Check Your Computer Frequently

By: Jon Caldwell

If your PC's not powering up, don't immediately panic and run around the room while you're shouting and tearing your hair out (obviously I've done this before). Here are some basic tips on how to seal with this problem before you call your local (and expensive) PC repair man.

Check if your PC's plugged in. Yes, boys and girls, there's been a lot of situation where the the computer gets unplugged when your electric-bill-crazy-mom would pull it out while you're away from keyboard to save on the utility charges. Or you forgot that you pulled it out last night.

Have this ever happened to you? You go to the office on a Saturday morning to email a document to your boss (who just absolutely need to have it that same morning: on a SATURDAY) and you power on your computer. It goes through the same routine and then you wait....and wait...and wait until all the Windows program end loading. By the time it stops loading the morning is over and your boss is pissed. If this never happened to you, you're lucky-it happened to me. Anyway, enough about me, let's see what we can do for you.

Windows is notorious for logging in and off s-l-o-w-l-y. One of the main reasons for this are Windows programs. Albeit, they are important to help your computer run, it makes the lives of hectic people worse: especially if the Windows programs that keep it from logging on quickly are unimportant! So what do you do in these situations?

Keeping you personal computer secure nowadays is such a hard thing to do because of the viruses around. Even your little USB thumb drive can be a victim of these viruses. In fact, these thumb drives makes the transfer of viruses from PC to PC a lot more fast if they are left unsecure. Good thing, there are still free anti-virus softwares out there just like AVG is quite reliable since updates are released in a regular basis. If you use USB thumb drives, be sure to have them scanned by your anti-virus software before accessing it via Windows Explorer. You should also turn off the auto-play function when you plug in USB devices.

It's not only start-up that you'd like to speed up; you can also make sure that your system shuts down faster. If shutting down XP takes what seems to be an inordinate amount of time, here are a couple of steps you can take to speed up the shutdown process:

Don't have XP clear your paging file at shutdown. For security reasons, you can have XP clear your paging file (pagefile.sys) of its contents whenever you shut down. Your paging file is used to store temporary files and data, but when your system shuts down, information stays in the file. Some people prefer to have the paging file cleared at shutdown because sensitive information such as unencrypted passwords sometimes ends up in the file. However, clearing the paging file can slow shutdown times significantly, so if extreme security isn't a high priority, you might not want to clear it.

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