PCs are the responsibility of the owner to maintain. Similar to a car, you must maintain your PC to keep it running smoothly and free of Viruses and Malware. If you find yourself wondering why your machine ran faster when you first purchased it is likely you are not taking the steps to properly maintain your system and problems will begin occurring causing your system to slow, this will eventually cost you valuable time and money to repair.
In order to keep your computer in good working condition and online, you must take certain steps to keep your PC happy and healthy. At a minimum, performing the following will provide you with an idea of what to do and when. Visit our Downloads page for the latest downloads to help protect your PC. Visit our downloads page here.
Weekly Maintenance Steps: Extremely Important!
Update you Antivirus and Antimalware software 1. Update your AVG Antivirus, Spybot Search and Destroy, and Malwarebytes Anti-Spyware programs to the latest version with the latest definition files; this is extremely important! Also, after updating Spybot SD be sure to run a fresh immunization.
2. Scan your PC using AVG Antivirus, Spybot and Malwarebytes Spyware programs; this is extremely important!
3. Run Microsoft Windows operating system update to check for updates and install all critical updates, and any non-critical updates that appear and look useful. Make sure Automatic Updates is activated! Install any critical updates from Windows (Pop-up bubble on lower right corner of screen) immediately when they appear.
4. Run the computer manufacturer’s update utility and update any other programs installed on your computer not otherwise listed here.
Monthly Maintenance Steps:
1. Create Data Back Ups Use your backup software to backup your computer. Make a habit of backing up all your important files at least once a month. You can back them up manually or with an automatic backup-and-restore program which will do the work for you.
2. Empty Internet and Windows Cache As you surf the Web your computer stores Web pages and images into a temporary Internet cache to help the pages load faster the next time you visit them. Over time, these files consume a great deal of space, are useless, and quickly add up to eat up hard drive space. Whether you use Internet Explorer, Netscape, or one of the many other browsers available, emptying out your cache is quick and easy. Simply follow the instructions in the Help files located within those programs.
To clear the Internet Explorer browser cache folder run Complete Cleanup to remove unnecessary files which are automatically saved while using a PC. You may download a free copy of this program by visiting our downloads page.
3. Uninstall Unused Programs Many times a new program will come along that looks fun to have or play with, but after a week or two you simply stop using it. These programs clutter up your drive and take up valuable space. You might be tempted to delete these programs from your drive, but doing so will cause problems. Do not delete programs manually; use either your computer's uninstall utility or a separate uninstall program to remove software safely and completely you no longer need.
4. Delete Unwanted Files and Folders When your computer is not shut down properly, it will pass information from memory into fragmented files. Also, while you are running programs, your computer will write information that it does not immediately need into temporary files. Installation files will also write themselves into the temporary folder and will not always delete themselves after installation. You can delete these temporary files safely by using the Disc Cleanup option in your System Tools.
5. Run System Tools Windows comes with several handy tools to help you maintain your computer usually located in the System Tools menu. When Windows installs programs, it will put the files it needs anywhere that it finds free space, and not directly after the last program installed. As a result, your hard drive has patches of empty space on it that are not big enough to fit a full program, and will result in a drive space error if you attempt to install something new. ScanDisc your drive to check for lost file fragments and to fix any errors it finds, then Defrag to pack all of the program files efficiently together within your drive. The System Tools menu is found by clicking Start, pointing to All Programs, then Accessories, then, and then clicking System Tools.
a. Disc Cleanup The Disc Cleanup tool helps you free up space on your hard disc by searching your disc for files that you can safely delete. You can choose to delete some or all of the files. Use Disc Cleanup to perform any of the following tasks to free up space on your hard disc:
• Remove temporary Internet files. • Remove temporary downloaded program files. • Empty the Recycle Bin. • Remove Windows temporary files. • Remove optional Windows components that you are not using. • Remove installed programs that you no longer use.
b. ScanDisc ScanDisc basically checks your hard drive for errors along with your files and folders. If it finds any it will prompt you to ignore resume or repair. Doing a thorough scan once a month or every other month is a good idea. It can tell you if your drive has been damaged or if it might be failing. Although infrequent, Hard drives do and will fail. Running ScanDisc may provide you with an advanced warning so you can transfer your data to a new drive before you loose it. After you close down all running programs you can run ScanDisc by clicking Start, Programs, Accessories, System Tools, and then clicking ScanDisc.
Wait until ScanDisc is fully completed it's task, and should it prompt you to repair and corrupt files it has found, do so. Make sure to run ScanDisc before doing a disc defragmentation.
c. Disc Defragmenter Your hard drive stores information by scattering it on the hard drive, this can severely impair your program running performance in particular because a majority of software programs rely upon stored data files. It is therefore essential that you conduct a regular monthly disc defragmentation to consolidate the data to keep your drive organized.
Make sure no other programs are running and that you have disabled your Antivirus software for this test! Within the System Tools menu click on the Disc Defragmenter program item. At the end of this test, restart your PC to enjoy improved processing power and a healthier system. Warning: never run Disc Defragmenter without running ScanDisc beforehand.