Computers are very similar to automobiles in that they too require some degree of maintenance in order to run efficiently and trouble-free. Some companies such as Staples and Best Buy offer PC tune-ups for anywhere between $50 – $100 through their EasyTech and Geek Squad divisions respectively. In this guide you’ll learn how to perform your own computer maintenance which will help keep your PC running smoothly as well as saving you money in PC repair costs!
We will use a combination of built-in Microsoft Windows tune-up utilities such as Chkdsk and Disk Defragmenter along with CCleaner, a third party computer cleanup and optimization tool in order to perform our PC tune-up. The whole procedure will take no more than 20 minutes of your time to complete, although your computer could be tied up for 1 – 2 hours while it scans, cleans, defrags etc…
Step 1. Download and install CCleaner.
CCleaner is an award winning computer tune-up utility for Microsoft Windows. CCleaner optimizes your computer’s performance by removing unused temporary files and by cleaning your computer’s registry. CCleaner also speeds up your web browser by clearing temporary Internet files and erasing your Internet history. Best of all, CCleaner is free!
Step 2. Run CCleaner in order to delete temporary files.
As you can see from the screen shot below, CCleaner will thoroughly clean your computer. You may want to uncheck the Empty Recycle Bin option unless you are 100% positive that it’s OK for you to permanently delete the files sitting in the Recycle Bin. Click on Run Cleaner to begin the process you will be prompted to click OK in order to acknowledge that CCleaner will permanently delete files from your computer.
Step 3. Run Chkdsk to repair hard drive problems.
Chkdsk is a Microsoft Windows utility that will inspect a hard drive in order to ensure that it is healthy. Chkdsk can fix any number of hard drive issues including corrupted data, bad sectors, directory errors, and cross linked files. To run Chkdsk, click on Start => All Programs => Accessories and then right click on Command Prompt and left click on Run As Administrator. Accept the User Account Control prompt by clicking Yes. Enter the following command in the Command Prompt window and press the Enter key;
chkdsk c: /r
Type in Y and press the enter key. Reboot your PC so that Chkdsk can run. Chkdsk may take up to 1 hour or more in order perform its tasks. When Chkdsk has completed you will automatically be logged back into Windows.
Step 4. Run Disk Defragmenter
Disk Defragmenter optimizes a computer hard drive by arranging files sequentially based upon the frequency that the files are accessed. Windows Vista and Windows 7 automatically defragment a hard drive once a week. Windows XP users will however need to run Disk Defragmenter manually by clicking on Start => All Programs => Accessories => System Tools => Disk Defragmenter. Click on Defragment to start the process. Disk Defragmenter may take an hour or more to run depending on the size of the hard drive and the amount of data stored on the hard drive.
5. Additional computer performance considerations
If you are still experiencing slow computer performance after following the steps in this guide then it is very possible that your computer may have spyware on it. Don’t worry, you can use our free spyware removal guide to remove spyware from your computer.
Certain computer security software can cause computers to run slowly. This holds especially true for versions of Norton Antivirus that came out between 2006-2008. You might consider replacing your existing antivirus software with Microsoft Security Essentials which is both free and extremely light on computer system resources.
You need to also remember that you should only have one antivirus software product installed on a PC at a time. Installing more than one computer security software package on a PC can cause the computer to slow down to the point where it may not even be usable!
Congratulations, you have just tuned-up your own PC and saved yourself between $50 – $100!