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Discussions of good habits to help ease your computing experience.

  • Back Up Your Files! It is extremely important to have backups of all of your personal files that are saved to your hard drive, network drive, or other storage media. Visit for a backup plan memo and advice on backing up files.
    • Please remember that network space is limited on an individual basis unless you want to rent additional space from campus. Network space should not be used for general backup; only for critical or essential files which are needed on a routine basis. Please do no use your network space for older material that you are saving for archival purposes. You can use floppies, zips, or CDs to store that information.
  • File Management - Evaluate the files saved on your hard drive to see if they could be organized better in folders. If you have limited hard drive space, archive your oldest, unused files. Files that have not been accessed in the last 12-16 months can be moved to a CD, floppy or zip disk to free up valuable space on your hard drive.
  • Disk Maintenance - Defragment your hard drive to improve your PC's performance. The Windows disk defragmenter program can be accessed by clicking Start, then Programs, then System Tools. Those who have Norton System Works can use the Speed Disk program to defragment your drive. Also, Norton System Works has a program called WinDoctor which can be used to remove file inconsistences and to improve the performance of your computer. If you don't have Norton System Works on your machine, it can be purchased at the Bookstore.
    • Defragmenting can take anywhere from 10 mintues to several hours depending on the speed of your machine and the size of your hard drive. Using your machine during this time is not recommended.
    • You should turn off your screen saver when using the defragmentation program.
  • Windows Updates - It is extremely important to run Windows Update on your computers. If you are using Windows XP, 2000, or NT it is a good idea to run Windows update a least once a month. Also, be sure to run Windows Update on your home computers as well. Visit for information on how to use Windows update and how to set Windows to automatically update.
  • E-mail Organization - It is important to keep your email organized. By organizing your email, you can save a lot of wasted space on your mail account. a few ways to better organize your email are:
    • Store previously read messages in folders rather then in the "Inbox". You can create unlimited folders and subfolders on your mail account to manage your messages. Please visit: for advice on organizing messages.
    • You can create indentical folders in your "local" mailbox for older messages. These messages will be stored on your hard drive, and will not take up space on your mail account. Please visit: for advice on organizing messages.
    • Save attachments to your hard drive and delete the original email message that contains the attachments. If you must save the original email message, transfer it to a folder in local mail so that the attachment won't be taking up extra space on your mail account.
    • Backup the local mail folders that are stored on your hard drive. In most cases, these are located in C:Program FilesNetscapeUsersyour_nameMail.
  • IMAP Mail If you are still using POP mail, please consider switching to IMAP, which is now the campus standard. IMAP mail has several advantages for being able to check email remotely via webmail. If you are still using POP mail, please contact me to get your email converted over to IMAP. For more information on IMAP, please visit: For those using IMAP Mail, you can check your quota at: