Decorative Flower
Her Realm, Personal website and blog of Cole

Defragmenting

The first thing I think of to improve computer performance is complete a defrag. You should do this monthly and if you’ve never done this it could take several hours.
Unfortunately, you should let it run. You might wanan do it before you go out or something. You should be disconnected the net and disable your screensaver otherwise the defrag reverts to 0%. However, neither of these seem to be a problem on Windows XP.

To turn off your screensaver with Windows XP click Start Menu > Control Panel > Display > ScreenSaver > and set your screensaver to a large number

To access your control panel with a different operating system, just do a google search for directions.

To start Defragging ith Windows XP click Start Menu > All Programs > Accessories > System Tools > Disk Defragmenter.

Disk Cleanup

Disk Cleanup will remove temporary files. You should run this regularily and if you don’t your first time will probably take some time.

To start Cleanup ith Windows XP click Start Menu > All Programs > Accessories > System Tools > Disk Cleanup.

Virus Scan

Most computers come equipped with some virus scanning softing such as Mcafee or Norton. If you do not have this software it can be purchased.

Virus scans are important because they can detect things that have infected your system without you knowing it. The software will remove these threats if possible, otherwise they will be quarantined.

Viruses are often sent through e-mails so if you don’t know the person don’t download any attachments from them, or if you do make sure your Antivirus software is running and email detection is on.

Viruses can also come from files downloaded from a P2P file sharing program such as Kazaa, Kazaalite, Morpheus, Imesh, or Napster. This is just one more reason to have antivirus running at all times.

Any website or file you view on the internet can contain a virus as well.

Viruses/worms can also send themselves via your messengers, address, books, etc. Everyone in your address bok could recieve hundreds of virus riddled e-mails without you ever having done a thing, or without the virus ever even affecting your system!

Viruses are tricky because some can cause your antivirus programs to manlfunction. If this happens, it’s generally an indiction of system infection and it could help to head over to Symantec or seaching on Google about the “symptoms” of the virus. Since viruses tend to affect many at the same time, chances are there’s a topic at a forum about viruses, tech support, etc or even a forum you already visit so consider them to be useful tools.

If you have no software and are unable to purchase any you may do a free scan online, here or download a free antivirus program such as the one here.

Check For Spyware/Adware

Spyware isn’t fun. Urbandictionary define it as “A Program Stealthly installed onto your computer that tracks what websites you visit, etc. Bundled With P2P Programs and various other Freeware.” Spyware can do things from track the sites you visit, to reset your homepage, to installing porn or toolbars on your computer, to causing your antivirus/spyware killing programs to malfunction. Usually it’s a pain in the ass and causes other problems too.

If you get a spyware killer you can scan and rid yourself of the spyware frequently. (=

Here are some common programs (click to download!). Hijack this!, Adaware, and Spybot.

If these programs don’t help or your system is seriously riddled with malicious spyware, the forums at spywareinfo.com are wonderful!

Delete Temp Files

In Internet Explorer click Tools > Internet Options > Delete files. This will delete temporary internet files.

In Mozilla Firefox click Tools > Options > Privacy > Clear Cache.

In Mozilla click Edit > Preferences > Advanced > Cache > Clear Cache > Ok.

Additionally, there are many programs which claim to clean up your files and delete unnecessary files, but one should be cautious when using these programs so necessary files remain intact. Using backups is definitely a good idea.

Check for BHO’s

Download BHO Demon and run it. If you see anything you know it a good program keep it, but if you see anything you don’t know you might want to double click and from there hit more details.

From the file name and path you may not be able to derive what this BHO is, so you can Google it. I’ve never had it fail. If you find out something is Spyware feel free to disable it!

Delete Unwanted Files

It’s as simple as going through your folders and deleting what you don’t want. Afterward, open your recycle bin and clear it. Sometimes, an infected file can still be malicious even after deleted so clearing the recycle bin often is important.

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