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A little maintenance can go a long way in preserving your computer and maintaining performance.

If you feel your computer growing sluggish, then you might benefit from doing some computer maintenance.  It goes to show that we really neglect the very electronics that tend to make our lives easier, but with some quick tips you can make sure to keep your computer running smoothly.

The first thing you can do is organize your folders and files.  If you find that your cluttering your desktop with hundreds of icons and files than you're really going to bog down your work speed.  If your in Windows Vista, then you can always use the search feature to find folders and files.

The second thing you can do is defragment your hard drive.  Doing this helps with organizing bits of data on the physical hard drive to locations to make it easier to access.  If your computer hasn't had a defragment in a while, then it may take a while to finish.

The next thing is to make sure you have the latest updates from Microsoft as well as updates for your AntiVirus software.  You might have started ignoring those after a while because it was troublesome.  However, those upgrades ensure your system is protected against the latest attacks and malware out there.

The fourth thing you can do is a backup of all your files and folders.  This is usually a recommended practice and should take place every month, but it never does.  If it's too much to backup your entire hard drive, you may want to just back up your important school files or documents.  Using a blank DVD-R might just be enough to do the job.

The next thing you can do is clean up your computer.  Whether your using a desktop or a laptop, your going to have a build up of dust near the fans and port areas.  You should invest in buying some "compressed air" from your computer store (or places like Target or Wal-Mart).  Make sure you have your computer and all attached components turned off and removed.  Also make sure your in an area of that has space and can be dusted (your gonna be blowing a lot of dust out and it will fly around).

Last but not least, do a clean system restore of your entire operating system.  If you feel that your computer is absolutely slowing you down from when you first purchased it, then it might be a good time to wipe the hard drive clean and start over.  It's almost like being given a second chance.

If you follow some of these quick tips, then you'll really notice some speed ups on your computer.  If you'd want better permanent performance, then check out our upgrading article to see how easy it is to make your computer a little snappier.