Routine Computer Maintenance

Routine maintenance on your computer will keep it running like it was brand spankin' new.

The following is recommended to do about once a month.

Delete Temporary Files - Temporary files take up hard drive space and should be removed periodically.
ScanDisk - Checks your hard-disk's integrity and searches for file errors. If any are found they can be repaired from within ScanDisk.
Disk Defragmenter - Optimizes your disk usage and speeds up your file access time.
Windows Updates
- Free of charge, provided by Microsoft, updates your operating system.
Virus Scan
- Scans and protects your entire computer to check for viruses.

Delete Temporary Files

Disk Cleanup - a program that deletes temporary internet files, temp files, recycle bin etc.

  1. Click on Start > Programs > Accessories > System Tools > Disk Cleanup
  2. Select your hard drive C:, D: etc.
  3. Disk Cleanup will determine which files are not needed on your computer
  4. Click OK to delete files
  5. Delete *.tmp files - (temporary files) do this in addition to disk cleanup for more thorough cleaning.
  6. Start > Find > Files or Folders
  7. Search for files or folders named *.tmp
  8. Look In: C:, D: etc.
  9. Once all the files have been found you can delete them all.

Cleaning Temporary Internet Files - instead of using Disk Cleanup In Internet Explorer click Tools/Internet Options

  1. In the section labeled Temporary Internet Files click Delete Files button.
  2. When the warning message comes up click OK.
  3. In the section labeled History click the Clear History button.
  4. When the warning message comes up click OK.
  5. Click OK to close the Properties window.
  6. Cleaning your Temp directoryDouble click on the My Computer icon.
  7. Double click the C: drive.
  8. Double click the Windows directory.
  9. Double click the temp directory.
  10. Leave the yellow folders in the directory, but you may delete the rest of the items in the directory. The easiest way to delete everything all at one time is to highlight the first item under the folders and then scroll down to the bottom of the window. Hold down the shift key and click once on the last item in the list. This will highlight everything in between.
  11. Press the delete key and the highlighted folders will be moved to your Recycle Bin.
  12. When you are done, empty you Recycle Bin.


Running ScanDisk will check your hard drive for errors as well as clean up the file structure. It may take a while to run. While it is running you cannot use your computer. * Important - if you are running McAfee 4.5 you must disable it before running Scandisk. Right click on the McAfee icon on the bottom right of the task bar, click Exit.

  1. Make sure that all applications and windows are closed on your computer.
  2. Turn off your screen saver.
    • To turn off the screen saver, right click an empty space on the desktop and select properties.
    • Click on the Screen Saver tab and select NONE from the drop down box and then click OK.
  3. Click on Start > Programs > Accessories > System Tools > Scandisk
  4. In the ScanDisk window select the Thorough option.
  5. Click on the Options button and ensure that the top entry is selected (System and Data areas). This is the only one that needs to be selected, the bottom check boxes should be empty. Click OK.
  6. Click the Advanced button and change the settings so that they are the same as the following:
    • Display Summary - Always
    • Lost File Fragments - Free
    • Log file - Replace Log
    • Check Files For - Invalid File Name
    • Cross Linked Files - Delete
    • Check Host Drive - First
  7. Click on Start
  8. When ScanDisk is complete it will display a summary.
  9. In the section that says bad clusters the number should be zero.
  10. If ScanDisk has detected any bad sectors be sure to back up your data.

Disk Defragmenter

Defragging will ensure that the disk is at its optimum performance.
Defrag arranges the files on the hard drive in a contiguous pattern that is easier for the computer to access.

ScanDisk should be run prior to running a Defrag. As with the ScanDisk you cannot use your computer while this program is running.

* Important - if you are running McAfee 4.5 you must disable it before running Defrag. Right click on the McAfee icon on the bottom right of the task bar, click Exit.

  1. Click on Start/Programs/Accessories/System Tools/Disk Defragmenter
  2. When prompted for the disk you want to defragment select the C: drive and click OK.
  3. Defrag takes about 1/2hr to 1hr minimum and may take longer if the hard drive is very fragmented or hasn't been done in a long time.

When Defrag completes there will be a window that says do you wish to quit disk Defragmenter. Select OK.

Windows Updates

We recommend downloading the Critical Updates on the Windows Update website regularly. These updates are an online extension of Windows and are free for all Windows users.

  1. link for Windows Update is in the Start Menu of Windows 98 and 2000. You can also go to .
  2. Click on Product Updates. You will see the following message in a new Window:
    " Windows Update is customizing the product updates catalog for your computer. This is done without sending any information to Microsoft."
  3. When this completes do the Critical Updates listed for your computer.

Virus Scan

Make sure you have anti-virus software and it is up to date. We recommend Norton Anti-Virus 2002, which can be purchased from microwerx.

Perform a full scan of your computer on a regular basis to ensure no viruses have been contracted and not detected.