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Speed Up Your Computer's Performance

[Windows XP]

Below, are a few performance tips that will help keep your Windows XP system running smooth and error free.

<>Free Up Disk SpaceBy using the Disk Cleanup Tool you will increase the performance of your computer by removing unnecessary clutter on your hard drive. This system tool compiles a listing of all files that can be safely deleted from your system and gives you the option of deleting them or not. Here's how to use the Disk Cleanup Tool:
  1. Go to Start>> All Programs>> Accessories>> System Tools>> Disk Cleanup. In the event that you have several drives available, you will be prompted to choose a specific drive to be cleaned. Typically, the C:\ drive.

Disk Cleanup will now calculate the amount of space you will be able to free up.

  1. Windows will now compile a listing of files that can be safely deleted. Once you have reviewed this list, you can place a checkmark next to the item that you wish to delete. Unchecking the item will leave these files on your system. Once you have selected the files you wish to delete, click OK.
     
  2. You will be prompted to confirm your selections. Click Yes.

Windows will now clear all of the selected files from your system, leaving it cleaner and performing much better.

<>Speed Up Access to Data

When files are fragmented, the speed in which reading and writing of data on your hard drive can be effected. By using the Disk Defragmenter, the fragmented files and folders will be consolidated and placed neatly on your hard drive. Once the files are called upon, Windows will be able to access them much more quickly and efficiently. It is recommended that you run the Disk Defragmenter tool once a month to keep your system running at peak performance. Here's how to use the Defragmenter tool:

  1. Go to Start>> All Programs>> Accessories>> System Tools>> Disk Defragmenter.
     
  2. Click the drives that you would like to defragment from the Disk Defragmenter dialog box, then click the Analyze button.

Once the disk is analyzed, a dialog box will appear and will prompt whether you should defragment the analyzed drives.

Note: The analyzing process is to give you an idea of how long it will take to defragment the selected drives. If you would like to skip the Analyzing process, just click the Defragment button instead.

  1. After the Analyzing process completes, click the Defragment button.
     
  2. Windows will now start defragmenting your selected drives. Once this process completes, it will display the results. You will be able to display a detailed report about the defragmented drive or partition by clicking "View Report".
     
  3. To close the View Report dialog box, click Close.
     
  4. Close the Disk Defragmenter utility by clicking the Close button on the title bar of the window.

<>Detect and Repair Disk Errors

The Error Checking utility checks the integrity of the files stored on your hard disk. Over time, it is possible that your hard disk can develop bad sectors which can lead to files being misplaced. By using this utility, Windows can find these misplaced files and place them where they can be found when needed. In addition, the Error Checking utility will repair hard disk errors whenever possible.

It is recommended by Windows that you run this utility weekly if you use your computer on a daily basis. Here's how to run the Error Checking utility:

Important: Be sure that all files and folders are closed prior to using this utility.

  1. Go to Start>> My Computer.
  2. Right click the hard disk that you would like to check.
  3. Click Properties from the resulting menu.
  4. Click the Tools tab.
  5. Click the "Check Now" button.
  6. Select the "Scan for and attempt recovery of bad sectors" check box, then click Start.
  7. In the event that Windows finds bad sectors, choose to fix them.

Note: Only make the selection to Automatically fix file system errors if you think that your disk contains bad sectors.

That's it! If you use the above information at the recommended intervals, you will keep your system running at its peak performance and enjoy faster, error free computing for a very long time.


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