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Chapter 2. Kick-Starting Your Computer > Turning Everything Off - Pg. 24

Kick-Starting Your Computer 24 Once you have rebooted, you should run a utility called ScanDisk to check your disk for any file fragments that might be causing your computer to crash and may continue to cause crashes. In most cases, Windows automatically runs ScanDisk when you start your computer after an improper shutdown. If Windows does not run ScanDisk on startup, refer to Chapter 27, "Do-It-Yourself Com- puter Tune-Ups," for instructions on running ScanDisk. Turning Everything Off Although your computer might look like nothing more than a fancy TV, you shouldn't just turn it off when you're finished working. Doing so could destroy data and foul up your programs. Here's the right way to turn off your computer: 1. Save any files you have open on a disk. When a file is open, your work is stored in RAM, which is like brain cells that require electricity to work. If you turn off the electricity without saving your work on a disk, your computer forgets your work--and you probably won't remember it either. See Chapter 10, "Making, Saving, and Naming Documents," for instructions on how to save your work. Quit any programs you are currently using. When you close a program, it makes sure you've saved all your work to disk; then shuts down properly. To exit most programs, click the Close icon (the X in the upper-right corner of the program's window) or open the program's File menu and select Exit. Click Start in the lower-left corner of the Windows screen and click Shut Down. A dialog box appears asking if you want to shut down the computer or restart it. Open the What Do You Want the Computer To Do? list, click Shut Down, and then click the OK button. 2. 3. 4.