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   July 2008
Vol. 24, No. 2

A Technology Newsletter for Extension Specialists

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Computer Maintenance for Vista
by Charlie Baerwald

This document describes maintenance procedures for Windows Vista.  Before performing these steps please close all programs, including Outlook and Internet Explorer.


  1. Click: Start » All Programs » Accessories » System Tools.

  2. You’ll be asked to choose which files to clean up – click: Files from all users on this computer.


  3. Click Continue.  The computer will search the hard drive (for a couple of minutes sometimes) for files to be cleaned up then present disk cleanup options:

  4. You can check all boxes EXCEPT Office Setup Files (these are needed for some Office Updates).  Click OK.
  6. Click Delete Files
  7. Files will be deleted and the window will close.
  8. I would perform this task once a month or whenever you feel the computer is not behaving.


  1. Double click the desktop Computer icon.
  2. Right click C: and choose Properties
  3. Click the Tools tab
  4. Under Error-checking click the Check Now button.
  5. Click Continue
  6. Click the Start button to “Automatically  fix file system errors”.  If you have an older computer, or if you have the time for a more thorough check (takes up to 40 minutes), click the second box.
  7. Click start.  Choosing the first option only takes about two minutes.  The disk check occurs the next time the computer reboots.
  9. Click Schedule disk check
  10. Click OK, and close the Computer window.
  11. Restart the computer at your convenience.

The third procedure that will help speed up things on your computer is to uninstall the Google and/or Yahoo toolbars.  They embed themselves in Internet Explorer and slow things down, send usage information to third parties, and take up IE window real estate.

Whenever Adobe Reader, Java  and many other programs install updates they try to automatically install one or the other toolbar – if you don’t uncheck the box to install, it gets installed automatically.  Most people don’t even notice that it’s there.


  1. Close all open Internet Explorer windows.
  2. Click Start, Control Panel
  3. Double click Programs and Features.
  4. Look for Google and/or Yahoo Toolbar.
  5. Right click and choose Uninstall.

Disk Defragmenter is now scheduled to occur automatically, at night, if you leave the computer on.  No other steps are necessary to defragment your drive.


Last Revised: 08/04/08



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