Optimizing Win7 Home Basic

Say, PC has 4 Gig of RAM and  minimal programmes installed BUT is very sluggish when opening programmes etc. Kindly recommend ways to optimize its performance. This is a desk top PC with an Intel Processor.
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Neil RussellTechnical Development LeadCommented:
Could be a thousand things. For a start "An Intel Processor" could be a Single core P4 @ 1.4Ghz or an fourth Generation i7.  You don't give much of an indication.
Please supply a bit more detail if you want a real answer. When was it last imaged/rebuilt?
shaunwinginAuthor Commented:
Not sure of processor but its closer to: Single core P4 @ 1.4Ghz
Was imaged about 2 years ago with win 7. Previous OS was Vista
Download CPU Z, unzip and run. You can see CPU, motherboard and GPU info - and post those.
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helpfinderIT ConsultantCommented:
try to:
defragment disk
in System properties>Advanced>Performance>Settings>Visual effects set "adjust for best performance"
check your motherboard manufacturer support page for new BIOS firmware and check change log if some possible performance improvement could be achieved with newer firmware
check Virtual memory if you have not turned it off
check msconfig (Start>run) for Startup programs and untick unnecessary like updaters etc.

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You should also check CPU usage.
To run task manager - Win + R -> taskmgr ->Enter -- at the bottom you can see CPU usage

Download adwcleaner and run it and after scanning do clean.
In last two years I found many problems with antivirus updates - Uninstall and after restart install antivirus again in many cases drastically improved computer speed (Avast, Avira, AVG).
I usually do scan PC with Malwarebytes also.
And check health of your HDD with HDD sentinel
shaunwinginAuthor Commented:
Its a core 2 Due CPU by the way and tx 4 the tips.

"check Virtual memory if you have not turned it off" Is this best left on or off?
helpfinderIT ConsultantCommented:
"check Virtual memory if you have not turned it off" Is this best left on or off?
I would turn it on (by default it is)
shaunwinginAuthor Commented:
check Virtual memory  --> 4014 MB is whats its set to. Is this good?
helpfinderIT ConsultantCommented:
yeah, that could be OK - probably windows is set (in your case) to automatically manage the amout
shaunwinginAuthor Commented:
Neil RussellTechnical Development LeadCommented:
Ok well it depends on what you call slugish. It is an old laptop with an old processor. You are not going to get the performance of a current PC/Laptop.

You would do best to run a benchmarking application that advised on what was running well and compared to other like systems.

Have a look at this link that gives advice on several FREE benchmarking tools for windows 7 computers.

SiSoft Sandra Lite is a very good starting point but the paid for version will give you a whole lot more.
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