I’m not sure why it went this way this week, but I spent almost half the week trying to clean up a windows mess on several computers. While many of the techniques have been described in earlier posts, there is an excellent book co-authored by a favorite tech writer, Jeff Dunteman. The book: Degunking Windows is written for the novice or non-geek, and describes a systematic approach for practicing personal computer hygiene.
The first page includes “The Quick Degunking 12-Step Program”:
1. Get rid of the files you don’t really need (Chapter 3).
2. Uninstall programs you don’t need (Chapter 4).
3. Organize your files and folders (Chapter 5).
4. Clean up your Desktop and Start menu (Chapter 6).
5. Reduce your e-mail spam, and sort thorugh and organize your Outlook mail (Chapters 7 and 8).
6. Clean and fine-tune the Registry (Chapter 9).
7. Optimize your hard drive (Chapter 10).
8. Install the latest upgrades (Chapter 11).
9. Incorporate Power Toys and good shareware to help keep your machine clean and running efficiently (Chapter 13).
10. Improve security and set up a good firewall (Chapter 14).
11. Back up your system on a regular basis (Chapter 15).
12. Use a smart approach if you think your machine is ready to be retired (Chapter 16).
Degunking is an ongoing process, an attitude…dare I say, a lifestyle. The book includes task lists for those times when you have 10 minutes to degunk, or 30 minutes, or an hour, or three hours, or a half-day.
Degunk. It feels good.
Joli Ballew and Jeff Duntemann