Sams Knowledge of Computers (SKC): Maintanance and protection (Windows)

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Sams Knowledge of Computers (SKC): Maintanance and protection (Windows)

Post  blackgnosis on Wed Apr 06, 2011 11:46 am

Okay, Inspire by another off topic I wanted to make a nice handy thread for computer users to toss in their input, being a builder and restorer of data lost, I'll pass my tips and ticks to you guys to better aid your computers existence.

This thread is directed at Windows systems ranging from xp-win7, both in 32 and 64 bit support.

First lemme get the techie rules out of the way.

1. You're browsing habits and knowledge are what dictate ultimately what gets on your computer....unless there's a worm involved.
2. You are responsible for backing up your data. A handy thing to remember is there are two kinds of hard drives, those that are dead and those that are about to die... Warranties CAN be voided by common usage...
3. Unless you feel confident you know what your doing or at least have some one who is capable of telling you the difference between a molex cable and a socket 939, bug some one you know thats really into computers...
4. I am not god, or a know it all, I just have lots of experience and I learn.
5. Please don't tell us you are using a Apple/BSD/unix/solaris/LINUX based OS... This is a windows thread.
6. If something works for you, by all means keep using it.

Lets ive into My software recommendations, feel free to consider this software as there are many choices, and ultimately it boils down to personal preference.

For browsers [what you are likely viewing this web page on] I recommend Mozilla [4.0 a little buggy as it just updated into 4.0, it auto-updates so this will be gone in time.] Google Chrome [its still in its infancy, but given enough interest and time it will be an incredible tool to utilize!] Opera I'm not very certain of it, but when I tested it it was reliable and very stable!], there is another browser called Iron that I've heard good things about: yet I haven't taken the time to explore it, I cant fully recommend it, but people who spend lots of time on a computer like it.

The best antivirus out there, is in all honesty...YOU! Playing a free game, downloading movies from websites, accessing anything that wants you to sign up or download something should immediately raise a red flag.... Avira, panda and Nod32 are good ones to try, Kapersky was one I really liked... Avast is a goody but they need to rewrite it so its not so exploitable anymore... I'm currently running Norton but not for long (same reason as avast). I didn't provide links because I want you all to go out and research your Anti virus before getting it, decide if its right for you... Please don't rely on testimonials.... Even mine.

Now this link I highly recommend everyone to load simply because its worth it, and it usually picks out some really nasty malware which can sink your system just as bad as anything out there.... This link is for the freebie, you don't need to buy it to get it to work, but if you do it provides convenience features in Malware Bytes.
For a firewall I think your router will suffice, just please take the time to set it up... if You haven't, please dig out its manual and read it from start to finish and let it walk you through the process as it usually involves a CD being ran where it walks you through everything... when you become a power user, pulling up your router VIA Browser will be second nature.

De-fragmenting... a lot of people may not understand what this does or find that its a waste of time and thus are discouraged from doing it... Imagine your hard drive[also called a HDD] being this massive warehouse and your data are the parcels it needs to store... Now a well run warehouse is organized and makes best use of space... your data when it gets put is is pretty much just dropped anywhere, even in the middle of the floor, sometimes mixing potatoes with pinapples. Defragmenting organizes and places everything where the hard drive makes the best use of those parcels/data blocks so that when it is used ion the future, less time is spent looking for those particular data fragments and enable a smoother running system... Have you defragged in the last two weeks? if not feel free to do so right now and let your computer sit and work on this, if your computers been going for a while or you do a lot of work on your computer moving data around, I'd say to start this as you would go to bed and shut down messengers and other programs you are not using to open up CPU resources so it works faster... this way you're sleeping through a lengthy process... sometimes it takes longer... its worth it to let your computer run its course. Also Scan disk it to help fix Hard drive errors. To access these features, we'll use hot keys, press windows key + E to open up Windows explorer, select your hard drive, and right mouse button and select properties, select tools and select defrag, scan disk only works during system startup.

CCLeaner is a convenience tool, cleans up your browser, computer, i-net history, and YOUR REGISTRY [its delicate, but a well taken care of registry keeps your computer startup at peak performance], temp files, all the stuff that builds up and is neglected and ignored.

Now lets say you want a minor performance boosts?
it can be as simple as doing away with the aesthetics of your GUI/Shell, XP users click here Windows Vista Users click here [url=http://windows.microsoft.com/en-US/windows7/Optimize-Windows-7-for-better-performance#section_7]Windows 7 users click here] will give you a little extra by doing away with some pretty..
For pretty/rice I personally use rocket dock or rain-meter...

Got lots of icons on your desktop? wanna make em disappear and come back later? right mouse button click the wallpaper/background [not an icon] on your desktop and select "Veiw" then "Show desktop icons" POOF! your icons are still technically there but your CPU is saved the burden of having to acknowledge each one! to get them back repeat how you removed them...

Ideally you should backup your computers important files that you want to recover on a DVD/blue-ray/thumbdrive/external hard drive, which ever fits your budget best, I use a external hard drive personally and when its done with downloading its data I disconnect it to insure its life is extended and to keep the files from being infected with any dangerous files on the computer.

if your in a dirty place, it wouldn't hurt to open your computer [turned off with the wall plug still in the wall for grounding] and air it out with canned air or using a compressor to spray the dust out, just be careful not to push the dust into the components or to touch any part of the circuitry! if you don't feel comfortable, most places will clean your computer for under 60 dollars...for a service that takes less then 4 minutes, and a 3 dollar can of air to fix....

Well I hope this is a worthy start. I intend to write more helpful articles, please my fellow forumites ask questions pertaining to computer maintenance and add more to this for the convenience of others.
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Re: Sams Knowledge of Computers (SKC): Maintanance and protection (Windows)

Post  StanBethnel on Thu Apr 07, 2011 12:27 am

In terms of external hard drives, I suggest starting off with a Lacie EHD, preferably with a capacity of 500 GB.
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also

Post  Kenoscope on Thu Apr 14, 2011 4:57 am

Two very good and very free data recover programs. I have used both, one with a bad drive that SPINRITE brought back (temporarily) and the other that I accidentally formatted years ago while setting up a new drive. Yeah I know, but when your drive numbers hit -P- you do make mistakes when on your pain medication.


Undelete-360
recuva


And yes, I back up my writing monthly, but the rest of the system? 500 DVD data disks and still full drives.



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Re: Sams Knowledge of Computers (SKC): Maintanance and protection (Windows)

Post  blackgnosis on Thu Apr 14, 2011 3:40 pm

Kenoscope wrote:Two very good and very free data recover programs. I have used both, one with a bad drive that SPINRITE brought back (temporarily) and the other that I accidentally formatted years ago while setting up a new drive. Yeah I know, but when your drive numbers hit -P- you do make mistakes when on your pain medication.


Undelete-360
recuva


And yes, I back up my writing monthly, but the rest of the system? 500 DVD data disks and still full drives.



I use Recuva when I'm not slackwaring my HDD"s clean
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Re: Sams Knowledge of Computers (SKC): Maintanance and protection (Windows)

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