Installed Windows On A New Drive Delete Off Old One Keep Your PC Running Smoothly, Efficiently, and Safely

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Keep Your PC Running Smoothly, Efficiently, and Safely

I’ve been developing software for over 15 years, and in a software development environment, nothing annoys me more than being on a slow PC. You may have experienced this yourself. You click on some stuff and it sounds like someone is grinding your hard drive with a hacksaw.

Before you take your computer and throw it out the window, there are a few steps you can take to speed up your computer and make it run like new.

First, before you do anything else, you need to install some antivirus software and firewall software. I use Norton, but there are a number of companies out there that carry these products. I also recommend that you get both pieces of software from the same company. Chances are, they talk to each other, and that’s good for you, because they’re working hard to keep the files on your computer safe.

Once you’ve taken steps to secure your computer, then go out and get yourself some more memory. No, not for you, but for your computer. Internal memory called RAM is where the computer will store things internally until needed. For example, let’s say you’re using word processing software. Until you click the save button and save it to your hard drive, the data you see on the screen has to “be” somewhere, and that somewhere is in memory. More memory means more space and that means less grinding on your hard drive to use it as temporary space.

Invest in an external hard drive for your non-essential files. Your non-essential files are those that you create, such as a Word document or an Excel spreadsheet, podcasts you download from iTunes, etc. Your internal hard drive should contain only the necessary components it needs to run the operating system and software you install. I saw a 1TB (that’s Terabyte) hard drive for sale at Best Buy for $134. Now that’s a big deal.

Don’t forget to keep your drives clean. You can do this with the free system program that comes with Windows called Disk Cleanup. You get to it on your computer by clicking Start, then clicking Programs, then clicking Accessories, and finally clicking System Tools. This piece of software will sweep your computer looking for files that take up space that are no longer needed. After the analysis you will see a list of files that the computer wants to get rid of. You can pick and choose which ones to keep and which ones to get rid of. This will keep your drives clean.

Finally defrag your hard drives. When you permanently delete a file, it simply removes it from where it lived. However, it creates a gap, or hole if you will, that the hard drive reader has to jump over when looking for things on your hard drive. Create enough “holes” and your car’s speed will slow down. Defragging organizes your hard drive in such a way to eliminate those holes so that files can be read faster. Defragging every other month is plenty for the home user, but if you find yourself creating and deleting a lot, then go with once a month.

Before you run out and spend several hundred dollars on a new computer, follow some of the tips above to get your computer running in top shape.

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