10 Ways Your PC Can Save You Money in the Bad Economy

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iolo technologies, the PC tune-up experts, share 10 green and money-saving tips this holiday season .

As daily reports confirm, we're now officially in the longest recession since the 1940s, with consumer spending down for the first time since 1991. Whether you're one of the many people that want to avoid the cost of an unnecessary computer purchase and to continue using their old machine or you just managed to buy that dreamt-of newest model, the good news is you can follow these 10 easy steps outlined by the PC tune-up experts at iolo technologies to make your system - old or new - go a long way in the bad economy.

One of the most frequent reasons people cite as justification for a new computer purchase is that their old one has just gotten too slow. However, contrary to what many of us believe, computer electronics do not actually slow down as they get older. So, why is it that your snappy new PC seems to suffer from ongoing performance degradation over time? Over a decade of research shows that 98 percent of all slowdowns and other problems are caused by faulty settings, clutter, and fragmentation that result from normal everyday use.

The tips below can help keep your machine performing like the day you bought it. They will also help you save on energy, repair and recycling costs - perhaps enabling you to take advantage of some of this season's unexpected travel specials and finally go on that Caribbean vacation instead of spending money on expensive computer service and upgrades.

RAM memory - with these three steps, you'll soon forget you needed extra memory.
1.    Remove unnecessary Windows startup programs.
Many software programs will load unnecessary portions of themselves during startup eating up both memory and processor power.

How to: Use System Mechanic with its vast knowledge base of startup programs to safely recommend and automatically remove unnecessary memory wasting startup programs.

2.    Defragment your memory.
Memory fragmentation occurs over time as memory is allocated and released by programs. When RAM becomes highly fragmented and Windows runs out of free memory, programs do not have enough resources to function properly. Programs may not open or may run slower and frequently crash. Defragment your RAM and you'll liberate enough memory to save you from buying an upgrade.

How to: Use System Mechanic to automatically defrag and rescue wasted memory

3.    Clean, compact and defragment the registry.
Inaccurate registry references frequently cause computer crashes and lock-ups, while a scattered and bloated registry wastes system memory and slows down Windows processing. With a cleaned-up and defragmented registry, programs will load faster and you'll be able to run more items at the same time, without the extra RAM.

How to: Use System Mechanic to clean up, compact and defragment your registry and gain back all that wasted RAM memory

Hard drive - with two easy steps, you'll save on buying a new one.
4.    Defragment the hard drive.
As you create, delete, and download files, your computer cannot store data as one unit and instead will split it up and store pieces in various drive locations. A fragmented hard drive has a large amount of such scattered data and can significantly slow PC performance. Files take longer to open and programs take longer to start. Defragment the drive and you'll accomplish these common tasks faster without buying a bigger drive.

How to: Use System Mechanic to automatically keep your hard drives defragmented. System Mechanic will even defragment core Windows System files, boosting performance well beyond the capability of the Windows built-in defrag tool.

5.    Clean up clutter.
Over time, your hard drive steadily accumulates gobs of unnecessary files - old downloads, temporary internet cache, etc. Clean it up and you can recover gigabytes of hard drive space without spending time and money needlessly searching for a larger replacement drive.
How to: Use System Mechanic to automatically keep your PC free of clutter and your hard drive running at maximum capacity.

Energy use - follow these steps and you'll see your energy bill shrink.
6.    Turn off the screensaver.
Research reveals that 53 percent of computer users never turn off their machine or turn it off only before they call it a day. The Environmental Protection Agency's Energy Star program touts figures estimating that people can save $25 to $75 in energy costs a year by merely turning off their screensaver.

How to: Go to Control Panel / Display / Screensaver and turn off the screensaver.
7.    Tune up your PC.
A tuned up computer uses less energy by allocating its resources more effectively. Tune up your PC and you'll be able to run programs faster, accomplish more, and dramatically reduce your energy bill at the same time.

How to: Use System Mechanic, with more than 40 advanced tools and a range of options to satisfy both novice and expert users, to automatically tune-up your machine.

8.    Monitor the devices around your PC.
The various peripherals that are plugged directly into your computer use extra energy. Wireless mice and keyboards are expensive and require regular purchases of new batteries.
How to: Unplug peripherals when not in use and opt for wired mice and keyboards instead of wireless ones.

Everything else - regularly tune up your PC and you'll save on much more than just the component upgrades.
9.    Perform comprehensive regular tune-up and maintenance and save money on expensive support calls and Service Center visits.
Service center visits and tech support calls can often be costly, time consuming and stressful. The good news is most of them can be avoided because the majority of Windows problems can be easily fixed by a software tune-up.

How to: Use System Mechanic's patent-pending ActiveCare technology to keep your computer automatically tuned-up.

10.    Tune up your PC instead of throwing it out and you'll save on recycling costs too.
You wouldn't throw out your car if it started running a little slower and a simple tune-up would restore power, so avoid the same mistake with your PC when System Mechanic can easily and inexpensively bring it back to like-new performance. A study performed in 2001 showed that approximately half of 500 million computers discarded in the US were actually in good working order; their slowness named among the top reasons they were discarded. Before you decide to toss your trusted machine, consider the fact that disposing of your PC in an environmentally responsible way can be expensive. Even when you think you've recycled it, your old PC might end up being sold to third world countries, where underpaid employees will be exposed to hazardous substances in search for the precious metals contained in its parts. Limit the pollution, waste and your expenses by regularly tuning up your PC and thus extending its life well beyond the currently brief national 30-month average.

How to: Use System Mechanic to keep your old PC running like new instead of throwing it out for a new one every 30 months.

iolo technologies, makers of the #1 best-selling PC tune-up product used by more than 21 million users worldwide, hope that the tips above will help you get the most out of your personal computer this holiday season and put some much-needed cash back in your wallet.

However, if you decide you still want a brand new PC as your gift this holiday season - or just happen to discover an extra one lying around - make sure to donate your old one instead of throwing it out. You will get a tax break next year if you donate your computer before December 31, a local charity will benefit, and the environment will be spared more e-waste. iolo will offer you tips on how to safely and cost-efficiently donate your computer in time to write the donation off your taxes in the next installment in this tips series.

About System Mechanic:
System Mechanic, the #1 best selling PC tune-up product according to NPD Reports, is a comprehensive utility suite designed to keep computers in peak operating condition. The software combines over 40 robust tools in an integrated console designed to make it easy to fix, speed-up, and maintain PCs. Patent-pending ActiveCare™ technology proactively keeps computers operating at maximum performance by performing repairs and optimizations when the system is on but not being used, never interrupting the owner.

About iolo technologies:
iolo technologies, a privately held firm located in Los Angeles, produces award-winning software that repairs, optimizes, and protects computers running Windows. The iolo product line includes System Mechanic; System Mechanic Professional®, a comprehensive suite of PC tune-up and security tools; System Shield®, iolo AntiVirus™ and iolo Personal Firewall™, software for Internet security; Search and Recover™, a powerful data recovery tool that helps you recover lost files and photographs; and DriveScrubber®, a utility that permanently wipes data from hard drives.

Media Contact:
Julia Zamorska
iolo technologies
323-423-1030

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