Is anyone else as excited as I am that spring is here (or, depending on where you live, on its way)? Along with any other spring cleaning tasks you may have on your list of things to do at this time of year, this is as good a time as ever to do some routine clean up and maintenance on your computer. Here are 3 fairly easy tasks to take care of this spring that can go a long way towards maintaining your computer’s performance and efficiency:
Back up your files
Backing up your computer data regularly is very important. Having a recent backup of your files is essential in the unfortunate event that your computer crashes, or becomes infected with a particularly harmful virus, or if an important file is accidently lost or deleted. Backing up your computer simply entails copying the files onto an external disc or hard drive, so that you have them saved and ready to restore should you ever need to.
How to back up your files:
There are a few different ways to back up your files –
- You can use a disc, a thumb drive, or an external hard drive and back it up manually. You can also schedule your computer to back itself up every so often.
- Backup Instructions for a Mac – http://support.apple.com/kb/ht1553
- Backup Instructions for Windows Vista – http://www.wikihow.com/Backup-Your-Computer-in-Windows-Vista
- Backup Instructions for Windows 7 – http://windows.microsoft.com/en-us/windows7/Back-up-your-programs-system-settings-and-files
- Backup Instructions for Windows XP – http://vlaurie.com/computers2/Articles/xpbackup.htm
- There are also third-party programs that will back your files up for you regularly, a few of which are: http://www.carbonite.com/; http://www.backup.com/; and http://mozy.com/.
Free up disk space
Freeing up space on your computer’s hard disk can improve the performance of your computer by helping it to run faster and more efficiently.
How to free up disk space:
- For Windows: http://www.microsoft.com/atwork/maintenance/speed.aspx
- For Macs: http://www.thexlab.com/faqs/freeingspace.html
- And, finally, here is one of the best resources I’ve found on how to free up disk space on your computer – Forty Ways To Free Up Disk Space (http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/cc750370.aspx)
Defragment your hard drive
Your computer’s operating system places files and programs on a hard drive wherever there is space, so one file may not necessarily be located in one physical place. Over time, this means that your hard drive can become fragmented with all of your files broken up in many locations across the drive. Eventually, this can slow down your computer since it takes longer for it to access the information. Defragmenting your hard drive places all the parts of a file together in the same place and organizes the directories and files which ultimately makes your computer faster.
So there you have it, 3 fairly simple steps that you can take this spring to keep your computer performing at its best. I know that I myself spend a significant amount of time on my computers because of the nature of my work, and keeping them running smoothly and efficiently helps me do my job as well as possible.
Are there any routine tasks that you do to keep your computer performing well? Do you believe it is worth taking the time to perform maintenance tasks on your computer? Why or why not?
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