3000 mile computer tune up
November 15, 2007, 10:36am PST | Length: 00:04:30
Sponsored: Like cars, computers require regular maintenance. Agent Peterson of the Geek Squad explains how to keep your computer running efficiently.
The content for this video was sponsored and provided by Geek Squad.
Agent Peterson: Hi, I'm Agent Peterson with the Geek Squad. Today we're going to cover the 3,000 mile computer tune up. Computers require a lot of maintenance, very similar to a car and their oil changes. I remember this one time we had a client come in at the Geek Squad we see some bizarre stuff, let me tell you this client actually had a computer that had a mouse inside of it. If she had just followed some of these simple steps, she probably wouldn't have had to come see us that day.
The first thing we're going to cover is dust. Dust and cleaning out your PC is something that you need to handle on a regular basis. Getting enough dust in there is actually going to start to insulate your computer, which can turn into heat. Once that heat cools down, it will turn into moisture, that moisture if you're familiar with water and computers will turn into a dead PC. You need to make sure to get some of those canned air bottles and clean out your computer on a regular basis.
Next we're going to cover temp documents and cookies. Temporary documents are things that get on your computer from going online, from reading your email and from installing programs. All sorts of stuff gets loaded up on your computer. You need to make sure to get in there and clean out the clutter. There's lots of utility programs that will actually take care of this for you and make it a nice automated process.
Speaking of clutter on your computer, let's take a second and actually think about how these files get on our computer. When your computer writes something to its hard drive, it actually starts writing everything in a spiral fashion. So we've got this nice spiral here of a computer that's nice and healthy, a lot of files on there. Let's say we go in and actually delete something. Now we've got this space right there. When your computer comes to write its next file, it's going to start writing where it finds its first space. So it's going to write our next file right here. If that file is larger than what that last space was, it's going to continue the file at the next free space it finds. This is a process called fragmentation. What we want to do is actually defragment our hard drive.
The process is basically going through and realigning all these files back up so that way, they're in a nice order for the computer to find everything quickly, and so that you don't have to wait 20 minutes while you try to load up your favorite game. The hard drive, when it's all done, will look nice like a spiral again and it will load up real fast. The way that you get to this program is by clicking on "Start," and going to "All Programs." Then to "Accessories," then to "System Tools," and finally you'll see an icon called "Defragment" that will look real similar to this guy right here.
Next, we're going to cover anti virus and anti spyware protection. Now, a lot of people set their computers up so that they run these scans for them automated and you never even have to worry about it. The problem is, if your computer is ever turned off or you just cancel the scan, your scan isn't getting done. You want to make sure to run that manual scan at least once a month. That way you can make sure that you're up to date against your anti virus, and making sure that you're not going to have any problems.
Speaking of updates, it's not only your anti virus and your anti spyware that needs updates. Your operating system needs updates too. And this is done through a site called www.windowsupdate.com, or there's a couple quick links on your computer. If you actually click on "Start" and go to "All Programs" and go to "Windows Update" there will be an icon that looks like a little globe with the Windows symbol on it. Or you can simply open your web browser and go to www.windowsupdate.com. I personally would recommend running all the updates they have available, even the optional ones, because if there's an update there's probably a reason for it. Maybe not necessarily needed today, but somewhere down the line.
Lastly, if all your software is up to date and you've cleaned out the whole PC, check the recommended hardware requirements for everything on the software you're trying to run. It may be that you've got the minimum. For example, Windows will run on 64 megabytes of RAM, but that's not enough in order to keep everything else on that computer running happy. Make sure that you've got plenty of memory, plenty of hard drive, and plenty of video card for the programs that you're trying to run.
So if you keep up on all these things; every 3,000 miles or in computer terms, every six months your computer will be running just like the day that you took it out of the box.