Regular backups are the first rule of maintenance. Without a reliable recovery you are at high risk of losing precious images and documents. Please read the section on backups.
Regularly updating your computer system software will help keep you safer from viruses, worms, bugs, and other bad things. (Don't forget to update your virus software too.)
One of the most important things you can do to protect your computer and the data on it is to keep your system software up to date. Microsoft Corporation has made it relatively easy for you to do this, especially for newer versions of Windows.
Limit the number of applications on your machine. If you don't need it, don't install it. If you no longer need it, uninstall it. Look into one of the free office suites (eg. Open Office
) as an alternative to Microsoft Office. Regularly check for updates to the applications you use and install them. Keeping your applications patched is important, but don't lose sleep over it.
you should also update your virus detection software , but this is different from updating your system software. Both are important!
One easy way you can update your software is to use the Internet Explorer browser and go to the Microsoft Update web site at: http://www.update.microsoft.com/microsoftupdate/
Follow the directions given and they will lead you through the steps required to get the latest updates. You should do this often (at least once a week).
You may also need to update Microsoft Office and related products.
Don't install updates you receive via e-mail. You cannot trust the source of any e-mail, and Microsoft Corporation will never send you updates via e-mail.
I don't defrag very often. If your disks never get less than 25% free space and they are using the NTFS filesystem (normal on Windows XP, Vista, and Win 7) then fragmentation makes very little if any impact on performance.