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Last updated on 09/24/2011

Page index:
HOW TO DISENFECT FILES, EMAILS, & DISK DRIVES WITHOUT OPENING THEM
BASIC COMPUTER MAINTENANCE FOR REGULAR PEOPLE
HOW TO DISENFECT AN EXTERNAL DISK/THUMB DRIVE
SPILLED COFFEE ON MY KEYBOARD/MOUSE/CEL PHONE……
GUNK ALL OVER MY LAPTOP’S SCREEN

The following is a compilation from several sources. Some I knew, some from Service Express, Inc, and some from PC World. If you have any to share e-mail them to me using the "Contact Us" button at the bottom of this page.


BEFORE YOU MAKE MAJOR CHANGES TO YOUR COMPUTER

It would be very wise if you created a current ‘Restore Point’ on your computer before you do any major work on it. Like adding or deleting programs and hardware. This way you can go back to the starting point if something were to go terribly wrong.

In XP find the "System Restore" screen. Choose "Create" and follow the prompts.

In Vista right click on "Computer", select "Properties", then "System Protection" in the left pane. Choose "Create" and follow the prompts.

In 7 click "Start" and search for "Restore". Click on "create" restore point”, then on the “create button at the bottom right.

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HOW TO DISENFECT FILES, EMAILS, & DISK DRIVES WITHOUT OPENING THEM

Thankfully this is an easy one for most newer operating systems. Just right click on the icon or email name and select the ‘scan with’ option from the menu. Your Antivirus or Antimalware program should be listed and can scan the item without opening them up.

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Basic Computer Maintenance for Regular People

Things to do every day :

Back up your computer daily.
OK, OK I don't even do this every day. But if you did a lot of work today it is a really really good idea. At least back up weekly.

Run your Anti-Virus Program.
There are many paid and free versions on anti-virus programs available from the web. Be sure to select automatic updates and set the task scheduler to run a scan EVERY day. I personally use AVG free. I have had no problems for years.


Things to do every week :

Scan for Malware.
There are many paid and free versions on anti-malware programs available from the web. Be sure to select automatic updates and set the task scheduler to run a scan every week if available, or manually update before you run the scan. I personally use Malwarebytes' Anti-malware free & SpyBot SD free. I run one right after the other as no single program can catch all the bad stuff. I have had no problems for years.


Things to do every month :

Run the Disk Defrag program.
Windows comes with a good defragging program. You can set the Task Scheduler or do it manually. Go to 'My Computer', right click on the drive you want. Select 'Properties', click on 'Tools', then click on 'Defrag'. Windows 7 will show you a short history and allow you to customize the schedule.

Run the Disk Error Check program.
Same location as the Defrag program.


Things to do twice a year :

Remove programs and files you no longer need.
If you no longer need it, remove it! Not sure if you really need that program? Create a file of web addresses of programs you might need to reinstall. Now if you haven't used it in over a year, delete it without worrying about where to find it again. With files, pictures and videos you have it in your back up DVD or drive. You did do regular backups right? Or you can make a DVD and save it that way.
Remember - A clean computer is a happy computer! :)

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HOW TO DISENFECT AN EXTERNAL DISK/THUMB DRIVE:

Hooking up to a computer with a different OS is preferable. Either way first update ALL antivirus, anti-malware, anti-spy ware, etc. Now disconnect from the web, ALL phone/fax lines, etc. so no one else can get infected and the bad guys can’t call for help. Next turn the ‘AUTO RUN’ feature on your computer off. Last step, hook up the infected drive and clean it up. Some drives may be so badly infected that you can barely get your needed files off safely. It may be wiser to trash those drives.

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WHOOPS, I SPILLED COFFEE ON MY KEYBOARD/MOUSE/CEL PHONE……

QUICK, disconnect or turn off the unit!! HURRY, remove any batteries, covers, or chips and place it upside down on a towel. If it is just plain water it will dry by itself overnight. Or a gentle breeze from a fan or hair dryer on low will help.

For sticky stuff like milk, pop, food, or liquids with sugar it gets a bit more difficult. Lots of patients and Q-tips dipped in alcohol or water are required. I also use Windex and a paper towel for cleaning dirt and grease off my keyboard and computer. In a worst-case scenario where the gunk gets inside and the keys are sticking, I have placed my keyboards in the dishwasher. This method is a last resort method. It has a success rate of 60 to 75%. It either will fix it, or finish it off. Place the unit face down, put a rubber band around any cords. Run the dishwasher on ‘REGULAR’ cycle WITHOUT SOAP. DO NOT use the heated drying cycle. Place the unit on a towel face down and let dry overnight. On extremely dirty keyboards (from a steel mill) I used about ¼ of the liquid soap for a load with an extra rinse.

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I GOT GUNK ALL OVER MY LAPTOP’S SCREEN:

I use the special plastic lens cleaner I buy for my eyeglasses to clean my laptop’s screen. It is specially formulated to not leave residue or harm the coatings I get on my glasses.

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I will post more later.

Brian

Peace be with you.


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