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TO MAKE YOUR COMPUTER RUN SMOOTHLY
Last update: 17 February 2005
§ DOWNLOAD, INSTALL AND RUN spybot (2.4 Mb) and ad-aware (871 K). RUN BOTH OF THESE PROGRAMS EVERY 2 WEEKS. THEY WILL SEARCH YOUR COMPUTER FOR SPYWARE (Spyware is a program that surreptitiously collects information about your computing habits and delivers it to the maker of the program), AND WILL FIX/ERASE ALL SPYWARE THAT IT FINDS.
§ PERFORM DISK DEFRAGMENTER ABOUT ONCE EVERY THREE MONTHS (Some people may have to do this more often). THIS CAN TAKE A WHILE, SO START IT BEFORE GOING TO BED. GO TO:Start-Programs-Accessories-System tools-Disk defragmenter. ITS BEST TO DO THIS IN SAFE-MODE. PRESS THE F8 KEY DURING BOOT UP TO GIVE YOU THE OPTION TO BOOT INTO SAFE-MODE.
§ DOWNLOAD WINDOWS UPDATES REGULARLY. NOTE: YOU DON'T NECESSARILY NEED ALL THE UPDATES THAT WINDOWS FINDS, BUT YOU DO NEED ALL THE CRITICAL UPDATES. For automatic updates do this: right click on my computer - properties - automatic updates - make sure the first box is checked and the option right for you under the settings header (I choose the middle option).
§ DOWNLOAD, INSTALL AND RUN zonealarm (3.6 Mb). THIS PROGRAM SHOULD BE MADE TO RUN ON START-UP. IT IS A FIREWALL, AND PROTECTS YOUR COMPUTER AGAINST POTENTIAL INTRUDERS.
§ TURN ON WINDOWS XP'S BUILT IN FIREWALL (Start-Settings-Network Connections-right click on local area connection-advanced-check the box to protect your computer.
§ DOWNLOAD AND RUN DCOMbobulator (THIS IS A ONE TIME THING).
§ DOWNLOAD AND RUN Shoot The Messenger (THIS IS A ONE TIME THING).
§ DOWNLOAD AND RUN Spyware Blaster (THIS PREVENTS MOST SPYWARE FROM BEING PUT ON YOUR COMPUTER IN THE FIRST PLACE. YOU HAVE TO UPDATE DEFINITIONS ONCE AND A WHILE).
§ DOWNLOAD AND RUN Spyware Guard (THIS IS LIKE ANTI-VIRUS PROTECTION; HOWEVER, IT IS FOR SPYWARE. YOU HAVE TO UPDATE DEFINITIONS ONCE AND A WHILE).
DON'T LIKE POP-UP ADS, DOWNLOAD,
INSTALL AND RUN FreeSurfer
(1.66 Mb). YOU CAN SET THIS PROGRAM
TO LOAD ON START-UP; IT WILL ALMOST ELIMINATE POP-UP ADS WHILE SURFING.
Open the program (you should see it under the tools menu in IE) go to
tools-options and the only boxes you need checked are load program at start-up
and lock homepage.
Open the program (you should see it under the tools menu in IE) go to tools-options and the only boxes you need checked are load program at start-up and lock homepage.
§ IF YOU HAVE A DESKTOP COMPUTER, DO NOT SET THE POWER SETTINGS TO HIBERNATE OR TO STANDBY. THESE SHOULD ONLY BE USED FOR NOTEBOOK COMPUTERS.
§ OPTIMIZE WINDOWS PERFORMANCE: Right click my computer - Properties - Advanced - Performance settings - Visual effects - Adjust for best performance.
§ IF YOU DON'T LIKE WINDOW'S AUTOMATIC ERROR REPORTING SERVICE, YOU CAN DISABLE IT BY... Right click on my computer - properties - advanced - error reporting.
§ IF YOUR EMAIL CLIENT (i.e. OUTLOOK OR OUTLOOK EXPRESS) HAS A PREVIEW PANE, TURN IT OFF. In Outlook Express go to View - Layout - and unclick the show preview pane box.
§ HAVE PLENTY OF RAM (At least 384 MB for XP. Check your system’s ram type and maximum memory here.
§ IF YOU USE THE NUMBER 1 SEARCH ENGINE, GOOGLE, AS YOUR SEARCH ENGINE, THEN I SUGGEST THE GOOGLE TOOLBAR. GET IT HERE. It also has a great built-in pop-up blocker.
§ TEST YOUR POP-UP BLOCKER AT THIS WEBSITE.
§ Stop unnecessary programs from opening on start-up: Run - msconfig - start-up tab. IF YOU ARE NOT SURE ABOUT THE PROGRAM YOU ARE ABOUT TO STOP RUNNING, CHECK HERE FIRST. This is another site for start-up programs.
§ Check for driver updates regularly. Some companies, such as HP, will contact you when there are driver updates for your products.
§ As a general rule: do never open attachments you didn't request!
Here’s some very useful websites…
useful/important downloads - Gibson Research.
an easy to use forum, where you can post computer-related questions and have
them answered in a short time. Go
here. Note: you must sign-up first.
old versions of software here.
· Speed up your computer. Stop unnecessary processes from running.
if the program you want to download is spyware here.
Tweak UI here.
tweaks and fixes here. (This is for advanced users or users comfortable with
editing their registry).
· Free computer audit here.
· More great tweaks at Kelly's Korner.