Have you hugged your computer today?

Okay, maybe hugging it is a little much, but a bit of TLC will help your PC run better!

Here are some things to check which will either

The first three steps can be completed in about 5 to 15 minutes. Save the 4th one until you are ready to leave for the day then let it run while you are gone.
  1. Clean out temporary files. On Windows 98 computers look for files in both C:\temp and C:\windows\temp folders. Unless you specifically saved something there (and you should not be saving things there anyway), all the files in these folders can be deleted. If you get any error messages saying a particular file can't be deleted, don't worry about it. Just leave that file and delete the rest. On Windows 2000 and XP computers, go to START, Programs, Accesories, System Tools, Disk Cleanup. Disk Cleanup will prompt one through removing unneeded files.
  2. Clean out temporary Internet files. Did you know that when you use your browser, a copy of EVERY page and EVERY graphic on every page that you look at is saved to your hard drive? To clear out those files, open Internet Explorer and select Tools/Internet Options from the menu. In the middle of the window is a section entitled "Temporary Internet Files" and a button called "Delete files...". Click on that button, then click OK.  Then click on the Settings button under "Temporary Internet Files" and limit the Amount of disk space to use: to 16 MB, rather than a much larger number that it may default to. When there are thousands of files in the Temporary Internet Items Folder, everything slows down badly.

  3. (NOTE: If you use Netscape, select Edit/Preferences from the menu. Click the + next to 'Advanced', then click on Cache. On the right side of the screen click the button "Clear Disk Cache". Click OK to clear the files.)

    ALSO, delete or move old Email. Your space on the email server is limited. Click here for details

  4. Run Scandisk regularly on your PC once a week is not too often, although for many users once a month is fine.

  5. Scandisk corrects minor errors in your Hard Drive's Directory and imperfections in the Hard Drive. Go to the Windows Help  page for Instructions (and select your Computer type). Macintosh computers do not come with software by Apple that is as exhaustive as ScanDisk. Contact Bill Frank (x9537) for Macintosh options.
  6. Another important maintenance task is Defragmenting your hard drive regularly. This can take quite a bit of time if you have a large drive, so start it before you leave for the day and let it run overnight.   How often this is done depends on how many files you create and delete. For most folks doing this every 3 months is an approriate frequency. Go to the Windows Help  page for Instructions (and select your Computer type). For a Macintosh, Defragmenting software is not provided by Apple. Contact Bill Frank (x9537) to discuss Macintosh options.
  7. Many computer experts say the three most important things for a user to know are:


    A Backup is a duplicate copy of information. With Windows machines, typically for anti-piracy reasons programs can not be backed up to be used again. They are meant to be re-installed from the original Install CDs. More information on backups are HERE:
    NOTE: If you have more than one hard drive (or more than one partition), you need to run steps 3 and 4 on each of them individually. If you are not sure what you have, open My Computer and select View / Large Icons from the menu. Look at the icon for your C: drive then see if you have any others than look just like it these would be other drives on your PC. Notice the difference in the icons for your C: drive, your CD-ROM, Zip or Jaz drives, or any network drives you are connected to; you don't want to try to run these maintenance programs on network drives or CDs! 

    PROTECT yourself from Virus attacks. Make sure your antivirus is up to date. Click for more PC info, or more Macintosh info.

    PROTECT yourself from other users who might use your computer improperly. Use Passwords.