Your computer is your lifelines in this industry. Basic maintenance can keep it running smoothly. Here are three very simple and yet very important things you need to be doing.
- Have antivirus and firewall software installed and running at all times.
This is not optional. There are plenty of free ones to use. If you are not using antivirus and firewall software, you should not be on the Internet.
- Run Scan disk weekly.
Scandisk is a utility that checks your hard drive for issues. These issues can happen when files are deleted, the computer gives you the blue screen of death, or for who knows why. When errors do occur, it can slow down your machine significantly. The process takes 2 minutes to start and you can let it run while you are asleep. Here is a link that explains how to do it. Different versions of Windows look slightly different, but it is similar enough that these instructions work. I run this every Sunday night right before I go to bed as you have to reboot it to deal with any issues. Check both boxes on the options (see link), tell it you want to schedule it, reboot, go to bed.
- Defragment your disk weekly.
Windows has an interesting way of putting files on the drive. It is complex but to make a long story short, the files are not always in one place. They can be spread out over different areas of the disk. Think of the programs as folders with files in it. If those files are scattered out it can take more time to get to them. The process is simple. You can see some graphics and instructions here. Again, run it overnight. You can do it while you are still working if you want. It just takes a while. Note: Vista and Windows 7 have a feature to do this automatically at a scheduled day/time. More instructions on that are here.Go ahead and do this and reply below when you have. Once you do it a few weeks, it will become an easy habit.