Information Technology

Computer Tune Up - Windows

Does Your Windows Computer Need a Tune Up?
Here are instructions to help you understand how to perform basic maintenance on your computer.


Symptoms:
Freezing or locking up of programs, long startup and shutdown times, general computer slowness.

Causes:
Malware (malicious software that includes viruses and spyware), excessive programs, large volume of old or divided data on your computer, lack of memory to support computer function.

Resolutions:
Follow these recommendations to clean your computer:

  1. Run an antivirus scan using a program such as Microsoft Forefront Client Security
  2. Run the Windows Live OneCare Safety Scanner at safety.live.com
  3. Run and anti-malware scan using a program such as Malwarebytes
  4. Uninstall unnecessary software using the 'Add or Remove Programs' Control Panel
  5. Perform a Disk Cleanup
  6. Defragment your hard drive
  7. FOR ADVANCED USERS ONLY

1. Run an antivirus scan using a program such as Microsoft Forefront Client Security

  • What it is: Microsoft Forefront Client Security offers unified protection from viruses, spyware and other current and emerging threats. It is available FREE of charge to current Fort Lewis College Students, Faculty & Staff at http://skysoft.fortlewis.edu. A college network username and password is required to access the download.
  • What it does: Scans your computer for viruses and quarantines or removes them based on your indivudual settings.
  • How to use it: Run a FULL scan (not a quick scan) of your computer and remove any malware detected. It is fine to continue using your computer while this program is running.

2. Run the Windows Live OneCare Safety Scanner at safety.live.com

  • What it is: Windows Live One Care safety scanner is a free service designed to help ensure the health of your PC.
  • What it does: Checks for and removes Viruses, Gets rid of junk on your hard disk and improves your PC's performance.
  • How to use it: Open a web browser, navigate to http://safety.live.com (no WWW.). Click Full Service Scan, read and accept the service agreement, click the Install Now button, allow the install if you receive a yellow warning ribbon, install the program, press the scanner button, allow the add-on if you get the yellow warning ribbon, click of if warned about navigating away from the page, check the complete scan option and press the next button. Let the scan run, and please do not continue to use your computer while it is working, this may take some time.

3. Run and anti-malware scan using a program such as Malwarebytes

  • What it is: a computer application designed for the removal of and protection from malware.
  • What it does: Scans your system to identify and remove/disinfect trojans, rouge software, browser hijackers, spyware/adware and other malware components.
  • How to use it:
    1. Go to http://www.malwarebytes.org and either download the free version or purchase the full version. If you get a yellow warning when you select to download, right click the warning and choose to download the file. Click Save, and choose to save the file to your desktop.
    2. When the file finishes downloading, either tell it to run from the download box, or double click the program icon on your desktop. Install the program by following the program's instructions (accepting all defaults is fine).
    3. Perform a full scan of your computer (this may take quite a bit of time depending on your computer). It is fine to continue using your computer while this program is running.
    4. Select all malware found and choose 'remove'

4. Uninstall unnecessary software using the 'Add or Remove Programs' Control Panel

  • What it is: A computer maintenance utility included in Microsoft Windows designed to remove installed prgrams on a computer.
  • What it does: Safely removes program files and their components
    Caution: Just because a program is classified as "rarely used" doesn't mean that it is not important. Make sure you know what you're removing!
  • How to use it:
    1. In Windows XP: Select Start, Control Panel, Add or Remove Programs (wait for the list to populate), Select what you want to un-install, press remove and follow the instructions within individual programs.
    2. In Windows Vista: Select Start, Control Panel, under Programs: Uninstall a Program (wait for the list to populate), select what you want to un-install, press remove and follow the instructions within individual programs.
    3. In Windows 7:

5. Perform a Disk Cleanup

  • What it is: Disk Cleanup is a computer maintenance utility included in Microsoft Windows designed to free up disk space on a computer hard drive.
  • What it does: Searches and analyzes the hard drive for files that are no longer needed. It them proceeds to remove the unnecessary files, freeing up disk space on the hard drive.
  • How to use it:
    1. XP: Click Start -> My Computer. Right click C: drive, left click Properties, select General tab, Disk Cleanup button. Disk Cleanup will calculate how much space you can free up. Next, check the boxes for the files you would like to clean up, press OK and wait for the clean-up to run. Please do not continue to use your computer while it is working, this may take some time to complete.
    2. Vista: Click Start -> Computer. Right click "Local Disk (C:)", Properties, General tab, Disk Cleanup button. Disk Cleanup will calculate how much space you can free up. Next, check the boxes for the files you wouls like to celan up, press OK and wait for the clean-up to run. Please do not continue to use your computer while it is working, this may take some time to complete.
    3. Windows 7:

6. Defragment your hard drive

  • What it is: Disk Defragmenter is a computer program included in microsoft windows designed to increse access speed by rearranging files stored on the hard drive
  • What it does: moves files around on the hard drive to occupy solid sections of information storage locations on the hard drive. The pupose is to optimize the time it takes to read and write files to/from the disk.
  • How to use it:
    1. XP: Click Start -> My Computer. Right click C: drive, left click properties, select Tools tab, Defragment Now... Button. Select (C:) drive, analyze button. If defragmentation is recommended, click the Defragment button. Please do not continue to use your computer while it is working, this may take some time to complete.
    2. Vista: Click Styart -> Computer. Right click "Local Disk (C:)", Properties, select Tools tab, Defragment Now... button. Select (C:) drive, analyze button. If defragmentation is recommended, click the defragment button. Please do not continue to use your computer while it is working, this may take some time to complete.
    3. Windows 7:

FOR ADVANCED USERS ONLY:
Check your virtual memory paging file size

  • What it is: Virtual memory is a computer system technique which gives an application program the impression that it has contiguous working memory.
  • What it does: Systems that use this technique make programming of large applications easier and use real physical memory (e.g RAM) more efficiently than those without virtual memory.
  • How to use it: Click Start -> right click My Computer then left click Properties. Select the Advanced tab, Performance Settings button, Advanced tab, virtual memory section, press Change button, set the inital size value equal to the maximum size value OR select the System mananeged size option and press the Set button. Click OK several times to exit and then reboot.

**DO NOT set to no paging file** 


Feel free to contact the IT Call Center at AskIT@fortlewis.edu or 970-247-7444 if you need further assistance. ...

Print