Friday, October 28, 2016

How to Fix Common PC Errors

As any Windows user will know, a PC runs like a dream when it is new. It boots quickly, files and programs take practically no time to open, and everything runs smoothly and efficiently. However, after a few months - or a few weeks, depending on how hard you work your computer - you may begin to notice that things aren't quite working as well as they used to. Glitches start to crop up, and you may start getting notifications about "DLL, SYS, and EXE errors". Many users think that this is part of a PC's normal aging process, but the truth is that you can easily do something about it.

The following tips will help you fix common PC errors, or even prevent them before they happen:

* Clean Up Your Registry

The Windows registry contains a wealth of information that is vital to how the operating system runs. This is where you can find the settings for most of your software and hardware. As such, if this gets filled up with things that you don't use, it can bog down your PC's performance. To prevent this from happening, you should regularly clean up your registry by downloading and installing a reliable registry cleaner program. The best of these can be set to run automatically on a weekly basis so that you don't have to worry about them after installation, but you should do manual cleaning every time you uninstall software to make sure that the program you just got rid of doesn't leave any of its information behind.

* Keep Your Files Spic and Span

You may not realize that your hard drive accumulates a lot of files that you didn't create. These include temporary files that are born whenever an existing file is being used or edited, or offline webpages that stay behind after you're done browsing. Though the individual files are usually very small - typically just a few kilobytes - they can create problems for you if they are allowed to accumulate. Fortunately, it is easy to do this as Windows has a built-in tool for getting rid of such files. You just need to right click on your hard drive in Windows Explorer, select Properties, and find the Disk Cleanup option in the pop-up window. You can then choose the types of files that you want to get rid of, and let the tool take care of them.

* Uninstall Unnecessary Programs

Unnecessary programs are another source of performance-related errors in PCs. It is only to be expected that you will install software in your computer, but you shouldn't let the programs that you aren't using clutter up your hard drive (this is especially true of freeware, which is often accompanied by a small army of programs that you may not have noticed during installation). You can get rid of unnecessary software with the same Disk Cleanup tool you use to get rid of junk files. Just go to the "More Options" tab and choose to Clean Up programs and features.

* Regularly Defragment Your Hard Drive

As space starts to become scarce in your hard drive, you may begin to have problems with fragmentation. This is what happens when the data for a certain file or program is stored in multiple locations on the drive, and it can cause your system to slow down dramatically (or even stop entirely) when you attempt to access the information. It is thus prudent to regularly defragment your drive using the built-in Windows tool so that the data for all your files is stored in an orderly, sequential manner that won't create any issues. The defragmentation option should show up when you right click your hard drive in Windows Explorer, although the newer Windows 8 and 8.1 operating systems no longer require this kind of maintenance. You will have to make sure that no other programs are running while you perform defragmentation, however, as any other software operations will interfere with the process.

If you follow these tips, you will keep your PC running optimally, and it is highly likely that you will lengthen the lifespan of your system's hardware as well. Just be sure that you stay well ahead of errors by performing these steps regularly. Don't make the mistake of doing all of these just the one time after reading this article and leaving it at that! Make them part of your weekly or monthly schedule: set reminders and alarms if you have to, until performing these vital tasks becomes a weekly habit.