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General PC Maintenance

Try these steps to fix many of those oddball/intermittent problems and make Windows system work better.

It is amazing how many glitches this takes care of,  so this should be done before any other extensive troubleshooting (except for missing data).

The minimal basics any end user can and should run on a regular basis

This was originally started based on a Win95 system but the concepts are readily transferable to other versions of Windows, which I test and tune these steps as I work with the different versions of Windows as I can get to them. So far this has been tested from Windows 95 up through Windows 10, & Windows Server 2012 R2 with great success. While Mac users don't need it as much, they can also benefit from similar treatment as written up on Lifehacker. An author I follow blogged his recommendation of Clean My Mac 2 along with a few comments on the free tools he uses. Another option might be the Joe On Tech guide:Speeding Up Your Mac
Linux users can also benefit from this write-up.

The Fine Detail Steps for Techs to really clean a system

If any of you can figure out how to automate any of this, please share with the rest of us (especially Andy Konecny who is trying to sort this out but never has the free time to do so). So far CCleaner comes the closest.

Steps you can take to reduce how fast your system gets fragmented.

  Notes: If ScanDisk and/or Defrag keep restarting, here are some things to look at to prevent them.

Additional:     Tools such as LitePC can also make a big difference in increasing performance of a system in addition to the above steps.

Some ISPs even occasionally have Spring Cleaning instructions that are worth reading, keeping a copy, and passing on to other typical end user.

Networking clients can also have significant impact on access, speed, security,and other oddities, so making sure you are running only what you need is important.

For advanced users:
If a system is acting odd or slow, it could be due to extra stuff running on your system, so knowing what is running is a good thing to figure out Ctl-Shft-Esc brings up the Windows Task Manager. Check under applications to make sure they all make sense and then look under Processes to learn lots. Basically check each item against the references below to make sure they should be there and then you can remove the ones that are of no or negative value to you. They will typically be started either from your Startup folder or via Regedit (for experienced techs only: My Computer\HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Run )

some common ones are listed at

If a service you are running is not listed, Google for it and if that doesn't find you some details then it is very likely a fairly new virus, worm, or spyware and you system requires even more advanced work on it.

A recently found tool that I am just starting to test out is Soluto

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Last updated 2020-09-23
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