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Quick Lists


A quick checklist for a regular PC maintenance routine that can keep your PC running quickly and smoothly using Spybot, CCleaner, Defraggler, and Windows tools:





Cleanup Zones


Below is the list of the main areas on your PC that need to be regularly cleaned and maintained:



Installed Programs

Check for and uninstall any unwanted programs.


Cookies/Temp files

Temporary internet site files stored on your PC. Cookies: hold user information that facilitate/enhance use of certain sites, (e.g. passwords, shopping history), some sights can install cookies that are spyware (log your browsing history and upload it back to the site when you next visit). Temp files: Browsers often save downloaded internet data locally on your PC to speed up page loading/reloading, these files can build up over time.


Start-up List

Installed programs that automatically run when you start your PC, can include third-party software update checkers and programs you rarely use, that can slow start-up considerably.


Registry

A list of all Windows settings and hardware configurations. Also contains links and settings information for all installed programs. With time, links and references can become broken or obsolete significantly slowing start-up and general registry access speeds.


Services

Service processes are part of the Windows Operating System and run in the background, but some third-party programs and tool-bars can install themselves here even if not wanted.


Device Manager

Details of all PC hardware drivers and settings, generally not to be edited unless resolving serious driver issues.


Hard Disk

Over time as files are created, edited and deleted, and programs installed and uninstalled, rather than Windows finding the next bit of free disk space to save newly created files, to  optimise disk usage, it starts putting new files in the gaps left when old files were deleted, it even splits new files into several pieces to fit into available gaps. When opening these files, your hard disk has to jump all over the place to get all of the file data, slowing down file access and wearing out your hard drive. This can even happen to important system files. Defragmenting your hard disk takes all of the files on your hard disk, moves them, and rewrites them in one piece in easily accessible disk areas. You can also defragment your free space if you've had your hard disk for a long time as Windows may have created disk partitions for files that have now been deleted or moved.





PC Cleanup and Maintenance



General Maintenance (Cleanup Sequence)


Generally to be run every two to three months or after major changes to your PC. Note: Start Spybot and CCleaner in administrator mode (right-click and select run as administrator), also set Spybot to "ModeAdvanced Mode".


1- Spybot    - Update Select Mirror site: "Europe-Safer Networking #1" ok, Select all file types ok

2- Spybot    - Immunize (Auto-loads known bad sites into IE restricted zone)

3- Spybot    - Search & Destroy Check Problems Fix All (Search then remove viruses/malware/spy ware)

4- CCleaner - Cleaner Analyse Run Cleaner (Removes all cookies/temp files etc.)

5- CCleaner - Registry Scan for Issues Fix All Save Changes to Log. Repeat until doesn't change.

                (registry cleaner, fixes/removes broken links, old entries etc.).

6- Spybot    - Tools System Internal Check Export (save list) Fix Selected Delete (keep clicking!)

                (small registry cleaner, checks a few things others don't)

7- Spybot    - Tools System Startup Left-click item to get program description.

                (appears in tab on right side of screen if available).

                 After checking details, can untick processes you don't want to auto-run at startup

                (untick item tick-box to disable auto-run at startup).

                 Once sure process is not needed Export (save list to log), then left-click item to select press delete).


Note: if the process belongs to a program that you can open, it is better to check first if that program offers a disable auto-run option in its options/settings menu.  Process Details Directories:


   Process Library:   www.processlibrary.com/directory/files/reader_sl

   File Net:             www.file.net/process/index.html



Hard Disk (Cleanup Sequence)


You should only need to defragment you hard disk once or twice a year depending on usage.


1) Run the general maintenance cleanup sequence to remove all temporary files and clean up your registry.

2) Run Windows Disk Cleaner (Control PanelSystem & SecurityAdministrative ToolsFree Up Disk Space). Check to see how many temporary Windows files there are. Click Ok to delete files.

3) Open Defraggler to defragment your hard disk. Select your main hard drive at the top of the window. Press the Analyse button to check how fragmented you disk is. Once analysed, ideally, if you have time to leave it for the day or overnight, run the full defrag. If your disk was heavily fragmented (over 20%), or it is still over 5% fragmented after running once, defragment again.

4) Run Defraggler to defragment the free disk space.





Expert Maintenance



Windows Services Tools


  1. Windows Control PanelProgramsFeaturesTurn Windows Features On/Off (Enables/disables significant Windows OS features, e.g. Remote Desktop, Networking, SQL etc.).
  2. Windows Control Panel (View by Small Icons)Administrative ToolsSystem ConfigurationStartup (seems to be the most complete startup list - also includes some programs that start up from services as well as from the startup list).
  3. Administrative ToolsServices (Gives full list of Windows background processes, descriptions, and inter-process dependencies, best not played with, but can sometimes spot third-party services (tool bars, updaters, auto-starts that embed themselves deeper than the start-up list) that can cause issues, slow things down). To disable, check description, then right-clickpropertiesdependenciescheck that no other system components depend on this service, save services list, thenGeneralStartup TypeManual or Disable.
  4. Administrative ToolsTask SchedulerTask Scheduler Library (Lists tasks that can be set to auto-run at pre-defined times, e.g. certain times of day). To disable/delete, right-click on item.



Deep Analysis Tools


TBD

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