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Free software that will work like PCMatic?

by elliehowe / February 26, 2013 7:23 AM PST


My PC is running much slower now than a few months ago. Despite my using AVG antivirus plus clearing RAM, dumping TEMP files, and other basic steps to improve speed, it's still noticeably slower. The TV ads for PC Matic look GREAT; if I had the money I would buy it. I am wondering if anywhere in the CNET FREE downloads there is a program that would do essentially the same things as PC Matic (maybe not all and maybe not quite as fast) that I could try...

Also could you tell me what category I should be looking at? Would the software be listed under "productivity" or "operating systems" or what? I am using Windows 7 and Foxfire on an HP desktop PC. Many thanks!

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All Answers

Best Answer chosen by elliehowe

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Maintain Your PC
by melri01 / February 26, 2013 6:01 PM PST

It's ongoing... Get in the habit of-
1. Keeping your antivirus up-to-date and scan your PC.
2. Use Disk Cleanup.
3. Clear cookies.
4. Use Windows Task Manager to see what processes are hogging the CPU. You can research the process name using your search engine to see if it's needed. If it's not needed- kill it!
5. Review your System Configuration Startup (msconfig) and deactivate any unwanted startups.
6. Defrag your drive.
7. SpyBot SD is a great tool. The application is updated every Wednesday. You would need to download the updates, immunize, and run the Search & Destroy.
This should get you started...

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Thank you for the detailed checklist!
by elliehowe / February 27, 2013 2:14 PM PST
In reply to: Maintain Your PC

Hi, Rich!

I'm delighted to have your checklist of things to do to maintain my PC. I do use Disk Cleanup and defrag my drive and clear cookies pretty regularly.. but the other steps are new to me. I have seen the list on Task Manager but never knew what to "kill." Now you've told me how to find out! Awesome!

PC Forum members are the best! I've come here asking for help or advice several times in the past and I always get good, helpful answers that are written in non-technical language so I can understand and learn. I wish I had a way to give you some help or advice back -- to thank you.

I know I'm not supposed to say this old-fashioned phrase any more, but..." You rock!" Thanks again!


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Clearing RAM? Won't that make a PC slower?
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / February 26, 2013 7:34 AM PST

Windows at about XP and beyond would use RAM, all of it, even for a trivial item to cache content and avoid slow access to the disk drive.

Clearing said RAM should slow down the OS as now it has to get it again from the source.

Strange idea there. I can only guess you are running a pre-Windows XP OS.

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Maybe it's not RAM that I am clearing...
by elliehowe / February 26, 2013 7:51 AM PST

Maybe I should have posted in "Newbies." I am running Windows 7 and I regularly use Disk Cleanup. I also use Control Panel/Internet Options/Clear history. Occasionally I'll have time to dump old Word files that I'm no longer using -- or transfer them to an archive disk. I used to dump temporary JAVA files (found a button or icon to do that) but it didn't seem to make any difference and someone said I shouldn't do it.. So maybe I am not clearing RAM at all!

Still... any suggestions for free software that would help me speed up my pc -- start-up and opening various programs and files -- would be greatly appreciated. Also, it does freeze occasionally.

(And thanks for helping me learn about RAM!)

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While I do like CCLEANER
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / February 26, 2013 8:56 AM PST

Be sure to fetch it from the source (link to follow) and don't change the settings until you learn more.

That's a pretty good cleaner but for performance I use the old ways. If I don't want an app to run I uninstall, end it or tell it not to start.

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What are the "old ways?"
by elliehowe / February 26, 2013 11:33 AM PST

Hi, Bob!

Thanks for the link to the cleaner you provided. But you use the "old ways..." Do you have a checklist or is there a web site I could look at so I'll know what those manual ways are? Also, how would I tell an app not to start without uninstalling it? See? Another Newbie question, I guess...

I appreciate your taking time and patience to help me with these questions. Thanks!

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Well, that's a deep question.
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / February 26, 2013 1:11 PM PST

(smile) Well, and deep is a play on the words and topic. Let's not fall into that well.

OK, to disable items to start up I first see if the app has it in their menus. Skype for example. After that we can look in the usual Startup group and delete items or move them to a fun named NOSTART group.

And we always love to read Black Viper's site on the OS in question (google BLACK VIPERS WINDOWS to find that.)

In closing, the best tool I have is google and an app called HIJACKTHIS. That's a power tool and I use it at first to learn all about my PC along with Google on each item in the report. I strongly suggest you never use this at first for just the report. As you get more knowledgeable you will find this tool very sharp and able to knock off a specific item that you can't seem to eject any other way.

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NOW I get it!
by elliehowe / February 26, 2013 1:38 PM PST

Hi, Bob!

I couldn't find a NOSTART group on my PC. I looked at the LONG list of BLACK VIPERS various posts and links and could not even understand the titles, let alone the content of most of them. I promise I will never use HIJACKTHIS because you said not to.

In summary, then, you're saying PC MATIC is the way to go. Okey dokey! Wink I'm going!


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I added the NOSTART group to my start menu.
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / February 26, 2013 1:45 PM PST
In reply to: NOW I get it!
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Start menu tutorial -- I need it!
by elliehowe / February 27, 2013 2:33 PM PST

Hi, Bob!

I've read articles about customizing my start menu but I've never felt knowledgeable -- or brave -- enough to try it. So thank you a whole lot for sending me the link to the tutorial. Maybe someday I'll be able to throw away my "newbie" hat and replace it with ... well ... a pith helmet?


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Re: PC Matic
by Kees_B Forum moderator / February 27, 2013 2:52 AM PST
In reply to: NOW I get it!

Most of these $50 cure-for-all optimizers don't work. I don't have a single reason to assume that this one is an exception, even if has 4+ stars on our download page. Feel free to buy and run it, but don't come complaining if it doesn't help.


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You have saved me $50!
by elliehowe / February 27, 2013 2:19 PM PST
In reply to: Re: PC Matic

Hi, Kees,

You've helped me a lot in the past and I appreciate your letting me know about the effectiveness (or not) of these optimizers. Now I don't have to spend the $50 to find out for myself that it won't work.
Did you see the detailed checklist below that Rich sent? I don't mind doing all those steps manually (I have no money, I have no life, just time and a keyboard and mouse...) and I expect they will all work perfectly.

Thanks again for your reply!

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