Chapter 2. Maintaining Windows 7

In This Chapter

  • Scanning your hard drives for errors

  • Defragmenting to speed up your PC

  • Backing up your files in Windows 7

  • Using System Restore

  • Using boot and recovery options in Windows 7

  • Taking Windows Update for a ride

Maintenance. It's important, and you've got to do it — so why not make it exciting? Rather than consider it dull preventive care, think of the pit crew around an Indy car, and, well, on second thought, that might be a stretch. Anyway, you gotta do it.

You might not find this chapter overly exciting, but if you regularly follow the procedures you find here, I guarantee that you'll be happy with the performance and stability of your PC running Windows 7. And, who knows? Maybe that Indy pit crew job will materialize someday. (Even if it doesn't, you'll have the smoothest-running PC on the block, and that counts for a lot.)

Device Manager: The Hardware Tool

The first stop on your maintenance tour is the Windows 7 Device Manager, which I recommend that you check at least once per month. Device Manager is essentially a status window that displays the operating status of each of the hardware devices in your PC as well as the peripherals connected to it. With one glance, you can see any hardware device that Windows has marked as a troublemaker, and locating trouble is the first step in solving it.

Now, don't panic at the idea of rooting around in your hardware. In fact, the idea of a hardware conflict is easy to understand. Just about every hardware ...

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