No matter whether your business computer is centered around a prehistoric single core Pentium III or a state of the art Core i7 3970X, there are simple steps you can take now to make the entire system palpably faster and more responsive. This guide is primarily designed for Windows 7 but is mostly identical for Windows Vista and even XP. I’m not taking into consideration Windows 8 as this is intended for small and mid-sized businesses and there are more of them running the CP/M Operating System than the befuddling purple creation which only the mind of Steve Ballmer could foist upon an unsuspecting planet. That being understood, let’s look at the top five ways to optimize your Windows computer:

Supercalifragialistic Solid State

There is absolutely nothing short of replacing your PC with a Cray Supercomputer that will make a more noticeable difference than swapping out the traditional spinner hard drives with Solid State Drives (SSDs). With the price of SSDs dropping by the day they are now an affordable solution, especially if you configure your system with an SSD as the C: drive only and retain a platter HD for the data. Unless you are installing way more applications than any business would ever need, all you require is a 128GB SSD for C: and then you can plunk in as many spinners as you want to hold your data. Never ever clone your existing spinner C: drive to an SSD. Always do a fresh install from an original Windows optical disk as cloning can write spinner disk configurations to an SSD which could create problems.

Hibernation is for bears

Technically this is not a speed-up tip but it is indispensable for anyone going to SSD boot drives. Hibernation permanently reserves an amount of space on your C: drive equivalent to the amount of RAM. When we all had 4GB RAM and were using TB hard drives that was not an issue. But now that many business computers run 16, 32 or even more GB of RAM with SSDs that’s an unacceptable amount of disk space to allocate to something that you likely never use. Restoring this space is simplicity itself. From your start menu enter cmd.exe into the search, right click on it, run as Administrator, and when the black box with white type opens just enter:

powercfg.exe -h off

Now exit from the command line box, restart your PC and enjoy all that extra space!

Index, Outex, get rid of it

Nothing will slow your PC down to a crawl than the omniactive indexing feature. If you don’t use it at all, just turn the silly thing off. If you can’t live without it, just allocate your documents folder for searching, as there’s no point having your PC index endless GB of system and unrelated files when you’re just looking for a client’s email. To banish the indexing, just enter Computer Management into your Start search, click on Services and Applications, then Services, now scroll down to find Windows Search. Right click, choose Properties, and disable it to send search to the index gulag.

I’m leaaaaaving on an Aero Plane…

The fancy Aero effects look great but they suck up lots of processing cycles. Just right click anywhere on your desktop and select Window Color. Now uncheck the box named Enable Transparency and adjust your color and style preference. Reboot just to be on the safe side and enjoy a faster PC, if marginally less attractive from the standpoint of desktop eye candy.

Put the pedal to the High Performance metal

Many desktop computers are handicapped by restrictions designed to conserve battery life on laptops. Just click on Power Options in the Control Panel, and then click the down arrow to reveal what Microsoft has hidden: A High Performance radio button! Select it, and then you can go to advance settings for further customization. Reboot and you may see an immediate performance difference!

These performance fixes are simple, straightforward, and will make a world of difference to the performance of any business computer. Adopt them all and start enjoying life in the fast lane.