Purging Your Computer of Gunk (Part 1)

In my last article “Degunking Makes your Computer Run Faster, I made reference to a great book on the subject by Joli Ballew. Her book is called “Degunking Windows 7”. This provides useful information on how to get rid of accumulated gunk on your computer. To put some of her ideas into practice here are a few tips.

When you decide to take the plunge and set about turning your computer into a mean clean machine you need go further than Windows 7 itself. Here you will find two useful tools, Disk Cleanup and Defragmenter. Both reside in System Tools, a sub-folder of Accessories. These tools go a long way to cleaning up the mess on your computer.

Using Disk Cleanup

  1. Open the Start Menu.
  2. In the Search box type, Disk Cleanup.
  3. Select the drive and click the OK button.

Note: If you have more than one hard drive, click the down arrow button and select the drive you wish to clean up.

4. Disk Cleanup calculates how much space it can save.

Note: By default, Disk Cleanup displays a list of checked locations where redundant files reside. These files are fair game so you can delete these files with impunity. However, there are also some non-checked locations. Treat these with caution.

5. To see what you may be in them, move the mouse pointer onto each listed item. In the lower section of the dialogue box you will see the following information – the amount of disk space you will save and a description of what you are deleting. The golden rule is “Always check before you delete“.

The illustration below shows you the sequence to follow.


Using Disk Cleanup


Why do you need to defragment your hard drive?

Your computer when running contains hundreds and hundreds of files. The more programs and more files you had the greater likelihood is that they will be scattered across your hard drive in fragments.

Fragmented files degrade the performance of your computer. As the clusters of files become fragmented they grow further apart and it takes longer for your computer to find and assemble all the pieces necessary to run the program or to access the file.

This is where the process of defragment it comes in. It rearranges the files on your hard drive putting them back in order last cutting down the time it takes to access them.

Now you know why you need to defragment your hard drive on a regular basis.

Using Disk Defragmenter

The other useful tool for tidying up your hard drive is Windows 7’s Disk Defragmenter. This is located in System Tools. The quickest way of accessing it is to open the Start Menu and in the Search box type, “defragmenter”. Windows search quickly find see operating command. Press the Enter  key. The Disk Defragmenter window opens.

There are two important options in Disk Defragmenter. The first is to analyse the disk you wish to defragment and the second option is to go straight into the defragmentation process.

Windows 7 Disk Defragmenter

Tip! Windows 7 is not the only provider of a good defragment program. Consider these two alternatives –

Both applications are freeware and are excellent applications.

You have made to positive moves in the process of cleaning up the gunk on your computer. In my next article you will learn how to continue the process.




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