July 29, 2010
Servicing your PC
A few moments spent house keeping your PC or laptop can really make a difference and the following few tips are the industry standard basics no matter what version of Windows you are using and certainly the minimum that you can expect here at TechyBack if your PC or laptop is left in with us for repair or maintenance.
I’ve arranged this list in what I think is the most logical order to perform the tasks.
Uninstall unused programs
Remember when you opened your box of cereal and you got a free CD that you promptly installed on your computer and had fun with the wee free games about ooooh a year ago? No? Well, your computer does! Unused programs still use up space on your computer and should be uninstalled when you are sure you aren’t going to be using them again in the near future. This frees up space and also gives your computer less files to take into account everytime it does a defrag or virus scan etc.
Spring clean you Hard Disk Drives (HDD)
You would be surprised at the amount of junk files that build up everytime you turn your computer on. Everytime you access the internet or create a new office document or install a new program, your PC is generating temporary files and backups and in general, junk! Taking a few minutes to clear out your HDD can certainly do you favours in the long run and its a lot easier to do than you might think.
A lot of errors and performance issues can be sourced back to the Windows registry, and whilst there are quite a few different programs out there for clearing out the errors and faults, I personally find that CCleaner (from Piriform) is the safest and most reliable means of scanning and cleaning your registry. Just be sure to back up your registry before you make any changes just to be on the safe side (and yes CCleaner will even do that for you too!)
Defragment your Hard Disk Drive (HDD)
In Windows 98 and XP you got to see a nice graphical representation of your HDD data map. For some reason, Microsoft decided against it with Windows Vista and Windows 7. I personally liked seeing the map, because it was easy to explain to folks what the different colours meant ‘Blue Good – Red Bad!’ Whilst all recent version of Windows come with an inbuilt Defragmenter, there are also a few good 3rd party applications which do the job just as good if not better! A personal favourite for pure simplicity is Defraggler from (again from Piriform and best of all, its free!)
Virus and Malware Scan
Whilst this is not going to give you any performance boost per sé, it will at least help to ensure that there are no bugs on your computer that might be slowing you down. Viruses, Malware, Adware, Spyware…they’re all part of the same family and all are unwelcome on your computer. Unfortunately the only way to be sure that you never catch anything, is to simply turn off your PC and never go near it again, short of that, installing good Anti-Virus and Anti-Malware solutions will certainly help. Just be sure to constantly check for updates as they are only as good as their last update. New viruses and malware are released everyday and so new ANTI-virus and ANTI-malware needs to be released to counter the threats. AVG and Malwarebytes are the two programs I personally choose to keep me safe and are the same programs I install on any of my clients PC’s to give them peace of mind too.