greatest enemy to your computer is heat. It causes the internal components
and chips to wear out. Heat also lowers the performance of your system.
first thing to check is the ventilation around your system. Many of
the standard computer desks force you to place your computer in an
enclosed cabinet. If your system is in an enclosed space, cut a hole
in the back of the cabinet behind your cooling fan. This will allow
it to draw cool air into the system. Your system should have at least
4 inches of space to the rear with no clutter, loose paper, etc.,
to block the flow of air into the computer.
a Surge Protector:
Most people understand that they should
use a surge protector to reduce the risk of their computer being damaged
by power surges. However, the most prevalent source of computer hardware
damage is NOT from the power outlet. The most prevalent source of damage
is from the phone outlet. For a few dollars more, you can buy
a surge protector that also has phone jacks to protect against surges
through your phone line. Moreover, buy a surge protector that has
an indicator light that shows that your surge protector is functioning
properly. Once a surge protector is damaged, it provides no surge protection.
Unless it has an indicator light, you wonít know whether or not it's working.
Deletes unnecessary files from your disk, including the contents of the
Recycle Bin, the Temporary Internet Files folder, general temporary files
made by programs, web pages which you specified as being available offline
and downloaded program files from the Internet (all or some of these files
can be deleted depending on which options you choose).† To
run Disk Cleanup click Start, point to Programs, then to Accessories,
System Tools, and finally click Disk Cleanup.
a program from your computer open the Add/Remove Programs Properties
dialog box by clicking Start, poining to Settings,
clicking Control Panel, and then double-clicking Add/Remove Programs.
Only programs that were designed for Windows can be removed by using the
Add/Remove Programs Properties dialog box. Highlight
the program that you wish to remove and click on the Add/Remove button.
For all other programs, check that program documentation to determine
which files should be removed.
Run ScanDisk about once
per month to evaluate and, if necessary, repair your hard-drive.
You can start ScanDisk by clicking Start, pointing to Programs, pointing
to Accessories, pointing to System Tools, and then clicking ScanDisk.
Make sure that the type of test is "Thorough" and the "Automatically
Fix Errors" box is checked. ScanDisk is called Error Checking
in Windows NT, 2000, and XP.† Error Checking can be run by
double clicking My Computer, then right clicking the C: drive and choosing
the tools tab.
to optimize the speed with which your programs load and run. Disk Defragmenter
rearranges files and unused space on your hard disk so that programs run
faster. You can start Disk Defragmenter by clicking Start,
pointing to Programs, pointing to Accessories, pointing to System Tools,
and then clicking Disk Defragmenter.
Note: If your computer
fails to completely run ScanDisk or Defrag, temporarily
turn off your screen saver. If that doesn't work, reboot
to Safe Mode and run the programs. To start Windows in safe mode,
Click Start, and then click Shut down. Click Restart,
click OK, and then press and hold
the CTRL key until the Microsoft Windows 98 Startup Menu appears.
For some machines, you can use F8 instead of CTRL to bring up the Microsoft
Windows 98 Startup Menu. Enter the number for Safe mode, and then press
ENTER. In safe mode, Windows uses default settings (VGA monitor, no network,
Microsoft mouse driver, and the minimum device drivers required to start
Windows). You will not have access to CD-ROM drives, printers, or other
devices. More importantly, it does not automatically load many of the
programs that interfere with ScanDisk and Disk Defragmenter.
Updating Anti-virus Signature Files:
viruses are released everyday. To effectively combat new viruses, you
must update your anti-virus signature files at least every two weeks.
This can be done via the Internet. To do so, follow the instructions contained
in your anti-viral program user's manual.
98, the Maintenance Wizard automates some of the maintenance tasks such
as Disk Cleanup, Defrag and ScanDisk, and is available under the System
Tools folder in the Start Menu.
Microsoft Windows Update:
Windows Update helps you keep your computer secure by providing
the latest Critical Updates in the Product Updates Catalog. Consumers,
IT Administrators, and Developers can find more information about security
issues on the Microsoft Security Web Site.†† Begin by going to the website:
Or you may be able to click your
Windows Start button and go to Windows Update (must already
have Internet Connection established.)
What do I need to do?
Product Updates makes it easy to download updates and enhancements
to the software on your computer
- First, browse the catalog.
- When you decide you want a certain
component, click the box next to it. A check mark appears in the box.
Before you choose to download a component, click the "Read this
first" link for important information, including:
If you decide you don't want a
product you've already selected, just click the box again to remove
the check mark.
When you have selected all the
components you want, click the Download button.
A page appears. Make sure that
all the components you want are in the list. To make a change, click
the Back button.
Click the Start
Download button. All the components you selected will be downloaded,
then installed. Some components may ask you for additional information
- A more detailed description
of the component
- How to begin using the component
- Instructions for uninstalling
- Support policy
When you see the Installation Complete
message, you're done! Some components may require you to shut down and
restart your computer after installation of all components is complete.
components can be uninstalled right from Product Updates page. To uninstall:
- Go to the Product Updates page.
When the dialog box appears, click Yes.
- When the Product Updates page
appears, click the Show Installed Updates button at the top of
- Click the Uninstall button
to the right of the component you want to uninstall.
Updating device drivers
You can now download device drivers from the Product Updates
device driver is a program that controls a piece of hardware (such as
a printer, monitor, disk drive, or video card) that is attached to your
computer. Many device drivers come installed with Windows, but in some
cases (for example, when you buy a new piece of hardware) you may need
a driver that was not available when you installed Windows. To keep up
with the newest hardware, we are constantly adding new drivers to the
Product Updates site.
Screen Resolution is the amount of pixels wide by the amount
of pixels high that are viewed on your monitor.† This affects the size
of your icons and the amount of scrolling you may need to do when viewing
documents or web pages.† Since most web sites are built with the default
800x600 resolution in mind, you would have to scroll horizontally to be
able to see most of the content if you were set to view 640x480.
change your resolution under Windows 95/98/NT/2000/Me:
From the Start menu, select Settings,
and then choose Control Panel. The Control
Panel window will appear.
the Display icon. The Display
Properties window will appear.
the Settings tab
the Desktop Area is set to 800
by 600 (or higher). Note: If it is available
press the Test button. If the screen appears blank, it will return to
normal in 5 to 15 seconds. You will then need to contact your computer
manufacturer or vendor for assistance in changing the screen resolution
the OK button. Note: You may be prompted to reboot your computer. Choose
OK button to restart.