Keeping your hard drive in tip-top shape is key to a well-running computer. A crashed hard drive means smacking a big wet-one goodbye to all of your data. Eliminate Unnecessary Data De-clutter the drive to make its workload easier. One way of de-cluttering is to uninstall programs you never use (go to the control panel). Review your files and folders and rid the ones you’re done using. Store the ones that you rarely use but don’t want to delete on a flash drive. Also use your computer’s disk clean-up program (go into “Computer,” right-click the hard drive, hit “Properties” and click “disk cleanup”) to help get rid of junk. Keep the Drive Hopping There are many freeware utilities that can help your hard drive provide you feedback of its integrity. You should use one of these, as they will tell you how your hard drives are performing—kind of like going to a doctor to get your cholesterol numbers—you want to nip any potential problems in the bud. Go into “Computer,” then right-click the drive, and then hit “Properties.” Once here, click the “Tools” tab. You will see an option for checking errors. It is important for Windows to perform recurring checkups of your drive. So hit “Optimize” to get this task done. Next up, go to the control panel. Click “Hardware and Sound” and hit “Power Options.” This choice will keep the hard drive feeling young. Don’t let physical clutter engulf the perimeter of your computer; it needs room to breathe. Make sure your computer doesn’t get too hot. One way this can happen is if you use it while in bed. You also don’t want your computer to get cold, either, but chances are, you won’t be doing computer work outside in 40 degree weather. Reinstall your operating system Google “How to reinstall Windows.. (your OS)” or same with Mac. This is not all that hard to do. I do this every 2-3 years and I know others that do it every year. This is the single best way yo keep your hard drive tight. Robert Siciliano is an identity theft expert to TheBestCompanys.com discussing identity theft prevention . For Roberts FREE ebook text- SECURE Your@emailaddress -to 411247. Disclosures .