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     BR's Computer Tune-up Tips and Free Software.

BR shares some tips and tricks given to you in good old plain english.

These programs are all free and work well.  If your computer is slow or is acting up try these programs.  Even if you have a new computer I highly recommend these programs to keep your PC healthy and happy.  And it could save you a lot of money.  These are just a few but we know they work well!  Terms and conditions here

Free Programs

Clear out old junk files.

CCleaner - This program cleans out your old temp files and internet history keeping your web surfing private and keeping junk files from building up taking up precious space on your hard drive.  It also has a great registry repair scanner, Uninstall helper and shows you what programs are starting when you turn your computer on!  You can even choose the method of deleting the files all the way to 35 deletion passes making it almost impossible for even the FBI to get get the data back!

Have an Antivirus

This is one of the biggest problems I run into.  A lot of people do not have and Antivirus Program and don't even know it.  That Antivirus your new computer came with was probably just a 30 day trial and at this point is doing nothing!  I recommend Kaspersky Internet Security it has an Antivirus, Anti Spyware and Firewall.  But if you're look for the free route these Antivirus' work very well.

Remember Anti-virus' tend to not play well together so just install one.

Microsoft Security Essentials - So you have an operating system by Microsoft, why not an antivirus / antispyware by them?  Security Essentials is made by Windows for Windows.

Avast! Home edition - It's under free software on the Avast! site.  All you have to do is register it and BOOM! free reliable Antivirus that uses very little system resources!

AVG Antivirus - Another great Antivirus and Anti Spyware program is AVG.  It uses a little more CPU power than Avast! but if you have a newer computer you'll be fine.

Spyware Scanners

So you may think your protected with that anti virus right?  Not so fast.  There are other programs called Spyware and Malware that can be as bad or even worst that a virus.  The difference is a virus will make copies of it's self to infect more places where Spyware and Malware are programs that come usually from websites of untrustworthy nature.  The worst part is you may not even know your on one till the pop-ups start. 

These programs are the annoying ones.  The ones that slow your computer way down and display constant pop-ups.  They could also be logging your key strokes including your passwords!  So here are some programs that will hunt down and kill these little gremlins.  And unlike an antivirus you can have them all on your computer at once.  In fact due to the constant new stream of spy and malware  coming out hourly  it's best to run multiple scans because one product may find something the others have missed.  I recommend scanning once a week or if your computer starts displaying signs of infection.

Microsoft Security Essentials - So you have an operating system by Microsoft, why not an antivirus / antispyware by them?  Security Essentials is made by Windows for Windows.

SuperAntiSpyware One of the newest on the market.  This free spyware killer has over 30 million users world wide and works pretty well.

Spybot Search and Destroy - A great free Spyware scanner it also has a built in shield that keeps spyware off of your computer and the best tool for checking what programs start up when you turn your computer on and disabling the ones you don't need.

Ad-Aware free version - Another good free spyware scanner I run both this and Spybot search and destroy for double protection.

Free Online Virus scanners

Have an annoying Virus that just won't die with your current Antivirus?  The Virus might have infected your current Antivirus scanner. Try an online Anti Virus Scanner.  (Tip: scan in Safe Mode - read more below)

  • Trend Micro HouseCall - An industry standard in virus removable

  • Kaspersky - Finds them but will not delete or fix them you'll have to do it manually.

  • Panda Security - Active Scan - Another powerful online scanner

  • ESET online scanner - ESET Online Scanner is a user friendly, free and powerful tool which you can use to remove malware from any PC utilizing only your web browser without having to install anti-virus software. ESET Online Scanner uses the same ThreatSense® technology and signatures as ESET Smart Security/ESET NOD32 Antivirus, and is always up-to-date.

System Upkeep Software

Defraggler - A great alternative to the Windows built in Defragmenting program.  It has enhancements that make it faster and it defragments better than the Windows Defragmenter by using intelligent reorganization.   It's free by the makers of CCleaner

Internet Browsers - because Internet Explorer doesn't always work.

Firefox - Great alternative browser.  Some consider it the best.

Google Chrome - I recommend this one for Viewing Brevard Underground since it works well with Flash Videos and Java.

Tips for your computer 

Keep your C: drive as empty as possible. 

Your C: drive is the hard drive your Operating System (windows) is usually on.  The more stuff you put on it the  harder your hard drive has to work to to get to the windows data that makes your computer do stuff.  This is especially true if you're doing multiple things at once like playing music or videos while surfing the web.  Every thing is trying to use the hard drive all at the same time.  Remember how fast your computer was before you put all that stuff on it?

Adding an extra hard drive for all your other stuff is a great way to speed up your computer.  Also if your main hard drive goes bad you have a back up.  Remember after you move everything to defrag.

Defrag

Defrag or derfragmenting your hard drive is important to keeping your computer running smoothly.  You can use the built in defrag tool in windows by:

  1. Double clicking My Computer 

  2. Right click on the C: drive and going to properties at the bottom of the drop down

  3. Go to the Tools tab then click the Defragment Now Button.

  4. Windows defragment will open, choose the C: Drive and defragment now.

A great free tool that does and even better job is DeFraggler.  Check it out here.

Have an Antivirus and a good Spyware Scanner

Because no one program catches everything.  Having both can't hurt.  You do only want to have only one Antivirus installed.  These can conflict and  cause all sorts of problems.  Some Antivirus software will warm you or not install if it sees an Antivirus or Anti Spyware program it doesn't like.  Also try and Online scanner now and again to see how well your Antivirus is doing

Back your stuff UP!

The Hard drive in your computer is a mechanical device that stores data on a metallic plate that spins very fast.  Eventually like all mechanical devices it WILL fail.  That's just the way it goes.  Back your files up by putting a copy of them on another hard drive (internal or removable) or if you don't have a lot of stuff burn the files to a DVD or CD every now and again as you accumulate new stuff.  That way if your hard drive dies you just get a new one and put your files on it from you back up of choice. 

There are several software's out there that can help automate this process and some even come free with certain external hard drives.  Buying an extra external hard drive might seem expensive but if you lose your data and you really want them back it can cost several hundred to several thousand dollars to take it to a data recover place.  Just an FYI.

Safe Mode is your new best friend.

So you did something and you computer will not load into windows or it loads and moments later it crashes.  Maybe a new game, maybe the drivers you install have a conflict or maybe you just have a virus.  Safe mode is here to help.  Safe Mode is a way of starting your computer into Windows with just the bare essentials running.   Everything running on your computer are just programs, even Virus'.  So if they don't start running they usually can hurt you. 

So if you have an annoying virus that keeps coming back or your computer won't start all the way because of a program you installed and you need to uninstall it but can't do that if you can't get into Windows, Safe Mode to the rescue.

  1. To get into safe mode all you have to do is keep tapping the F8 key after you restart.  (some computer will ask you which drive to boot into just chose the C: or Windows or which ever hard drive your Windows is install on)

  2. A screen will ask you what you want to do?  Chose Safe Mode with networking.

  3. You will see a long list of Windows code that is loading, then you will go into safe mode.

  4. Your screen might look odd (small) because your video drivers will not load into safe mode and you will see Safe Mode in the corners of the screen

  5. That's it!  Do what you need to do.

 

Free Online Virus scanners

Have an annoying Virus that just won't die?  Have you gone into safe mode and your regular Antivirus won't run or you want a second opinion?  Try and online Anti Virus Scanner.  Go into Safe Mode and run one of the scanner listed below and see what happens.

 

 

 

Brevard Underground is not affiliated with any of the programs listed above.  Use the information on this site at your own risk.  Computers are complicated machines and in some cases attempting to fix them can make things worst.  If your not certain about what you are doing contact a professional.







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