A day rarely goes by when someone doesn't ask how they can speed up their computer.
This problem is easily solved by increasing the system memory - also known as RAM - in your computer. I recommend using at least 512 RAM for computers running Windows XP (one gigabyte is even better) and at least one gigabyte for Windows Vista (two gigabytes is recommended for power users). You can find out the amount of memory already in your computer by right-clicking on “My Computer" and then choose “Properties" from the menu.
Ordering RAM can be confusing because there are so many different types of memory. Staples and Office Depot sell memory, but I recommend going to an online retailer that specializes in selling memory, like MemoryTen (memoryx.com). For Windows users, MemoryTen even has an online application that can determine how much memory is in your computer and the exact type of memory to order.
Most online memory retailers allow you to match up the make and model of your computer to the correct type of RAM and then they guarantee it will work in your computer.
Once you have received the memory, you will need to open up your computer and install it. This is usually a simple process of just removing the old memory from the slots on the system board and replacing them with the new memory. If this doesn't sound like something you want to do, you can always hire a tech to do it for you.
Another way to speed up your computer, and this method doesn't cost any money, is to run the Disk Cleanup and Disk Defragmenter utilities that come installed on Windows XP and Windows Vista.
From the Start menu go to “Programs > Accessories > System Tools" and you will find them. Use the Disk Cleanup first to remove all the used and temporary files and then run the Disk Defragmenter. This usually won't make your computer run as fast as installing additional memory, but it should give it a boost.
Remember, there is no such thing as a computer that runs too fast.
Stephen Britton is a certified computer tech and writes about computing and technology on his blog, http://www.sbritton.com He also operates a website to help consumers solve their computer problems, http://www.YourTechPerson.com