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  1. #1
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    Default 2009 PC Tuneup thread!

    Similar to last years http://www.sluniverse.com/php/vb/tec...cond-life.html thread, this thread will deal with attempting to make your PC feel like it's new, and help run Second Life better! This is specifically a Windows thread, as I am not experienced in Linux or Mac operating systems enough to suggest improvements.

    Before you Start
    It's important to know that this is just a guide to attempt to help you, and in no way guarantees that any of this works, tinker at your own risk! If you don't feel comfortable doing any of this, take it to best buy and shell out $100 for them to do it for you.
    Cleaning up your PC may take several hours, or ALL DAY. Please plan accordingly.
    Before we get to any of the software goodness, and PC tunage, it's my duty to tell you to physically dust out your computer. You'll need a Phillips head screwdriver, an air canister, closed eyes or goggles, the ability to hold your breath or a mask, and a general knack for figuring out how to open your PC. You should dust out your computer about every six months, or more frequently if you smoke, or live in a dusty house. Use the screwdriver (or thumb screws if your lucky) to open the side panel of your PC case. Don't touch anything but the case. While you are dusting, if you are using an air canister make sure to hold any fans still. Don't let them spin wildly. You could damage them, or feed voltage back to the motherboard; Most inductive motors can act as generators, and even the smallest static charge can harm components. When dust accumulates on components, they overheat, and are likely to cause the following:
    • Blue Screens of Death
    • Lockups
    • Program crashes
    • Computer restarting
    • Odd glitches

    Once we have a physically clean computer, the likelihood of failure for the rest of the cleaning is lowered.
    I suggest running windows update about now.
    If you have problems with windows update, FlipperPA suggests Dial-a-fix!
    Programs You Will Need

    avast!
    If you currently have virus software installed, and want to use avast! uninstall your old virus software. Running two real time scanners is very taxing on your system, and will slow you down.

    I've been using avast! for a couple of years now, I like it because it's free (registration is an annual email to them), does boot time scans, is constantly updated, and catches malware and spyware as well. The advantage of a boot time scan is that the scanner can obliterate extra problematic virii and malware before they have a chance to load up in memory, and become an unmovable, unkillable process.
    1. Download, install avast!, and reboot when prompted.
    2. Start the program and hit the register button. Give them your email, get your registration key, plug it in and off you go!
    3. In the "Type of scan" section, tick 'Test archives' and crank the slider to 'Thorough'. Some viruses can hide in the hidden data stream of an NTFS file system, and avast can look at that ONLY with Thorough mode. A lot of scanners can't even look at this Alternate Data Stream at all, yet another reason I like avast!.
    4. Click Tools > 'Schedule a Boot-Time Scan...'
    5. (Optional) Tick: Scan all local disks, Scan Archive files, Advanced options > Move infected file to chest > Allow delete or move. This should pretty much automate it so you can go do something else like make a sandwich, or play outside in the day star.
    6. Restart when prompted.

    It should take a while to run, depending on how many files you have, and how up to par your system is. You won't be in your desktop environment, and yoll have to cancel or wait it out. If you didn't do the optional step, avast will prompt you for an action if there is a problem. If there are no problems good for you, you run a clean system!
    CCleaner
    CCleaner is great, I use just a few of it's features. Cleaning junk files off my system, adjusting what programs start up, and minor registry cleanup.
    1. Download, and install CCleaner. Make sure you untick the browser toolbar it wants to install with it, I think it's Yahoo. Those things are just annoying. Once installed run it.
    2. Choose your options wisley, because if you select cookies, you'll have to relog into sites you've opted to stay logged into. If you use Firefox, there's options there in the Applications tab.
    3. Hit analyze, then when it's done look over the list of stuff to be deleted. If you're cool with everything on that list going away forever, hit Run Cleaner.
    4. Click the Registry tab on the left, then click scan for issues, and fix all when you have the option to. I think CCleaners registry scrubbing is pretty lightweight, and there's better programs out there for registry cleaning, but this keeps me content.
    5. Click tools, and open a web browser to google.
    6. Click the Startup button. These are all the applications that start up when you reboot or restart your computer. MANY things are usually not required, and most you can figure out on your own. For the annoying shit that shows up in your task bar all the time, you can usually delete those if you know what they are. You might want to google each program listed to make sure it's okay to remove it. If you are unsure about an item, I suggest you leave it alone; It might be a vital system file.
    7. (Optional) If you're feeling your system is rock solid stable, and up to date, under the windows tab, in the advanced options, tick 'Hotfix Uninstallers'. You can free up a lot of space with this option, but if your system goes bad from a recent windows patch that you overlooked, you can't undo that patch.
    8. (Extra Credit) Go to your add / remove programs and uninstall stuff you don't use anymore!
    Spybot Search and Destroy
    For the most part, I don't use SS&D, as avast!, browser plugins, and smart web browsing keep me safe on the net. I do have SS&D installed though, should I ever get any bit paranoid. I usually turn off teatimer and it's other resident programs, because running them in tandem with the virus scanner is redundant.
    Install and run if you're felling paranoid, or having a tough piece of malware.
    JkDefrag
    JkDefrag is my newly discovered favorite software of 2008. Not only is it a fast defrag program, it is also very smart. Defrag should be the very last step to any PC tuneup so it has less work to do. Once you've patched, updated drivers, and then cleaned up your system you can defrag. JkDefrag does one really smart thing that windows defrag should be doing, it moves the files to the edge of your disk so they can be read faster. Admitting the initial defrag takes a bit longer than normal, but if you do it about once a week you should be set.
    Crossposted on SLU
    Edited for a test...
    Last edited by NeoBokrug; 08-14-2012 at 04:11 PM.
    The Fool is the spirit in search of experience. He represents the mystical cleverness bereft of reason within us, the childlike ability to tune into the inner workings of the world. The sun shining behind him represents the divine nature of the Fool's wisdom and exuberance. On his back are all the possessions he might need. In his hand there is a flower, showing his appreciation of beauty. He is frequently accompanied by a dog, sometimes seen as his animal desires, sometimes as the call of the "real world", nipping at his heels and distracting him. He is seemingly unconcerned that he is standing on a precipice, apparently about to step off.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
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    The Pipe Bomb, Malady Bog
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    Default

    This is specifically a Windows thread, as I am not experienced in Linux or Mac operating systems enough to suggest improvements.
    I'm a Mac user. I can dig some info up and post it here if anyone else uses Macs.
    You know... you look like your head fell in the cheese dip back in 1957.

  3. #3
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    Apr 2008
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    Paradise, The Junkyard/Catskill Mts NY, USA
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    Default tanx

    I used Norton for years (yes, I've been berated for this already) but was advised by the store geeks (commission?) to use Trend. That was 2-3 months ago. TinMan advice is much appreciated - avast! et al. found my system secure but boosted my confidence exponentially. Many thanks, Neo, for the detailed guide.
    we are all lying in the mud but some of us are looking at the stars

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
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    London, UK and The Atropine, The Great Fissure
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    89

    Default avast! is the best..

    ..i have had to endure Symantec on several other machines I periodically have to use...it eats memory, crashes (twice a Symantec crash has actually killed a Windows install dead, requiring a rebuild) and misses a lot of things.

    Avast! has never let me down. Highly recommended.

    Best easy hardware upgrade of the moment - RAM...it's cheap as chips!

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
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    The Rot
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    Default

    yes please

  6. #6
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by theblackcloud View Post
    I'm a Mac user. I can dig some info up and post it here if anyone else uses Macs.
    yes please

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
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    South Central Wastelands, word!
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by theblackcloud View Post
    I'm a Mac user. I can dig some info up and post it here if anyone else uses Macs.
    Damn, the first thing I've found about you that clues me in that we aren't twins

    ---

    May I add "NOD32" to the thread, vouch for Spybot S&D and CCLeaner (Without Yahoo Toolbar). The CCleaner people also made a fast defragger called Defraggler.

    If your machine is infected with Smiley Central or other toolbars, get them the hell off your computer. You also dont need 87 things running on your computer at startup. Use CCleaner's tools to shut them down (And Sysinternals Process Manager for the ones you cant).

    NOD32 scans 4.5 TB on my system in 16 minutes on just a dual-core WinXP machine. I regularly try to defeat it by visiting fake hacker and crackz sites (full of 'cracks' for copied software, but in reality they are nothing but trojans) and I just cant trick it. You really get what you pay for, which is why I just cant trust all I have at risk to a free Antivirii product. To me thats like not buying insurance for your car if you get antilock brakes for free. Malware and rootkits are far more dangerous, though.

    Dont bother with AdAware. Its easily exploited. You also cant have it installed on your computer with F-Secure (Blacklight) antivirus/rootkit detector. Your comp wont start.

    Sysinternals, a megathron collection of great things, security, utilities etc:
    http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/s...s/default.aspx

    Settings for Windows to make Windows leaner (I agree with all but his QoS settings)
    http://www.blackviper.com/

    HOSTS File add-on, makes your computer NOT connect to ad sites or any site you add to the premade list
    (Read special instructions if you have Vista. cant just replace your default with the new one)
    http://www.mvps.org/winhelp2002/hosts.htm

    Merijn.org (Not working, cybersquatted)
    had some good tools like HijackTHIS and CWShredder, which Trend Micro bought and now have on their site. Dont play with HIJACKTHIS without reading the instructions, or you WILL break your browser.
    http://us.trendmicro.com/us/products...al/CWShredder/
    http://www.trendsecure.com/portal/en...ols/hijackthis

    And as others said...more RAM.

    Hmm, i think I hijacked the thread. Sorry. I just love talking about this stuff.
    Come see me south central in The Wastelands sim. Follow my stories in the ROLEPLAY thread.

  8. #8
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    Apr 2008
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    Default

    I tried defraggler, it's good for SINGLE files, but doing a whole hard drive it really really stinks. It's way too slow and second guesses itself.

    I dunno if nod32 has a boot time scan. I've heard good things about it. I do enjoy small memory footprint programs, and that's what I've heard about NOD.
    The Fool is the spirit in search of experience. He represents the mystical cleverness bereft of reason within us, the childlike ability to tune into the inner workings of the world. The sun shining behind him represents the divine nature of the Fool's wisdom and exuberance. On his back are all the possessions he might need. In his hand there is a flower, showing his appreciation of beauty. He is frequently accompanied by a dog, sometimes seen as his animal desires, sometimes as the call of the "real world", nipping at his heels and distracting him. He is seemingly unconcerned that he is standing on a precipice, apparently about to step off.

  9. #9
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    South Central Wastelands, word!
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    Default

    I hereby revoke my enthusiasm for Defraggler.

    It has no idea what to do with encrypted files, and has corrupted my SafeBoot on my work laptop three times now. The IT guy hollered at me (not really) and told me to only use Windows Defrag.

    With processor and drive access speed these days, defragging is becoming on old wives tale. I use a second PC for downloading torrents and backing up my DVDs, as well as trying out huge installs of games and such. I've never defragged it in two years until last week and I'd noticed no performance difference when booting up Photoshop 7, Paint.NET, or Adobe Aftereffects.

    E6600, 4GB DDR2 @ 667MHz, 37.5GB 10krpm Raptor for OS and Antivirus.

    About NOD32, I hate how V.3 is integrated into the new GUI and it takes me several clicks and 15+ seconds to stop a scheduled scan. I loved the v2.7 interface and kept that on my laptop. Its still almost unnoticeable when running, I'm just picky.
    Come see me south central in The Wastelands sim. Follow my stories in the ROLEPLAY thread.

  10. #10
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by VissyAdamczyk View Post
    I hereby revoke my enthusiasm for Defraggler.
    JkDefrag!

    I notice the difference when I haven't defragged in a long time. Once a week with JK is good maintenance, as well as good file structure planning.

    I have my Main OS and programs drive, and all of my incoming files and storage on another drive. Since the other drive is storage it takes Jk about 10 seconds to defrag the drive, since nothing really has changed.

    The program files drive sometimes takes time due to whatever files the programs make or alter, or if I install something new.
    The Fool is the spirit in search of experience. He represents the mystical cleverness bereft of reason within us, the childlike ability to tune into the inner workings of the world. The sun shining behind him represents the divine nature of the Fool's wisdom and exuberance. On his back are all the possessions he might need. In his hand there is a flower, showing his appreciation of beauty. He is frequently accompanied by a dog, sometimes seen as his animal desires, sometimes as the call of the "real world", nipping at his heels and distracting him. He is seemingly unconcerned that he is standing on a precipice, apparently about to step off.

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