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Computer Rebuilds

We have a theory that sludge builds up inside a computer over time, much like an automobile engine. After a while, it doesn't start up like when it was new, it stalls unexpectedly, and performance is sluggish. Here's my special recipe to clean that icky goo out of your computer's pipes, so Windows will start quicker, run more reliably, and go faster on the information superhighway...

Key Benefits to Rebuilding:
Your Computers SPEED will be Optimized
Usually a computer operator will install and uninstall various software throughout a computer's lifetime. These constant readjustments will alter the computer's configuration. As a result, the way or the speed a computer boots up or starts will be indirectly affected. Then while the computer is running, these defects in the configuration will also inhibit the performance of your processor in general.

A Virus can be completely eradicated
from any computer by reformatting. Essentially you are wiping the hard drive clean and rewriting all your information using a fresh copy. No virus can withstand reformatting.

Nonfunctional Programs can be restored
Over time programs may become faulty and inoperable for various reasons. To remedy program errors, removal and reinstallation will usually work, but not always. When a reinstall is unsuccessful, it is usually because there are problems with the configuration of the computer. Essentially this means your machine is no longer able to set itself up to run properly and will have difficulty using ANY software. Reformatting the computer will reset the configuration back to its original state. After reformatting, programs can be reinstalled successfully, thus eliminating your software problems.

Optimization of Disc Space
After your computer is reformatted it frees up your entire hard drive.
You want more hard drive space because:

1) You will be able to install more software programs which are the programs you actually use.

2) The computer will have more free space that can be applied to its virtual memory which will increase the machine resources making it more stable.

Finally, it will make your computer operate
the way it did when you first bought it, FAST.....

In some instances we can even make your computer run faster by removing extraneous software. If you never run certain software that may have came with your machine, there is no reason to have it installed or for that matter reinstall it.

In most instances having too many programs on a computer will usually bog it down pulling too hard on the processor. This will free up processing and at the same time increase your drive space so you can put more software on that you want.

During a rebuild is also an opportune time to perform an upgrade. Since you are rebuilding, why not a larger amount RAM or a high end video card, which will make your machine even quicker then it was originally.

Most users do not understand exactly how the Registry works or what it is. The Registry is basically an encrypted database that Windows reads to determine how to function and what to display and when to display it. The Registry is what controls Windows. By adding a few entries you can change the folder icons in the Windows Explorer to any icon you want. By changing a single value in the Registry you can remove the Shut Down label from the Start Menu, or disable the ability to cut, copy and paste files. You can also disable an entire program by removing a single key.

ADD Remove Programs - Overtime a PC can accumulate a huge list of different softwares that may no longer be running. By Removing all the software that is no longer in use can have a tremendous effect on processor speed and available resources. This is especially true with any printers, digital cameras, or scanners that no longer reside or are in use on this computer. Remove all remnant of these devices and watch your pc come back to life.

WHICH ANTI-VIRUS OR ANTI-SPYWARE - I hear from some readers who run 2 or 3 anti-virus programs, and half a dozen anti-spyware tools. Personally, I think that's overkill. Feuding "anti's" can cause system lockups, and slow down your computer. You really need to do is remove all redundant virus scanners and invest in a single suite provided by a major antivirus provider. We recommend any Trend, Symantec, or McAfee Security suite. If you need it professionally and installed and configured, call today!

RECOVERY CONSOLE - Sometimes viruses, spyware or random cosmic rays will attack your computer, leaving you unable to even start Windows. In many cases, the Windows XP Recovery Console can help you fix the problem.

Manually Configuring Your MSCONFIG
File Advanced Users Only!

MSCONFIG ("Microsoft System Configuration Utility") is useful tool built into Windows®98®, Windows®98SE®, Windows®ME® and Windows®XP®. Primarily a diagnostic tool, it can be used to increase system resources, reduce boot time, eliminate error messages, disable some forms of Adware/Spyware and lessen the likelihood of system lockups.

Accessing MSCONFIG
To access MSCONFIG, click on the Windows® Start box found in the left side of the Taskbar, select Run and type MSCONFIG in the dialog box. Click OK. After the utility opens, click on the far right tab, Startup, to view a list of programs that load automatically when your computer starts up. (While MSCONFIG looks a little different in Windows®XP®, it operates the same as the utility on Windows® systems.) If you are running Win2K Pro, an excellent, free utility is available here. (Be sure to read the download instructions so that you save it to the correct folder.) In MSCONFIG, a check in the box to the left of a program name means that the program will load when you start your computer.

Before using MSCONFIG

Before resorting to MSCONFIG, try to prevent a program from automatically starting by:
Un-installing it, unless you need and use the program.
Looking for an option in the program (usually found in Preferences or Settings) such as Start (name of program) when I start my computer or similar option. If the option is found and is checked, simply remove the check.
Removing the program from the Startup folder. The paths (assuming that your boot drive is C):
Win98SE: C:\Windows\StartMenu\Programs\Startup.
C:\Documents and Settings\All Users\Start Menu\Programs\Startup.
C:\Documents and Settings\All Users\Start Menu\Programs.
C:\Documents and Settings\All Users\Start Menu.

In addition, substitute the names of users on your computer for the All Users folder and check the startup programs associated with their profiles.

A vast improvement over MSCONFIG
If you want more flexibility than MSCONFIG provides, including the ability to remove values from registry keys where many Adware/Spyware programs hide, download and install Starter v5.6.1.23 by Code Stuff, an excellent freeware startup manager for Windows 95/98/2000/XP. Find out more about the program and get it here.
Essential startup items
Some startup items are necessary for trouble-free operation of your computer. Make certain that there is check preceding the following items:
LoadPowerProfile. (If you are using a power saving scheme, leave both checked.)
Antivirus applications, such as Norton AutoProtect or McAfeeWEbScanX.
Don't fret if one of these items, especially LoadPowerProfile, fails to appear in MSCONFIG. One instance of LoadPowerProfile controls power saving before logging onto Windows and the other controls power saving after logging on to Windows. If you are not using the power saving feature, you don't need it.

Non-essential startup items

Many programs installed from disk, programs downloaded from the Web, printer software and Microsoft applications contain computer code that inserts the programs into the startup menu. This is done, we suspect, so that the program icon will appear in the System Tray (right side of taskbar near time display), an inexpensive method of promoting the program. Non-essential programs in the startup menu gobble up system resources. New machines from major manufacturers are replete with programs of dubious value that consume disk space and system resources. In quite a few cases, we have seen system resources reduced considerably on account of the large number of programs that load when the system starts. To improve system performance and to reduce the time that it takes for your computer to boot, look at the startup items and remove the check from programs that you recognize. One program that you might not recognize is LOADQM.EXE (MSN Explorer Query Manager). While there is much speculation as to the precise purpose of this program (Does it check for updates to the MSN browser or does it monitor browsing habits?). For the record, Microsoft claims that the program, "loads the MSN Queue Manager component which manages queuing for the background file-transfer mechanism that is known as the drizzling service." Now, you understand precisely what the program does, right? If it appears in the startup items, remove the check in the box preceding the program. Another item in the startup group that you might not recognize is run=hpfsched. This program generates a periodic reminder to clean the cartridges in your HP DeskJet printer. Remove the check in the box preceding this item. If you are in doubt about a program, don't touch it.

Check the path
Take care to check the full path of an entry in MSCONFIG. After un-installing Norton Antivirus 5 and installing Norton Antivirus 2002, we received the always delightful missing dll message. In this case the absent dll was defannty.dll. While later versions of Norton Antivirus place items in the startup menu, such as ccApp and ccRegVfy, that should not be removed, the un-install of Norton Antivirus 5 left behind an entry in the startup menu, the mysterious, missing defannty.dll. A close examination of the paths for defannty.dll and ccApp and ccRegVfy disclosed that the dll was used by the earlier version. It was de-selected and upon re-boot, the missing dll message vanished.

Strange, but true

Adware/Spyware programs downloaded from the Web can wreak havoc with Internet connectivity. In one case, we had to remove a program from the startup items to restore an Internet connection. In another case, we removed a suspicious program from the startup items and could not thereafter connect to the Internet. Only after placing a check in the box preceding the program were we able to connect to the Internet.

Blank entry in MSCONFIG
If you have a blank entry in MSCONFIG it is likely to be as a result of one of two things:
A program install/uninstall has not completed properly and therefore not updated the registry "Run" keys. Looking at these registry keys may in some cases reveal an entry with a Name but no Data, others may have neither:
Check these keys and see if there's an entry under Name and it may give a clue. As no program isn't being loaded in the Data column then the registry entry can safely be deleted. Author's second note: Back up the registry before making any changes. Also, in XP®, set a System Restore point.

A virus or other maliscious piece of software has compromised the system. Many virusses modify various registry keys, including the "Run" keys.

Making the changes stick
After you make changes to the startup items, click Apply and OK. When prompted to restart the computer, click Yes. When Windows®XP® restarts, a dialog box will appear advising you that the system has started in diagnostic or selective startup mode. Click OK. If you make no changes, be sure to click Cancel or you will be prompted to re-start your computer.

If you remove a startup item and experience problems, just run MSCONFIG again and place a check in the box preceding the item that you removed. If after removing an item, your computer does not boot normally, re-boot in Safe Mode (depress F8 key or <Ctrl> key repeatedly as the computer begins to boot and select Safe Mode).

Additional notes about XP
Most, if not all, XP machines purchased off the rack from discounters or via the Web from major manufacturers feature a a plethora of pre-installed programs - programs that in the main you won't ever use. In earlier versions of Windows, you would notice a large number of icons for these programs on the right side of the Taskbar. In XP, which regularly conceals unused icons, you probably won't notice them. Since many of these programs are coded to run as startup items, they will collectively consume a considerable chunk of memory. Putting aside the Win.ini file where some legacy programs may add commands, the programs will run either from a startup folder or from the registry. Use Starter v5.6.1.23 by CodeStuff, an excellent freeware startup manager to prevent these programs from loading. Long Island NY based Computer Repair Company that services both Nassau and Suffolk Counties New York 2013 Computer Repair Service for Long Island New York