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> Total Tune Up
coathanger007
post Nov 23 2004, 10:53 AM
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Free PC Optimization

There are many ways to squeeze out more performance from your PC without resorting to hardware upgrades. Unfortunately when we first purchase our PC it comes with the sluggish default settings. Over time the poor PC gets clogged up with all sorts of garbage as we install programs, download from the internet so on and so forth. There are many ways to tune up the PC for optimal performance though. I won’t go through the individual settings (as there are a multitude of them). This article will simply point you to the free tools you can use for optimization.

Tweak Settings
One tool most people should know about is Tweakui . It has several useful settings for e.g. speeding up start menu, changing special folder locations, preventing applications from stealing focus etc. Another is Freshui with hundreds of tweaks for system performance and GUI customization. By far the most comprehensive tweaker is X-Setup Pro It has nearly 1,700 hidden functions that can be controlled with some simple button clicks (e.g. Windows, Internet Explorer, Instant Messaging, Office, Explorer appearance, Server options, Network settings, Security...). And old favorite of mine is AIDA32. This diagnostic freeware check your hardware to see if there is anything that can be improved. It's now called Lavasys Everest and can be downloaded here:
http://www.lavalys.com/products/overview.p...pid=1〈=en
For more advanced settings I recommend Driverheaven's TuneXP with settings to optimize the prefetch, disable executive paging, defragging boot files and more.

Malware Cleaners
With all the advertising and underhanded practices on the internet these days your PC is bound to become infected with spyware and other malware. There are several tools to clean these. It’s best to use all of these and not depend on just one. Some malware scanners might pick up infections that the others may not and vice versa. The ones that I use are:
- Spybot (which also comes with the Tea timer realtime monitor),
- Ad Aware
- Ewido is a relatively new product but already protects you with over 171,000 signatures.
- Finally there’s Microsoft Antispyware. I’ve left the best to last.
Still in its beta stages and requires you to validate that you have a genuine copy of Windows but looking very promising. It has been tested to detect more infected files than both Spybot and Ad Aware. Quite impressive.

Disk Cleanup
This first step everyone should probably already know. In the Start Menu go to Accessories>System Tools>Disk Cleanup. The go Control Panel>Add or Remove Programs and remove all those programs you never used. You may be surprised to find some spyware have crept in. Once that’s done navigate to Documents and Settings/Username/Local Settings/Temp and delete the contents. If you don’t want to keep your internet cache then you can also delete the contents of the /Temporary Internet Files/ folder. By default Internet Explorer reserves too much space for temp internet files. You can change this to e.g. 20MB by going to Control Panel>Internet Options>Temporary Internet Files>Settings

Then you can use these freeware tools for cleaning up other hard to reach temp files. In addition to temporary and log files, Crap Cleaner also cleans the registry and MRUs from third part applications. CM Diskcleaner is no longer freeware. It has a large and customizable file filter and can be set to delete zero byte files and invalid shortcuts. I have hosted the last freeware version here:
http://www.freedecentdownloads.com/softw...DiskCleaner.exe

To clean the registry I have always recommended JV16 powertools. It’s safe and it does a through clean. Unfortunately again it is no longer freeware. So I’ve hosted the last freeware version here: http://www.freedecentdownloads.com/softw...ware/jv1613.exe
Another good registry cleaner is RegscrubXP Very easy to use.

Once these are done you can use NTREGOPT to compress the registry. The program works by recreating each registry hive "from scratch", thus removing any slack space that may be left from previously modified or deleted keys.

Then defragment the entire hard disk using Diskkeeper lite. The official site no longer hosts the free version so I've hosted it here: http://www.freedecentdownloads.com/softw...skeeperlite.exe

And voila, you’re done. Now just use some benchmarking tools to test out your new and improved PC. A good compact one is Dacris which is no longer freeware sad.gif So again I've hosted the last freeware version here:
http://www.freedecentdownloads.com/softw...ware/Dacris.exe
And one that most people know about is Futuremark PCMark:
http://futuremark.com/download/

All the freeware in this article and more are on my freeware site.http://www.freedecentdownloads.com


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Skorzen
post Dec 28 2006, 10:40 PM
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There are some interesting tools in this post. I'm currently using just CCleaner and SpywareBlaster. Of course, I also use AntiVir as my anti-virus. Do you recommend me more stuff to put my computer's performance on it's limits?

This post has been edited by Skorzen: Dec 28 2006, 10:41 PM
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coathanger007
post Dec 29 2006, 12:04 AM
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For speed I recommend the freeware on the Tweakfiles page of Decent Downloads:

http://www.freedecentdownloads.com/Tweakfi...Tweakfiles.html

Especially:
AR Ramdisk (virtual drive on RAM)
Crap Cleaner (Disk Cleaner)
Diskeeper lite (Defragmenter)
JV16 Powertools and Regscrub (Registry Cleaners)
NTREGOPT (registry defrag)
Sisoft Sandra (system info and diagnosis)
TuneXP (contains the essential system tweaks)
Tweakui


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coathanger007
post Apr 13 2013, 02:47 AM
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Here's a great all-in-one freeware tool for 2013.

Wise Care 365 (Free Version) is an all-in-one system utility that checks your computer for common junk files, invalid registry entries and potential performance tweaks. After the initial scan, your computer is assigned a "Health Index' score and you can review the items that are suggested to be fixed and apply the fixes. If there are issues that you would rather leave untouched, you can customize the scan settings and exclude them. Instead of running the "fix it all" scan, you can also use the provided tools and manually scan your computer for selected issues. Other features include registry defrag, secure file deletion, a startup manager, system optimization tweaks, disk defrag, automatic registry backup and an option to schedule automatic scanning and cleaning. The free version does not include the additional "Privacy Eraser" features.
http://www.wisecleaner.com/wisecare365.html

I've already used it on all my PCs and it does the job nicely with a friendly interface.


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