General Maintenance Tools
Check Disk
Allows you to check disks for errors in the filesystem and on the disk volume
Disk Defragmenter (Dfrg.msc)
Allows you to optimize disk performance by reducing fragmentation of files
The sections that follow discuss how you can use each tool to perform preventive
maintenance and routine checkups on your computer.
Updating Your Computer
Ensuring that your computer is up-to-date with the most recent hot fixes, security
updates, and service packs is the most important preventive maintenance task you
can perform. The great news is that you can completely automate the update pro-
cess so that as updates become available, you can have your computer automatically
download and install them.
The feature in Windows Vista that handles updates is called Windows Update. Win-
dows Update is an enhanced version of the standard automatic update feature
included in earlier releases of Windows. With Windows Update, you can be sure
that all operating system components and related programs that ship with the oper-
ating system, such as Internet Explorer 7, are updated automatically.
You can even take this process a step further by having your computer download and
install updates for related Microsoft products, including Microsoft Office. To do this,
you need to install Microsoft Update. Microsoft Update extends Windows Update to
provide a total update shield for your computer and key Microsoft products.
Figure 20-11. Configuring Remote Desktop users
Chapter 20: Handling Routine Maintenance and Troubleshooting
Configuring Automatic Updates
You can configure Automatic Updates by completing these steps:
1. Click Start
All Programs Windows Update. This displays the Windows
Update page in the Control Panel.
2. In the left panel, click “Change settings.” This displays the Change Settings
page, shown in Figure 20-12.
3. You can now specify whether and how updates should occur. To download and
install updates automatically, select “Install updates automatically” and then set
the interval for installing updates. By default, your computer periodically checks
for and downloads updates when you are connected to the Internet. However,
updates are installed only on the specific days and times you set. If you shut
down your computer after updates have been downloaded, the updates are
installed automatically before the computer shuts down, unless you elect to shut
down without installing updates.
4. To ensure that recommended updates for device drivers included with the operat-
ing system and other optional updates are downloaded when they are available,
select the “Include recommended updates” checkbox. Recommended updates
Figure 20-12. Changing your Automatic Updates settings
General Maintenance Tools
are not installed automatically. Instead, you are notified when recommended
updates become available.
5. Click OK to save your settings.
Installing Microsoft Update
When you are using Microsoft Office, related Office applications, Visual Studio, and
some other Microsoft products, you might want to install Microsoft Update to
ensure that your computer downloads and installs updates for these programs
according to your Automatic Updates settings. Because Windows Defender is also
updated through Microsoft Update, this will help to consolidate your computer’s
updates into one central update process.
You can install Microsoft Update by completing these steps:
1. Click Start
All Programs Windows Update. This displays the Windows
Update page in the Control Panel.
2. Click the “Get updates for more products” link. This opens the Windows
Update page at the Microsoft web site in Internet Explorer (see Figure 20-13).
3. After you read about Microsoft Update, scroll down, select “I accept the Terms
of Use,” and then click Install.
Figure 20-13. Installing Microsoft Update
Chapter 20: Handling Routine Maintenance and Troubleshooting
Your computer will then download Microsoft Update as an automatic update for
your computer, display the Windows Update page, as shown in Figure 20-14, and
then begin to install Microsoft Update. You can install any other updates that are
available by clicking “Install updates.” Otherwise, your computer will automatically
start checking for updates to other Microsoft programs.
You can determine whether your computer is using Microsoft Update by following
these steps:
1. Click Start
All Programs Windows Update. This displays the Windows
Update page in the Control Panel.
2. If your computer is configured to use Microsoft Update, you’ll see the following
message in the lower portion of the page:
You receive updates: For Windows and other products from Microsoft Update.
Figure 20-14. Reviewing the update details

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