Guide: How to keep your Windows computer clean

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Guide: How to keep your Windows computer clean Empty Guide: How to keep your Windows computer clean

Post by Epps on 10/4/2010, 11:58

Sgt Pepper’s guide on
How to keep your Windows computer clean
version 1.0

Like most people on Earth you own one of the greatest inventions from the 20th century; a computer.
You use it every day to check your mail, to do some messaging, play a few games, make your homework and who knows what else you use your computer for. After a while however it will perform worse until it reaches the point of driving you insane. Luckily for you computers are easy to maintain and this guide will help you do so.

- The Basics
There are at least two kinds of programs you will need to have on your computer. These are an anti-virus and a program that takes care of spy/malware.

Antiviruses come in all shapes and sizes. You have the free ones (Avast, AVG) and the ones you have to pay for (Norton, Eset NOD). Which one fits most with your needs is something you will have to find out for yourself. I have been using Eset NOD for years and since I became used to it I sticked with it for a long time. However if you are a starter I recommend the free antivirus program Avast. It is easy to set up and provides all the cover you’ll need. Only downside to it are those annoying messages it gives you when it updates, but these are easy to turn off.
Anyway, it doesn’t really matter which antivirus you use since most of them are decent. What does matter is that you have one installed and running at all times!

Malware is a different story however. Malware is something else than a virus, it is a program made to steal passwords, personal information or to just screw up your computer. The problem with malware is that these programs run silently and you will hardly ever notice them, that is with the human eye. Computers are like gods and malware is easy to track down with the proper programs. Malwarebytes is an easy and free solution used by a lot of people because it tracks down about every kind of malware and most importantly, it gets rid of them no matter what!

- Montly maintenance
Sure, those automated programs are nice but it is the best to perform at least one manual in-depth scan every month. This means opening up the anti-virus and Malwarebytes and having them scan your entire hard disc (or discs). Sure, it may take a while but at least your computer will be clean afterwards.

After the scan it is time to get rid of unused programs. Open up the add/remove programs screen (start-> config screen -> add/remove programs) and wait for the list to pop up. Now you will notice a lot of programs on there, some of them which you hardly use. Youa re the best person to judge what programs you do or do not use so uninstall those you don’t. Please note that things such as C++, java, python, flash, acrobat reader etc are used by a lot of programs on your computer. It’s best to keep these installed at all times.

Now check your hard disc, isn’t it clean? Well yes but there’s just one last thing for you to do: defragmentation. What does defragmentation does? It buts all the files closer to each other making it easier and faster to read all the files on your computer. To open up the defragmentation window go to my computer and right click on your hard disc. Select properties, extra, defragmentation. A window will pop up and depending on the version of Windows you are using you can select to scan the hard drives, defragment them right away or cancel. First select scan, if your disc is under 5% fragmentation then you won’t have to do a thing, if it is any higher defrag it right away. Please note that you should not use your computer while defragmentation is in progress!

- Last things…
Of course this guide is rather basic but if you follow it you will keep your computer clean and running decent. There are of course some things you should always do:
-Do not install any unwanted programs, ever. If you do install them uninstall them right away!
-Keep your organized. It doesn’t matter for performance but it will keep you sane when you are searching for a file.
-Make backups frequently, this can be weekly or monthly as long as you do it because if your computer brakes down, you won’t lose all your data.
-Keep the case clean and the ventilation entrances open at all times! They are there for a reason…
-If you have a laptop, let the battery die every now and then before charging it. It can increase the lifespan of the battery with a year and keeps its performance high.
-Install every update if you want to have a less buggy PC!
-Clean the computer on the inside every 6 months (every 2 months if you have pets), all that dust can be a fire hazard! Also clean the outside every now and then even if it is just for eyecandy.
-Slow PC but no money for a new one? get more RAM! It is cheap and will boost performance.
-Do not run too many programs at the same time unless your computer can handle it. Also if your computer is having trouble with the newest version of a program, downgrade to an older version for the newest version expects you to have modern hardware.


Last edited by Sgt Pepper on 29/5/2010, 18:36; edited 2 times in total

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Guide: How to keep your Windows computer clean Empty Re: Guide: How to keep your Windows computer clean

Post by Nicobbq on 10/4/2010, 12:27

Nicobbq's Guide on How to Keep Your Mac Clean

Step 1- Who has a mac anyway

</troll>
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Guide: How to keep your Windows computer clean Empty Re: Guide: How to keep your Windows computer clean

Post by LOOK IT'S ADAM!!! on 10/4/2010, 12:50

Nicobbq wrote:Nicobbq's Guide on How to Keep Your Mac Clean

Step 1- Who has a mac anyway

</troll>


Step 2 - install ubuntu
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Post by Epps on 10/4/2010, 13:38

Aaaaw... the ever lasting hatred to everything that is Apple <3

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Post by LOOK IT'S ADAM!!! on 10/4/2010, 14:01

not everything, the hardware is actually pretty great, i just know i can get better for cheaper OEM. the software itself is a dumbed down version of unix(which i love). but the sacrifices made in the name of "user friendliness" is just too much for me.

i will take power and versatility over ease of use any day.
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Guide: How to keep your Windows computer clean Empty Re: Guide: How to keep your Windows computer clean

Post by Lord Zurkov on 11/4/2010, 01:07

The later versions of Windows actually defrag automatically (and silently) whenever it's not doing anything.

I need to clean the dust outta my computer... it's starting to run really hot. Any suggestions about that?


Last edited by Lord Zurkov on 11/4/2010, 01:22; edited 1 time in total
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Post by jameless on 11/4/2010, 01:14

I realize this guide is written about system's with regular HD's but I figured I might mention this. With an SSD you don't want to defrag. There is no need for it because it isn't using cyllinders and it puts extra use on the cells. In time the cells become unusable so you don't want to waste them with defragging.
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Post by Epps on 11/4/2010, 09:55

Didn't knew that, then again what person that can't maintain his/hers computer actually has a SSD Razz

Also, I forgot about cleaning the register. I use TuneUp Utilites for that which is a program made to finetune your computer. It also has a turbo mode that switches your PC to the basics for best performance during gaming, video editing etc.

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Post by Epps on 11/4/2010, 10:05

Lord Zurkov wrote:The later versions of Windows actually defrag automatically (and silently) whenever it's not doing anything.

I need to clean the dust outta my computer... it's starting to run really hot. Any suggestions about that?
True, I have it set for 3 AM since I always leave my laptop on overnight for downloading/alarm clock/no reason at all Razz

As for the heating problem, make sure the air ducts have at least 5cm (one inch) of space bitween it and the wall/closet. You might also want to open up your computer and clean it. Remove all dust from the vents and air ducts so the air can circulate the best. If this doesn't help consider buying an extra/more powerfull fan or lowering your settings (or even underclocking).
There are programs to monitor the temperature of your parts, Try out one of those to find out which part is making it so damned hot. You might have to replace the fan or part if it gets to hard. Just a note, 40C~50C is a normal temparature for your CPU and 30C~70C is normal for GPU depending on the usage (idle or in-game). Hope this helps.

Edit: This is the program I use to monitor: http://www.cpuid.com/hwmonitor.php
ATM my screen is 39C, CPU's 51C, GPU 43, air flow 46C and my barry almost dead.

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Post by Lord Zurkov on 11/4/2010, 20:05

Sgt Pepper wrote:As for the heating problem, make sure the air ducts have at least 5cm (one inch) of space bitween it and the wall/closet. You might also want to open up your computer and clean it. Remove all dust from the vents and air ducts so the air can circulate the best. If this doesn't help consider buying an extra/more powerful fan or lowering your settings (or even underclocking).
The computer is in a corner of the room with nothing near it. I have the monitor and my mouse on top of the computer, and I sit in a swivel chair next to it with my keyboard on my lap. :3

I already have it slightly underclocked (and it did help a bit, although I can feel it running slower). I think what is causing the problem is dust (I have the side off of the computer for extra ventilation) and my archaic graphics card (NVIDIA GeForce 6600 LE) struggling to run TF2 at max settings (albeit in DX8) for hours on end.
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Post by Citizen on 7/5/2010, 18:12

A must have is a little program called CCleaner, http://www.piriform.com/ccleaner. It quickly and easily optimizes your system by getting rid of tons of clutter that your computer accumulates, cleans registry errors, and etc. You'll be surprised how much better it works after your first cleaning, I use it weekly. I've seen it clean up as much as a Gigabyte on a friend's computer. One that he though would be permanently and completely slow forever. If you like that (which I am sure you will) also try out the same company's Defraggler a much better defraggmenter than the standard windows one, it also has a nice looking interface that allows you to easily see how much what and where is fragmented.

Other than that start up "msconfig" (in the run box) it lets you choose what programs you want to run on start-up and the ones you never want running at all.
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Post by Epps on 7/5/2010, 19:17

Good info Citizen although I kept this simple since well, nerds allready now this stuff and newbz are gonna ask too much questions Razz
Also, win7 finally has a decent defragger, still waiting for MS to do a good partition manager tho. Ow well, nothing PartitionMagic can't handle Razz

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Post by LOOK IT'S ADAM!!! on 7/5/2010, 19:21

another neat little bit of software i found is WinDirStat. makes it really easy to clean out your computer.

http://windirstat.info/
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