Issue 8 - Maintenance Plan

If you will establish a maintenance plan for your computer, you can reduce the costs of repairs greatly.  I use 6 different programs (all free) to protect a computer.  One of those programs is built into the operating system and is the Disk Defragmenter.  Every time you use your computer, the hard drive gets fragmented.  The computer is like a sloppy kid who drops his clothes all over the house.
That means that the hard drive must work much harder "picking up the pieces" of each program that you run.  When you run the Disk Defragmenter, the fragments are put back together so that the are contiguous A-Z, beginning to end.  The hard drive doesn't have to work nearly as hard when there are few fragmentations.

With XP operating system, you run the Disk Defragmenter manually.  You can also run it manually with Vista and Windows 7, but they are designed to run it once a week (if the computer is on at the correct time).

Just make sure that you have no other programs running when you run the Disk Defragmenter.  That would be counter productive.

The other 5 programs I use include Avira as the Anti-Virus program.  Remember, you should only have one anti-virus program on your computer at a time.  Although Avira will work with other anti-virus programs (like Norton), it is best not to have but one anti-virus program on your computer at a time.

The other 4 programs are Malwarebytes (
I am taking it off the list for XP Professional due to some problems), Ad-Aware, Spybot and Ccleaner.  I have been using Ad-Aware a great deal the last week.  I have finally decided it is more valuable than Spybot against the bad guys I am seeing lately.  Just be aware that there is a slight incompatibility between Spybot and Ad-Aware.  I have seen one computer that simply would not allow them both on the computer.  I have decided if/when that happens again, I will remove Spybot and keep Ad-Aware.  The reason is that Ad-Aware is currently finding some seriously bad infections and is able to fix them.

Keep in mind that this state of affairs could change next month.  It is a continuous battle.  The purpose of this newsletter is to teach you how to use these programs to maintain your system.  By that, I mean that you can run these programs to clean off any bad guys that might have sneaked onto your computer.  But first, let me tell you some things I have learned from fixing a huge number of computers day after day - usually 6 days a week and often 15 hours a day.

Most of the bad guys infect your computer by tricking you.  And they are very clever at it.  What does this mean?  It means that no matter how much protection you have on your computer, they are likely to trick you into letting them have their way with your computer.  So that means you had better have a good protection system that has your back.  BUT (and as I am fond of saying, that is a mighty big but), you must have a maintenance plan to go with all of that protection - AND USE IT!

The good news is that I am going to tell you what you need AND IT IS ALL FREE!!! YEAH!!  The bad news is that you must do it every week and it takes a bit of time.  The good news is that it is somewhat like washing clothes.  You don't have to beat the cloth on rocks any more.  It is similar to turning on your clothes washer and letting it do all the work while you read a good book.  Right?

So all you really have to know is how to activate the protection programs. Well, to be honest, you need to know just a bit more than that.  The reason is that there are some slight incompatibilities between the various programs.  That means that many of them should not be ran at the same time as other the other programs.

BE CAREFUL WHAT YOU UPDATE!!!  I always tell people that they can update Adobe Flash, Adobe Reader, Java and Mozilla Firefox.  If you have Windows 7 or Vista, go ahead and install the Microsoft Updates.  But beyond that, take extreme care when updating.  What looks like a totally legitimate update can be a bad guy infection.

Here are the programs along with a few notes that I am now installing on all computers that I work on.  Two of these programs are recent additions.  You should close all applications (like email, etc.) before trying to download and install any of these programs.

Malwarebytes' Anti-Malware  should be downloaded from:

Just click on the blue button on left that says "Download free version".   It is a very simple install.  After you have installed it, run the  full scan.  Do this before installing any of the other programs in this list that you do not have.

After it has ran, a Malwarebytes' Anti-Malware window should pop up that says "The scan completed successfully."  Click "Show results" to display all infected objects. 
I suggest you DO NOT USE THIS PROGRAM WITH XP PROFESSIONAL.  Some clients have had problems with false alerts.  However, it is good for all other operating systems.

Click OK, then click Show Results, then click Remove Selected.  Close (X out) of the notepad log.  You really do not have to restart the computer as it will suggest unless the program found more than 3 bad guys.  You can Exit the program.

Ad-Aware Free Internet Security 8.3.3  should be downloaded from:

Here is an image to help you.  Click on the word "Download Now" AFTER YOU CLICK ON THE ABOVE LINK (NOT IN THE IMAGE BELOW):

ANY TIME YOU DOWNLOAD A PROGRAM, PAY CLOSE ATTENTION TO THE DOWNLOAD LOCATION.  IT WILL EITHER BE DOWNLOADED TO A FOLDER NAMED DOWNLOAD WHICH IS LOCATED ON XP SYSTEMS in the My Documents folder, or to the Desktop, or the Documents folder.  Notice where it is going.  It makes it much easier to install if you know where to look for the installation file.

Most of you will know this, but I have to say it for the others.  The file you download is what you use to install the program.  It is not the program.  Once you have installed the program, you can delete the installation file that you downloaded.  If you don't understand what I am saying, then you had better call me.

Once you have installed Ad-Aware, you install it by double clicking on the downloaded file.  That file is called Ad-awareInstall.exe.
An installation wizard will show you the install progress.

You can decide on the language that you want to use.  Most will just click OK for English.  Click Next.   I suggest you uncheck the two Google Chrome boxes.  Click Install.

Uncheck "stay Informed".  Click Finish.  Your computer will restart after updating.  After it has restarted, the Manage License window is on top.  Click Close.

The Welcome to the new version of Ad-Aware window is next.  Just click OK.

Then click Scan System and let it work for anywhere from 45 minutes to 6 hours.  You might want to DISCONNECT FROM THE INTERNET and run this program one evening all night.  Just be sure that you aren't connected to the internet if you leave your computer on all night!!!  Otherwise, you will probably get hacked.



If I have ever worked on your computer, I have installed Spybot.  It is one of my all time favorite free programs. There is a slight incompatibility between ad-aware and spybot.  You cannot run them both at the same time.  For that matter, you cannot run ad-aware and malwarebytes at the same time on most computers.

If you have the Vista or Windows 7 operating system, you must RIGHT-CLICK ON SPYBOT and choose Run as Administrator.

When it is open, the first thing to do is Update.  If there are updates, then choose a server in the USA to download from.  As the updates are downloaded, they are checked off.  If one of the updates was an immunization database, then you should fist click on "immunize" that is written in the left column.  After it has ran, then click on the work "immunize" in the top row.  That will count down any immunizations that it did not have as they are installed.  Immunizations are real time protections and are very valuable. You want to stay current with those just as much as you want to make sure you have all the updates.

After you have take care of this small amount of maintenance, click on Search and Destroy - CHECK FOR PROBLEMS.  Every time your run Spybot, it will complain that you have Ad-Aware installed (if indeed you installed it).  That is okay.  Just click "ignore."   Spybot will also take a long time to run.


It is very simple.  Just never bother to update it.  It is sneaky and will try to install a bunch of junk with each update.  Never bother to  analyze.  Just click on clean!

DISK DEFRAGMENTER IS A VERY USEFUL MAINTENANCE PROGRAM FOR XP.  It is also very simple to use.  Just open and click on Defrag.  NEVER run it at the same time as anything else is running.  Do not bother to click on analyze.  Only run it once a week.  Vista and Windows 7 are designed to run it in the background on some day and time.

AVIRA is last in this list but certainly is not least.  Avira is the anti-virus program that I recommend.  It is free and completely automatic.  BUT YOU SHOULD CHECK IT EVERY WEEK TO MAKE SURE IT IS WORKING CORRECTLY.  JUST OPEN IT.  YOU SHOULD SEE 4 GREEN CHECKS.



Although the international version can be used as a phone, the version released in the USA has not been released with that feature.  You can use it as phone with some special applications but that is not good enough for me to use it as my day-to-day phone.  That is very disappointing news for me.

I know that there will be some major updates in the Spring and I may wait on those to make a change in my phone.