[Offtopic] Servicing Your Computer

stephen at melbpc.org.au stephen at melbpc.org.au
Sat Oct 17 02:25:31 EST 2009

Hi all,

Just a thought. Do hope everyone with stand-alone or small home networked
computers, and running Windows XP or Vista, survived the *huge* Microsoft
update over the last few days.

If so, and your computer is running fine with no glitches, it does appear
a *good* time to create another System Restore Point. That is, as your PC
is completely up-to-date (regarding Windows anyway) and, hopefully, is in
good wobble-free condition, it does seem a good time to save a 'snapshot'
of your Win Registry etc, so that if something does go wrong with it, you
have saved a good snapshot of your machine when it's running well and you
can revert to this point if anything does go wrong in future. Make sense?

Of course the creation of System Restore Points are meant to happen every
time you install a new program or driver whatever (in fact every time you
restart your computer) automatically but who knows? Maybe you've switched
it off, or had trouble and re-started lots of times, trying to get things
working properly.

So, I for one, love to create my own restore points. Especially when like
now, I'm fairly certain Windows is in good working condition. Eg after an
update, and everything seems speedy and stable.

Anyway, it's very simple to create a new System Restore Point. With WinXP
simply go to: Start > All Programs >  Accessories > System Tools > System
Restore and follow the prompts. It just takes a few seconds and you'll be
prompted to save your new Restore Point with a logical name and that's it.
Don't ask me how to do it with Vista. Perhaps others might email and tell?

Now if anything goes wrong with Windows you can simply restore it to this
Restore Point, and all should be well again. Of course you will loose any
thing you've changed since this point, but, that is probably exactly what
you want to do, to have your computer back to a good working system again.

Yes?  Anyway, here's what Microsoft say about their System Restore Points:

Just a couple more things while you are 'servicing' your computer. If you
haven't updated whatever virus/pop-up/firewall checkers you also run, why
not click on 'update' for them also. You may as well also have your virus
checker scan your machine now as well mainly to get rid of all the sneeky
'tracking cookies' you will have collected in your net travels. These are
so that websites keep track of where you've browsed since your last visit
to their website and so they can target all those ads they present to you
according to your respective interests. They do other things as well, but
mainly track your browsing habits. And, it's none of their business i say.

Finally, you will have a .pdf reader of some sort on your machine as just
about every machine has. So why not check you're running the latest Flash
version available? Now, cause Microsoft is getting much better at keeping
Windows secure, evil-doers are increasingly targetting Flash as an easier
target for doing horrible things to you and your computer. It's very easy
to check, just go to here: http://www.adobe.com/software/flash/about/ and
Adobe will tell you which version you're running. If it is not 
you will be able to very quickly update this on your computer as well. It
may be better if you do this before creating a new restore point some say.

If you really want to treat your machine to a 'full service' you may also
want to run Disk CleanUp & Disk Defragmenter (Under System Tools) as well
before creating your new Restore Point. But I like to do this again after
running Disk CleanUp and Disk Defragmenter, just in case they stuff my PC
whilst they are doing their respective things.

Ok, that's it. Spend a while doing this, and your PC *will* be in tip-top
and fully serviced condition ready to take whatever anyone wants to throw
at our respective machines. And, that's a *great* feeling, I find, anyway.

Of course, I may have missed something else you can do, but that's it for
my machine anyway. Can anyone think of anything else to do, so as to tune
and service your machine? Go on have a go and save yourself hundreds of $
on keeping your stand-alone machines working well, and reliably, for ages.

Cheers people
Stephen Loosley
Member, Victorian
Institute of Teaching.

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