Saturday, August 9, 2008

Under Appreciated Windows Utilities

"Hey! Look at me! I'm talking to you!"

"Huh? What?"

"You don't appreciate me and you're always looking for that which is fancier or has a pretty face. I've been here since the beginning, always available for you, at all hours of the day or night."

Yes, we've all been there. Looking for the hot, sexy new thing. Throwing money away chasing after them and ignoring what's right in front of our face. Is this a lecture about your past relationships? No...I'm talking about computers! (Clue to Readers: Look at the title of the blog.)

Windows, and most other operating systems these days for that matter, come with tons of built-in utilities that aren't used. Take, for example, the defragger that comes with most versions of Windows since DOS! (Well, since DOS 6, I believe.)

Even better is that you can run a scheduled task. I was playing around with trial copy of Windows Server 2008, and it comes with a defragmentation task prescheduled for 1:00AM every Wednesday. (Why every Wednesday? I don't know. I guess hump day is defrag day in Redmond, although I'm generally up at this time. Hmm, maybe I'm missing the point of "hump" day, like they are.)

I can hear the whining now: "But it's not the best-of-class!" Okay, when do you think the last time most people defragged their hard drive? Yes, I thought so. For those of us on a budget, it's certainly useful and worthwhile to use it until we really find a solution that we like. Not doing it is like those procrastinators that say they want to lose weight, but won't even try to cut down on what they're eating because they don't have an hour a day to exercise. (I have my thoughts on the energy crisis, too, but don't get me started).

You can Google "scheduling defrag task" for online instructions for your specific OS (no matter what OS it is), but here's one for Windows XP:

For those of you that gravitated towards books with lots of pictures (I still do), here's another site I found for XP: