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7. Install and run a good AntiVirus program to keep out viruses that can take over your system. One of my favorites is AVG. It is not only a really good AntiVirus program, but it is also FREE! If you don’t have any AntiVirus software on your computer, get AVG AntiVirus NOW by downloading HERE... http://www.lapeertechgroup.com/downloads.asp
8. Get rid of Spyware. A lot of computer users have Spyware and don’t even know they have it, much less how to get rid of it. If your computer has been taking you to websites that you don’t want to go to, or if you get pop-ups when you aren’t even on Internet, or if your computer has been running extremely slowly lately, for no reason, you probably have Spyware.
On all of computers that I setup, I install two different AntiSpyware programs: AdAware SE and SpyBot. These two programs are highly recommended by TechTV (G4) and other computer authorities (including my own research on Spyware) and work very well together. They compliment each other and catch Spyware that other misses, but together, do a very good job.
Get SpyBot HERE... http://www.lapeertechgroup.com/downloads.asp. Download all updates and run Immunize option a couple of times.
AdAware SE does a good job when you keep up on updates and manually scan your system with AdAware. Get it HERE... http://www.lapeertechgroup.com/downloads.asp
In some cases, when Spyware has become too entwined into your system, even a computer repair technician can’t get rid of Spyware. At this point, it is better to just backup only what you need and have operating system reinstalled. Believe me, when your computer gets to this point, you don’t want to just put a “band-aid” on it. Just start from scratch with a clean system. It’s best way to go.
9. Streamline MSCONFIG. One thing that really causes a HUGE performance decrease is to have unnecessary programs running in background. Some of these programs can be seen in your System Tray (located next to clock). These are tiny programs that are robbing you of memory and processing power. Some of them you need, while most you don’t. Some of programs you DON’T need are printer icons, CD burning icons, shortcuts to programs (such as video settings), AOL, any Instant Messaging Programs, etc. Just because these programs aren’t always running, doesn’t mean that you still can’t print, burn CDs or Instant Message. They can all be run from a shortcut.
You can use a utility, called MSCONFIG, to turn OFF unnecessary Start Up items.
a. In Windows 98, Me, and XP, click on StartRun and type msconfig. Click on Startup tab. This is a list of everything that is running in background, some of which show up in System Tray. Now, be careful, some of these you do need. Some items to keep are Ctfmon.exe (XP), Scan Registry (Win98, Me), Task Monitor (Win98, Me), System Tray (Win98, Me), LoadPowerProfile (Win98, Me), Rundll.32, any AntiVirus programs (such as McAfee, Norton, or AVG). Others, you can uncheck, such as NeroCheck, ypager, qttask, AOL, and any other Instant Messaging programs, or printing programs. Remember, if something doesn’t work, because you turned it off, it can always be turned back on. You just have to reboot every time you make a change here. But, as you uncheck unnecessary programs that run in background, you will see that Windows loads much faster, that there are less icons in System Tray, and that your system is much more “snappy” and quick to respond.
b. In Windows 2000, MSCONFIG wasn’t supplied. You actually have to download and run an MSCONFIG utility. Download MSCONFIG utility HERE... http://www.perfectdrivers.com/howto/msconfig.html.
After you reboot, you will have a window that says that configuration utility was edited. Just check not to show that in future, a check box at bottom. This just means that there was a change made to MSCONFIG.
10. Defragment your hard drives. NOTE: to efficiently defragment a hard drive, it likes to have 25% free space. It can still do defragmentation with only 15% free space, but it takes quite a bit longer. If you can, delete any unnecessary files before deframenting your drives.
a. To defragment your hard drives (in any Windows operating system), double-click on My Computer. Right-click on c-drive and click on Properties. Click on Tools tab and choose bottom button, to Defragment Now…
Good luck. I hope this article has helped you. If you live in Lapeer County, MI area, and would like a Professional professionally TuneUp your computer(s) in your home or business, please contact Lapeer Tech Group at (810) 793-1093, or visit our website at www.LapeerTechGroup.com
I have worked in the IT field since 1989 and hold several Microsoft certifications. I am a network administrator and owner and operator of Lapeer Tech Group, located in Columbiaville, Michigan (just outside of Lapeer). During these years, I have supported both Macs and PCs, am an accomplished graphic and web designer, and have had the opportunity to support 2nd and 3rd level enterprise networks for GM, EDS, Delphi and Delco.