Got this in an email today and thought I would pass it along.
Some pretty good info. Alot of people complain about slow PC's
or lockups, this may help alittle. Also remember, weekly disk
maintenance goes along way.
If your system starts to run slow or crashes frequently its easy to get
frustrated and decide to format the drive and start over. However, you
will always lose something that you needed or wanted - and it takes a
lot of time to set your system up again. If you haven't backed up your
important data and written down everything you need, like phone numbers,
login names, passwords and have ALL your drivers available on cd or
floppy you will have BIG problems that may require medication. So when
Windows starts to screw up try these suggestions before you panic.
First, run a VIRUS SCAN. Install Norton AV (or similar virus program)
and update the virus definitions. It will find viruses and
trojans and sometimes other bugs like programs that have hijacked your
browser. Few people actually think of this first.
Second, clean it up with a program like Windows Washer
then run Scandisk and Defrag. Defrag will finish faster when it doesn't have
to move temporary files. Many times a hard drive just needs to be optimized so
that errors are fixed and data isn't scattered all over the place. When data
is arranged in sequential order the hard drive runs much faster.
Third, MOST problems are caused by programs that load at startup. Nearly
every program wants to run all the time and they frequently conflict.
The solution to fixing this problem is to run MSCONFIG and disable
everything you can. If you have a modem it may need to load drivers
in order for it to connect to the internet but most likely you can
disable EVERYTHING. Anything you want to run can usually be loaded
from Start/Programs only when you need it.
Fourth, it's very important to run Startup Monitor
It will alert you and allow you to prevent any new
programs you install from loading at startup. Let it load at startup or
it won't catch programs trying to install.
Fifth, if you have no viruses and unloading programs that automatically
start doesn't fix the problems you need to optimize your registry.
Fortunately that's easy. Just install Registry Healer
and let it delete invalid entries, optimize and compress the registry
files. This FREQUENTLY fixes a system that is getting sickly.
Sixth, install and run AdAware 6
every program these days has some form of "spy ware" included that
monitors your activities and calls home to upload data. The main problem
with all this nonsense is that it is hogging your system's resources and
baudwidth. Kill all spyware !
Seventh, DISABLE system restore. When your system is backing up you
pretty much just have to sit there and wait. Right click on My Computer
from your desktop chose properties, performance, trouble shooting and
disable system restore. The option to restore a system is not worth the
disk space and time it takes to keep backing it up.
Eighth, if all these steps fail and you are running Win 9x/ME you have
the option to boot from a floppy and just blow off the Windows and
Program Files folders and install Windows again. You better backup your
DRIVERS, email and favorites first! And make sure you have written down
all important info you need to get back on the internet. WinDriver Ghost
is excellent for backing up your drivers so you don't lose any or have to search for
floppies, cds and web sites for your current drivers. Copy your
\Windows\Application Data\Identities folder to another location if you
use Outlook Express. After you have set up your system you can restore
all your mail. Make a folder for Windows and copy the cab files and
setup from your Windows cd to your hard drive. This will help you
reinstall Windows much faster.
After you boot from a floppy go to your C: drive and copy two files to
your root directory \windows\smartdrv.exe and
\windows\command\deltree.exe When you have them copied run smartdrv
then run deltree *.* NOTICE !!! This is a powerful program but it will ask
you to confirm everything it finds to delete. You would say yes to the
FILES in your root directory - except smartdrv and deltree. Deltree will
delete system, readonly and hidden files. When Deltree asks you about
folders to delete, just delete Windows and Progra~1. Other folders
probably have the data that you would like to keep. This is the
advantage of blowing off Windows rather than formatting the drive and
Ninth, if you OVERRIDE the default installation folder (usually \program
files) for programs that have to store important data, like an ftp
program that stores login names and passwords, keytext that has your
prepared text and automatic responses, etc. and use an alternative
folder, if you have to install those programs again you can configure
them to use the alternative folder - that you did NOT delete - and they
will be configured and your personal data will be available without any
complicated restoring process for each of them.
Conclusion: As you can see it's to your advantage to create folders
OUTSIDE \Windows and \Program Files to save important files. This also
simplifies the processing for keeping important data backed up. It is
much easier and faster to backup C:\Important to another drive or cd
than to backup C:\Windows. When it's easy and fast you are much more
likely to do it more often.