To keep your PC running smoothly, some things should be done frequently:
- A regular virus scan (weekly)
- regular defragmentation (weekly to monthly depending on your usage)
- Clean up unnecessaryÂ files (weekly to monthly depending on your usage).
Some files that collect during installing new programs and browsing the Internet can be deleted after a while.
To do that click on My Computer, right — click on your local drive C.
It will open a context menu showing properties as the last item.
Opening the properties menu you will see several tabs, General being the first one.
Here you see how much your hard drive has filled up, generally any computer that has less than 25% of free space left will slow down noticeably.
If you click the clean up disk button, Windows will calculate how many files can safely be erased to free up space on your hard drive. You can review this offer and click OK.
Be aware that this can take a long time if you don’t do this regularly.
You will also notice that Windows offers you to compress old files. These are files that you have not accessed in a long time. It will take additional time to do this.
It will make sense to run a defragmentation afterwards.
Defragmentation also takes care that files that are being used more frequently are easy accessible. We suggest performing this task regularly. There is software out there which does that automatically for you, Diskeeper being one of them.
With the stability of Windows XP, computer crashes have become pretty rare. I haven’t seen a crashed Vista machine so far. Still, when something happens, there are a few things you should know:
If your computer freezes and does not respond anymore, press the power button for a few seconds until the system switches off. Disadvantage: when your computer is shut down like this, some files often become corrupted.
Although we think that a restart does all that needs to be done, it is better to run and error checking or check disk [CHKDSK] .
Frequent crashes can even damage your hard drive.
To do that, go to ‘My Computer’, right-click on your local drive C, and on the opening context menu go to Properties and open it.
On the opening box click on the second tab called ‘Tools’, and press on Error-checking, Check Now. It will open another box with two check marks to be set. Once you click Start, Windows will ask you if you would like to schedule a disk check. You just confirm this, close all the windows and restart the computer. It will restart in a non-Windows mode with white letters on a blue screen (in Vista on a black screen), checking all details of your hard drive in five steps. This might take an hour or even longer, depending on the speed of your system and the size of your hard drives.
It makes sure that all files over your system in best shape. It increases the stability of your computer.
You only need to do this after crash or abrupt shut down.
Which Anti Virus shall I use?
The choice of your Anti Virus program has become more and more easy. Basic free offers like AVG free Anti Virus already do a decent job.
Still there are threats out there, often to be found on download sites that illegally offer music and software. Get the free AVG virus protection at http://free.avg.com/.
Those years when Anti Virus meant nothing else than Norton seem to be over. Norton’s reputation has suffered in the last years immensely, since their Anti Virus products were proven to slow down client’s computers. When we tested the new 2009 version of Norton Internet Security we were very happy to notice that this is not happening anymore. Configuring of the home network was easy, but excluding special programs from being blocked by theÂ firewall is still challenging. A big plus is that the user is not being bothered with pop-ups by the program.
Another familiar name in theÂ Anti Virus business seems not that advanced. When we installed a brand new Dell Vostro 200Â for a client, the preinstalled McAfee security suite bombarded us with questions like whether or not to grant the Firefox browser or Outlook Express access to the Internet.Â On the other hand, there was no way to add programs like OutlookÂ to the ‘allowed’ list manually.
Come on, guys. You can do better… Imagine that non-savvy, non-geek user trying to send an email or setting up the computer and getting this message.
The Panda Security Suite turned out to be a nother user-friendly product. The interface is clean and clear, advanced configuration simple.
Virus removal can be a tricky thing, most Trojan horses and viruses keep on reinstalling themselves and can often only be removed by the use of another computer. If you try it yourself, backup your files before you start. Many people have messed up their Windows installation and had to reinstall everything later.
Best: Call 928-300-7116 for Virus Removal
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