Most of your maintenance can be carried out from within your Control Panel. To access, click Start, Control Panel and if this is in the classic view, click on “Switch to Category View”. The various options given are:
1. Appearance and themes – also get by right clicking on an empty part of your desktop. Screensavers, desktop etc options here.
2. Network and Internet connections. Also get by right-clicking network icon next to clock. Set IP addresses, ICS etc here.
3. Add/Remove programs – includes Windows elements.
4. Performance and Maintenance – this is the main one we are interested in for now. 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. Here I will show you how to Defrag + Clean-up + Empty Recycle Bin Of the various options we will choose 2 for now. The first, “->Free up space on your hard disk” – click this and wait some time for a report. Make your choices what you want done and then click OK to delete the various unwanted temp files etc which the pc found. The second, “->Rearrange items on your hard disk to make programs run faster” – click on this to open the disk defragmenter and select which disk to work with and then click on “Analyze” to see how bad your disk is fragmented. The pc will suggest to you whether to run the defragmenter or not.
5. Printers and other hardware.
6. User accounts.
7. Date, Time, Language and Regional Settings. This is often why the clock time at the right bottom of the screen is wrong i.e. an incorrect time-zone is given as the computer tends to get the correct time from various servers on the internet. Another problem that often arises is that certain keys on the keyboard provide the wrong character on screen such as @ instead of “. This is usually caused by the incorrect Language being selected and is usually solved by selecting American English instead of English English or vice-versa.