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Getting Started Online Safety Online Security Tweaking your PC Fine Tuning
Utilities Hardware Upgrades Browsers Applications Backups

Utilities

Last time, I mentioned using CCleaner from Piriform, which is an application that falls into the category called 'Utilities'. Utilities allow you to adjust, tweak, change and fix certain aspects of your PC's software environment. some go a stage further and make adjustments to the hardware, or at least how it works. This time, I'm looking deeper into Utilities and what you can do with them.

CCleaner is a very useful utility, as it allows you to not only alter your start-up programs, but it also gives you an alternative method of uninstalling programs, a System Resore Manager, a clean-up utility for removing temporary files left behind by your browsers and other applications, a Registry cleaner and several other tools. While not being perhaps the most powerful utility of it's type, it is free and, so far as I have found, safe to use!

Piriform also provides several other utilities, including Defraggler and Recuva, both of which I have used successfuly. Defraggler in particularly useful. Run this once a month or so to keep the fragmentation of your hard drive down. What does this mean? Well, every time you start, close or do anything with a program, files are opened and saved. If a file is saved back to a space on the hard drive that is no longer big enough for it, which is almost inevitable, as file sizes keep increasing the more you use a program, then it is saved in 'fragments' across any spare unwritten parts of the drive your OS can find. in doing this, it also has to include file packet location information too, so that it can find these 'packets' again - thus increasing the file size even further! By de-fragmenting ('Defraggler' is just the program name), you put all of the pieces together again, bring files together into some for of order and reduce wasted space, so increasing performance - and wear and tesr on your hard drive!


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