Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Basic Computer Maintenance (Windows-based System)

A well maintained computer will provide you with better performance in terms of speed and stability. Time-wasting sluggish performance, frequent errors, and crashes indicate that your supposedly speedy computer is not being taken care of properly. You'll actually be surprised at how a simple system cleanup can breathe new life into your machine.

One cause of a poor computer performance is system file corruption, therefore we have to make sure that the system and data areas of the hard disk are in shape before going any further.

For WindowsXP:

Open "My Computer"

Right click on your system drive "Local Disk (C:)"

Left click "Properties" then select the "Tools" tab

Left click "Check Now..."

Left click on the first check disk option box: "Automatically fix file system errors"

Left click "Start" or press "ENTER" key

If a prompt pops up, choose "YES" then restart your computer

"Checkdisk" will automatically run in "Blue Screen" mode. It might take a while to complete.

For Windows 9x:

Click the "Start" menu; point to "Programs;" point to "Accessories;" point to "System Tools"

Click "ScanDisk"
Select "Autofix Errors" then click "Start"

After scanning the hard disk for file corruptions or errors, you are now ready to remove the junk or unneeded files from your computer. Windows has a built-in utility for the task, called "Disk Cleanup."

Click the "Start" menu; point to "Programs;" point to "Accessories;" point to "System Tools"

Click "Disk Cleanup"
Check all the boxes then click "OK"

File fragmentation is another cause of sluggish performance. Sometimes when you install a program or create a data file, the file ends up chopped up into chunks or fragments and stored in multiple locations (separated) on the disk. Fragmentation forces the hard disk to work harder (and thus slower) as the latter strives to reassemble the file fragments. You can prevent severe file fragmentation by running a defragment utility once a week. The utility reassembles the file chunks into an organized state, allowing the hard drive to work more efficiently and consequently start programs more quickly.

Click the "Start" menu; point to "Programs;" point to "Accessories;" point to "System Tools"

Click "Disk Defragmenter"

Select the drive you wish to defragment

For WindowsXP:

Click "Defragment"

For Windows 9x:

Click "Settings" and make sure there's a tick beside the two options in the section "When Defragmenting My Hard Drive," then click "OK" twice to begin.

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