Monday, October 29, 2007

Computer Maintenance for the Un-Savvy

So I tried to maintain my computer tonight and almost blew it up. My boyfriend is a computer whiz, so he was able to fix what I broke, but we started off the evening thinking I might have to buy a new computer!

It started with me deleting the "guest" account he had created for himself on my computer - you know, when you start up your computer and you select the use icon from the front page and enter your password. That account had been painfully slow and really unusable anyways, so I got rid of it. Then I decided to defragment my C:// - after the analysis, the computer reported that it needed to defragment, but didn't have enough memory to do it properly.

So I decided to delete Norton Internet Security software which I'm no longer using. That un-installation was taking a long time, so I left it while I went to work, thinking I would start the defrag when I got home since I had company coming and wouldn't be on the computer anyways. When I got home, the computer was frozen in the middle of the un-install, same place it had gotten hung up before. Unfortunately, I forced an End Program through Task Manager and then couldn't restart the uninstall and started getting messages that my computer was dangerously low on memory. We later learned that lots of people have this problem and the Norton is a bitch to remove. Removing your Norton program using SymNRT helped though.

Before we did that or found that, we cleared up a ton of space (from 60 MB available to about 3GB) using CCleaner and deleting some duplicated or unnecessary programs from my hard drive. After all that, we ran Spybot and Ad-Aware which found NOTHING! Previously, while running on my Norton subscription with automatic live updates, both programs had found critical objects that required attention. So, in addition to being a pain in the ass to remove and almost shutting me down, Norton wasn't even providing the same level of security I now have with AVG, a free Internet security program. I can't recommend AVG more glowingly - it automatically updates and scans the computer EVERY DAY.

So, from now on, cross my heart, it's a weekly computer maintenance day with the following tasks in order of operations:
  • Backup all
  • CCleaner
  • Check for unwanted/unneeded programs and delete
  • Clean up unneeded documents and files
  • Spybot and AdAware
  • Defragment
  • Restart several times
  • Backup all

And, as part of the beauty of the Internet, you may start to see some things posted here as a place for safe-keeping. Oh, how I love and hate technology.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Augh! Norton did that to my computer a couple years ago - I had to buy a reboot disc to get it running again. Not uncommon, according to my programmer brother.