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July 30, 2014

The Good Ol’ Computer Tune-Up

Filed under: Main — Tags: , — admin @ 12:01 am

Taking your car in for a tune-up was one of those things everyone did back in the olden times. It required my waiting in the mechanic’s lobby, reading dusty copies of magazines only someone who didn’t need to take their car to a mechanic would enjoy reading. And then, after several minutes and half a wallet of cash, my automobile would be running sweet.

But what about a computer tune-up?

Recently, I received an email inquiry that read:

Hi Dan,
I want to give my computer a tune up (make sure everything is running alright). I do not know how to check to make sure everythings running alright.How do I go about running a tune up on my computer? My computer is a Windows 7 Ultimate.

That’s an excellent question!

The short answer: You don’t need to!

Windows 7 automates nearly all of the tune-up processes you’d normally go through. If configured properly, you should find the computer:

* Routinely performing disk maintenance
* Scanning for malware
* Backing up important files
* Installing software updates

That’s the short-list of what needs to be done with regards to computer tune-up. And, again, it all happens automatically. A program called the Task Scheduler is already set up to perform those basic operations, specifically the disk maintenance.

Scanning for malware is done by Microsoft Security Essentials, which I recommend that you obtain and install if you haven’t already. Or if you’re using a third-party anti-virus program, such as Norton or McAfee, then you’re good.

Backup needs to be configured. You can use Windows backup with an external hard drive, or choose from one of the many online backup services, such as Carbonite.

Software updates are handled by Windows Update, which should run automatically. Just ensure that you install the updates as recommended, which often includes restarting your system at least once a week (but maybe not that frequently).

The worst thing you could do would be to turn all those features off. Or, even worse than that, is to buy “tune up” software, that’s basically a joke. It’s also a waste of money to hire someone to do a “computer tune up,” which has a remote chance that they may fix something wrong, but most of the time it’s a scam.

If you’re concerned about something specific, then you should address that issue. For example, the computer randomly restarts, then you need to have that issue addressed. Or if a file goes missing, you can hunt for it using various tools. But for a tune up, you’re good!

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