General pc maintenance - advice needed.

  bear73 15:03 19 Oct 2004


After a visit to my sister at the weekend it appears she is in dire need of help in keeping her pc clear of rubbish and maintenance tips. We spent most of the day trying to restore some speed to her very slow machine. She never does maintenance and it was obviously clogged with temporary internet files, old music downloads, temp files etc etc.

Anyway, I'm no expert and we just got rid of the stuff that we know clogs up the machine. I just wanted to double check the right and wrong things to do and get some general tips on how to keep your pc running smoothly.

Deleting Temporary Internet files - Where is this folder in XP? The path states Documents&Settings/Local Settings/Temporary Internet files - but when I look in Windows Explorer the Local Settings folder does not appear under Documents & Settings. This was the same on my sisters pc and we had to go into Internet Explorer options to delete them. Is the local settings folder hidden for some reason?

Windows/Temp files - Are these OK to delete? I remember when I used to work in an office and we were sending our pc's in for upgrades we were always told to regulalry clear out our TEMP folder. I do usually do this but wanted to check that it is the right thing to do.

Empty Recycle bin

Clear unwanted cookies.

Run Defragmenter and Scan Disk regularly.

Any other tips I can use and pass on. Any good programs that can help my sister in the clean up stakes? I use Norton Cleansweep and find this quite good - not sure whether I am allowed to give it to her to use aswell though???

Also, a question on music files. I don't download them at all but my sister had loads and this was the main cause of all the space being taken up on her hard drive. Some Disney tunes she had downloaded for her son were 60,000 kb each! In the end we deleted them because she had already put them on a disk. Any tips for making the ones she wants to keep smaller? I have no idea on downloaded music. Presumably download them, and put them on a disk, then delete them.

Thanks in advance for your help and tips.


  Diodorus Siculus 15:11 19 Oct 2004

One of the best options would be Crap Cleaner click here

It will do all that she needs.

As for music files, save as mp3 for best balance between quality and size.

  canard 15:15 19 Oct 2004

Temp internet files- IE Tools- internet options-delete files tab[ and when the delete all offline content comes up tick in the check box. Get rid.

  woodchip 15:25 19 Oct 2004

Double click My Computer right Click C:\ drive cleanup\button. For IE go to Control Panel Right click the Internet Options icon and drag a shortcut to the desktop, then double click and click the History button delete cookies and delete files buttons on the General Page tab.

  961 16:49 19 Oct 2004

If the machine is running slow, then...

Where have these music files been coming from and have any viruses/spyware/keyloggers come with them

What virus checker is she using and is it up to date

Is she using a firewall

Install Spybot search and destroy, Adaware, Spywareblaster

Run a free virus scan via one of the many internet sites

  rawprawn 17:27 19 Oct 2004

click here Download and run this program, If there is a problem within, it will probably find it. It is fairly slow but thorough.

  spuds 17:30 19 Oct 2004

If your sister installs AVG,ZoneAlarm,CCleaner,AdAware,SpyBot S&D,Spyware Blaster and a2squared, then she should have a nice easy to use trouble free computer. These are all free downloads or cover disk programmes with regular updating facilities, which must be checked daily if possible.

Another programme that I use and find very easy is WinCleaner Ultra One Click. It works on similar lines to CCleaner, but with more items and better control.If you use CCleaner or WinCleaner, make sure that you keep records of passwords etc, as both these programmes can erase stored passwords.

  wee eddie 17:31 19 Oct 2004

Your own suggestions are spot on.

Add and run, Spybot S&D, Adaware and Spywareblaster, the last I am not yet sure about.

Zone Alarm is a must and you will find much advice here on free Anti Virus software.

All the above will cost her nothing but time.

Remind her that Defrags are best run in Safe Mode with any Screen Saver turned off, and the joint should be tight as a drum

  THE TERMINATOR 23:57 19 Oct 2004

If your sister has XP she should run disk cleanup(Start>All Programs>Accessories>System Tools>Disk Cleanup. This will remove temp files and temp internet files and other junk that you stipulate. May I also say that disk maintenance won't go amiss either, your sister should run disk defragmenter(in the System Tools folder)at least once a month, this will keep her hard drive in top condition as it won't have to do much work to find her programs and therefore speed things up....T

  woodt 00:37 20 Oct 2004

Can only say that all the advice given above is good. Get rid of all the rubbish by emptying IE cache files etc, download, install, update and run the programs suggested but if you never buy another piece of software again buy Diskeeper. The best defrag program out there (IMHO).

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