Computer Maintenance keeps your hard drive running smoothly


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Computer maintenance allows your system to perform efficiently. Your hard drive is extremely important in ensuring that your computer is working well.

It is the workhorse of your computer. Regular computer maintenance will greatly improve its performance and reliability.

Computers perform best with regular tune-ups.

If your computer is performing slowly, it might be caused from your hard drive being full.

Your hard drive stores all your files and information that you used or downloaded and it could be full of unnecessary files.

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Check Hard Drive Space:

To check the available space on your hard drive, do the following:

Double-click on My Computer and right-click the drive that you would want to check for its available space. Select Properties.

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Computer Maintenance is necessary to keep your hard drive working efficiently

Keeping your hard drive clean is critical to the high performance of your computer.

There are tools/utilities that are included with your computer that will solve this problem, speed up its performance and extend your computer's life.

As part of your preventative computer maintenance program, I would recommend that you run these tools at least once per month.

Listed below are some computer hard drive maintenance tools. Follow the instructions for your specific operating system.

Run Disk Cleanup:

This will automatically identify unnecessary files which accumulated over time on your hard drive. This would include various temporary files from your Internet Explorer browsing, software installation, recycle bin, etc. It will free up space on your hard drive.

Run ScanDisk:

This will check and repair errors on your hard drive thereby improving your computer's performance.

This might take quite a few hours depending on your storage. It is, therefore, best to run this tool at nights.

Run at least once per month.

Note: Windows XP does not come with the ScanDisk utility; instead, there is 'Error Checking'.

Run Disk Defragmenter:

This is another very useful computer maintenance tool which is used to put your files back in order on your hard drive. Run it to optimize your hard drive. Fragmentation is the condition of a disk drive on which the files are scattered around the disk. This happens naturally when you frequently create, delete and modify files.

Sometimes the operating system needs to store sections of a file in non-contiguous clusters. This has the effect of slowing down the speed at which data can be accessed since the drive must search through different sections of the disk to create a single file. The process of creating contiguous file clusters is referred to as defragmentation.

As a preventative maintenance measure, you should defragment your hard drive once per month.

This might take quite a few hours depending on your storage. It is best to run this tool at nights or whenever you have time.

Run at least once per month

YOU MUST CLOSE ALL PROGRAMS BEFORE STARTING TO DEFRAG.

Conclusion

Newer hard drives now use the S.M.A.R.T. technology (S.M.A.R.T. stands for Self-Monitoring Analysis and Reporting Technology). This technology enables PCs to predict the future failure of hard drives. It has become an industry standard for hard drive manufacturers.

With this system, hard drives come with a set of diagnostics that monitor the internals of a drive and give early warning of potential problems. Early detection allows for drive repair or replacement before any data is lost or damaged.

I would recommend that all PC owners install the Active SMART software on their computers.

By getting into the habit of practicing computer maintenance and keeping a proper schedule of your tasks, you will be on your way to a healthier, high-performing and longer lasting computer.



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