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Disk Maintenance

By

Scott Sekinger

1/17/2005

 

Disk maintenance is important to keep your PC running smoothly, and running efficiently. This article how to check for hard drive for disk errors, get rid of unneeded programs and other files you no longer need., and how to defragment your hard drive using Windows built in tools.

 

Checking your Hard Drive For Disk Errors

 

Checking your disk for errors is very important because it helps prevent loss of data, and your PC from acting funny. Random Window crashes is an example of one thing that could happen if you have disk errors. Below I tell you how you check for disk errors with the built in Windows tool.

 

1. Open My Computer, and then select the local you want to check.
2. Click on the File menu
3. Click on Properties.
4. Click on the Tools tab
5. Click on the Check Now button under the Error-Checking section.
6. Put a check mark in the box Scan for and attempt recovery of bad sectors
7. Click the Start button. You might be asked to restart your PC for this to finish.


Getting Rid Off Unneeded Programs And Other Files You No Longer Need

 

Over time your PC collects files you no longer needs. This includes programs that you no longer need, and temp files that Windows puts on your PC to do everyday computing task. These files can slow your PC down. Below I tell you how to uninstall programs that you no longer need, and clean up the rest files that get put on your PC with the built in Windows tools.

 

Uninstalling Software You No Longer Need

 

To unstall software that you no longer need just:

 

1. Click Start, Settings, Control Panel. Double click on Add Remove Programs, select the name of the program, and click the Change/Remove button to remove the software you no longer used. You can also click on Start, Programs, <Name Of Program You Want To Install>, and select the Uninstall option. Make sure you have a backup of the software you plan on uninstalling before uninstalling any software.

2. Follow any prompts that pop up. Click on No To All when you are asked if you want to delete any files in the Windows folder. The reason for this is because files in the Windows folders are often used by other programs.

 

 

Clean Up The Rest Of The Other Files You No Longer Need

 

These files include files, such as files in your Recycling Bin, Internet Cache files, Windows Temp files, Downloaded Program Files, and any other files that appear in Disk Cleanup program. You can get a description of what these files are by clicking on the name. To Run Disk Cleanup just:

 

1. Click on Start, Programs, System Tools, and the Disk Cleanup.

2. Select the drive you want to run Disk Cleanup from the drop down box.

3. Click OK.

4. Put a check mark in the files you want to delete. Click the View Files button if you want to see what files are in each category.

5. Click OK.

6. Repeat steps 1 through 5 for all of the drives in the drop down box on the Select Drive screen.

 

This should done before continuing on to the next section.

 

How to Defrag your Hard Disk

 

According to Webopedia fragmentation “ Refers to the condition of a disk in which files are divided into pieces scattered around the disk. Fragmentation occurs naturally when you use a disk frequently, creating, deleting, and modifying files. At some point, the operating system needs to store parts of a file in noncontiguous clusters. This is entirely invisible to users, but it can slow down the speed at which data is accessed because the disk drives must search through different parts of the disk to put together a single file “. Below I tell you how you check for disk errors with the built in Windows tool (Disk Defragmentor). I suggest that you run Disk Defragmentor when you notice a decrease in performance. See the section above Getting Rid Off Unneeded Programs And Other Files You No Longer Need before you run Disk Defragmentor.

 

1. Boot into Safe Mode by pressing down the <F8> key when you first turn your PC on or you restart it. Safe Mode is a mode of Windows which has a minimum amount of drivers that speeds up, and prevents problems that may occur will defragment a drive. You might have to enter the Administrator password when your PC comes up depending on how your PC was setup.

2. Deactivate any screen saver if you have any available.

3. Click on Start, Programs, System Tools, and the Disk Defragmenter.

4. Click on the drive you wish to check to see if it needs to be defragment.

5. Click on the Analyze button, or select Analyze from the Actions menu..

6. Click the Defragment button if Disk Defragmenter says that the drive you selected says that it needs to be defragmented. Defragmenting your hard drive can take a couple of hours, so you might want to do it at night while you sleep.

7. Repeat steps 4 through 6 if you have more then one drive that appears in Disk Defragmenter.