Sunday, November 28, 2010

Clean up your PC this holiday season…

In the last day, I’ve had 3 PC’s dropped off to me all for the same reason: “Can you take off all of the garbage that comes with this and make it as fast as possible?”.  Laptops are horrendously crippled machines out of the box.  It all boils down to advertising.  The Bing bar does absolutely nothing for the end user other than running in the background wasting resources.  The same goes for the classic Adobe Reader auto run entry in the registry.  It’s all a bit of rubbish if you ask me.  There is absolutely no need for a netbook running Windows 7 Starter edition to have 16 .exe’s firing upon startup.  Look at it, I’m not making it up:


Most, if not all listed here is software that is a bunch of gunk!  I’m completely baffled as to why most software vendors feel the need to attach every bit of itself to the startup process.  It’s Windows 7 people!  If you absolutely need to have your .exe running in the background, fire it up as an Automatic Delayed Service.  Operative word: Delayed…  This will run after the computer freed up a few resources that are tied up during the login process.  It’s a no brainer these days to take advantage of that capability.  However, since this seems to be the status quo, I’ll continue to shake my head and collect my paycheck *fixing* what shouldn’t ever have been broken.  Here’s a few steps that you can take to optimize your brand new computer.

  1. Grab Revo Uninstaller – Beginner Level
  2. Grab CCleaner – Beginner level
  3. Grab Autoruns – Advanced level

Depending on how in-depth you’d like to go, I’ve marked each software with a level.  Each of these can do major damage to your brand new machine, so use caution.  If you’d rather leave it to an expert, I can always be reached.  While I never use Revo Uninstaller, I’d like to show beginners some of the options available.  I go through the list in Programs and Features picking off non-essential software.  After a while, you just get an eye for it.

What do I look for?

I rip out arguably more than I should, but that’s just me.  I OPTIMIZE Winking smile.  The usual targets are any power management softwares, widget bars, pre-loaded games, the stupid trial version of anti-virus… By the way, don’t pay for an anti-virus.  Yeah, I said it!  They all are garbage, but since you HAVE to use one, use Microsoft Security Essentials.  It’s free and less intrusive than the other free options out there.  Getting back to the list of garbage: Toolbars, preloaded screensavers, the entry (To this day, I’ve never found out what that actually does.), DVD programs, Label printing software (Who uses a netbook to print labels?).  Everything I’ve listed here, Windows 7 can do out of the box; and a mighty fine job of it, if you ask me. 

Don’t Accept OOTB

It’s necessary for you to optimize your computer even though it’s brand new.  It’s a sad fact, but nonetheless, a fact.  If you use different techniques to make your PC more efficient, feel free to post a comment.  I love hearing about how other people are dealing with this.

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