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How do you guys do your computer maintenance?



I mean like defragging, virus-checking, and other actions. I do not do anything. My virus scanner updates automatically and that is about it. Once a while I run Ad-Ware and SpyBlaster.

What do you guys do?

I just installed a DVD+-RW and I would like to make sure that my system is running fine. Iw ould love to run diagnostic tools once a month on my whole system (Physical drives, OS, Applications, everthing)

Where should I start?



I usually don't bother with all that crap. After a month or two (six is my record) i just reformat.


Apple lover, PC User
Same here, format is the way to go. I usally don't even backup anything except emails.. documents that are 3 months old are usally trashed... I really should get a file server so I can save the important ones.. oh well. When I was back on 56k I used a download folder.. still have yet to clear it.. 5GB and counting...



Glaanies script monkey
Political User
I'm sorry but FORMAT is terrible advice. I run my AV once a month or so, and Spybot once a week. Clean up your temp files and defrag every couple weeks. Not much else to do, I've had installations for years, as long as you treat your PC ok, there is no need to format it. I ran Win98SE on an old machine for 2 and half years with no problems and no formats.


Overclocked Like A Mother
I will have to agree with you, J

Formatting is more for when your OS has crossed that line and you cannot save it. Even then, running a OS repair off the boot disk can be the answer sometimes. Certainly beats starting over, especially when there so much windows updates to install as well as other stuff. The last time it took me over 4 hours getting all the updates and rebooting every twenty minutes to install everything, I am still applying tweaks that I missed as I go along.

Pretty much the same as J79ZLR, AV every month, a little heavy on the defrag and spybot, and cleaning out the temps at the same time,



Glaanies script monkey
Political User
Originally posted by adamg
I usually don't bother with all that crap. After a month or two (six is my record) i just reformat.
I have a FreeBSD machine that isn't even REBOOTED that often, I would be concerned if you find this necessary.
My slackware machine is pretty much secure as it is, i backup to a few cdrw's.
My mandrake 9.2 machine is only a test machine so not much goes on there.
My XP machine used only for college work is updated regularly, to a cdrw, defraged every friday night, checked fo virii with Norton 2003 and AVG Pro every friday night, scandisk runs every two days and a update my emergancy floppy every day.
Originally posted by j79zlr
I have a FreeBSD machine that isn't even REBOOTED that often, I would be concerned if you find this necessary.
I have to agree, re-formatting is done when your OS cannot be recovered and there is alot that can be done to recover an OS from a pretty bad state, if you need to reformat regularly look into the security updates you have installed etc.... if not find a new OS


F@H - Is it in you?
Staff member
Political User
yup... a good defrag once in a while and perhaps a manual search for redundant folders and apps is a good way to keep things streamlined :)

I am not so hardcore into formatting... I do it when I have to...

now that I have dual drives I can set it up with a 0+1 jig and format one and recover rapidly :) but I am still unlikely to suggest formatting all the time... uneccesary wear and tear..
i have a huge bunch of taks in windows and every week when im away my pc completes a whole maintenance session on its own :)
starting with updating definitions, virusscan, spybot scan, backup email and favorites, defrag C and D, standby.
lol i know its risky :p but it works for me. else i wont ever happen cause i hate to do maintenance on my own, makes the pc so slow :S
Im with adamg, I just get annoyed with too much stuff etc on mine and just format, it really does help me a lot - makes everything run smoothly once again, the comp doesnt start the labourious slow down, all in all it just feels a lot nicer.
And Im not bothered about starting all over again, I like a change.

But for maintenance I run Norton Systemworks OBC once in a while - checks registry for errors etc.
NAV updates itself.
I defrag once it starts slowing down sufficiently to trigger a resonse (probably once every 2 months or so).
I run Ad-Aware very occassionally.
And thats about it.


I defrag once a week, run scan disk once a week .. clean the reg every day. Run adaware and spybot every other day. And reformat every six months whether I need to or not ..
Here are the few little things that I do:

- Symantec AV Corp 8.1 updates definitions automatically every Wednesday through LiveUpdate
- A defrag with PerfectDisk 6.0 after I install more than a couple of apps (especially larger ones). NTFS doesn't seem to suffer from fragmentation as much as FAT32 used to.
- Windows Update once every week. I prefer to check for updates manually rather than have Automatic Update get everything, just so that I know what's being installed.
- Run RegSupreme once a week, and manually clean out the SOFTWARE section of the registry (both HKLM and HKCU)
- Delete the contents of the Windows Prefetch folder once a month - I tend to test out a lot of software, a lot of which gets uninstalled, leaving behind junk entries in the prefetch folder.

I ran Ad-Aware once after 6 months the other day, and it found nothing. Decided I wouldn't need to run it ever again. Just have to know what you're doing on the net, and spyware won't make it into your system. Besides, I've set Firebird to nuke all cookies each time I close it, except those on a whitelist containing sites I visit often. So no adware/spyware through that route either.

Format/Reinstall - only when the whole system starts to noticeably drop in performance...which doesn't usually happen anyway.


Political User
Windows XP maintainence plan:

1. Defrag
2. Virus scan
3. Remove lots of crap
4. Search for random files and folders you do not need
5. Delete temporary files
6. Clear cookies
7. Empty trashcan
8. Run ad-aware
9. Spybot
10. reboot
11. defrag
12. reboot
13. Windows update
14. reboot
15. If Windows Update install 1+mb { run defrag again }
16. Have fun with your pc :)

FreeBSD maintaince plan:

1. Clean up random crap laying around
2. Enjoy your PC.
It depends on how you use your pc I do maintenance a little more often than alot of users. I am always adding and removeing applications. I like trying new or differant programs almost daily, and updateing software when they are released. I think a reinstall is a good idea in my case every four months. This will not give me any XP activation problems also.

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