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Erasing Data from a PC
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When deleting les on your computer, even from the Recycle Bin, they re not actually gone forever. There are special software tools that can recover deleted les and documents. Although this is very useful if used in the right situation, criminals can also retrieve this discarded information. To protect your personal information, such as passwords, credit card numbers, and other previously deleted data, you need to permanently wipe out this data before giving your PC away to someone else.
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Keeping Your New PC Healthy
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Junk les and some other not-so-obvious things, such as disk errors and clutter, can cause poor PC performance. To keep your new PC up and running smoothly you should perform regular maintenance and take preventative measures, such as the following sections discuss.
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For more information on how to perform the maintenance recommended in this section you can refer to another book in this series, Simple Computer Tune-up: Speed Up Your PC.
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Keep Windows Up to Date
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Microsoft releases periodic updates for Windows to ensure your PC is protected from the latest known security holes and programming bugs or errors. Many of these updates will help increase your PC s performance. In addition, an out-of-date Windows may comprise the security and performance of your PC.
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9: After Migrating to a New PC
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Remove Unused Files and Programs
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Unused programs and les are one of the biggest contributors to wasted disk space and can cause a reduction in your PC s performance. As a general rule of thumb, the less disk space you use of your hard drive, the better overall PC performance you ll experience. Therefore, it s best to remove software programs that aren t used and les that you don t need anymore.
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Delete Temporary Files
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Computers naturally create many different temporary les, which are typically stored for your advantage. However, these temporary les on your computer can stack up, which can contribute to poor PC performance. Therefore, periodically delete these temporary les to keep your new PC healthy. The following are the main temporary les:
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Internet Cache Web browsers (for example, Internet Explorer) typically create temporary les, often referred to as Internet Cache, during web browsing. These temporary les usually aren t needed after you are nished sur ng the web, and they can take up large amounts of space on your hard drive.
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Recycle Bin Remember, les are not actually removed from the hard drive when you delete them the rst time. For instance, deleting les for the rst time actually sends them to the Recycle Bin. Then from there you can either remove them from your computer or in case you gured out that they should not have been deleted, you can restore them.
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Windows Temporary Files The Windows operating system and other applications create temporary les for various reasons, such as during software installations. These temporary les, however, are typically not needed after the application exits or when Windows is shut down.
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Keep Your Personal Files Organized
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Organizing personal les and documents that are scattered throughout your PC and deleting old or unused les will help free up disk space. In addition, this helps keep your PC healthy.
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Create separate personal folders Start with creating folders for each user of your PC. For example, if it s a family PC you may want to create a separate folder for each member in a convenient place such as the desktop or My Documents. This way everyone has a place to save and create their documents, which helps keep the les on your computer organized.
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Create sub-folders Then you can create sub-folders, for each of your topics or interests, for each computer user. Periodically clean up your les Once in a while you should go through your folders and delete any les you don t need anymore. Especially look for and remove large les.