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[HowTo] Keep windows Xp Secure and Running Fast


WolfX2
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Windows Complete Security Guide

Everything You need to keep Windows Running Fast, Safe, Secure, And Virtually Error Free Will be layed out right before your eyes! The 10 Keys to PC Safety

Part 1: Microsoft Update. NOW!

Microsoft Update are the best source for updating your windows OS and Microsoft Office Products. having the latest update, will usually mean, better performance and/or security, the update was made for a reason!

To see if you have the latest version of your software go the the Microsoft Update website and follow the on screen instructions!

Part 2: Anti-virus Software

USE ANTI-VIRUS SOFTWARE! Anti-virus software protects your computer from viruses, Worms, Trojans and other miraculous software! This is a MUST if you have a computer with the Internet, and if your reading this ON A COMPUTER, you do.

The best anti-virus titles Include...

Now those are all "pay-for" anti-virus software titles. Cant afford that? NO PROBLEM!

The best FREE anti-virus titles include...

Now, before you install anti-virus software be sure to make sure you select one you really like because YOU CAN ONLY HAVE ONE! Installing more than one anti-virus software may cause a overload of your system over time!

for more free and pay for antivirus software go here

OK, you picked one and installed it, kool! now update it!

  1. Right Click you anti-virus Software's Logo in the system tray.
  2. Click Update.
  3. Follow the instructions

(You must be connected to the Internet to update your anti-virus software)

Now, ur updated! so Run a Scan! and Run a scan every week for the REST OF YOUR LIFE MUHAHAHAHA!

and I'm not kidding! But if your a forgetful person your anti-virus software more than likely has some kind of scheduling options! if it doesn't, i explain how to set up scheduling later in this guide!

now we all know computers code and software code is flawless, HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA :lol::lol: , oh my, that was funny (if you cant understand my computer geek humor that was a joke) Computer and software code is always flawed! So it is always good to have a backup to see if your anti-virus software is working properly and picking up all the viruses on your system! every month or so, do a on-line virus check! These checks are free and are totally web based! and will remove viruses on your system! BUT they are not substitutes for anti-virus software!

The best and most comprehensive online scanner is...

Microsoft Safety Center

Its a complete tuneup/safety service! It checks for mailware, spyware, regestry errors, system clutter, Open network ports, if you have all your windows updates and more!

Part 3:Build Your Firewall (be careful, HOT!)

Use a firewall! (not windows firewall :} )

Firewalls Keep People (hackers) from accessing your documents, files, and it just makes your computer safe!

You can go buy a firewall but... there is no point! Use an free on-line firewall!

For more firewall titles, take a look Here

Firewalls usually only need updating by-monthly! It will tell you when its time to download updates! don't worry! That wraps it up for firewalls!

Part 4:Staying Spy-ware Safe!...starting to wonder if I'll ever finish this

Spy-ware are little programs that watch everything you do, and can slow down your computer dramatically! And you may not even know you are installing them!

*dims the lights* Its VIDEO TIME!, you didn't think i was going to bore you with my talking the whole time did you? Watch the Spyware Video

hope you learned allot from the video! Now toward the middle of it they say "some software that easily got rid of it" Well there are may of them out there but, the one i think works the best!

Windows Defender If you want some other antispyware titles take a look here.

Part 5:Registry Cleaners/System Optimization Software

Many people just brush these things aside and don't take them seriously! Well its time to! By my standards THIS IS NOT AN OPTION. They should be used on a regular basis! And a scan should be run EVERY WEEK! They keep your system running fast! Almost Like new!

Free Registry Cleaner Titles Include

more registry cleaner titles may be found here(Not guaranteed to be free)

System Optimization Software Titles Include

Ask around for some more system optimization software.

Improve your log off time!

Make your log off fast! download the UPH Cleaner

Regestry tweeks(advanced)

Your can tweek your windows regestry to make it run faster, i dont recommended if your a n00b! Tweakes webiete

Improve your Internet connection speed!

Google web accelerator Is a excellent tool for boosting your Internet connections speed!

Part 6: GET RID OF THOSE!, temp files!

Whenever you go on the Internet or even open windows explorer, your PC makes a note that you did that. Now think...every time you click a link, go to a new page, or do anything that another note, eventually, they begin to add up and, take up space! so lets get rid of them!

Make Windows Dump Your History After a day

start>control panel>Internet options

where it says "specify how many days Internet explorer should save the list of the websites you you have visited" set it to 0 or 1 or 2 (use 1 or 2 only if you count on your history alot to find sites you visited). Now if you need to get a site it will still be there for the day but after 23:59 hrs your History will erase itself.

But thats only half the Battle!

Theres allot more notes that you didn't get rid of! But its CCleaner to the rescue! It scans your system for temp files and cleans out all the Junk! you should run this every week. Theres only one problem, sometimes ccleaner doesn't catch it all and needs a little help to completely clean out your temp folder! so in CCleaner go to the options section and click custom and add "C:\windows\temp". Now its all squeaky clean!

Get rid of all Norton software...

I find Norton anti-virus to be an absolutely useless product. This utility will remove all Norton products from your computer. It can be downloaded here

Part 7:Time To organize all that!

Now that you cleaned out all that junk you don't need, sort what you want and put it away, so its easier to find later! That what disk de-fragmenting is! Taking all your files and stuffing them in one closet so you can find them faster, well thats how you can think of it anyway. Not only will it help your computer retrieve your files faster, it will prolong the life of your hard-disk! You can de-fragment your drive by going, start>all programs>accessories>system tools>disk de-fragmenter. And click de-fragment!

There are many more programs which will de-fragment your drive, you can see them here

Part 8:Schedule it!

Windows can easily set up all these scans to happen on their own! When you say so!

To set this up go>Start<control panel>Scheduled Tasks>Double Click "add a new task" and the wizard will walk you threw it!

Part 9: The More The Merrier

The more RAM Your have! the faster your system will run and the more you can do! If you have less than 128mb, get more!

Part 10: Ask a geek (thats where msfn comes in)

Don't be afraid if you need some help! Thats what were here for! So ask away!

But be sure to keep irresponsible people off the computer and only give put a remote assistance invite to people you know/trust, even then, be careful

or

Thats right! OR! you can avoid ALL of that in this one OR, its simple! the secret is.. just use Faronics Deepfreeze The only thing with this is, you must partision your docs and settings folder in a different partision and keep this partision thawed when it askes what you want to freeze. You MUST do this if you ever want to save anything again

That was a quick 3 hours! :blink:

if i forgot anything let me know!

Edited by WolfX2
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One thing though...I doubt antivirus and firewall software will increase your system speed ;) .
The antivirus and firewall will unfortunatly do the opposite and slow down your system, ever so slightly but its for the security! Edited by wolf74481
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As far as I'm concerned I think that everyone who owns a computer should have a decent anti-virus system. The other problems can affect you, but a virus can affect you and everyone in your e-mail lists. As citizens of the Internet it should be incumbent on us all to prevent viruses from infiltrating our systems and being sent to others.

As for slowing down our systems, we have speed limits posted on every roadway to protect ourselves and others even though our cars can go much faster, and we all think that's a good idea.

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first post is contracting the title

Norton is by far the worst AV on the planet, not just in terms of virus finding, but it makes your system utterly useless once its installed.

you missed sygate, the best free firewall out there ...

also, what ever happend to nod32 AV? and kapersky (same company)

nod32 is the most award winning AV on the planet, and is alot cheaper than norton ... also, its fast, uses very little resources.

lots of great firewall software out there too, like agnitum outpost pro. (my fav)

biggest problem with hardware firewalls. they arn't easy to setup, sure they will last longer in a dos attack, but really, the hassles, are large, and when you make it easy for outgoing connections, if you get a trogram horse, your not blocking it from sending stuff, just like phone home adware/spyware.

which is why software firewalls are great, they tell you what app is trying to access where.

great spyware program for IE users, spybot s&d once installed, uses 0 resources, and never is in memory, but stop most spyware from even installing in the first place.

want to be really safe from spyware ,stop using internet explorer

use firefox or opera, they are good for now.

Edited by gdogg
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As far as I'm concerned I think that everyone who owns a computer should have a decent anti-virus system. The other problems can affect you, but a virus can affect you and everyone in your e-mail lists. As citizens of the Internet it should be incumbent on us all to prevent viruses from infiltrating our systems and being sent to others.

As for slowing down our systems, we have speed limits posted on every roadway to protect ourselves and others even though our cars can go much faster, and we all think that's a good idea.

Contrary to popular belief, AV and Firewall are NOT needed. And before you start flaming and calling me a n00b or whatever, I know what I'm on about. IE - I manage a few networks with 200+ computers on. (However all the machine to do with the corporate networks do have AV and firewalls, because company protocol demands it.)

Now, I have 9 machines on my home network, NON OF WHICH HAVE AV OR FIREWALL. In the 7 years I have been managing our home network NON of our computers have ever had a hacker attack, trojans, viruses, malware, adware etc... I do however reccommend that you do a regular scan with Ad-Aware (that is all that is needed) and a hardware firewall. That IS all you need. aslong as you dont download sh*tloads of freeware crap, you'll be fine.

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Norton is by far the worst AV on the planet, not just in terms of virus finding, but it makes your system utterly useless once its installed.

From a REAL computer tech, all I can say to that quote is "that's a big 10-4 good buddy!"

Anyone who would start off a thread listing McAfee and Norton as top quality products, should be just disregarded on everything else he said.

Those two brands of software are the biggest Frauds on the market. Maybe on the planet. :no:

As a working tech, I take that crap off of my customers' PCs all the time and improve performance by a quantum leap. It ranks right up there with viruses, trojans and spyware in my book.

As for Norton, I'd rather try to remove a virus than that P.O.C.

I have a special package that I call the "Norton Killer". It removed all Norton product files from the HD and then strips out all the registry entries that Norton installs. There's several hundred of them.

For a nice friendly and very efficient AV program you can't beat AVG 7.1 FREE. I use it and share it with all my customers. The automatic update and scan feature is just excellent.

There are some tweaks that will greatly improve XP system performance.

You can find them written up on This Webpage

Shutting down un-needed Services is a great place to start. Then shutting down all the junk that's loading from the MSCONFIG / startup folder is a good second.

Finally, get the Kernal up off the HD and into ram where it can run hundreds of times faster.

That GREATLY improves system performance.

Then do a very thorough cleaning of the HD and remove all files not required.

Don't forget to Defrag regularly to keep the HD running smoothly.

I do this stuff for a living and if I do say so myself, I'm dang'd good at it.

Have a good day now, y'heah?

Andromeda43

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As far as I'm concerned I think that everyone who owns a computer should have a decent anti-virus system. The other problems can affect you, but a virus can affect you and everyone in your e-mail lists. As citizens of the Internet it should be incumbent on us all to prevent viruses from infiltrating our systems and being sent to others.
*clapping* very well said!

Anyone who would start off a thread listing McAfee and Norton as top quality products, should be just disregarded on everything else he said.

Those two brands of software are the biggest Frauds on the market. Maybe on the planet.

alas, this is what YOU think and simply not a fact. (but i do agree with you on the norton thing, its a HORRIBLE HORRIBLE antivirus!so i took it off and added kaspersky!)

I added your Tweakes website, it is a good resource!

@Everyone: If you want me to add your software...

  • List
  • It
  • Like
  • This

and give me the url's to there siite!

Edited by wolf74481
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IT Specialists don't come here looking for help......

Home users do....users that are exposed to the worlds worse threats every day and are not hiding behind a hardware firewall. Users that don't have a clue what they need to do to get safe and stay safe.

Telling them that they don't need anti virus and multiple anti spyware programs is the most irresponsible thing I've read here in ages. I'd think that the admins would just delete that kind of stuff from this forum.

It makes me ashamed to even be a member of this forum.

I'm outta hear.....

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Nice tutorial. I agree with all your points but I would rather not have any kind of dependency on AV progs or even spyware cleaners and firewalls but such is life....the more popular you are the more enemies you have.

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Nice tutorial. I agree with all your points but I would rather not have any kind of dependency on AV progs or even spyware cleaners and firewalls but such is life....the more popular you are the more enemies you have.

that is soo true

Edited by wolf74481
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Great stuff wolf74481. A couple of quick suggestions though.

1) Put Microsoft Update first on the list. For the most part, if you've got that up to date, you're better off than not doing so and using an up-to-date anti-virus. There are security vulnerabilities that an AV program may not pick up.

2) Replace AVG with Avast in the list of free anti-virus programs. From what I've told my friends (and personal preference), Avast is easier to use, and also has a better track record than AVG.

3)For firewalls, I would recommend Kerio over ZA. I've found that ZA has quite a few false positives and it's fairly heavy on system resources.

4)Where's the recommendation to defrag the hard drive? Even the built in Windows Defragger will help over nothing at all. This is an absolute must if you want to keep your system running decently fast.

In general, if you want a good list of the latest freeware, www.filehippo.com is a good place to look.

Again, great work. :thumbup

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I agree with a good portion of your posts, if I don't necessarily agree with the products used. However, I know this list is for home users and average Joe's, so bravo for your ease-of-reading style and relative thoroughness. I do agree that using Windows Update should be #1 on the list, becuase having an up-to-date system regarding hotfixes and security releases usually makes all of the other problems less prevalent. Bravo to you for taking the time to write something up!

I would like to add that I find it better, in the long run, for people to use a hardware firewall AND Windows firewall on their systems, rather than another software firewall. I know forcing a home user to learn how to use the hardware device is time-consuming (and oftentimes downright maddening), but it is ultimately better for the OS in the long run (if you're hitting the software firewall, you're already hitting a box that can be exploited). Multiple layers of security and all that.

Overall, bravo.

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