Pete's PC and Web Tips
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  Computer Maintenance
  => Backing Up and Restore
  => PC Information, Device Manager, Drivers
  => Performance and Maintenance
  => Dos Commands to Fix Bad Sectors and Corrupt Operating System Files
  => Network Problems
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PC Information, Device Manager, Drivers
Basic information about your PC such as the Operating System, Service Pack number, Chip speed, amount of RAM, computer name, Workgroup name may be obtained by clicking Start, right click on My Computer and click on Properties. The various tabs like General and Computer Name give you this information. If you go to the Hardware tab and click on Device Manager this will list information about your hardware. Something to look for here are any yellow exclamation marks which will indicate a problem with that particular hardware and often indicates a missing or incorrect driver. While here we can look at another common problem people have which is difficult to trace unless one knows what to look for i.e. USB controllers switching themselves off. By default these are set to switch off after a while to save power on laptops.
·         Some of the most common problems which cause the slowing down of computers are files becoming fragmented and the free space filling up with lots of temporary files and other clutter. In the next bullet, item 4 we will deal with Defrag and Clean-up. Part of the Clean-up is the emptying of what is called the Recycle Bin which is the “storage place” used for all the files which get deleted. The “deleted” files are actually not physically removed from the computer. All that happens is that the space they are occupying becomes “available to be used memory” again and at some stage is overwritten by other files. The first letter of the file-name is overwritten with a tilde”~” character and the recycle bin keeps a note of that letter and where the memory is and basically keeps this space reserved until either a clear recycle bin command or a recover file command in which case the file can be recovered.
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