Has your computer significantly slowed down since you first bought it? Does it seem slower than ever? Is something wrong? These are questions and concerns of many users when it comes to their computer systems.
Almost every day I encounter clients who have these complaints, so I’ve put together a few pointers and best practices to keep your systems running in tip top shape!
All of these tips use system tools that are built right into your Windows operating system, whether you’re running Windows 95, 98, ME, NT, XP, Vista, or Windows 7.
They may vary in location, as well as the look and feel of the applications, but overall they all are designed to do the same things.
Clean Up Disk Errors
Every time you improperly shut down your computer, a program crashes, or a power outage happens, your computer creates errors on the hard disk.
Over time, these errors can cause the system to read and write data to the hard drive slower, hence slowing your entire system down. For this, Windows has built in what’s called a disk check.To run disk check simply:
1. Click START > My Computer
2.Choose the drive you want to run the check on, and RIGHT click it, and choose PROPERTIES.
3. In the PROPERTIES box, click the TOOLS tab. In the errorchecking section, press the CHECK NOW button.
4. Choose both automatically fix file system errors, and scan for and attempt to recover bad sectors, and proceed by clicking START.
Delete Temporary Files
Your computer picks up and stores temp files all the time, while you browse the web, work in programs such as Microsoft Word, and even when installing new programs.
Over a period of time, these temporary files can really bog your system down, so you have to be sure to clean them up on a regular basis.
For this, Windows has what’s called Disk Cleanup.
To run disk cleanup simply:
1.Go to START > My Computer
2.Choose the drive you want to run the cleanup on, and RIGHT click it, and choose PROPERTIES.
3.In the properties box, click DISK CLEANUP.
Disk cleanup will calculate how much space you can free up on your hard drive.
After it runs its scan, the disk cleanup dialogue box will show a list of files you can remove from your computer.
The list will include: Downloaded Program Files, Temporary Internet Files, Microsoft Error Reporting Temp Files, Office Setup Files, Recycle Bin, and Thumbnails.
4.From here, go ahead and check all the boxes, and click OK.
5.Disk cleanup will now remove those selected files, and close when it has completed and you are done!
Organize Your Data
Over time, as we install new programs, save new files, documents, videos, pictures, music, etc. data can become what is known as fragmented.
Fragmented files are a huge cause of slow performance. For this, Windows built in the Disk Defragmenter.
Disk Defragmenter analyzes all your files, and organizes them nice neatly in the same locations, rather than randomly spread across your file system.
You should run this utility at least once a month at least to prevent files from becoming badly fragmented.
To run disk defragmenter you simply:
1.Click START > My Computer
2.Choose the drive you want to defrag, and RIGHT click it, and choose PROPERTIES.
3.In the properties box, click the TOOLS tab, and then in the defragmentation section, click DEFRAGMENT NOW.
4.In the disk defragmentation box, select the volume you want to scan, and click defragment. (Typically this would be your C: drive )
Follow these three easy tips, and your computer will stay running in tip top shape for as long as you have the system. Remember it is important to keep regular maintenance on your computers, just as you do on most all mechanical and/or electrical devices.