Symptom: Sluggish performance when using multiple applications, hangups, excessive bootup time
Solution:Upgrade your RAM, try a ReadyBoost-enabled USB drive
If your laptop takes a long time to boot up, you may want to conduct an audit of your startup programs. To do this, place your cursor over the icons in the taskbar at the bottom right of the screen. If you rarely use any of these programs, right-click and disable them. To take more control over what programs load when you boot up, download System Suite 7 Professional (R916), which includes, among 60 powerful tools, a startup manager and optimizer.
Should you need to purchase a new memory chip, Kingston (www.kingston.com) and Crucial (www.crucial.com) offer tools on their Web sites for determining which products are compatible with your notebook. You can also try www.4allmemory.com. Vista users can use the new Memory Diagnostics tool in Windows Vista; just type “memory” into the search bar, and the OS will scan your physical memory for problems and advise replacement, if necessary.
Vista users might also want to pick up a ReadyBoost-enabled USB drive from the likes of Corsair, Kingston, Lexar, or SanDisk. These devices can improve some programs’ startup times by using free space on the USB drive as a temporary memory cache.
Credit: Laptop Mag