Maximising your PC experience
We in TAW are a community of PC gamers. While most of us may put system maintenance “in the back seat” we must accept that an unoptimised system can greatly effect the quality of our game play. The scope of this article is to inform as to free solutions that work well, not as a review for paid products.
CCleaner is one of the most popular tools for cleaning your Windows PC. It helps protect your privacy online and makes your computer faster and more secure. Easy to use and a small, fast download.
CCleaner can be used to remove junk files from your PC, remove broken registry entries, delete browsing history and a number of other helpful tasks. Please be sure to read and understand the help documents that accompany the software and if in doubt just perform a default clean (as in don’t select any check boxes if you aren’t aware to what it does). Some of CCleaner’s options may be damaging to your PC if you are unaware to as what you are doing.
- Microsoft Security Essentials
Microsoft Security Essentials provides real-time protection for your home or small business PC that guards against viruses, spyware, and other malicious software.
Finally, free antivirus software that actually works and works well. While not a single antivirus software can stop every threat, Security Essentials does a well enough job to run with the big guys. I have personally used Security Essentials and have installed the software on multiple client machines with great effect. Unlike some other solutions such as Avast!, Security Essentials actually provides a real time scanning engine that stops threats in their tracks. Security Essentials also provides antispyware and antimalware protection and helps ensure your Windows Firewall is configured and running properly, a all around solution most paid programs cannot afford to offer.
Use Defraggler to defrag your entire hard drive, or individual files - unique in the industry. This compact and portable Windows application supports NTFS and FAT32 file systems.
Although I have not used Defraggler personally (I use Diskeeper 2011 for my RAID and don’t defrag my SSDs) I have experienced running the software on client’s machines and have received good feedback. What’s unique to Defraggler is it allows you to defrag just certain files when you don’t want to do a whole disk defrag which may take hours. Defrag just your game directories before practice, schedule a whole disk defrag at a more convient time.
- Mozilla Firefox with Adblock Plus extension
If for any reason why I use and love Firefox is because of the Adblock Plus extension. Internet ads are annoying and suck precious resources away from your system while distracting you from what you are trying to do, read an article or use an online form. I personally have experience with an acquaintance who had epilepsy and certain ads on the Internet flash causing issues to the point where the Internet was inaccessible for this person. Firefox with Adblock Plus did a well enough job (coupled with NoScript) to make the Internet accessible again. I will comment that a large number of sites do rely on advertiser revenue to keep in operation, so if you like a site consider unblocking ads on your favorite sites.
Google Chrome also has the possibility to use Adblock Plus but the ads are blocked after the ads/site are loaded causing unnecessary additional system load which may be trivial depending on your system specs. Use whichever browser you understand and enjoy the most (unless it’s Internet Explorer, just kidding).
If you need additional help or advice feel free to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org or check in TS if you see me on.
Please note the information in this guide comes with no warranty expressed or implied. The author, TAW and any other related entities are providing this information in good faith. Ultimately YOU are responsible for reading and understanding all user documentation accompanied with software and the author nor TAW or related entities take any responsibility for any damages this information may cause.