Keeping the components of your computer system running at peak efficiency requires steady maintenance and regular adjustments (a Tune-Up).

Regular tune-ups are an essential part of keeping system performing well, saving you headaches and possible expense in the long run.



With the exception of your Internet connection, your computer spends most of its time waiting for a storage device (primarily your hard drive) to give it data it needs.

You want to minimize the accumulation of junk files that are collected as it interacts with various system programs.

Errors occur on your hard drive that need to be corrected and as it runs data on your hard drive becomes fragmented (broken up). Requiring your system to take a longer time to search out data.


Operating System (OS):  

The OS determines which commands require what components and in what order. It keeps track of all configuration settings for both hardware and software.

Overtime your OS collects files it doesn't need anymore. Disk Cleanup (which we will discuss in detail) sweeps out a major portion of these files and compresses others which have not been used for some time.

The number of programs that start up (launch) when Windows starts, can become problematic, robbing unnecessary system resources. Software Explorer in Windows Defender is a handy and straight forward way to control startup programs, without placing your system at risk. The MSConfig utility is best left to be used as a trouble shooting tool.


Applications and Devices:

System performance relies on every application / program you run and every device you use that interacts with your computer.

Hardware devices also depend on software in the form of drivers.

Failure to keep your software up to date and optimized can spell disaster. Updated software is critical to the performance and security of your computer. It is best to develop a procedure that ensures that your programs are updated regularly.

System Cleanup:

As we use our computers the OS and associated processes and services generate temporary (temp) and log files. These files are not always fully discarded, when they are no longer needed. Similarly applications we use such as our browser, e-mail clients, anti-malware, etc. also create temporary files of various kinds. These files will bloat your hard drive, taking more space and requiring additional execution time for the processor to search and find the required information.

From time to time it is advisable to clear out, as much as possible, this no longer desired information. This you can do with the assistance of some inbuilt Windows operating system programs and additional software such as CCleaner, a freeware PC optimization tool.


Add & Remove Programs:

The place to begin is with the removal of programs with which you have no interest or no longer require.

In most cases a computer comes with software installed, such as games, trial word processing, data processing and imaging software. You should be in receipt of backups of these programs on a CD disk.
In the future you may re-install them if required.

Click here to view details.


Recent Documents:

The Start Menu normally contains an item called
"My Recent Documents".

It displays short cuts up to 15 of your most recently used documents.

You can use this list to access any of the recently (15) used programs \ files by clicking on its displayed shortcut.

From time to time it is advisable to clear this list, as it can get quite large.

If you have no use for this feature it is best to remove it from the Start Menu.

Disk Cleanup:

In the course of daily use Windows XP can generate thousands of temporary files in its operation. These files can be more persistent than their name implies. They can end up consuming large amounts of valuable disk space.

The Disk Cleanup utility provides you with a safe way to delete these temporary files.

To access this utility proceed as follows:

     - Right click the drive icon (C:) in the My computer window.

     - Click on Properties in the opened context menu.
       Click here to proceed to the Local Drive (C:) Properties.


Cleanup your Browser (IE7 & Internet Options):

The Web Cache refers to the Temporary Internet Files and History Files of Internet Explorer. These files can become quite large, occupying quite a bit of hard disk space.

Their file size should be limited to reasonable values and cleared out periodically.

Click on the IE icon to review and adjust your Web Cache.


Purging your E-Mail Client (Outlook Express):

Over time your Inbox, Sent Items, and Deleted Items folders can become bloated with old messages, that are no longer required or desired. To ensure an efficiently running computer system these folders must be cleared out and compacted.

It also may be desired to archive (backup) this information for future reference.

Click on this icon to review the deletion of Outlook Express 6 files.



The Use of CCleaner:

CCleaner is an optimization tool utility, combining a system cleaner of unused and temporary files and a Registry cleaner.

It helps to protect your personal privacy by removing traces of Web sites you have visited and files you have opened.

Cleaning up the Windows operating system, allows it to run more efficiently and faster, as well as freeing up space on your hard drive.

Click on the icon to view a summary of CCleaner's operation.


There are numerous *.log and *.temp type files, along with MRU (Most Recently Used) lists that can keep growing in size, with no direct means of clearing them out. This can consume large amounts of hard disk space with unnecessary information, which has no direct use.

A similar situation prevails with the Registry Data Base, resulting in a significant slowdown in the Windows operating system.

CCleaner has been designed to be safe and secure in its operation. It has multiple checks in place to prevent useful information from being deleted.


Checking Your Hard Drive For Errors:

After clearing out as much unnecessary file and data information from your hard drive, it is advisable to check for errors in the disk's file system and in the disk medium itself.

These errors can cause a wide range of problems, such as the ability to open or save files, BSOD (blue screen of death) type errors and wide spread data corruption.

The Windows XP system is capable of recovering automatically from many disk errors. It is advisable to use the in built Windows XP "Check Disk" utility tool from time to time, to check for and correct any disk errors that may be present.

  Click on the disk icon to detect and repair disk errors.


It is strongly suggested to perform these tests prior to defragmenting your hard drive, so as to prevent corrected files from being placed in an area of the hard drive that is defective.



Over time your hard disk's performance can become degraded because of disk fragmentation.

Each time you open or save a file on a fragmented disk, disk performance suffers. Sometimes it can be quite dramatic, as the disk heads have to spend extra time moving from cluster to cluster before they can begin reading or writing data.

Disk defragmentation focuses on drive organization. Improving performance by physically rearranging files, into contiguous clusters. Free space is consolidated (the compacting process), making it less likely new files will be fragmented when they are written to disk.

  Click on the Defragmentation icon to review the utilities operation.

Frequent defragmentation will reduce the amount of time required to perform subsequent defragmentation's.


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