Archive for April 23rd, 2009
If you’ve noticed that your computer is freezing, crashing or just plain slowing down, there are several things you can do to make sure your computer stays in good working order.
Preventing Problems Is Easier Than Fixing Them
First and foremost, you need virus protection for your computer. Most computers – upwards of 90% of new computers today – work on the Windows platform. Keeping a good anti-virus program on your computer is a must. Don’t assume that your computer is protected because your computer was shipped with an anti-virus program.
Anti-virus program need to be updated regularly. Computers used in offices and in workplaces are updated daily. That’s a great lesson for you to take away. Configure your anti-virus program to download updates regularly. Also configure your AV software to run each time you start the computer. Most AV programs are subscription-based, so you’ll pay a periodic fee for updates. They’re worth it. Don’t try to save money by letting your AV program go. You’ll soon end up with a non-working computer.
Along with AV programs, you’ll want to run at least one anti-spyware program. (And no, AV and anti-spyware programs aren’t the same thing, though you may find utilities that do both.) Keep your anti-spyware program(s) up to date, just like your AV software. Make sure these run when you turn the computer on, and look for an anti-spyware package that can detect spyware on-the-fly.
Periodically – as in at least once each quarter – run Scandisk. It comes as part of the operating system and will seek out problems with your hard disk and file structure. There’s no need to run this daily or even weekly, but you should run this utility at least four times each year, and more if you do a lot of downloading or file creation and deletion. Scandisk is in your Accessories/System Tools folder. You’ll need to exit every program before running it.
Defragment your hard disk at least once per quarter. You could combine this maintenance with Scandisk. If you decide to do that, run Scandisk first and then defragment your disk afterward. “Defragging” takes a long time. (This is a good overnight task, or one that can run while you’re out of the house for the day.) Disk Defragmenter is also included with your operating system, and is found in the Accessories/System Tools folder.
If you don’t turn off your computer very often, at least reboot it once in awhile. Rebooting will clear out any temporary gremlins that have taken up residence in your computer and will kill temporary, “zombie” and “orphan” files and processes that may be slowing your computer down. Think of it as the functional equivalent of letting your computer take a shower!
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