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Improve PC performance by clean your drive

This time i will show you how to clean up the data on your hard drive to make accessing files faster.

Hard disks run faster and more consistently when not completely filled. Having a large block of unused disk space is essential for both speed and stability. So it’s useful to look through your hard disk and remove files that you no longer need (and you’ll probably be surprised how many there are!).

Before you begin, check how much space you currently have on your hard drive. To do this, open up My Computer, right-click on your hard disk’s icon, choose Properties, and then make a note of how many gigabytes or megabytes of free space you have.

Now go through your My Documents folder. Delete what you don’t need, or if there’s stuff you want “just in case,” consider storing it on a CD, DVD, or second hard drive so your main drive doesn’t have to wade through it.

Eliminate extra software

That done, continue your cleanup by getting rid of any software you don’t use. Go to your Control Panel and select “Add or Remove Programs.”

A list of your installed software will appear. Scroll through it and remove anything you don’t use anymore. (Some programs might have been preinstalled on your computer when you bought it.)

Next, click the big button on the left labeled “Add/Remove Windows Components.” This lists XP components that were automatically installed with Windows. Remove whatever components you don’t need.

Eliminate fonts

If you’re feeling up to it, clean out your fonts. Create a folder (maybe within My Documents) called “Unused Fonts.” Then use Windows Explorer to go to your C:\WINDOWS\FONTS folder, and drag any fonts you never use into that Unused Fonts folder. (You can double-click a font to see what it looks like.) Just moving those fonts will speed up some applications.

Clean your disk

Finally, let Windows find some more unused gunk.

  • From My Computer, right-click on your hard drive.
  • Choose Properties.
  • Click “Disk Cleanup.”

It will take a few moments to scan your disk for files you can delete. When it’s done, click OK and then Yes (you do want to perform those actions).

Even though you may have uninstalled some programs, many of them leave “residue” in the Windows Registry, which Windows uses to store just about everything about your system. We’ll work with that in a future lesson.

Clean the Registry

For now, let’s just clean out anything that doesn’t belong. There are a lot of Registry cleaners out there, and my favorite--because it’s (a) easy to use and (b) free--is EasyCleaner.

  • Download and install it. When you start the program, you’ll get a grid of 16 things from which to choose.
  • Click the Registry button.
  • Click the Find button on the bottom. EasyCleaner will search your Registry for the leftovers of old programs and other detritus. This could take several minutes.
  • When it’s done, click the Delete All button. (You can’t click it till it’s finished.)
  • Click Yes to confirm you really want to delete the bad entries.

That’s it! Click Close and let’s move on.

Time to defrag

With all that cleaned out, it’s time to defragment your hard drive.

When your computer stores files on your drive, it puts files in whatever empty space is available. The result is that over time individual files are actually split up and stored in several places on the drive. (Imagine a library where the different chapters of a book are on different shelves.)

Defragmenting--often referred to as simply “defragging”--puts those pieces together so your computer spends less time accessing files.

The procedure is simple:

  • First, shut down any running programs. Then disable your screen saver through your Control Panel by choosing Display (you may have to click Appearance and Themes first).
  • That done, go to My Computer and right-click on your hard drive.
  • Choose Properties, then click the Tools tab.
There you’ll see “Defragment Now.” Click on it and then let the computer complete the process without any disturbance. This can take anywhere from minutes to hours, depending on the size of your drive and the level of fragmentation.

When you’re all done, check to see how much free space your drive now has (go to My Computer, right-click on the drive, and choose Properties). Hopefully you’ll see a difference.