In addition to the effortless, nightly, automated maintenance, I also perform some manual maintenance on as as-needed basis. I'll run RAMpage, for example, after an applications crash (see Resource Leaks, Part Two for more info).
All the above greatly enhances the stability of my system, as-is; but what about system changes? Installing new software, for example, is one of the greatest instability-makers, and can really rock your boat. To help avoid problems with new apps, I always run Norton Windows Doctor/System Check both immediately before and after a major software install or upgrade to find and fix any installation problems before they can cause a domino effect of cascading failures. (I also run Windows Doctor/System Check on an ad hoc basis whenever I sense something may not be quite right with my system.) I also manually backup my Registry just before installing new software to simplify uninstalling, should I need to do so.
Written out this way, the list of maintenance items seems daunting -- but note that almost all the above items only need to be set up once: Then, they run entirely on their own.
And once it's properly set up and maintained, your system will almost surely be far more stable than otherwise. As I've mentioned in the past, I can run my PCs for almost arbitrarily long periods without system crashes, and can drive my System Resources down into the single digits without experiencing any instability. Chances are, you can, too, if you follow the steps outlined in this Four Part series.
Or, you may have other suggestions: You may know other apps that you've found useful, or other tricks you've discovered that enhance stability. Please share them! Join in the discussion and tell us the results of your efforts in this four-part series, and of any other helpful information you've found. Let's pool our knowledge!
To discuss this column with other readers, please visit Fred Langa's forum on the Listening Post.
To find out more about Fred Langa, please visit his page on the Listening Post.