Have you noticed that over time that your PC speed has deteriorated? One of the most important determinants of your computer’s speed is how quickly your hard drive is accessed. Here are several utilities you should use to improve the speed of your computer by running maintenance utilities on your hard disk.

You should periodically test your disk for errors: whenever your computer shuts down abnormally it can result in data errors on your hard drive. These errors slow your computer speed as it looks for data that is not there or is incomplete. Windows provides the Check Disk utility to fix these problems and you should run it at least once a week.

It is also a good idea to run the related Disk Cleanup utility to remove temporary and unwanted files at the same time. These files are created when you browse webpages or by programs like Word, for example, that create interim files while you are working. When a large number of these files are present they can take up disk space and impact your computer’s speed.

As you create and delete files on your hard disk, Windows breaks them up into parts to increase access and retrieval times. However, over time, this can mean that files are widely dispersed across the disk resulting in fragmented files. This caused slower performance since the system spends more time searching for each of the file’s parts. The Windows Disk Defragmenter utility solves this problem by re-combining the parts of a file into adjacent blocks making retrieval time much faster.

If you are still experiencing slow PC speed after performing these disk utility tasks it may be the sign of a more serious problem such as a virus or spyware infecting your computer. If you think this might be the case check the internet for a utility that will help you to identify and remove these malicious programs.

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