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Basic Computer Housekeeping Tips
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      At one time or another everyone experiences computer problems! It's just a fact of life. When they do have problems the ISP receives the call for some reason. The caller usually starts out with, "I don't know what's going on but I keep getting a message that says General Protection Failure."  Who is General Failure and why is he reading my hard disk? :) Well, there can be a number of reasons for this message to appear. The main thing I think people should know is how to do their housekeeping. But then you wouldn't usually know about these things until somebody informs you that it needs to be done. So, that's what this page is all about! There are many do's and don'ts that come with owning a computer. Here are a few helpful things to know.

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DON'T DO's -=:<>:=-
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1. Don't ever reach over and just turn your computer off. Always go through the correct shut down procedure! Start ... Shut down the computer? ... wait until you see the "It is now safe to shut down your computer" message. Then you can turn it off. (If you need to reboot; Always wait at least 10 seconds before turning it back on) There are times when the machine is locked up and nothing responds that will leave you with no choice but to turn it off improperly.

To correct this;
Press Ctrl + Alt + Delete, all at the same time. Let go of them, all at the same time.
The Win 95/98 Task Manager will come up and then you choose End Task.
It will take you to another box that wants you to click on the name of the program you were working in to highlight.
Once you do that, choose End Task at the bottom of the box.
Then another box will pop up and ask you to click End Task again.
It will then take you to the Desktop and allow you to go on from there.
If it is still locked up;
Press Ctrl + Alt + Delete again and choose Shut Down.

If your computer doesn't automatically run Scan Disk when it re-starts, you will need to to this now. Click here for instructions.

2. Don't give your machine too many commands at one time. You know, we're from the clicker generation! Remember riding in the car and there's always someone there that's constantly changing the station on the radio. Well, it never messed up the radio to do it, but it'll trash your computer if you do. When it comes to this topic, think of your computer as a digestive track. Take a bite and give it time to go down before you take another one! I've had people tell me that they clicked and clicked and all it does now is sit there, the mouse won't even work. They have 'locked up' their computer! They had given it so many commands that it got confused and didn't know what to do.

To correct this;
Press Ctrl + Alt + Delete all at the same time. Let go of them all at the same time.
The Win 95/98 Task Manager will come up and then you choose End Task.
It will take you to another box that wants you to click on the name of the program you were working in to highlight.
Once you do that choose End Task at the bottom of the box.
Then another box will pop up and ask you to click End Task again.
It will then take you to the Desktop and allow you to go on from there.

Note: Whatever you were working on at the time the machine locked up will be lost unless you followed the golden rule of saving your work as you go along!

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THINGS TO DO -=:<>:=-
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To keep your system running smoothly and to prevent logon problems to the internet, Use Windows ScanDisk and Disk Defragmenter regularly.

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This needs to be done;
Once a week, If you use your computer an average of 16 hours a week.
Once a month, if you use it less than 16 hours a week.
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You can use ScanDisk to check your hard disk for logical and physical errors. ScanDisk can then repair the damaged areas.

You can start ScanDisk by clicking Start, pointing to Programs, pointing to Accessories, pointing to System Tools, and then clicking ScanDisk.

Click the drive you want to check. exp. - [C:]

Under Type of test, click Thorough.

You'll want to specify how ScanDisk repairs the errors it finds, click the Automatically fix errors check box.

Click Start.

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Using Disk Defragmenter to speed up
access to your hard disk.

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You can use Disk Defragmenter to rearrange files and unused space on your hard disk so that programs run faster.

You can start Disk Defragmenter by clicking Start, pointing to Programs, pointing to Accessories, pointing to System Tools, and then clicking Disk Defragmenter.

Click the drive you want to defragment. *

Click OK.

While your disk is being defragmented, you can use your computer for other tasks. (Not recommended) However, your computer operates more slowly, and Disk Defragmenter takes longer to finish. To temporarily stop Disk Defragmenter so you can run other programs faster, click Pause.


During defragmentation, Disk Defragmenter must restart each time other programs write to the disk. If Disk Defragmenter restarts too often, you may want to close other programs while defragmenting your disk.


*defragment -

A file that is too large for a single location on a disk is fragmented and stored in any free spaces on the disk. You can use fragmented files, but your computer takes longer to access them. Disk Defragmenter rearranges the files and free space on your disk. Files open more quickly because they are stored in adjacent units and free space is consolidated.

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When it is storming outside
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Always ... even if you have a surge protector ...
Unplug all computer hardware from the outlet!
This includes your telephone line to your external modem or on the back of your computer. If you have a surge protector that all of your computer/printer/scanner/modem is plugged into, just unplug the surge protector. The manufacturer of the surge protector sometimes guarantees your equipment in the case of a lightening strike, but it cannot replace your data should this occur. I have seen many cases where users had everything on a surge protector and it did not save the equipment from getting damaged by lightening.

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