Computer Spring Cleaning Part 1
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Computer Spring Cleaning Part 1



This presentation is for a class I first taught at Reading Public Library on Wednesday, May 16, as an overview of computer maintenance basics for the Average Patron. Long links have been converted to ...

This presentation is for a class I first taught at Reading Public Library on Wednesday, May 16, as an overview of computer maintenance basics for the Average Patron. Long links have been converted to TinyURLs for easy typing.

All free products mentioned in the presentations are products I, personally, like and recommend. However, the only products that cost money that I can vouch for are Norton AntiVirus and Panda AntiVirus; all others are for your information only, and are not endorsed by me or the library.



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Computer Spring Cleaning Part 1 Computer Spring Cleaning Part 1 Presentation Transcript

  • Computer Spring Cleaning Part 1 Andrea Mercado Reference & Techie Librarian Reading Public Library
  • The Plan
    • Overview of Windows XP beginner maintenance techniques
    • Basic information about keeping your clean computer free of internet scumware
    • Brief demos
    • Pointers to detailed information to get you started at home
  • Basic Maintenance
    • Starts with keeping things tidy:
      • Save files to My Documents
      • Desktop is *not* storage
      • Organize your files into folders
      • Shortcuts for frequently used programs only
      • Purge unnecessary files and programs
  • Organize Your Files
    • Create folders in My Documents by topic:
    • Know where your stuff lives
    • Search for files is faster and easier
    • Back up is easier
    • Tell programs to save to My Documents
  • Desktop Cleanup Wizard
    • Delete unused desktop icons:
    • Start > Control Panel > Appearance and Themes > Display Properties
    • Unused Desktop Shortcuts folder
    • New programs don’t always need shortcuts
  • Purge, Purge, Purge
    • Frees up space, computer runs faster & better
    • Delete unwanted files to Recycle Bin:
    • Empty Recycle Bin = DELETE FOREVER
    • For the paranoid: backup (next week!)
    • Control Panel > Add or Remove Programs:
  • Fill in the Holes: Defragment
    • Deleting files/data creates holes in storage
    • The bigger the holes between data bits, the slower the machine will function
    • Solution = Defragment (a.k.a. Defrag):
    • Start > All Programs > Accessories > System Tools > Disk Defragmenter
  • Keeping Out The Riff-Raff
    • Firewall
    • Automatics updates
    • Antivirus software
    • Antispyware software
    • Details:
  • Firewall
    • Protects computer from Internet evils, such as hackers, viruses, & worms
    • Examines data, decides safeness, stops data or lets it pass
  • Choosing a firewall
    • How to choose, for the beginner:
    • Software: protects each computer
      • Windows XP Internet Connection Firewall (free):
      • Panda Antivirus+ Firewall 2007 ($49.95, up to 3 PCs)
      • Windows Live OneCare ($49.95/yr, up to 3 PCs): http://
    • Hardware (routers): protects a network
      • Check specs to see if a firewall is included
  • Automatic Updates
    • Sent by Microsoft to your computer for free
    • Fixes Windows problems and vulnerabilities
    • Sometimes causes problems as they fix
    • Configure when you receive updates: Control Panel > Automatic Updates
    • Microsoft Update – updates operating system and Microsoft products:
  • Antivirus Software
    • Viruses & worms : “interfere with computer operation, record, corrupt, or delete data, or spread themselves to other computers and throughout the Internet.”
    • Antivirus : Finds and inoculates, or quarantines, or disarms viruses & worms
  • Free Online Virus Scanners
    • Pros : Free, reliable, updated frequently
    • Cons : Web-based, only active when you run it, can be slow if bandwith is low
    • Options :
      • Panda Activescan (requires Internet Explorer):
      • Trend Micro™ HouseCall:
      • McAfee FreeScan:
      • Symantec Security Check:
  • Antivirus Software
    • Pros : Runs in the background, scans email as it arrives, updated frequently
    • Cons : Not free, updated definitions subscription cost
    • Options ( includes 1 year of updates) :
      • Norton AntiVirus ($39.95)
      • Panda AntiVirus (+spyware for 2 PCs ) ($29.95)
      • Windows Live OneCare ($49.95/yr, up to 3 PCs): http://
  • Antispyware
    • Spyware : collects data, sends it elsewhere
      • Pop-ups appear without a browser (adware)
      • Little programs install without telling you
      • Site hijack: sends you to a different web site
    • Antispyware :
      • Keep the spies away
      • Removes/disables spyware programs
    • Self-help : Read installation instructions *very* carefully!
  • AntiSpyware Software – Free
    • Pros : Free, good basic features, easy to use
    • Cons : Limited features
    • Options :
      • Windows Defender
      • Ad-Aware SE Personal
  • AntiSpyware – Not Free
    • Pros : Customizable scans, automatic definition updates, runs in background
    • Cons : Not free, definitions subscription cost
    • Options :
      • Ad-Aware SE Plus ($26.95 MSRP)
      • Windows Live OneCare ($49.95/yr, 1-3 PCs) http://
  • Continuing Education
    • Maintain your system with Windows XP
    • Microsoft Security At Home
    • Lavasoft Spyware Education Center