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Category Archives: DIY/How it’s Done

Make a happy PC!If you have a computer, there are things needed to keep it running at it’s best.  Sadly most people don’t know much about what to do or panic at the mere thought of simple computer maintenance.  If you are someone with endless supplies of cash, please feel free to skip reading this.  For the rest of us, money is more of an issue especially when it comes to things that can be done easily.

But before getting in those things, here is a bit of incentive for you:

Geek Squad, the flagship repair service from Best Buy offers a Computer Checkup service for $99.99

http://www.geeksquad.com/services/computer/detail.aspx?id=1533

Firedog from CircuitCity is a bit better at $39.99 for their Computer Tune-Up service.

http://firedog.com/details/fdsymtune.html?o=183329&s=computer%20services&p=general%20help

Take note that these fees refer to In-Store based support.  Desktop users would need to dismantle their systems and cart them into the store for assistance.

Doing it yourself

First, clean up your hard drive.  There is a lot of crap that builds up on a drive like plaque getting on your teeth.  It comes from accessing the Internet, installing programs, and various other places.  If you have programs that you don’t use anymore or have never touched, consider uninstalling them.  Even as hard drives get bigger, wasted space is still wasted space.  Windows also has to keep track of every program loaded on the system.  So less junk means more resources available for the programs you really want to use.

After removing the unnecessary software, cleaning out temporary files and other remnants will be the next step.  You are probably saying “I don’t know what that crap is or how to find it!” Thankfully the free CCleaner program eliminates the need to dig in places on your drive that angels fear to tread. Download the program and install it.

CCleaner Main Windows

CCleaner main window

The interface is blindingly simple, even for people that don’t read the instructions.  Click the Analyze button.  Wait.  Once the Analyze function is complete, Click the button marked Run Cleaner.  *poof*  Crap cleaned.

CCleaner also has functions to clean the windows registry as well, just make sure to allow the program to backup any changes it makes before cleaning the registry.

Once completed, make sure to restart your computer before moving to the next step.

Finally comes Defragmentation otherwise known as simply Defrag.  It doesn’t really take a genius to understand the need for using this utility.  Your computer throws files around like a teenager looking for clothes in their room or a child playing with toys.    After a certain amount of time, it will take longer for the computer to access files because it has to find where it put them last.  Jumping all over the hard drive takes time, even on the faster computers.  Defrag acts like a good Mom (or Dad) and makes sure that things are put in an order that can be accessed quicker.  Follow this link to access a simple guide for using defrag.  If you have never used this utility or had anyone do it for you, expect it to take a good while to finish.  Once complete, reboot again and check for improved speed and response.

Next time –  Spyware, Malware, everywhere a ‘ware ‘ware..