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TECH TIP  -  Computer Maintenance for a Mac
Here's a Quick Tip - to view the links in the article below in a new window, right click on the link and click on Open in New Window.  OR, you may be able to hold down the SHIFT key while clicking on the link to do the same (some pop-up blocking software prevents this option).

The Macintosh requires maintenance just as a PC does.  For Macs that use pre-OS X operating software, there are no built-in maintenance tasks available in the system software as there is in the Windows OS.  So you need to purchase third party software to maintain your computer.

The 2 best are Norton Utilities
http://www.symantecstore.com/dr/sat3/ec_MAIN.Entry10?V1=30006063&SP=10024&PN=28&xid=27674
and Techtool Pro
http://www.micromat.com/tt_pro_3/tt_pro_3_introduction.html

These utilities will help with such tasks as defragging your hard drive (Macs call it "optimizing your drive"), cleaning the desktop of unused invisible files, and just checking out critical systems on your hard drive.

For more information on computer maintenance, read this excellent article.
http://www.symantec.com/mac/security/sluggish.html

There is a free Mac tool called TechTool Lite (Freeware) that does some nice things for a Mac, like clean the Desktop (you should do this regularly), Zap the Pram (don't do this unless you really have to), and some other things. It does not defrag, however.  Read about it here
http://www.micromat.com/downloads/downloads.html#Anchor-TechTool-35882

Here is a really good article on Macintosh Maintenance - pretty much covers it all.  It is an Acrobat Reader file.
http://www.clas.uiowa.edu/it/brownbag/mac_preventive_maintenance.pdf

Last but not least - a good article on Defragging - helps you understand why it is important - is here:
http://www.techlearning.com/story/showArticle.jhtml?articleID=17300814

I have not found a FREE defragging program for the Mac - there may not be one.

OS X does have some excellent built in computer maintenance tasks.  They are cumbersome to use.  Read why in this article.  They offer a FREE program program to help maintain your system called MacJanitor (for OS 10.1 or higher).
http://personalpages.tds.net/~brian_hill/macjanitor.html

 

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