*Keeping Home Computers Problem-Free*
By: CountryLady
29 October 2004

Please note that I am not a computer expert, but this is what I do with my Windows XP computer, and I don't have the problems some folks are fighting. Here are my suggestions.

First of all, make SURE you are using a GOOD Anti-Virus Program. Norton is considered the BEST. I use Trendmicro's PC-Cillin 2005, and it updates several times a day. A good Anti-Virus program that is FREE for home users is AVG from Grisoft...

If you're using IE as your browser, go to...
'Tools' then 'Internet Options' and click the 'Security' tab.
Make sure your settings are at LEAST at Medium and click 'Apply' at the bottom right corner.

Then click the 'Privacy' tab.
Make sure your settings are at LEAST at Medium High, and click 'Apply' at the bottom right corner.

Then click the 'Advanced' tab.
Make sure you DISABLE 'Install on Demand' for both 'Internet Explorer' and 'Other' in the browsing section, and click 'Apply' at the bottom right corner again.

Then click 'OK' at the bottom and restart your computer. That should make sure they are set.

Download Spybot Search & Destroy v1.3 (freeware) from...
and make sure you 'UPDATE' it right away, as well as 'Immunize' your computer. These choices are on the main dialog box.

Download Ad-Aware SE v1.05 (freeware) from...
and make sure you 'Update' it right away.

THEN close your other programs and run each of them, one at a time. It will take a while but its okay to play Solitaire or something simple while it works. I usually follow the 'recommended' actions on Spybot S&D. ALL Adware gets deleted. :)

Download Popup Stopper (freeware) from...
and set it to reside in your system tray which will allow you to turn it off if you choose or you can just Press 'ctrl' while clicking to allow that ONE popup as needed.

After all this, you'll probably want to run scandisk and defragment your computer. (there is no scandisk on XP)
On my XP machine, I go to 'Start', 'All programs', 'Accessories', 'System tools' and 'Disk Cleanup' and remove all my history files, temp files, recycle box, and Internet temp files.

Next, I disable all 'resident systems' such as anti-virus, screensaver, etc, so nothing is running in the background.
Then I go to 'Start', 'All programs', 'Accessories', 'System tools' and 'Disk Defragmenter'. It may say that defragmentation is not needed. Do it ANYWAY. LOL

I suggest that you run Spybot S&D and Ad-Aware often, DAILY is not too often, but some folks do it weekly. AND don't forget to check for UPDATES on both before running them.

If you have others using your computer and you don't think they will respect your settings, or that they MAY download music files, games, visit casino sites, etc. PASSWORD PROTECT that puppy so they can't get on without your assistance. :-p

LOTS of Luck. Keeping our computers free of problems is a continuing battle.

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