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Dump the junk

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Wield the dust busters. - K. ANANTHAN
Wield the dust busters. - K. ANANTHAN

So, you have bought a brand new computer.The dealer has told you it has the bestconfiguration on earth but within a fewmonths you feel the computer isn't as fastas it was when it first came home.A few more months pass. You realise thenew thing is now only as fast as the old oneyou chucked out.

As the computer gets set to celebrate thefirst birthday, it becomes so slow that youstart wondering whether the computerdealer has cheated you. As a last resort, youcall an engineer. He tells you something youdidn't expect will happen with a computer- that it is clogged with junk... andfragmented files. He takes half-a-day toclean up the system and charges you a heftyfee. You realise it is the largest `cleaningcharge' you have ever paid.You can avoid all this if you do a fewsimple things every week or every ten days.The first is to use the disc clean-up utilitythat comes installed in all Windowscomputers.The next step is to defrag. Whenever youopen or close the file or install newsoftware, they don't get stored in one place.They get divided into smaller chunks andget stored in different `slots' in your drive.Every time you open the file or program, thecomputer has to get the file from thedifferent places it has stored the filecomponents and give them back to you as asingle unit. The more you open and closefiles and programs, the more fragmentedthey become.You should make it a point to use the diskdefragmenter that comes pre-installed inWindows. If you still want to have a betterjob done, there are several third partydefrag programs available. There are alsothe cache from the browsing you do. Youhave to use the temporary files and cachefrom the Options menu.One more clean-up software that is amust is CCleaner. Use it at least once in afew days. It will delete all the temporaryfiles and cache from the system.A regular clean-up of the system willensure you don't have to shell out anythingjust for cleaning up the system... and keepyour computer running as new.R. DINAKARAN

(This article was published in the Business Line print edition dated January 31, 2011)
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