it gives me a time frame of how long it takes my computer to boot up. Usually mine is around 20-25 seconds, and it'll tell you how long each program takes to start and if it's a good idea to disable it or just delay it from starting up at boot, really handy tool.
4. Clean install =P

PILGRIM
02-01-2012, 05:31 AM
My Magnificent 7::p
1. Clean OS Install (I'm a disciple of Brodyism)
2. An SSD for the Primary Drive (well, everybody knows it's much faster)
3. Anti-Virus: Microsoft Security Essentials
4. Cleaning/Maintenance utilities: Advanced SystemCare 5, CCleaner, Driver Sweeper
5. Avoid using Beta Driver/Software Versions (use Full/Stable Versions) as much as possible
6. Always power off computer when not in use
7. Periodically wiping the exterior with baby wipes for dust/oil

Obviously, many in this list are a repetition of what were already posted.
But what else can I say?.. I've learned most things from this forum..

n1ghtl1fe
02-01-2012, 06:04 PM
so what kind of antivirus do you all use? I see some Microsoft essentials love. I'm assuming most of us are looking for something that's real light weight but does the job

AQUASTEVAE
02-01-2012, 06:34 PM
well, as already stated, i always do a clean install. Then, i try to load programs that help keep the system stable, such as perfect disk 11, which runs in the background, and does a great job of keeping the system defragged, except for my ssd, as i think you are not supposed to defrag a ssd drive. someone please correct me if i'm wrong. i then try to get rid of any programs i'm not interested in having on the system, like internet explorer, which i would never use. instead i use firefox and chrome, as they are faster and much more convertable. i also get rid of other windows programs that i don't want running, or that i have no intentions of using. i use avast internet security, as it is the lightest i have found on the system resources, and it takes care of anything that tries to screw with my system. i back that up with malwarebytes antimalware, and winbubble for keeping windows 7 64 bit running fast and smooth. once in a while i will use cccleaner, as an extra reg cleaner. also, thanks to 0423, i have loaded soluto, and have been very impressed with how well it works. my system now completes an entire restart from inside the os, in 26 seconds. that's pretty fast. lastly, i keep everything up to date, including windows update running actively.
now on a slightly different method for making my machine fast, i use object dock, and hide it on the bottom/right edge's of the screen (my taskbar is hidden on the top edge of the screen), and i have no icons on my desktop. object dock is probably my number one program to make my system screaming fast, with 32 programs/shortcuts on my bottom dock, and 20 programs that are strictly maintenance related on my right side edge of my screen. this means i can get to anything needed on my system in one click. that's fast!

Silent Scone@ASUS
03-22-2018, 12:18 PM
Reinstall the OS every year as already suggested.

Darnassus
03-24-2018, 12:51 AM
Bare Metal.

Korth
03-24-2018, 02:54 AM
I use Avast as opposed to something like McAfee as it is lighter weight. It still provides decent protection but it doesn't hog your system resources the way that some of the business class AV programs do.

Another excellent way to keep your system fast is to use an SSD but keep it less than 70-80% full. When they get really full they slow down.

I found the opposite - Avast and AVG both seem fairly bloaty, constantly trying to push more components onto your system, sometimes with user notifications/permissions and sometimes not. I prefer F-Secure, Kaspersky, and Trend - more lightweight and generally more secure. They ain't free but when it comes to this kind of software it turns out that "free" brings other costs. McAfee and Sophos are consistently the worst of the lot, no surprise that you find Avast compares so favorably.

https://www.av-comparatives.org/

xeromist
03-24-2018, 03:04 AM
I found the opposite - Avast and AVG both seem fairly bloaty, constantly trying to push more components onto your system, sometimes with user notifications/permissions and sometimes not. I prefer F-Secure, Kaspersky, and Trend - more lightweight and generally more secure. They ain't free but when it comes to this kind of software it turns out that "free" brings other costs. McAfee and Sophos are consistently the worst of the lot, no surprise that you find Avast compares so favorably.

https://www.av-comparatives.org/

Look at the date on that post. Avast and AVG have both changed dramatically and I no longer recommend them.

Korth
03-24-2018, 03:51 AM
Sorry, got myself sucked into the old necro thread trap again.

xeromist
03-24-2018, 08:57 PM
No worries. I thought about locking the thread but it's not like the idea of a svelte software load ever goes out of style.

Korth
03-25-2018, 01:46 AM
Svelte+Windows is already self-contradictory, lol. But you do what you gotta do to play DX12.