33. DISK CLEANUP, Error-checking (SCAN DISK) & DEFRAG: (Makes your computer run better and faster.)

1. Disk Cleanup: This utility cleans up unnecessary files on your computer, such as Temporary Internet files, Downloaded program files, Recycle Bin, Temporary files, etc.

2. Error-checking (ScanDisk): (remove errors from your hard drive.)

3. Disk Defragmenter: (rearranges your data for faster access)

As you add programs and files and delete programs and files your hard drive becomes fragmented (your data is scattered all over the hard drive) So you have data in different places and empty spaces between data. This makes it harder to read and slows down your computer. Defrag rearranges your data so there are no empty spaces and the programs and data you use the most are put into the fastest accessible portion of your hard drive.

How often should you defrag Windows XP?

When you access the Disk Defragmentor in System Tools, select your hard drive and click Analyze. If it says you should defrag, click Defragment.

WinXP's defrag tool differs from the one in Windows 95 and Windows 98. WinXP's is a little smarter. It reorganizes data so your computer can access it faster.

In Windows 98 and Me: Close all open programs, disable the screen saver, your anti-virus program, and Power Management before running Scan Disk or Defrag. Or every time your one of them kicks in, it starts Scan Disk and Defrag all over and you'll never get through.

This may be easier, reboot your computer: Listen for the "Power On Self Test" beep. This normally happens in about 10 seconds. After you hear the beep, press the F8 key. You'll see the Windows Startup Menu text menu. Select Safe Mode, your icons and screen will look different, but in this mode no programs will interfere with running Scan Disk and Defrag. Go to Start, Accessories, System Tools, then do

A. Disk Cleanup (put a check mark in all boxes, then click OK.) The Disk CleanUp is part of all versions of Windows 98 and higher. It does quite a few things to free up hard disk space including:
-- Deleting temporary Internet files.
-- Deleting downloaded program files.
-- Emptying the Recycle Bin.
-- Deleting files from your temporary folder.
-- Deleting files created by other Windows 98 or Windows Me tools.
-- Removing optional Windows 98 or Windows Me components that you do not use.
-- Removing installed programs that you do not use.
-- Removing all but the most recent Restore Point.
-- Compressing old files on the hard disk.

To use the Disk Cleanup tool, double-click My Computer, right-click the hard disk on which you want to free space, click Properties, and then click Disk Cleanup on the General tab. On the Disk Cleanup tab, click to select the check boxes of the files that you want to remove, click OK, click Yes, and then OK. When you are done, click the More Options tab. Here, you can remove Windows components that you do not use. For example, the MSN software takes about 13 MB on your hard drive. On the More Options tab, you can also remove installed programs and restore points, too. Be careful here. The Disk CleanUp is a handy tool.

B. Error-checking (Scan Disk), (There should be a Check in the box labeled [X] Automatically fix errors).
C. Disk Defragmenter, in that order. (Then for a pretty display click on Details and then click on Legend (so you will know what is going on.)

This procedure takes an hour or so depending on the size of your hard drive and the amount of fragmentation you have.

In Windows XP: Click on My Computer, Right click on the C drive, then Properties, then down on the right click on Disk Cleanup, put a check mark in all boxes, then click OK. When that is done, click on Tools, then Error Checking and follow instructions. Then Click on Disk Defragment and follow instructions.

If you don't want to go through Error-checking (ScanDisk) every time you have a bad shutdown:

Start > Run > msconfig Now go to bottom right hand side of the dialog box and click on Advanced, Click on disable Scandisk after bad shutdown.

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