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Maintenance fundamentals

As long as you operate the computer, you will face some common problems. The most likely problems that can be happened are slow down the operation, shutting down the applications unexpectedly and hanging up the application or the whole PC.

There are some steps that can help you not to face those problems.

Using Backup

The Backup utility helps you create a copy of the information on your hard disk. In the event that the original data on your hard disk is accidentally erased or overwritten, or becomes inaccessible because of a hard disk malfunction, you can use the copy to restore your lost or damaged data.

To start Backup, click Start, point to All Programs, point to Accessories, point to System Tools, and then click Backup.

Follow the instruction as you need.

It is the best practice to create a backup after installing the OS and other applications first time, so that you can role back to a stable position any time.

Detecting and repairing disk errors

You can use the Error-checking tool to check for file system errors and bad sectors on your hard disk. All files must be closed for this process to run. If the volume is currently in use, a message box will appear prompting you to indicate whether or not you want to reschedule the disk checking for the next time you restart your system. Then, the next time you restart your system, disk checking will run. Your volume will not be available to perform other tasks while this process is running.

If your volume is formatted as NTFS, Windows automatically logs all file transactions, replaces bad clusters, and stores copies of key information for all files on the NTFS volume.

To start the utility follow the steps described below-

Open My Computer, and then select the local disk you want to check.
On the File menu, click Properties.
On the Tools tab, under Error-checking, click Check Now.
Under Check disk options, select the Scan for and attempt recovery of bad sectors check box.
Using Disk Defragmenter

You might need to be logged on as an administrator or a member of the Administrators group in order to perform some tasks.

Disk Defragmenter consolidates fragmented files and folders on your computer’s hard disk, so that each occupies a single, contiguous space on the volume. As a result, your system can gain access to your files and folders and save new ones more efficiently. By consolidating your files and folders, Disk Defragmenter also consolidates the volume’s free space, making it less likely that new files will be fragmented.

A volume must have at least 15% free space for Defragmenter to completely and adequately defragment it. Defrag uses this space as a sorting area for file fragments. If a volume has less than 15% free space, defrag will only partially defragment it. To increase the free space on a volume, delete unneeded files or move them to another disk.

You cannot defragment volumes that the file system has marked as dirty, which indicates possible corruption. You must run chkdsk on a dirty volume before you can defragment it.

To open Disk Defragmenter, click Start, point to All Programs, point to Accessories, point to System Tools, and then click Disk Defragmenter.

Using Disk Cleanup

When running an operating system as complex as Windows, you may not always know the significance of all the files on your computer. Sometimes Windows uses files for a specific purpose and then retains them in a folder designated for temporary files. Alternatively, you may have previously installed Windows components that you are no longer using. For a variety of reasons, including running out of space on your hard drive, you may want to reduce the number of files on your disk, or create more free space, if it can be done without harming any of your programs.

Disk Cleanup helps free up space on your hard drive. Disk Cleanup searches your drive, and then shows you temporary files, Internet cache files, and unnecessary program files that you can safely delete. You can direct Disk Cleanup to delete some or all of those files.

Use the Windows Disk Cleanup Wizard to perform all of the following tasks to clear space on your hard disk:

·   Remove temporary Internet files.

·   Remove any downloaded program files (ActiveX controls and Java applets downloaded from the Internet).

·   Empty the Recycle Bin.

·   Remove Windows temporary files.

·   Remove Windows components that you are not using.

·   Remove installed programs that you no longer use.

To open Disk Cleanup, click Start, point to All Programs, point to Accessories, point to System Tools, and then click Disk Cleanup.

Or, click Start, click Run, and then type cleanmgr and then click on OK

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