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Keeping your computer healthy
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Old 22-10-2006, 15:06   #1
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Keeping your computer healthy

Summary

We hear lots of complaints that computers are running slowly. In nine out of 10 cases this is down to maintenance of the pc. No one that owns a car would dream of driving 300,000 miles in their car without changing the oil and tyres. People do this with there computers all the time.

The following step-by-step guide has been written as a schedule for users to follow. Your pc will run more smoothly and more reliably by taking the steps bellow.

More Information
  1. When you remove unwanted software from the pc using "add/remove programs" etc you will still leave old unused files and registry keys in the system. If you are going to uninstall the software then don't install it in the first place.
  2. Make sure that all the hardware in the system has the correct drivers installed. "!" marks or "?" marks in the device manager indicate that a driver is missing or has a problem.
  3. Visit windows update on a weekly basis to check for new drivers/patches. You can allso set windows so it checks automaticaly.
  4. Make sure you have an up to date Antivirus package on your pc. A virus can slow a pc down to crawl. Not to mention cause damage to your files. Scan your system for viruses on a weekly basis.
  5. Keep spyware out of the system. There are several free spyware removal tools on the net that will help you do this. It is best to stop the spyware getting on the pc in the first place. Some antivirus packages will include antispyware and malware functions.
  6. Keep your hard drive healthy by running scandisk on a regular basis. Scandisk can be found in "Start menu / program files / accessories / system tools / scandisk". Scandisk will check your pc for hard disk errors and correct them. This makes file corruptions ect less likely. You are likely to have to reboot the PC for scandisk to operate.
  7. Defrag your hard disk. The defrag program operates by rearranging the files on the hard disk so that they are in order and tidy. This will speed up the system as well as making file corruptions less likely. Defrag can be found in "start menu / program files / system tools / defrag". You may find that defrag restarts all the time. This can happen with windows 95/98/me a lot and is down to all the memory being used up and the system writing to the swap file. To get round this shut down the pc and then restart it. As soon as you turn the pc on press and hold CTRL on the PC's keyboard. You will be presented with a menu just before the windows loading screen appears. Select safe mode from the menu and wait for windows to load. Be patient it can sometimes take a while. When you are in windows all the icons and your wallpaper may look strange. Don't worry about this, everything will return to normal when you reboot the computer after defrag has finished. When you run defrag for the first time you may find that it takes may hours. This is normal especially if it has never been run before.
    Note: If you have a SSD you should not defrag the drive
  8. Install a good firewall in the pc and make sure that it is configured correctly.
  9. Make sure that you delete all the temporary internet files and all the files from your windows temp directory before you defrag the drive. To remove temporary internet files from the pc click on "tools / internet options and then the delete files button". To delete the system temp files look for a folder in windows or winnt called temp. Delete the contents. (make sure that any open programs are shut down first). Windows XP users will have a nifty
    "Disk Cleanup" wizard they can find under "accessories / system tools" to help automate this.

Follow this list on a weekly basis to ensure that your pc is happy and healthy. You will see a big increase in system performance. Make a time during the week to do this. The more regularly you run the above the less time that it will take for the job to be done.

Information in this Article can be discussed in this thread.

Based on a post originally made by Stuartbe
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