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In Windows 7 Essential Training, David Rivers helps users of any level feel comfortable with the improvements and enhancements found in Microsoft's operating system. From simple navigation through the updated graphic user interface, David shows how to install or upgrade and get the most out of Windows 7. He covers using the new Internet Explorer 8 and boosting a computer's memory with the ReadyBoost tool. He also highlights hardware configuration options and explores the advances made connecting a home or work system with Windows Live, the cloud-computing environment made available for Windows 7 users. Exercise files accompany this course.
In this lesson, we're going to use Control panel to focus on ways to view and improve the performance of our computer. With Control panel opened, we're going to go to the System and Security Category. So we'll click that link which takes us directly to that section, and here you're going to notice a number of subcategories to choose from. Some we've seen already, others we'll be covering later on as we move through the lessons in this title. For example, Power Options will be covered when we get into portable computing. We'll talk about security with Windows Updates, and backing up and restoring.
BitLocker Drive Encryption is covered later on as well. So there's a lot of things that have been covered and will be covered, but we're going to go to the System section now by clicking System. We're going to look at the various ways we can view how our computer is performing as well as make changes to improve that performance. So here from the System screen, you're going to see basic information, such as the edition of Windows you're using. In this case, I'm using Windows 7 Ultimate. Let's pretend for a moment, I've got another computer in my business or at home that's running the Professional Edition, keep that in mind, as we move down the screen.
Down towards the bottom, you're going to notice a section for System that's going to show you a Rating on the Windows Experience Index. That's going to show you about your Processor, the System type, your Memory, down below, the name of your computer and any workgroups you're attached to and then down at the bottom, under Windows activation, you're going to see your own product key but a link to Change the product key. So, remember that other computer running Windows Professional Edition. Well, if I wanted to switch computers, in other words, I wanted the Ultimate edition of Windows running on that other computer, and Professional on this computer, it doesn't mean reinstalling Windows on each computer.
All I have to do is change the product key. The product key determines what version or edition of Windows I'm using. So this is a great way to swap versions without having to do a full install. All right. Let's go up to the Windows Experience Index for a moment and this is going to give us some information about how our computer is performing. When we click this link, we're going to see scores related to the Processor, Calculations per second, and you can see that's quite a good score. Memory, Memory operations per second.
That's the lowest score on this list, and you can see that's the score that's going to be used as my base score, so that's what I saw on the previous screen, 5.5 which is actually a pretty good score. So the Windows Experience Index tells you about how your computer is performing. Now let's talk about ways to improve that performance. We don't see anything really right here that's going to allow us to increase performance but we can go over to the left-hand side in the Navigation Pane to find some other options, and we saw some of these in other screens like Power Settings and Indexing options, but Disk Cleanup is a nice little tool that could help us improve our performance.
When we click this link, we need to choose the drive. We'll just use C drive. You can use whatever drive you like, if you're following along. When you click OK, it just takes a moment to calculate how much space is being used up on your disk by files that could be cleaned up. So on this little window, just kind of retro, you see a number of checkboxes, Downloaded Program Files. You can see no bytes there, but it is checked off. Temporary Internet Files, nothing there either, so I haven't actually used the internet recently, and I still got 0 bytes showing up.
At the top, the maximum I could clean up is 18.8 megabytes of disk space and down below, currently with what's selected, I'm about to clean up nothing. So if I start selecting some of these other things like Games Statistics Files for example, Office Setup Files, really doesn't have anything to add, but you can see there's a whole bunch in here, Error Reporting for example, and Temporary files. So as I start selecting checkboxes, you can see the total amount of disk space, I'm about to gain is increasing.
So I'm going to just deselect some of these that are set to zero already, Offline Webpages, I don't want to clean that up. I do want the Game Statistics. There we go. So I'm about to clean up 4 megabytes, which is a measly amount considering the size of my hard drive. So when I click OK, it'll ask me if I'm sure, when I choose Delete Files, it cleans up my drive, and then when I go back to Disk Cleanup and click OK, it doesn't take very long for it to analyze my disk space and now you can see a lot of 0's showing up since I just cleaned them up.
We'll click Cancel to close this up. That's one way of improving performance. Let's take a look at some of the Advanced tools now. One of the biggest things in the past, one of the tasks that I really dreaded performing was defragmenting my hard drive. So if you think about all the files, the programs and settings, everything that gets stored on your hard drive, when the space begins to fill up, some of those files might get broken up into pieces. So they are stored in separate locations on your hard drive. Well, you can improve performance by taking all those files and putting them back together.
In other words, it's like a big puzzle, rearranging all those files, so they can be unseparated. In other words, brought back together. So down below, you'll notice something called the Disk Defragmenter. When we Open Disk Defragmenter, you're going to see your various hard drives, but here's the important thing. We're not actually going to perform a defragmentation right now, because it's scheduled by default. This is a nice little feature that came around in Windows Vista, where you could configure the schedule.
In other words, let Windows handle the defragmentation on a regular basis in the background, and in this case, you can see 1:00 AM every Wednesday. When I'm fast asleep, my computer's performance is being improved through defragmentation. Now you can configure that schedule by clicking the Configure Schedule button. It may take a moment for you to bring up the actual window where you can choose the date and the time. Do you want it to be weekly? I think weekly is good enough, I'm going to change the Day though to Sunday night at 1:00 AM and I'm going to click OK.
We'll leave the disks as it is. This way, the first thing Monday morning, I'll be running at peak performance. I'm going to click Close to close that up and let's go back to the Control panel Home. So, under System and Security, just a couple of ways to help improve your computer's performance here in the Control panel.
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