In this article, I am going to share my five favorite tips for maintaining Microsoft Windows.
- Checkdisk. This is the first thing I do when I get a system here in the shop. Errors do occur and files do get damaged. Best to take care of this first thing. And yes, this can take a while, so I always recommend leaving your system on and let Checkdisk run over night. That way your computer is ready to go first thing in the morning.
For more information on how to perform a Checkdisk, just select your operating system below:
Windows 7 Checkdisk
Windows Vista Checkdisk
Windows XP Checkdisk
- Delete Temporary files. This is the first place to look when you need to free up some hard disk space. These files served their propose at one time, but for some unknown reason, the program that used them did not delete them. When deleting temporary files, some may be still in use. I recommend deleting all files / folders that are over a week old. See below for the location of temporary files folder on your version of Windows:
Windows 7 / Vista - C:\Users\username\AppData\Local\Temp
Windows XP - C:\Documents and Settings\username\Local Settings\Temp
- Delete the Internet Explorer cache. This is the second place to look when you need to free up some hard disk space. I have seen systems with over 9 Gb of temporary files. Open Internet Explorer and go to Tools > Internet Options and change the following settings:
- Pagefile optimization. This one often gets over looked. There is a formula for calculating the correct pagefile size. Minimum pagefile size is one and a half (1.5) x amount of memory. Maximum pagefile size is three (3) x minimum pagefile size. Say you have 4 Gb (4,096 Mb) of memory. 1.5 x 4,096 = 6,144 Mb would be the min. pagefile size and 3 x 6,144 = 18,432 Mb would be the max. pagefile size.
To change the pagefile size, you need to access the System Properties dialog box. Press + Pause (Windows 7 / Vista users select 'Advanced' system settings). Then select the 'Advanced' tab and under 'Performance' click on Settings. Then select the 'Advanced' tab and under 'Virtual memory' click on Change.
For more information on how to change the pagefile size, just select your operating system below:
Windows 7 Pagefile Settings
Windows Vista Pagefile Settings
Windows XP Pagefile Settings
- Disk Defragmenter. Probably the best single thing you can do to speed up your computer. Imagine a filing cabinet where all of the folders were out of order and files were misplaced through out the cabinet. How could you find anything? Same thing with your hard drive. Disk Defragmenter takes care of that for you. And you can run it as a scheduled task too.
For more information on how to use Disk Defragmenter, just select your operating system below:
Windows 7 Disk Defragmenter
Windows Vista Disk Defragmenter
Windows XP Disk Defragmenter
Give these five tips a try and see how much more performance you can get from your computer,