Fixing WindowsI am often called to repair a Windows installation back to its working order, be it due to general slowdown, popups, or a virus infection.
The steps to repair the system are easy to follow step by step and will restore most systems, so I decided to document them.
The steps are:
First of all, heal the system. If you are surprised that this step more often involves cleaning out software that users installed themselves rather than viruses that actually somehow gained access to your system, then you need to think more about this fact.
- Backup files. If the computer you are attempting to clean contains a large amount of user files or files that are critical, you might want to warn the user or just backup the files yourself
- Check previous anti-virus and other scanners and uninstall bad software. Most often, this is where all the popups and warnings come from. I suggest uninstalling ALL software from the add/remove area that you either do not know what they do or why you installed them, do not sound very useful, or have not been used in more than a season. If you get popups, then you might want to disable or uninstall ALL antivirus software, popup blockers, adware/malware scanners, etc that you installed and that do not sound legit. Do not leave software not uninstalled if you are not sure about it, research it on the internet instead!
- Panda ActiveScan, or any other legit online virus scanner can be used if your system is actually infected to the point that it will interfere with the remainder of the repair.
- Disable most unneeded startup services. Same idea as above, disable all startup services that you do not really need, unsure about it, or name sounds suspect. If you miss any functionality, you can always turn just those startup services back.
- Disable unneeded browser toolbars, extensions, and add-ons. I recommend turning off all toolbars that you have because they take up screen space, and because most of them are very persistent about nagging user to install/enable them.
- Install legit antivirus (I recommend Avast!), adware, and other software and scan and repair the system.
The system should no longer be infected or annoy you with pop ups. I also recommend finishing the program with the steps below to speed up the system and further clean it up.
- Run Disk Cleanup for each user and clean out temporary program and internet file folders
- Manually install all windows updates
- Clean up shortcuts on desktop and start menu
- Folder settings
- Install good programs (Firefox, OpenOffice, Avast!, Media Player Classic Homecinema, VLC)
- Disk error scan
- Defragment hard drives
- If your computer has less than 1GB of RAM, then add 1GB (you will need to find out the RAM specs that your motherboard will support)
- Clean computer, blow dust out. If you want to keep the dust out of your computer, install filters and clean them regularly.
At this point the system should be running like new. It will have a good anti-virus software installed that does not interfere and nag user about anything. It will not have any pop-ups or notifications. It will boot up faster and log in to the desktop faster, and run faster as well.
I can also do this for your computer remotely for low cost: .
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Page last modified 29-Aug-09 00:32:14 EDT