Tip & How-To about Computers & Internet

Don't Trash That Old PC Just Yet!

Let's face it folks, that expensive shiny new life hub you purchased a few years back is getting old. Yes, the one the salesman told you would last you for years to come. What he didn't tell you is that those years really are only 3-5 before the system is obsolete. Don't fret however! I'll tell you how to get your system back in better than new shape for just an afternoon of your time and for $100 or less!

Now, this tip is for the basic everyday user that keeps that PC around for the internet, email, and the occasional writing of documents. If you are a bleeding edge type of user, you already know what you need to do. Here are my simple steps to get the machine of yours to perform better than when you bought it!

1. BACK UP YOUR FILES!! - Anything important to you should go immediately to disc, flash drives, or external hard drives! Or all 3 to be on the safe side!

2. FIND ALL OF YOUR PROGRAM AND OS DISCS!! - You should always have them in a safe place, and for this task, you will need them!

3. Download KillDisk - A handy tool to erase the hard drive to give you a clean slate to work from.

4. Look at your current memory and video size. You can go to sites such as NewEgg.Com to purchase inexpensive upgrades to your current machine. More ram and a larger video card will allow for new programs and web content to run on your machine much more smoothly than they are now. Use the internet to help you find components that your machine can handle.

OK, now that the prerequisites are taken care of, it's time to get to work!

1. Double check to make sure any and all important files are backed up!

2.. Pop in your copy of KillDisk and boot from it. Follow the simple instructions and step away from the machine for an hour or two while it erases your hard drive. (Single Pass is more than sufficient).

3. Install your copy of your Operating System. This will take around an hour and it's best to check back at your machine every 15 minutes or so to make sure you give it the proper input it needs to continue during various stages of the install.

4. Run drivers disk! You will need these working to access the internet, get your sound going, and all the essentials to make your machine's hardware work as it should.

5. Run updates! It is important to turn automatic updates on and make sure you are at your latest versions of software for both the OS and Hardware.

6. Install your programs and put your backed up files back on your machine. Check for updates for these as well.

6. Install RAM and Video card and prepare to be amazed by how just a couple components can refresh that old machine of yours with a little more speed. While you have the case open, make sure to blow out any dust in the case.

7. Read my previous tip titled: Keep Your New PC In Top Shape...For Free!!! to get the files you need to keep protected and be productive.

That's it folks. It's not too difficult, and chances are you know someone who can help you through this process if you need help. This will give your machine a fresh start, and as long as the hardware keeps ticking, you will be able to hang onto that old PC of yours for a few more years!

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