How to clean up your Windows PC

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[FnG] Bri Rock
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How to clean up your Windows PC

Postby [FnG] Bri Rock » Fri Jun 10, 2005 5:32 pm

How to clean up your Windows PC

Here's a guide to cleaning up your PC. Windows obviously is well known to be vunerable to viruses, spyware, etc etc. And most of us are sick of it. :-P So this guide is designed to make your PC invincible FOR FREE (No money involved) , unless you need to do a Complete format of your Windows installed Hard Drive (which I need to do soon :roll:)


First and foremost, >>Update Windows to SP2 + all update patches<<

ANTI-VIRUS

Anti-virus programs keep your computer free of programs designed to make your computer act funny. These progams includes viruses (which damage data), worms which are a huge nuisance (but doesn't nessesarily cause damage), or trojans (which allow a real person into your computer to do anything :shock: )

So if you are absolutely sick and tired of Norton or McAfee not working for you, Keep reading.

First, here's the AV I use. It's great, free, and it's more powerful than Norton and McAfee, offering more tools, resources, and very low CPU usage to keep your computer clean.

Avast! Anti-virus
http://www.avast.com

60 day trial, then register for free and get a Key for 14 months. After 14 months, re-register for free. Simple :)

Here are other Free AV's out there.

Bit Defender
http://www.bitdefender.com/bd/site/down ... menu_id=21
I haven't tried this one, I'll give it a whirl and update the info here.

AVG
http://free.grisoft.com/freeweb.php
Here's another good AV that is solid. Give this one a try.



SPYWARE

Spyware is software that downloads onto your computer, either without your consent, or through very sneaky tactics, (i.e. Getting a program and not reading the fine print, or hitting next way too quickly, or a malicious website writing bad cookie files into your Temp folder). In result, you get pop-ups, advertisements, etc.
Programs including: AIM and Winamp now have spyware bundled with them. Make sure you read everything and uncheck anything you don't want. (Both of these programs are owned by AOL/Time Warner... so this isn't surprising :roll:)

These progams will help keep your computer safe, so you can go onto unknown websites with ease.

Ad-Aware SE
http://www.lavasoftusa.com/software/adaware/
This program is great for getting spyware off your computer. It's fast, safe, and quite effective. Unfortunetely, there is no 'protection' from spyware from coming back. This leads into the next program.

Spybot - Search & Destroy
http://www.safer-networking.org/en/download/
This program has great protection (immunization) algorithms that prevent crap from even coming on your computer. Unfortunetely, the 'search and remove' tool is a tad reckless, as Windows then may display errors saying "Windows can't find this file(s)!". However, there are no problems if you use Ad-aware first, then use this to see if Ad-aware missed anything.

These two programs above I use, and my comp is literally invincible from the net (in combination with avast). However, try out other programs and see what you like. Here are other anti-spyware programs.

Spyware Blaster
http://www.javacoolsoftware.com/spywareblaster.html
Here's a good anti-spyware program. However, this was made in Java. This may be a tad on the CPU extensive side.

Microsoft anti-spyware
http://www.microsoft.com/athome/securit ... fault.mspx
This is Microsoft's anti-spyware program. It only gets rid of the obvious spyware modules, but doesn't really do anything else. It's worth a try if you want to.


FIREWALLS

This section is designed for network protection, if you do not trust Windows Firewall. Windows firewall is good, but if you want the best of the best of the best, then try these out.

NOTE: Avast AV comes with Network protection which works along side of Windows Firewall. These Firewalls below *may* conflict with any AV program.

Zonealarm
http://www.zonelabs.com
Zonealarm is a great free home-use firewall. Anyone with Windows 95 to 2000 must get this.

Sygate
http://www.sygate.com/
This is the most 1337 manual driven program. It requires a good amount of configuration, but if you want to know EXACTLY what is happening with your computer and network activity, get this.


OTHER PROGRAMS

These programs are not well known, but are great to have.

Crap cleaner
http://www.ccleaner.com/

Crap cleaner plugs into the Recycle bin, and cleans ALOT more than what the recycle bin deletes. This includes, temp folder, cookies, temp internet stuff (IE, Firefox), and more. A MUST HAVE.

Tune XP
EDIT --> New Link http://www.majorgeeks.com/downloadget.p ... 8001594799

This program gets a little under the hood of Windows and tunes it up so that your computer goes FAST. This isn't nessesarily cleaning up your computer, but rather it optimizes it. Services this program provides include:
-Defraging your boot sector and moving it to the beginning of your HD for fast reading.
-Optimizing Windows start up time. <-- This feature is GREAT! :D
-Prefetch folder clean up
-DNS Cache optimizing
-Increasing NTFS Partitioned Harddrives <-- A must for people with Dell computers
-Faster Shutdown
-Tweaks IE for faster DNS caching
-Turning off first party .zip reading to free up resources (if you have WinZIP-RAR)
-Turning off first party CD Buring (if you have nero 6) to clean up resources
-And other stuff

Be aware, the tweaks here (if you don't know what you're doing) can cause some problems . Here's a guide to help you figure out which tweaks to make so you stay safe. http://www.iamnotageek.com/a/76-p1.php
Plus the Help documentation inside of the TuneXP program is great if you get lost. Highly recommended.

EDIT --> I just formated my comp and used this. [With Athlon 64 3200+] Boot time is now 4-6 seconds, and is in the GUI in 7-8 seconds.


So that's the guide. Hope this helps anyone to everyone with computer problems, and hope you have a safe computing experience.

NOTE> These programs usually require a 'core' update, rather than just a small update. This means you have to download the newest version of the program to get the 'next version'.
Last edited by [FnG] Bri Rock on Sun Jun 12, 2005 5:38 pm, edited 3 times in total.
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[FnG] Kahbouter
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Postby [FnG] Kahbouter » Fri Jun 10, 2005 7:24 pm

Thx for the info. I think I'll give that XP-tuning a try, because starting and shutting down Windows on this baby takes ages... :lol:
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[FnG] pyxie.T32
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Postby [FnG] pyxie.T32 » Sat Jun 11, 2005 6:41 pm

Nice resource, good job Bri, added to my favs :thumbup:
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[FnG] magnolia
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Postby [FnG] magnolia » Thu Jun 16, 2005 5:29 am

That's really useful, good work! The link below adds some other programs into the mix if you want to contrast and compare in maybe a little more detail.

The authors comments on the mighty Search and Destroy are also worth reading. Anyone know anything about this because I've always thought this was one of those 'untouchable' programs.

http://www.techsupportalert.com/best_46_free_utilities.htm
Me? The 13th Duke of Wybourne? Here? In a sixth form girl's dormitory? At three o'clock in the morning? With my reputation? What were they thinking of?

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[FnG] XOR
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Postby [FnG] XOR » Sun Jun 26, 2005 8:14 pm

Yay, now we can spend even more time adjusting and tweaking the machine that helps us save time! :lol:

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[FnG] Marksman
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Postby [FnG] Marksman » Mon Jun 27, 2005 3:26 pm

I use Windows Washer as a intarweb/cookie/TMP file blitzing tool. Very thorough, and erases data to "military security standard" by overwriting a user-defined number of times with random characters. :shock:
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[FnG] XOR
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Postby [FnG] XOR » Wed Aug 10, 2005 9:59 am

Here is another good resource for freeing resources ;)

http://mywebpages.comcast.net/SupportCD/OptimizeXP.html

related and helpful: http://mywebpages.comcast.net/SupportCD/XPMyths.html

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[FnG] Lambik
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Postby [FnG] Lambik » Sun Aug 14, 2005 10:54 am

With this utility you can see what process is running from which folder and claiming resources.

http://www.sysinternals.com/Utilities/P ... lorer.html

might come in handy to find trojans/worms ? (not sure, I have not seen a trojan @work yet)
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[FnG] Lazz
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Postby [FnG] Lazz » Sun Aug 14, 2005 11:02 am

http://www.tune-up.com/

Tune Up Utilities 2004 is a good one :)

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[FnG] Ripp3r
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Postby [FnG] Ripp3r » Thu Dec 29, 2005 10:36 pm

RegCleaner is nice, too !!!
http://www.zdnet.de/downloads/prg/x/s/de0AXS-wc.html

it searches for unused entries in the registry, very useful for guys who often install and reinstall programs

and here is a article about more tools you can download:

http://www.microsoft.com/windowsxp/down ... rtoys.mspx
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[FnG] inside_out
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Postby [FnG] inside_out » Sat Jun 10, 2006 6:05 pm

Tuneup Utilities 2004 is good but TuneUp Utilities 2006 is the bestest!
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[FnG] Raven
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Postby [FnG] Raven » Sat Sep 16, 2006 10:11 pm

Bri Rock

Bitdefender is an On-Demand scanner so i doesnt give Full protection.

ill post a guide later :P
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[FnG] Cooks
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Postby [FnG] Cooks » Sat Sep 29, 2007 12:57 am

Old topic I know, but...

The major geek link no longer works. Try this:

TuneXP @ Download.com
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