Tuesday, July 25, 2006

Take Out Your Computer Trash

Tis the season for a little spring cleaning. Give your PC a little tender loving care and see what a difference it makes. Technology guru and owner of St. Louis-based CIO Services, Wendy Gauntt, said start by taking out the trash.
Is your recycle bin full? Many of us use the Windows Recycle Bin, yet never empty it. And you wouldn’t believe how many temporary files Windows creates to prevent us from losing data. Your hard drive may be storing thousands of unneeded files. Fortunately, there’s a little utility program to help with that. Go to Programs, then Accessories, then System Tools, then Disk Cleanup. The program scans your hard drive to see how much space you can reclaim. Next, it tells you what can be deleted. Generally, it’s safe to empty your Recycle Bin and delete temporary files.
After you’ve deleted all these files, defragment your hard drive. Think of this as reorganizing a bookshelf after clearing out a lot of old books—the missing books leave gaps on the shelves, which you fill when you rearrange the remaining books. A defrag does the same with empty spaces on your hard drive, helping your computer find files more quickly. Go to Programs, then Accessories, then System Tools, then Disk Defragmenter, and let it run. It will take hours to finish, so start it just before you leave the office for the day.

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