General discussion

Upgraded to Windows 10, how do you keep it running smoothly?

Mar 20, 2020 2:07PM PDT

My PC finally joined the Windows 10 club, upgrading it from 8. I guess better now than later. Now that I'm situated in a good place for a few weeks, I'd like to keep it that way. As a newbie to 10, what are some things you do to keep it in tip-top shape? Got a checklist of things for me to do or keep in mind? Please go easy on me, I’m not a techie but with good instructions, I can handle it. Thanks in advance.

--Submitted by Jonah B.

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Comments
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Not as much maintenance required with Windows 10
Mar 20, 2020 3:53PM PDT

The good news is that Microsoft has FINALLY done a decent job of cleaning up its own programs, so they don't leave a lot of useless files behind in one of the system's TEMP folders. Major software vendors like Adobe seem to have followed suit. So you do not have to do much at all. If your system has a solid state drive, you don't need to defrag it, either. Best thing you can do, especially after a major Windows update is to right click on the drive letter, then click Properties and do a disk cleanup. But watch out! You can either move files out of your Downloads folder, do not check Downloads for cleanup, i.e. deletion of all its files.

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All you need is a good security suite and regular upgrades
Mar 20, 2020 4:32PM PDT

First, I'd recommend a good security suite.

Windows 10 does provide antivirus support, but there are better alternatives. If you choose to use free antivirus software, I'd suggest you first check with your internet provider before downloading a free program off the internet. For example, Comcast cable internet isn't cheap, but it provides the full Norton security suite for free to its customers. Many ISPs provide full featured security software that's much better than the free stuff you download off the internet. It's much safer too.

Next, I'd recommend keeping Windows 10 updated -- but not too fast! Windows 10 Professional gives you the option to defer feature upgrades for up to 6 months, and quality (security) updates for shorter periods. While most all Windows updates are for the better, there have been occasional problems with buggy updates. Dialing in a (short) lag between when updates are first released by Microsoft and when you install will save you from getting cut by the bleeding edge of the latest updates and give Microsoft time to fix problems with buggy updates before they're applied to your system.

You can also apply scheduled tasks to perform disk cleanup functions and, if you're using a spinning hard disk drive, to defragment file storage on your hard drive. I do this weekly. Don't do disk defragmenting that often on a solid state drive, though. You'll see little to no improvement and will be slowly, slightly degrading your SSD each time you defragment it.

Following these tips will keep your new Windows 10 operating system running smoothly and safely. Here's hoping you enjoy your new, upgraded system.

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No security site needed.
Mar 22, 2020 2:27AM PDT

Windows defender in W10 good enough

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Defender: incapable of providing adequate protection
Mar 27, 2020 6:50PM PDT

Your statement that no other anti-viral, anti-malware protection outside of Defender is reckless, misleading, and asinine.  You should refrain from submitting such statements.

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Nonsense
Mar 27, 2020 7:40PM PDT

Most people don't need anything more than Windows Defender and associated tools (including Windows Firewall), so long as they let it run and pay attention if it prompts them. Yes, other applications can do more, but more isn't always better, and none really fix the issue of users ignoring security prompts. Windows Defender does what most of what other applications do, following the same signature-based method most antivirus follows, and is neither better nor worse than most of the rest.

The antivirus industry thrives on fear, uncertainty, and doubt. If you're not downloading from sketchy sources or opening every spam email attachment, your risk is reasonably low.

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Signature Based?
Mar 27, 2020 11:55PM PDT

I'm using Norton and a large percentage of the features are not based on signatures. These days, most paid-for security suites use heuristics and reputation-based algorithms. Signatures went by the wayside years ago. Signature-based systems cannot handle zero-day anything and there have been reports for YEARS of malware kits sitting out there on shelves just waiting for a vulnerability to be found so they are ready to go. Even MS supports commercial security suites as it recognizes them and turns off its own protection features to work with these other systems.

Post was last edited on March 27, 2020 11:59 PM PDT

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Defender: Incapable of providing adequate protection
Mar 28, 2020 4:12PM PDT

Yes defender is incapable but you need little more. I haven't used security software for years. It causes more problems than its worth and slows you machine down. Been attacked - sure. the fix? Immediately shut down computer by cutting power, start-up into safe mode, search for new files and delete. Start-up and resume life. Fixes ransomware, internet hijacks, etc. BTW - Win 10 SUCKS!

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My Boss Said the Same Thing As You Did
Mar 28, 2020 5:34PM PDT

Then he brought his laptop into the office and, as soon as he hooked it up to the network, he unleashed the NIMDA virus that spread throughout the county. The machines that were patched were safe but unable to do any work because of network traffic. Those that weren't, were messed up AND the network traffic as the virus tried to spread itself shut down over 40 locations and 100,000 desktops. Employees sent home with pay except for technical staff to eradicate the virus. County offices were shut down, cashiers, the whole thing. In the end, the estimated cost was about $10 million. Someone else (a contractor) came into the office with an unsecured laptop that had a virus. We managed to stop it quickly but the contractor got his laptop thrown at him.

It's always OK what to do in your own home as long as you don't have other people's data on your systems, but in business and government, we took SLOW over the time to eradicate problems any day of the week.

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Was that in 2001?
Mar 28, 2020 6:03PM PDT

Also, did they every catch anyone that wrote it?

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Don't Remember the Year
Mar 28, 2020 6:49PM PDT

Could be. When working at the local government, all users and tech people knew was the county had a virus/malware and it was NIMDA. They don't name names nor point fingers. I only found out that it was my boss because I apparently had connections at the higher levels. A bit later, one of the programmers unleashed SQL Slammer. Same department. They then brought in the hardware intrusion detection boxes. Our department was supposed to be too small to get one but, there it came! What I thought was interesting was that NIMDA was brand new and zero-day. McAfee didn't know what it was (but knew that something was "up"). Symantec knew what it was but just barely. At the enterprise level, we had both companies ONSITE very quickly plus Microsoft.

The reason I posted that reply was that he said almost the same words my boss said (damn, I hope he isn't my boss...). It reminded me of current events of a medical nature. There were those that wanted the networks unblocked because people had to do their work. I was the one who pointed out that, even with the network opened, you still wouldn't be able to work as the malware activity blocked most traffic due to volume.

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Shaddap
Mar 27, 2020 7:41PM PDT

As in, Shaddap. It's fine.

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Win 10 has A Different Update Scheme
Mar 20, 2020 9:01PM PDT

As you may have heard, Windows 10 is supposed to be the last Windows version. Not that Windows is "going away", but they just won't have any new "numbered" releases like Win 11 or Win 12. Instead, the new features come as part of semi-annual updates: fall and spring. Many of these updates are VERY large and take a lot of effort and time to install. They can also "surprise" you when they actually show up. Here is some help in dealing with Windows Update and how to make the process smoother, even if you are not a "techie". You can even do these things in the summer and winter (joking) or anytime when a big update is not pending:
1) The big issue we have seen is "PATIENCE". Big updates take time and do some "strange" things, like blanking your screen for an hour or two. It is NEVER a good idea to interrupt an update bu pulling out the power cord or holding the computer power button. It is risky. Think -- an update half in and half out. Sometimes, the system will recover. Other times, maybe not. If you are doing updates, especially if your disk or other component is not the speediest, be prepared to be patient.

2) Drivers -- especially if you have a laptop/notebook, there may be a lot of hardware in your computer that Microsoft doesn't really have the perfect software for. Become familiar with going to the manufacturer's website (for example, Dell, HP, Lenovo,...) and then to their support page and look for software downloads and, in particular, drivers and firmware for your specific make and model computer as well as for your Win 10 OS (32 bit or 64 bit?). If you have not tried, download the drivers into a folder and make note of the versions and what each driver/firmware is for. Compare what you find with the versions you are running. Find and use the "device manager" on your system to find out driver versions. Some have reported that the Microsoft versions of the drivers are better but others have found that the OEM drivers are better. If you bought your own hardware, you may have to go to the manufacturer website for that hardware to get the best drivers. Practice upgrading drivers and use the device manager if you need to fallback.

3) Periodically, and right before you suspect a big update, run some update related maintenance on your system. See next sections.

4) CHKDSK -- Check disk (CHKDSK) can be run many ways. You can right click on the C: drive (or other drives if you have or use them) and select "properties". Then, under the tools tab, there is "error checking". You can run it there. Or you can try using the admin command prompt to run CHKDSK C: /F but if you do a /? instead of the /F, you see see what all of the options are.

5) The admin command prompt: You will need to do this for some of the items mentioned here. To use this, here is how I get to it.

Right-click on the "start" (Windows symbol) on the task bar. Left-click on Command Prompt (Admin). Answer Yes to any user access control message. At the prompt that looks like, "C:\windows\system32>" you will be able to type in commands such as CHKDSK C: /F

6) To make sure your Windows "Image" is good, you can type at the admin command prompt:

DISM /Online /Cleanup-Image /RestoreHealth

This takes a while to run. It will clean up your windows image which is important for windows update to run properly.

7) System File Checking -- At the Admin command prompt, type

SFC /SCANNOW

This will check your system files. Good for making sure your system files are not corrupted and can be updated.

8 ) Defrag -- If you have a regular HDD (as opposed to an SSD), DEFRAG can be run from either the admin command prompt or, it can also be accessed from the tools tab on the drive properties display. If you have an SSD, this tool can be used to perform a TRIM function on the drive.

9) Troubleshooters -- Under the Control Panel there is a troubleshooting section. If you run the "system and security" troubleshooter for Windows Update, that could help clean up any errors. You can also make yourself familiar with other troubleshooters if you ever need them.

10) Finally, under System Settings there is one section for Update & Security. Here, you can review your update history, looking for any problems. If you have Windows 10 Pro, you can postpone updates to give others a chance to test them out before you apply them.

The most important thing you can do for yourself is to find a good backup and restore solution. Don't just copy files from one place to another. You need to find one that you can use to go back to previous editions of files, if necessary. And, finally, something else you can do: at a local community college, you may be able to find some basic computer classes that can teach you more than you can obtain just by reading posts in a forum. They can be fun so you may want to look into them.

Post was last edited on March 20, 2020 9:07 PM PDT

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The biggest complaints on W10 are;
Mar 20, 2020 9:11PM PDT

1) being used as a data mining operating system for Microsoft.
2) In conjunction with above, keeping your data safe from MS.
3) Unscheduled updates. You have few options available to stop updates coming when you aren't wanting them to interrupt you.

4) Using your bandwidth, and your computer, as a webbot, to distribute updates to others running windows 10.

The above can be alleviated by various means, or tricks, but requires some searching for you on how to do it.

Post was last edited on March 20, 2020 9:12 PM PDT

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Pretty Automatic
Mar 21, 2020 8:31AM PDT

1. Get a decent security suite. Actually, though, these days Windows Defender is pretty competent, so this isn't the imperative it was just a couple years ago. Just make sure you configure it properly and heed its warnings.

2. Keep your Windows 10 updated. You see all these people complaining about updates and all these little apps and "Tips and Tricks" and whatnot to allow you to avoid updates. Well, just don't! Set it to automatically update and do it at the earliest opportunity -- ALL THE TIME!

With these two simple things, your machine should keep running just fine.

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One Thing To Watch Out For
Mar 21, 2020 11:41AM PDT

This is a "niche" thing, yet maybe worth mentioning. Each time Windows 10 installs a major update such as v.1809, then v.1903, etc. it has disrupted our Windows home network. All home network (is it still called Homegroup?) settings are reset to Off. The result is that our windows 10 laptop can no longer share files and folders with our other computers, nor can they access the Windows 10 laptop. I have to set it up all over again. Our other computers were updated from Win 8.1 to Win 10, but there were several annoyances we couldn't overcome so we reverted to 8.1 (with Classic Shell start menu). We have no problems with those systems EXCEPT we can't share with the Win 10 machine after a major update. As a result, several months ago I altered our internet connection setting to "Metered" (plus another setting i don't recall at the moment) so that we're not getting Win 10 updates. We depend on Avast, MalwareBytes, and Avast Secure Browser for the small amount of use the Win 10 laptop gets.

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Drivers
Mar 21, 2020 12:05PM PDT

Those major upgrades (semi-annual) tend to reinstall drivers using MS versions that don't always work as well as those from the OEM. MS acknowledged this as it is because the manufacturers don't always test new OS releases in a timely manner. Also, if MS changes the internal settings in various system areas, it can't always pick up your setting changes and just sets new settings at a default.

My suggestion is to periodically (especially just before and maybe just after one of these updates), visit your OEM support site and check for new or updated drivers using your OEM's service code or your product model. Laptops are more prone to this as the hardware in them is less standard that most desktops as the laptops are more of custom hardware and form factor. So, keeping drivers up-to-date is more important with Win 10 since MS tries to push drivers out. For settings, if you are using PRO you might be able to make the settings part of group policy using the group policy editor.

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On upgrading to W10
Mar 22, 2020 2:25AM PDT

With online upgrade, no files or programs/app normally affected. Files stay.
With new installation you have to reinstall all apps.in program files. Old W placed in WindowsOld made.
Your wall paper will go with every update. W wallpaper will come. Updates will happen on almost every restarts. On password errors you will get threats in W10. You will have to login using Microsoft account.
I make 5 partitions. W732 bit in 1, W7 64 bit in 1, Linux/W10 in 1. Keep Linux installation pen-drive with you. Boot manger gets damaged with W upgrades, The Linux pen-drive boot can correct it.
If your machine can be run with W7, life stays cool. I reinstalled W7 after upgrades, had to. W10 has been made by those with pervert mindset. Ho,me basic is a pain

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Hi dipiti,
Mar 27, 2020 12:46AM PDT
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Just Now Getting Around to W10?
Mar 27, 2020 7:27PM PDT

I view people who fear W10 like flat earthers. What's so scary, really? Keep your machine up to date, run Glarysoft once a week or so, and deal with some real challenges rather than obsess over an OS that's been road-tested for what, 4 years now?
Next.

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You CAN'T keep Windows 10 running smoothly
Mar 27, 2020 8:44PM PDT

You CAN'T keep Windows 10 running smoothly. Updates and upgrades will eat all of your data. It updates without your permission. Half the updates have serious bugs, even to the point where your computer won't boot into Windows. AND updates are a major source of the problem. No rational person would ever update Windows when the updates first come out, and that has ALWAYS been true.
If you want an operating system that runs smoothly, switch to Linux. Ubuntu is a good OS for Linux beginners with good computer skills, and Mint is a good OS for Linux beginners who wouldn't know how or want to mess under the hood.
Linux isn't what it used to be; it's at the level of Windows 95 or XP, both of which I loved. Mint is particularly good at setting EVERYTHING up for you. It'll find your printer and install the drivers!

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10 is a pain, HATE IT!
Mar 28, 2020 9:02AM PDT

spend half my online time reconnecting, even though Am connected according to software! but no internet connection appears above the email I'm trying to read and diagnostics say I am connected! seems to be something to do with the proxy server. leave int.settings open, click proxy on/off, few times and am connected again. if that doesn't work finish what I can , make hard copy notes if need be , run tune up and utility programs ( both find multiple errors to fix) then re boot. Win7 was better, MUCH BETTER

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Re: Windows 10
Mar 28, 2020 9:46AM PDT

Maybe:
- it's an issue of the proxy server, not of your PC
-maybe something is incompatible between the proxy server (or their software if you had to install something) and Windows 10

Why not reinstall Windows 7 (on another hard disk) and try if it's better then? If yes, consider to keep using Windows 7, if the proxy service can confirm it works better with them than with Windows 10.

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Drivers
Mar 28, 2020 1:00PM PDT

Did you check to make sure you loaded the current drivers from Dell, HP or whoever for your make and model? Sounds like the NIC driver may have changed.

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best way to keep it running smoothly
Mar 28, 2020 11:37AM PDT

learn how to use it. most who gripe and complain about win10 just don't know how to use it. they only know how to click on what they need and that is all. they do not know the inter workings of different settings. they accept default settings not knowing they can be changed. plain and simple, they don't know what the os can and cannot do so it is win10s fault if things don't work as expected based on personal usage.

You do not have to be an expert but you should know enough to fix most general issues. so start exploring and learn Happy get smarter than those who gripe and complain about win 10. Its not perfect but it is one of the better microsoft operating system and I have used them all.

Post was last edited on March 28, 2020 11:38 AM PDT

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