Today I performed a system tuneup on a person’s computer. Her computer had Windows 98 on an old pentium and I now remember why I upgraded! This lady was not computer illiterate. She knew a lot more than many “non-geeks” that I know. However, she still needed someone to come to here house to do some rouItine maintenance on her computer. I realized that many people know little about fixing the various problems that can plague their computers over time.
Though the internet is considered a wonderful tool, it sometimes can be considered a nuisence. Back in the glory days of Commadore 64’s and PC Juniors, no one worried about viruses, spyware, and browser hijackers. Today you here of them all the time. While many people have heard of them, they are often ill equipped to take care of them. People get a sort of paranoia when it comes to fixing their PC. Perhaps rightly so in some cases. However, I am going to teach some quick and easy tricks to help your computer run maximize it’s performance. This is for the average user, and anyone, including you computer-phobes should be able to do these.
Get Updated Virus Definitions
I know, you are saying: “my subscription expired two years ago and I dont want to buy the new version of Norton AntiVirus.” Well never fear, there are much cheaper alternatives. You can actually obtain a free AntiVirus program from a company called Grisoft. It is called AVG Antivirus. At the time of this writing, the program could be found by going to http://free.grisoft.com/freeweb.php/doc/2/lng/us/tpl/v5 As long as you are using this program at home, it is free for you to use. So make sure you go download it right away.
Virus scanning is one of those things that should be done on a weekly basis. It is also important that you keep your virus definitions up to date. Oftentimes this simply means clicking on an “update” button in the virus program.
Run Windows Update
If you are confused by the above bold statement (run windows update), please keep reading. Despite what you may have heard, Windows is not a “safe” operating system. In fact, Windows is well known for it’s many security flaws. Fortunately, Microsoft attempts to fix many of the flaws, shortly after they are discovered.
Running Windows update is simple. Just open up Internet Explorer, click “Tools” on the bar at the top of Internet Explorer, then go down the menu to “Windows Update.” After clicking it, you will be directed to Microsoft’s special site for updates. If it asks you if you want to install something, just click “yes.” After a little bit, you will be brought to a screen that gives you the options for express or a custom install. For this tutorial, choose “express.” It will then scan your computer and find the neccesary updates. You will then need to click the “Install…” button.
This should be enough to get you started. I will publish more tips in future editions, including how to get rid of spyware and keep it off. In the mean time, work on these first few steps to a cleaner, better running PC.