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Keeping Windows alive – part 1

If you are a download junkie like myself, you must have noticed that after installing and removing software Windows tends to become slow and moody. The simplest answer is to blame Microsoft for that. Well it’s not always the case even though sometimes it is the only reason.

People tend to compare Windows to Mac and Linux all the time. Mac OS X comes always in the first place. And for a known reason for people who are not biased to Apple. It’s because Mac is designed to work on Apple Macintosh computers, which comes with specific brands of hardware.. Windows on the other hand works on PCs, this means it has to deal with almost every brand of hardware. Linux on the other hand is highly overrated, I tried it. I’ve used OpenSuse and Ubuntu for a long time now and it crashes just like windows for no known reason to you and me. I’m not going through all available editions of Linux here but lets say they are not as good as the open source community would say. They have some advantages over Windows and Max OS but you know, most of them do not interest me.

Let’s cut to the main subject, I know you’ve read a few articles about software (free mostly) to maintain your computer but non of those articles tells you how to use them.

Disk cleanup

Every once in a while you must clean up your computer to save the space, and that might cause a few issues. When cleaning don’t just delete folders, your System might be using some files in there and that means it’s either going to crash or ask you for the installation source or even just stop responding at startup.

In order to do a clean up you should always consider removing the programs and applications that you don’t usually use. And to do this, it’s always better to remove them from the “Add/Remove Programs” applet in the control panel.

After removing the unwanted applications you’ll not notice much performance improvement in your computer. It still needs some extra cleanup. Open the disk clean up manager from the “Accessories==>System tools menu” or simply by typing “cleanmgr” in the run dialog. Then pick the disk you’d like to clean up, Windows will automatically pick the disk that has windows installed on it and it’s best if you begin with that disk.

Removing the “Temporary files” and the “Internet Temporary files” is always good, just don’t do it everyday. You might also notice a few other files to delete that you can pick from if you have a bit of extra knowledge in computers. But be aware of the “Compress Old Data” option because it doesn’t always work for your best interest.

In the “more options” tab you’ll find 3 buttons the first 2 will start the “Add/Remove programs” applet. But the 3rd one and the most important is the “System Restore” “Cleanup” button.

System Restore

See, Windows have this feature called system restore in case you don’t know it. It keeps backing up your files occasionally so that if something goes wrong you can revert your files to some point you know your computer was running in a good shape. These files keep increasing by time.

If you are sure you’re computer is fine now and you don’t want all the old backups you can create a new restore point also from the “Accessories==>System Tools” menu. You only have to do a few work and windows will take care of the rest. Oh and by the way don’t enter the date in the description field because Windows keeps track of the date and time.

Back again to the “Disk Cleanup” you can now hit the 3rd “Clean up” button so that windows will get rid of all the old backup files except for the most recent one.