Reader Howard Willman wrote about one of last week’s articles:
Hi Terry. I read with interest the message from your reader who had issues with the latest version of Firefox.
While I feel fortunate that I haven’t experienced his exact problem, I am having slowniss issues with several computers in general lately (some use Firefox, some IE, some both, but all fully updated). The issue of memory fragmentation made me curious, but as I explored more I became confused. I followed your steps but didn’t find any improvement.
Some of my systems use Windows XP and some use Vista (all fully updated), but all are experiencing recent slowness (last month or so). Any help would be appreciated to get them back to “normal”. Thanks.
I wrote back to Howard to say that it sounds like his problem is not memory fragmentation, then.
Sometimes, the issue is simply the number of always-running programs you are using. Not just ones you know about, but some of the other "helper" programs that get installed with applications and take up memory and cpu cycles.
If you haven’t tried using WinPatrol, download the free WinPatrol program at www.winpatrol.com.
I’ve written about it a lot of times, and it’s licensed version WinPatrol Plus, too. WinPatrol Plus is the same program plus a couple features plus one big resource.
The WinPatrol Plus license gets you electronic access to their database of programs to tell you about the programs that are running, starting automatically, installed, et cetera, including which are safe, which are needed, which are safe to remove and which should be removed.
WinPatrol also has a very neat feature called Delayed Startup, which I use to make boot times faster.
Sure, I have software like Karen’s Replicator which I start automatically so it can sync my changed files to another computer and Acronis True Image Scheduler to schedule image backups — but I can use WinPatrol to make them start up to 99 minutes after I boot (I get to pick the delay) so the boot process is faster.