Basic software maintenance

I recommend performing the following steps once a week in order to ensure as smooth an operating computer as possible.

  • Disk cleanup – Be sure to run this utility and delete all the temporary internet files that are present. These are unnecessary and take up needless storage space. This utility is included in Windows 10 as part of the operating system.
  • Disk defragmenterFor mechanical hard drives only – Run the defragmentation tool once a week regardless of its recommendation to perform this task or not. This will ensure that your files and folders are arranged in such a way on your hard disk to enable them to function at peak efficiency. This utility is included in Windows 10 as part of the operating system and can be scheduled to run automatically in the background. WarningDo not defragment SSD (solid state drive) drives if you have an SSD installed in your computer. Also do not defragment flash drives. Defragmentation of SSD and flash drives will cause damage to the drive.
  • Back up all data – I can’t place enough emphasis in regard to backing up your data strongly enough. Purchase an external hard drive which has the same or greater capacity as the one in your computer.This external hard drive will require a separate power source and will have an additional cable which is installed in a USB (universal serial bus) port on the back of your computer. This is the most efficient and quick way to back up your data. High capacity external hard drives are extremely economical on today’s market. To see a wide variety of external hard drives, click here. The time that you spent creating all your documents, photos, and music files is far more valuable than the cost of the external drive. Back up your data. You’ll be oh-so-sorry if you don’t. Windows 10 has a backup utility included in the operating system which can be scheduled to run automatically.
  • Reboot computer daily – You need to reboot your computer at least once a day. This will clear the RAM and cache memory and ultimately keep your computer running at its peak speed more consistently.
  • Free space on hard drive – Always leave a minimum of 20%, preferably more, of your total hard drive space free so that the files you use will have room to create temporary swap files. If you don’t, they will automatically use part of the random access memory (RAM) on your computer and slow down the speed of your unit.
  • Emergency toolkit – In the event that you encounter software problems that you suspect are virus, trojan, worm, or other intrusion based problems I suggest that you be prepared with the tools recommended in the following link: How to make an emergency USB toolkit

Why do computers crash? Here are seven reasons (08/14/17) Webmaster: Article by Bob Rankin echos some of the things I have talked about and addresses other causes as well.