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Old 08-07-2007, 10:15 AM
 
Location: Home is where we park it.
3,098 posts, read 8,403,817 times
Reputation: 3195

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Normal maintenance

Run regular maintenance on your PC...just as you would keep your house clean, your PC runs better when it's organized as well.

1) Use Disk Clean up and get rid of unneeded files. Compress old ones

2) Go thru your Add/Remove program and get rid of anything you haven't used lately, esp if you have the disk for it and can reinstall it or download it at a later date should you decide you want it again. Just letting it sit on your hard drive taking up space is ridiculous if you aren't using it.

3) Run the Disk Defrag on a periodic basis. If you have Norton Systemworks, set it up so that you can see how degragged your computer is and let it tell you when to defrag.

4) Remember to do a drive check every so often. You do this going to MY COMPUTER then SELECT YOUR DRIVE(C) right click it and go down to PROPERTIES on the pop up box select the second tab along TOOLS and click the top box CHECK ERRORS NOW.

And then ALWAYS. ALWAYS download and install any Critical Updates that Windows lets you know about. If you don't have your configuration set so that it will tell you and you aren't in the habit of checking periodically (like every other day) then set it so that Windows WILL let you know there is a Critical Update. This step is an absolute necessity.

Then go and download these FREE programs:

1) Ad-aware SE (removes all adverts and ad self launch programs,feed up with pop ups get it)

2) Spy-bot (same as ad-aware but always better two have two in this case because they'll double check everything)

3) AVG Anti-Spyware 7.5 AVG Anti-Spyware 7.5 is a supplement to your current Anti-Virus Program.
NOTE: It will only work on Win2K, XP, and Vista systems.

4) Windows® Defender (Beta 2) For anyone with Windows 2000 Service Pack 4; Windows Server 2003 Service Pack 1; Windows XP Service Pack 2, and Vista. There is a 64 bit version available.


5) A² Free For trojan removal/scanning.

6) SpywareBlaster 3.5.1 SpywareBlaster doesn't scan and clean for spyware - it prevents it from ever being installed.

7) SpywareGuard 2.2 SpywareGuard provides a real-time protection solution against spyware that is a great addition to SpywareBlaster's protection method.

An anti-virus program scans files before you open them and prevents execution if a virus is detected - SpywareGuard does the same thing, but for spyware! And you can easily have an anti-virus program running alongside SpywareGuard.

Then make sure you have an anti-virus and firewall. And as usual, the best ones we recommend are free ones.

These companies also have paid versions:

8) AVG free
Avast Home Edition
Antivir

Free Firewalls

These companies also have paid versons:

9) Zone Alarm Free


Popup Blockers:

10) Ad & PopUp Tools (broken link) My personal OLD favorite is POW.

IF you MUST use a toolbar, use google and google ONLY. It is the ONLY one we have found that is clean of Spy-Adware totally. There is a version for Firefox.

11) For paid A/V programs,

Norton 2005
Panda Titanium
AVG 7
NOD32 Antivirus System

12) Paid Firewall:

Norton 2005
ZoneAlarm Pro

13) Paid Security Suites:
ZoneAlarm Security Suite 5.5
AVG Plus Firewall Edition (this is what I use)
BitDefender 8 Professional Plus
F-Secure Internet Security 2005
McAfee Internet Security 2005 7.0
Norton Internet Security 2005
Norman Internet Control 5.7
Panda Platinum Internet Security 2005
Trend Micro PC-cillin Internet Security 2005

14) For making copies of your hard drive (good if you need to transfer your hard drive contents or if your hard drive keeps crashing.:

Norton Ghost

Drive image (a software program that makes a up to date recovery point separate from system restore,good if you know your computer keeps crashing)

15) For fixing Registry and disk problems:

PC Bug Doctor (corrects many problem but not deep registry ones)

PC Doctor Oncall (broken link) does full system check fixes almost any problems)

Ashampoo WinOptimizer Platinum Suite 2 (Drive Cleaner, Registry Cleaner, Internet Cleaner, DLL Cleaner, Internet Tuner, StartUp Tuner, File Wiper, and File Associator. Free up valuable space on your hard drive. Speed up general system performance.)

Norton Systemworks 2005
wilders.org security advisors
For a good listing of all this, go to: wilders.org security advisors

I hope this list helps.

Liz

ASAP member
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Old 08-07-2007, 10:58 AM
 
Location: New Zealand
1,872 posts, read 5,837,275 times
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Great list, Liz.

It's also worth pointing out that while it may seems like you'll spend half your day doing all the things on the list, many, if not most, of these activities are/can be automated, so you don't have to manually do them everyday. And some others you need to do every now and then.

Just general maintenance as listed above, can keep a PC running trouble-free for years. I've had PCs for 20 years or so, and have never had a virus infection or data loss <knock on wood!> just by doing simple/easy maintenance.
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Old 08-07-2007, 11:08 AM
 
Location: Vero Beach, Fl
2,949 posts, read 12,276,195 times
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I second that - great list. I am still a little leery of some of the compression utilities out there, however.

I am very happy with Avast.

Thanks again for sharing.
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Old 08-07-2007, 11:20 AM
 
Location: Home is where we park it.
3,098 posts, read 8,403,817 times
Reputation: 3195
Quote:
I am still a little leery of some of the compression utilities out there
I am too but the one that comes WITH M$ usually works pretty well and since you've already paid for it as part of the OS, you may as well use it. Liz
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Old 08-07-2007, 05:39 PM
HDL
Status: "To all our Veterans - Thank you for your service :-)" (set 1 day ago)
 
Location: Seek Jesus while He can still be found!
3,165 posts, read 6,085,292 times
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Great thread Liz!! Thanks a bunch:-)

Now I will just have to read it all to figure out if I need a new computer, a new mouse or a fix to my Registry. My computer is old and is now freezing up all the time (mouse problems, etc.). Arrrrrgh;-0 Just when you think all is well.....
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Old 08-07-2007, 11:06 PM
 
Location: Tejas
7,562 posts, read 16,553,321 times
Reputation: 5112
I wouldnt use any Microsoft products to fix Windows. Think of it as Paranoia. Why, when using an OS that lets all kind of crap happen to it, would you trust a bandaid from the same company that cannot fix the problem in the first place ?

Another tip is to not use Norton, its just a big flashy name that dosent do much except hog your system. Think about it. Most OS's have what, XP 512RAM, the bare minimum for the OS is 256RAM, and Norton on a 'good' day likes to use 256RAM too, that leaves you with, uhg, 0
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Old 08-07-2007, 11:41 PM
 
Location: Home is where we park it.
3,098 posts, read 8,403,817 times
Reputation: 3195
Quote:
I wouldnt use any Microsoft products to fix Windows.
Brian, this was written for the AVERAGE user. Having them download something, esp if they have to pay for it just isn't going to happen. Disk defrag and Disk Cleanup are there already and can be utilized easy enough by the vast majority of home users. So can the add/remove program...they are there for a reason. They WORK within the M$ system.

I don't recommend Norton, never have but most users BUY their computers and the name brand computers tend to come WITH Norton whether WE like it or not and most users tend to take the easy way out and either don't bother using ANY anti virus after the trial expires or just buys Norton causes it's already there and they do not know better.

IF you notice, my free ones are listed FIRST. Liz
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Old 08-08-2007, 07:22 AM
 
Location: WA State USA
79 posts, read 229,854 times
Reputation: 66
Quote:
Originally Posted by jhlcomp View Post
I second that - great list. I am still a little leery of some of the compression utilities out there, however.

I am very happy with Avast.

Thanks again for sharing.
Avast Free is a WAY better program than AVG
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Old 08-08-2007, 09:39 AM
 
13,773 posts, read 34,274,186 times
Reputation: 10569
Another great tip is to take your PC apart and clean out the dust inside once at least once a year.
I just got a computer from my DD to work on and couldn't believe it was still working from all the dust that was inside.
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Old 08-08-2007, 11:02 AM
 
106 posts, read 399,599 times
Reputation: 38
Quote:
Originally Posted by southernlady5464 View Post
IF you MUST use a toolbar, use google and google ONLY. It is the ONLY one we have found that is clean of Spy-Adware totally. There is a version for Firefox.
Other than this, your list is very good, ok it's Excellent!! Please note, that google's tool bar does in fact send information about what your do back to google. This is by definition spyware. Look at their privacy policy: Google Toolbar for Firefox Help Center

Granted it's much better than others, but it's still spyware.

And yes, I'm overly paranoid. That's why I'm an InfoSec guy
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