Computer Maintenance
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Computers are far from self sufficient in removing bad files and keeping them gone.



Computer Servicing for Resale-Consignment Stores

Those of us working in the consignment business of course are not in the computer business but there are some basic things to know to keep computers running as they did out of the box.

Don't attempt these procedures unless you are confident in your understanding of the concepts and your ability to do things correctly.

Delete Temporary Windows Files

'Temporary files' are files usually created by Windows which are need to perform many tasks. Unfortunately Windows doesn't automatically clean up after itself and leaves many of these files resident on the hard drive. Go to Computer then C: then Windows and click the folder named Temp. All those files are 'temp files' taking up space and they are not needed. While viewing the files, press control+A to select all of them then press the delete button.

Go to the Control Panel and click on Programs. Again, don't proceed without a complete understanding of this process. Right click on any program that is not needed (especially toolbars, games and alleged anti-malware/spyware programs) and uninstall. Close any browser windows that pop up asking for feedback. It won't be necessary to reboot until the last unneeded program is gone.

Remove Temp Internet Files

Files from visited websites are stored (cached) on the hard drive, so upon revisiting the website, the computer will pull the same files from the fast cache, rather than download them again from the website. These files build up and can take up a fair amount of hard-disk space. They can be removed.

Instructions for removing unneeded files from browser will vary but for Internet Explorer, in that browser, click on Tools then 'Delete browsing history'. Check the desired options, click Delete and wait several seconds for a message to appear at the bottom of the screen saying that files have been deleted. Close the message window.

Click on Tools again then 'Internet options' then Settings in the Browsing-history section. Click on 'View files' to see the files that were not deleted by the process above. Press Ctl+A to select all and press the delete button.

Some accumulation of temporary Internet files can be avoided by checking 'Delete browsing history on exit'.

Programs Running in the Background

In our 12 years we have yet to see one computer that didn't have unnecessary programs starting at startup. All running processes can be seen by right clicking on the taskbar, starting task manager and clicking on the Processes tab.

To stop programs from starting at startup, click on the start button and in the search box type msconfig and press Return. (Stop here if you're not familiar with computer programs and management.) Click on the Startup tab, click 'Disable all' and check only those programs that need to start at startup, like wireless connections, anti-virus protection, backup services and laptop pads. (If something is not working after the required reboot, it may be necessary to return here and reactivate the feature.)

Some software vendors are sneaky, installing options to run their programs in 'services' so if the programs are stopped in startup, they will be reactivated from the services listings. Find those culprits by looking at listings under the Services tab, particularly Adobe and Google.

Unnecessary Programs

Every program installed is a potential problem, either a conflict with another program or an update that interferes with another program. Anti-virus programs can be the worst. (Use ESET. It's not free but it is the best protection available.)

Go to the Control Panel and click on Programs. Again, don't proceed without a complete understanding of this process. Right click on any program that is not needed (especially toolbars, games and alleged anti-malware/spyware programs) and uninstall. Close any browser windows that pop up asking for feedback. It won't be necessary to reboot until the last unneeded program is gone.