Computer Stuff

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My Weekly PC software regimen/ testing

Follow these guidelines, they will prevent many problems I get asked about EVERY DAY.

check computer manufacturer updates or their updater (if you have it), be careful, often the "optional updates" will recommend a driver older than what you have, or inappropriate. This is usually great when a computer is a couple of years old or newer, but after that, these"updates" usually do nothing but cause trouble. The exception is BIOS updates, where there is a fundamental bug, and always do these, and it's the reason you check this first. Also if the manufacturer recommends older drivers, a subsequent step will correct this.

windows update - watch for weird stuff, if in doubt research before running that update, note that different versions of windows have different methods to find "windows update". Stay away from the Windows "optional updates", almost never a good idea.

check drivers - I recommend Driver Booster, from IoBit, it hasmore drivers, and the interface is easier to use to check the driver offered.

    • NEVER just take all the drivers offered, right click each one and select "details".
    • BE CAREFUL when updating a driver that changes the "author" or has radical change in version.
    • Back up drivers first, do a system restore point, and preferably do an image backup if really concerned.
    • Be CAREFUL! If in doubt DON'T DO IT!

browser update, you should have IE/edge and another browser kept updated. IE/Edge will be updated through windows update. Be sure you DO have a second browser, and I recommend strongly it is your primary browser, not IE/Edge.

Java - update, and test for older versions with their test pages, use Java in control panel. Sometimes you cannot find the update tab in the Java control panel. when this happens, just go to, and click the "do I have java" link. Also run the "remove older versions" test to be sure you only have one installed. Also, if you have a 64 bit machine be sure to install both the 32 bit and 64 bit versions.

intel driver and support assistant - has the most up to date drivers, usually for network and graphics

scan and repair outlook pst file - (if you run Outlook) run scanpst.exe (from microsoft included with the office package) - run over and over until it says nothing to repair

ccleaner - keep that registry clean, get it from filehippo, run the cleaner and registry cleaner. Be careful to not delete cookies from your browsers if you don't want to, that's in the check boxes on the registry cleaner.

scan for viruses - actually force a virus scan with rootkit detection at least weekly, DO go and look at the log files to see if it found anything. In modern times, true viruses are rare, stick with Windows Defender.

malwarebytes - run a full scan, this program finds malware, root kits, all the nasty stuff.

chkdsk /f - all your hard drives, (example chkdsk C: /f from the command prompt) This test for file allocation table issues is rarely done, but you can fix problems before they become big ones. A little known fact, true since 1975.

sfc /scannow - this checks critical windows system files (System File Checker). Will take a while. (re)Run until it comes up clean. Another little known tool that can make the difference

defrag disks - (including boot time defrag) (don't defrag a SSD unless you have a defragmenter that recognizes them) Defraggler is free, I use PerfectDisk, from Raxco) DO NOT DO ON SSD DRIVES!

BACK UP! - I do an "image" backup weekly. This means the entire disk as an image, not just files. If my whole disk goes to hell, or a terrible virus, I just "turn the clock back". I also save my data files separately. I've not had a catastrophic loss since 1975, when I started using PC's... does this tell you something?

My PC hardware testing regimen

check hard drive for actual bad sectors, read write issues: spinrite

dram test - mdsched.exe - built in windows memory test, there are others for xp



Do you have an older computer?

Are you running an older version of Windows? It's dangerous! As of 2021, Windows 8, 7, and older are all obsolete. This means when vulnerabilities are found, Microsoft does NOT fix them, and the hackers will exploit them on web sites and email attachments. With the low price of new computers, and the ability for upgrading to newer windows versions for free in many instances, this is really foolish, unless you NEVER connect to the internet. Upgrade!

Ten year old back door to your computer:

The Intel Advanced Management Technology "feature" is actually in the hardware of your Intel computer, and is accessed through a driver. The main reason for this technology is remote management of your computer, normally in a business network. Unfortunately there is a back door that has existed for a long time, to log into this "portal" to your computer, it takes a login name and password. Recently it was discovered that if you login with no password the system allows you in. This means that ANYONE could gain control of your computer, in fact if you are wireless, anyone on the same wireless network could control your computer, in fact even wake it from sleep. This can be done wirelessly!

There is a tool to install, and detect if you have this vulnerability:

Here's an article to disable this interface to your computer:

As of late 2017, many companies have released updates to disable this. Download the Intel tool and install it. It installs a number of things, and after installing, go to the detection and migration tool gui program and it will tell you if you still have the vulnerability. In late 2017 some manufacturers are shipping computers with the system disabled.

Basic software:

Get yourself the following tools and USE THEM:

Antivirus - Over the years I have used Norton, then when it became bloated with other stuff, I switched to AVG, which was great, but then became bloated, and then to Avast, which also has some nice features to integrate your phones and computers in one account where you can see if the AV is up to date, remotely lock or wipe or locate your phones.

But! Nowadays, you have more danger from web sites, and really, the built in AV - is more than adequate. If you use Avast free now, here is an Installation tip: be SURE to do the  custom installation, and you will a whole bunch of check boxes. I only use two: the file and email ones. If you don't turn the rest of the crap off, then, well, you will have a bunch of crap on your computer.

Registry cleaner - CCleaner is good and free, get from Installation tip: Be sure to turn off the smart monitoring in the options menu. Don't mess with the other default settings unless you know what you are doing.

Disk defragmenter - there are a couple of free ones, but I pay for Raxco's PerfectDisk, there's a big differenece in speed and capability, if you need it free, Defraggler is good. Go to to get PerfectDisk trial, for defraggler. Don't bother defragging SSD's no matter what hype you read.

Backup - I use Macrium Reflect, it will do files and complete disk images and will restore an image to a new, blank drive, there is a free version, but it will only do the image, not per file backup. Buy it. Go to to download

Malware - I use Malwarebytes, run it once a week. Installation tip: Get the free version, it will install the "free trial". Then after it is installed, go the settings, and then account settings, and disable the free trial. Otherwise, you have 30 days and then it starts bugging you to pay and it stops working. Worse, you now need to use their special uninstaller, found on their site, and then re-install the free version.


Remove extra language packs

Have you ever been on a computer, and when doing updates, there's all kinds of updates for language packs? Unless you speak 100 languages, some dope installed something for a bunch of languages, and now all those language packs are installed, and want to be updated. Run LPKSETUP to uninstall un-needed languages.

Performance testing / hardware firmware listing

A suggestion is to keep an inventory of your computers, and what is in them. There are tools to do this like CPU-Z,

Also, performance testing is a good idea. First to know how fast your computer is running, to make decisions on upgrades or buying a new computer. Novabench is a free one that works well.

The other facet is to have a benchmark for the computer to see if it is still running right.

Lastly, if you upgrade processor, ram, hd, video, etc, you can see the effect and amount of improvement.

Show Hidden Files on your Mac

This changes the default setting of Mac OS X so that Finder always shows all files. Launch the Terminal (found in /Applications/Utilities) and enter these commands exactly as shown. The first command activates the ability to see the hidden files:

defaults write AppleShowAllFiles TRUE

Hit Return, nothing happens yet because you must relaunch the Finder for the changes to take effect. This is done by ‘killing’ the Finder process, which is also done through the command line with the following string:

killall Finder

Cool site with very small embedded computers

The vulnerability affects Adobe Download Manager on Windows (prior to February 23, 2010).

The Adobe Download Manager, which is used to push security patches to Windows computers, is intended for one-time use and is designed to remove itself from the computer after use at the next computer restart.

However, Adobe is recommending that users verify that a potentially vulnerable version of the Adobe Download Manager is no longer installed on their machine.

Here are the instructions from Adobe’s security advisory:

  • Ensure that the C:\Program Files\NOS\ folder and its contents (”NOS files”) are not present on your system. (If the folder is present, follow the steps below to remove).
  • Click “Start” > “Run” and type “services.msc”. Ensure that “getPlus(R) Helper” is not present in the list of services.

If the NOS files are found, the Adobe Download Manager issue can be mitigated by:

  • Navigating to Start > Control Panel > Add or Remove Programs > Adobe Download Manager, and selecting Remove to remove the Adobe Download Manager from your system.


  • Clicking “Start” > “Run” and typing “services.msc”. Then deleting “getPlus(R) Helper” from the list of services.
  • Then delete the C:\Program Files\NOS\ folder and its contents.

We all love computers, don't we?

Just some tips on computer problems/fixes and some stuff on Internet forums.

If you have ever had a bad day on the computer, then the video below has some easy, quick fix solutions:


My computer history...

In 1985 I purchased a Kaypro 2000 laptop, one of the first laptops ever made.


Click the links below to go "deeper" into more tips on computers and Windows

Windows 11 Tips    Windows 10 Tips    Windows 8 Tips    Windows 7 Tips 
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