Monthly Computer Maintenance Schedule

Applies to Windows 2000, XP Home, and XP Professional operating systems. This is a good checklist to help keep your computer running smoothly, free of spyware, and protected from hackers and viruses.

Task

Software/Utility

1st Month
2nd Month
3rd Month
4th Month
5th Month
6th Month

1. Update any of the following:

- Virus definition files
- Firewall version
- Spyware version and data files

If you do not already have a good virus protection software, spyware detectors/cleaners or a firewall, get them! Free: Zonealarm firewall software, Lavasoft Ad-Aware.
2. In the c:\windows\temp folder, delete all the contents of this folder (leave the folder there, but empty). Use the utility Windows Explorer to do this. Windows Explorer (not "Internet Explorer") can be found in the <start> <Programs> <Accessories> folder.

3. In Internet Explorer under <Tools> <Internet Options>, click on the "Delete Files" button to clear the browser cache, then "Delete Cookies", then "Clear History".

Internet Explorer

4. Use two spyware removal programs to remove spyware from the computer.

A. Spyware Search and Destroy

B. Ad Aware

5. Defragment the hard drive - use <start> <Programs> <Accessories> <System tools> "Disk defragmenter"

Windows Disk Defragmenter
6. Clean the lens of the CD ROM drive (and/or CDRW Drive or DVD Drive) You can purchase a laser pickup lens cleaner at any major computer, entertainment store that sells computers, or Walmart

7. Uninstall any programs that are not being used regularly. <start> <settings> <control panel> "Add or Remove Programs".

Windows Uninstall

8. Move any large files from the Desktop to another folder on the hard drive.

Use "Windows Explorer" (not Internet Explorer)

9. Backup important data (should be done weekly!):

- E-mail
- Photos
- Music
- Data files - documents, spreadsheets, presentations, databases, etc.
- etc.

Use Winzip to compress these files and store them off-site onto:

- Another hard drive
- A network drive
- A Zip or other RW drive
- Onto a data CD (CD ROM)
- The Internet somewhere

10. Empty the trash can on the desktop

Trash

Home


© 2003-2005 Paul Kurucz. This document or any information on it may be copied freely. As a courtesy, please reference this site as your source for anything you copy from here. Thank you.