PC Maintenance 101

Personal Computers of all types experience a “slow down” over time. This can occur for several reasons, but the primary focus of this article is to focus on those items an average PC user can fix.

Primary amongst all of these strategies is behavior. Two of the main culprits in a computers degraded performance is malware/viruses and installed programs set by default to launch on startup, often times unnecessarily. The easiest method to preventing such issues is vigilance when installing software and surfing the web or opening email.

Often times, a specific program is desired and naturally, we search the internet and find links to download a given program. In such instances, download such programs from their publisher’s website or their mirror(s). Even in such cases, when installing a legitimate program or utility, select the Custom Installation this will allow you to see if the publisher/distributer has added any other bundled software that you don’t need or want.

Even with such diligence, over time, nearly every installed program will be set to launch all or part of itself during startup, which in most cases is unnecessary. A method to discover what is launching on startup is by running a command MSCONFIG from a run command or search command. This will list all those installed programs that are taking system resources like system memory and cpu cycles during startup. Safe options to turn off are such things like iTunesHelper, Java Update Scheduler, QuickTime, Adobe Acrobat, Adobe Reader etc.

A Google search of MSCONFIG will display instructions if you know your operating system. The following website also lists specific instructions on doing this based on your operating system: http://www.netsquirrel.com/msconfig. If you turn off something you find you need or want, re-enter msconfig and re-enable it.

In regards to maintenance utilities, one top choice by many users is Piriform’s CCleaner which has PC/Mac versions and Free/Paid versions. The free version is ideal. Of the given features of this utility, Cleaner, is ideal as it cleans temporary internet files, cashed files from all the installed internet browsers on a given PC and the OS.

One other utility, in addition to whichever Virus/Malware program is Malwarebytes. Again they offer a free or paid utility. The free utility, like CCleaner, must be manually run, but in addition to your regular virus scans, is a solid utility with a very good detection rate for malicious items that may be hijacking your web search or browsing. Running this utility weekly in conjunction with CCleaner will go a long way in eliminating dreaded system slowdowns.

Don’t want the hassle of doing all this PC maintenance yourself?  Then why not contact Northwind, Inc. today and we’d be glad to service you computer quickly and proficiently!

Post Author: Gregg Burgess