Basic Computer Maintenance
Keeping your computer clear of viruses and spyware and keeping the file system in good order are not things that happen by themselves – a variety of maintenance procedures need to be performed on a regular basis.
Here is a suggested minimum computer maintenance schedule :
- A weekly virus scan (complete) on your computer. Most antivirus programs offer a way of scheduling automatic scans. Note that your computer has to be turned on at the scheduled time in order for the automatic scan to happen.
- A weekly antispyware scan – more often if you do any online banking. Certain types of spyware (key loggers) run on your computer with no sign of their presence, and their only purpose is to capture credit card and account information and relay it back to the author of the spyware infestation. Compudoc recommends running an antispyware scan just before logging into any banking or shopping websites to make sure that your account information remains private and secure.
- A monthly diskcheck on your computer. From the ‘My Computer’ icon, ‘right-click’ the local drive ‘C’, and select ‘properties’ from the pop-up menu (see screenshot below). Change to the ‘tools’ tab on the properties and click on the ‘Check Now’ button to start a disccheck. Repeat this for each hard drive installed in your computer.
- A monthly disc defragmentation – more or less often according to how much use you make of your computer. Newer versions of Windows (Windows 7 and newer) perform this task automatically on a regular basis. If your computer slows down a great deal, it might be a good idea to use a specialized program to defragment the hard drive. I recommend Defraggler from www.piriform.com. The free version of this program does a great job – better than most paid computer tuneup programs.