Protecting your Computer

Protecting your computer from hackers, spyware and viruses is very important these days. Now more than ever has there been an insurgent of attacks on computers when connected to the Internet. Click on this link to find some tips and tools to protect your computer: Virus Protection.

Maintaining your Computer

To keep your computer in working condition requires occasional maintenance. Using utilities like Disk Cleanup and Disk Defragmenter that are built into the Windows operating system are easy ways to keep your computer running efficiently.

Disk Cleanup

When running an operating system as complex as Windows, you may not always know the significance of all the files on your computer. Sometimes Windows uses files for a specific purpose and then retains them in a folder designated for temporary files. Alternatively, you may have previously installed Windows components that you are no longer using. For a variety of reasons, including running out of space on your hard drive, you may want to reduce the number of files on your disk, or create more free space, if it can be done without harming any of your programs.

Use the Windows Disk Cleanup Wizard to perform all of the following tasks to clear space on your hard disk:

  • Remove temporary Internet files.
  • Remove any downloaded program files (ActiveX controls and Java applets downloaded from the Internet).
  • Empty the Recycle Bin.
  • Remove Windows temporary files.
  • Remove Windows components that you are not using.
  • Remove installed programs that you no longer use.

Follow these instructions to run Disk Cleanup:

Click Start and point to All Programs --> Accessories --> System Tools and then click on Disk Cleanup.

Disk Defragmenter

Disk Defragmenter consolidates fragmented files and folders on your computer's hard disk, so that each occupies a single, contiguous space on the volume. As a result, your system can gain access to your files and folders and save new ones more efficiently. By consolidating your files and folders, Disk Defragmenter also consolidates the volume's free space, making it less likely that new files will be fragmented.

Note: You might need to be logged on as an administrator or a member of the Administrators group in order to perform some tasks if running Windows XP.

Follow these instructions to run Disk Defragmenter:

Click Start and point to All Programs --> Accessories --> System Tools and then click on Disk Defragmenter.

Working with your Operating System

Sometimes there may be a corrupt system file or a virus that your antivirus software did not detect. When that occurs, your computer’s performance can deteriorate to the point that it becomes unusable. In these types of events you may need to reformat your hard drive and/or reinstall your operating system. Before attempting to reformat your hard drive you can perform a System Restore. System Restore is a component of Windows you can use to restore your computer to a previous state, if a problem occurs, without losing your personal data files (such as Microsoft Word documents, browsing history, drawings, favorites, or e-mail).

To access the System Restore Wizard...

Windows XP

Click Start, and then click Help and Support. Click Performance and Maintenance, click Using System Restore to undo changes, and then click Run the System Restore Wizard.

Vista/ Windows 7

Click Start, type restore into the search bar, and click System Restore at the top of the start menu search results.

The last resort is to reformat the hard drive if System Restore does not work.