Help with pc tune up please.

  Never again 09:58 27 Dec 2007

My friend has gone on holiday and nhas asked me to sort out his Dell Dimension 9150 pc which is running windows xp pro with 2Gb ram.

His main complaint is that it tends to freeze every now and then (something I have not managed to duplicate yet) and it is very sluggish.

He connects to the internel via AOL broadband normally, and has McAffee handling his protection.

There are no faults reported in device manager so all of his hardware appears to be working properly and all windows updates are up to date.

I have done a Belarc Advisor profile and he appears to have mywebsearch stuff installed, which I know can cause problems so I intend to uninstall it.

I also wanted to give it a bit of a tune up as well as there is no reason why this pc should not fly, so I was going to install superantispyware free and ccleaner.

Are there any other free programs/ utilities which may be useful?

Also I would like to measure its performance before and after I have tuned it (with your help of course), so is there a free benchmark or performance utility I could use as well.

Thank you in advance for any suggestions.

  MAJ 10:06 27 Dec 2007

Try PCPitstop for a performance check and some tips on optimising. click here

  anskyber 10:07 27 Dec 2007

I have the same machine and mines flys along at a great pace. CCleaner should help but have a look at the start up list in msconfig and see how many of his programs are set to begin at start up. I had a number which I start up manually if I need them rather than always running in the background.

Do a full defrag, I have the paid for Diskeeper but there is a free stripped down version which works well click here

  birdface 10:20 27 Dec 2007

C Cleaner to get rid of the crap.What other security programs are already downloaded.To speed up your computer I would use Winaso Optimizer Free.It only repairs 10 items at a time but you can use it as often as you does an automatic back up and has a registry defrag on it well worth having.

  birdface 10:21 27 Dec 2007

Oops forgot to post here

  Never again 10:21 27 Dec 2007

I have run OCPitstop on my laptop to see what it does, and I was hoping for a report I could reproduce for my friend as a before and after, and this does not appear to have this function.

I have not run msconfig yet, but am not entirely sure what programs he wants running at startup and he is in the south of France as we speak.

He said that he derfraggeed his drive recently so I should not need to do that.

Good suggestions though, keep them coming please.

(sorry - I've got to go out now but I'll be back later)

Thanks again.

  Never again 10:22 27 Dec 2007

oh... and thanks buteman - sorry i missed your thread - I'll try it later.

  tullie 10:45 27 Dec 2007

Dont worry about going out,its not a live chatroom.

  MAJ 10:49 27 Dec 2007

If he has mywebsearch on there, chances are he has other malware as well. If he is away for a while (a week or so maybe), run a scan with HijackThis click here and post the resulting log file on the malware removal forums click here It will take a time for your post to be answered, but persevere, it might be worth it. Read their posting instructions carefully before posting.

  Never again 20:16 27 Dec 2007

I've downloaded and ran HijackThis and posted the log and am awaiting a reply.

I've downloaded and ran ccleaner which removed 1Gb of rubbish and ran the registry cleaner which found and fixed over 1000 issues.

I've downloaded and ran superantispyware free and this has deleted 29 threats.

I've downloaded and installed winaso registry optimiser but it found 742 errors and since these can only be fixed 10 at a time I'll do this tomorrow and report back.

I've also checked out a few other posts on the site and changed the virtual memory settings to initial size 3036 and maximum size 4096 as it has 2Gb ram fitted (upgraded from 1Gb).

The hard drive is set to DMA and is using NTFS file system.

I thought that I'd run bootvis as well before I call it a night.

The pc has not crashed yet but it is not connected to the internet at the moment.I'll stick my dongle in it tomorrow in order to update its McAfee security centre and run a new superantispyware and virus scan.

Is there an easy way to print or post the running programs in msconfig?

Is there anything else that I could do?

Thanks again for your suggestions.

  Fruit Bat /\0/\ 20:43 27 Dec 2007

1. Software

a) Clear out all temporay files and folders -- use Crap Cleaner click here

b) Scan for malware spyware and viruses --Free Anti Spyware :-
Adaware click here
Spybot S&D click here
Spywareblaster click here
a2 click here
Windows Defender click here

Free Antivirus software
Avast4 click here
AVG antivirus click here

c) Clean the registry -- Free Registry cleaners :-
RegscrubXP click here
Regseeker click here
TweakNow RegCleaner 1.3.2 click here
Easycleaner click here ( Use with care, It advises you to back up the registry first, this is a good idea as it cleans rather aggressively. )

d) Pagefile (Virtual Memory) -- Rght click MY Computer - select propeties - Advanced tab - Performance - advanced tab - Virtual memory click change, you can put the page file on a differnt drive (if you have one), click custom size and set Initial size to one and a half times the amount of memory you have fitted i.e. 512MB memory = set to 768MB, set maximum to double your memory amount i.e. 512MB memory = 1024MB click ok.
If your hard drive is full and there is not enough room for the pagefile this can slow down, freeze or even cause the PC to crash (restart).

e) Cut down on the programs that load at startup -- Start - Run type msconfig - startup tab- untick everything except for firewall, antivirus and antispyware

and the services that run in the background. click here

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