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Is your computer in good health?
Ankur Jain
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August 07, 2006

Ever wondered why your new computer slows down after a few months? It's not as if the parts stop working or slow down. It's just that your PC needs some attention.

Here are some simple, easy-to-do steps you can try regularly, to keep it in good health.

Deleting temporary files

As you use your computer, many temporary files are saved in the Window's Temp folder. Clearing this will delete unnecessary files, resulting in better performance. To clear the TEMP folder:

. Close down all running programmes.
. Click on the Start menu command button.
. Click on Programmes menu.
. Click on Windows Explorer menu item.
. Locate your C:\Windows\Temp folder directory.
. Select and delete all files from C:\Windows\Temp folder directory.

Deleting temporary Internet files

Just as using the computer leads to temporary files being stored, browsing the Internet also leads to the accumulation of unwanted data. To get rid of this:

. Run your Web browser programme.
. Click on upper Tools menu.
. Select the Internet Options... item from Tools drop-down menu.
. Select General tab of Internet Options dialogue box.
. Click on the Clear History command button.
. Click on the Delete Files... command button.
. Click on the Delete all offline content check box (for ticked symbol) of the Delete Files dialogue box.
. Click on the OK command button to delete them and close Delete Files dialogue box.
. Click on the Delete Cookies Command button.
. Click on the OK command button to delete them
. Click on the OK command button to close Internet Options dialogue box.
. Click on upper File menu of Internet Explorer and select Close item from File drop-down menu to exit.

Defragmenting your hard drive

Your hard drive will eventually accumulate fragmentised files, that is, saved file fragments will no longer be arranged on your hard disk drive in order. This can severely impair your programme running performance, as a majority of software programmes rely upon stored data files or databases. It is therefore essential that you conduct a weekly disk Defragmentisation. Before you Defragment your system, however, it is advisable to run Scandisk on your system. To run ScanDisk:

. Close down all running programmes
. Click on Start menu command button.
. Click on Programmes menu.
. Click on Accessories menu.
. Click on System tools menu.
. Click on the ScanDisk programme item.
. Click on the Standard radio button.
. Click on the Automatically fix errors check box (for ticked symbol).
. Click on the Start command button.

Wait until ScanDisk has fully completed its task. If it prompts you to repair any corrupt files it has found, do so. Never run Disk Defragmenter without running ScanDisk first. To Defrag:

. Close down all running programmes.
. Click on Start menu command button.
. Click on Programmes menu.
. Click on Accessories menu.
. Click on System tools menu.
. Click on the Disk Defragmenter programme item.
. Select your hard drive (usual C:) from the combo menu of the Select Drive dialogue box at start up.
. Click on the OK command button to proceed.
. Click on the Start command button, even though it says it isn't necessary to defragmentise your disk at the present time.

Wait until Disk Defragmenter has fully completed its task. If it prompts you to repair any corrupt files it has found, do so.

Fight viruses

Install an anti-virus programme and set it to scan your system automatically, at least twice a month. You should also run a scan every time you download a programme or copy a file from a floppy or CD. Also, do not forget to update your Anti-Virus regularly. Having an older version is as good as not having one installed.

Good working habits

Shut down your machine properly, and respond to warnings and error messages promptly. You should also keep your machine as clean as possible by periodically opening its case to remove accumulated dust, cleaning your keyboard and removing dust from your mouse.

Uninstalling unused programmes

New programmes often look like fun to have or play with. Then, a week after they have been installed, you simply stop using them. These programmes clutter up your drive and take up valuable space. You may be tempted to delete the programmes from your drive, but doing so may cause problems. Windows users should use the uninstall function for the programme to be removed safely and completely. Windows XP users should do it through the Add/Remove utility.

For Windows XP:
. Click on the Start button.
. Click Control Panel.
. Click on Add or Remove Programmes icon.
. Select the software to be uninstalled and click Remove.
. Follow the instructions mentioned on screen.

Important: During the process, if the computer tells you that some files are being 'Shared' on your computer and asks if you want to remove them, click NO.

Empty Recycle bin and Mailbox

Once you have emptied your drive of cluttering, unnecessary programmes, empty your recycle bin to remove what has been placed there in the process.

You should also empty your mailbox (Outlook or similar applications). It is easy to browse through your email and leave old messages, promising yourself you will sort them out later. One or two messages don't take up much space, but hundreds certainly do. Take the time to sort through these old e-mails and delete what is not important. Create folders and organise what is left. Make it a habit that when new e-mails come in, they are either filed immediately or thrown away. Set your e-mail programme to empty your deleted items folder every time you close your mail programme.

Backup of important documents

A 'Document' is a file that either you or some other user has created using the keyboard. It could be a letter you want to hang on to, a database or report, finance records, translation work, some sort composition, etc. It may also be an audio, video or image file. You should keep duplicate copies of files that are important to you -- files that would be a loss to you personally if your hard disk were to fail.

Your most important files may be small enough to fit on a floppy disk -- the least expensive backup media you can buy! If you make two or more backups of the same thing, the chance of a total loss of that data is negligible. However, if you store these floppies / CD or other media in different places, remember that they get corrupted easily by magnetic radiation and sunlight.

If it's not broken, don't fix it!

It may not a good idea to experiment with tweaking your Windows system unless you know what you're doing or know how to undo what you have done.

Now that you've got your computer clean, make every effort to keep it that way. Performing these quick and easy maintenance tips every week will give you a clutter-free machine that is as responsive as it should be. Remember: the cleaner your hard drive, the better your machine.




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Number of User Comments: 13




Sub: comp problems

Around 2 weeks back i have bought an assembled pc.Now i'm facing a regular problem that many times while i'm working on it,it automatically gets ...


Posted by karan





Sub: haha

The author has not given any specific links . for example anyone can say install anti virus program .. but where do you get one ...


Posted by vikramjit singh





Sub: computer's health

good piece of information. in addition to deleting temp.files, it is also necessary to see that disk c is not overloaded with archive files. to ...


Posted by m.ravi





Sub: Computer performance

Hmmm....nothing new that could be applied reading this article.The tips given here are expected to be known by any person using a compouter with a ...


Posted by Purushotham Reddy





Sub: The best thing to do

Make partitions of your hard disk , keep your data on the non-booting drives. and format the boot drive every 6 months (earlier if you ...


Posted by atul




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