PC System Utilities Software Review 2010
General Cleanup: System Mechanic: Review
Virus detection/cleanup: Avira, Avast, AVG
See Virus / Spyware page
Spyware: Ad-Aware, SpyBot Search & Destroy
Security: Zone Alarm
See: Hacker Protection/Security
Microsoft Essentials (may come with Win 7) has malware software
RevoUnIstaller to remove app and registry entries
See Other Freeware and Utilities below
Registry cleanup below
See Also: Device Drivers | Media (Hard disk, CDs)
Setup - Configuration:
Get BIOS Setup config menu
Hold down F1 (AT&T, Gateway), F2 (Phoenix BIOS - Dell, Gateway),
Del (AIM or Award BIOS), or ESC (Microid BIOS - Toshiba) at startup,
F10 (Compaq), CTRL+ALT+F11 At DOS prompt (Some old Thinkpads)
Get Win startup menu (safe mode, DOS only, step-by-step, ...)
As the BIOS has finished loading, begin tapping the F8 key on your keyboard.
Continue to do so until the Windows Advanced Options menu appears
Use "System Configuration Utility"
The following should be performed once/week
You can schedule them to run automataically in:
Programs > Accessories > System Tools > Scheduled Tasks
Or Run manually:
* ScanDisk problems: If you get the error: "Scandisk had to restart 10
times because windows or some other program was writing to the hard disk.
Windows or some other program is writing to the hard disk"
- Programs > Accessories > System Tools > Disk Cleanup
98: Programs > Accessories > System Tools>ScanDisk
XP: My Computer > Rt Clk. Local Disk (C:) > Properties > Tools > Error-checking > check both boxes > Start > Restart your computer
- (Note: If you get an error message with scanDisk see below. *)
- Programs > Accessories > System Tools > Disk Defragmenter
Try the following:
1. run scandisk from a clean boot.
2. run it from DOS by typing scandisk in the Open: field from Start > Run...
3. Run msconfig and uncheck unnecesary statrup items.
Where to get help:
Check with user forums:
Windows Forums at microsoft.com
Pages - Windows | Google Groups
CNET Forums - CNET
See: Virus - Spyware - Security and
Online fraud, scams, hoaxes, email chain letters & Urban Myths/Legends.
Alternataives to Internet Explorer (IE) and Outlook
See "Is it time to dump Internet Explorer (IE) and Outlook? at security.itworld.com.
ActiveX and VB script in IE make it vulnerable.
Both programs are targets for hackers because of the large number of users.
Many companies are switching to Firefox by Mozilla.
It is the most popular alternative for IE and it's free. "Opera" is another popular browser.
Alternataives for Outlook include, Thunderbird by Mozilla, Open Office (Star Office), Eudora.
Alternatives for Microsoft Office (Word, Excel, Power Point, ...) - Open Office, LibreOffice
Media (Audio/Video) - Windows Media Player -
VLC Media player or WinAmp
Paint programs: Paint.net,
Boot in safe mode:
See Starting your computer in Safe mode | Norton Support
ASUS Eee PC tips
3 tips for migrating applications to Windows 7
See tips at:
1. Run Virus and Spyware detection/removal programs.
2. Run: MSCONFIG (Start > Run > "msconfig")
Select Startup tab and uncheck unnecessary programs.
See Performance Tuning for some of the programs you must leave.
It may take some trial and error.
See: Performance Tuning for other tips.
Genl. System settings:
Name: Rt. Clk. Network Neighborhood > Properties > Identification
Hardware specific system settings:
Start>programs>(Dell, Thinkpad, ...)
Right Click My Computer > Properties (see user interface below)
Control Panel > Network or rt clk. Network Neighborhood > Properties
Run ipconfig /release-all, ipconfig /renew-all
DOS > netstat and winipcfg
CHKCPU: CHKCPU 1.8 here freeware util.
Start > Help
When a system gets really slow and corrupted it may be best to back-up your
files, reformat the disk and do a clean install of the OS.
Norton System Works (Ghost - clones system, file recovery, optimize, AntiVirus)
PC Booster - Improve performance
See: XP troubleshooting.
Some commands (e.g. ipconfig) run in DOS
You can either go to Start>Programs>MS-DOS or Start>Run> "Command"
Those which are interactive (e.g. winipcfg) you can run directly Start>Run> "winipcfg"
Some keyboards have a windows key to get the start menu,
You can type the first letter to select they menu option (e.g. P = Programs)
Then use arrow keys to navigate.
Alt will also move you to the menu in an application where you can use the arrow keys.
XP Net Config at SUNY Oneonta
The Tech Guide
Experts-Exchange.com Membership $100/yr.
Ask Dr. Tech $89 - $229 / yr.
Best tech support sites at: TechSupportAlert.com/ Paid Support
List at PCworld: www.helponthe.net
Other Freeware and Utilities:
Browser Check: HijackThis -
investigate browser add-ons
Defrag: Diskkeeper, Norton
Backup: OS - Norton Ghost
Aida32 - Is a professional system information, diagnostics and benchmarking
program running on Win32 platforms
Memtest86 - Is thorough, stand alone memory test for x86 architecture computers.
BIOS based memory tests are only a quick check and often miss many of the
failures that are detected by Memtest86.
delpart - delete partition
Uniblue RegistryBooster, CCleaner, Advanced System Care (ASC)
Comments on cnet forum:
Those 600 problems reported by Registry Booster are likely little things
and NOTHING that matters. For now, the consensus is that the registry fixers
don't do much.
See Registry repair
Easy CD Creator
WinISO - A CD-ROM image file utility that can convert BIN to ISO,
extract/edit/create ISO files directly, make bootable CDs and
as a BIN/ISO converter/extractor/editor.
On a high end system (3 GHz machine with 8 GB of RAM.) XP was faster on most tests.
See Windows Xp vs Vista vs 7 @ testfreaks.com
Memory usage measured after the system had been idle for at least one hour:
at 512MB RAM Performance Comparison: Windows 7 vs Vista vs XP - WinMatrix
XP 150 MB
Vista 299 MB
Win7 216 MB
Performance on 2.5 GHz 2MB system:
at Windows compared: Windows 7 vs Vista vs XP @ TechRadar UK
1 = best XP Vista Win7
Boot 2 3 1
File Transfer 2 3 1
Large File Trans 3 2 1
Mastering Windows xx" , Mark Manissi
Windows xx Visually, Moran Graphics
Windows Performance Optimization
Stores - Shopping
Virus / Security
Things to Avoid
Service Pack 2 Installation Problems
Windows Network Debuging
Clean Install of Windows
Things to Avoid
PCI and ISA bus cards
Windows 7 How-To Articles, Tips, and Guides :: How-To Geek
Links to Windows 7 Information by Dave McRitchie
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