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Here are some basic pointers for keeping your system running in good shape.

 

  1. Run Disk Defragmenter at least 4 times a year.  Over a period of time your hard drive becomes fragmented, meaning that information becomes scattered over the drive.  This is from normal use of your computer.  Excessive fragmentation can cause the drive to become slower and take longer to access files and programs.  Run Disk Defragmenter or equivalent to organize and tune up the drive.
  2. Empty the temp folders at least twice a year. There are two temporary folders that should be emptied occasionally to prevent problems in running programs or while browsing the internet.  Go to your windows directory and find the folder named "temp".  The entire contents can be emptied with no damage to the system.  Occasionally a file will be protected - this is because a program currently running is using it.  You can disregard any other warnings and delete the files.  In Windows 2000 & XP, there are also temp folders associated with each "user" on the system.  To find these, change the settings on your system to "view" all hidden folders (in Windows Explorer, go to the Tools menu, then "view" and change the setting to view all system/hidden files & folders).  Then go to the folder for each user found in the Documents & Settings folder, expanding to the Local Settings folder, and then open the Temp folder.
     
  3. The other folder that should be emptied is the internet cache folder.  You can access this by right clicking on the "E" on your desktop for Internet Explorer, and clicking on the "delete files" or "delete temporary internet files" buttons.  Cookies can also be deleted if desired, however some websites may require you to login again until a new cookie is set.
  4. Make sure you have an active Anti-Virus program running. If you are on the internet, you have to have a current version (within 2 years) of an anti-virus program such as Norton or McAfee.  You also need to have a subscription for updates or the program can't do it's job.  Viruses are not just coming in on e-mails anymore - they can piggyback on chat programs and come in through websites.  Make sure you are protected!  There are also free anti-virus programs available that do an excellent job, check out AVG Free and Avast!, both of which can be found at major download sites like Download.Com.
     
  5. Download and install an Anti-Spyware tool.  Again there are free programs that do an excellent job, such as Microsoft Anti-Spyware and Ad-Aware.  Also check out Spybot Search & Destroy.  Commercial programs such as Webroot Spy Sweeper, can also provide excellent protection. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

2015 Home PC Consultant
This page updated 01/17/2015