Routine Maintenance


Over time and through the course of every day use your computer may become noticeably slower than when it was new. Listed below are some steps to follow to keeping your system running smoothly.

Defragmenting Your Hard Drive

From your Start menu, go to Programs –> Accessories –> System Tools –> Disk Defragmenter

The window that appears should look something like the one below. Close all other applications, windows and programs and click Defragment. Depending on the state of your drive, this process can take from 30 minutes to 2 hours.

Windows Update

Keeping Windows up to date is one of the best ways to help keep your computer running well. If a bubble ever pops up in the lower right of your screen telling you that there are new updates to download or install, you need to click it and then click Download or Install.

If you want to verify that Windows is up to date on your computer, visit Windows Update.

To make sure that Windows updates itself automatically on Windows XP/2000 only, follow these instructions:

Enabling Automatic Updating in Windows XP

Windows XP users Note: You should install Service Pack 2 on your system to obtain the latest Automatic updates software.

1. Open Start –> Control Panel.
2. Find the icon labeled System and double-click on it.
Note: You may have to click on Switch to Classic View to access the system icon.

3. In the “System Properties” window, find the tab labeled “Automatic Updates” then click once on that tab.
4. You should configure your windows to look identical to this one:


- Check the box next to “Keep my computer up to date. With this setting enabled, Windows Update software may be automatically updated prior to applying any other updates.” Note: This is the wording used by Windows XP.
- Set the radio button next to the description that says “Automatically download the updates, and install them on the schedule that I specify.”
Select “Everyday”.

- The time you select can be whatever is most convenient.

5. Press the OK button.

Enabling Automatic Updating in Windows 2000

Windows 2000 users Note: Windows 2000 users must install Service Pack 3. Automatic Updating is installed as part of this service pack.

1. Open Start –> Settings –> Control Panel.

2. Find the icon labeled Automatic Updates.
Note: You may have to click on Switch to Classic View to access the system icon.

3. In the “Automatic Updates” window, configure your machine to look exactly like this:


- Check the box next to “Keep my computer up to date. With this setting enabled, Windows Update software may be automatically updated prior to applying any other updates.”
- Set the radio button next to the description that says “Automatically download the updates, and install them on the schedule that I specify.”
- Select “Everyday”.
- The time you select can be whatever is most convenient.

4. Press the OK button.

If you have Windows 98, be sure to run Windows Update and install Critical Update Notification from the Windows 98 section.

Stopping Popups

The Google Toolbar is a good way to stop pop ups in Internet Explorer. Or by installing Mozilla or Firefox web browser and use their built in pop up blocker.