|S7m7r, forget about the Geek Squad. Now, I have nothing against them, in fact, I've never even heard of them until recently.|
One thing you've gotta understand is that, for one, 'Google' is you're friend....And two, is that internet itself offers an endless amount of free information.
Now, let's get on with it. The SIMPLEST thing you can do for the overall health of your computer is preventative maintenance. You see, a computer is not unlike your car, or, even your own body. And depending how well you take care of each one of these, determines how long each one shall last.
I'm not one to preach, but, the more junk ya put into something, guess what, the more junk you're gonna get out, it's that simple. Even more, the less ya clean something up, the dirtier is gonna get.
That said, here are some VERY easy tips that I will assure you are gonna get that ol' computer of yours, or anyone else's for that matter, in tip-top shape, and you know what, it's not gonna cost you a single dime.....hows that for the wonderfulness of the internet. :)
1.) Get the "FireFox" browser. It's THE most safest browser in existence.
Grab it here......
Install it, and make sure to set it as your DEFAULT browser. To do this, in FireFox, go to "tools", then "options", click on the "general tab", then look down where it says "defualt browser", make sure that there is a check mark next to "FireFox should check to see if it's the default browser when starting", put a check mark there if none exists, then click on the "check now" tab off to the right, so that FireFox can actually confirm this, then click 'ok' to close out that window.
Another tip,Internet Explorer will still sometimes try to rear it's ugly head, even though you have FireFox set as your default browser, you don't want this to happen, unless it's ABSOLUTELY necessary. So, what you have to do is, using your firewall, block
I.E. from accessing the net without your permission.....this will take care of that. :) If you don't have a firewall installed already, then I would recommend "Sygate Personal FireWall Pro", it's top of the line, though not free. If you're tight for cash, then I would suggest the free firewall "ZoneAlarm". Grab it here......
2.) Get rid of all the spyware, adware and malware that may be lurking on your hard-drive. These things are like little vicious parasite programs that latch onto your computer when you surf the net. Grab of good spyware cleaner that will eradicate them all.
You can use one good cleaning program, or even, more than one at the same time, as I do. Here are the top free ones I recommend.....
AdAware Se Personal
MicroSoft AntiSpyWare (formally known as Giant AntiSpyware)
Now, for an added step of protection, you'll want to grab a program that also prevents spyware form latching onto you computer in the first place, that program is called "SpyWare Blaster", it's also free. :)
Grab it here........
Now, here's the thing about using those first spyware programs I've listed above. You CAN use just one, but what if that one misses something? Well, that's why I use three, cause if onew misses something, the other two
will catch it, it's all about added safety really.
Ok, once you've ran one, or all three of those programs, you can pretty much consider computer free of those nasty parasites.....now......what if you don't want those that you've cleaned off to come back??....That's where "SpyWareBlaster" comes in. Install the program, update the definitions, then do what is recommended by the program as a "system snapshot". What a "system snapshot" does is, after you have run
those spyware programs, it takes a picture of your system in it's cleaned state, meaning free of parasites. So that, if those same bugs try to latch on again, it won't happen. Be sure though, to always update the definitions of your spyware programs too, then run a scan from those programs, then open "SpywareBlaster", update it's definitions, then a "system snapshot". Repeat this whole process once, each week, or every two weeks.
3.) Install a good virus program. This should be old news by now, if you don't have one, get Norton or McAfee's. Personally I use the one included with Vcom's (formally known as Ontrack) System Suite, also a VERY good program, though not free.
There are also free online scans available. "Trend Micro" has one here....
"Panda" has one here.....
McAfee has one here......
And Symantec has one here......
Keep in mind though, that an online scan is not as good as full/deep scan from actual purchased product....but it does help. ;)
4.) Clean out your registry. Your registry, what can I say, it would equate to the fiber tissues that transmitt information throughout your brain, if they get broken or die out, you'll start to lose yourself over a period of time....lol. In your computer's case, strange things will start to happen, or, if the right registry key gets fouled up at the wrong time, your computer will cease to function. So, you've got to clean it up, and guess what, you can also defrag your registry....I'll also get to defragging your hard-drive later. ;)
Here's a couple of links tht provide free programs for the cleansing and defragging of your registry. By the way, "Vcom's System Suite" has both options as part of it's package. ;)
Grab your free registry cleaner here......
Get you free registry defragger here.....
As with all registry cleaning programs, be CAREFUL!!......as you can easily fouls things up concerning the natural operations of your computer. Be sure to read the help guide included with these programs.
5.) Defrag your hard-drive. A regular defragging of your hard-drive is another one of those GROSSLY over-looked processes when it comes to PC maintenance. A simply way to think of what your hard-drive is, and what the defragging process does, is to think of someone writing out a paragraph. Ummmm, let's
just take this novel that I've written out here so far...lol.
Based on how each sentence is laid out, you can understand what I'm trying to express, cause each sentence is composed of words, each word, I hope, is spelled correctly, and of those words, each one flows into the next,
which ultimately forms an understandable sentence, which therefore, goes on to create a paragraph.
Now, let's say I go back into this novel and delete some words here and there. You'll still be able to make out what I'm saying, though with a touch of difficulty. Let's say I now move some words around, still readable, and a bit difficult to understand. Ok, I'll start to move whole sentences now, things are starting to get weird now, though you manage to make things out. This time I completely jumble all words around, nothing can be understood now. This is what happens to your hard-drive when stored data gets mis-placed or ommitted over a period of time, when
you don't defrag regularly......this information gets displaced, and if it gets to the point of being chronic, your hard-drive might just fail on you.
Now, when it comes to windows, there are three things you should avoid doing.(a.) Aviod using Internet Explorer, (b.) Avoid using it's buit-in firewall ( where applicable), and (c.) Avoid using it's defragger. Why, cause they are all pretty much garbage....resort to some effective, stand-alone program always.
The product I recommend for the defragging one's hard-drive is "Perfect Disk", it's top rated, and FAST!!.....again.....it's not free though.
Grab a free defragger here........
6.) Clean up your hard-drive clutter. There are just numerous left-over items that are taking up space of your hard-drive, though you probably wouldn't even expect they'd be there, in fact they are. A disk cleaning utility is the one cure to fix all that mess.
Think of it as a program that tells your computer, "It's time for spring cleaning". :)
Grab a disk cleaning program here.....
Well, I hope that this ERNORMOUS amount of information serves you well, and goes a long way, in helping you, (anyone else also), to get things back into shape as it relates to what computer problems you're having, either now, or, at some point in the future.
Remember, take care of your computer, just as you would yourself, or any other item, person, or thing that you might cherish.....as you'll see that favor returned many times over. :)