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Frugal Spring Cleaning

How to keep your computer running clean and smooth for FREE!

Summer is right around the corner and its time to clean out the junk and welcome in the warm weather.  Computers are no different they need some T.L.C. as well.  For this how to article I will be introducing a few freeware programs that will clean, optimize, and improve the performance of your computer.

Tools Used:

CCleaner:

http://www.filehippo.com/download_ccleaner/

MalwareBytes:

http://www.filehippo.com/download_malwarebytes_anti_malware/

Microsoft Security Essentials:

http://www.microsoft.com/Security_Essentials/

Test Computer:

T3504 eMachine,Celeron 3.20GHz, 624MB, WinXPsp3

Scan Times:

CCleaner – 9.45s

MalwareBytes – 7m : 59s

Microsoft Security Essientials – 11m : 23s

Procedure:

1) CCleaner

The first step in the procedure will be to run CCleaner.  CCleaner will rid your system of junk files, unused or missing registry entries, manage start up programs,  and uninstall applications.  By running CCleaner first you reduce the amount of scanning time it takes for the next two applications and it may remove files that could possibly be infectious.  So lets start CCleaner.

Start by cleaning the junk files and leave everything checked.

Click the button labeled “Run Cleaner”

Next click Registry on the left side to change it to the registry operations, and click on the “Scan for Issues” button.  One thing to note I have seen this scan remove registry entries that are supposed to be there so please back up the registry when it asks to ensure that u do not remove something that is supposed to be there.

After it completes the scan click on the button labeled “Fix selected issues”.

Agree when it asks to backup the registry and save the file somewhere reachable.  Let that finish and then we are done with CCleaner.  We will next move on to the clearing of Adware, spyware, etc.

2) MalwareBytes

The second step in the how to is updating, and running of MalwareBytes.  MalwareBytes will detect and remove malware that even the most well known anti-virus and anti-malware applications fail to detect.  Lets start the second step by launching and updating MalwareBytes, so double click on it and when it loads click on the Update tab and click on the button labeled “Check for Updates”.

It will update to the newest definitions click ok when done (if updates are available).

Now click on the scanner tab and make sure that Perform quick scan is selected and click the button labeled “Scan” to start the scanning.

Once the scanning has completed click ok and close and/or review the scan result text.  Now click the “Show Results” button.  It will list all of the infection(s) found and will give you the chance to remove the infections.  If needed you can save the list of found infections for later review by simply clicking on the “Save Logfile” button.  To remove the infection(s) from your click the button labeled “Remove Selected”.

After all of the infections have been removed it may ask you to reboot to totally remove all infection(s) from your computer.  Agree to this and let it do what it needs to do in order for all the infection(s) found to be removed.  Once your computer has completed the reboot cycle proceed to step three; running Microsoft Security Essentials.

3) Microsoft Security Essientials

The last step is to cross scan for infections using Microsoft Security Essentials.  You can never be too careful when trying to locate and eliminate infections so that’s why its always a good idea to use multiple scanners.  Load up Microsoft Security Essentials and click on the “Update” tab and once your on that tab click the button labeled “Update” to get the latest definitions from Microsoft.

Once the updateing procedure has completed click on the “Home” tab and lets start the scanning!  Leave the Scan Option on the right set to “Quick” we are just wanting to clean up and speed up the computer for this how to so quicker is better and it will catch most if not all of any infection(s) you might have.  Click the button labeled “Scan Now” to start.

After the scanning is completed clean the infections (if any) and that’s it your done you did not spend a dime and you just eliminated yourself a lot of possible headaches in the future.  By running CCleaner, Malwarebytes at least twice a month and Microsoft Security Essientals once a month your computer will be cleaner and will run more smoothly.

Another quick and dirty virus scanning technique is to use Norton Antivirus Command Line scanner. Its is a good way for you to scan for virii and not have to install any static software.  Even though I do recommend some kind of service ran virus scanner (Avast,ClamAV,MSS,etc).  I wrote an article on this very procedure and the steps necessary for using the NAV command line scanner follow this link to read about it. Click Here!

Other Information:

http://www.microsoft.com/canada/home/productivity-and-planning/articles/spring-clean-your-computer-system.aspx

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