Maintaining Your Hard Drive

While the CPU and RAM are the most important factors for system performance, your hard drive plays an important role in determining the overall speed of your computer. That’s because the hard drive comes into play when you’re opening programs or documents, when you’re saving documents, or when you’re moving and copying files. By moving less-used applications to your hard drive from RAM, it also comes into play when you are running low on RAM. So keeping the hard drive running as near to peak performance as possible will have a positive impact on system performance.

Recovering wasted hard drive space

At any given time, some of the space on your hard drive is being eaten up by temporary files. As the name implies, temporary files are not like the programs you install or documents you save. Programs, apps, and documents are “forever,” in the sense that Windows never deletes them at random. The only time a program is deleted, for example, is when you use Programs in Control Panel to remove the program. Likewise, documents aren’t deleted unless you intentionally delete them and also empty the Recycle Bin. Finally, Windows 8 apps can be removed from the Windows 8 interface.

The files in your Internet cache, also called your Temporary Internet Files folder, are good examples of temporary files. Every time you visit a web page, all the text and pictures that make up that page are stored in your Internet cache. When you use the Back or Forward button to revisit ...

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