The Newbies Guide to Personal Computer Maintenance

When you turn on your computer, does it act like it needs a coffee to wake up? When you surf around the Internet, are you bombarded with pop-up windows? Does your computer freeze up or turn off for no apparent reason?

Before you decide to throw your monitor out of the nearest window, there may be a number of solutions to fix these problems that won't require you having a degree in computer technology.

There are two primary ways to maintain your computer's performance, and the maintenance should be done once a week or more. First, acquire and use software that will help you clean and protect your computer, and second, know how to use the programs already in your computer to keep it's engines running smooth.

SOFTWARE

The software solutions below will not cost you any money, nor will they take you much of your time to download, understand, and implement:

1) Virus Protection - Avast AntiVirus is an excellent free program to guard yourself against Trojans, Worms, and Hacks.

2) Spyware - AdAware and Spybot are terrific free programs for eliminating pop-ups and other wares from your computer. It is recommended that you use them both, as one may find problems that the other may not ... a great one-two punch to protect yourself.

3) Registry Cleaners - WinASO Registry Optimizer is a great program for repairing your computer registry. The free version allows you to clean or repair ten items at a time, so you will have to re-run it numerous times if you have many problems.

4) Internet Speed - If you use dial-up, or have a computer the size of a calculator, you may wish to use RamBooster to help give you the best speed possible for the limitations you have.

Go to http://www.download.com for these and other great resources.

PROGRAMS

Now that you've taken out the garbage, you should keep the place neat and tidy by using the programs already existing in your computer. Once again, you should do this once a week:

1) Clear your Internet History

2) Defrag your Computer

3) Use a Firewall

You can find the programs that will do this for you by looking in the System Tools or Security Center sections of your computer.

Another option for those of you who've got smoke billowing out of the back of your computer, with no seemingly useful solution in sight; you may wish to look at the System Restore feature that your computer may have. This allows you to revert back to a state when your computer actually worked well. It doesn't work all the time, by it is an option ... and not an end all be all ... use it only when absolutely necessary.

Austin Culley is the Chief Operating Officer for Oil-Net.Com Inc.
http://www.oil-net.com

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