Tips for a Healthy PC Computer
 
Updated 3/7/2011 by SuperMediaStore Staff


Tips for a Healthy PC Computer


TIME-SAVING SOLUTIONS TO GET YOUR DIGITAL LIFE IN ORDER



MAINTAIN IT
Just think if you never changed the oil in your car. It would be a clogged-up mess. So clear out your computer's junk, and discover newfound speed with a PC tune-up.

  • Fine-tuning: Check the settings on everything from resolution and color, to brightness and contrast. And don't forget the bass, volume, and treble. If you still have poor sound quality, it may be time to upgrade to a new sound card. As the heart of the audio system, a new card will greatly enhance your computer's sound.
  • Replace thin speaker cables: To enhance audio quality, replace the thin cables that came with your system with thick, high-performance A/V cables.
  • Install anti-virus software: Using an antivirus program is the best way to keep your computer healthy and virus-free. Run virus scans often, and be wary of e-mail attachments and web downloads. Some viruses do cause symptoms, such as:
    • Upon booting the system, the screen displays an unexpected graphic or picture that you didn't create.
    • You receive unusual or inexplicable error messages.
    • The computer makes strange beeping or clicking noises or plays music that is inconsistent with the function you are performing.
    • The system time and date are altered.
    • Files are randomly corrupted.
    • You receive "write protect errors" when executing .exe files from a write-protected disk.
    • You cannot open certain files.
    • Your computer's performance is affected by: extended boot times, a slow-running system, increased disk access times, or frequent system freezes.

      If your computer is experiencing any of these problems, try rebooting it or running your virus checker. If the problem persists, contact your computer retailer or a service provider.

  • Update drivers: Drivers are the software your computer needs to run hardware. Updates will allow your computer to communicate better with printers, keyboards, disk drives, etc. The most common way to update your drivers is by downloading them from your hardware manufacturer's website.
  • Update software: Downloading the latest fixes and patches is the simplest way to stay current. Sign up with the software manufacturer for e-mail notifications.
  • Increase memory: Is your computer sluggish? Perhaps it's time to head to a dealer for more RAM.
  • Clear the clutter: Delete unused files, remove old applications, and organize what's left.

BRIGHT IDEA
Create a desktop shortcut:

1. Open My Computer.
2. Double-click on a drive or folder icon.
3. Click once on the item for which you'd like to make a shortcut.
4. On the File menu, click Create Shortcut.
5. Resize the window so you can see the Your Desktop screen.
6. Drag the new shortcut to Your Desktop.

PROTECT IT

Defragment regularly:
In the course of normal usage, files are read from and written to the hard disk, often in small chunks. As a result, pieces of files end up scattered around the disk, which compromises your computer's performance. Cleaning them up will keep your system running efficiently.

If you are a Microsoft Windows 95/98 user, you can run a utility program called a "disk defragmenter" that will find the scattered pieces of files and reorganize them into contiguous chunks on your hard disk. It also moves the files that you use most often to the beginning of the hard disk, where they'll load faster. It's much easier than it sounds: Click Start, point to Programs, Accessories, System Tools, and then click Disk Defragmenter.

If using Windows 2000 or Windows XP, you can run a manual defragmentation by running Diskkeeper, clicking the appropriate drive, then clicking Defragment.

Do this four or more times a year for best results.



STORE IT
BACK UP AND ARCHIVE!
(Excuse the shouting, but this is critical.) You don't need to copy the entire contents of your hard drive. Just put documents, music, pictures, games, settings, drivers, and anything else you want to save for posterity onto a disc.



For the ultimate in disc organization, LightScribe Direct Disc Labeling technology enables you to burn silkscreen-quality labels right onto your CDs and DVDs with laser-etched precision. Now all your discs will be instantly identifiable, taking you to a new level of convenience, efficiency, and fun.

This article is provided to inform and inspire, and is not intended to replace professional guidance and services. Your system and software may be different from what is described and LightScribe is not responsible for troubleshooting or system failures.