82. Eliminate unwanted programs from boot
find that many of the programs you install on your system set portions of
themselves to run automatically when you start up your computer. Each program
that runs on startup not only consume system resources but also extends the
length of time it takes your PC to fully boot.
is generally unnecessary to have any programs running in the background (other
than security software like virus-scanners or firewalls) disable your unwanted
startup programs to increase your startup speed and conserve system resources.
easiest way to go about this task is to use the MSCONFIG utility, which may be
familiar to users of Windows 9x. This handy program contains a list of software
which is set to start when you boot your PC. You can then easily disable and
re-enable (if necessary) these items.
'start\run' and type 'msconfig' to access the utility.
'startup' tab in MSCONFIG provides access to several other applications that are
started at boot up and are running in the background. By examining their
Filenames and directories, you should be able to get a feeling for what is
necessary and what is not.
than several viruses and worms have a habit of disguising themselves with
authoritative sounding Windows system file names, such as the Win32.spybot.worm
as MSCONFIG32.EXE. Leave these for now if you are not sure.
place you should go is 'start\programs\startup' which is a directory Windows XP
uses to launch application shortcuts on boot-up. If you remove the shortcuts
from this directory, the applications will not load on startup. This directory
can also be a repository for various badness such as spyware and virus software,
so if there are files here which are not shortcuts and you don't recognize them,
you may wish to consider removing them anyways, as Windows will not place
critical files in this directory.
83. Scan your PC for spyware and Adware
lines of the above tip, various programs may also be operating on your computer
without your knowledge, transmitting information about your surfing habits to
interested commercial enterprises.
spyware and adware programs (including the infamous Gator) are bundled in with
many popular freeware programs like Kazaa Media Desktop, and can also be
'caught' from websites which host the software as part of their entrance
requirements. Beware of text boxes asking you if you would like to install
so-and-so program while you are surfing.
are interested, we wrote a whole article on the topic. To summarize, these
programs can compromise both your privacy and security, as well as your Internet
performance, so removing them is a good idea. To do this, you should use either
Lavasoft's Adaware or Spybot Search and Destroy.
programs are fairly straightforward and easy to use, and will effectively rid
your PC of pesky parasite programs. See the article for more details.
84. Disable boot virus detection
virus detection setting is a holdover from the early days of computer viruses,
when the greatest threat was from virus programs that wrote themselves into the
boot sector of hard disks or the partition table. Some motherboards are equipped
to monitor any attempt to write to these areas during boot up, and halt the
process with a warning for the user.
every version of Windows after 3.1 needs to write to these areas during install,
and the modern virus style of choice is the email worm, this feature is now
obsolete. Disable it for convenience and increased boot speed. It will commonly
be found in the 'advanced BIOS features' section of the BIOS.