i recently saw a post about reformatting and how that some do it about once a year to help keep their computer running fast and smooth. do others reccommend that as well as what are some other reccommended regular maintenance things to do to your computer to keep it running as effeciently as possible and not bogged down? any websites to point to or just anything in general; thanks
When I got my new computer, I got the full McAfee suite of virus protection. I schedule it to sweep for viruses once a week, usually around 3:00 am on a Tuesday or something. It never finds anything though because it also features a personal firewall that prevents any kind of virus getting through.
I also got Spysweeper. Best $20 I ever spent, the program is easily the best in spyware detection and removal. I never actually get spyware, thanks to spysweeper and mcafee constantly running, but I get the occassional tracking cookie or startup program that spysweeper takes care of. I'd say a spybot/adaware install is just as effective for free, but I'm happy with sweeper. I also sweep for spyware once a week, scheduled at a time i'm not using the pc.
I use firefox
I ALSO schedule bi-weekly defragmentations of my hard drive.
Finally, I'm just careful what porn I download.
So the way I see, I probably won't have to reformat after a year, but I'll still reformat at some point... mainly because I'd like to get a bigger hard drive and partition it off for a multiboot OS system... although I have almost no interest in Linux whatsoever.
thanks for some of the replys. so basically reformatting every year or so is not reccommended in keeping your computer in tip top shape? other than that i am pretty familiar with virus and spyware programs like spybot/adaware. i've run defrag once i believe, what exactly is it and how often should it be done. any other reccomendations on maintenance to keep it running fresh and clean? or are there any websites or articles on this topic out there? thanks
Basically what happens when you install software, delete and create files or uninstall applications, files get written to the drive in a disorderly way.
In order for a hard drive to run at optimal performance, that data on it should be contiguous. But since applications install and uninstall temporary files and files are constantly being deleted, added and moved, it's impossible to keep that contiguous structure. Thus, your hard drive gets fragmented. When it's fragmented, the OS and the hard drive need to "look" longer for the file or files you're trying to access.
When you defragment the drive, it lines all of your files back into a neet, contiguous structure that will improve the performance of your hard drive. You should do it at least once a month, ideally once a week and every time you install or uninstall software. You can schedule defrag to run in the Windows Scheduler.
You should also run the Chkdsk utility. It scans and fixes errors that may be on your hard drive's file system. Assuming you're using NTFS of course, which you should if you have XP. It must be executed from the command line because it runs the check on the boot sector of your computer after you reset it.
There is a graphical Check Disk utility, but I don't recommend it.
Go to Start>Run
At the command line type chkdsk /f
A common error is that people just type in chkdsk without the /f. The /f tells the utility to fix errors it encounters, rather than just reporting them. You cannot access the harddrive while the utility is running and it can take a long time to run in most cases. I would run it periodically, at least every 3-6 months.
i have never reformatted one of my own computers except for when i was selling it. i have reformatted other people's computers sort of as a last resort. basically, reformatting is cleaning the harddrive and starting over from scratch. you would need to reinstall all the software and have copies of all the files you wanted to keep saved on another drive or dvd or whatever. i dont think its something you want to do unless you really need to do it and unless your computer is really fouled up you dont need to it. its like using a nuclear bomb to kill a mouse. there is usually an easier a way to fix the problem.
defrag is a good idea. i do it every few months. some people say to do it more often. i dont really notice any difference but its good preventive maintenance.
what about programs that permannently delete files that are not wanted or used anymore; temp, cache, etc? i've heard that anything you delete never is really deleted, but everything is stored on the harddrive. if that is true, it has to eventually bog something down right