Performing Maintenance on the Computer
A computer is like any machine that requires regular maintenance. Regular maintenance ensures higher performance of the system.
Scanning your disk:
Scanning your disk enables you to check a particular volume for file system errors. File system errors indicate bad sectors on the volume. In addition, the disk scan process also enables you to recover bad sectors. To scan your disk for bad sectors:
- Open ‘My computer’. Select the drive which is to be checked for errors.
- Select ‘File’ – ‘Properties’ to open the local disk properties.
- Click the ‘Tools’ tab. Click the ‘Check now’ button. The check disk dialog box is displayed.
- The options available in the check disk dialog box are:
- Automatically fix file system errors: Indicates that the operating system repairs the file-system errors found during disk checking.
- Scan for and attempt recovery of bad sectors: Indicates that the operating system repairs file-system errors found during disk checking, locates bad sectors and recovers readable information.
- Select the ‘Automatically fix file system errors’ check box.
- Click the ‘Start’ button.
Working with the Chkdsk:
Chkdsk is a command line utility to maintain your hard disk. The Chkdsk command checks the disk for errors based on the file system, displays the status report and attempts to repair errors. The most common errors detected by chkdsk are lost clusters, cross-linked files or allocation errors. It also reports memory usage and availability statistics.
Chkdsk /f – fixes error on specified disk.
Chkdsk /v – displays the name of each file located on the disk.
Chkdsk /r – Locates bad sectors and recover readable information.
Working with disk cleanup utility:
Sometimes the performance of the computer starts slowing down, your files take a longer time to open, save or close. One of the reasons is that, there could be unused files, deleted files or temporary internet files on your hard drive that are no longer required and are occupying space on the hard drive. Using the disk cleanup utility, you can remove the following files safely from the hard drive:
- Windows temporary files.
- Temporary internet files.
- Downloaded program files from the internet.
- Files and folders in the recycle bin.
- Optional windows components that you are not using.
- Installed programs that you no longer use.
Steps to perform Disk cleanup:
- Open ‘Computer’ icon on the desktop. Select the required drive on which you want to run the disk cleanup utility. Right click on the drive and click on ‘Disk cleanup’.
- The disk cleanup dialog box appears which shows different types of files and their size on the disk.
- Select the files which you want to remove and click ‘Ok’.
- A message box is displayed prompting you to confirm the deletion of the selected files.
- Click ‘Yes’.
Maintaining the storage devices:
Storage devices enable you to store and transfer data between the computer and different storage media such as floppy disks and CD’s. The different devices that you use to store data include Hard disk, tape drives and DVD drives. You must perform regular maintenance of the different storage devices to ensure that they work well. Proper maintenance will ensure trouble-free working for a long time.
Maintaining a DVD drive:
You must clean the DVD writer because a dirt drive can cause read errors while reading a DVD. These read errors should cause problems while installing software or running programs from the DVD. To clean the DVD writer:
- Start your computer and pause it on POST. Not that you do not allow it to boot the operating system.
- Eject the tray of the DVD drive. Shut down the computer and unplug the main power cords to the system and its peripherals.
- If there is front plate on the tray, remove it by pressing two notches on the bottom side and slide it upwards.
- Slide the tray back into the drive, but keep it a little open.
- Open the system casing. Touch a blank metal part to equalize any static electricity.
- While still regularly touching the metal, take off the cables from the faulty DVD/RW.
- Unscrew the screws, or unlock the sliders which are holding the drive in the shaft and pull the whole drive out of the system casing.
- Unscrew any screw which is holding the drive casing together. Take off the faceplate and take apart the metal lids of the drive casing.
- You can dip one end of a cotton bud in a CD lens cleaning liquid and place it on the laser lens that is exposed.
- Now turn the cotton tip in any direction as if you are fastening or loosening a screw for a few full turns.
- Dry it with a new cotton tip or the other cotton edge in the same way but with no liquid applied. If the lens appears to be dry and shining again, reverse all the steps you have done so far to put the DVD drive back together.
- If completely rebuilt and reconnected, leave the system case open and reconnect all the power cords.
- Start your computer and boot the OS using a bootable CD to check if the drive will read a DVD.
- If it reads than you can fasten all the screws you had previously taken out and close the system.