Just like changing the oil in your car to keep it running smoothly, performing regular maintenance on your computer helps it operate at its best. The Helpdesk recommends completing these tasks on your Windows PC at least once per month, and keeping a log of the computer maintenance you perform:
Disck Cleanup - Clear cached files
Emptying cached, or automatically saved, data will help files and web pages load faster. Windows Disk Cleanup searches your drive, and then shows you temporary files, Internet cache files, and unnecessary program files that you can safely delete. You can direct Disk Cleanup to delete some or all of those files.
To open Disk Cleanup, click Start, point to All Programs, point to Accessories, point to System Tools, and then click Disk Cleanup.
Spyware and adware are malicious programs obtained by visiting webpages. Having numerous programs of this type running in the background and connecting to the internet slow your computer’s performance and hinder your internet accessibility. Information about downloading and running spyware protection is available in the Helpdesk’s Spyware Frequently Asked Questions.
A virus can slow or hinder your computer performance, as well as spread to other computers on the network. When connected to the ADMIN domain, computers automatically receive McAfee Virus Scan updates and have On-Access Scan enabled. You may run a complete system virus scan manually at a time of your choice, or you can schedule one to run automatically. Details about how to protect your computer from a virus and what to do if your computer is infected are available in the Helpdesk’s Virus Information.
The larger your mailbox quota, the more time it takes your mail application to update each time you open it. You can reduce your quota by deleting items, especially from the Inbox and Sent Items, and then be sure to empty the Deleted Items folder. Steps for managing your Exchange Mailbox are contained in the Helpdesk’s Exchange Frequently Asked Questions. The CCC also provides PureMessage E-mail Filtering to help you reduce the amount of junk mail arriving in your inbox.
Certain Windows updates, such as critical security patches, are automatically applied to computers connected to WPI’s Admin domain. For additional updates and for computers not connected to the ADMIN domain, Windows Update options are found in the Control Panel.
Defragment your hard drive
Disk Defragmenter consolidates fragmented files and folders on your computer's hard disk. As a result, your system can gain access to your files and folders and save new ones more efficiently.
Please consider the following when you are planning on running Disk Defragmenter:
- Running Disk Defragmenter can take anywhere from one hour to several hours.
- You should not use your computer during this time & close any programs that are running.
- We suggest that you run the program either during your lunch hour or overnight.
- Other conditions when defragmenting is suggested:
- After adding a large number of files
- After installing new programs or new version of Windows
- When your free disk space is 15% or less
To open Disk Defragmenter, click Start, point to All Programs, point to Accessories, point to System Tools, and then click Disk Defragmenter.
Periodically powering off your computer provides benefits such as:
- Frees up memory and helps prevent potential memory leaks. Windows keeps closed programs in memory, so periodic shutdowns allow this space to be cleared.
- Halts some malware processes in memory; therefore shutdown is important after cleaning spyware & viruses.
- Assists the operating system in checking itself and enabling repairs.
Last modified: Mar 30, 2010, 15:03 EDT