Okay so you’ve read our previous post Spring Cleaning for your computers: Hardware, your computer is all spick and span — everything is shiny, it’s time to tackle cleaning up your actual computer contents.
All the software listed has a free option, so you can do this to your individual computer without any costs — just a little effort. For a company wide cleaning you might be better off using some distributed professional services… wait a minute! We offer that! http://interface.ca/rapid-onsite-desktop-support/
Getting into safe mode
Let’s go through each piece of software and describe what they do, to use some of the software effectively you might need to get into safe mode: When booting your computer before you see the Windows logo just keep pressing F8 until a menu comes up asking which start up mode you want, you typically want to choose start in Safe mode to do your cleaning. Safe mode prevents any software running outside of the core windows executables, this ensures no malware can interfere with your cleaning.
Spyware is software that is used to detect your computing behaviours and to call home — to the spyware maker — to report back on how you use your computer. Spyware can be used to do simple things like track which websites you visit to as malicious as stealing your passwords to your e-mail, banking and other important online accounts. SUPERAntiSpyware is designed to look for this type of software and get rid of it, it doesn’t conflict with other antiviruses and does. Install the software, go into safe mode and marvel at all the junk that has been piling up on your harddrives.
For free antivirus we recommend Avast, Panda Cloud or Avira Antivirus. What separates a virus from malware is that viruses have the ability to replicate itself onto other parts of your machine and sometimes onto other computers through the internet or your networking — they’re a real pain! Viruses usually carry some disruptive coding that can log your keystrokes, steal passwords, corrupt data and even extort you for money by threatening to erase your data. The 3 Antivirus suites we linked above are good for their price (FREE). They specialize in detecting, removing and preventing these viruses from even showing up on your computer.
Windows has a built in uninstaller that works okay, but sometimes those installation processes leave a bunch of unused files lying all over your hard-drive. Revo Uninstaller makes uninstallation of unused programs more thorough. Revo will also pry off the software that has a difficult time uninstalling itself as well as suggest applications to uninstall that you never use anymore.
Almost every piece of software you use creates a bunch of log files, cookies, temp files that sometimes aren’t cleanly removed after the software is done its job. CCleaner removes all of those little unused files to free up space on your harddrive, it focuses primarily on the most popular software, browsers, office, itunes and more. CCleaner also comes with a bunch of handy little tools as well. Check it out!
WinDirStat analyzes your harddrive nad gives you a graphical display of what’s taking up all the space in your harddrive. It lets you efficiently find huge space takers and delete those files all inside the program.
When windows writes data to a hard drive the OS might be unable to write that data sequentially, as a result there might be pieces of information on a file or software at two opposite ends of a hard drive disk, this causes slow downs because the hard drive has to seek the next piece of information further away. De fragmentation software reorganizes your software so everything is in order, pieces of relevant information are next to each other and Defraggler is the best free solution available.
Running all of this software at regular intervals will insure that your computer is running as optimally as possible.
There’s one alternative to all this software:
Installing everything as new, as good as the software above is nothing is faster than that new car feel of a fresh OS install, if you don’t mind reinstalling all your software and settings this is always the best option.
If you have any questions feel free to ask. Enjoy your freshly cleaned PC!