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Old 07-16-2006, 09:36 AM
Awesome WAHM
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Join Date: Sep 2005
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Below, you will find a list of tips in maintaining a smoothly running computer. If you perform regular maintenance on your computer, it should run smoothly for you for a very long time, barring any hardware issues. I have compiled a list below to help those of you who need this information.

Anyone else, please feel free to join in to add any additional tips YOU may have.

In addition, this thread is to hopefully answer any questions you may have about software issues, hardware issues or any other issues you may have concerning your computer, so feel free to post. These tips are for use with the Windows XP operatin system. Here we go:

I. Settings to Change

1. Go to Start, Settings, Control Panel, Internet Options. Under "homepage, please set that to whatever homepage you so desire.

2. Within that same box, under "Temporary Internet Files, " click on "Settings." Under "Amount of Disc Space to Use," lower than number to 60. Click "Apply" and "OK." Normally, that number will read much higher than 60, allowing your computer to store all of the history or temp files to fill up that space; hence, the need to lower than number.

3. Again, within that same box, under "History," change "Days to Keep Pages in History" to 0.

4. Within that same box again at the very top, click the "Security" tab. You will see four listed sites at the top. Make certain all four are set to the default level. They should read as follows:

Internet: Medium
Local Intranet: Medium/Low
Trusted Sites: Low
Restricted Sites: High

To do this, simply click on the picture, then click the "default level." Click "Apply" and "OK."

II For Best Performance

1. Wallpaper and screensavers only take up space, so if you don't have a huge amount of disc space, I wouldn't even use them. It's a matter of "Do I want a 'pretty' computer or do I want a computer that runs smoothly?

2. Go to Start, Settings, Control Panel. Click on "Display." Click on the "Desktop" tab at the top and select "none." Do the same with the screensaver. Click "Apply" and "OK."

Of course, this is optional and is your decision.

III. Getting Rid of Windows Messenger

Windows Messenger is merely a pesky little thing that no one ever uses and can cause problems with your system. It is not like a personal messenger program, and I have found no actual use for it. To get rid of this pest, please do the following, and make certain to follow it step by step very carefully!

1. On your main screen, click on "Start, Run," then type in the following, just as I have inhere, including spaces, commas, caps, periods, etc. (Use Show/Hide if you need to in order to see where the spaces are. You can just paste this thread into Word, use Show/Hide, and then copy and paste. Here's what to type:

RunDll32 advpack.dll,LaunchINFSection %windir%\INF\msmsgs.inf,BLC.Remove

(You could actually just copy and paste this into the "Type" from here if you like).

A box will appear and disappear very quickly. This means it worked.

2. Reboot your computer, and when your screen comes back up, Windows Messenger will be gone. Now, on your desktop, go to "My Computer," then "C drive," then "Program Files." Find the folder named "Messenger" and delete it. Empty your recycle bin, and you will never see this pest again!

IV. Windows Updates

Set your computer to do automatic updates. This will guarantee that these updates will be placed on your computer as needed. These updates are extremely important, so make certain these get done if you don't have it set to automatic. If you don't already have Service Pack 2 installed, please go to Windows Updates and do that install. This allows for even better security and includes a built-in pop-up blocker, among many other things.

V. Regular Maintenance

Once you have completed any sort of tasks on your computer, whether it be installing programs, uninstalling programs or whatever, you will need to defrag your computer. I do this about twice weekly, whether I’ve done anything differently or not.

Go to Start, Programs, Accessories, System Tools, Disk Defragmenter. You can run it from there. Once it is complete, you will need to reboot your computer. What this does is take “misplaced” files and places them back where they belong, to put it in simple terms.
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VI. Some very helpful, FREE, downloadable software programs
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1. AVG Anti-Virus by Grisoft
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Even if I buy a brand new computer, I always delete the anti-virus program already installed and install AVG. This is, by far, the ultimate BEST anti-virus program there is, and Kim Commando (if you’ve ever listened to her radio program) even suggests this program. I have been using it for about six years now, and it beats Norton, McAfee and all the others. It will automatically check your boot sector and computer at a set time, usually in the morning, or whatever you set it to check.
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2.Adaware SE by Lavasoft
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This is the best anti-spyware program I have yet to find. Of course, it’s always a good idea to have more than one, as sometimes, one won’t pick up what another will, but this program usually finds ALL spyware on your computer.
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3. E-Z Clean by ToniArts<O:P></O:P>
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I absolutely LOVE this program! It will give you many options for cleanup of all unused files, temp files, MRU files (most recently used) and many others. Just open it, click on each item and……..voila! It’s gone! This is a really easy way to clean out all of those unused, already deleted or temp files. I highly recommend it.
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4. PC Pitstop<O:P></O:P>
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This is not a downloadable program, but rather a web site in which to perform a diagnosis on your computer, so the URL is www.pcpitstop.com.
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At this site, you are able to run the “full tests,” which I often do, and it will list anything they made need tweaked, changed, etc. It will give you tips on how to make that change or tweak, and it will also give your computer a “score.” Using XP, any score over 1,000 is okay unless it shows there’s a problem somewhere. I usually keep this URL in my favorites AND as an icon on my desktop.
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You may also run a virus check there, and this is where the second spyware checker comes in because you can run a spyware check at PC Pitstop also. In fact, there is an entire host of things you can do here, so I highly recommend this site.
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Okay, well, that’s it for now. As I think of more, I will add to this thread. I do have one more program on my computer for cleanup, and that is called Web Root Windows Washer; however, this is NOT free. It is SO useful. It takes just one click to perform almost everything regarding deleting temp files and unused files. It also does a “bleach,” which means those files are gone for good and can never be recovered.
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If you’d like to know more about Windows Washer, please PM me, and I will help you out with that.
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Now, remember, if anyone has anything additional to add that I haven’t already, please feel free to do so. If I have forgotten anything, please let me know, if you can. If you have any other questions concerning hardware, software or anything else, please feel free to post. I will get to your questions as soon as I can. I will make it a point to check the thread as often as possible.
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Now, everyone, go clean out your computers! You WILL notice the difference! J
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Edited by: [email protected]
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  #2 (permalink)  
Old 07-16-2006, 09:49 AM
Awesome WAHM
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Join Date: Sep 2005
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I'm not going to edit that post ANY more, but I wanted to say that I copied and pasted that from a Word document that I created, so the formatting of that post is not perfect on here, but you'll get the jest of the thread. The latter part is fine, but I don't know why the first part wouldn't format correctly on here. Deal with it! lol! [img]smileys/smiley36.gif[/img]
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Old 07-16-2006, 10:00 AM
Awesome WAHM
 
Join Date: Nov 2005
Location: United States
Posts: 630
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Hi Grandma!


Thanks so much for your help with this. It is such useful info! Just a quick question...wasn't E-Z Clean by ToniArts free at one point? I had it installed on my old laptop, but just recently bought a new one, and now I can't find the free program. I Googled it, it brings you to their website, but you have to pay to be a member.


Any thoughts?


Thanks!


Deb
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Old 07-16-2006, 10:08 AM
Awesome WAHM
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I just noticed that as I went to their website. If I can find it for free, I will let you know. Hmmmmmmmm!
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  #5 (permalink)  
Old 07-16-2006, 10:39 AM
Awesome WAHM
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Bump up to stay on first page. [img]smileys/smiley2.gif[/img]
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  #6 (permalink)  
Old 07-16-2006, 12:05 PM
Awesome WAHM
 
Join Date: May 2006
Location: United States
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I would like to add one thing on the anti-virus. My boyfriend and I (technie nerds who use very stripped down versions of Windows XP that we've customized) didn't like AVG. The software changed some of our Windows settings and made some things not work correctly anymore.


So for those that also have problems with AVG, try Avast. Avast is free (at least it has been for the last year or so that I've used it, but you do have to register your email addy with it) and awesome! Unlike Nortons and all those others, it is not bulky and does not slow your system down. http://www.avast.com/
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Old 07-16-2006, 12:24 PM
Awesome WAHM
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Location: United States
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Hmmmm! I've actually never, ever had a problem with AVG changing anything at all, and I've used it on literally tons of computers (my hubby and I also build and repair computers),but I've also heard that Avast was good too.I've never used it, personally, but any recommendationsare well taken.


I say whatever works best, use it! Thanks for the input,kerrine![img]smileys/smiley1.gif[/img]


We're getting going here. Everyone, please join in!
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  #8 (permalink)  
Old 07-16-2006, 03:11 PM
Awesome WAHM
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Join Date: Sep 2005
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Okay, I actually removed the post from the "copy and paste" and actually re-typed it, so it looks somewhat better and easier to read. Hope this helps. [img]smileys/smiley2.gif[/img]
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  #9 (permalink)  
Old 07-16-2006, 03:19 PM
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Grandma, you'll have to ask again for it to be a sticky. Whenever you edit the original post it gets unstuck.
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  #10 (permalink)  
Old 07-16-2006, 03:56 PM
Awesome WAHM
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Yeah, I know. I already sent them a note to sticky it again. Thanks!
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