Beware free software ! (It cost me !)

  Creditman 16:42 10 Dec 2004

I recently installed Win Speedup & XP Tuner onto Windows XP Home, both free on the last PCA cover disc. The aim was to speed up the system by deleting unnecessary files.I made a careful selection (so I thought). Then My Recent Docs (on Start Menu) stopped showing any files. I then tried to reverse what I had done but could'nt remember exactly what I'd done but tried anyway. When I restarted I got as far as the blue screen with MS logo & got the message"Windows starting up". There it stayed, reappearing even after I pulled the plug & tried again. I had to call in a local PC expert who had my PC for 24 hours & fixed it.1 of the options on 1 of these progs had corrupted the operating system. OK - my fault, but beware!

  Gongoozler 16:57 10 Dec 2004

Only too often when you try free software (or anything else free) you find why it's free - no-one would pay for it anyway. I make a point of only installing free software when it's recommended by someone reliable. Even then I make sure I am in a position to be able to reformat my drive and start again. There is however a lot of really good free software available and is often recommended on this forum.

  TomJerry 17:04 10 Dec 2004

the top on the list Zonealarm, Adaware, Spybot, really any of my PC cannot do without them

  Mango Grummit 17:18 10 Dec 2004

Gongoozler --- Whoops --- Creditman Quote - "I recently installed Win Speedup & XP Tuner onto Windows XP Home, both free on the last PCA cover disc."

Your Quote --- "I make a point of only installing free software when it's recommended by someone reliable."

PCA, the mag that is, is not free but pays for this site, together with the advertisements both in the mag and on here. But it is reasonably reliable I think.

And we must all, always, remember that if people did not continue to install things incorrectly and do things completely wrong then there would not be a need for this forum at all.

  Creditman 17:56 10 Dec 2004

Mango Grummit - Yes. I am sure the software was OK, being recommended & provided by PCA. The point is that I was presented with a mass of options which appeared to be straightforward but produced unexpected & unwanted results. In other words I did'nt really know what I was doing - I have learned my lesson.

  ACOLYTE 18:03 10 Dec 2004

Just because a product has been recommended as free and good ,doesn't make it so , best thing to do is check the thing out for yourself look on web forums and help pages and dont install before, i too subscribe to PCA but i dont take it as read that what has been said,in PCA mag will suit me i check first.

  Gongoozler 18:18 10 Dec 2004

Hi Mango Grummit. I'm quite sure that PCA mag only puts software on it's cover disks that it believes in all good faith to be good and reliable, but so often it's only when software gets out into the wide world that the weaknesses show up. I'm sure that even Microsoft don't deliberately sell buggy software but with so many different configurations of computer these things only show up when Joe Public gets to use it. Being able to do a reformat and reinstall is always the best insurance.

  jimv7 18:27 10 Dec 2004

Prior to installing ANY software, especially freeware, create a restore point, be careful of any 3rd party claims as winxp is very stable and looks after itself.

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