How To Keep Your Computer Running Clean(12 posts)
Here are some additions that I recommend:
* Autoruns -- keep your startup list neat and short. Make sure nothing sneaks into the startup that you don't want.
* Secunia PSI -- not for cleaning, but to keep applications current and security holes patched.
* Norton Ghost, DriveImage XML, etc. -- make backups! Never lose important data or even configuration settings. Easy virus/malware recovery.
* WinDirStat, TreeSize, etc. -- find and delete large files that you aren't using.
* PerfectDisk -- defrag your filesystem, if you wish, with a real, capable defragger that knows NTFS and handles metadata. You could also use Diskeeper.
I do a backup + cleanup + tune-up operation on an as desired basis. This usually ends up being 2 - 3 times per month. I always do it before installing the long list of patches from Windows Updates after Patch Tuesday. Also, I would do it before installing some big new application that might cause trouble. Finally, if it has been a while since my last backup, I'll make a new one and do the cleanup and tune-up as well.
Some folks on this forum do a similar type of operation every day. You should find a schedule that works for you.
The Disk Defrag I would not run too often. Maximum once a week, but if you do not update your files too often, once a month may be enough. I would put it on a steady automatic schedule. For the rest the timings that ScottW gave are like mine. The newest version of Spybot gives you the option of cleaning your temporary files (at the start). Then you don't have to run CCleaner too often. If normal cookies bother you, type SHELL:COOKIES into the Start/search field. That gets you to the cookie folder where you can deal with them in any way you wish.
PS: I am a big fan of Norton Ghost which I use once a week for a total system backup. Acronis does the same thing. And if you have Vista Ultimate, a similar function is built into Vista.
I am not aware of a Norton Ghost conflict with McAfee. Ghost is not really a security program (although it has some security functions built in if one cares to use those - I never have). But there is also Acronis as an alternative. Prices (last I checked) are: Ghost V14 = $70, Ghost V12 = $40, Acronis = $50. The V12 version of Ghost is sufficient. The V14 additional functions are pretty exotic - e.g. backup to an internet site. Acronis I have not used myself, but I have read good reports about it.
Frustrated123, yes PerfectDisk and Diskeeper are commercial programs, as is Norton Ghost. TreeSize has a free version, with fewer features, then a Personal and Professional edition that cost money.
Shell:cookies is where Internet Explorer stores cookies, but other browsers don't. It's best to use each browser to clean it's own cookies or use CCleaner to clean cookies for the browsers it recognizes.
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