7 secrets to PC Heaven…

| News | Tips & Tricks | 13/10/2011 15:07pm
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"Artist's" impression of what your laptop could look like after following the 7 secrets to PC heavenGot a couple of minutes? Sitting comfortably? Good, then I’ll begin.

If you use your laptop every day, like most of us, chances are it’s going to start to degrade as the sands of time swirl by. So, we’ve laid down the seven golden rules to keep your PC on the straight and narrow and tried to recommend some decent free programs to help you along the way.

So here are our seven pearls of technical wisdom to help keep your laptop in shape:

1) Stay safe and secure online

Make sure your PC is protected with adequate security software: Norton Internet Security if you can afford it or free anti-virus and firewall software if you can’t. Add Threatfire and Malwarebytes Anti-Malware for additional protection.

2) Modify your online behaviour

The best way to avoid infection is to make sure you don’t put yourself at risk. Our colleagues at Tech Radar have noted down a few tips and tricks of their own to help you with this.

3) Think twice before installing programs

Don’t install programs for the sake of it – ask yourself if you really need them and check if a ‘portable’ version is available. This can be run directly from your data drive or USB flash drive without cluttering up Windows. Start your search for portable versions of your favourite apps at Portableapps, but also check the programs own site.

4) Uninstall more cleanly

Installing and removing programs quickly builds up clutter and detritus. Use Revo Uninstaller instead of the Program and Features Control Panel to remove programs from your PC – this scans your computer for leftover files and Registry entries after the program is uninstalled, enabling you to perform a cleaner uninstall.

5) Stay up to date with drivers and updates

Make sure Automatic Updates is on (and choose Microsoft Update if you have Microsoft Office installed), and regularly check for program and driver updates – DriverEasy can simplify the process of updating drivers, while File Hippo’s Update Checker can do the same for selected software.

6) Start looking after your drive

Get into the habit of running the disk-check – click Start, then My Computer, right click your C drive, choose Properties Tools tab and click Check Now. Tick both boxes and click OK, scheduling the check for the next time you restart. Windows XP users should also remember to run Disk Defragmenter every month. A useful tool for keeping an eye on your drive’s physical health is CrystalDiskInfo.

7) Use a regular clean-up tool

Install something like CCleaner to periodically clear out redundant files from your hard drive – avoid the Registry cleaning tools though, as these could cause irreparable damage to your Windows installation. Instead, check out Free Registry Defrag for compacting and de-fraging your Registry.

Lastly, when you’re happy with your speedy new-look laptop, it’s time to make yourself a hot cup of tea and put your feet up with some biscuits and the latest issue of What Laptop Tablet & Smartphone. Go on, you’ve earned it.

"Artist's" impression of what your laptop could look like after following the 7 secrets to PC heaven


Posted on Thursday, October 13th, 2011 at 3:07 pm under News, Tips & Tricks. You can subscribe to comments. You can leave a comment, or trackback from your own site.

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