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Keeping Your Computer Running in Top Speed:

Keeping Your Temporary Internet Files and Cookies Folders Empty: When you visit a web page your web browser captures a copy of that page and places it in a Temporary Internet Files folder. The concept is when you visit that page again your browser can immediately display this copy until the real page is displayed. This is beneficial to those of you who have a slow internet connection as it gives the illusion of a faster connection. However, on the downside these copies can take up a lot of room on your computers hard drive. Additionally, some sites send down little bits of code (cookies) so as to make your browser display the information on their web site a certain way. Once again these cookies accumulate and consume space on your hard drive. In most cases these files are easy to remove. You can do it manually or by using a free utility like CCleaner to do it for you.

Defragmenting Your Hard Drive:

When the computer is new or when it has a new hard drive installed and only the operating system (Windows) and programs are installed all the data is one contiguous stream. Initially when data files are created the stream continues. However, after use when files are added and then deleted this contiguous stream is broken or fragmented. To access or write the data the hard drive mechanism has to work harder and slows down the computer. To remedy this condition, you should defragment or return the hard drive data into a contiguous stream once again. This is a simple task but can tie up the computer for some time depending upon the severity of the fragmentation. Cick/Select on the Start button and select My Computer from the rollup menu or double-click on the My Computer Icon on your desktop. When the explorer window is displayed, move your mouse cursor over the icon labeled C: drive (local drive C:, Presario C: etc…- various names all the same thing). Right click on the icon and choose Properties from the rolldown menu. When the Properties dialog opens Select/Click on the Tools tab and select Defragment Now button. When the Disk Defragment dialog box opens Select/Click on the Defragment button. A dialog box will appear showing when the task is complete. When it is complete, exit the program. I recommend doing this once a month.

System Utilities:

There are some very good small free software packages that are very handy to have to keep your computer running smoothly. I have listed them here and what they do for you:

CCleaner is a FREE utility (do not buy the paid version) to simply cleanup some system file folders (Temp Files, Temporary Internet Files and Browser Cookies Folders) When these folders fill up it will slow down your computer. Here is the link to it

Defraggler is a FREE utility (do not buy the paid version) that is used to defragment (perform housekeeping) on your spinning hard drive which in turn will speed up your computer. This should NEVER be used on computers with Solid State Drives (SSD) Here is the link to it

Revo Uninstaller is a FREE utility (do not buy the paid version) that will help you uninstall any program from your computer completely. Many products built-in uninstaller does not do a complete job leaving multiple file and references to clog up and slow down your computer. Here is the link to it



One of the best investments a PC owner can make to extend the life of their desktop computer and reduce the problems they have is an uninterruptible power supply or UPS. The UPS goes between the wall electrical outlet and the computer. Don't confuse it with a standard surge protector, as it is so much more. The UPS is comprised of three basic parts the battery charger, the battery and the power inverter. The electrical energy from your houses' electrical system runs the battery charger that keeps the internal battery charged: in-turn the battery runs the power inverter, producing a constant 120 volts to run the computer. The typical 117-volt nominal power supplied by you electrical utility will vary in true voltage supplied between 88 and 138 volts. These are extremes but your day-to-day voltage excursions are substantial. There are two things that a computer does not like Power Surges And Heat. The UPS will prevent the first one and my next topic will address the second. Being that the UPS relies only on the electrical energy from your electrical outlet to keep the internal battery charged, and that the battery supplies a constant voltage to the power inverter, your computer Never Sees A Variation In Power Input. Therefore, no variation, no surges, no low or high voltage = longer, trouble free life for your PC. Turning on and off your PC is also a form of surge-So Leave It On All The Time and set your monitor to go off or turn on the screen saver. A little power consumed, but much longer life for your PC. Also, consider the power required to manufacture the new parts necessary to replace those destroyed by surges (trade-off?).

Additionally, UPSs have another great feature, Automatic Power Backup, the battery in the UPS is isolated from the house electrical power so if the power goes out your computer will still be powered and running. The battery charge and therefore the power to run the PC is only good for a finite period of time (this depends upon the size of UPS being used) for most applications I recommend a 500VA size unit. A 500VA UPS will run a tower type PC with a 20" LCD monitor for about 20 minutes. This is plenty of time for you to shut down your PC properly.

However, what if you're not home or not available when the power goes out? Not to worry, most UPSs have an Automatic PC Shutdown Feature. A cable (USB or serial) is connected between the UPS and the PC and working with some supplied software will automatically save your work and shut your PC down properly before the UPS battery is depleted. When the power is restored you start your computer and everything will be as you left it.

A typical UPS has two sets of outlets; one set that is battery backup protected and the other that is surge protected only. In most cases, plug only your PC and your monitor into the battery backup outlets and all other devices into the surge-protected outlets. Never plug-in a laser printer or some other high current device into the battery backup outlets. There is normally no reason to plug in a printer of any kind into the battery backup outlets. However, if you must, then buy an Appropriate Sized UPS that can handle the extra load.