PC Maintenance and Troubleshooting Complete Guide

PC Maintenance and Troubleshooting Complete Guide 2021.

PC Maintenance – This section includes information about tasks you can perform to help ensure the trouble-free operation of your PC, and to ease the recovery of important information on your PC should problems arise in the future.

Creating Data Backup Discs

You can use the CD or DVD burning software included on your PC to create backup discs of important information including personal files, e-mail messages, and Web site bookmarks. When writing data to a backup disc, you should use software that includes write verification functionality.

This verification feature compares the data on your hard disk drive with the data copied to the disc to ensure it is an exact copy. Depending on your disc burning software, you may need to manually enable this feature.

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Creating System Recovery Discs

This is a one-time step that you should perform while your PC is working properly. If you later encounter problems with your PC, you can restore it to its original configuration using the System Recovery discs that you create.

Before creating recovery discs, read “System Recovery Overview“ on page 17, and then create the discs as described in “Creating System Recovery Discs“ on page 18.

Removing Unused Programs

  • Click Start, and then click Control Panel.
  • Double-click Add or Remove Programs. The Add or Remove Programs window opens.
  • Select the program you want to remove, and click the Change/Remove button.
  • Follow the onscreen instructions.

NOTE: Some programs have their own uninstall features. If you cannot uninstall a program from the Control Panel, try using the program to uninstall.

Running the Disk Cleanup Program

The Disk Cleanup program frees up space on your hard disk drive by removing temporary and unused files (including Temporary Internet Files and files in the Recycle Bin). You can run Disk Cleanup manually, or you can set it up to run automatically.

Running Disk Cleanup manually

  • Click Start, All Programs, Accessories, System Tools, and then click Disk Cleanup. Disc Cleanup searches for files to delete and calculates how much disk space can be saved.
  • Choose the files to delete by placing a check mark in the check box next to the file types listed.
  • Click OK, and then click Yes to finish deleting the selected files.

Scheduling Disk Cleanup to run automatically

  1. Click Start, and then Run, and type the following into the open field (note there is a space between the r and the /): cleanmgr /sageset:100
  2. Select the types of files that you want removed (for example, temporary files, Temporary Internet Files, and the files in the Recycle Bin).
  3. Click OK to save the settings.
  4. Click Start, All Programs, Accessories, System Tools, and then click Scheduled Tasks.
  5. Double-click Add Scheduled Task and then click Next.
  6. Select Disk Cleanup from the application list and then click Next.
  7. Accept the default task name or type a name for the task, select when the task is performed, and click Next.
  8. Select the time and reoccurrence (if available), and click Next. Disk cleanup may take a long time, so select a time when the PC is on but not in use.
  9. Enter your login name and password and click Next. If you do not have a password, leave the Password field blank and click Next.
  10. Select Open advanced properties for this task when I click Finish and click Finish.
  11. In the Run field of the Disk Cleanup window add /sagerun:100 at the end of the path. For example: C:\WINDOWS\system32\cleanmgr.exe /sagerun:100
  12. Click OK and, if prompted, verify your password. Disk Cleanup runs at the time you have set.

Running the Disk Defragmenter Program

When Windows stores files on your hard disk drive, it often divides them into multiple pieces (or fragments) so they fit into available space on the drive. When you attempt to open a fragmented file, it must be retrieved from more than one place, so the process takes more time.

The Disk Defragmenter program groups the fragmented files together on your hard disk drive to improve PC performance. This does not affect the location of files and folders on your PC.

NOTE: The Disk Defragmenter program may take a long time to complete. You can run it unattended overnight.

  • Open the Windows Task Manager by pressing the Ctrl key, the Alt key, and the Delete key at the same time.
  • On the Applications tab, select all the programs that are listed, and then click End Task. Close the Task Manager.
  • Click Start, choose All Programs, Accessories, System Tools, and then click Disk Defragmenter.
  • In the Volume column, select the hard disk drive you want to defragment (typically C:), and then click Defragment.

If Disk Defragmenter repeatedly starts, a hidden background program is still accessing the hard disk drive. Restart the PC in Safe Mode and run the Disk Defragmenter program again:

  1. Click Start, Turn Off Computer, and then Restart.
  2. Press the F8 key as soon as the first logo screen appears.
  3. On the Windows Advanced Options menu, use the arrow keys to select Safe Mode and press the Enter key.
  4. Press the Enter key again to select the operating system.
  5. Log on to Windows. When the Desktop message appears, click Yes to continue in Safe Mode.
  6. After Windows starts, use the previous procedure to run the Disk Defragmenter program.

Checking for Hard Disk Drive Errors

Perform the following procedure to check the integrity of the hard disk drive in Windows XP. Close all open programs before beginning the disk check.

  1. Click Start, and then click My Computer.
  2. In the window that opens, right-click the hard disk drive that you want to check, and click Properties.
  3. In the Properties window, click the Tools tab.
  4. Under Error-checking, click Check Now.
  5. If desired, click the check box next to Automatically fix file system errors and Scan for and attempt recovery of bad sectors.
  6. Click Start. If prompted to restart, click Yes to restart the PC.

Understanding Hard Disk Drive Space

HP PCs with the Windows XP operating system preinstalled may appear to have a hard disk drive smaller than what is stated in the product specifications, in the documentation, or on the box.

Hard disk drives are described and advertised by manufacturers in terms of decimal (base 10) capacity. Windows and other programs, such as FDISK, use the binary (base 2) numbering system.

In decimal notation, one megabyte (MB) is equal to 1,000,000 bytes, and one gigabyte (GB) is equal to 1,000,000,000 bytes. In the binary numbering system, one megabyte is equal to 1,048,576 bytes, and one gigabyte is equal to 1,073,741,824 bytes.

Because of the different measuring systems, you may see a difference between the size reported by Windows and the size advertised. The storage capacity of the hard disk drive is as advertised.

Windows reports smaller capacity in the Windows Explorer tool and in the My Computer window because it shows information about one partition on the hard disk drive at a time. The first partition contains the System Recovery information.

Recommended Maintenance Schedule

Daily Recommended Maintenance Schedule –

Manage e-mail

  • Delete e-mail from unknown sources.
  • Do not open untrusted attachments.
  • File e-mail.

Weekly Recommended Maintenance Schedule

No.ALL Points
1. Protect against viruses, adware, and spyware• Update definition files or schedule a weekly automatic update.
• Run a full virus, adware, and spyware scan or schedule a weekly automatic scan.
3. Optimize Performance• Run Disk Cleanup.
• Check for disk errors.
• Run Disk Defragmenter.
3. Optimize your browser• Delete cookies.
• Delete cache.
• Delete history files.
4. Empty the Recycle BinThis, and other cleanup tasks, can be performed with the Disk Cleanup program.
5. Back up important files to
See Above.

Monthly Recommended Maintenance Schedule

Use Windows Update
• Check for updates or schedule a monthly automatic update. (See the Getting Started Guide for details.)
Review the Start menu• Set to launch only needed
Clean up the desktop• Delete or uninstall unneeded
icons and applications.
Maintain overall condition• Check cleanliness.
• Make sure ventilation is unobstructed.
• Secure all connections and cabling.
Create a Restore PointRead More….

Quarterly (seasonally) Recommended Maintenance Schedule

Set new passwords(See the Getting Started Guide for details.)
Clean the PC, monitor,
keyboard, and mouse
• For detailed cleaning instructions, go to http://www.hp.com/ support select your country/region and language, search on your PC model number, and then search on the keyword cleaning.

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