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Old 02-10-2006, 10:45 AM
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Feb. 13th is Clean Out Your Computer Day!!

Many people are good at house cleaning and car cleaning but they forget their computers!

Today is Clean Out Your Computer Day!!


Some easy tips:

Go through your files & folders and delete anything that you no longer use!

Empty your recycle bin.

Clear the cookies and Temporary Internet Files (the cache) on your computer.

Update and Run your Anti-Virus protection.

Defrag the computer.


Just some quick tips to help make your computer run smoothly.


Please add your other "secrets" to keeping your computer clean!
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Old 02-18-2006, 08:09 PM
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Join Date: May 2002
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I know this is long, but this is an email I received telling you how to clean up & speed up your computer. It's from a free pc tech support site I recently found that is fabulous!
Here's the email:
Quote:
Table of Contents
Intro
Viruses and other nasty beasties
Junk-Busters
Startup programs
Hardware diagnostics
Credits

Intro
-------

When Benjamin Franklin said that nothing is ever certain except death and taxes he obviously hadn't been down to his local shopping mall to buy a computer. All computer owners know that their super-fast PC will gradually lose it's speed, take longer to open programs, and eventually run as well as an ageing man wading through treacle (or molasses if you live on the other side of the pond). Computers get slower for a variety of reasons: files become disorganized, software that you only use on rainy days and Sundays consumes resources, and your startup may be slow because the system has to load more programs than it takes to put a man in space: and having a PC that is infested with viruses and spyware will add dramatically to the treacle effect.

In this edition of protonic.news we'll tell you how to optimise your PC's performance. We'll be unearthing files you may not know exist, applying powerful techniques to root out clutter, and running hardware diagnostics for memory and drives. This is the ultimate PC makeover: because you're worth it.

Viruses and other nasty beasties
--------------------------------------
If you bought a Regency coffee table that was riddled with woodworm it would be unwise to simply give it a coat of varnish and invite your friends round to admire it. So it is with computers, before revitalising your PC it is important to kill any infestation.

If you have an anti-virus program please make sure your definitions are up to date and run a full scan. If you don't have one, or are reluctant to renew your subscription, get one (but only one) of these free ones: both work well.

Avast - http://www.avast.com/eng/avast_4_home.html
AVG AV - http://free.grisoft.com/doc/2/lng/us/tpl/v5

If you want to know about spyware, here's some information. http://www.microsoft.com/security/articles/spyware.asp

If you want to get rid of it, here's a free program: http://download.com.com/3000-2144-10...age&tag=button

Once you're happy that your system is 'clean' you can move on to clearing the clutter.

Junk-Busters
---------------
Remove any programs that you no longer use. Go to Start, Control Panel (In earlier versions of Windows it is Start, Settings, Control Panel) and click open the Add/Remove programs facility. Click on any that you don't need and follow the instructions to uninstall.

If you don't know what something is I would leave it alone, Some Windows updates will appear in the list and should not be uninstalled. Now for junk files: before using any utilities that remove old files you might want to back up your data. Use your usual backup routine, and if you are not sure how to perform a backup you could post it as a question at protonic.com Windows has a disk clean-up utility: this is how you get to it.

Go to Start, Programs, Accessories, System Tools, Disk Clean-up. Which of the items you select to clean is a matter of personal choice, but why not tick all the boxes for a really good clean?

Here's a gem of a program (free) that does an even more thorough job: http://cleanup.stevengould.org

Having freed up space on the drive you can now defragment it. Fragmentation of files occurs because Windows cannot (or will not) allocate enough space to store a file as a single item. Instead it shoves bits of it any available nook or cranny (usually spaces freed up by deletions). Defragmenting the drive puts the pieces back together and makes it easier and faster to access. To defragment your drive go to Start, (all) Programs, Accessories, System Tools.

The best way to run the defragmenter is in Safe Mode. This will prevent anything changing the contents of the drive, which results in the defragmenter stopping or going into and endless loop.

To start in Safe Mode: http://service1.symantec.com/SUPPORT...01052409420406

Startup programs
---------------------
It pays to manage your startup and to have only those applications you need opening. Here are some ways to do it:

Many programs have an option to run the program at startup, so if that option is deselected the program will not run. This is the best method. If a program does not have this facility (or if you cannot find it!) read on…….

Go to Start>Run, and type in: msconfig And click OK; you will get the System Configuration Utility. Click the startup tab and you'll see a list of things that open when you start Windows. You can uncheck any you don't need, but do not disable systray or scan registry. Users of Windows 95 and 2000 do not have msconfig, but they can get it here: http://www2.whidbey.com/djdenham/Msconfig.htm

Here is a tutorial on how to use msconfig: I love that name, netsquirrel. http://netsquirrel.com/msconfig

There are some useful utilities that can help you manage startup. Here are two free ones:

http://www.pcworld.com/downloads/fil...d,22728,00.asp http://www.mlin.net/StartupCPL.shtml

The first one is WinPatrol, which has a cute little dog called Scotty who seems to be constantly poking his cold, wet nose into your files. Seriously, he's a sweetie and the program is very useful. The second one is Startup Control Panel. It is much simpler than WinPatrol, but it has the facility to enable you to disable registry entries that start programs without running the registry editor and risking the destruction of your entire operating system. Both are good, and at that price you can afford the pair!

For the really curious there is this beast, it tells you almost everything that happens when you start the PC! http://www.spychecker.com/program/autoruns.html It's a must have tool for all wannabe geeks.

Hardware diagnostics
-------------------------
If you've cleared the drive of old programs, evil beasties, untidy files, general clutter and unnecessary startup programs, your PC should be purring happily. If it is not you may have a hardware problem, perhaps the memory has a fault, or the hard drive is too full, or simply tired of living. You can test your RAM (Random Access Memory) using this utility from Microsoft: http://oca.microsoft.com/en/windiag.asp - It's reasonably easy to use and well worth the trouble.

Most major manufacturers of hard drives provide a disk diagnostic utility, all you have to do is go to their website and download it.

Here are the main sites:
Maxtor Support - http://www.maxtor.com/portal/site/Ma...duct%20Support
IBM-Hitachi Downloads - http://www.hitachigst.com/hdd/support/download.htm
Western Digital - http://www.seagate.com
Seagate - http://www.seagate.com
Quantum Drives - http://www.quantum.com/index.aspx
Fujitsu - http://www.fujitsu.com/global/

These utilities will report on the current condition of your drive and are invaluable if you suspect a problem, giving you time to back up your data before the drive dies.

------------------------------------------------------

Copyright © 2006, protonic.com

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