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Computer Maintenance Tips

 

 

 

Computer Registry Errors

90% of the time, computer problems and slow speed are caused by problems in the computer registry. The registry files in your computer control how the applications and hardware should run, and the chances that there are errors in the registry are very high, especially for users who have used their computers for a year. It is important to constantly clean up your computer registry to ensure that your computer runs in good condition. There are many registries scanning software, and you should download one of them and clean out your registry.

Spyware and Adware

Computers that are always connected to the internet will most likely have spyware and adware on them. These are programs that online websites drop into your computer while you are surfing them. Different spyware will do different things on your computer, and their most common purpose is to track what you are doing. This information is then fed back to the main website, and the user will have no idea about what just happened. All you need to do here is to download spyware cleaner software and run the software. Remove all the spyware on your computer and you can expect your computer to run faster after that.

Viruses

This is another cause for computer problems, although it is not very common. If you believe that your computer has been infected with a virus, you should find good anti-virus software for your computer. Set the virus scan to scan your documents, especially the ones that you have downloaded from the internet. This includes files like your song or game downloads, and also your email attachments.

One thing that I would not do is to attempt to clean out my computer registry on my own. I remember my experience when I "suspected" that one of my registry files was in the wrong place, and proceeded to move it on my own back to its "original place". After that, my computer will never boot again and I had to use a registry cleaner to get my computer running again.

How to clean your system Do a Windows Update. This will be on your Start menu. If it isn't, then click on "All Programs", then "Accessories", then "System Tools". This will take you to the proper page. Alternatively, try www. windowsupdate.microsoft.com (not necessary with Vista). It is very important that you get all available security updates. Other updates may seem less critical, but are still recommended.

 

1. Set Windows to update automatically. Open System: click Start, click Control Panel, click Performance and Maintenance, and then click System. Then click the Automatic Updates tab.

2. �Or�If you are running Windows 2000, click Start, point to Settings, click Control Panel, and then double-click Automatic Updates. Under automatically download recommended updates for my computer and install them, select the day and time you want Windows to install updates.

3. Get rid of cookies. These are the little crumbs that are left behind on your computer after you visit a website. This step may wipe out passwords for sites you visit. Be sure you know your password to these sites as you may be asked to enter it the next time you visit a site. Click on Start>Control Panel>Internet Options. The second row down will say Delete Cookies, click on that. Click on Delete Temporary file; when the little box comes up that says "delete offline," you don't have to click on that. Click on Delete temporary Files. Alternatively, download CCleaner and Cleanup! And run them both after installation. CCleaner does a very good job for a free program. Be sure to scan the registry by clicking on Registry and then scanning. This will take care of all of your wasted space (e.g. cookies, internet cache files).

4.   Complete Disk Cleanup. After clicking on "Start", move your cursor on "All Programs", then up to "Accessories", then "System Tools". Click on "Disk Cleanup" from the list that appears. Click the "More Options" tab at the top of the page, and select all three of the following: "Windows Components," "Installed Programs," and "System Restore". Clean up all three by clicking on their respective tabs. You may want to delete all but your most recent system restore point as you probably don't need the others.

5. Defragment your computer. Defragmenting your computer moves all your files to       where they are supposed to be. You may want to download an independent   defragmenter (e.g. Defraggler by Piriform). It is small, concise, and more powerful, than the one distributed with Windows.

6.     Remove adware, malware, and spyware. Use a search engine to find "Lavasoft            Ad Aware 2008". This will take you to a site to download the software. Download and install this program. You can also use "Spybot Search & Destroy." SpywareBlaster is a good preventative measure to use as well. All have easy-to-follow instructions. SUPERAnti-Spyware is yet another option. For malware, MBAM is yet another option.

7. Install anti-virus software. There are free products available for personal use, such as AVG, Bitdefender and avast! Anti-Virus. You might also like to purchase such a product; the anti-virus market is fairly competitive, leading to many reasonably-priced products such as Norton Antivirus, McAfee Virus Scan, etc. 8. Go to My Computer. Now go to tools at the top. Folder Options... View, then check the box "Show Hidden Files and Folders" then go to Local Disk, Documents & Settings, Your Account, and delete everything in: My Recent Documents, Local Settings History (Do not delete everything in local settings, just delete everything in the history folder of local settings) (and while in Local Settings) Delete everything in temporary internet files.  Remove unwanted programs by going to start, control panel, add/remove programs, and then remove unwanted programs.

 

 When your computer is running in ship-shape, then go to start, all programsaccessories, system tools, then system restore. Create a restore point, and when your computer is running poorly, restore it to the day.

 

If you haven't cleaned up your PC for a long time, you may need to clean your PC     Registry with a System cleaner and Registry Repair Software.

      Don't use free tools, very few are that effective with the exception of MalwareBytes scan. Download Malwarebytes, rename the downloaded file before running it to say z9.exe (some spyware will not let you launch a known anti-virus program). Once installed it's recommended you change the name of the mbam program to something else before launching (again spyware will prevent execution with regular name). Now perform a full scan with malwarebytes and take the recommended steps. A reboot will probably be necessary. After that process is complete remove all anti-virus/spyware programs installed and then purchase and download Trend Micro antivirus + anti-spyware program from their web site. There are other choices available but this software does not pop-up info messages all the time and won't hinder the PC performance like Norton does. Free AVG is horrible at protecting the PC and a real pain to remove.

          If using CCleaner, head over to Piriform's website (they make the program) and look for the "Other builds" link hanging around the Downloads link. Get the "Slim" version as the regular download includes adware you have to say no to, and it's smaller. Or get the portable version and unzip it to a USB flash drive to take it on the go. (Further tip: If English is your native language, don't unpack the LANG folder - it's just languages other than English).

          If you are new to computers, try to relax. You are likely to get a little stressed when you are not sure what is going on and wondering if your data is still okay. Try to find a computer-savvy friend to help you.

       If you use Norton Antivirus, then set it to scan your computer as often as possible. (Daily is best) To do this, click "scan for viruses" then click the button that has a clock on next to "scan my computer". This will take you to the scheduling window. It is best to schedule this when you are not using the computer, like when you're asleep, as it can take quite a few hours to finish, especially if you have a larger computer. This will cause it to detect many viruses, but also delete a lot of spyware and adware too.

How to Back up Your Data

 

Backing up the windows registry is not as crucial as backing up your data.  If Windows starts acting weird, restoring the registry to a point where it was working well my help.

There are two methods to back up your Windows registry.  The first method is using the built-in Windows semi-automated tool.  To access it:

·         Go to Start

·         Select All Programs

·         Then select Accessories

·         Then select System Tools

·         Then select System Restore

·         Follow the instructions to Create a Restore Point.  With the restore point, you can revert your entire machine back to a point in time.

 

The second method is a little more manual.  It uses the Window Registry editor.  To launch the editor:

·         Go To Start

·         Select Run

·         Type in "Regedit" into the text box and hit the Enter key

·         To create a backup, select File

·         Then select Export

·         Type a name for this file that will make it easy for you to remember what it is like today's date 

·         For the export range, select all. 

·         Then save it somewhere on your hard disk

·         To restore your registry to this backup, double click it and confirm that you want to change the registry.

 

Remember it is best to be proactive about backing up your data and your registry.  Do it now and do it regularly while everything is working well.  You will want to have backups when things go bad.