A Complete PC Maintenance Checklist

314 Elm Street • Slinger, WI • 53086 (262)644-4404
A Complete PC Maintenance Checklist
Update Antivirus Software (Daily)
Download/Update/Run a Spyware Removal Tool Spybot Search & Destroy & Malwarebytes
How? A free copy of each program can be downloaded from
www.download.com or by following the links below:
MalwareBytes : http://download.cnet.com/Malwarebytes-Anti-Malware/30008022_4-10804572.html?tag=mncol
Click Download Now!
Spybot :
What? Download and install the above files under Normal mode. Make sure
you update them from within the application. Then….
1. Turn your computer off
2. Enter Safe mode –
a. This can be done by turn PC on and IMMEDIATELY start
tapping F8 until you receive a black screen with white letters.
There, select Safe Mode
b. If you get the normal Windows splash screen and no menuyou have gone too far. Turn it off again, start Step 2 over.
3. In Safe Mode –
a. Open Spybot
i. Go thru prompts.
1. Click Immunize on left
2. Click Immunize on top
tools bar
ii. Click Search & Destroy
1. Click Check Problems
2. Click Fix problem after
done running
b. Open Malware Bytes
i. Click Scanner Tab
ii. Click Scan lower left corner of
iii. Click OK
iv. Click SHOW RESULTS – lower
right corner
v. Select all of them if not already
vi. Click Remove Selected
314 Elm Street • Slinger, WI • 53086 (262)644-4404
Delete Temporary Files
How? Windows XP/2000 & Windows 98 (Disk Cleanup): Start - Programs Accessories - System Tools - Disk Cleanup
What? What are Temporary Internet files and why should they be
Every time you go to a web site, a copy of what you see on your
monitor is stored in a special place on your computer. In theory this makes
your web surfing go faster. If you return to a site you went to yesterday (or
last week ), your web browser just accesses the copy stored on your hard
drive. That's ok if you don't mind seeing the same thing all over again, but
when I go back to a site I want to see the most current information, don't
you? After a while the file that holds the Temporary Internet files can get so
big it slows your computer's performance.
How? So on with deleting those files. In Internet Explorer, click on the
Tools menu & select Internet options. Half way down is the button marked
'Delete Files'. Go ahead & click on it.
Then put a check mark in the little white square that says 'Delete all offline
content' and click ok. Got an hourglass? Taking a long time for it to go
away? You really needed to delete those files. But you are not through yet. To
really finish the job you need to close all open windows for Internet Explorer.
You can also delete the Temporary Internet files from the Control Panel by
clicking on your Start button on your Desktop, select Settings & the Control
Panel. Look for the icon named Internet Options and use the same procedure
explained above. AOL users can delete their Temporary Internet files this
If you are using Netscape, click on Edit & select Preferences. On the left
side of the new menu that opens, click on the plus sign in front of Advanced.
Highlight 'Cache". In the same menu to your right, click on 'Clear Memory'
and then click on 'Clear disk cache'. Then close your browser.
Run Scandisk/Checkdisk/Error checking
How? Windows XP/2000 & Windows 98 (Error Checking) - Click on My
Computer - Right Click on C: and go to Properties - Click Tools Tab - Click
"Check Now" under Error Checking
What? This is a diagnostic and repair program that scans the data on your
hard drive to verify the file and directory structure of your data and can
perform repairs when problems are found. Scandisk can further run a surface
scan on your hard drive to determine whether or not any physical damage is
present and attempt to move and affected data to another section of the hard
Windows Update Your Computer - www.windowsupdate.com
314 Elm Street • Slinger, WI • 53086 (262)644-4404
Run a Disk Defragmenter
How? Click Start button then go to Programs->ACCESSORIES-> SYSTEM
TOOLS and select Disk Defragmenter
What? This is a program which optimizes your PC performance by rewriting
the data on you hard drive to ensure that files are written together on the
same part of the hard drive or are written in a manner to speed the boot
process or the launch of resident applications. The more a PC is used, the
more the hard drive is fragmented. Basic PC operation will create pockets of
unused space all over the hard drive, then utilize those unused pockets to
store data; in many cases, data from the same file or program will be written
to these blank pockets all over the hard drive, often degrading the PC's
performance. The operating system or an application program often has to
access a wide area of hard drive space to make a program run or simply to
bring up that last letter that was typed.
Back Up Valuable Data
How? Windows XP/2000 & Windows 98 (Windows Backup Utility) - Click on
My Computer - Right Click on C: and go to Properties - Click Tools Tab - Click
"Backup Now" under Backup
What? It is important to place backup on a drive other than your hard drive.
CD or DVD burners are great options.
Run a Complete Virus System Scan
Remove Unnecessary startup programs
There are a few ways of removing unnecessary startup programs. You can go
to 'start\programs\startup' which is a directory Windows XP uses to launch
application shortcuts on boot-up. If you remove the shortcuts from this
directory, the applications will not load on startup.
This directory can also be a repository for various badness such as spyware
and virus software, so if there are files here which are not shortcuts and you
don't recognize them, you may wish to consider removing them anyways, as
Windows will not place critical files in this directory.
The next location for removing unnecessary startup files is the handy
MSCONFIG utility that has been resurrected from the graveyard of Windows
9x specially for XP. Go to 'start\run' and type 'msconfig' to access the utility.
314 Elm Street • Slinger, WI • 53086 (262)644-4404
The 'startup' tab in MSCONFIG provides access to several other applications
that are started at boot up and are running in the background. By examining
their Filenames and directories, you should be able to get a feeling for what is
necessary and what is not.
Be aware than several viruses and worms have a habit of disguising
themselves with authoritative sounding Windows system file names, such as
the Win32.spybot.worm present in the above screenshot as
Leave these for now if you are not sure. The other method for removing these
programs is through the programs themselves, as many applications, for
example MSN messenger, contain the option to remove the software from
**MORE INFO: If you are uncertain of a certain item in the startup tab, try
to Google it. Go to www.google.com and search for it. This may help identify
what it is.
Completely Shutdown Your Computer
314 Elm Street • Slinger, WI • 53086 (262)644-4404
The best way to get rid of dirt and dust is to open up the case of your PC-being careful
to first turn it off, unplug it, and ground yourself-and use canned air to blow away the
accumulated dirt and dust. You can buy canned air in most computer stores.
Step 1: Swab Any Heavy Dust Areas
Debris and grime, in addition to dust, might have accumulated. To loosen it, use foam
rubber swabs. Be careful not to use brushes, cotton swabs, or pieces of cloth, because
they can leave a residue and produce static charges. Never use any kind of fluid at all,
cleaning fluid or otherwise.
Step 2: Blow Out Accumulated Dust
Using the nozzle of the canned air, blow out any dust that might have accumulated on
the motherboard and on the sides of the expansion cards. Be sure to blow the dust out
from a variety of angles, to be sure you clean out the hidden areas. Also remove dust
from all fans. Blow air at them from both sides. Be sure to blow air at the motor to
remove dust.
Step 3: Spray the Power Supply
Dust and grime accumulating in your power supply can freeze it. So clear it by spraying
air through all the supply's vent openings. Be careful not to open the power supply,
because it retains a powerful electrical charge even when turned off. Also spray inside
your floppy drives and/or CD Drivers. Spray their cable connections as well.
Step 4: Clean the Keyboard
A great deal of dust, hair, grime, grit, and paper accumulate inside your keyboard by
falling through the cracks. Spray between the cracks of the keyboard, and turn the
keyboard upside down to enable the particles to fall out.
Step 5: Clean the Monitor
Clean the monitor with a screen cleaner that counters static buildup. Household glass
cleaners don't work as well as products designed for monitors, and might even damage
the monitor. Cleaning the screen makes the image sharper, and removes the static
charge that attracts dust, which might then find its way into your computer.