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Basic Hard Drive (Disk) Maintenance - 04/10/2010

The hard drive inside your PC likes to be looked after...here's my simple guide to basic maintenance.

Carry out the following, IN THIS ORDER!

1.  Disk Cleanup
2.  Disk Check
3.  Defragment

Disk Cleanup.

1.  Open "My Computer"
2.  Right-Click your main drive, typically "(C:)"
3.  From the menu, select "Properties"
4.  Under the "General" tab, click "Disk Cleanup"
5.  The Disk Cleanup window opens, firstly with "Disk Cleanup is calculating..."
6.  Wait...depending on how full your disk is and how long since you last did this, it could take wel over an hour!
7.  When the Disk Cleanup finally opens, you will see a selection of boxes, such as "Downloaded Program Files" and Temporary Internet Files".
8.  Tick all the boxes...if you have items in the recycle bin you wish to keep...restore them first!
9.  Click "OK"
10.  Under "Are your sure..." select "Yes"
11.  Wait.  Again if you have a lot of files and the drive is full this can take several hours!
12.  When the Disk Cleanup window closes, you're done.

Disk Check

1.  Open "My Computer"
2.  Right-Click your main drive, typically "(C:)"
3.  From the menu, select "Properties"
4.  Under the "Tools" tab click "Check Now"
5.  Under the "Check Disk" window, select BOTH tick boxes, "Automatically fix..." and "Scan for..."
6.  Click "Start"
7.  If you are scanning your main drive, C:, you will recieve an error telling you that as windows is busy the drive can't be scanned.  Click "Yes"
8.  Reboot your PC.
9.  At boot you will see a message saying a Disk Check has been scheduled with a countdown, leave the keyboard alone.
10.  Wait.  Again depending on the size and the data on the drive this could take several hours.
11.  When the PC reboots and starts itself, you're done.

Defragment

Note: This only applies to XP based machines.  Vista and Windows 7 do this automatically...allegedly
 
1.  Open "My Computer"
2.  Right-Click your main drive, typically "(C:)"
3.  From the menu, select "Properties"
4.  Under the "Tools" tab click "Defragment Now"
5.  Ensure the main drive, C:, is highlighted
6.  Click "Defragment"
7.  Wait.  Depending on how much data you have this could take ALL NIGHT! 
8.  When the defragment is complete you will receive a report, you can ignore this report. 
9.  Repeat the defragment as many times as you can bear, the more the better.
10.  When the defragment only takes a minute or two, you're done.

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Sharon Thanks so much!
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