Maintain your computer and keep harddisk clean?

Windows tips -> How to maintain your computer and keep your harddisk clean?

When you bought the computer the engineers may have given these advise to you. Or when there was some problem in the computer and you went for repair the support engineer may have cautioned you about these tips. You may even have tried these once and then forgot about it. It becomes a MUST to keep your harddisk healthy and clean for your computer to function properly at all times. Therefore I advice you to print these tips and paste it in your computer room so that you always remember to follow these advice.
  1. Virus Scan: At least every fortnightly you should scan your computer for viruses. Or atleast configure your Anti-virus software to auto scan at preset intervals. Almost all the Anti-virus software comes with this scheduled scanning feature. This is called AutoProtect. Set this feature ON. Likewise if there is a virus then what to do, do you want to delete it, if not possible to delete then quarantine it etc. You can set these options in your Anti virus software. Also remember to update the virus definition files of your Antivirus software often. Or select the 'Live Update' option so that the Antivirus software is always upto date.
  2. Another essential software you should have is 'Adware / Spyware' removal program. Though this is not as important as the Anti virus software it is better to have a Adware Spyware removal software. Only then you will be notified of malicious spy programs that spy on your private information. ZoneAlarm is a free software that detects Adware and Spyware in your computer. So download and install this free software.
  3. Some unwanted files occupy your harddisk space. Your computer will detect these unwanted files and delete them to free your harddisk space. For this you have to do 'Disk cleanup'. In your windows explorer select 'C' drive and right click and choose 'properties'. In the new window that opens, you will see a small pie chart which shows how much of your hard disk is currently occupied and how much is free. In this window you will see the 'Disk cleanup' button. If you click on this the Disk cleaning process will start. It will show you how much space can be freed. If you are doing this first time, you will be surprised that the unwanted files occupy so much space.
  4. Due to curiosity you may have installed many programs and applications in your computer. Some of the applications you may have used once or twice and may have forgotten about the application. It is a good practice therefore to remove these unwanted applications from your computer every now and then. To do this, goto Start,Control Panel and click on 'Add/Remove Programs'. In the 'Add/Remove programs' window you will see a list of all the programs installed in your computer. It will also show you when was the last time you used each program. Here you can select the unwanted application and uninstall.
  5. You can also manually look in to your 'My Documents' folder or any other folder that you frequently use to store your files and see if there is any unwanted file and delete it.
  6. If you use 'Outlook' to view your emails then all your emails get stored in your inbox and trash folder. You can clear unwanted emails from outlook to save a lot of space.
  7. Similarly you can also clear history from your internet explorer. Your browser keeps in history some files from each website you visit. So if you have not cleared history files from internet explorer for quite some time then it may occupy a lot of space in your harddisk. Therefore it is best to goto 'Tools,Internet options' and then 'Delete Temporary internet files' and clear history from there. You may also 'Delete cookies' and 'Delete Files'.
  8. You may have kept shortcuts to many programs and applications in your desktop. It is a good practice to keep your desktop clean by deleting unwanted icons from desktop. Remember that deleting shortcuts does not delete the application. You should uninstall the application from 'control panel->Add remove programs'.
  9. Also remember that just deleting files DOES NOT free space. Because windows will store all the deleted files into 'Recycle Bin'. So you have to 'Empty the recycle bin' in order to delete the files permanently and free space in your hard disk.