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dead keyboard

Tis but a flesh wound. You can work around this. Not.

Every time your PC gave you slight hiccupping issues, you waited and hoped it would simply get better. But that doesn’t help, does it? So what should you do to speed up your ever-so-slow PC? Do you feel so worried and jittery that you call the technician a little too often?

So let’s see what you should do when your PC isn’t running quite as smooth as it used to.  If there are several PC problems hovering about, you should take out time to assess the situation. It is equally important to think of some solid, effective solutions. Procrastination isn’t going to help you in such situations. To start with, examine what your options are in solving the PC problems without losing too much time or expending too much energy.

Make use of a free utility tool known as CCleaner. This little beauty of a software utility does all sorts of great things for your computer. We like using it as part of our cleanup routine.  There are several other utilities we use that, while highly effective,  can also quickly destroy your computer if you don’t know what you’re doing, so we won’t actually name them here.

Most computer problems are software related, not hardware related. Software, as you already know, is sort of the smarts that make things happen. In this context, software refers to the operating system software.  Without operating system (OS) software such as Microsoft Windows or Linux on your system, all you would get when you powered it up would be a black screen with a dire message about no boot drive found. Period. Not helpful.  Even to get the old blinking cursor with the

C:_

blinking on/off, you still would need an old operating system known as DOS.  That’s probably earlier than most of you reading this would remember having to deal with though.

Anyway, with CCleaner, just step through the application. You should NOT be able to kill your computer with it. If you leave the defaults and just follow the directions, you generally should be safe. It will clean up your registry, clean up temp files and more. Now an experienced tech can actually do this stuff better, because regardless of how complete something like this might appear, it isn’t fully complete. But it is a step in the right direction. This is NOT something that you need to run on a daily basis. And DO make backups of your registry before you clean it. You will have the option to do such when you run the program, so don’t waste time searching how to do that – it will do it for you. Then if problems ensue after running the program, you can restore it to the “pre-cleaning” state.

Check disk – chkdsk – chkntfs

Another great thing to do is a quick disk check. There are several variations of the routine depending on the operating system you’re running. Do a quick search to see which on YOUR operating system uses. Windows 7 is chkntfs so I’ll throw that here.

Why would you want to run a check disk on your computer? Files can get thrown into disarray in a number of circumstances – most of which have roots in unexpected shutdowns. Anytime you press the button ‘Reset’, your data can corrupt. Ditto when the power goes out and shuts your computer down unexpectedly. The only APPROVED way to shut down a computer is to do the “Start Menu” => “Shut Down” routine or to press the power button once for a second. Either will put the MS Windows machine into shutdown mode. Pressing and holding the power button until the computer shuts down – while satisfying – does give the unexpected shutdown scenario and can cause corruption. Scary, isn’t it?

The good news is that it very seldom DOES corrupt, but still…  It can corrupt, so the “reset” or 5 second power button press maneuver should not be used without being sort of forced into it.  Admittedly, being a computer guy, I get pretty irritable when a computer doesn’t shut down fast enough, and will punch the power button with some testiness when it takes too long to shut down.  The OSes these days have stronger file systems than they used to.  The old Win 95 / Win 98 machines were notorious with their FAT drives for corrupting.  The newfangled NTFS came into it’s own with the Windows 2000 release and files became considerably safer IMHO.  Anyway, back to the disk check – do it.  It’s always a good idea to run some sort of check disk on occasion, and it will never hurt your machine.

You can do a quick disk check to just verify all your files are in order and properly marked in the file system.  Do a

chkntfs /x c:

in a command window or from the command line and it will schedule a disk check on your next reboot. Let it do the reboot and then when it comes back up, it will run through the disk check routine.

Enjoy these tips in speeding up your own computer! If you have problems, call Lizardwebs for computer repair in Raleigh and beyond!