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6 Essential maintence/cleaning programs for windows

By HughJass
May 18, 2008
  1. I have been looking around the forums recently and have seen many people with problems that may be easily fixed. A lot of these fixes involve installing cleaning programs. So I have compiled a list of cleaning software that everyone should have to keep their computer secure and running fast.

    The main emphasis of these programs is that they are free, with no trial or limitations.


    1) AVG Anti virus
    - Free fast anti virus software
    - This program has saved me on many occasions and the frequent virus definition updates keeps the program on top of new infections


    Download link: http://free.grisoft.com/ww.download-avg-anti-virus-free-edition#tba2

    Q: I have Norton anti virus installed, why would I need this?
    A: You answer is right here: http://www.thepcspy.com/read/what_slows_windows_down/3


    2) Norman Malware Cleaner
    - Removes malicious software embedded in various files
    - I keep my computer very clean and still this program managed to find malware to which I was highly surprised
    - This program is just an .EXE, so there is no installation process


    Download link: http://www.norman.com/Virus/Virus_removal_tools/24789/

    Q: Why install this?
    A: It finds malware that gets around other programs


    3) CCleaner (Crap Cleaner)
    - Over time your computer builds up a massive amount of useless waste, making your computer slow. Such things include temporary files, Windows log files, recently used files lists, internet history etc... CCleaner can removed all this
    - It also acts as a registry cleaner getting rid of useless registry files


    Download link: http://www.techspot.com/downloads/132-ccleaner.html

    Q: Could'nt I just use the built in windows program "Disk Clean-up"?
    A: Yes, but it will not clean anywhere near as much as CCleaner will


    4) AusLogics Registry Defrag
    - Defrags the registry
    - Excellent program that tells you how much faster your registry will be after defragmenting
    - Be sure to exit all other programs before running this


    Download Link: http://www.techspot.com/downloads/4155-auslogics-registry-defrag.html

    Q: Lol registry doesn't get fragmented
    A: If you install and uninstall programs, then yes, it will definatly get fragmented


    5) Spybot - Search & Destroy
    - Highly regarded anti spyware software
    - Cleans files that try to obtain your credit card details, login details etc


    Download link: http://www.safer-networking.org/en/spybotsd/index.html

    Q: Couldn't I just use Windows defender?
    A: Yes but you would not detect as much as Spybot, plus spybot has "Resident Shield" which lets you see changes programs make to the registry


    6) Disk Defragmenter
    - Moves all the index or directory information to one spot. Moves this spot into the center of the data, i.e. one third of the way in, so that average head travel to data is halved compared to having directory information at the front
    - Moves infrequently used files further from the directory area


    Where it is: Start > All programs > Accessories > System tools > Disk Defragmenter

    Q: How often should I run this program?
    A: After having a major bit torrent session, after installing/removing multiple programs or once every 3 weeks

    Note: It is important that you only run Disk defragmenter after checking your drives for errors, windows offers a program for this called "Error-checking". It can be found in :
    My Computer > Properties for the disk you want (i.e. right click C drive) > Tools tab > "Check Now" Button

    Not running this check before defragmentation can result in a completely corrupt disk, this happened to me once causing me to lose everything.



    I personally believe that I have payed good money for my fast-non-lagging computer, using these programs keeps it running like it should and not like some Pentium 3.
     
  2. kimsland

    kimsland Ex-TechSpotter Posts: 14,524

    Where's Startup Control Panel
    This program is excellent for removing all those not required Windows Startups

    Good post though
     
  3. HughJass

    HughJass TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 120

    I wanted to focus on the most important programs first, in honesty I could have put up another 5 programs.

    Btw CCleaner has a startup already editor in it :p

    Is it possible to make this sticky? It would help alot of new people who are experiencing slower and slower computers, I would be sure to keep the list updated :)
     
  4. kimsland

    kimsland Ex-TechSpotter Posts: 14,524

  5. HaMsTeYr

    HaMsTeYr TS Maniac Posts: 376

    I recommend Avira Anti-Vir instead of AVG. In my experience, AVG has not been able to stop a virus outbreak before. Though i have not tried the efficiency of Avira, (and i don't go all out infecting my pc with viruses) it should work better than AVG.

    A good free alternative is also the free version of BitDefender, which i think is BitDefender 6 or something.
     
  6. kimsland

    kimsland Ex-TechSpotter Posts: 14,524

    Hey HughJass I just noticed, your AVG version is old 7.5 (According to your pic)
    You need to update to the new version 8.0 (which includes Spyware protection)

    @HaMsTeYr it's definately user preference, but I'd suggest you tryout the new AVG (better than none, that you presently have! According to pic on another thread)
     
  7. HaMsTeYr

    HaMsTeYr TS Maniac Posts: 376

    indeed it is just personal preference, but thats just my findings :X

    And yeah, some is better than none, though as a whole it can't be guaranteed the effectiveness of free software to be able to stop the more malicious viruses.

    Kaspersky anti-virus is always a good option as its one of the best if not the best antivirus out there.
     
  8. kimsland

    kimsland Ex-TechSpotter Posts: 14,524

    I agree, I used Kaspersky (paid) Internet Security for years, but the new one is too resource hungry.
    Which brings me to my next question.
    Why does you properties (in the pic again!) say 128Meg of Ram ?
     
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