Backing up files and removing them from the hard drive frees space for new files on the hard drive. It also protects you from losing important information if you accidentally delete files or if the hard drive fails.
The ScanDisk utility examines the hard drive for surface errors and file and folder problems. ScanDisk corrects these problems so that Windows and other programs run efficiently.
If you use your computer several hours everyday you probably want to run ScanDisk once a week. On the other hand, if you use your computer less frequently, once a month may be adequate. Run ScanDisk based on how often you use your system. Also use ScanDisk if you encounter hard drive problems
When working with files, sometimes Windows divides the file information into pieces and stores them in different places on the hard drive. This is called fragmentation, and it is normal. In order for the hard drive to use a file, it must search for the pieces of the file and put them back together. This process slows the hard drive performance.
The Disk Defragmenter utility organizes the data on the drive so that each file is stored as one unit rather than multiple pieces scattered across different areas of the disk. Defragmenting the information stored on the drive can improve hard drive performance.
Security updates help shield your computer from vulnerabilities, viruses, worms, and
other threats as they are discovered. Windows® XP has an Automatic Updates feature
that you can use to download the latest security updates automatically on a schedule
Steps to turn on Automatic Updates
Note: If the Performance and Maintenance category is not visible, click Switch to Category View.
Important: If you set up Automatic Updates to notify you, or if you forget to leave your computer on, you will see a notification balloon. Click the notification balloon to review and install the updates.
Next, get up-to-date with Windows Update
Here's how you can bring your computer up to date with security updates that are currently
available. You can also use these instructions to keep up with the latest non-critical
Important: Before you begin to update your computer, back up your files and information.
Go to the Windows Update website at http://windowsupdate.microsoft.com/
Click Scan for Updates. Windows Update scans your computer and displays a pre-selected list of critical updates, including security updates and service packs.
Note: Download times might vary depending on modem speed and how many updates your computer needs. To reduce download times, run Windows Update downloads when you are not using your computer for other Internet-related tasks.
Under Pick updates to install, click Critical Updates and Service Packs. Windows Update then creates a list of the updates that are appropriate for your computer. Critical updates are selected for download automatically.
Click Review and install updates.
Select updates and then click Install Now. You might have to restart your computer after installing the updates.
Click Review and install updates
Installing, configuring, and maintaining antivirus protection is absolutely essential. Antivirus software will help protect your computer against most viruses and worms.
Instructions for updating your virus definitions can be located in the program's Help feature.
Sophos is setup to automatically check every 60 minutes for the latest virus updates. To manually check for updates, right click on the Blue Shield in the system tray and select Update now.
Note: For the latest virus information, please visit the IT virus web page at: http://www.ccri.edu/it/helpdesk/viruses.html
Note: If the Internet connection used is not the default Internet connection, it may be necessary to manually connect to the Internet through the desired ISP before running Live Update
This prevents CPU and Internet cycle stealing and spying. Spyware/Adware tracks your internet browsing, increase pop-up ads, and also give hackers a way in to your computer. There is a highly-recommended free spyware blocker called "Spybot", available online at: http://www.safer-networking.org/
Anti-adware is available from: http://www.lavasoft.com/ which you will find under Products and selecting Ad-Aware Personal.
By deleting unnecessary files from your hard drive you can help manage the hard drive space.
Double-click on the My Computer icon. The My Computer window opens.
Right-click the hard drive that you want to check for available file space, then select
The System Properties dialog box opens showing available space on the drive.
By deleting unnecessary files from the hard drive you free up space. Use the Windows Disk Cleanup utility to delete temporary Windows files, delete temporary Internet files, empty to Recycle Bin, and delete other files.
The Recycle Bin in Windows is a folder that saves all the files you delete, just in case you change your mind. In order to physically remove these files from your hard drive to free up unused space, you must empty the Recycle Bin. To do this,Double click the Recycle Bin on the desktop then click file and select Empty Recycle Bin to improve system performance.
Point to All Programs
Point to Accessories
Point to System Tools
Then click Disk Cleanup.
Click Start, select Control Panel.
Click Network and Internet Connections
Double click Internet Options to open Internet Properties
Click the General tab.
Click Delete Files.
Note: Do not select Delete Cookies. Delete Files removes all the cookies stored on the computer.
Click OK on the Delete Files dialog box.