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  1. #1
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    Start the new year with a clean Windows PC




    TOP STORY

    Start the new year with a clean Windows PC


    By Fred Langa

    A little time spent now on preventive maintenance can save hours of PC troubleshooting later — and provide better computing all year long. Use the following steps to give your PC an annual checkup — and ensure it starts 2015 as healthy as possible.

    The full text of this column is posted at windowssecrets.com/top-story/start-the-new-year-with-a-clean-windows-pc (paid content, opens in a new window/tab).

    Columnists typically cannot reply to comments here, but do incorporate the best tips into future columns.

  2. #2
    New Lounger
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    As always, a gr8 article. I would mention that because the air for cooling is drawn in from the underside of a laptop, it is NOT a good idea to use the laptop on a bed or other surface that its material would block the entrance of cooling air. Even putting the laptop on a towel or other fabric surface can impede the entrance of cooling air. I always use my laptop on a hard surface (even a hard thin board on my lap) that gives air a chance to enter the cooling intake and even use a couple of "lifters" (in my case, a pair of short arrows for a crossbow! HaHa) to allow a good supply of cooling air to the underside of the lappy. Check your temperatures with SpeedFan with the lappy on material that blocks the air intakes and again on a hard surface. BIG difference.

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  4. #3
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    My MacBook Pro is great for my lap when I watch TV, has no openings on the bottom cover. My Windows and Linux Notebooks are a different story and do need to be on a hard surface so nothing gets sucked up to block the vents.

  5. #4
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    Small correction - chkdsk has been a command for Windows since before Windows coming from DOS. At least DOS 3.0, but it may have been there for DOS 1. Oh, and the # of revolutions a hard drive goes through can be billions - 2.8 billion for a 5400 rpm drive, but far less if the drive uses energy savings. A home PC might spend 95% of it's time with the drives turned off, giving an annual spin cycle of 140 million.

  6. #5
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    Fred leaves out one extremely quick test that would alleviate the need to run Microsoft's woefully incomplete hard drive diagnostics. Look at the S.M.A.R.T. (Self-Monitoring, Analysis and Reporting Technology; often written as SMART) data logged by the drive. If the any of a drive's Reallocated Sector Count, Reallocation Event Count, Current Pending Sector Count or Uncorrectable Sector Count have a NON-ZERO value, replace the drive because it is failing. How to see the SMART data? Several ways: The program GSmartControl and the Health panel in Defraggler both show the SMART data, hence the overall health of the drive. There are a couple of other programs that show SMART data, too. After assuring that the important SMART data are non-zero, THEN run the Microsoft diagnostic, mostly to fix up the software with broken file system links etc, but NOT to check the health of the drive. Please, Fred, after all these years, I would have thought that you would mention SMART!

  7. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by benmyers View Post
    Fred leaves out one extremely quick test that would alleviate the need to run Microsoft's woefully incomplete hard drive diagnostics. Look at the S.M.A.R.T. (Self-Monitoring, Analysis and Reporting Technology; often written as SMART) data logged by the drive.
    To be fair to Fred, he does mention SMART in the paragraph:
    Take a few minutes to check your drive’s physical health via the Self-Monitoring, Analysis, and Reporting Technology (aka SMART) subsystem built into most current hard drives. Free software can help you do so; see the Sept. 6, 2012, LangaList Plus item, “Using and understanding SMART hard-drive tools.”

  8. #7
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    Win 7 Backup

    Quote Originally Posted by Tracey Capen View Post



    TOP STORY

    Start the new year with a clean Windows PC


    By Fred Langa

    A little time spent now on preventive maintenance can save hours of PC troubleshooting later — and provide better computing all year long. Use the following steps to give your PC an annual checkup — and ensure it starts 2015 as healthy as possible.

    The full text of this column is posted at windowssecrets.com/top-story/start-the-new-year-with-a-clean-windows-pc (paid content, opens in a new window/tab).

    Columnists typically cannot reply to comments here, but do incorporate the best tips into future columns.
    When I attempt to carryout a system backup win 7 as per your article I get the error message ' insufficient storage available. Please check VSS and SPP evemt logs'. This is clearly incorrect as I am attempting to backup to a 2TB external drive. Apparently there is a fault with Win 7 and the message refers to the space on the 100MB boot partition created during the win 7 installation. How can I correct this? Note that I am not a geek so keep it simple!!

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