Do you find that your computer exhibits one or more of following behaviors?
- Inexplicable message or warning pop-ups
- Frequent unsolicited reboots
- Your favorite application often crashes
- Applications now start up sluggishly
- Your computer seems to take forever to boot up
- You find new software running which you did not expressly install, and you cannot explain it's existance
Your computer may simply have become cluttered with software to such a degree that all those programs now fight with each other for resources, or a particular type of software installed (with malicious intent or otherwise) could produce adverse side effects and may even compromise your system's health and security. Even if your PC does not appear to suffer from any of symptoms above, chances are over time one or more of these issues will surface.
So where should we look to find root cause of such problems? In short, we can attribute this abnormal behavior to:
1) Our not being vigilant in monitoring list of software running (or not running) on our system
2) Not being sufficiently mindful of how installed software got there and why
Let me explain further. When one purchases a computer (or you inherit that “hand-me-down” from your relative) you will typically find a potpourri of software already installed. Furthermore, you will probably never use 80% of it. In addition, you may find yourself unable to resist temptation to download and install freeware/shareware from internet.
All too often we really do not need programs we download, but refraining from doing so can be difficult due to software's enticing promo. And regardless of utility of these programs, many times we don't bother to uninstall them, thinking we may find a use for them in future.
Just recently while browsing through a forum, I saw a post with following opening line: I just had to reformat family computer for second time in three months because of my brother's blatant ignorance of general computer hygiene. I can assure you that such behavior is commonplace. The various computers in my own home are a prime example. On numerous occasions my two children, who by way, are old enough to know better, downloaded and installed software which essentially rendered their PCs unusable, thus costing me hours of work to get them back into working condition.