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    SitePoint Enthusiast 27groo27's Avatar
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    Tune Up

    If a friend asks to have their computer "tuned-up", what steps or checklist might one follow in this situation?

    assume they have windows xp or 98; are connected to the internet, do not have an antivirus program, and are not experiencing any current difficulties with their computer.


    Thanks

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    SitePoint Columnist
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    It depends on the level of tuning. At one end - I would recommend simply insuring anti-virus and firewall is active, scheduled tasks include typical housecleaning such as dumping caches, disk cleanup, defragmentation and turning off insecure or unnecessary services.

    On the high end- I would send someone to http://www.blackviper.com/ -who was noted several times on Tech TV as one of the quintessential Windows configuration experts. His site goes to the granular level of system tuning.
    Freelance System Administrator, Researcher, Writer
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    SitePoint Enthusiast 27groo27's Avatar
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    Firewall-does windows xp have built in firewall and if so opinions on how sufficient it is? or if not sufficient, what alternative?

    also not sure, what might be an example of an insecure or unnecessary service?

    any other things for a basic "tune up" ?


    Thank you

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    Quote Originally Posted by 27groo27
    Firewall-does windows xp have built in firewall and if so opinions on how sufficient it is? or if not sufficient, what alternative?

    also not sure, what might be an example of an insecure or unnecessary service?

    any other things for a basic "tune up" ?

    There is some good advice about security here http://www-ss.com
    Their tune up article might be what you want.

    holo

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    The firewall is ok on XP - I prefer using a hardware based firewall like a broadband router of some kind, or at least a more advanced firewall with some extended control over opening specific ports incoming/outgoing, as well as application-specific permissions.

    An unnecessary or insecure service would be messenger service (not Windows Messenger) which allows pop-up messages on a network - and can result in incoming spam pop-up messages that look somewhat Windows-like to non-savvy users and may result in the click on a malicious url.

    Definitely also run something like Ad Aware from Lavasoft - which looks for spyware and tracking cookies and the like. There are several varieties of anti-spyware software - I just happen to use Ad Aware with success and recommend it.

    Finally - insure Windows Update is run on all critical updates and service packs.
    Freelance System Administrator, Researcher, Writer
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    Open Sourcery "SitePoint's Open Source Blog"

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    Custom User Text tonyskyday's Avatar
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    I use both Ad Aware and Spybot S&D, because my computer is also used by my wife, who is not computer-savvy, and has a tendency to unknowingly download spyware.

    I would also take tune-up to mean getting rid of unused programs, like many of the apps that are packaged with some manufaturer's computers.

    And possibly cleaning up the registry, if you are comfortable with that.

    -Tony


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