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Deviance's Tips to help keep your Windows PC fast and secure.


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#1 Deviance

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Posted 03 June 2009 - 10:53 AM

What is this thread about? This thread is for the people that have a computer that may not run as fast like it used to. So I am going to refer you to some software that will help you out. Also all these tools I recommend is all free.

First off you always want a virus scanner.
AVG, Avast, and Avira AV are among the best virus scanners I have see that are free. As rule #1 you should always use a virus scanner. Rule #2 you should actually do a full scan every other week. I know for myself I don't usually do that but you never know what it might pick up. Also never use Norton!. All their products do suck and just slow down your computer.

Keep your computer spyware and malware free!
I would say most computer problems that are slow usually have spyware and malware on it. For the programs I use happen to be Lavasoft Ad-aware and Spybot Search and Destroy. You should run these weekly. Also another great piece of software is Malwarebytes.

Keep your computer clean from Registry Errors and Cache Files
You know what I'm talking about. Temp files and other assorted crap like this. CCleaner and Advanced System Care are the main two I use to keep my computer clean from clutter.

Change your browser
There are many browsers to chose from now and days. Using Internet Explorer is a big no no. Firefox, Opera, Safari, Chrome, are the most used browsers around. I prefer to use Firefox because you can use extensions. If you need to access a site that is only for Internet Explorer, Firefox has a extension for that.

Defrag!
If you use your computer heavy like I do. You want to always give it a defrag every month. Auslogics disk defrag or Smart Defrag should help you in that category. Don't use windows disk defrag unless you want to stare at the screen for hours.

Plug the security holes
As always, remember to run windows update now and then.

Firewall
Starting with Windows XP SP2 there is a built in firewall. I use it myself. It works good enough. icon_wink.gif

Delay your start up items!
I noticed this tends to slow down Windows big time when you are starting windows up! I use Startup Delayer to solve this issue.

Use a restricted account.
All modern OS offer at least two types of account: Administrator and user. All surfing, mailing, chatting, downloading etc. should only be done with user accounts. Admin accounts are for system maintenance and installing new software (and games that won't run otherwise). It's not completely foolproof but it's a big step forward.

Suggestions? Would you like to add on to this?
Make your post in here icon_wink.gif

Edited by Deviance, 19 July 2009 - 12:57 PM.

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#2 Hunter P Brown

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Posted 03 June 2009 - 12:10 PM

I use the UniBlue Programs. Uniblue can do some SERIOUS computer improvements, such as Registry Booster (cleans up registry, free) and Speed Up My PC (a PC optimizer, which isn't free, but if you're me, you got ways around it).

My computer rules like it's brand new every time I run the uniblue scans once a week. Since all I do is play Maple Story, there's not much it has to clean, but every kb is frees up and every clutter it gets rid of is worth it. icon_biggrin.gif

Virus Scanner, I use AVG. I can vouch that it's awesome. icon_biggrin.gif
I use Spybot - Search and Destroy. That's awesome too.
Firewall wise, yes, I use Vista's Firewall, it's good in my opinion.

#3 Snarwin

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Posted 03 June 2009 - 07:08 PM

If you use Firefox, install the NoScript extension.


After you antivirus program, this is arguably the most important piece of security software you can install. Seriously--I went a year or two with just Avast, NoScript, and the Windows XP firewall for protection, and I never once got infected with anything. Not to mention the improvement in browsing experience from not having to deal with any of the crap that somehow managed to slip under Adblock's radar.

Basically, if you only install one Firefox extension, ever, make it this one.

#4 Soarin

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Posted 04 June 2009 - 06:17 AM

Yeah Firefox is the best.
I use AVG, Rising & Pc doctor.

#5 Old Inactive Member

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Posted 04 June 2009 - 01:36 PM

QUOTE(Deviance @ Jun 3 2009, 05:53 PM) View Post
Also never use Norton!. All their products do suck and just slow down your computer.
Ok so i;ve been using the internet alot for the last 4 years and never got a virus using norton. Yes it dose slow your PC down but as of 2009 it's not as slow now.

Just my comment on that

Anyway thanks devince i've been looking for a better dfrager than Windows Defarg (stare at blank screen for 12 hours belive me i done that)


#6 lucas92

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Posted 04 June 2009 - 02:22 PM

Well, doing a defragmentation is very suggested to enhance the computer's performance, even if it takes a lot of time.

#7 Soarin

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Posted 04 June 2009 - 05:42 PM

Do a disk clean up often.

#8 LinktheMaster

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Posted 04 June 2009 - 06:19 PM

First of all. Ad-Aware sucks. It's pretty much pointless unless you worry about tracking cookies, which aren't a problem as all.

As far as Norton, I personally don't like it, but the newer versions are actually pretty nice. Much better than the bloated old versions.

Here's some recommendations of my own based on things I've learned from first hand experience on my own computers as well as computers where I work.

1. Spybot, Malwarebytes, and Super Anti-Spyware are all great programs that I've used up where I work. Spybot is good for maintenance. MBam and Super are good when you already have an infection.

2. Use Firefox with Adblock Plus. It's wonderful for keeping yourself safe. Chrome has a similar feature as adblock plus, but it still loads the content. It just makes it invisible afterwards.

3. Use a program like Windows Directory Statistics. This will tell you where most of your hard drive space is used in a little graphical view. You can use that to figure out what you can delete to get the most space back.

If You are Already Infected

Where I work, we get a ton of infected computers. And believe me, we've perfected cleaning them up to a science. Unfortunately, it's not always possible without a reformat, but we've got quite a bit.

1. Download Malwarebytes, Spybot, and SUPERAntiSpyware. If you cannot get into normal mode, when the computer is booting up, press F8 to get into safe mode with networking. Spybot and MBam should install in safe mode, but I can't remember if Super will or not. If these programs do not install or run, go here and download the installer here and the RUNSAS. This will get around the whole execution problem.

2. Download and run CCleaner. This will clean out the temporary files and other various areas. This will reduce the amount of things the scanners will have to go over as well as get rid of the original nesting ground of spyware.

3. Update those programs and run full scans with each of them. You may also want to update your virus scanner and scan with it just to be safe.

4. Open up CCleaner and run the registry cleaner. If any of the malware made any registry changes, this will hopefully clean up anything remaining.

5. Update your computer fully.

This usually will take care of a bunch of problems with infected computers, and it should be good to go. icon_smile.gif

Edited by LinktheMaster, 04 June 2009 - 06:21 PM.


#9 Ben

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Posted 04 June 2009 - 07:24 PM

QUOTE(Snarwin @ Jun 3 2009, 09:08 PM) View Post

If you use Firefox, install the NoScript extension.


Quoted because malicious scripts embedded in pages are the most common source of infections on people who otherwise consider themselves reasonably savvy users.

Do not underestimate NoScript. Even if you don't normally use Firefox, and you have a site that looks iffy, open it in Firefox with NoScript installed first. Or get a version of it for your other browser.

Never use Internet Explorer unless absolutely neccessary. This is not an opinion. Internet Explorer is a huge security risk; don't use it.

#10 Ebola Zaire

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Posted 04 June 2009 - 09:00 PM

QUOTE(LinktheMaster @ Jun 4 2009, 07:19 PM) View Post
3. Use a program like Windows Directory Statistics. This will tell you where most of your hard drive space is used in a little graphical view. You can use that to figure out what you can delete to get the most space back.
Now that's a cool program. I will definitely use this in the future- it not only gives you easy-to-understand percents, but an intuitive visual. Very nice. icon_smile.gif

I used Avast as my standard anti-virus on my desktop, but upon getting my Vaio I decided to switch to AVG because Avast has some fairly annoying limitations in its free version (they can be worked around, mind you, but I'd rather just not have them.) I'm very pleased so far- it has plenty of features to let me know that it's always running.

I've also used Spybot as my standard anti-spyware and that's worked wonders. It's truly a great program. I've used Ad-Aware, but I noticed that the only thing it really did was delete cookies (which I want most of the time).

After Snarwin's recommendation I've downloaded the NoScript extension. I'm very happy with it so far- not because it's blocked any viruses (although it very well may have) but because it and AdBlock Plus have all but eradicated website ads. icon_smile.gif It's very nice.

I'm glad that CCleaner seems to be a respected program- I used it a couple months ago on my desktop to fix several registry errors and it caught literally hundreds. After running it a few times, my PC was running noticeably faster and I haven't had problems with it crashing since.

#11 Beefster

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Posted 04 June 2009 - 10:17 PM

I have a few things to say about this.

I have had to live with RAM starvation for years. You don't know slow until you've seen my computer. We haven't reinstalled Windows yet, even after five years. I live with the slowness, which is mostly delay because of my fast processor. Some games have problems, but I survive.

Anyway, onto my brothers' experiences. Rather than dealing with the slowness of anti-virus, they both dual-boot Linux. They don't see much improvement on performance with antivirus, and find it overall easier to just reinstall Windows every so often. It's incredibly inconvenient, but you're gonna have to play Microsoft's game until alternative solutions become popular.

#12 Nicholas Steel

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Posted 05 June 2009 - 01:59 AM

Trend Micro Internet Security 2009 > all icon_razz.gif super fast and very awesome! and for a free malware/spyware scanner that is also awesome, try Malwarebytes.

#13 Ben

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Posted 05 June 2009 - 12:43 PM

Unfortunately I'd have to recommend against Trend Micro, as well as McAfee and the aforementioned Norton utilities ... they are by far the top three most popular paid products and as such, most malware written these days has ways to get around them. I would recommend a product such as AVG, which has a free antivirus tool that is not as slow as Avast! and still picks up many things, ... but anything that is free is also heavily targeted, so it's not much of an improvement over having nothing at all.

Kaspersky's suite has given me good results in the past; it's not caused me any problems with slowdown and I haven't gotten infected with anything it didn't recognize. It's not free but you can try it, kaspersky.com.

The best defenses are NoScript and generally responsible browsing, though. If you're going to a LOT of iffy sites, then don't browse on Windows, if you still don't feel secure.

#14 Eurysilas

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Posted 05 June 2009 - 08:02 PM

I recently switched to Konqueror. Wish it had a system as sophisticated as Firefox+NoScript. Unfortunately, their solution was just to provide an "all off" or "all on" type of setup. I wisely chose to turn JS off everywhere.

#15 Saffith

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Posted 05 June 2009 - 08:22 PM

It should have an option to decide based on domain... Looks like it here, at least: http://whatismyipadd...ript/konqueror/



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