In our prior editions of The Weekly Geek we were concentrating on optimizing and cleaning up your PC, after a brief break and delving into viruses, worms and other such nastiness, we are now back into the performance issues of your computer.
As a brief overview, you need to clean your computer and organize its files and programs to speed up the system and organize the clutter that occurs. Think of it as your filing cabinet. Every now and then you need to empty last years folders into a separate area, move your bank statements into a monthly order and throw out papers and documents that are no longer relevant.
The first step in this process is to run a “Scan Disk”. This will ensure that your hard drive is not defective and any defects are blocked off.
Next you need to clean up any unneeded files (Disk Cleanup).
Finally you need to organize what is left in a logical order (Defragmentation).
I would suggest setting up each of these programs to run once a month and to have them run on a different day. For example run Scan Disk on the first Monday of the month, the Disk Cleanup on the second Monday of the month and then Defragment on the third Monday of the month, or you could run Scan Disk on Monday, Disk Cleanup on Tuesday and Defragment on Wednesday.
This week we will run a scandisk. Once again if you have Windows NT you do not have this option available but every other version since Windows 95 does.
If you have Windows 95, on the desktop (the screen you see when you first turn on the computer and it finishes loading) double-click on “My Computer” and then double-click on “Scheduled Tasks” and then double-click on “Add Scheduled Task”.
If you have Windows 98 or ME you need to go to the desktop, then in the lower left of the screen click one time on “Start” then click one time on “Programs” that appears in the list and to the right of Programs click one time on “Accessories” and then “System Tools” and finally “Scheduled Tasks”.
For any of the above versions of Windows, you should now be in the Scheduled Tasks screen. There will be an icon labeled “Add Scheduled Task” double-click on it.
A set of pop up windows will walk you through the process. At the first window simple click one time on the “Next” button.
Next a screen with lots of choices will appear, on the mid-left is a scroll bar, use it to scroll down to “Scan Disk” (the list is in alphabetical order so it will be a ways down there). Click one time on “Scan disk” to highlight it and then click on the “Next” button.
Here you can select how often you want to run the program. Select “Monthly” and then select the “Next” button again.
This screen allows you to choose when you want to run the program, at the top you can enter the time, for our purposes let us enter “9:00 AM” by clicking on the numerals in the box and changing them. Below the time you get to select either the numerical day of the month next to “Day” or the day of the week and week of the month next to the “The” boxes.
We will choose the “The” box by clicking one time in the white circle next to it. The next two menus have drop down arrows, in the first box we will select “first” and the second box “Monday”. Below this are the months of the year, make sure there is a checkmark in the box next to every month.
What we have done to this point is schedule the Scan Disk to run on the first Monday of the month, every month.
Select the “Next” button to continue. The screen should be the last screen and it will let you know that you have “successfully scheduled the following task”. Simply click the “Finish” button and you are complete.
Until we meet again, stay tuned to this same bat channel at the same bat time for further exciting adventures of The Weekly Geek.