Chapter 12. Keeping Windows from Breaking

In This Chapter

  • Creating your own restore point

  • Backing up your computer

  • Freeing up hard drive space

  • Making your computer run faster

  • Tracking down and installing a new driver

  • Cleaning your mouse

If something in Windows is already broken, hop ahead to Chapter 17 for the fix. But if your computer seems to be running reasonably well, stay right here. This chapter explains how to keep it running that way for the longest time possible.

This chapter is a checklist of sorts, with each section explaining a fairly simple and necessary task to keep Windows running at its best. There's no need to call in a techie because much of this upkeep takes place using either Windows 7's built-in maintenance tools or standard household cleaners. For example, when your hard drive is running low on space, you run Windows 7's built-in Disk Cleanup program to remove the detritus.

This chapter also helps you fix the annoying and ubiquitous "bad driver" problem by explaining how to put a fresh driver behind the wheel.

Finally, you discover a quick way to clean your mouse — a necessary but oft-overlooked task that keeps the pointer on target. (Feel free to grab the vacuum cleaner and suck all the cookie crumbs out of your keyboard during the same cleaning spree.)


In addition to the checklist this chapter offers, make sure that the Windows Update and Windows Defender programs are running on autopilot, as I describe in Chapter 10. Those programs go a long way to keeping your ...

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