Desktop, Notebook, Laptop, or Netbook
When you bought your computer, you loved it. Now, you want to drop it and kick it. Perhaps you might want to find a hammer too. A beginning computer user or novice user may not be aware of what is required to maintain and protect a personal computer in today’s internet world.
Don’t blame Microsoft or Windows. Blame the user of the internet! Sometimes ignorance is not bliss.
First, there are viruses, trojans, malware, spyware, key loggers, et cetera. You need to run a firewall and an anti-virus program. There are two free resources: AVG and AVAST. I always say that free is only as good as free will offer.
You don’t get much for nothing. You must give to get. With that said, I suggest that you purchase an internet protection bundle. An inexpensive and relatively decent security bundle would be ZoneAlarm Extreme Security. My favorites are Kaspersky PURE Total Security and Trend Micro Titanium. I find Norton 360 to be a good protector, but Norton is known to be a computer resource hog.
If you have more than one desktop and/or laptop, look for license bundles. You can find a pack of your chosen security bundle of three or five licenses. This is a very cost-effective way to buy.
More often than not, internet providers are offering free security bundles as part of their internet service. Call and check with your provider.
Enable and use the Windows Firewall, providing that your security bundle did not install a firewall of its own. Access the Windows Firewall in the Control Panel, located as a link on the Start Menu.
Second, you need to use the Control Panel and Add/Remove Programs to eliminate clutter and junky software installations.
Watch a video for removing or changing a program in Windows 7 or Vista: Video
Third, you need to be updated. Keeping Windows and any other programs that you have installed on your computer updated is very important. Updates fix critical problems with use and vulnerabilities. Check and install optional updates too. You will get current versions of programs like the media player and web browser as well as additional drivers.
The quickest way to access Windows Update is from the Control Panel. You can access Windows Update from your browser too. Open your Internet Explorer. Go to Tools and select Windows Update.
Note: Support for operating systems with their installed service packs has an endpoint. Windows Vista SP1 support ends July 12, 2011. Support for Windows XP SP2 ended July 13, 2010.
Fourth, if you are an Internet Explorer user, you need to take a few actions.
You will need to back up your Favorites folder prior to any of these solutions. Go to My Computer or Computer depending on your operating system. Go to Documents and Settings or Users, again dependent on your operating system. Find the name of your account that you use to log into the computer. Open the folder. Click to highlight. Right click and choose copy to save. Move this folder to your Documents or My Documents for backup, or save on a flash drive.
Open Internet Explorer, click Tools, Internet Options, and the Advanced tab. On this tag click the button with the title Reset. Close and reopen the browser. With Windows update, you should have gotten the most current version. However, it may have saved rogue settings and imported files and changes from your previous version. Resetting the web browser is always my first course of action when surfing the web becomes slow.
Lastly, should you find that you have run scans and taken the above steps and still cannot get any type of performance out of your computer, you might want to try CCleaner. CCleaner will clean all temp folders on the computers.
I do not suggest that you clean your registry without first backing it up and checking each entry with a web search. If you inadvertently remove an entry for the operating system or a program, either could fail to work which may mean that the computer will not boot! Read and research what and how the registry works before attempting any deletions or changes. I ask you to use extreme caution!
At this point, I would check Windows system files, memory, and hard discs.
As this post is lengthy, I will save these topics for another day!
To err is human – and to blame it on a computer is even more so.
— Robert Orben