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Shvoong Home>Internet & Technology>Hardware>Ensure Your PC''s Health & Efficiency Review

Ensure Your PC''s Health & Efficiency

Website Review   by:AnilU    
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Ensure Health and Efficiency of Your PC

If you have a PC or laptop running Windows, here are a few suggestions that will keep your PC in fine fettle and also help you recover unscathed from any crashes. Sources for some good software that will make your PC use more efficient are also included.

General:

1. Make an additional copy of all the CDs - those that came with the PC and also those that you purchased subsequently for installation - and keep them handy.
2. Stow away all the original CDs in a safe place for use if the copy is corrupted and stops working.
3. Do not download free software indiscriminately. You may fall victim to malware and spyware.
4. Make a directory Software Downloads for all software that you do download and install. Backup this directory regularly.
5. Take good care in organizing documents that you create and backing them up. Unlike software, this is not something that you can source from somewhere else in case of loss. It is a good idea to create separate subdirectories under My Documents for Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and Database files. You should also make these subdirectories the default storage for these file types. This can be done by changing the file location options under Tools->Options in each of the Office components. You may create further subdirectories under each such as business, personal etc. This organization makes search easier.
6. Do not save your documents elsewhere but only in the said locations. And then backup My Documents regularly. Software Downloads, mentioned earlier, could also be created under My Documents. This will facilitate backup.
7. Configure the backup utility built into Windows for regular backups. You will find it under Programs->Accessories->System Tools. Currently a 2 or 4 GB USB flash drive is a good choice for backing up your data.
8. Store your multimedia files on CDs / DVDs instead of cluttering up your hard disk.
9. Never store a CD until you have labeled it using a permanent marker pen.
10. Run Disk Cleanup and Defrag utilities under Accessories periodically. This optimizes your hard disk access.
11. Keep your Windows firewall on to protect yourself from internet threats. You will find it in the Control Panel.

Some Good & Trustworthy utilities:


If you do not wish to invest in antivirus software, download a copy of the free version of AVG from http://www.grisoft.com. Do update virus signatures every day. Run a complete scan at least once in 15 days.
Download free registry cleaner software from http://www.abexo.com/free-registry-cleaner.htm. Run it once a week to keep the Windows registry clean, lean, and efficient.
If Windows Defender is not already there on your PC, download it and run it periodically for detecting and removing spyware etc. It is available at http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/details.a spx?FamilyId=435BFCE7-DA2B-4A6A-AFA4-F7F14E605A0D&displaylang=en.
Though Internet Explorer version 7 has now acquired several of the security features, Netscape or Firefox may be a better choice for a browser. Download and use them. Netscape is available at http://browser.netscape.com/ and Firefox at www.mozilla.com/firefox/.
Similarly, Eudora mail client is a better choice compared to Outlook Express that ships with Windows. It is available at http://www.eudora.com. Mozilla Thunderbird is another good choice for a mail client. Visit http://www.mozilla.org/products/thunderbird/.
All of the aforesaid alternate software are open source. Open source software are safe to use. For a complete list of open source software for Windows visit http://www.opensourcewindows.org/.
Run Windows Update frequently and keep your OS fully patched.
Google Desktop Search performs much better than the Windows search. You may download it for installation from http://desktop.google.com.
If you don’t already have Adobe Reader, download it from http://www.adobe.com/products/reader/. Keep it updated.
You can convert your Office (word, excel, powerpoint) files into PDF format by using corresponding options in OpenOffice, a free open-source software that can handle office files without any conversion.
For a good encryption software to ensure privacy of your data, please visit my summary http://www.shvoong.com/internet-and-technolo gies/software/1771032-encrypt-data-removable-drives/.

Some Don’ts:


Do not download software indiscriminately.
Do not open attachments, even those with business-like names, in emails from unknown senders.
Similarly do not click on any internet links in emails from unknown senders.
Never ignore or override any warnings generated by security software, e.g., antivirus or defender software mentioned earlier.
Published: February 23, 2008   
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