Automate Your Computer Maintenance

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It seems like everything is automated these days. Things that used to take effort are now easily handled by computer devices. You can start your car (and the AC) from inside the grocery store, record your favorite TV show from the deck of a cruise ship, or order groceries from your living room. Things are more complicated now, which actually makes things easier. Go figure.

There are many tasks that should take place in your daily, weekly, or monthly computer maintenance. But you may not be doing these things for many reasons, not least of which is lack of time. We just don’t have time to run all the scans and update all the files on a regular basis.

Well, Windows has given us an automated way to do the things that matter most to the health of our computers. They’ve included automated scripts (albeit hidden and widely unknown) that allow users to run programs like Disk Cleanup and Disk Defragmenter. These two applications can greatly improve the performance of your PC, and now you can have them run automatically.

Disk Cleanup

Disk Cleanup helps rid your hard drive of unnecessary files and programs, many of which come from casually searching the Internet. The temp files alone tend to clutter your hard drive and eventually slow down your computer. A good cleanup should be performed every week. That’s a lot to ask of anyone … so let’s automate the process!

To automate your Disk Cleanup on Windows 7, follow these steps:

Click the Start button, click Control Panel, click Administrative Tools, and then double-click Task Scheduler.

Click on Action, and then click Create Basic Task.

Type a name for the task (i.e. Weekly Disk Clean) and an optional description, and then click Next.

Select Daily, Weekly, Monthly, or One time (we suggest weekly), and then click Next.

Click Start a program, and then click Next.

Click Browse, and type cleanmgr.exe in the File Name box, click Open, and then click Next.

Click Finish.

Disk Defragmenter

Disk defragmentation rearranges your files for optimal performance and speed. As you add files or programs, the hard drive stores the data in segments — a little here, a little there. And while your computer can typically piece these files together quickly, the more cluttered your hard drive gets, the longer it takes.

To automate your Disk Defragmenter on Windows 7, follow these steps:

Click the Start button, click All Programs, click Accessories, click System Tools, and then click Disk Defragmenter.

Click Configure schedule.

In the Disk Defragmenter: Modify Schedule dialog box, choose how often, which day, what time of the day you want defragmentation to occur (we suggest selecting a time when you are typically on the computer), and then click OK.

Click OK again.

You’ll soon be on your way to effortless computer maintenance.

If you need any help getting set up, be sure to give The Computer Guys USA a call at (928) 468-0000. We’ll be here to help.

Now go sit down, enjoy a pre-recorded movie, and order a few groceries.

Daniel Taft is the senior network administrator and member/owner of Computer Problem Specialists, LLC and CEO of “The Computer Guys USA, Inc.” with a degree in applied computer science. His career spans more than 20 years.

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