Tip & How-To about Computers & Internet

PC Tools- Ten Tips to Keep your Computer Running Smoothly

Computer Maintenance Tips

1. Never, never, turn your computer off with the power switch until Windows has shut down.

The one exception to this rule is when your computer locks up and your hard drive is not running (hard drive light is not blinking). In this situation, you can turn the power off without harmful effects to the hard drive. As cutting the power can also result in lost data or Windows files, you should only do this when you have to.

Following this rule will prevent permanent hard drive defects caused by the hard drive heads contacting the surface of the drive disc, and it will prevent a host of Windows problems.
Whenever possible, recover from crashes by pressing the Ctrl + Alt + Delete keys at the same time. Press them again to reboot your computer.

2. I highly recommend that you purchase an UPS (uninteruptable power supply) for your computer. This will keep your computer from crashing during power outages, and will protect your computer from low and high voltage occurrences.
An UPS is far superior to a surge protector and will save your computer from almost any type of power disaster. (See #1 above for what happens when your computer crashes.)

3. Backup, backup, backup, any data you cannot afford to lose to at least two separate physical drives. So backup data to external hard drives, Zip disks, CD-RWs etc.
The time to backup is when you create something you can't afford to lose. Don't wait until tomorrow.

4. Run Scandisk and Defragment at least once a month. This will keep your hard drive healthy and prevent crashes. Alternatively, purchase Norton Utilities and use it to keep your hard drive healthy.

5. Never unplug peripherals from the computer when it is powered up. Unplugging with the power on can short out the connector socket or the motherboard.

The only exception to this rule is if you know a peripheral is "hot pluggable". If you do not know what "hot pluggable" means then ignore this exception.

6. Do keep at least 300 MBs of your C: drive free for Windows to use. If you use Windows XP or Vista then you should have 400-600 MBs of free space on your C: drive.
If you do not have enough free space you will choke Windows and it will start dumping data to your hard drive, or it will just get really, really, slow.
Use the ADD/Delete tool in the Windows Control Panel to delete unneeded programs from your drive.
You can also use Cleansweep included in Norton Utilities to clean up your drive. If you do use Cleansweep or another hard drive cleaner, do not delete shared files unless you back them up. The cleaners do a rotten job of knowing if another program uses shared files.

7. Do not let a lot of programs load up when you start your computer. They use valuable memory and Windows Resources (Windows internal workspace).
All programs in your Windows System Tray (in the lower left of your screen) are running on your computer. Close them if you don't need them or run them and configure them not to load when you boot up.
Other programs running in the background can be found by pressing Ctrl + Alt + Delete at the same time.

8. Do use a virus checker regularly. Everyone should use a virus checker. The best type of protection is continuous monitoring from a dedicated anti-virus program like Norton Antivirus.
The second best thing is to use is the free online virus checkers such as Housecall provided by Trend Micro.

9. If you have a high speed Internet connection you need a firewall program. A firewall program keeps those who want to hijack your computer from gaining access to your system. You really do not want someone else running your computer.
I suggest you purchase and run Norton's Personal Firewall program. Your firewall should boot up with your computer to protect it from invasion.

Case in point: When I am online 10 hours or more with my DSL connection, my computer is usually attacked by a hacker at least once.
Do not think you are safe from hackers!! Hackers use search programs to seek out computers at random. Get a firewall program and use it.

10. Keep track of the software disks you receive with your computer and new peripherals. These disks contain valuable software drivers and programs for Windows and are needed when Windows must be reloaded. Keep these disks and your Windows software disks in a safe, dry, place -- you never know when you will need them.

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1 Answer

why does my laptop keep freezeing up and shutting down, I did a virus scan and its ok


The infected laptops encounter random shutdown problem until some maintenance activity is being performed on the system.
Two important things that you should do to fix a laptop which keeps shutting down are:
1- Scanning computer to eliminate malwares, spywares and the viruses from your laptop.
2- Repairing and cleaning Windows registry.
The registry errors, however, are the internal errors and can become a cause of system crashes and freezes.
These two tips are found to be very helpful to fix the laptop shutdown problem.


For complete optimization use system utility tool Reginout. WebRepOverall ratingThis site has no rating(not enough votes)

Dec 19, 2012 | Toshiba Satellite Pro L300 Notebook

2 Answers

My computer starts up and immediately shuts off. Most say its a hardware issue, tried a host of possibilities but the motherbaord being replaced. Suggestions?


Unplug the computer and open the case. Take a picture of the cards in the slots, and then remove all of them except the videocard (the cable that connects to your screen) if you have one that isnt built into the motherboard (be sure to label the connectors going to the cards if you're unsure of what they are) and then power the computer back up.

If it works fine one of the cards is bad. (If it dosent, skip down 1 paragraph) Turn the computer back off and unplug it, plug 1 card in and turn it back on. If it works, shut down and do the same for the next card. Keep going until you find the card that is killing it.

If it still dosent work with the cards out, it could be the power supply or something on the motherboard. Unplug the PC again and turn it on without plugging it in, this will drain the caps on the board. Holding the computer case with one hand (or use a ground strap) remove the memory from the sockets. Plug the computer back in and turn it on again (dont reach inside, fans and wires that are powered up). If it still does the same thing, it's the motherboard/cpu, if it beeps at you, it's the power supply.

Apr 27, 2010 | E-Machines eMachines Desktop PC

1 Answer

satellite a135-s2386


Resetting your USB Controllers I'm going to assume that you're running XP (home or pro). Recently I had to refresh my USB ports. This is the sequence I used.
1. Right-click My Computer and select Properties
2. Click Hardware
3. Click Device Manager
4. Expand the Universal Serial Bus Controller
5. Right-click each USB device listed and select Uninstall
6. Click OK to confirm removal of each device

Note: Repeat steps 5 and 6 until all devices under UBS Controller are removed

7. Shut down computer.
CAUTION: Ensure that the Shut Down option is selected instead of Restart.
8. Wait a few seconds and turn computer on. When it reboots you will see "Windows has detected new or added hardware"

Note: You will have to insert your Windows CD, if prompted.

These steps will refresh the USB ports.

Added Notes: 1) If your mouse is a USB you will have to use the keyboard to shut down your computer. 2) It would be wise to unplug everything from your USB ports EXCEPT your mouse and/or keyboard before you restart the computer to avoid Windows replicating any printers, scanners, digi-cams, etc. Once Windows has refreshed your USB controllers and ports, shut down again. reconnect, and restart.

Good Luck

Sep 27, 2008 | Toshiba Satellite A135-S2386 Notebook

1 Answer

power plug on laptop not working


Before you begin any removal or installation procedures:
1. Shut down the computer. If you are unsure whether the computer is off or in hibernation, turn the computer on, and then shut it down through the operating system1.gif.
2. Disconnect all external devices connected to the computer.
3. Disconnect the power cord.
4. Remove the battery by following these steps:
a. Turn the computer upside down with the front panel
toward you.
Close the computer.
3. Turn the computer upside down with the front panel
toward you.
4. Remove the three Phillips PM2.5×5.0 screws that secure
the switch cover to the computer.
5. Turn the computer display-side up with the front toward you.
6. Open the computer as far as possible.
7. Lift the rear edge of the switch cover and swing it forward
until it rests on the keyboard.
8. Release the zero insertion force (ZIF) connector 1 to which
the LED board cable is connected and disconnect the cable 2
from the LED board.
9. Remove the switch cover.
Remove the Keyboard:
Remove the four Phillips PM2.5×7.0 screws that secure the keyboard to the computer.
Turn the computer display-side up with the front panel
toward you.
5. Open the computer as far as possible.
6. Lift the rear edge of the keyboard 1 until it rests at an angle.
7. Slide the keyboard 2 back to disengage the tabs on the front
edge of the keyboard from the top cover.
8. Swing the keyboard 3 forward until it rests on the palm rest.
Release the ZIF connector 1 to which the keyboard cable is connected and disconnect the keyboard cable 2 from the system board.
10. Remove the keyboard.

Remove the Speaker Assembly:
Disconnect the speaker assembly cable 1 from the power button board.
5. Remove the two Phillips PM2.5×4.0 screws 2 that secure the speaker assembly to the computer.
6. Remove the speaker assembly 3.

Reverse directions to replace everything.

Feb 05, 2008 | AMD BALANCE A535 NOTEBOOK MOTHERBOARD WITH...

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