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How often do you perform system maintenance on your computer

by Lee Koo (ADMIN) CNET staff/forum admin / May 3, 2007 6:56 AM PDT

How often do you perform system maintenance on your computer?

--Every day (What do you do?)
--Once a week (What do you do?)
--Twice a month (What do you do?)
--Every few months (What do you do?)
--Once a year (What do you do?)
--Every 3,000 miles (Is that highway or city miles?)
--Never (Is your computer still running properly?)

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Daily, Weekly, Monthly!

With a machine that's running 24 hours a day, you can do a lot. All of this is automated...
Daily - Back up "My Documents", Firefox bookmarks, email, and other stuff that changes often. WinZip's Backup Job feature is excellent for this.
Daily - Defrag C: drive and one of my other 6 partitions using O&O Defrag. The other drives effectively have a weekly defrag.
Weekly - Backup the entire C: partition using Norton Ghost scheduled backup.
Weekly - Scans with Norton Antivirus, Spybot, Ad-Aware.
Weekly - Registry Cleanup with Registry Mechanic.
Monthly - throw a daily backup onto CD for longer-term keeping.

With this setup, I can be up and running after a "disaster", in under 15 minutes!

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Daily Maintenance! (Zen And The Art Of Computer Maintenance)
by jdibley / May 4, 2007 4:49 PM PDT

I use Daily:

SkyBot Search and Destroy
Windows Defender(AUTO)
Norton Internet Security (AUTO)
Disk Clean Up
Disk Defrag

Windows Live OneCare Scan(Sometimes)

Lots of Prayer....and Good Works (Karmic maintenance)

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Performing Maintenance
by jimbar / May 4, 2007 10:02 AM PDT

I try and find time each Saturday morning to run through a set list of items.
1 Empty Recycle Bin
2 Run Disc Cleanup
3 Run Ad-Aware SE Personal
4 Run Registry Mechanic
5 Run Disc Defragmenter (if time)

If you have programs or files on your computer you no longer need get rid of them. This will help speed up the above processes

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by DimensionX15 / May 5, 2007 4:10 AM PDT
In reply to: Performing Maintenance

I try to perform a daily tune-up of my system on a daily basis. TUNE-UP UTILITIES 2007 is, I think, an efficient and reliable suite for pc maintainance and I run its One-Click Maintainance feature at least twice a day. If I'm having a particularly "heavy" day, I run Tune-UP's complete clean-up/defrag/etc. features. I also run a quick virus/spy check with Norton (Free Version) and Ad Aware Personal (This, in addition to my once-a-week comprehensive maintainance and ZoneAlarm security check, works well for me.)

When I install/uninstall games (which I do quite often), I make sure to run a registry check and clean-up after each uninstall: the debris left behind is astounding. In addition, if the file is very large (100Megs+) on my pc, I'll also run a disk check/defrag.. IOBIT SmartDefrag 2.0 is a great tool that keeps an automatic check on disc fragmentation.

In short, I like to keep on top of my pc maintainance and not allow the dust and clutter to slowly and rapidly build-up...thus preventing grief.

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by Drewg5 / May 4, 2007 10:16 AM PDT

The only maintenance I have to do is never. The only thing I have to do is wipe the case and screen down every now and then. Considering I have gone Mac, and use corn jobs to do all system maintenance automatically well there is never anything to worry about.

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I'm on a mac too!
by yashgta / May 4, 2007 10:28 AM PDT
In reply to: never!!

I don't have to worry about a thing. everything runs as a well greased machine! BTW, what did u mean by corn jobs?

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by msgale / May 4, 2007 11:42 AM PDT
In reply to: I'm on a mac too!

Your question poses a major problem. The term maintenance is undefined. I do a virus check daily and AV Updates abo0ut every day. I back up my system sporadically. I upgrade applications as update become available, I have Microsoft's automatic updates on, I do nothing else.

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"New" MacBook, not so new any more,
by marikavs / May 6, 2007 8:31 AM PDT
In reply to: never!!

but still great if I repair permissions every once in a while. But what are corn jobs? ("use corn jobs to do all system maintenance automatically")

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"Every 3000 miles, highway"
by scott_789 / May 4, 2007 12:10 PM PDT

Every 1000 miles city. Basically meaning when I feel it needs it. My process ...?

1) (sometimes) whittle the My Docs folder down to under 700megs and backup to CD.

2) run CCleaner

3) run AV scan (Avast!)

4) run Spybot, Ad-Aware, and AVG Anti-Spyware scans (For some reason I have the compulsion to always do them in that order!)

5) sometimes run Rootkit Revealer

6) run Windows CheckDisk (Error Checking) on C:\ as many times as takes until the it reports fixing only a few errors in the Event Log
(sometimes on FAT32 storage partition, but just once)

7) run Disk Cleanup deleting all old restore points

Cool defrag (when needed) using JkDefrag v3.8

Personally I have no idea why people insist that Win XP is error-prone. I rarely have problems. Of course I use 99.9% freeware, maybe that has something to do with it! Grin

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by Margety / May 4, 2007 12:27 PM PDT

>Advanced Windows Care
>Spyware Doctor with Virus Protection
>Run CleanUp before shutting down
>Reg Cleaner Std.

Monthly (or at least close to that)
>PC Pitstop for their PC test

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How often do you perform system maintenance on your computer

Once a week, I run both the antivirus, adware, and clean out temp files etc.

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Relax and let the system do the work
by gfwooden / May 4, 2007 12:39 PM PDT

I run Windows Live One Care daily. I run a complete scan and tune up daily, also run Windows Defender Live 24/7.

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Systems Maintenance? Mac owner since 3/5/84
by Bronzit / May 4, 2007 12:46 PM PDT

I use a 15", 1.5 GHz PowerBook G4 with 3 Gb RAM. I back up my HD monthly, sooner if my useage is higher, to an external FireWire 800 HD. I run ClamXav anti-virus, updated daily, in the background mostly to protect the PC Users I communicate with. Occasionally one -or some- of the Preferences need maintenance so I periodically scan/restore the Preferences using a utility ("Preferential Treatment" or Tiger's "Disk Utility").

I have NEVER encountered a virus, spyware, adware, or other malware on my Macs. I retired 5/31/05 from a career of maintaining networked PC's as a Systems Analyst & Administrator.

There is no need for defragmenting under Darwin Unix, which runs the Mac's OS. Everytime there's a systems update, it re-optimizes the HD before it finishes. To further optimize or "clean house", I occasionally run AppleJack in Single User mode. This nifty little program does a lot, including what Disk Clean Up and Scan Disk does for PC's.

I cannot say that I have ever detected a slowing of my computer's operating condition since I got it in June, 2004. This October I plan to hand this PowerBook over to my retiring wife and get the latest replacement for it. It will likely have the backlit OLED screen Apple is now talking about & be running Leopard.

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Why Does The Wife Get Your Hand Me Downs?
by redplanet / May 5, 2007 3:51 AM PDT

As a present for retirement, buy her a new computer. .

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Re: Systems Maintenance? Mac owner since 3/5/84
by Bronzit / May 4, 2007 12:52 PM PDT

I also recommend JkDefrag v3.8 be run on PC's monthly for high useage ones, quarterly for others. It is FAR superior to anything built-into any Windows OS.

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XP/SP2 will run far longer with less headaches and freeze-ups when the extra baggage, third party 'addons' are skuttled.
Keep ALL MS stuff in updated order and run the 'quick scans' daily, schedule the longer runs of scans LATE/ @ nite very early in the morning. MS Windows defender has easy to use interface and the MS firewall fits and operates effortlessly.
Use a router. NO,3rd party firewalls.
Mailwasher Pro, Benign, Spy-bot,Outpost, AVG, Spy-Gaurd, Trojan killers like Tauscan from Agnitum is a worthless chunk of memory scavanger. I used to run ALL of the above plus a couple others I dont remember.
Dont wates your money, MS on board programs have gotten their act together.....and why not? They learned from the above mentioned;-)

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MS-only apps?
by OttifantSir / May 4, 2007 8:25 PM PDT

I would not recommend this to anyone. I know MS has some decent programs for protection, but some sides of the security issue are too complex to leave up to one app, no matter whether it is MS' own or third-party.
Anti-virus is not something I would leave to an MS-app. It may be worth running that MS-app alongside a free, daily-updated, antivirus (avast!, AVG, etc), but don't trust its ability to keep your computer bug-free on its own.
The built-in firewall seems OK enough when used in conjunction with a router. But I wouldn't feel safe if I didn't have a router. I have checked which ports are open even with MS' firewall, and the number is in the hundreds.
MS' malware programs aren't going to find them all. No single program will find them all. At least two are advised. There is a reason why Spybot S&D and Ad-Aware are some of the most used malware-apps out there: Together, they are a great team that will get 99.999% of all malware.
You say MS onboard programs have gotten their act together because they learned from all the other security programs. Do you even know the history of MS? They never wrote DOS, they bought it for peanuts. They never wrote Windows, Xerox did. What Microsoft is good at, is using other people's ideas. All the copyright lawsuits they have? Bill once said: The more people pirate Windows (3.1) and DOS (5.0-6.22), the faster the whole world will be running it. (Not a direct quote, so don't hack it because of that)

Back to topic: You don't necessarily need to have "live" security apps running daily. But you would be a fool not to have other than MS-only apps to run (in the very least!) once a month, preferrably once a week.

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Not so Quick, Dude.
by 01archie / May 4, 2007 11:43 PM PDT
In reply to: MS-only apps?

Hey>> by OttifantSir - 5/5/07 3:25 AM

Dont even try to preach to the choir here. Just because I left out my AV program I have on board, dont go calling people 'fools'. Ive spent hundreds of hours, sweat, nerves and getting BS from people like you, WHEN 3rd Party, PIRATES are in the move to sell an Idea.
I scan my ports for open, and you know what, I find the ONES that are suppose to be open, MONITORED and running fine.
Look, you can come into a room like this and BS most of the people, BUT the day you can get a handle on the REAL idea of PC'ing, the JOY of hopping on the computer becomes a reality ....WHEN the riff-raff programs that only draw RAM and then you bank account are just that...BS!
IF you dont like what I said to you...REPORT ME!!
My PC will still be running, just fine with OUT the hyped up FEAR.
By the way, Firetrust programs have hit the doo-doo list......MS will NOT and I repeat....WILL NOT comply with their use of reporting thru an RMS. GEE!! Sounds like Billy Boy saved ALL alot of us BUT YOU, the headache and discouragement of BUYING JUNK to add, fiddle with and tinker around with BECAUSE???, People like you say the 3rd party addons WORK JUST GREAT!!
Hog Wash and you know it.

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Get rid of 3rd party apps....bad advice
by debls / May 5, 2007 12:05 AM PDT

I have been all over the net reading up extensively on security. You are the 2nd person I have ever encountered who has advised against a 3rd party firewall. Then to advise using just MS? Please! Just wanted to warn people who may actually try what you have recommended.

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A bit of this, a bit of that.

I usually do all of the basic Windows stuff -- disk check (rarely the full surface scan) and defrag. I run a registry cleaner and a system tune up utility as well. The whole thing rarely takes more than a half hour. On those occasions when I need to do something more extensive (disk surface scan or a "deep" defrag) I will start it on Sunday night so that it will finish before I am up on Monday morning. Once a week. Every week. ;-/

I think I need a Mac.

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by jimth / May 4, 2007 2:48 PM PDT

I downloaded uniblue registry for 30 bucks and found that my computer runs smother and faster as a result. Worth the money. I run it about once a month.

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tune up utilities

i use the tuneup utilities 2007 to speed up my pc every 2 days.please try it. worth!!!

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Weekly, but also daily and monthly.
by generic / May 4, 2007 7:51 PM PDT

Pretty much every day I check for updates to my antivirus, anti-spyware apps, Firefox extensions, Windows updates, game patches, and any other programs I use. I use SysInternal's PageDefrag set to auto defrag the registry at every boot. I also clean out the TEMP folder.

Every week or so I'll do a system cleanup using RegCleaner, Registry Mechanic and CCleaner. I'll leave PerfectDisk to defrag while I'm having a shower or something. I'll also check for new drivers and firmware.

Roughly every month I'll do the whole hog, clean the dust out of the case and fans, defrag all disks, clean the registry, do a system file check, etc.

Unless the system is behaving badly without a way to fix it, I don't do a format and re-installation. It would be the ultimate system cleanup but I'm not spending hours reinstalling programs, games, drivers, updates and configuring everything. Just thinking about that gives me a headache.

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sys maintenance

sys 1 never(runs security system)automatic(not on network)
sys 2 every day and weekly, bkup 2 weeks (networked)
sys 3 same as sys 2 (networked)
sys 4 same as sys 2 (networked)ALL (drivers,prog updates,scandisk,defrag(auto-disk keeper)IE clean, anti-stuff, memory clean (multi hourly) 1-4 custom built.
sys 5 Dell weekly same as sys 2 (networked)
sys 6 Wife's Dell (networked) monthly-bi monthly( doesnt do much on it)
this is the simple version, but none the less, every system is doing something 24/7.

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How often do you perform system maintenance on your computer?

--Every day (What do you do?)
What I learned from a Tutor in the late 90's/was to use a correct Sign-Off and Shut Down procedure..
That was on a Windows 98 PC..when I made my purchase of a XP OS on a DELL Dimension I read about how XP(get to know it USER)..I think its called Pre-Fetch(now-a-days)..
That is pretty much the input for a standard Sign-Off and a Shut Down procedure..
/*/I don't use any short-cuts(Sign-Off-immeadiately)but let any ONLINE Configurations do their business..
/*/In MSN-settings I perform the CLEANING Operations they allow..
/*/after that..its DSK CLEAN UP..then MY DOC./gets ARCHIVED-or DELETED..
/*/CLICK-Set PROGRAM ACCESS and DEFAULTS(choose)Microsoft Windows..
/*/use the Defragmentation Program..
/*/Clean the START MENU-Clear LISTS..
I will do this each SHUT-DOWN....and START UP....
I might miss this procedure twice in a week because I'm in a hurry to run out the door..//but since its done at START-UP or SHUT-DOWN//I seldom have any PC problems..just Internet problems..
Also my McAFEE Product contains a component called CLEANER..I think its an ADVANCED component..but use that about 4-times per careful about its configuration..
Mainly my Security Software has freedom to move because I don't leave FILES in MY DOCUMENTS/everything gets Archived(ext. HDD)..
This keeps my problems to near[zero]..
I use a 512 MB RAM minimum..and also SET a CUSTOM Pagefile(now)400/700 MBs for 512 MBs of RAM..
I use 700/750 MBs for my 1-GB RAM Module..
..and then use only a SINGLE RAM CHIP for OS re-installs..
That seems a simplified set of operations for a "smooth" machine..
It never really seems to just falls in line.

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Once a week
by thljcl / May 5, 2007 12:53 AM PDT

Free up disk in my hard disk. Check if my hard disk has beed defragmented recently. (Auto defragementation is enabled).

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How much is too much?

I also do a full maintenance check once a day - however I used to use a Diskeeper "I-FAAST" function that allowed for continuous defragmentation. It worked great and as time went on it learned my habits and rearranged the files so I have the fastest retrieval times. All was well until I had a catastrophic disk failure. I sent it away to get the files retrieved and the repair guy mentioned that having the defrag function on all the time may have caused this.

Food for thought - is there such a thing as too much?

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Usually once or Twice a week

I usually do a defrag of the hard drive every Friday night so I always get the best performance. It's a fairly empty drive, with over 65% of the drive left, so the defrag takes only minutes. If I install a new program though (if it's large) I defrag right after the install finishes.

The family computer is a different story. It's hard drive is around 85% used up, and the defragger takes longer to work, so I do it every month or so.

For both computers, I rarely do a disk cleanup.

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Once a week for the heavy stuff ....
by TheBigfut / May 5, 2007 6:00 AM PDT

I have my CA Security '07 set up to every day to check for updates adn make sure all active protection is on. I also run Speedfan to keep an eye on voltages and temps as my case is very crowded.

Once a week I run RegScrubXP, a full system scan with CA's AntiSpam, Antivirus on top of running Adaware SE. I hve now added JFKDefrag due to the comments I have heard about it, versus using MS's unit.

I have ran this setup for the past 5 years and not had issues. Also though, my WinXP is running inside of a copy of Ubuntu Linux. Also there are a total of 5 computers in the house all running behind a D-Link router. None of the cimputers have had isses and all run well. Also I have a small perl program that runs once a day in all machines that checks for updates in firmware and software.

MS has made Windows nicely, but I just have issues with relying only on their products. Isn't that like letting a hungry wolf guard your sheep?

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PC housework

Every day I
Run CCleaner after surfing.
Run Zonelabs Professional firewall Cache cleaner
From Explorer tools internet option I delete my browsing history,etc in case anything got missed by other programs.
Before surfing I always check Norton, Ad aware, Spyware Blaster A Squared Free and ZoneLabs for updates. I am on dial up so updates can't occur except when I am also trying to surf. I uninstalled Defender because too many applications were slowing down my laptop to the point of constant freezes when everything tried automatic update at once as soon as I connected my dialup.
Every week I run check disk on both partitions of my hard drive, and a full Norton Scan.
Generally I find Norton and Zonelabs keep out most spyware so I no longer run daily ad aware, and I only run A squared about twice a month because it takes so long. I run a Zonelab full spyware scan about once a month. It finds stuff ad aware doesn't, and vice versa.
Every month I look through my folders to see if I really need all those files, and I back up my Sims game files to cd. Most of my files are stored on cd or floppies. I have just 30gb hard drive memory and it's not enough to be storing anything and everything.
Roughly once a month I defragment my hard drive. I do it more often if I think it warrants it. I use CCleaner registry tool.
Every couple of months I go to Windows Live One Care and get a free registry scan and tidy without needing to download the full program.

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