I is that time of year again, spring. Just as you should perform a good cleaning of your home it is time for your computer. Of course the following routine is the same regardless of what OS you may be running. All OS's have similar programs available but since I have a Windows 7 ultimate 64 bit I will use that in the examples. Before you do any of the following you should back up your system in case something goes wrong in which case you will not lose anything.
The absolute way to start your spring cleaning is to reinstall your system. It does not matter which OS you are running to some degree or another will benefit from this procedure. The problem with this is it is very time consuming. This is because you will have to install all of your system updates, programs, files, and so forth. I will explain how to ease your pain and greatly speed up the system refresh. To make things easier I will show you how to freshen up your system to get it running as if you did run a fresh install and I will continue from there. I have explained how to do most of these things in previous articles so I will cover the basics with less detail while at the same time I will cover the whole routine. Please refer to my previous article for more detail.
1. The first and foremost is you should update and run your anti-scumware. Some examples of Anti-Virus are Microsoft Security Essentials, Avg, (These are free) or a paid programs such as NOD 32. Which ever you use these should be updated and run every day. This will help to keep your system clean. Next is the anti-spyware program such as Malwarebytes, Super antispyware, or one of the other programs I have covered in the passed. After this is done (Every day) run one of the free online scanners that are available just to be sure. Most free anti virus sellers such as NOD 32 have these.
2. Next you must remove all of the cruft from your system. You can of course use the program built into your system but this can take a long time one program at a time. I recommend PC Decrapifier. This free program will search out all of your programs on your system, make a list and then you can decide what to remove and let you remove them in bulk. This will seriously speed things up. It is very simple what to remove. If you have not used a program in some time remove it. The exceptions might be some utilities you have installed. Get ride of all tool bars. Nuke all the games you do not play. This is also the time to remove all the trial offers you have. They just take up time and slow down your system.
3. Now is a good time for ms con fig to remove some items that start at start up which you do not need starting when you boot up. I you do not know how to do this just avoid this step and go on to step 4 as you can do serious damage to your system if you remove the wrong thing.
4. Once all of the previous items are completely done you should run Glary utilities 4(run the one click method) and then Temp cleaner. Run these programs in this order. They will make sure to clean out such thins as the trash and temporary files. There are programs built in to most OS's but I have found these programs superior since this is all they do. Your OS is trying to do everything and so are not great at anything. Stay away from the settings of these program as you can just cause problems for yourselves if you make mistakes do to lack of experience.
5. After all that you have just done to your system I recommend defrag your system. Basically this procedure will put your thousands of files in an order for your disc to more quickly locate them. Modern operating systems come with the proper program built in to do this and in fact on the windows 7 system it is set to automatically do this. I will not go into details here except to say it is not as thorough as I would like. If you search the internet you will find plenty of people who say this is not necessary. Do not concern yourself with these people. On a highly fragmented system like the one you now have it does speed up your system. Every little bit of speed in your system helps. Most people would defrag about every 2 or 3 months or so. I will not go into details in this article but you should never defrag an SSD drive. It will damage them. You can go to grc.com/security now for more information on this or any security related topic.
6. After you have done all of the previous steps and tested your system to make sure all is working well it is time to do a complete back up. This should not be taken lightly. Once your wedding pictures are gone they are gone. After all of the proceeding is done back up everything. This does not mean 2 copies of something on your system hard drive. When your computer crashes all is lost. You should have a back up in the cloud either free or paid. In case this company goes out of business you should have a complete back up of all files on an external hard drive. This should be a complete system image of your now pristine system. This way you will not have to start the complete system clean out all over again. Next you want a separate back up of your files. This could contain all your document, pictures, videos, program set up files in your download file and any other files you would want. You will still have to reinstall your files and programs but if your system goes down you have a way of getting it all back. Ideally you would have one drive hooked up all the time for quick installs and one you only hook up when doing back up. The external that is not hooked up is important so this disc does not get infected if your system does. Ideally this could be taken to work and swapped with the one that is hooked up about one a week or even more often. Just remember to run the anti-scumware before this back up is connected to your computer. I am not through yet. Put the most important file on flash drive. And do not forget to put a back up onto DVD. If you do not have a DVD drive get an external one. The idea is to have many back ups on many different formats to help guard against failure.
If you have followed all of these steps if someone stills your computer or you have a complete system failure you can breath easily you still have all the back ups to start up again