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How to Make Your Computer Faster

In many ways, computers are much like the closets in your home. They tend to collect all the detritus and flotsam that you aren't using, or have half-finished, whether it was on purpose, or a system problem. And just like you clean out the closet occasionally, cleaning the computer should also be a regular chore.

There are a number of ways to do this, but one important procedure is to use the Scan Disk or CHKDSK function. The type you have depends on your version of the Windows OS.

When you do a scan disk, the program will sweep your hard drive for such things as "broken" information that has been retained by the system through such events as restarting the computer without shutting down your applications, power interruptions, and other occurrences that can cause a break in the string of data that the computer was receiving.

Think of data transfers as maps, with your computer having the ability to follow these on its own. When it is missing links, or clusters of information, this can cause lock-ups and program errors, slowing your system down, considerably.

As a rule of thumb, it is advisable to run your Scan Disk once a month to clean out these broken clusters and chains. Go to Start Menu/Programs/Accessories/System Tools and click the Scan Disk feature. In Windows XP, you should open My Computer, choose the drive you want to check, and then under the File menu, click Properties. Under the Tools tab you will want Error Checking, and Check Now. Use the scan for recovering bad sectors. According to the OS and program you are using, an error or bad sector can be repaired automatically or you may be given a screen to choose the Repair option. Select repair, but if offered a Save feature, it's best to just delete the broken data, as it's no use to you anyway.