Windows 7 System Maintenance Training

Microsoft Windows 7 is one of the most recent operating systems. As with any operating system, it does need some occasional maintenance to run at its full speed. This 1-on-1 LIS training consists of a quick overview of how to maintain your Windows 7 computer.


Upon completion of this 1-on-1 training, you will be able to:


Update Windows 7 with all Current Patches

In order for your computer to remain healthy, updates need to be installed as soon as they are available. There are two ways to update your computer. You can have your computer install updates itself or install the updates manually whenever you want. To find out if your computer is updating itself, do the following:

1. Click on Start > Control Panel.

2. Click on Check for updates which is located under System and Security. If you’re in the Classic View, double click on Windows Update.

3. This page displays the last time Windows 7 has been updated. To change the settings to Automatic click Change Settings.

Windows 7 System Maintainence 1

4. If Install updates automatically (recommended) is selected, the updates will be installed at the day and time displayed in the boxes. Be sure that your computer will be online and running or the updates will not install.

Windows 7 System Maintenance 2

Installing Available Updates

You can install updates before they download on to your Windows 7 machine. You may need to get an update for a program that you want to install.

1. Click Start > Control Panel.

2. Click on Check for updates which is located under System and Security. If you’re in the Classic View, double click on Windows Update.

3. Click Check for updates.

Windows 7 System Maintenance 3

4. Click Install updates.

Windows 7 System Maintenance 4

5. Restart computer if needed.

Windows 7 System Maintenance 5

Keep your Computer Virus-Free

Running your anti-virus software protects you from harmful viruses that may have found their way on to your computer. We recommend that you scan for viruses at least once a week. For removal of found viruses contact the LIS Technology Help Desk.

Sophos Anti-Virus is installed by default on all Luther owned workstations. Faculty, staff, and students are required to acquire and install an anti-virus for their personally-owned computers. For your convenience, we have provided a list of anti-virus recommendations at

Keep your Computer Malware-Free

What is malware? This is software that is potentially harmful to your computer. Malwarebytes’ Anti-Malware or SpyBot’s Search and Destroy are two popular free malware removal programs. This program should be run at least once a week and may take up to an hour to complete. If you do not have a malware program on your computer, contact the LIS Technology Help Desk.

Note: For installation and detailed information about Malwarebytes’ Anti-Malware, click here. For general instructions see below.

1. Open your malware program.

2. If you are using Malwarebytes’, we recommend choosing the Perform Full Scan option located in the middle of the screen. A full scan will take longer to complete but is the better option.

Windows 7 System Maintenance 6

3. While the scan is running you are able to Abort or Pause at anytime. These options are located towards the bottom right-hand corner of the “scanning” window.

Windows 7 System Maintenance 7

4. When the scan finishes, a pop-up window will appear giving you information on the completed scan.

Windows 7 System Maintenance 8

Understand your Power Options

LIS has already configured your laptop to efficiently use battery life and conserve electricity for all systems upgraded or refreshed. It is possible to change these settings if you wish.

Note: If you regularly use Datatel UI, leave the settings as they are and if you are going to be gone for a while save out of screens and any open records and manually put your computer in sleep mode. If you do not use Datatel UI or any other special purpose software that requires an active network connection, you can set your computer to automatically go to sleep mode after 15-30 min of inactivity.

These are the defaults LIS has chosen:

Windows 7 System Maintenance 9

Your Power Options allow you to change the efficiency at which your computer uses electricity and battery life. It allows the modification of responses to events such as shutting your laptop’s lid or leaving your computer on for extended periods of time. To modify Power Options:

1. Click Start > Control Panel.

2. Click on System and Security.

Windows 7 System Maintenance 10

3. Click on Power Options.

Windows 7 System Maintenance 12

4. To Require a password on wakeup, Choose what the power buttons do, or to Choose what closing the lid does, click on the corresponding text in the left-hand panel. Use the radio buttons in the right-hand panel to select existing power plans.

Windows 7 System Maintenance 13

5. Clicking any of the aforementioned options in the left-hand panel will display the System Settings screen. The options for different actions can be selected using the drop down boxes.

1. Do nothing tells the computer to take no special action when the action is performed.

2. Sleep puts the computer to sleep. This option allows the computer to shut off the display and use less power to stay turned on. The computer can “wake up” very quickly, but a small amount of power is used while sleeping.

3. Hibernate saves more power than sleep does, but takes more time. The current contents of the memory are saved on the hard drive and restored upon waking. This takes time both going into and coming out of hibernation. However power is not used while the computer is hibernating.

4. Shut down shuts the computer down when the action is performed.

Windows 7 System Maintenance 14

Understand your Firewall

Your Firewall is your main defense from random people accessing your computer with out permission. It monitors your programs trying to access the internet and programs trying to access your computer. Note when programs fail to connect to the server, it may be the case that your firewall is blocking it. Windows comes with a pre-installed Firewall.

1. Click Start > Control Panel.

2. Click on the System and Security option followed by clicking on Windows Firewall. Here you is where you will be able to see the current firewall settings. There are many options on the left side panel which may be handy.

Windows 7 System Maintenance 15

3. If you wish to turn your firewall off for (not recommended however), just click the option Turn Windows Firewall on or off.

Windows 7 System Maintenance 16

4. To save any changes ever made click OK.

Backup your Computer

Backing up data on a regular basis is the responsibility of every employee. With advances in technology and reduced cost in storage media, the process has become easier and faster than ever before. LIS recommends that you backup your computer at least once every month. For more information on this topic, see the article Data Backup Training.

Defragment your Hard Drive

Defragmenting organizes where your computer stores its files on the hard drive. Normally when storing files the computer looks for the next available spot to store the file. Defragmenting compacts all your data and makes your computer more efficient. Defragmenting is something that you should do regularly depending on how much you use your computer. If you use your computer daily, you should defragment at least once a month. If you use your computer less often, defragment once a quarter. This process can take anywhere from 1 to 5 hours.

Windows 7 System Maintenance 18

  • Automatic Defragment – Windows 7 allows you to have your computer schedule itself to defragment the hard drive. You can specify the time and day you want your machine to defragment your hard drive. It is recommended that you defragment when you are not in the office so it doesn’t interfere with your work. To change the set time do the following:
    1. Click Start > All Programs > Accessories > System Tools > Disk Defragmenter.
    2. Click the Modify schedule… button and put in the time and day you want to defragment.
  • Manual Defragment – If you feel that your computer is not defragmenting your hard drive you can manually defragment by doing the following:
    1. Exit all programs that are running.
    2. Click Start > All Programs > Accessories > System Tools > Disk Defragmenter.
    3. Click the Defragment now button.
    4. Restart your computer after it has completed.

Cleanup Files not Needed from your Hard Drive

Windows Disk Cleanup utility will delete old temporary internet files and compressed files. Removing these files will help your computer run faster and more efficiently.

1. Click Start > All Programs > Accessories > System tools > Disk Cleanup.

2. Select which driver you would like to work with.

Windows 7 System Maintenance 19

3. Check the types of files that you would like removed from your computer.

Windows 7 System Maintenance 20

4. Click the OK button if you are certain that you’d like the selected items removed.

Additional Resources

Review the Help within Windows 7

Most, if not all, of the screens within Windows 7 contain a question mark icon that you can click to receive help related to the topic at hand. In addition, you can click on the Start button and then select Help and Support to receive assistance on a variety of topics.

Review Online Microsoft Resources

You can find information online about how to keep your computer running smoothly and safely. Microsoft’s Performance and maintenance site is a good place to start.

Consult is a provider of web-based software training videos and resources. If you are interested in access to please contact the Technology Help Desk at or 563-387-1000.

Review the Technology Help Desk web site

Contact the Technology Help Desk