A Clean Machine

by fmhilton

To continue on with applications that I personally use to keep my computer running well, here are the last two free programs that I highly recommend:

Auslogics Disk Defrag:

If you are working in a Windows environment, you should understand that your OS can become very loaded down with garbage from previous installations of programs, or just simple ordinary use. It’s recommended by any technical expert that you do a defragmentation of your computer every week to keep it running well. This program has features that go beyond the normal Windows defrag option in your machine, and it is far superior to that.

I normally do not use the installed Defrag program, as it is unnecessarily slow and does not really do that great a job, which is why a separate defragmentation program is needed-although some people would argue that the built-in Defrag option is better. I politely disagree.

Defragging should be done about once a week. This particular program has a unique feature that I use when running it: “Optimize”, which makes sure all the files are in the absolutely correct spot when the computer is looking for them.

If you’ve never done a defrag, I can only imagine what your machine is dealing with. In order to understand what a “defrag” does, imagine your computer as being a file cabinet, full of files. When it looks for the appropriate file, it has a lot of files it has to go through to find the right one. When the computer is fragmented, it takes it longer to find those files to run.

In computer speak:

“Fragmentation occurs when the file system cannot or will not allocate enough contiguous space to store a complete file as a unit, but instead puts parts of it in gaps between other files (usually those gaps exist because they formerly held a file that the operating system has subsequently deleted or because the file system allocated excess space for the file in the first place). Larger files and greater numbers of files also contribute to fragmentation and consequent performance loss. Defragmentation attempts to alleviate these problems.”

In simpler terms, you can envision fragmentation as the storage cabinet with all the files all messed up-not in the right place, or scattered all over. You don’t want to go looking for files you can’t find simply, and neither does your machine.

Or as this entry from Wikipedia states:

“Defragmenting a disk minimizes head travel, which reduces the time it takes to read files from and write files to the disk”

The last (and actually the most important for any Windows user) program that I’m listing here is Eusing’s Free Registry Cleaner. Any computer that runs Windows will have unwanted and unneeded registry entries. They can clutter up the machine, and make it slower.

By using this you can empty those files, and you cannot imagine what kind of stuff you will find in it by running this program. I recently got an updated version of this program, ran it, and found over 350 empty or invalid registry keys! That was stunning to me, because I’d assumed (wrongly) that my computer was in fine shape as to the registry.

For a better explanation of what Windows Registry actually is and does, this article will explain the precise technical details.

Or-the simplest explanation of what a registry is and does:

“The registry contains important configuration information for the operating system, for installed applications as well as individual settings for each user and application. A careless change to the operating system configuration in the registry could cause irreversible damage, so it is usually only installer programs which perform changes to the registry database during installation/configuration and removal”

Now, I’m a verified Windows user, but I’m not going to ignore those who use Apple. There are programs for this OS, as well-these are only for MAC’s and only defragmentation. Apple Computers do not use the same kind of file system as Windows, so the step of registry cleaning can be ignored:

MacKeeper

How to clean up registry key in Mac for faster performance?

MainMenuPro

Onyx Maintenance and optimization tool

How to Defragment an Apple

MacJanitor (This program is an older one, might not be appropriate.)

iDefrag

Diskwarrior

With all of these programs, any computer user should be able to maintain their system pretty well. Yes, it does take some time to keep your computer clean and free of unwanted garbage, but if you’ve spent so much money and time on the machine, isn’t it worth a few minutes to maintain it?

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