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System Maintenance

Disk Clean Up

Disk Cleanup helps free up space on your hard disk, and get rid of unnecessary files.

Disk Cleanup may get stuck on compressing files, Microsoft has a knowledge base articles on this that tells you how to fix it.

Disk Defragmenter

Disk defragmenting helps speed up your hard disk access, by arranging all the fragments of a file into one single file.

You should normally run it maybe every weekend, set it up as a Task if you leave your computer on all the time, and do it the early hours, or late night.

Spyware Removal

What is Spyware? Spyware is any software that is installed on your computer without your approval and gets your information. 

Where does it come from?  It can come from websites that you download software from, or it can auto be downloaded on your computer if you do not have your browser settings current.  For Internet Explorer you need to disable Active X components.

I recommend Spy Sweeper for finding and removing Spyware.

Antivirus

The first part at stopping viruses is to be wise.  Do you trust the person who is sending you that email? Is this website safe to download from?

Common file extensions for computer viruses are .exe, .com, .bat, .pif, .scr, .vbs,  if you receive those in email, confirm with the sender, and check the file with antivirus.

Always keep your virus definitions files up to date to combat against the latest threats.

Firewall

Windows XP comes with its own basic firewall.  Go to your network connections settings.

Then right click on your connection type and go to properties. Inside there click on the advanced tab, and check Internet Connection Firewall.

Windows Updates

Windows Updates play a vital role in protecting your windows based computer.

You should always set your windows updates to auto download.

Microsoft Baseline Security Analyzer

Is a tool to help detect common security problems, and give you advice to fix them.

It also checks your software to see if it is up to date..

Speeding up your system

  • Check your startup tasks
  • Switch to classical view inside of Windows XP  themes
  • Add more RAM
  • Finding the file address of a running process
  • What application is using the internet?

How to check for Startup Tasks.

The easiest way to check for what programs and services are running at startup is to use the System Configuration  Utility.

To access the Utility all you need to do is go to click the start button and go to run and type msconfig

Once inside program select the Startup and there you can toggle which programs run at startup.

How to Switch to Classical View from the  Default Windows XP look.

This option will also help improve the performance of you computer.

First go to the control panel and click on the System Icon.   Next click on the Advanced Tab. Under performance click on the settings button. Now select adjust for best performance and click ok. Your computer should feel a little faster and use less memory.

Add more Ram

One easy way to increase the performance on your computer is just to add some more ram. If you are running Windows XP, I suggest to have at least 512mb of ram for a smooth experience.

Ram is generally easy to install, and can be done in a matter of minutes.

How to find the filename of a running?

Have you ever wondered what is the filename of that program and you looked inside the Task Manger only to find File Tile. Well you are in luck, here is a little secret to finding the full file path to a running program.

You need to use the System Information program. Which is located in Accessories -> System Tools folder in the Start Menu.

Inside the program on the left hand side click on the minus for Software Environment. Then click on Running Tasks.

There you will find a list of process names, file path, process id, and other information

.

How to find what application is using the internet?

Sometimes it maybe good to know what application is using the internet or if you want to find out if an application is spying on your computer.

Go to Start->Run->type cmd -> inside the command prompt type netstat -o

The -o option will show the process id of the application that is using the internet.  Now all you have to do is take that process id and go to the task manger and see which application has the same PID (Process Identifier).

Understanding Fake Emails and fake Websites

To better protect yourself you need to be able to identity fake emails and websites. 

Emails can be forged which means they can appear to be from anyone even people who know and can still be fake.

Tips:

Do not open attachments in emails, unless you trust the person and even then check it with an Antivirus scanner.

Do not click on links in emails, always type out the link in your web browser.

If it sounds too good to be true it probably isn't.

Setting the System Restore Disk Usage

System Restore backups on critical files on your computer and if something goes wrong you can restore to a previous state. It also uses a lot of disk space, if you are getting low on disk space you can set it to a lower amount. 

By going to Control Panel - > System -> Then the System Restore Tab

And set it to about 2000 to 3000mb or the amount you need.

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