make a system image using well known free software, also make your backup discs.
Sounds like you have everything running fine. I suggest you make a system image that is a full copy of your OS, Programs & Personal files. This means that if you have a hard drive failure or cyber attack you can do a system restore to your present optimum installation. Suggest you do it to a USB backup drive. This Cnet link will help you do that. http://www.cnet.com/au/how-to/how-to-create-a-system-image-in-windows-10/. Further I recommend you make a System Repair Disk (DVD) so that if the Hard Drive dies your can replace it and use the Repair Disk & System Image to reload all your programs & data to the new hard drive.
You may also choose a program that scans your computer and cleans up your computer of the dregs of internet browsing etc. I got a good deal from Ashampo Win Optimiser 12. Never used one before but it seems to clean up my Win 10 Pro instillation OK and keep it running smooth. I'm sure other people will suggest programs that do the same.
Ok here is the bad news - no matter what you do to your new computer - it will end up going more and more slower as time goes by.
Even if you keep it running the same operating system, it will slow down. It seems strange but it's the truth - if you took Windows XP and the worlds most high spec machine from 2002 and you ensured that you kept it clean and ready for action, updated and everything and tried to use it today, you would find that it run way slower than it did when you first purchased it.
Seems strange because you'd think it's the same machine, same spec why's it started to run slow?
Well there are a few reasons - some of the reasons you can do something about, and other reasons there is simply no answer to.
One of the first reasons for a computer to start running slow is general clutter on the hard drive. As you've already said personal files dotted all over the drive certainly don't help keep a computer up to speed.
The second reason computers run slow is because of the junk files that windows and other programs leave lying around. When you use a program or install/uninstall a program, that program creates files all over your hard disk. These junk files start to build up on your computer, and can cause it to slow down. Some of these junk files can be cleared out - there are tools out there like Piriforms CCleaner which is very good at reducing waste files, but they can't always clear all the junk files out.
Unfortunately some junk files are a hard to decide whether they should be deleted or not, especially DLL files and you'd need to know whether or not your ever going to use those DLL files ever again, DLL files can be used by multiple programs (for example lame_enc.dll is used by many mp3 creators and audio programs), also some DLL files are critical for keeping a system running - so deleting the wrong files could end up with a system that doesn't work at all.
The only way to clean out these special junk files is to every so many years do a total computer re-installation. This is why when upgrading from one Windows to another it's always best to start from fresh and wipe the drive, rather than going down the upgrade route, because of the amount of unwanted junk left behind. You can also reduce some of these junk files by being careful with what you install, the more you install the more chance you have of hitting an installation program that also puts in a load of junk.
Another way your computer slows down is with updates. Updates are essential, you need them to keep your computer safe, but every time a new update comes in it adds to the resources Windows needs to keep running, this is one of the main reasons why an old top of the range machine from 2002 would now not be able to run Windows XP anywhere near as well as it did back in 2002, especially if you've done all the updates. Also over time updates are the same as programs, the install and uninstall various parts of the system - and every time they do that they leave junk around that is no longer in use - and also just think about how many things need constant updating in a PC - anti-virus has constant updates, windows has updates, .Net has updates, VC++ has updates, Adobe Flash has updates (although hopefully not for much longer!), Java has updates, drivers have updates, software has updates.
One of the only ways I've managed to keep one of my computers running for years at a decent speed without slowing down was to use Puppy Linux - although this isn't exactly practical for everyone, it can be used quite well with an older computer and it can make the old computer run at pretty much the same speed as a new one, and even though the computer may get older, it doesn't tend to slow down. The main reason for this though is that Puppy Linux is a linux that boots from a CD - being on a CD it can't save any junk files when it reboots (it can save personal files to special places on the hard drive, and program files), but in actual fact every single re-boot is pretty much similar to re-installing the operating system every time apart from you don't have to wait ages for the re-install. All the main files are kept safe and secure on the CD so nothing can add to them to cause them to slow down, the only times there is an issue is when something happens to the save file on the hard disk but that can be quite easily rectified by telling it to ignore the save file on the hard disk.
Also another thing that can make your computer slow down over time is general wear and tear on the components. Computer components are constantly heating up and cooling down. Hard drives platters are spinning at high speeds (unless you've got an SSD - and even they stop writing after something like 10 years). So over time the components start losing their speed too, unless you work on replacing the components over the years. I try and replace at least one or two of my components in my PC every year and I've been doing that pretty much since 1999, my last big upgrade was about 2012 and the oldest thing on my PC is the case, which was a case my friend give to me and I've never seen such an unusual case before, it looks like a vacuum cleaner with the power button on the top - I originally used it for his computer (but he upgraded to a laptop) and it was only a cheap £20 case and it didn't have any pictures of it on the website but for £20 at the time we just took a gamble on what it would look like.
One way I've been able to negate some of that is to totally wipe and reinstall the base operating system, and run update again. This time the service packs will be installed first, and not have to sew together all those hotfixes from previous update cycles - this seems to speed up performance immediately. Of course restoring an image from a new installation can do the same thing much faster. I always have an image of my PC when it was new from the factory just for such things. I also keep an image of the same thing after each service pack, for the same reason.
It isn't as necessary as in the past, but I've found reinstalling all applications after a long update cycle has helped performance. In fact some applications are broken completely just by updating Windows, and will need to be reinstalled anyway. Especially for those versions of the same application made for that particular update cycle.
Some folks may figure this is too much, and I don't blame them - it is just how much performance means to each individual, whether the effort is worth it. Doing this the image restore way is way simpler than it sounds, for sure! I would hope the new image service made by Windows recovers as easily as Macrum Reflect - otherwise I really like that 3rd party solution.
Once a year make sure your data (not software) you backed up is up to date.
Then format the hard drive and reinstall Windows 10 from a USB key you can make from Microsoft's website.
Then reinstall only the software from discs or downloads that you really need.
Your PC will be good as new!
Post was last edited on October 23, 2015 1:05 PM PDT
There's no way most people would wipe the system and reload, nor should they have to. I have a Windows XP system that hasn't EVER been re-loaded as you suggest, and it has a lot of extra programs on it that I don't even use, and it runs fine. True, it's a high end system... the specs still blow away what most people will buy today, and the hardware is near 10 years old...but even with a lower end system, or should I say especially with a lower end system, most people don't want to spend the time nor effort of wiping the system, then setting it up the way they prefer once a year! There are much easier ways to keep a system running smoothly, clearing cache, wiping old log files that aren't needed, etc, and most people won't even do that!
Re-installing every year is a waste of time. It takes too long to re-install windows then do all the updates plus add all your programs. The easier and faster way is to install windows 10 and all the programs that you plan on using IE office your photo editing programs. Once you have the important programs and the system running to your liking. Make an image of your hard drive. That will save you hours of installing. The only thing you have to do is install the windows update files them make a new image file.
It only takes about 20 minutes to restore an image, with my Macrium Reflect images - then however long it takes to get the new updates from Microsoft after the image creation date.
There was a time when simply refreshing the drive using the upgrade method, to keep all your files and applications intact was the way to go. (other wise known as "repair" by some Windows versions); I'm not so sure that makes as much difference now. Flushing old service packs and reinstalling the newest ones minus the old hotfixes, has made a difference for me. It may only take a few hours when I wasn't going to use the computer anyway.
I'm getting Blue Screen Crashes every day. All kinds of crazy error messages: "inaccessible boot device," "System_Service_Exception," and most frequently: "IRQL_Not_Less_or_Equal." Then it says your computer has encountered an error and must shut down, do not shut your computer down as we are gathering information. But it will never shut down on its own- I have to shut down with the power switch. All kinds of incredibly complicated "fixes" on the internet. I may have to resort to bringing it to a professional for the first time, or maybe do a clean install of Windows.
Sounds to me like your Hard Drive is either going or gone. If you do get this machine to boot, back up your personal files asap. If I were you, and you don't need massive storage, I'd replace the HDD with one of the large and recently inexpensive solid state drives (SDD). This will give you a boost in speed as well. good luck! -ss
Well, I had a new SSD put in, and in reply to another reply, my machine is definitely modern and powerful enough to handle Windows 10. According to Windows Update, I am up to date, also ran it through the HP app that scans your machine for updates. I am no longer getting blue screen crashes when running normally. But any time I shut down the usual way, from "power," then start up again, I see a blue screen with the "your computer encountered a problem and needed to shut down" message, then it starts up normally. A variety of error messages: Reference by Pointer, Bad_Pool_Header, Thread exception, System_Service_Exception, IRQL_Not_Less_or_Equal. Also get these messages any time I leave it on long enough to go to sleep then awaken it from sleep. I might just give up and have it looked at by a pro.
Took it back to the guy who put in the SSD, he did the same that I did, checked Windows Update, ran it through HP site to check updates and drivers, manually checked various drivers in Device Manager. Seemed to think not solved totally since just taking longer than should to boot up but no blue screen. But I said I will take that, right now booted with no Blue Screen error message, I will see what happens next few days.
You need to consider the possibility your hard drive is about to crash. If you catch it before it does it could save you some grief. Back everything up, preferably using an external boot medium and imaging program. Then run a diagnostic like Spin Rite. If the boot sector is about to fail the more times you boot it the less likely it is ever to boot again. If you get a good backup image using Acronis, Ghost, etc. you may just be able to dump it onto a new HD and be good to go. If OS files are corrupted you may end up having to do a repair using an OS disk which hopefully you have. Not saying that is definitely the problem, just that you should rule it out while there's still time. If HD diagnostics give it a clean bill move on.
Not so incredibly complicated. Learn to do it yourself and save the money over taking it to a pro.
Note: if you take uSoft up on their free upgrade to 10 you should use the media creation option so that you're not up the creek without a paddle when (not if) your hard drive ever fails and you lose your OS.
I use an external hard drive that is an identical copy of my internal hard drive. Periodically, I move data and anything else like programs and updates to the external drive. If I should ever and I have had to replace my internal drive from time to time, I have my external drive ready to go into my computer. I use Bitdefender, Malwarebytes, Glary's Utilities, SuperAntispyware,Ccleaner and disk cleanup. Most of which are free, but I would strongly suggest you buy them.
I've been fixing personal computers for years I have learned that Microsoft when is ready to introduce a new OS on their patches will introduce stuff that will cause more harm or will take some stuff away from your os for example on Windows XP they took away that GL program so now when you watch an online video you will see a jerky playback video or you will no longer be able to play 3-dimensional video games
and the same happens to the newer OS like on Windows 10 they took away media player. That is why updates are not beneficial all the time.