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Saturday, November 17, 2012

Not Crafty BUT useful to know

I havent posted for ages, as I have been busy making stuff to sell, or samples for companies, so am not free to show them.........YET but I am still here!
Okay some of my friends in the crafty world use pc's well, loads actually, but some dont know much about basic Windows computer care, so here is a self help sheet for those that dont know this stuff!
None of this should damage your pc! These are tools built into the system by Microsoft, and as such are there to help.
Here we go:

Right now, what you really should do is run a disk clean up, and a full defragment of the hard drive.
If I am insulting you by teaching you to suck eggs, I am sorry, but I have learnt it's not wise to assume:
So, I need you to click on the my computer icon, so you can see the main drives, C,D, and possibly your external drive. C is your main hard drive, and D is your cd/dvd rom drive normally, or your restoration points drive, then E-Z are external drives normally.
So when you can see pictures of all your drives, I want you to right click on your C drive, it will open a new menu, and go down to the bottom, and left click on Properties.
Next you get a box, with about 7 tabs, General,Tools, Hardware, Sharing, Quota, Security and Previous versions.
On general there is a box, under an image of the hard drive showing how full it is, so its called Disk Clean-up. If you have never done a Disk Clean-up before, then be warned it will take a LOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOONNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGG time for it to give you a result. So LLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOONNNNNNNNNNNNNNNGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGG that you will think its not working!! BUT it IS!!! Eventually it will give you a box with some ticks in:

Downloaded program files: Safe to get rid off if you have moved the files else where! So put a tick in the box if they are safe to get rid off, leave it unticked if they are not!
Temporary Internet files: things that are stored on your pc everytime you visit a different site. If you have your passwords and login details stored by Internet Explorer, Firefox or Chrome, this will NOT get rid of them!! It just gets rid of "cookies" stored on your machine by lots of different websites, and are safe to remove, so put a tick in this box!
Game News Files: Dont know if this is on all machines, or not, but it's on mine, and a new addition since I upgraded to Windows 7. Generally safe to put a tick in this box!
Recycle Bin: again, generally safe to remove! As you have already "binned them" but you havent "emptied" the bin yet, and yes you do have to get rid of the rubbish, its just like filling the craftroom bin with paper, you still have to empty it! So put a tick in this box!
Temporary Files: Okay this IS NOT the same as Temporary Internet files, this is different! This is to do with the Installation of new programs generally. Basically the computer when it installs a new program, writes little notes to itself during the installation, "such and such goes here, this is the registration number" and so on, so you can put a tick in this box too, you don't need the notes anymore, the installation has finished.
Thumbnails: Now on Win 7 Windows automatically regenerates the thumbnail cache, every time you open a folder to vies picture, bearing in mind that these are thumbnails, and less than 50kbs, I am horrified to discover that I have 254MB of them! If Windows didnt want you to be able to delete them, and bearing in mind that every time you open a new folder, with pictures or videos in, it goes behind your back and writes the thumbnails as it finds them, its safe to assume that Microsoft dont have an issue with them being removed or it wouldnt give you the ability to remove them! So put a tick in this box!
Per-user archived Windows Error reporting files, well I dont have any on my machine, Yay! and again it wouldnt give you the option if it was going to damage the system, as Microsoft are very protective of their operating systems, so if you have any put a tick in the box!
System Archived error reports: Operative word, Archived, as in old information, that's probably already been reported back to Microsoft, where do you think all the updates come from? So put a tick in this box too!
And one that I know is on OLDER systems, Compress drive. I have been around Techies for years, I have had PC's since Windows '93, and the advice I was given, back when I had Windows '98 was DONT compress the files! Wether this is true for newer machines, I dont know, but until someone I trust tells me its NOT going to slow my system down, then I wont do it!

Now click and clean those old files off your system!

Next up, is the disk defragment: on the Tools tab of the properties box. This is useful! VERY useful!! Basically a computer does NOT write files in an order that makes sense! Imagine taking your local paper, opening it to the middle page, throwing all of them out of the window to the street below, then having to go down, collect all the pages up, and put them back in the right order so you can read the paper! Basically that's what you are doing EVERY TIME something new gets written to your hard drive! It doesnt go, "oh this is a group of files that belong together, so I'll put them all together here." No it goes, "Okay I have this picture, so where can I squeeze this picture in? I know I'll shove it in the middle of this lot! Right next I have this word document that goes with the picture I have just put in with the middle of that music file, so I'll put this document, in with the old rubbish that came from that webpage I visited 7 months ago, that she never went back to." And you wonder why the computer is slow to find stuff after a while?
so make sure your computer isnt going to go to sleep halfway through, click on defragment, and let the system put things in the proper places, thats what defragment does! Its the librarian putting all the books back in the right places on the shelves!

Hope that explains it in terms that make sense?


Daffodil said...

Brilliant Lou. Just what I need. All I need now is the time to work my way through it, But at least I now kknow where to look, Thanks very much,

Linda said...

Hello hun, glad to see that you are around (I know this as I mither you LOL). Brilliant piece of information. I am going to get this done today whilte crafting. You are a star xxxxx

Lidna xxx

Su said...

Cheers for this Lou - must admit that I do 'maintain' my PC regularly but it's helpful to have 'plain english' descriptions of those 'ticky boxes' I'd worked them out but handy for those who are nervous about such things!

Su (Soop)

Carrie said...

Really useful information Lou. Thanks for takig the time to write it up for us.