by Matt Stephens
Subject: Tune Up Schedule and Pointers:
Hello to all of our faithful and wonderful subscribers. Last month I touched on different things that can cause your connection speeds to vary. And at the end of the article I promised that I would write an article that gives you an idea for a tune up schedule. Plus some pointers on what should be tuned up:
A good computer tune up requires software that you may not already have, however don't worry about that. We can provide you with anything you don't have, most of which is for free. Required software is at least one good adware/spyware removal utility (I will make suggestions later on), a good Anti-Virus program, and of course your computer's operating system.
- The first thing I usually do is get online, and make sure my Anti-Virus is up to date. With eTrust EZ Anti Virus (the AV that BMI sells) all you have to do is right click on the AV icon down by the clock and choose Update AntiVirus. If there are updates, it will install them, if there are no updates, it will tell you that it is currently up to date. At this point, you can get offline.
- Next, run a complete scan on the Anti-Virus. With our anti-virus program, you just right click on the icon, select EZ-Antivirus and click on Scan My Computer. This step may take a while, so feel free to walk away and have a cup of coffee. Just check back periodically to make sure the screen saver isn''t on. That will cause the scanning to pause.
If your antivirus program doesn't find any problems, pat yourself on the back for practicing safe surfing.
- The next step is to run your adware removers. On our Rewards website, we offer 3 different adware/spyware removal programs. I usually run all three of them, because one will pick up things that the others don't. By the time all three run, a fourth doesn't find anything the others didn't pick up.
To download and install the adware/spyware removers, go to http://rewards.bmi.net. In the center column, you will see a section that is titled BMI Freeware Software Downloads XP/2000. Three that we offer are Ad-Aware SE Personal Edition, Microsoft Windows Defender, and Spybot Search and Destroy. To the right of each one, click on ftp to begin the download. When you click on it, a pop up window will come up asking if you want to Run, Save or Cancel. Click on Run. This will begin downloading the installation files. If the same window comes up later, click Run again.
Follow those instructions for each of the downloads. Once you have all three of them installed, feel free to go off line. Then, one at a time, have each program run a system scan. In general, you just double click on the icon that was placed on your desktop, and there will be buttons for you to click on to run a scan.
Once each of those have run a scan, you may notice that your computer is running more smoothly already. But wait. We're not done yet.
The next thing to do is to clean up all the old internet files that your computer is holding on to in the hopes that you will use them some day. Click on Start, then click on Settings, then click on Control Panel. Inside the control panel, find the icon that says Internet Options and double click on it. At the bottom on the right you will find a button labeled Clear History. Click that button and click YES to the popup window.
- When that is done, click the button above that that says Delete Cookies and click OK to the pop up window.
- Then, click the button next to Delete Cookies that says Delete Files. When the pop up for this window comes up, put a check mark in the box that says Delete all offline content. Then click okay.
That will take a little time, but when it's done, click okay, and close all windows.
- The last thing I typically do is also the most important - Windows Updates. It's also very easy. Just get online, click on Start, click on All Programs, and click on Windows Updates. The website will launch, and all you have to click on is Express Install, and then the Install button. Once it's finished (if there were any updates to install) reboot the computer and do it again. Continue to repeat this step until it tells you that there are no more updates for you to install.
One more thing that some computer techs will have you do is a defrag. Basically what this does is take all the pieces of programs that are scattered on your hard drive, and rewrites them in order. It is supposed to make your computer access the files easier, as they will be together rather than scattered. It's also supposed to extend the life of your hard drive because it won't have to work so hard to bring up files.
People that have worked on computers for many years will warn against using the defrag utility. In rare cases when your computer rewrites the files, they end up coming back with missing files. Some times the missing files are windows system files, and sometimes it's files that other programs require. Due to the dangers involved and the limited benefit to using this utility, I recommend to not use it.
So with everything in this article, you should be able to optimize your online connection and gain the most performance from your computer. Now you may be wondering at what intervals I suggest. Well, as I briefly stated last month, I usually do this about as often as I change the oil in my car - about once every three months. Take into consideration that I don't use my computer at home very often though. If you use if more often (at least once a day) than you should probably do this about once every month. Keeping your computer tuned up is as important as keeping your car in tune. The more often you drive your car, the more often you need to tune it up, hence, the more you use your computer, the more often you need to tune it up.