PC Maintenance

Want to keep your old computer running like it did when it was new? You may not realize it, but computers need to be given a 'tune up' every so often, just like your car or any other mechanical or electrical machine. So if your computer seems to be slow or not working quite like it did when it was new, give it a tune up.

I suggest that you make a list and schedule the following items to make sure you are getting the best performance for your computer.

Clean out your Temporary Internet files.
Clean out your Windows Temp directory. (See below)
Run Scandisk. (Mainly for Windows 9x)
Run Defrag. (Don't believe what Windows says, run Defrag!)

What you schedule and when will depend on which version of Windows you have and what you do and how often you do it on your computer. If you use your computer mainly for surfing the 'Net and email, then performing once a month should be enough for the above list. If you use a graphics program like PaintShopPro or Photo Shop, you need to perform these tasks more often.

Update and run your virus scanner. Update daily if your scanner does not update automatically. (Most do!) Do a full system scan at least once a week.

Update and run all of your spyware removers. This includes trojan scanners! This cannot be stressed too much! You need to do this at least once a week, more if you are using Internet Explorer! This includes AOL!

To clean out Your Windows Temp directory, you can always use the Disk cleanup option found in Programs/Accessories/System Tools. I have to say though, I have never found this to clean the Temp directory very well. In theory, Windows should do this for you but it never does. A Windows Temp directory can become so clogged it will slow a computer way down! So here is how to clean it out.

You will first have to enable the option to see hidden files and folders. (If you have children using your computer, don't forget to turn this feature off once you have completed the clean up. This will help to keep them from deleting necessary files.)

Now go to your Windows Temp Directory and delete everything except the files with the current date. In Windows XP the path will be something like this:
C:\Documents and Settings\Your Name\Local Settings\Temp.

For Vista and Windows 7 the path will be  C:\Users\yourname\AppData\Local\Temp

Don't forget to empty the Recycle Bin!