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The proverbial slow computer



 
 
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Old July 19th 04, 05:37 PM
Teri
external usenet poster
 
Posts: n/a
Default The proverbial slow computer


-----Original Message-----
Teri wrote:
Over the past week my pc has slowed down considerably.
I'm talking a minute or 2 to open a window. I have

done
virus scans (clean), I have ran Spybot and Adaware
(completely clean), I have run CW Shredder, disk

cleanup,
diskcheck, defrag , the Windows Memory Diagnostic and

my
power supply is free of dust. (I read the Knowledge

Base
regulary) Everything comes back clean. No problems
anywhere. I have a HP Pavilion and I run Windows XP

Home
Upgrated from Win 98 SE. I have always had a problem
with "Hang App Errors" but I have always been able to

at
least clean it up enough to speed it up some. I don't
know what else to do.


You've tried most of my suggestions, but let me just

throw out a personal
comment here..

HP Pavilion.. My apologies.

Having said that - have you cleaned up the running

processes and such? Take
out some of the normal HP crap they like to install?

Killed off unnecessary
processes?

Also - have you installed any patches or updates you

think might cause
this - have you tried uninstalling them?

The last thing in this spill will explain how to stop

services and choose
the ones you need.

Suggestions on what you can do to secure/clean your PC.

I'm going to try
and be general, I will assume a "Windows" operating

system is what is
being secured here.


UPDATES and PATCHES
-------------------

This one is the most obvious. There is no perfect

product and any company
worth their salt will try to meet/exceed the needs of

their customers and
fix any problems they find along the way. I am not

going to say Microsoft
is the best company in the world about this but they do

have an option
available for you to use to keep your machine updated

and patched from
the problems and vulnerabilities (as well as product

improvements in some
cases) - and it's free to you.

Windows Update
http://windowsupdate.microsoft.com/

Go there and scan your machine for updates. Always get

the critical ones as
you see them. Write down the KB###### or Q###### you

see when selecting the
updates and if you have trouble over the next few days,

go into your control
panel (Add/Remove Programs), match up the latest numbers

you downloaded
recently (since you started noticing an issue) and

uninstall them. If there
was more than one (usually is), install them back one by

one - with a few
hours of use in between, to see if the problem returns.

Yes - the process
is not perfect (updating) and can cause trouble like I

mentioned - but as
you can see, the solution isn't that bad - and is MUCH

better than the
alternatives. (SASSER/BLASTER were SO preventable with

just this step!)

Windows is not the only product you likely have on your

PC. The
manufacturers of the other products usually have updates

as well. New
versions of almost everything come out all the time -

some are free, some
are pay - some you can only download if you are

registered - but it is best
to check. Just go to their web pages and look under

their support and
download sections.

You also have hardware on your machine that requires

drivers to interface
with the operating system. You have a video card that

allows you to see on
your screen, a sound card that allows you to hear your

PCs sound output and
so on. Visit those manufacturer web sites for the

latest downloadable
drivers for your hardware/operating system. Always

(IMO) get the
manufacturers hardware driver over any Microsoft

offers. On the Windows
Update site I mentioned earlier, I suggest NOT getting

their hardware
drivers - no matter how tempting.

Have I mentioned that Microsoft has some stuff to help

secure your computer
available to the end-user for free? This seems as good

of a time as any.
They have a CD you can order (it's free) that contain

all of the Windows
patches through October 2003 and some trial products as

well that they
released in February 2004. Yeah - it's a little behind

now, but it's better
than nothing (and used in coordination with the

information in this post,
well worth the purchase price..)

Order the Windows Security Update CD
http://www.microsoft.com/security/protect/cd/order.asp

They also have a bunch of suggestions, some similar to

these, on how to
better protect your Windows system:

Protect your PC
http://www.microsoft.com/security/protect/


FIREWALL
--------

Let's say you are up-to-date on the OS (operating

system) and you have
Windows XP.. You should at least turn on the built in

firewall. That will
do a lot to "hide" you from the random bad things flying

around the
Internet. Things like Sasser/Blaster enjoy just sitting

out there in
Cyberspace looking for an unprotected Windows Operating

System and jumping
on it, doing great damage in the process and then using

that Unprotected OS
to continue its dirty work of infecting others. If you

have the Windows XP
ICF turned on - default configuration - then they cannot

see you! Think of
it as Internet Stealth Mode at this point. It has other

advantages, like
actually locking the doors you didn't even (likely) know

you had. Doing
this is simple, the instructions you need to use your

built in Windows XP
firewall can be found he

http://support.microsoft.com/?kbid=320855

If you read through that and look through the pages that

are linked from it
at the bottom of that page - I think you should have a

firm grasp on the
basics of the Windows XP Firewall as it is today. One

thing to note RIGHT
NOW - if you have AOL, you cannot use this nice firewall

that came with
your system. Thank AOL, not Microsoft. You HAVE to

configure another
one.. So we continue with our session on Firewalls...

But let's say you DON'T have Windows XP - you have some

other OS like
Windows 95, 98, 98SE, ME, NT, 2000. Well, you don't

have the nifty built in
firewall. My suggestion - upgrade. My next suggestion -

look through your
options. There are lots of free and pay firewalls out

there for home users.
Yes - you will have to decide on your own which to get.

Yes, you will have
to learn (oh no!) to use these firewalls and configure

them so they don't
interfere with what you want to do while continuing to

provide the security
you desire. It's just like anything else you want to

protect - you have to
do something to protect it. Here are some suggested

applications. A lot of
people tout "ZoneAlarm" as being the best alternative to

just using the
Windows XP ICF, but truthfully - any of these

alternatives are much better
than the Windows XP ICF at what they do - because that

is ALL they do.

ZoneAlarm (Free and up)
http://www.zonelabs.com/store/conten...ny/products/zn

alm/freeDownload.jsp

Kerio Personal Firewall (KPF) (Free and up)
http://www.kerio.com/kpf_download.html

Outpost Firewall from Agnitum (Free and up)
http://www.agnitum.com/download/

Sygate Personal Firewall (Free and up)
http://smb.sygate.com/buy/download_buy.htm

Symantec's Norton Personal Firewall (~$25 and up)
http://www.symantec.com/sabu/nis/npf/

BlackICE PC Protection ($39.95 and up)
http://blackice.iss.net/

Tiny Personal Firewall (~$49.00 and up)
http://www.tinysoftware.com/

That list is not complete, but they are good firewall

options, every one of
them. Visit the web pages, read up, ask around if you

like - make a
decision and go with some firewall, any firewall. Also,

maintain it.
Sometimes new holes are discovered in even the best of

these products and
patches are released from the company to remedy this

problem. However, if
you don't get the patches (check the manufacturer web

page on occasion),
then you may never know you have the problem and/or are

being used through
this weakness. Also, don't stack these things. Running

more than one
firewall will not make you safer - it would likely (in

fact) negate some
protection you gleamed from one or the other firewalls

you ran together.


ANTIVIRUS SOFTWARE
------------------

That's not all. That's one facet of a secure PC, but

firewalls don't do
everything. I saw one person posting on a newsgroup

that "they had
never had a virus and they never run any anti-virus

software." Yep - I used
to believe that way too - viruses were something

everyone else seemed to
get, were they just stupid? And for the average joe-

user who is careful,
uses their one-three family computers carefully, never

opening unknown
attachments, always visiting the same family safe web

sites, never
installing anything that did not come with their

computer - maybe, just
maybe they will never witness a virus. I, however, am a

Network Systems
Administrator. I see that AntiVirus software is an

absolute necessity given
how most people see their computer as a toy/tool and not

something
they should have to maintain and upkeep. After all,

they were invented to
make life easier, right - not add another task to your

day. You
can be as careful as you want - will the next person be

as careful? Will
someone send you unknowingly the email that erases all

the pictures of your
child/childhood? Possibly - why take the chance?

ALWAYS RUN ANTIVIRUS
SOFTWARE and KEEP IT UP TO DATE! Antivirus software

comes in so many
flavors, it's like walking into a Jelly Belly store -

which one tastes like
what?! Well, here are a few choices for you. Some of

these are free (isn't
that nice?) and some are not. Is one better than the

other - MAYBE.

Symantec (Norton) AntiVirus (~$11 and up)
http://www.symantec.com/

Kaspersky Anti-Virus (~$49.95 and up)
http://www.kaspersky.com/products.html

Panda Antivirus Titanium (~$39.95 and up)
http://www.pandasoftware.com/
(Free Online Scanner:

http://www.pandasoftware.com/activescan/)

AVG 6.0 Anti-Virus System (Free and up)
http://www.grisoft.com/

McAfee VirusScan (~$11 and up)
http://www.mcafee.com/

AntiVir (Free and up)
http://www.free-av.com/

avast! 4 (Free and up)
http://www.avast.com/

Trend Micro (~$49.95 and up)
http://www.trendmicro.com/
(Free Online Scanner:

http://housecall.trendmicro.com/hous...start_corp.asp)

RAV AntiVirus Online Virus Scan (Free!)
http://www.ravantivirus.com/scan/

Did I mention you have to not only install this

software, but also keep it
updated? You do. Some of them (most) have automatic

services to help you
do this - I mean, it's not your job to keep up with the

half-dozen or more
new threats that come out daily, is it? Be sure to keep

whichever one you
choose up to date!


SPYWARE/ADWARE/POPUPS
---------------------

So you must be thinking that the above two things got

your back now - you
are covered, safe and secure in your little fox hole.

Wrong! There are
more bad guys out there. There are annoyances out there

you can get without
trying. Your normal web surfing, maybe a wrong click on

a web page, maybe
just a momentary lack of judgment by installing some

software packages
without doing the research.. And all of a sudden your

screen starts filling
up with advertisements or your Internet seems much

slower or your home page
won't stay what you set it and goes someplace unfamiliar

to you. This is
spyware. There are a whole SLEW of software packages

out there to get rid
of this crud and help prevent reinfection. Some of the

products already
mentioned might even have branched out into this arena.

However, there are
a few applications that seem to be the best at what they

do, which is
eradicating and immunizing your system from this crap.

Strangely, the best
products I have found in this category ARE generally

free. That is a trend
I like. I make donations to some of them, they deserve

it!

Two side-notes: Never think one of these can do the

whole job.
Try the first 5 before coming back and saying "That did

not work!"
Also, you can always visit:
http://mvps.org/winhelp2002/unwanted.htm
For more updated information.

Spybot Search and Destroy (Free!)
http://www.safer-networking.net/

Lavasoft AdAware (Free and up)
http://www.lavasoft.de

CWSShredder (Free!)
http://www.spywareinfo.com/~merijn/downloads.html

Hijack This! (Free)
http://mjc1.com/mirror/hjt/
( Tutorial:

http://www.spywareinfo.com/~merijn/htlogtutorial.html )

SpywareBlaster (Free!)
http://www.javacoolsoftware.com/

IE-SPYAD (Free!)
http://www.staff.uiuc.edu/~ehowes/resource.htm

ToolbarCop (Free!)
http://www.mvps.org/sramesh2k/toolbarcop.htm

Bazooka Adware and Spyware Scanner (Free!)
http://www.kephyr.com/spywarescanner/index.html

Browser Security Tests
http://www.jasons-toolbox.com/BrowserSecurity/

The Cleaner (49.95 and up)
http://www.moosoft.com/

That will clean up your machine of the spyware, given

that you download and
install several of them, update them regularly and scan

with them when you
update. Some (like SpywareBlaster and SpyBot Search and

Destroy) have
immunization features that will help you prevent your PC

from being
infected. Use these features!

Unfortunately, although that will lessen your popups on

the Internet/while
you are online, it won't eliminate them. I have looked

at a lot of options,
seen a lot of them used in production with people who

seem to attract popups
like a plague, and I only have one suggestion that end

up serving double
duty (search engine and popup stopper in one):

The Google Toolbar (Free!)
http://toolbar.google.com/

Yeah - it adds a bar to your Internet Explorer - but its

a useful one. You
can search from there anytime with one of the best

search engines on the
planet (IMO.) And the fact it stops most popups - wow -

BONUS! If you
don't like that suggestion, then I am just going to say

you go to
www.google.com and search for other options.

One more suggestion, although I will suggest this in a

way later, is to
disable your Windows Messenger service. This service is

not used frequently
(if at all) by the normal home user and in cooperation

with a good firewall,
is generally unnecessary. Microsoft has instructions on

how to do this for
Windows XP he
http://www.microsoft.com/windowsxp/p...g/howto/commun

icate/stopspam.asp


SPAM EMAIL/JUNK MAIL
--------------------

This one can get annoying, just like the rest. You get

50 emails in one
sitting and 2 of them you wanted. NICE! (Not.) What

can you do? Well,
although there are services out there to help you, some

email
servers/services that actually do lower your spam with

features built into
their servers - I still like the methods that let you be

the end-decision
maker on what is spam and what isn't. If these things

worked perfectly, we
wouldn't need people and then there would be no spam

anyway - vicious
circle, eh? Anyway - I have two products to suggest to

you, look at them
and see if either of them suite your needs. Again, if

they don't, Google is
free and available for your perusal.

SpamBayes (Free!)
http://spambayes.sourceforge.net/

Spamihilator (Free!)
http://www.spamihilator.com/

As I said, those are not your only options, but are

reliable ones I have
seen function for hundreds+ people.


DISABLE (Set to Manual) UNUSED SERVICE/STARTUP APPS
---------------------------------------------------

I might get arguments on putting this one here, but it's

my spill. There are
lots of services on your PC that are probably turned on

by default you don't
use. Why have them on? Check out these web pages to

see what all of the
services you might find on your computer are and set

them according to your
personal needs. Be CAREFUL what you set to manual, and

take heed and write
down as you change things! Also, don't expect a large

performance increase
or anything - especially on todays 2+ GHz machines,

however - I look at each
service you set to manual as one less service you have

to worry about
someone exploiting. A year ago, I would have thought

the Windows Messenger
service to be pretty safe, now I recommend (with

addition of a firewall)
that most home users disable it! Yeah - this is another

one you have to
work for, but your computer may speed up and/or be more

secure because you
took the time. And if you document what you do as you

do it, next time, it
goes MUCH faster! (or if you have to go back and re-

enable things..)

Task List Programs

http://www.answersthatwork.com/Taskl...s/tasklist.htm

Black Viper's Service List and Opinions (XP)
http://www.blackviper.com/WinXP/servicecfg.htm

Processes in Windows NT/2000/XP
http://www.reger24.de/prozesse/

There are also applications that AREN'T services that

startup when you start
up the computer/logon. One of the better description on

how to handle these
I have found he

Startups
http://www.pacs-portal.co.uk/startup_content.php


That's it. A small booklet on how to keep your computer

secure, clean of
scum and more user friendly. I am SURE I missed

something, almost as I am
sure you won't read all of it (anyone for that matter.)

However, I also
know that someone who followed all of the advice above

would also have less
problems with their PC, less problems with viruses, less

problems with spam,
fewer problems with spyware and better performance than

someone who didn't.

Hope it helps.

--
- Shenan -
--
The information is provided "as is", with no guarantees

of
completeness, accuracy or timeliness, and without

warranties of any
kind, express or implied. In other words, read up

before you take any
advice - you are the one ultimately responsible for your

actions.


.
Shenan, thank you so much for taking the time to answer

my post with so much detail. Not only did I read every
word, I also made a lot of notes and recorded every
link. Yes, I am running XP, I do use the built in
firewall, I have Spybot, Adaware, Hijack This and CW
Shredder all installed and use them on a regular basis.
I use the housecall,trendmicro and the symantec security
and virus scan at the same time. Windows update informs
me when there is an update for my pc and I always install
the critical ones. My startup up programs are at a
minimum as are my running services. Actually, I am
wondering if I have something checked in Internet Options
that I shouldn't. As I mentioned before I have always
had a problem with "hungapp errors" in the event viewer
but under "security" I am getting events I really do not
understand and they keep changing, for instance
User Name: Network Service User Name: Owner
Domain: NT Authority Domain:OEMCOMPUTER
Logon Type: 5 Logon Type:2
Logon Process:Advapi Logon Process:User32

User Name:
Domain:
Logon Type:3
Logon Process:NtLmSsp
Also, I am getting events "A trusted logon process has
registered with the Local Security Authority. This
logon process will be trusted to submit logon requests
(CHAP, scecli, Winlogon\MSGina, KsecDD, Lan Manager
Workstation Service). These might all be normal but I
don't remember seeing all of them before.
Ads
  #2  
Old July 19th 04, 07:46 PM
Teri
external usenet poster
 
Posts: n/a
Default The proverbial slow computer


-----Original Message-----
Teri wrote:
Over the past week my pc has slowed down considerably.
I'm talking a minute or 2 to open a window. I have

done
virus scans (clean), I have ran Spybot and Adaware
(completely clean), I have run CW Shredder, disk

cleanup,
diskcheck, defrag , the Windows Memory Diagnostic and

my
power supply is free of dust. (I read the Knowledge

Base
regulary) Everything comes back clean. No problems
anywhere. I have a HP Pavilion and I run Windows XP

Home
Upgrated from Win 98 SE. I have always had a problem
with "Hang App Errors" but I have always been able to

at
least clean it up enough to speed it up some. I don't
know what else to do.


You've tried most of my suggestions, but let me just

throw out a personal
comment here..

HP Pavilion.. My apologies.

Having said that - have you cleaned up the running

processes and such? Take
out some of the normal HP crap they like to install?

Killed off unnecessary
processes?

Also - have you installed any patches or updates you

think might cause
this - have you tried uninstalling them?

The last thing in this spill will explain how to stop

services and choose
the ones you need.

Suggestions on what you can do to secure/clean your PC.

I'm going to try
and be general, I will assume a "Windows" operating

system is what is
being secured here.


UPDATES and PATCHES
-------------------

This one is the most obvious. There is no perfect

product and any company
worth their salt will try to meet/exceed the needs of

their customers and
fix any problems they find along the way. I am not

going to say Microsoft
is the best company in the world about this but they do

have an option
available for you to use to keep your machine updated

and patched from
the problems and vulnerabilities (as well as product

improvements in some
cases) - and it's free to you.

Windows Update
http://windowsupdate.microsoft.com/

Go there and scan your machine for updates. Always get

the critical ones as
you see them. Write down the KB###### or Q###### you

see when selecting the
updates and if you have trouble over the next few days,

go into your control
panel (Add/Remove Programs), match up the latest numbers

you downloaded
recently (since you started noticing an issue) and

uninstall them. If there
was more than one (usually is), install them back one by

one - with a few
hours of use in between, to see if the problem returns.

Yes - the process
is not perfect (updating) and can cause trouble like I

mentioned - but as
you can see, the solution isn't that bad - and is MUCH

better than the
alternatives. (SASSER/BLASTER were SO preventable with

just this step!)

Windows is not the only product you likely have on your

PC. The
manufacturers of the other products usually have updates

as well. New
versions of almost everything come out all the time -

some are free, some
are pay - some you can only download if you are

registered - but it is best
to check. Just go to their web pages and look under

their support and
download sections.

You also have hardware on your machine that requires

drivers to interface
with the operating system. You have a video card that

allows you to see on
your screen, a sound card that allows you to hear your

PCs sound output and
so on. Visit those manufacturer web sites for the

latest downloadable
drivers for your hardware/operating system. Always

(IMO) get the
manufacturers hardware driver over any Microsoft

offers. On the Windows
Update site I mentioned earlier, I suggest NOT getting

their hardware
drivers - no matter how tempting.

Have I mentioned that Microsoft has some stuff to help

secure your computer
available to the end-user for free? This seems as good

of a time as any.
They have a CD you can order (it's free) that contain

all of the Windows
patches through October 2003 and some trial products as

well that they
released in February 2004. Yeah - it's a little behind

now, but it's better
than nothing (and used in coordination with the

information in this post,
well worth the purchase price..)

Order the Windows Security Update CD
http://www.microsoft.com/security/protect/cd/order.asp

They also have a bunch of suggestions, some similar to

these, on how to
better protect your Windows system:

Protect your PC
http://www.microsoft.com/security/protect/


FIREWALL
--------

Let's say you are up-to-date on the OS (operating

system) and you have
Windows XP.. You should at least turn on the built in

firewall. That will
do a lot to "hide" you from the random bad things flying

around the
Internet. Things like Sasser/Blaster enjoy just sitting

out there in
Cyberspace looking for an unprotected Windows Operating

System and jumping
on it, doing great damage in the process and then using

that Unprotected OS
to continue its dirty work of infecting others. If you

have the Windows XP
ICF turned on - default configuration - then they cannot

see you! Think of
it as Internet Stealth Mode at this point. It has other

advantages, like
actually locking the doors you didn't even (likely) know

you had. Doing
this is simple, the instructions you need to use your

built in Windows XP
firewall can be found he

http://support.microsoft.com/?kbid=320855

If you read through that and look through the pages that

are linked from it
at the bottom of that page - I think you should have a

firm grasp on the
basics of the Windows XP Firewall as it is today. One

thing to note RIGHT
NOW - if you have AOL, you cannot use this nice firewall

that came with
your system. Thank AOL, not Microsoft. You HAVE to

configure another
one.. So we continue with our session on Firewalls...

But let's say you DON'T have Windows XP - you have some

other OS like
Windows 95, 98, 98SE, ME, NT, 2000. Well, you don't

have the nifty built in
firewall. My suggestion - upgrade. My next suggestion -

look through your
options. There are lots of free and pay firewalls out

there for home users.
Yes - you will have to decide on your own which to get.

Yes, you will have
to learn (oh no!) to use these firewalls and configure

them so they don't
interfere with what you want to do while continuing to

provide the security
you desire. It's just like anything else you want to

protect - you have to
do something to protect it. Here are some suggested

applications. A lot of
people tout "ZoneAlarm" as being the best alternative to

just using the
Windows XP ICF, but truthfully - any of these

alternatives are much better
than the Windows XP ICF at what they do - because that

is ALL they do.

ZoneAlarm (Free and up)
http://www.zonelabs.com/store/conten...ny/products/zn

alm/freeDownload.jsp

Kerio Personal Firewall (KPF) (Free and up)
http://www.kerio.com/kpf_download.html

Outpost Firewall from Agnitum (Free and up)
http://www.agnitum.com/download/

Sygate Personal Firewall (Free and up)
http://smb.sygate.com/buy/download_buy.htm

Symantec's Norton Personal Firewall (~$25 and up)
http://www.symantec.com/sabu/nis/npf/

BlackICE PC Protection ($39.95 and up)
http://blackice.iss.net/

Tiny Personal Firewall (~$49.00 and up)
http://www.tinysoftware.com/

That list is not complete, but they are good firewall

options, every one of
them. Visit the web pages, read up, ask around if you

like - make a
decision and go with some firewall, any firewall. Also,

maintain it.
Sometimes new holes are discovered in even the best of

these products and
patches are released from the company to remedy this

problem. However, if
you don't get the patches (check the manufacturer web

page on occasion),
then you may never know you have the problem and/or are

being used through
this weakness. Also, don't stack these things. Running

more than one
firewall will not make you safer - it would likely (in

fact) negate some
protection you gleamed from one or the other firewalls

you ran together.


ANTIVIRUS SOFTWARE
------------------

That's not all. That's one facet of a secure PC, but

firewalls don't do
everything. I saw one person posting on a newsgroup

that "they had
never had a virus and they never run any anti-virus

software." Yep - I used
to believe that way too - viruses were something

everyone else seemed to
get, were they just stupid? And for the average joe-

user who is careful,
uses their one-three family computers carefully, never

opening unknown
attachments, always visiting the same family safe web

sites, never
installing anything that did not come with their

computer - maybe, just
maybe they will never witness a virus. I, however, am a

Network Systems
Administrator. I see that AntiVirus software is an

absolute necessity given
how most people see their computer as a toy/tool and not

something
they should have to maintain and upkeep. After all,

they were invented to
make life easier, right - not add another task to your

day. You
can be as careful as you want - will the next person be

as careful? Will
someone send you unknowingly the email that erases all

the pictures of your
child/childhood? Possibly - why take the chance?

ALWAYS RUN ANTIVIRUS
SOFTWARE and KEEP IT UP TO DATE! Antivirus software

comes in so many
flavors, it's like walking into a Jelly Belly store -

which one tastes like
what?! Well, here are a few choices for you. Some of

these are free (isn't
that nice?) and some are not. Is one better than the

other - MAYBE.

Symantec (Norton) AntiVirus (~$11 and up)
http://www.symantec.com/

Kaspersky Anti-Virus (~$49.95 and up)
http://www.kaspersky.com/products.html

Panda Antivirus Titanium (~$39.95 and up)
http://www.pandasoftware.com/
(Free Online Scanner:

http://www.pandasoftware.com/activescan/)

AVG 6.0 Anti-Virus System (Free and up)
http://www.grisoft.com/

McAfee VirusScan (~$11 and up)
http://www.mcafee.com/

AntiVir (Free and up)
http://www.free-av.com/

avast! 4 (Free and up)
http://www.avast.com/

Trend Micro (~$49.95 and up)
http://www.trendmicro.com/
(Free Online Scanner:

http://housecall.trendmicro.com/hous...start_corp.asp)

RAV AntiVirus Online Virus Scan (Free!)
http://www.ravantivirus.com/scan/

Did I mention you have to not only install this

software, but also keep it
updated? You do. Some of them (most) have automatic

services to help you
do this - I mean, it's not your job to keep up with the

half-dozen or more
new threats that come out daily, is it? Be sure to keep

whichever one you
choose up to date!


SPYWARE/ADWARE/POPUPS
---------------------

So you must be thinking that the above two things got

your back now - you
are covered, safe and secure in your little fox hole.

Wrong! There are
more bad guys out there. There are annoyances out there

you can get without
trying. Your normal web surfing, maybe a wrong click on

a web page, maybe
just a momentary lack of judgment by installing some

software packages
without doing the research.. And all of a sudden your

screen starts filling
up with advertisements or your Internet seems much

slower or your home page
won't stay what you set it and goes someplace unfamiliar

to you. This is
spyware. There are a whole SLEW of software packages

out there to get rid
of this crud and help prevent reinfection. Some of the

products already
mentioned might even have branched out into this arena.

However, there are
a few applications that seem to be the best at what they

do, which is
eradicating and immunizing your system from this crap.

Strangely, the best
products I have found in this category ARE generally

free. That is a trend
I like. I make donations to some of them, they deserve

it!

Two side-notes: Never think one of these can do the

whole job.
Try the first 5 before coming back and saying "That did

not work!"
Also, you can always visit:
http://mvps.org/winhelp2002/unwanted.htm
For more updated information.

Spybot Search and Destroy (Free!)
http://www.safer-networking.net/

Lavasoft AdAware (Free and up)
http://www.lavasoft.de

CWSShredder (Free!)
http://www.spywareinfo.com/~merijn/downloads.html

Hijack This! (Free)
http://mjc1.com/mirror/hjt/
( Tutorial:

http://www.spywareinfo.com/~merijn/htlogtutorial.html )

SpywareBlaster (Free!)
http://www.javacoolsoftware.com/

IE-SPYAD (Free!)
http://www.staff.uiuc.edu/~ehowes/resource.htm

ToolbarCop (Free!)
http://www.mvps.org/sramesh2k/toolbarcop.htm

Bazooka Adware and Spyware Scanner (Free!)
http://www.kephyr.com/spywarescanner/index.html

Browser Security Tests
http://www.jasons-toolbox.com/BrowserSecurity/

The Cleaner (49.95 and up)
http://www.moosoft.com/

That will clean up your machine of the spyware, given

that you download and
install several of them, update them regularly and scan

with them when you
update. Some (like SpywareBlaster and SpyBot Search and

Destroy) have
immunization features that will help you prevent your PC

from being
infected. Use these features!

Unfortunately, although that will lessen your popups on

the Internet/while
you are online, it won't eliminate them. I have looked

at a lot of options,
seen a lot of them used in production with people who

seem to attract popups
like a plague, and I only have one suggestion that end

up serving double
duty (search engine and popup stopper in one):

The Google Toolbar (Free!)
http://toolbar.google.com/

Yeah - it adds a bar to your Internet Explorer - but its

a useful one. You
can search from there anytime with one of the best

search engines on the
planet (IMO.) And the fact it stops most popups - wow -

BONUS! If you
don't like that suggestion, then I am just going to say

you go to
www.google.com and search for other options.

One more suggestion, although I will suggest this in a

way later, is to
disable your Windows Messenger service. This service is

not used frequently
(if at all) by the normal home user and in cooperation

with a good firewall,
is generally unnecessary. Microsoft has instructions on

how to do this for
Windows XP he
http://www.microsoft.com/windowsxp/p...g/howto/commun

icate/stopspam.asp


SPAM EMAIL/JUNK MAIL
--------------------

This one can get annoying, just like the rest. You get

50 emails in one
sitting and 2 of them you wanted. NICE! (Not.) What

can you do? Well,
although there are services out there to help you, some

email
servers/services that actually do lower your spam with

features built into
their servers - I still like the methods that let you be

the end-decision
maker on what is spam and what isn't. If these things

worked perfectly, we
wouldn't need people and then there would be no spam

anyway - vicious
circle, eh? Anyway - I have two products to suggest to

you, look at them
and see if either of them suite your needs. Again, if

they don't, Google is
free and available for your perusal.

SpamBayes (Free!)
http://spambayes.sourceforge.net/

Spamihilator (Free!)
http://www.spamihilator.com/

As I said, those are not your only options, but are

reliable ones I have
seen function for hundreds+ people.


DISABLE (Set to Manual) UNUSED SERVICE/STARTUP APPS
---------------------------------------------------

I might get arguments on putting this one here, but it's

my spill. There are
lots of services on your PC that are probably turned on

by default you don't
use. Why have them on? Check out these web pages to

see what all of the
services you might find on your computer are and set

them according to your
personal needs. Be CAREFUL what you set to manual, and

take heed and write
down as you change things! Also, don't expect a large

performance increase
or anything - especially on todays 2+ GHz machines,

however - I look at each
service you set to manual as one less service you have

to worry about
someone exploiting. A year ago, I would have thought

the Windows Messenger
service to be pretty safe, now I recommend (with

addition of a firewall)
that most home users disable it! Yeah - this is another

one you have to
work for, but your computer may speed up and/or be more

secure because you
took the time. And if you document what you do as you

do it, next time, it
goes MUCH faster! (or if you have to go back and re-

enable things..)

Task List Programs

http://www.answersthatwork.com/Taskl...s/tasklist.htm

Black Viper's Service List and Opinions (XP)
http://www.blackviper.com/WinXP/servicecfg.htm

Processes in Windows NT/2000/XP
http://www.reger24.de/prozesse/

There are also applications that AREN'T services that

startup when you start
up the computer/logon. One of the better description on

how to handle these
I have found he

Startups
http://www.pacs-portal.co.uk/startup_content.php


That's it. A small booklet on how to keep your computer

secure, clean of
scum and more user friendly. I am SURE I missed

something, almost as I am
sure you won't read all of it (anyone for that matter.)

However, I also
know that someone who followed all of the advice above

would also have less
problems with their PC, less problems with viruses, less

problems with spam,
fewer problems with spyware and better performance than

someone who didn't.

Hope it helps.

--
- Shenan -
--
The information is provided "as is", with no guarantees

of
completeness, accuracy or timeliness, and without

warranties of any
kind, express or implied. In other words, read up

before you take any
advice - you are the one ultimately responsible for your

actions.


.
Shenan, thank you so much for taking the time to answer

my post with so much detail. Not only did I read every
word, I also made a lot of notes and recorded every
link. Yes, I am running XP, I do use the built in
firewall, I have Spybot, Adaware, Hijack This and CW
Shredder all installed and use them on a regular basis.
I use the housecall,trendmicro and the symantec security
and virus scan at the same time. Windows update informs
me when there is an update for my pc and I always install
the critical ones. My startup up programs are at a
minimum as are my running services. Actually, I am
wondering if I have something checked in Internet Options
that I shouldn't. As I mentioned before I have always
had a problem with "hungapp errors" in the event viewer
but under "security" I am getting events I really do not
understand and they keep changing, for instance
User Name: Network Service User Name: Owner
Domain: NT Authority Domain:OEMCOMPUTER
Logon Type: 5 Logon Type:2
Logon Process:Advapi Logon Process:User32

User Name:
Domain:
Logon Type:3
Logon Process:NtLmSsp
Also, I am getting events "A trusted logon process has
registered with the Local Security Authority. This
logon process will be trusted to submit logon requests
(CHAP, scecli, Winlogon\MSGina, KsecDD, Lan Manager
Workstation Service). These might all be normal but I
don't remember seeing all of them before.
  #3  
Old July 22nd 04, 07:31 AM
Gerry Cornell
external usenet poster
 
Posts: n/a
Default The proverbial slow computer

You could find something you haven't tried he

Poor system performance can be the result of a single problem or a
combination of factors. Listed
below are issues, which you may wish to examine if you are experiencing poor
performance after
the boot process has completed. Some items may help with slow starting of
Windows XP but the
list has not been prepared for tackling that problem. Work through the list
until you achieve an
acceptable result.

Regular and effective housekeeping is essential. What you do and how often
you do it will depend
on how you use your computer. A suggested routine may include:
1. In Outlook Express empty your Deleted Items folder.
2. In Outlook Express run File, Folder, Compact All whilst OFFLINE.
3. Run Disk Cleanup. Start, Programs, Accessories, System Tools, Disk
Cleanup with
Temporary Internet Files, Offline Web Pages (optional), System Restore (
more Options tab )
and Recycle Bin selected for deletion. If you have more than one drive /
partition you may
need to do this operation for each drive / partition.
4. Remove Cookies. Start, Control Panel, Internet Options, General, Delete
Cookies.
5. Run Disk Defragmenter.

Check whether you could reduce the number of days the History of sites
visited is retained. Start,
Control Panel, Internet Options, General, History.
Spyware causes many problems. If not installed download Adaware and / or
update Reference file
from http://www.lavasoftusa.com/support/download/ and use it to remove
parasites. If Spyware
persists as a problem try a Hosts file.
http://www.accs-net.com/hosts/what_is_hosts.html
Slow performance resulting from insufficient memory, causing over reliance
on virtual memory,
may be especially noticed by those upgrading to Windows XP from an earlier
version of Windows.
Windows XP will run with 64 MB of RAM memory. However, a minimum of 256 MB
is
recommended and many users will recommend 512 MB. You may check on pagefile
(virtual
memory) usage with Page File Monitor for XP:
http://www.dougknox.com/

Check how much free space you have on the hard drive / partition where your
pagefile is located.
You need a minimum of 15% but 20% or more is better.

Check your setting for the Indexing Service. Start, Administrative Tools,
Services, Indexing
Service. The default setting is Manual. Check that it is not running. More
information he
http://www.blackviper.com/WinXP/serv...dexing_Service
You can have too many programmes running in the background. Close
programmes/windows after
use. Check whether all the programmes loading when Windows is started are
really necessary.
http://aumha.org/a/loads.htm
Check whether you can identify slow performance with a particular programme.
Look in Google to
see whether others have encountered the same problem and found a solution.
http://groups.google.com/
Are there any error messages in Event Viewer? You can access Event Viewer by
selecting Start,
Administrative Tools, and Event Viewer. When researching the meaning of the
error, information
regarding Event ID: and Source Description is important.
HOW TO: View and Manage Event Logs in Event Viewer in Windows XP
http://support.microsoft.com/default...&Product=winxp

~~~~~~


Hope this helps.

Gerry
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
FCA

Stourport, Worcs, England
Enquire, plan and execute.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~


"Teri" wrote in message
...
Over the past week my pc has slowed down considerably.
I'm talking a minute or 2 to open a window. I have done
virus scans (clean), I have ran Spybot and Adaware
(completely clean), I have run CW Shredder, disk cleanup,
diskcheck, defrag , the Windows Memory Diagnostic and my
power supply is free of dust. (I read the Knowledge Base
regulary) Everything comes back clean. No problems
anywhere. I have a HP Pavilion and I run Windows XP Home
Upgrated from Win 98 SE. I have always had a problem
with "Hang App Errors" but I have always been able to at
least clean it up enough to speed it up some. I don't
know what else to do.


  #4  
Old July 22nd 04, 08:03 AM
Gerry Cornell
external usenet poster
 
Posts: n/a
Default The proverbial slow computer

You could find something you haven't tried he

Poor system performance can be the result of a single problem or a
combination of factors. Listed
below are issues, which you may wish to examine if you are experiencing poor
performance after
the boot process has completed. Some items may help with slow starting of
Windows XP but the
list has not been prepared for tackling that problem. Work through the list
until you achieve an
acceptable result.

Regular and effective housekeeping is essential. What you do and how often
you do it will depend
on how you use your computer. A suggested routine may include:
1. In Outlook Express empty your Deleted Items folder.
2. In Outlook Express run File, Folder, Compact All whilst OFFLINE.
3. Run Disk Cleanup. Start, Programs, Accessories, System Tools, Disk
Cleanup with
Temporary Internet Files, Offline Web Pages (optional), System Restore (
more Options tab )
and Recycle Bin selected for deletion. If you have more than one drive /
partition you may
need to do this operation for each drive / partition.
4. Remove Cookies. Start, Control Panel, Internet Options, General, Delete
Cookies.
5. Run Disk Defragmenter.

Check whether you could reduce the number of days the History of sites
visited is retained. Start,
Control Panel, Internet Options, General, History.
Spyware causes many problems. If not installed download Adaware and / or
update Reference file
from http://www.lavasoftusa.com/support/download/ and use it to remove
parasites. If Spyware
persists as a problem try a Hosts file.
http://www.accs-net.com/hosts/what_is_hosts.html
Slow performance resulting from insufficient memory, causing over reliance
on virtual memory,
may be especially noticed by those upgrading to Windows XP from an earlier
version of Windows.
Windows XP will run with 64 MB of RAM memory. However, a minimum of 256 MB
is
recommended and many users will recommend 512 MB. You may check on pagefile
(virtual
memory) usage with Page File Monitor for XP:
http://www.dougknox.com/

Check how much free space you have on the hard drive / partition where your
pagefile is located.
You need a minimum of 15% but 20% or more is better.

Check your setting for the Indexing Service. Start, Administrative Tools,
Services, Indexing
Service. The default setting is Manual. Check that it is not running. More
information he
http://www.blackviper.com/WinXP/serv...dexing_Service
You can have too many programmes running in the background. Close
programmes/windows after
use. Check whether all the programmes loading when Windows is started are
really necessary.
http://aumha.org/a/loads.htm
Check whether you can identify slow performance with a particular programme.
Look in Google to
see whether others have encountered the same problem and found a solution.
http://groups.google.com/
Are there any error messages in Event Viewer? You can access Event Viewer by
selecting Start,
Administrative Tools, and Event Viewer. When researching the meaning of the
error, information
regarding Event ID: and Source Description is important.
HOW TO: View and Manage Event Logs in Event Viewer in Windows XP
http://support.microsoft.com/default...&Product=winxp

~~~~~~


Hope this helps.

Gerry
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
FCA

Stourport, Worcs, England
Enquire, plan and execute.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~


"Teri" wrote in message
...
Over the past week my pc has slowed down considerably.
I'm talking a minute or 2 to open a window. I have done
virus scans (clean), I have ran Spybot and Adaware
(completely clean), I have run CW Shredder, disk cleanup,
diskcheck, defrag , the Windows Memory Diagnostic and my
power supply is free of dust. (I read the Knowledge Base
regulary) Everything comes back clean. No problems
anywhere. I have a HP Pavilion and I run Windows XP Home
Upgrated from Win 98 SE. I have always had a problem
with "Hang App Errors" but I have always been able to at
least clean it up enough to speed it up some. I don't
know what else to do.


  #5  
Old July 22nd 04, 08:09 AM
Gerry Cornell
external usenet poster
 
Posts: n/a
Default The proverbial slow computer

You could find something you haven't tried he

Poor system performance can be the result of a single problem or a
combination of factors. Listed
below are issues, which you may wish to examine if you are experiencing poor
performance after
the boot process has completed. Some items may help with slow starting of
Windows XP but the
list has not been prepared for tackling that problem. Work through the list
until you achieve an
acceptable result.

Regular and effective housekeeping is essential. What you do and how often
you do it will depend
on how you use your computer. A suggested routine may include:
1. In Outlook Express empty your Deleted Items folder.
2. In Outlook Express run File, Folder, Compact All whilst OFFLINE.
3. Run Disk Cleanup. Start, Programs, Accessories, System Tools, Disk
Cleanup with
Temporary Internet Files, Offline Web Pages (optional), System Restore (
more Options tab )
and Recycle Bin selected for deletion. If you have more than one drive /
partition you may
need to do this operation for each drive / partition.
4. Remove Cookies. Start, Control Panel, Internet Options, General, Delete
Cookies.
5. Run Disk Defragmenter.

Check whether you could reduce the number of days the History of sites
visited is retained. Start,
Control Panel, Internet Options, General, History.
Spyware causes many problems. If not installed download Adaware and / or
update Reference file
from http://www.lavasoftusa.com/support/download/ and use it to remove
parasites. If Spyware
persists as a problem try a Hosts file.
http://www.accs-net.com/hosts/what_is_hosts.html
Slow performance resulting from insufficient memory, causing over reliance
on virtual memory,
may be especially noticed by those upgrading to Windows XP from an earlier
version of Windows.
Windows XP will run with 64 MB of RAM memory. However, a minimum of 256 MB
is
recommended and many users will recommend 512 MB. You may check on pagefile
(virtual
memory) usage with Page File Monitor for XP:
http://www.dougknox.com/

Check how much free space you have on the hard drive / partition where your
pagefile is located.
You need a minimum of 15% but 20% or more is better.

Check your setting for the Indexing Service. Start, Administrative Tools,
Services, Indexing
Service. The default setting is Manual. Check that it is not running. More
information he
http://www.blackviper.com/WinXP/serv...dexing_Service
You can have too many programmes running in the background. Close
programmes/windows after
use. Check whether all the programmes loading when Windows is started are
really necessary.
http://aumha.org/a/loads.htm
Check whether you can identify slow performance with a particular programme.
Look in Google to
see whether others have encountered the same problem and found a solution.
http://groups.google.com/
Are there any error messages in Event Viewer? You can access Event Viewer by
selecting Start,
Administrative Tools, and Event Viewer. When researching the meaning of the
error, information
regarding Event ID: and Source Description is important.
HOW TO: View and Manage Event Logs in Event Viewer in Windows XP
http://support.microsoft.com/default...&Product=winxp

~~~~~~


Hope this helps.

Gerry
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
FCA

Stourport, Worcs, England
Enquire, plan and execute.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~


"Teri" wrote in message
...
Over the past week my pc has slowed down considerably.
I'm talking a minute or 2 to open a window. I have done
virus scans (clean), I have ran Spybot and Adaware
(completely clean), I have run CW Shredder, disk cleanup,
diskcheck, defrag , the Windows Memory Diagnostic and my
power supply is free of dust. (I read the Knowledge Base
regulary) Everything comes back clean. No problems
anywhere. I have a HP Pavilion and I run Windows XP Home
Upgrated from Win 98 SE. I have always had a problem
with "Hang App Errors" but I have always been able to at
least clean it up enough to speed it up some. I don't
know what else to do.


 




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