Frequently asked questions
What is defragmentation and how can I defragment my hard disk?
When you store a file on the hard disk the system may try to put it on disk space which is very small. If this happens, the system will split the file into parts and put it in several places on your hard disk. This process is called "fragmentation of the file."
When you open such a file, the system must take those parts of the file from different places on the hard disk and reassemble it. Imagine a gramophone record and a song which was recorded partly in the beginning, the end of the song in the middle and another part of the song at the end. The song definitely does not sound good.
The process of defragmentation is to collect parts of a fragmented file and putting them together on your hard disk. Then the file system needs to access only one hard disk space when you open that file. Defragmenting the hard disk improves disk operation speed and thus the computer speed generally.
It should be borne in mind that hard drives and CDROM drives are mechanical and slowest components in the computer.
For instructions step by step to defragment your hard disk according to the operating system that is installed on your computer you can visit the following links:
My computer is slow and boots for a long time. What can I do?
A few things you can do to improve your computer speed:
- Defragment your hard drive.
- Delete unnecessary programs from the startup of Windows (Start -> Programs -> Startup), because any program that is there slows loading of Windows and subsequently occupies hardware resources.
- Remove any spyware programs that are installed on your computer with Antispyware program like Spybot S&D, for example.
- Check if there is enough free space on the system partition on the hard disk (partition of the disk, which holds the Windows installation). It is recommended that Windows XP, Windows 2000, Windows 2003 free space on the system partition be at least 500 Mb.
- It is possible that some of your computer parameters do not meet the minimum or recommended system requirements for the operating system that is installed. In this case it is necessary to do a hardware upgrade (new processor, additional RAM, or faster hard drive).
- If none of the above ways to improve your PC speed helps, reinstall the operating system or contact a computer specialist.
What is Spyware (spy software) and does it harm my computer?
Spyware is something relatively new and exists in different forms and performances. It is possible that it does not harm your computer or cause great havoc. Generally such software can do the following:
Seeks and collects information from your hard drive and forward it to another computer on the Internet. This information may be of the type:
- What websites are viewed and how long you stay on them
- What files you download from the Internet
- Information for credit card payments
- Phone numbers and more
Changes your Internet browser:
- Adds advertising popup windows that can be opened even if your browser is closed
- Adds additional toolbars on your desktop or browser
- Adds toolbars search engine in your browser
- Changes the start page of your browser
- Slows your internet connection to the Internet or can even cause "stuck" on your computer
Not all spyware is harmful. There are companies that use similar of Spyware programs with well-intentioned goal. Examples are Symantec (makers of Norton Antivirus), Microsoft and many others. Programs that are automatically updated over the Internet or monitor visits to your website to provide necessary information are also classified as Spyware.
What is SPAM and how to protect ourselves from unwanted and boring advertising mails?
SPAM is the dissemination on the Internet of multiple copies of one and the same email, the goal is the letter to be delivered to multiple recipients who otherwise would not be willing to receive it. Most of the SPAM e-mails are commercial advertisements most often dubious products with get rich quick schemes and the like.
The objectives of most common e-mail spam can be formulated as follows:
- Purely commercial - the purpose of the sender is advertising of products, services and so on.
- Infecting the recipient with a virus - the letter contained as an attachment virus and as content information how it would be needed to run the attached file.
- Get rich quick schemes - letters contain information on how you've benefited from a lottery or other similar goal is to be involved any "get rich scheme", which is more likely to be impoverishment scheme.
- Letters seeking referral - letters with content that convinces you that if you forward this letter to as many people as you know only good things would happen.
A few tips on how to prevent junk (spam) mail:
- Never respond to emails of this kind. Responding will only show to the sender that your e-mail exists and somebody reads it; this will lead to more and more spam.
- Avoid using Microsoft Outlook Express and Microsoft Outlook as an email client. Better use Thunderbird, The Bat!, Netscape Messenger, Mozilla Messenger and others or web-based e-mail.
- Do not open for any reason attached files with extension .PIF, .SCR, .CMD, .ZIP or .EXE.
- Avoid publishing your e-mail address on websites and forums. Preferably, use of feedback forms through which the e-mail address of the recipient and their contents is not publicly available.