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Thursday, July 23, 2009

What causes your creep, crawl and then crash?

In one word, MAINTENANCE.

A personal computer, be it a laptop or a desktop can last you as long as a Volkswagen if you regularly perform some simple tasks.

My suggestions are based on my own personal experiences. I taught myself how to operate a PC in the earliest days of the Internet. I learned the hard way after repeated freezes and crashes. In those early days there was no google to go to for advice. The only way out of the simplest problem was to reboot. There were no preventive maintenance programs.

1.Do not trust the protection promised by your Internet Providers,Cable or Phone Company DSL providers or any other third party program. The "Lord helps those who protect themselves" is a good motto when you are dealing with millions of hackers who get their jollies from destroying your equipment.

Invest in a good top of the line software package and do not skimp on the price. Most are ineffective and a complete waste.

Besides the anti-virus feature they should also provide anti-spam, network security,anti-phishing,id protection, a two way firewall, anti-tracking devices,Internet worm protection, browser protection,intrusion preventions and web site authentication.

My personal favorite is the Norton Internet Security package. It is simple but incredibly effective. Run the scan feature at least once a week to see where your problems originate and delete the suspect programs. Once you have Norton installed you won't even know what horrible things are going on in the background because Norton cuts 99% of them off before they ever cause a critical problem.

Scan and delete the programs causing them anyway. Eventually they will wear your PC down much as an engine running with 2 year old engine oil in the crankcase of your car.

If your DSL constantly slows down until you would be better off with the old dial-up, be advised it is most likely a virus problem. Your DSL repairmen whether they be from Direct TV,Time-Warner, or Verizon will not tell you this as they understandably have to to justify their jobs.

The answerman tells you right now that almost all slow-down problems ruining your cyber experience are related to hidden infections you know nothing about!

Buy and install the Norton programs or equivalent software packages from reliable manufacturers. The times you are suddenly logged off will virtually disappear.
The Norton pkg costs about $89.00 at Staples, Best Buy etc.

2. Get a good Malaware program like Malwarebytes. Copy and paste this link in your browser window and then click on go:

This program scans your hard drive for worms, bugs,viruses etc which are already on your PC. It identifies them by name, Vondos,Trojan, etc and removes them with a quick reboot and restart.

Dell customer support showed me where to get a free download of this program but you might have to pay for it if you find it on your own.

3. Use the chkdsk feature, monthly. Run it at night while you are sleeping as it can take hours to complete:

Follow these instructions very carefully.

Click Start and then click My Computer.
Right-click the hard disk drive to scan, and click Properties.
In the Local Disk Properties window, click the Tools tab.
Click Check Now.
In the Check Disk Local Disk window, click to select the box next to Automatically fix file system errors.

It is advisable to select "Scan for and attempt recovery of bad sectors" to physically check the surface of the hard disk. However, this step increases the time it takes to complete the scan. What do you care? You will be snoring away.

Click Start. A prompt may appear to perform the scan the next time the computer restarts. If so, click Yes. The computer restarts and runs Checkdisk and you go to bed.

That's it. Actually its not as difficult as it sounds.If my instructions confuse you, ask the manufacturer of your PC to help you or google check disk.

There is an optional program, DEFRAG which you can also use but I don't think its that important.

Comments and topic suggestions welcomed and appreciated.