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E-Spring Cleaning

By Chong Jinn Wei - on 01 Feb 2012, 6:47pm

In a previous blog, Daniel explained about defragmentation and how it works. Essentially, carelessly putting in more and more data and files into your computer without regularly defragging your hard drives will eventually lead the machine to perform slower. I decided to read up a little more on some of the ways to get your computer back up to speed and wanted to share my findings with all of you.

It may be useful to have you files inside the Recycle Bin but eventually they all need to go away.

When was the last time you've checked on the amount of free space that’s left on your computer? Have you emptied your Recycle Bin? If you haven't, then it’s time to do some spring cleaning. Deleting doesn't necessarily means that the file has been eliminated for good as it automatically goes into the Recycle Bin in case you need it again. The more files you have in the Recycle Bin, the more fragmented your drives become. Constantly installing programs and downloading files from the Internet further fragments your data as the computer needs to find space to store these files.

The process to solve this problem is quite easy, but also very tedious. Look through your computer and remove files that you no longer need. However, do not be overzealous in your pursuit, as deleting critical files may cause programs to not function properly (or at all). Once you have done deleting, it’s time to clear out the Recycle Bin. Your computer should run slightly faster and as a bonus, look much neater as well.

Deleting your files is just the beginning. To get your computer organized, you'll need to run a defrag to get your data sorted out properly.

However, just clearing files from the Recycle Bin is not enough. Users will also need to perform a disk defragmentation (defrag for short) to further clean up their hard drives. The space that was occupied by your deleted files are not necessarily ready for use yet, as the fragmentation makes it considerably harder for the computer to fetch the required data. In a nutshell, a defrag will help reorganize the data in a way that helps the computer to find files faster. However, the process itself is a lengthy one and will take the better half of the day , but the payoff usually results in your computer running smoother.

Spyware and malware usually means bad news. Like adding insult to injury, it'll make you computer slower as well. Keep it out.

Another aspect that users should take into account is the integrity of your stored files in your hard drive. As you use your hard drive, it may develop bad sectors that slow down the performance of your hard drive and makes data writing difficult or even impossible. To make sure you are able to detect these problems, it is advisable to use some error checking utility to scan the hard drive for bad sectors as well as system errors.

Besides these housekeeping duties, users are also strongly advised to prevent the intrusion of spyware in your computers, as they will also slow down your computer considerably. Spyware takes up valuable RAM space to monitor your actions within the computer, this leaves you with less memory to work with, resulting in slower performance. It’s imperative that users should use their preferred anti-virus solution to prevent these attacks from happening.

Keeping tabs on how much space your computer has, as well as routinely defragging your hard drives will help your computer perform at an optimum level. A fast computer is dependent on how vigilant their user is.

Till next time.

Chong Jinn Wei

Chong Jinn Wei / Freelance Writer

A person who is torn between the digital realm and the material realm. Loves videogames, manga and especially Gundams though I am currently trying stay a float in the vast ocean that is the Internet.