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Windows -- Several steps to speed it up
Step 1

Get rid of the Clutter

Delete Junk Programs
Unused programs clutter your hard drive, robbing you of valuable space and ultimately slowing down system performance. Hard drive clutter also causes conflicts with the useful apps on your system. Our test machines showed significantly faster performance and increased stability when we simply removed a few unused programs.

The Windows Add/Remove Programs applet can't do it all, but it's a good place to start.

To get your hard drive squeaky clean, use an uninstaller application, such as the $50 Norton CleanSweep Deluxe from Symantec. CleanSweep keeps track of unused files, schedules cleanup jobs, and removes applications more completely than the Windows Add/Remove Programs utility. If you're on a budget and can't afford CleanSweep, try a shareware uninstaller, or keep a close watch on the applications you install, and remove any that cause problems.

Lose the Extra Fonts
If you have more fonts than you really use, you're wasting precious disk space. To find out how many fonts are on your system, open the Fonts Control Panel (Start/Settings/Control Panel/Fonts). There you'll find a list of all your installed fonts. Double-click a font's name to get copyright info and file size, as well as an example of what the font looks like at sizes up to 72 points. Delete any unnecessary fonts, and you'll free up a bunch of disk space.

Tidy Up the Registry

The Windows Registry is a database of all your system's settings and software. Whenever a Windows 95 or 98 program is installed, removed, or modified, Windows updates the Registry to reflect the change--or, at least, that's how it's supposed to work.

Real life is less tidy. System crashes, buggy uninstall programs, and plain old bad luck can clutter your Registry, leaving it full of improper associations, bogus lists of installed programs, and all sorts of other junk that can slow down and even crash your operating system.

If you really know what you're doing, you can clean the Registry with RegEdit (the Windows Registry editor). For most users, though, we suggest a safer alternative: Microsoft's RegClean. This download hunts down and removes bogus Registry entries automatically. It can also reverse any changes you make and restore your previous Registry if something goes wrong. Most uninstallers, such as CleanSweep, also clean your Registry--and they do a better job than the free RegClean. Make a routine of cleaning the Registry, and Windows 98 will run faster and be more reliable.

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