Tag Archives: application management

4 Ways to Improve the Speed of Your Computer

What do we mean when we say a computer is fast and at times slow? The first thing we would want to identify is whether the computer by virtue of specification is categorized as fast or slow— when running an operating system and installed applications. In this case we will focus on a computer running on the Windows environment.

Microsoft has embedded a windows experience index; this is a measurement that tells you how well your PC works with Windows and your PC is given a rating based on the experience you can expect. A higher base score usually means that your PC will be faster and more responsive than a PC with a lower base score.

However high the score indicated by the windows experience is– it does not necessarily mean that your computer will always perform at that rate continuously. All Window systems slow down over time—WHY is always the question. In this article we will highlight ways to improve the speed of your computer in order to uphold the initial speeds that you enjoy when your PC is new and/or after just installing a fresh Operating System:

Tips on Improving the Speed on your Computer

Streamline Your Start-up applications:

Most programs when installed the first time will have a tendency to automatically register an auto-startup entry on the windows start-up programs folder. They use up system resources while running in the background at all times from start-up. Unless you always use these programs, you can keep them from loading at Windows startup and speed both the booting of your computer and its performance by editing the start-up entries by using MSCONFIG.

Always Keep Your System Disk Error Free:

Whenever your computer stops impromptu maybe caused by crashes or power failures, errors start developing due to inconsistency in file writing on the drive. Disk Check can identify and automatically correct this file system errors and make sure that you can continue to load and write data from the hard disk. Doing will free the disk up to access your programs and files more quickly. It’s a good idea to run it every so often to make sure the drive itself is functioning properly.  This in turn translated to faster access speeds and helps in improving the speed on your computer.

Delete Files in Temp, Recycle Bin, Un-used programs, Files, and Desktop Icons:

Keeping your computer clean and free of un-used files from all locations-

a)      Over time, you may have accumulated programs on your computer that you do not use. When programs are installing, they create connections between that program and the operating system. This connections remain active and the more the applications residing in your program files, the longer the time a system takes to initialize an application on demand!

b)      Whenever a program runs on your computer, it leaves certain files on your machine which consume a certain portion of disc space. Over a period of time, hundreds of programs run and thousands of files pile up on your device – which eventually decelerate your machine and sometimes lead to a system crash. Therefore, you are suggested to periodically delete temporary files. This are found by going to Start > Run> type “%temp%” > click OK. Those are temporary files and can be deleted wholesomely.

c)      A desktop littered with shortcuts to programs and other files will always drag the computer because the desktop has to refresh every so often to search for changes in files and interconnections with other locations—this is worst felt on windows start-up. It is highly advised to utilize the library folders for file sorting purposes and start menu for shortcuts. In my experience, it slows down the user far more efficiently than it does the computer.

BIOS Tweaks

If you have a custom built computer or a PC that was previously used, make sure to check the BIOS for optimal settings such as enabled CPU caches, correctly set IDE/SATA data transfer modes, memory timings, etc. You can also enable Fast/Quick boot if you have that option.

I hope that these tips will help in improving the speed on your computer. If you have any questions, kindly leave a comment or contact us. Also, do follow us on Twitter for regular updates on our Application Management Software which also helps in improving the speed on your computer.

Try Install Monitor for a better way to help improve your computers speed and performance. The result is a cleaner and more efficient system.

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Why Update Your Apps?

Software is constantly evolving. If you check on your computer at any point in time some amount of your applications will need updating. For instance, the popular web browser, Mozilla Firefox is at their 27th version (that may change while this is being typed). So why does software constantly change?

computer apps update

Why should you regularly update your computer apps

Why are there software updates?

There are several reasons for the updates or changes to the software. Developers are constantly finding ways to improve their software. These improvements and fixes are done through updates. There are numerous reasons for updates but essentially, their purposes are to fix existing bugs (problems and issues) in the software and improve security and compatibility. As an example, it is a good idea to make sure you have the latest version of Mirekusoft Install Monitor. You can always go to download page check for the latest version (from the application you can use Help | Check for Updates).

How Can Mirekusoft Install Monitor Help You?

Updating, however, can be a messy process and is one of the least tested aspects of software. Most testing usually focuses on new application installs. As the software is updated, over time it leave remnants of previous versions that are no longer needed. As a result, this can slow down your computer and is a potential cause of future complications to your system.

Another issue that can happen is that the newer version of the application does not fully meet your needs and or has a bug that interferes with your workflow. The only option at that point is to downgrade. Unfortunately downgrade testing for software is almost non-existent. It is common for a later version of an application to creates issues when going back to the earlier version. The reason is most software uninstallers do not fully uninstall an application. In some cases without being able to tell exactly where the issue is the only way to get back to normal would be to reinstall the system.This makes as much sense as rebuilding your house because you lost the key to one room. Here’s where Mirekusoft Install Monitor can save you a lot of time and pain. By using Install Monitor to fully remove the application you can then install an earlier version. This allows you to avoid reinstalling the operating system.

Image courtesy of Stuart Miles / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

 

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What Benefits Does a Program Scanner Provide?

One of the features in Mirekusoft Install Monitor 2.0 is the Program Scanner. You can run it by selecting the Tools menu and Scan Programs. When you first install you will get a yellow band across the top of the screen that allows you run it. What does it do and why was it added?

Major Features of Mirekusoft Install Monitor 2.0

As I have mentioned before Install Monitor provides an application management platform. As a result it works better when you install it before you install your programs. However this is not always possible. Also Install Monitor 2.0 adds many application management features that can help you with your existing programs such as the Startup Monitor, Program Process Viewer, and program usage tracking. Yet these features work best for programs that are monitored by Install Monitor.

Program Scanner Features

The Program Scanner helps to address this by providing a way to populate missing program information. This makes it possible to use the new application management features with your existing programs.

Screen shot of program scanner
The Program Scanner scans for missing program information
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How To Uninstall Software

In the past few posts I have talked about application management and how Mirekusoft Install Monitor is more than an uninstaller. In this post I wanted to talk about how uninstallers traditionally work and some of the limitations. In a later post I will talk about how Install Monitor uses an approach that is different from most uninstallers.

How Most Third Party  Uninstallers Work

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Image from Stuart Miles of freedigitalphotos.net

Most third party uninstallers tend to rely on searching predefined locations to remove existing software. There are different ways of doing this scan but essentially it usually requires the program that was uninstalled left behind something that could be used to identify traces of it. Registry cleaners also do something similar. After a scan of the file system and registry the user is presented with a long list of what the uninstaller believes are leftovers that can be removed.

Limitation of Scanning Approach when Uninstalling

Data Application Scanning

How effective is scanning?
Image take from thanunkorn at freedigitalphotos.net

This scanning approach however has obvious limitations. Most uninstallers which scan for leftovers now also offer installation monitoring. This process relies on taking snapshots before the installation and comparing to the state after the installation. The user has to start the install with the monitoring program. These programs will sometimes provide a right-click shell extension to make it easier. It can be difficult sometimes to find the executable for instance in the case of updaters. It adds an extra step and some guesswork to the installation. Should a particular install be monitored or not?

 Understanding the Downside of Snapshots

Another downside of snapshots is usually they take a lot of time, processor usage, disk activity, and disk space to create. It would not be unusual on a system with a lot of items for a snapshot to take up a minute or more. They in general do not work well with installs that use multiple installers or require reboots.

The Issues

What happens if bad or unwanted software piggybacks on good software?

It may not be obvious when monitoring should be turned off. Some uninstallers recommend you run and activate the software first.

What if the software does something else that should be monitored?

The snapshot approach increases the probability of spurious activity being caught.

What if another program decides to update itself while the uninstaller is in snapshot mode?

Are there ways to get beyond these limitations?

That will be addressed in a future post.

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Understanding Software Layers

In the past couple of posts I have talked about application management. I have also talked about how one of the goals of Install Monitor was to help avoid situations where one is forced to reinstall because of a misbehaving applications. In this post I want to go into more detail about how Mirekusoft Install Monitor works as an application management platform.

 

First we need to discuss the typical software layers as shown in Figure 1. The operating system is the lowest layer. It runs on the hardware directly. Applications run on top of the operating system (OS) by using operating system services. Sometimes there is an additional layer that applications run on. For instance web applications, .NET applications, and Java applications all run on top of other frameworks such as your browser, .NET Framework, and the Java Runtime Environment, respectively. The user data and settings are then used by the applications. Also note that as you go up the software stack your portability tends to increase. For instance you can transfer an MP3 that is the user data layer to another computer or device while applications generally are tied to the specific OS installation.

 

 

 

http://www.windowsitpro.com/content/content/129007/Savill%20WIN2214Fig1.JPG
Image linked with permission from John Savill. Original article at http://www.windowsitpro.com/article/virtualization2/virtual-desktop-infrastructure-part-1-everything-except-vd

 

 

Applications are expected to manage themselves. By this I mean they have to make sure they are updated and remove themselves properly and use resources efficiently. However as I have discussed before applications are often not good at managing themselves and sometimes get into inconsistent states that might require reinstalling the OS or going to a backup.

 

Note however how the situation is different when Install Monitor is installed on a system (Figure 2). Install Monitor inserts another layer into the software stack, an application management platform. This is  a virtual software layer that applications are installed on. This now gives you additional management capabilities including the ability to monitor and fully remove an application. With this information you should be able to understand why Install Monitor works best when you install it before you install your applications.

 

 

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Figure 2. Install Monitor provides an application management platform
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