I am an internet marketer and use my PC as my sole source of income. So, over the years I have had to take measures to protect my computer so it doesn’t crash, get a virus or get dogged-down. My friends know this and often ask me for advice, so I am finally writing this which will allow me to direct my friends to my website where they can learn how to cleanup their computer themselves. One of the things my friends are always talking about is how slow their computer runs. Mine, on the other hand, runs faster than when I bought it (I added some memory).
Recently, I repaired a laptop which took 21 minutes to start up with the tools listed below. It ran fine, it was just cluttered with junk which for the most part, was Microsoft’s fault. It’s important to know that Microsoft is sloppy and needs to be cleaned on a regular basis. When it uses a file it never puts it back where it got it from. Imagine how messy that gets when it uses the same file repeatedly. Now consider that it even stores part s of the file it was using in different places on your hard drive! It would be like taking a 100 page document from your file cabinet and then just stuffing individual pages in random places.
People either go through great lengths to protect them selves, or spend lots of money to fix it or replace it when it gets too slow or crashes. In fact, my old boss would even go so far as to backup his laptop and then wipe the hard drive, reinstall windows and then reinstall all his programs. Crazy!
Everything you need to keep your pc runing smooth is at FileHippo.com where you can download free software. If you prefer, I have also provided a link to each of the developer’s webistes where you can download the file as well.
Here’s what I do to maintain and protect my computer:
- Install avast! Anti-virus – I use the home edition since I work out of my home. A support technician told me about it and I love it. Another good one is AVG but I prefer avast!. I strongly urge you to not use Norton or McAffe. Norton especially is a huge resource hog and will slow your pc down and give you tons of confusing messages.
- Next, install a good spyware tool. I recommend Spybot Search & Destroy but Ad-Aware is really good too. If you want to spend a few dollars, Spy Sweeper by Webroot is really good, but why spend money?
- Now that you are protected, you need to keep your slow running pc run faster. So first you need to do is clean the registry and system files. A different pc support technician told me about this tool which is both a system cleaner AND a registry cleaner from CCleaner.com. It is really easy to use and it will really speed up your desktop or even your laptop.
- Now it’s time to defrag your computer. While Microsoft includes a file defragmentation tool (Start>All Programs>Accessories>System Tools>Disk Defragmenter), I now use a free defrag tool by Defraggler.com. This system defrag software blows away Microsoft’s and the best part is it’s made by the same people who make CCleaner. Here is there main website listing all their tools: Piriform.com
- Lastly, GET RID OF MICROSOFT INTERNET EXPLORER!!! If you have completed the 4 steps above, you know what a weak program their defrag tool is and how sloppy they handle your file system. So, why would you trust Microsoft IE to protect you on the web? Unfortunately it is the most widely used browser and as a result, hackers will pick on IE first. Nearly all designers and technicians use FireFox as their web browser. There are others like Opera , Safari or Google Chrome just to name a few, but whichever bowser you choose, stay away from IE!
If you install and use these 5 PC maintenance and protection tools you should rarely need to bring your computer to a repair technician. In the event you do get a virus, don’t let them wipe your hard drive. Have them remove it from your laptop or pc and connect it to one of theirs. Once it’s connected to a virus-free pc they should be able to clean it in much the same way you would clean a flash drive or any external device (think 3.5″ floppys) with your pc. Reformatting your hard drive should be the very last resort.
I hope this helps. – Dave