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Monday, March 19,  2001

Avoid games with high-end graphics
By Vipul Verma

TO keep the PC fit, here are a few importance tips and tricks that can keep it well-tuned and perfectly in order. Normally we all complain that the floppies are unreliable and often give problems. However, a little care and understanding of a few commands can help you solve at least some of the problems associated with floppies. First thing in the floppy management is formatting.



For better formatting of a floppy drive, it is important to use the correct method. Although for formatting a floppy drive you can right-click on a floppy drive in Windows Explorer or My Computer and select Format to format a floppy. However, there’s a better way to format, as per which type Format a:/u at the MS-DOS prompt. The /u parameter used in formatting directs the computer to perform an unconditional format, which means that it won’t save unformatted information, yielding a faster format and more free diskette space. Moreover using DOS prompt instead of Windows Explorer to format floppies also offer another benefit as it allows better multi-tasking, meaning you’ll be able to do other things while formatting floppies.

Furthermore it is also important to understand that each time you need to free up your floppy, you need not format it again and again as formatting is a time consuming process. Thus, for quicker format or just erasing a floppy disk, type format a: /u/q at the DOS prompt. This method is quicker than a full format but will not ensure an error-free disk. This way, you can manage your floppies better.

Bad sectors

However, if the floppy develops some problems, like bad sectors then though there are some utilities like Norton Disk doctor etc. yet it is always advisable not to use it for storing any critical data as the reliability of the floppy reduces significantly.

Hard disk management

There are two parts of the hard disk management. The first part is physical maintenance of hard disk and the second one is operational maintenance. In the physical maintenance, the first and most important thing is that it should be mounted correctly. The incorrect mounting of the hard disk could mean troubles like bad sector etc. Secondly, unless very necessary, you should not carry the hard disk or the CPU containing hard disk. The jerks and bumps to the hard disk can also lead to bad sectors in the hard disk. Should you move your hard disk from one place to another, make sure that due precaution is taken? Well these are some of the measures related to physical handling of the hard disk, non-compliance of which normally creates problems. For operational maintenance of the hard disk, there are three things, which one should not forget:

1) Scan disk

2) Disk Defrag

3) Disk clean up.

Normally, we defrag once in a blue moon and complain of poor performance of the computer. However, the lower than usual performance of the computer is not because of wearing out of either the machine or its components. But it is primarily due to improper tuning of the computer, mainly the hard disk. In order to tune your computer well, you must run disk cleaning as it cleans the recycle bin and temporary files in Temp folder on the hard disk. Both these things have the cumulative dampening impact on the hard disk as its performance goes down.

However, by running disk clean up, these files are removed automatically. As the second step, you must run scan disk. Scan disk is one of the most powerful tools in Windows, which can solve a majority of your problems. Normally people complain that while running the disk defrag, they come across a lot of problems, which including hanging of the system, restarting of defragging from a particular points etc. This is primarily because, there are problems on the hard disk and which can only be solved by scan disk. Thus, running scan disk before defragging is essential and helps in sorting out most of the hard-disk related problems.


Though in the normal course, you can run scan disk in standard mode, but at least once in two months, one should run scan disk in thorough mode. Only after running scandisk, you must run Disk defrag. This will make your computer really work faster than before, as a majority of the problems are being addressed in this way. This method of tuning the hard disk is not only good in case of normal circumstances, but in case of system crash; it helps in restoring the system. Further, for improving the performance of the hard disk, it is better to have the least number of fonts, drivers etc. installed on the system.


The same thing applies for games also. Normally, games are memory resident programs, which slows down your computer considerably. Thus, if you either have games in separate operating system in a different partition or do not keep games which involve high graphics on your main hard disk. This will also help you in bettering the performance of the hard disk. Moreover, you should also be on a lookout for newer and advanced drivers for your hardware components. Normally, the advanced version of drivers not just adds to the performance of a particular component but also improves the overall performance of the computer.

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