DO-IT-YOURSELF: PC maintenance
Here are some simple tips in securing and maintaining your personal computer (PC) against viruses, worms, malwares and alike. Some of the tips here are maximizing some built-in utilities in your system.
SOFTWARE UPDATES & PROGRAM UPGRADES:
Having a GENUINE WINDOWS OPERATING SYSTEM in your PC would be of great advantage in securing critical updates from Microsoft.
You can set automatic downloading of Microsoft updates once you are connected to the internet.
Setting AUTOMATIC UPDATES?
· Go to myCOMPUTER
· Click PROPERTIES
· Select AUTOMATIC UPDATES TAB
· Select AUTOMATIC and select the time you want to receive updates.
· Click OKEY
You can terminate anytime the downloading of updates. Once you resume your internet connection, automatic updates will continue downloading from where you stopped the last time you were online.
Experts suggest only one anti-virus programs in your system. Having two or more anti-virus programs may create havoc on your computer. The two anti-virus programs may try to block each other which would result to paralyzing the two programs.
Each anti-virus program is capable of stopping various viruses, worms and Trojans.
There are free versions of the popular anti-virus programs which you can download from their websites.
I have tried Mcafee and I find it effective. Though, my subscription is already expired.
I am now using the free version of AVG Anti-virus software which I can update regularly over the net. Believe me it’s free for life. It’s also effective in stopping and locating Trojans in your system.
You can download the free version of the AVG Anti-virus software at
What is good with AVG program is that you can install updates even if you are not online.
· Download the updates from the Free Advisor page of AVG– http://free.grisoft.com/
· Copy the files into a folder in your USB vault disk.
· Once plug into your USB port, open the
AVG Control Center .
· Click the update button
· Select the folder where the updates are located
· You will be prompt to proceed if your AVG has detected new updates.
Experts, however, suggest two or more anti-spywares or anti-malwares for efficient removal of malwares.
Most popular anti-spywares/malwares program is the AD-AWARE from www.lavasoft.com
You can download its free version from its website. Its definition files can be updated once every two weeks. The free version, however, is not monitoring malwares on real time. The paid version comes with Adwatch real time monitoring of threats.
Windows XP has a built-in
SECURITY CENTER where you can monitor the status of your protection. Here, you can turn on your firewall, anti-virus program and automatic updates.
Security Center is found in the Control Panel.
where you can monitor the status of your protection. Here, you can turn on your firewall, anti-virus program and automatic updates.
is found in the Control Panel.
Windows XP has also a built-in firewall that blocks potential threats. You may opt to use the firewall of your anti-virus program if you find it more useful. In my case, I am using the firewall of Mcafee for my PC while my laptop is currently set on Windows Firewall.
Another outstanding feature of the Windows XP operating system is its System Restore option. Here, you can restore the previous state of your PC if it encounters problem.
How to activate System Restore:
· Open My Computer
· Click System Restore tab
· Be sure the box is uncheck so as not to disable the System Restore feature. Set the space allotted for System restore from the default of 12% to only 5%. Believe me System Restore still works on that space while saving some space of your hard disk.
How to restore your system:
· Click start
· Go to accessories
· Go to System Tools
· Go to System Restore and Click
· Select “Restore my computer to an earlier time”
· Select the dates or restore points which your PC was in good condition. Then, follow instruction.
Your system creates automatically system restore points. You can also manually set restore points. Some application softwares create restore points before its installation.
DEFRAGMENT YOUR DISK
Defragmentation saves disk space. Schedule your PC for defragmentation every month.
· Right click Drive C
· Click properties
· Select tools tab
· Click defragment now button
· Select the drive to defragment
· Click directly defragment button ( no need to press analyze if it’s not necessary)
ERROR-CHECKING (check disk): (under properties/tools)
· click check now for checking the volume for errors
· check the boxes for automatically fixing file system errors and scan for and attempt recovery of bad sectors.
Check disk will perform the next time you boot your computer.
· open general tab in properties
· click disk clean-up
· (system calculates how much space will be freed)
· then you will be asked to delete files (temporary internet files, recycle bin contents, temporary files, compressed old files, etc….)
· click okey, then yes if prompted.(it takes minutes to clean up unnecessary files)
There are some services in Windows that are not necessarily active all the time. You can turn it off to improve performance.
TURN-OFF ERROR SERVICE REPORT: (allows error reporting for services and applications running in non-standard enrivonments.)
· go to control panel
· open administrative tools
· open services
· scroll down and look for “error reporting service”
· under start up type column—check if it is active. If it is set on automatic, double click, then a new window will open.
· Set the setting to disable from automatic.
TURN-OFF MESSENGER: (transmits net send and alerter service messages between clients and servers. This service is not related to Windows messenger.)
· Still under services
· scroll down and look for messenger
· if its start-up status is set on automatic, disable it (like what you did in the error service report)
TURN-OFF TERMINAL SERVICE: (allows multiple users to be connected interactively to a machine as well as the display of desktops and applications to remote computers.)
· still under services
· scroll down and look for terminal service
· if it is set on automatic, change to manual.
REDUCE BANDWIDTH RESERVE: (retrieving bandwidth reserve for windows updates)
Windows is said “stealing” a portion of our network bandwidth. This is used by windows for automatic updates. Here’s how to retrieve that 20 percent reserved by windows:
· click start menu…
· click run and type gpedit.msc, then enter
A new window dialogue will open. This is the group policy window.
· On the left pane, under computer configuration… click administrative template,
· Under administrative template, click network… click qos packet scheduler folder…
· click limit reservable bandwidth. Here you can read a dialogue that states windows system is using 20 percent of the bandwidth for reserve.
· right click limit reservable bandwidth and click properties…. then click enable.
· change from 20-percent to zero o 5 or 10 percent… then enter or ok.
INCREASING RAM VIA NOTEPAD
Here’s one way of increasing your RAM without adding a memory card:
· open a document in notepad
· type “mystring” equal sign open parenthesis 80000000 close parenthesis. mystring=(80000000)
· save the notepad document to your desktop and name it ram.vbe
· click to open ram.vbe in your desktop. Experience a litte faster browsing.