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Monday, July 18, 2005

Daily, Weekly, and Monthly Maintenance

Posted: Mon, 18 Jul 2005 00:53:13 GMT

Daily, Weekly, and Monthly Maintenance
There's a good number of things to do to your PC on a regular basis to keep its innards healthy and its coat shiny.

highlight box Win 98/ME users can go through the Maintenance Wizard, found in System Tools, to schedule regular "tune-ups" of your system. Go through the Custom settings to see exactly what is available and what you want to mess with. There are a lot of options! The Express option sets things the way most non-power users need; if you find the Custom menu intimidating, go with Express instead.

highlight box ScanReg is a utility bundled with Win 98/ME that keeps copies of your Registry in case of error or system failure. It makes a new copy of the Registry every time you reboot the computer, keeping the last 5 copies in the C:\WINDOWS\SYSBCKUP\ directory. (Can't find the folder? It's "hidden," so you'll need to enable the viewing of hidden files and directories in Windows Explorer through Tools, Folder Options, Advanced.) The file names are RB001.CAB, RB002.CAB, and so forth through the fifth file. If you don't shut down your computer very often, ScanReg doesn't get a chance to make recent copies of the Registry. You may want to consider adding the SCANREG/BACKUP command to your Scheduled Tasks. How to restore the Registry using ScanReg's files? Simple, just open a DOS prompt and type C:\WINDOWS\COMMAND -- when you get into this directory, type SCANREG\RESTORE and choose from the files available to you. Reboot to restart Windows with the restored Registry. If you want more control over what is restored, then use Windows' simple command-line utility called Extract to restore the files inside a CAB. The file is in the C:\Windows\Command directory, so you may need to type its full name of C:\WINDOWS\COMMAND\EXTRACT before the PC will find it. Extract with no arguments provides a quick help screen that describes how to use it. If you just give it the name of a CAB file, Extract will show you the contents of the CAB.

highlight box One neat idea from Fred Langa is to keep all of your maintenance utilities on a CD-R for easy use. It obviates both trying to run said utilities from a possibly inaccessible hard disk, and trying to find boot disks lost in your desk drawer.


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