Before you do anything! - Precautions!

Here are some basic precautions or rules to follow so that you do not damage your computer in the process of cleaning it up!

Don’t delete files without knowing what you are deleting:
When cleaning up your system, you are going to delete many files. However, do not delete a file if you do not know what it is. If you are in doubt, simply move the file to a different directory. If everything goes well and nothing stops working, then you know that you can safely delete the file. If something stops working, then you can always move that file back to it’s original location.

Make periodic backups of your system: 
If you’re getting ready to do a huge cleaning session, you might want to make a backup all your valuable information before you start. 

How to backup valuable information?

It’s pretty simple. Just take all the files and data that is important to you and burn it on a CD, DVD, Zip Drive whatever. That’s all. You need to do this kind of backup form time to time whether or not you are “cleaning up” your system. You never know when a computer will stop working and you will loose all your valuable data.

Be careful how you delete programs: 
In the days of DOS, programs usually consisted of a couple of files or all the files in a given directory. It is not so in Windows. When you install a program, the installation program can move pieces and parts all over the system.

Because of that, the best way to delete a program is to use either the "uninstaller" provided with the software or the "Add/Remove Programs" applet in the "Control Panel". Don’t just delete the main folder of the program — pieces and parts will remain scattered all over your system.

If a new icon shows up on your desktop suddenly, don’t double-click it: 
If you don’t know why it’s there, someone (or some program) has possibly put it there. If you don’t know what it does, DO NOT double-click it and run it? Its most likely some sort of virus.

Use Windows System Restore Utility:

System restore is a Windows XP utility that basically lets you go back in time! Suppose you change some delicate Windows settings and your computer does not work properly, then you can use system restore to change the settings back to the original settings and make everything work properly again.

Using System Restore:
Before you make any major changes on your computer or delete any risky files or change any major settings, you must use System Restore to create a “restore point”. The restore point basically is a note of all the systems settings etc. before you made the changes. If something goes wrong, you can use this restore point to get things back to normal.
Setting a restore point:

  1. Choose Start>All Programs>Accessories>System Tools>System Restore
  2. The System Restore window appears.
  3. Select the “Create a Restore Point” radio button and click Next.
  4. Enter a description for the restore point and click Create. You do not need to type in anything technical in the “Desctiption”. It’s just the name of the restore point so that you can use the restore point in the future. So just put in some simple descriptive term or phrase that you can remember. 
  5. In a few moments you’re notified that the restore point is created.

If something goes wrong and you need to restore your system…

  1. Choose Start>All Programs>Accessories>System Tools>System Restore and start System Restore
  2. In the first program window, select the “Restore My Computer to an Earlier Time” option and click Next.
  3. A calendar appears, revealing all the available restore points.
  4. Click any date shown in bold. The right side of the screen shows the description of the restore points available for that date.
  5. Pick the restore point desired and click Next.
  6. When prompted, confirm that you want to do a restore.
  7. When you confirm, System Restore sets another restore point before actually doing the restore you want. It does this so that you can undo the restore you’re about to do if need be.
  8. After a reboot, your system behaves exactly as it did when the selected restore point was set.

Having understood the basic precautions that you must take, let us take a look at a simple cleaning schedule that you can implement in your busy schedule to keep your computer running fast!

Next - Creating a cleaning schedule..for a fast PC! >>

<< Previous - How to clean up Windows XP? - Intro.

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Table Of Contents

  1. How to clean up your Windows XP? - Introduction
  2. Before you do anything! - Precautions!
  3. Creating a cleaning schedule..for a fast PC
  4. Monthly cleaning tasks..
  5.      >> Getting rid of all the "Spyware"!!
  6.      >> Defragmenting your drive???
  7. Improving the Windows Performance! 
  8. Speeding up your PC's startup speed!