Check for spyware
Spyware is a common problem with computer performance and
if you surf the Web on a regular basis, you will have plenty
of spyware on your system. Whenever you visit a Web site,
you are opening your system to the possibility of spyware
that is used by organizations, shady and otherwise, to track
your Internet habits. By automatically downloading a spyware
file to your computer, organizations can send specialized
pop-up ads and junk mail to your computer and e-mail accounts.
To rid yourself of spyware, you can download any one of several
programs from the Internet. Ad-Aware, one the most popular programs,
can be downloaded for free. It consolidates all the spyware on
your computer into a single folder for deletion.
Recently, CNN.com ran an article for people experiencing problems
while trying to download the recent “Microsoft Service
Pack 2” update which helps protect computers from worms,
viruses, and spyware. Many people have been experiencing lock
ups and other failures during the download procedure. If spyware
is currently present on your computer, it may interfere with
the new service pack download. Microsoft suggests using programs
like Ad-Aware to remove spyware before trying to download the
To help keep your computer running smoothly, Ad-Aware should
be run at least once a week. It’s easy to use and comes
with simple step-by-step instructions.
Disk cleanup is also an important element in computer maintenance.
When you remove a file from your computer, you are simply removing
the file’s directory entry; the data still remains. Disk
cleanup completely removes the contents of deleted files as well
as temporary Internet files, downloaded program files, the contents
of the recycling bin, and temporary folder files.
To run Disk Cleanup, first close all applications then go to
the start key at the bottom left-hand side of your screen. From
there go to programs, then accessories, and finally system tools.
Select Disk Cleanup and follow the prompts.
When you install a program on your computer, its files can
be stored over multiple locations on your computer’s hard
drive. This is known as fragmentation and it can cause your programs
to run slow. Disk Defragmenter reorganizes these files and brings
their components together, allowing the program to run faster.
It also frees up space on your hard drive.
Whenever you download or remove a program, you should always
use Disk Defragmenter afterwards. This will ensure that the
program runs at the best speed possible.
The Disk Defragmenter program is located under system tools
and can be accessed the same way as Disk Cleanup. To make
Defragmenter runs properly, be sure to close all windows
and shut off all applications, including programs at the
right-hand side of your screen near the clock.
Once Disk Defragmenter has completed its scan, restarting
your computer will reactivate these programs. Remember
restart your computer after defragmenting.
Spyware removal, Disk Cleanup, and Disk Defragmenter, along
with virus protection programs, should be incorporated
into a weekly
computer maintenance schedule. They are easy to use and
together usually take less than an hour to run.
By performing regular computer maintenance, you can avoid
frustration and extend the life of your system.