PC Applications forum

General discussion

maintenance schedule

by psu711 / December 14, 2004 10:42 AM PST

What would be a recommended maintenace schedule for a machine? How often should I scan disk, defrag, virus scan? What do you guys recommend?

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For me. Monthly.
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / December 14, 2004 10:50 AM PST
In reply to: maintenance schedule

But I automated the entire thing.

Your choice on this.


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Cleaning up
by keyhoti2 / December 14, 2004 3:44 PM PST
In reply to: maintenance schedule

A proviso: I have only had a computer for a bit less than two years, but I used to have lots of probs, whereas now I have very few (please, my beloved CP, don't now crash on me ... thus I cross all of my fingers, arms and legs ... touch wood and so on).

However ...

This is what has turned out to work for me ...

I let my McAfee firewall (it could be any other good one) do it's own thing and tell me if there is a prob ... in which case I might run "Virus Scan", tho' I cannot recall the last time that I did.

I think that I can afford to be so lax because I rely on Ad-Aware SE and Spybot S&D to pick up stuff which may be less nasty than a virus (which my firewall protects me from) but can still cause big probs.

I tend to run Ad-Aware manually about once a week and Spybot only if something seems to be slowing things down.

Now I enter a more controversial area:

About 18 months ago I bought "System and Internet Washer" and "Registry Healer" ... and I swear by them both.

I will never know enough to really tell the diff between a cookie and a hard drive ... well maybe I am doing myself less than a favour there ... but I will never know enough to "go through my whole system manually" and so I trust what I know to work for me.

Lately I have been addicted to these forums provided by Cnet - which I am sure are completely safe but, even so, I pick up loads of junk.

Someone who knows far more than I do can correct me, but to me it seems that when you explore ANY site, you will pick up junk on your computer.

I subscribe to Lavasoft forums too and recently queried what Ad-Aware lists as "negligible events" but which still clog the works eventually.

Considering, I suppose, that most of us here have "cooking computers" we bought as some "special deal", or in any case out of ignorance for what we were really getting into, we just have to rely on experts to let us know when something is wrong.

An analogy:

We enter this life with the hardware, including a brain/onboard computer.

But, after that point, we get any amount of "software".

But back to the question in point:

It seems to me that the answer to your question, psu711, very much depends upon how you use your PC.

If, for instance, all you ever wanted was a word processor and had never connected with the internet, then you would not be asking the questions which you are asking.

If, like me, you happen to be curious and happen to surf around, then you VERY much need something as reliable as the utilities which have worked for me.

If you enter dubious sites daily, then you HAVE to have tools to clean junk up, even on a minute by minute basis.

Only you know how you use your computer.

All I can say, at the end of the day, is that if you surf around a lot, then you should also clean a lot.

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by glb613 / December 14, 2004 7:13 PM PST
In reply to: maintenance schedule

I run a virus and spyware scan daily. I do a defrag and error checking(XP)/scan disk(9x) monthly. By doing these tasks regularly, the time involved is minimal.

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Try too
by booterskuggs / December 16, 2004 11:22 PM PST
In reply to: maintenance schedule

I try to run both scan disc and defrag once a week but my computer freezes up about 1/4 of the way through. Any input? I'm running windows 98

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Try this advice
by MarkFlax Forum moderator / December 17, 2004 2:47 AM PST
In reply to: Try too


There is excellent advice in this thread from Toni H about how to ensure defragging works.

Hope it works for you.


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Defrag keeps restarting??
by kirrgang / December 19, 2004 11:26 PM PST
In reply to: Try too

I run Win 98 and defrag would keep restarting and it took an hour to finish.
What works for me!!!!
Click START lower left on desktop
Click RUN
type in MSCONFIG
reboot computer and then run Defrag which should not run normal.
when finished go back to Start-Run-Msconfig-CHECK load start up group-Apply and reboot your computer
Works for me.
Good luck

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I suppose
by MarkFlax Forum moderator / December 17, 2004 3:05 AM PST
In reply to: maintenance schedule

I'm much like keyhoti, who, by the way, shouldn't be listened to when he says he doesn't know much. He's learning very quickly, Happy

Keyhoti said, "It seems to me that the answer to your question, psu711, very much depends upon how you use your PC", and I agree with him.

I take a relaxed view, but at the same time I am vigilent.

I keep my firewall on at all times. I keep my anti-virus, anti-adware, and anti-spyware definitions uptodate, antivirus 2 or 3 times a week, the others perhaps once a week, perhaps more if I "feel", (from these forums or elsewhere), that there is an increased threat. I scan with the AV once a week, and the others when I feel I should do.

I regularly clean out my temporary and internet cache files, and use Disk Cleanup, which we should all have on Windows PC's at Start > Programs > Accessories > System Tools > Disk Cleanup. I empty the Recycle Bin every 3 or 4 days, (not immediately, in case I have deleted something I need later).

If I feel the need to defrag or error check, I do these things before hand. I turn off the Anti-Virus program, turn off the Screen Saver, reboot, and run Error Check. Then I reboot again and run Defrag.

I don't do this at set times, but I do do it once a month, or once every 6 weeks.

I don't visit suspect web sites, unless I get caught out, and I junk every email I get without displaying it unless I am "certain" I know who the sender is. I don't download or install programs/games/screensavers, etc unless it is something I have thought about and really need.

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Got it
by booterskuggs / December 17, 2004 3:33 AM PST
In reply to: I suppose

Funny but I uninstalled my virus scanner (AVG free version) and everything worked fine. Thanks for all the help guys.
P.S. I wont be reinstalling the free version. I'M going to be buying a good one .

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Free stuff
by keyhoti2 / December 17, 2004 5:28 AM PST
In reply to: Got it

Hi booter,

I often see free stuff recommended and know that Spybot S&D and Ad-Aware SE Personal are excellent - tho I donate to S&D occasionally (and think everyone should) and have bought SE Plus (which I think is worth it).

I have never had a free firewall (other than what comes with XP), nor anti-virus software.

I'm not saying that such free stuff can't be OK, but I have heard that you don't get updates - well not automatic - and can't expect any assistance ... which is fair enough.

But why would you want a front line of defence which could be out of date the minute after you install it?

As far as I am concerned I would never try to economise on a firewall and anti-virus protection.

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Blushes deeply
by keyhoti2 / December 17, 2004 5:17 AM PST
In reply to: I suppose

Thanks for the compliment Mark ... spose I must have learned a fair bit (despite being senile or something), because I just don't get into much trouble these days.

I endorse all you've added to my comments ... not easy though, is it, to try to summarize what one has discovered, a lot of it without being fully aware of the learning process.

Happy holidays, Gerry

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I agree
by MarkFlax Forum moderator / December 17, 2004 7:41 AM PST
In reply to: Blushes deeply

it's not easy.

I tend to go the "epic" route too often, Happy

A simple brief reply and explanation of how to fix it, (whatever it is), turns into a novel of epic proportions, because I keep thinking, "what if this happens", or "what about if that doesn't happen".

Ahh well. I'm getting old as well.


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Computer Maintenance Schedule
by Richardb / December 17, 2004 3:49 AM PST
In reply to: maintenance schedule

Computer Maintenance

Duty To Perform Date or Comments or Errors Found
Cookie Clean Up Daily The Cookies Files folder (typically
Clean out History Daily The History Files folder (typically
Clean Out Windows Daily The Temporary Files folder (typically
Temp files C:\Windows\Temp )
Clear Out Internet Daily The Temporary Internet Files folder (typically
Files C:\Windows\Temporary Internet Files)
Empty Recycle Bin Daily Right Click the Icon on the desktop and click
"Empty Recycle Bin"
Scan Hard Drive for Weekly Start7 Programs7 Accessories7 System
Errors Tools7ScanDisk
Select Your Hard Drive and either perform the
Standard test. Check the automatically fix
errors box.
Defrag your Hard Drive Weekly Start7 Programs7 Accessories7 System
Tools7Disk Defragmenter. Then select the
drive you want to defragment
Scan For Viruses Weekly Setup your Anti-Virus software to
automatically scan e-mail, Internet files and
downloaded files, software installations and
floppy disk use.
Update Virus Weekly
Delete Unused

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Trouble is ...
by keyhoti2 / December 17, 2004 5:38 AM PST

if you do all this manually, then how do you find the time to do anything else?

Most of what you recommend I leave to running eWasher every couple of days - don't even have to use disc clean then, before doing a defrag, tho I usually do.

Oh and I would never remember to do it all.

Not really criticizing Richard - after all I do some things "by hand" which someone else might look at askance (even that?) - but yours is an awfully long list.

Regards, Gerry

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My Routine
by GovernmentMan / December 17, 2004 5:23 AM PST
In reply to: maintenance schedule

My daily "Shut Down" Routine:

Clear Cookies (5 seconds)
Clear Temp Files (seven seconds)
Clear History (five seconds)
Disk Cleanup (five minutes)
Update Norton (45 seconds)
Update Ad-Aware (10 seconds)
Scan the entire computer with Ad-Aware. (15 minutes)
Update Spybot Search and Destroy. (15 seconds)
Scan entire computer with Spybot Search and Destroy. (ten minutes)
Update Spyware Blaster (five seconds)
If possible, add more protction with Spyware Blaster. (five seconds)
If it's Friday, perforn a full system virus scan. (30 minutes)
If it's Saturday, perform a Scandisk. (30 minutes)
If it's Sunday, do a Defrag. (45 minutes)

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maintenance routine
by Falcon7 / December 17, 2004 8:23 AM PST
In reply to: maintenance schedule

for what it's worth : my regiment is multi-faceted and multi-leveled ; i have NortonSystemWorks which i daily monitor and interact with when necessary;at least once a week i run CheckUp,virus update & complete scan,my NortonFirewall is 'high & interactive,i have Windows Update on auto and periodically check the site for non critical updates ; i have Ad-aware and Spybot S&D which i update and run every time i'm leaving the net or before i shut down ; i also frequently dump the internet temp files,cookies& history ; i never open junk mail and never open attachments from anyone i don't know ; also i've had my security tested and it's totally tight(thank you very much!).

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Maintenance Schedule
by jhall49 / December 17, 2004 10:37 AM PST
In reply to: maintenance schedule

Hi All, Really very good and diverse answers. I will go ahead and add my two cents worth. I surf the web a lot with three computers each using a different version of windows, don't Ask! I use winXP, 2000 Pro, and 98se.

Conserning scheduled maintenance, I like to do to do scan disk about once a week on the 98se machine, it seems to have more problems than the other versions of windows. 98se also seems to need to be defraged more than the other versions in order to keep it moving well.
I defrag the 98 version about twice a month, but I like to scan disk at least once a week. I do use Norton System works which when applied as a One Button Check up always wants to defrag. No harm in letting it do it, just time consuming.
Window Xp is a far more stable system from my experience and requires less maintenance. I like to do a scan disk and defrag about once a month with it.
Of course I, like the rest of you, am using a firewall, Zone Alarm in my case, and active antivirus each time that I log on to the net.

I think that it really does depend on how much web surfing you do, and how often you open and close windows. I do run Ad adwareSE, and Spybot search and destory on a regular basis. About once a week, and keep both of them up to date.

I have a 15 year old daughter that does lots of surfing and adding and removing programs from the laptop using Windows XP, having kids on your computer means doing alot more maintenance more often. She manages to catch more sypware and viruses than I have ever had in my entire life, even behind the firewall and antivuris programs.

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My weird routine
by AsparaGus / December 17, 2004 7:57 PM PST
In reply to: maintenance schedule

AVG & Spybot Search and Destroy scans daily. Fred Langa's clean.bat* deals with junk files (cache and TEMP) everyday. *clean disk is part of the operation.[These are all automated.]

MRU-blaster from wilderssecurity.com clears Cookies, History and Recently Used items also daily. AdAware scans for Spyware weekly. Neither Spybot nor AdAware automatically update definitions so I do that weekly. [These are manual operations.]

Norton System Work's One Button Checkup runs weekly automatically. I also use RegClean and RegCleaner weekly. The OBC is supposed to catch excessively fragmented disks but it never has (I may have misread the manual.) I defrag all drives monthly, my OS and Data more often because I test a lot software and Add/Remove more than most.

You didn't mention an important area which I consider to be maintenance (or at least maintenance related) BackUps! I use BackUps4All running Daily for Favorites and Passwords; weekly for Email, Documents, my websites; and monthly a combined package. I do an image back up of the OS, and other Applications less often than many might suggest, but the majority of personal files outside the OS directory it seems reasonable -- a reinstall isn't painful when you backup routinely.

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Easy, automated maintenance
by SibTiger / December 17, 2004 8:38 PM PST
In reply to: maintenance schedule

1) Run "cleanmgr /sageset:99" (Do this from "Start > Run"
2) Click all the things you want to clean up. (I select everything, but I DON'T compress old files!) Click okay to save those settings.
3) Now, whenever you run "cleanmgr /sagerun:99", your selections will be run on all hard drives.

You can also automate a maintenance routine. In addition to cleaning, the following batch file also defragments your hard drives. Create a file called maint.bat, or whatever you want, and copy these lines:

cleanmgr /sagerun:99
defrag C: D: [<-- Your actual drive letters.]

Want to do a virus scan automatically too? Then add this to the batch file:
::If you use Nortan Antivirus...
"C:\PROGRA~1\Norton AntiVirus\Navw32.exe" /L /noresults
::If you use AVG Free 7...
"C:\Program Files\Grisoft\AVG Free\avgw.exe" /SE C:\ D:\

Want to also automatically shutdown your computer when this process completes? Add this line to the end of the batch file (Windows XP only!)
shutdown -s

I run this automated maintenance batch file once a month, and don't give disk upkeep a second thought!

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maintenance schedule
by ollywho / December 17, 2004 8:53 PM PST
In reply to: maintenance schedule

Scan Disk Once a Week
Virus Scan Once a Week (After updateing Signatures)
Defrag Once a month.
Scan for Spyware Daily (Spybot, AdAware)

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by kpot03 / December 18, 2004 2:15 AM PST
In reply to: maintenance schedule

I will clean my pc after a visit to any questionable site. Some sites load you up with junk so fast, it`ll make your head spin. Any site that has free stuff, BEWARE!!.

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My defrag routine
by js1337 / January 20, 2005 8:31 AM PST
In reply to: maintenance schedule

I defrag a lot to keep the comp fast.
Every time i install a big program or several big programs (such as games or cd burning software or suite), i restart after installation and then defrag the drive.
Otherwise, i defrag about once every three logins.
By the way, whenever i defrag it usually takes 5 or 6 minutes because the more often u defrag, the faster it defrags because all the files are in order and everything.
I dont really have a virus scan schedule or cleaning schedule but i rarely have problems.

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