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Computer Tweaks from the Nerds:

Computer Help in Plain English

There are many PC tweaks you can do to keep your computer running in peak condition. Many of these things vary based on what version of Windows you're using. To find out what version of Windows you're on, the easiest way is to click on the Start button in the lower-left corner. There will be a little menu you should have seen a million times before. On the side of the menu, it will say "Windows 98" or "Windows 2000" or something like that.

Now, for computer tweaks that might be more specific to your particular flavor of Windows, try clicking on one of the following:

Also, we are working on sections featuring fixes for:

Finally, we have monthly tips that we put online that are general in nature and give pointers, fixes and tweaks across the board.

Defragging the Hard Drive

Regardless of the flavor of Windows on your PC, the first thing you want to do is what we nerds call "defrag the hard drive." All this means is that you want to take all the pieces of files that get broken apart and scattered on various parts of the platter and put them all back close together again. This means that the platter won't have to spin so much to find the scattered pieces and they'll be all close together again. Not spinning so much means faster file access. Faster file access means programs seem to go a lot zippier.

So, the question is "how do I defrag my hard drive?" (go ahead, ask it) The answer is simple.

  1. Close all programs that are running (besides this browser window, of course :)
  2. On the top-left corner of your screen, is the "My Computer" picture. Click it twice.
  3. Now you see all the familiar things.. A: C: and probably a D:. Select the one that says C: and then right-click.
  4. A menu should appear. Click on Properties near the bottom of the menu.
  5. In the gray box that just opened up, click on the tab on top called "Tools"
  6. On the right side are some buttons. Click on the one that says "Defragment Now"
  7. Start the process with either a click on the Defragment button

This process can take up to a couple of hours, especially if it's been a while since you've done it. But the payback is really big. Just close the box when it says it's done and enjoy the increase in computer speed!

The computer tweaks might be more specific to your particular flavor of Windows

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