I recently mentioned a website, called Piriform (piriform.com). I received several emails asking about what it offers, so we will take a look at some of the free utilities it boasts.
The most well-known tool is CCleaner. When the company first started out, this was the first app and it then stood for “Crap Cleaner.” Since finding success, such nomenclature has vanished. This app allows users to do several things.
First, you can have it run the cleaner to check for unneeded files scattered about your computer. It doesn’t clear files you have created, rather the pesky ones left over from old installations, junk temporary files, the cached files in your browser(s), etc.
It will scan and make suggestions to remove those files. It is up to each individual user, but I run this every couple of weeks on my constantly-used computer and delete everything it suggests. I have never had any problems; however, as with all apps, use at your own risk.
CCleaner will also clean up your registry files, which I feel become disorganized over time. CCleaner will straighten them out keeping your computer’s health and speed up.
Some geeks think this is a waste of time, but it has always worked for me. This app will also uninstall old applications if you need it to do so. I believe it does it a little better than the Windows default uninstall program; however, that is also open to debate. It has several other features you can check out.
Next, Defraggler is the app which replaces the built in Windows Defrag. Fragmentation occurs (as Windows is designed to do) as files are changed and rewritten to your computer.
Say you open a letter in Word that you have written. It is opened in RAM memory (not on the hard drive), where you edit it. After you have finished, you saved it, which writes the document back to the hard drive. When saved, the computer may put it in a different location from where it started leaving “crumbs” behind.
In many cases, it may also split the file up into pieces, so you have one piece stored in the center of your drive and another on the outside edge. Over time, it will take longer to access all the parts and reassemble them when you want to open the files up later. This is called a “fragged drive.”
Defraggler undoes this process and makes things run faster. Think of it as sleeping at night and waking up to bad hair; Defraggler combs it and makes it neat.
Next week, I’ll tackle the last two tools from Piriform; both of which can come in quite handy.
Contact Ron Doyle at firstname.lastname@example.org