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The Cycle of Windows Life.

Written By: Michael List

As with all creatures, Windows GUIs (Graphic User Interface) running the Windows 9x operating system, including Windows ME, has a life cycle.

If your computer is setup correctly and you dont regularly add and remove components or programs,the Windows life cycle usually will last about three years. You will know when Windows is fading by the signs it gives you. The most common is the GPF (General Protection Fault), you will see this from time to time while using programs in Windows, you know, the errors that come up telling you that something has
caused an illegal operation and although you have a couple of options, you still wind up using the infamous Ctr-Alt-Del soft boot to rectify the problem.

This is whats happening: Time and usage takes its toll on your computers hardware and software. Windows9x/Me is no exception. Each time you add and remove components and/or software Windows has to make massive changes to itself. This includes rearranging files, adding and deleting dynamic linking files and hundreds of other changes. Over time even Windows starts getting Alzheimers disease.
Fortunately there is a cure.

Windows has a number of programs built-in that can increase the longevity of your system. The most important of these is SCANDISK, you can run scandisk by clicking on START, PROGRAMS,
ACCESSORIES, and then SYSTEM TOOLS. Scandisk will check your hard drive for problems and can automatically fix most that it finds. You should run Scandisk at least once a month. Another program is DISK DEFRAGMENTER located in the same System Tools folder. Disk Defragmenter actually rearranges blocks of information on your hard drive. Each time you add, remove or make changes to programs Windows will save this information to the hard drive. Windows will not but these changes in any kind of logical order on the drive and can/will place portions of files in different areas of the drive. Disk Defragmenter checks the drives and buts the files in a logical order. This makes it easier for Windows to find and use the files a programs needs which inturn speeds up your computer. There are also third party programs that claim to do a better job cleaning up Windows such as Norton Utilities. Be
careful with third party programs, remember you are adding another program that can cause problems. If you really want to make Windows as fresh as the day you installed it, start all over again. Once you start getting errors in Windows and specifically more than one application its time to start over. The best way to do this is run the FDISK command from your boot disk and delete everything on your hard drive
and then reinstall all. Michael List, www.mpl1.com

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