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Installing and Uninstalling Software


Small games often include a lot of advertising, connect to websites automatically and so on. These are best removed for performance reasons. Examples such as those below are even pre-installed by manufacturers to bring in extra money.

  • Yontoo

  • Wildtangent


Dangerous Adware

Often pretends to offer savings or some sort of 'free stuff' to lure in users, never have these on your computer, there are many, many others than those below.


  • TopRebates

  • Bargain Buddy


Fake System Tools

Anything that claim to be a registry cleaner, computer speed-upper, or a fake anti-virus.





Windows Search → 'Uninstall a Program'



Running Virus Scans


Defender

This was known as Microsoft Security Essentials (MSE) in Windows 7, it now comes built-in to windows 8. It should be always on.




Malwarebytes Anti Malware


Another good program, this is one we commonly pre-install.





Remove Toolbars, Reset Search Engine and Homepage


Even legitimate software wants to install toolbars and hijack our homepage and search engines to redirect us through their services, generating ad revenue. This example below covers undoing the damage on firefox. The process is similar for internet explorer and chromium.




Disable the addons


Firefox → Addons → Extensions → Disable Toolbars




Set the homepage

Firefox → Options → General Tab → Restore Homepage to Default


Set the search engine

Firefox → Search Engine → Choose Search Engine



Checking the Disk Drive


Filesystem corruption or a failing hard drive can result in very slow windows performance as it struggles to read the files it needs from the sick hard drive, you can check if this is the cause by running a disk check


Search → File Explorer ->Right Click on Drive → Properties → Tools Tab → Error Checking






System File Integrity


Similarly, corrupt system files will slow down the system as it can't read it's core files, so we can check for this. Open up a command line by typing


Windows Search → Type 'Command' → Run As Administrator


Then you can run the system file integrity checking tool


sfc /scannow



Disabling Startup Programs


System boot up speed, or just getting rid of annoying programs starting up on login can be done from task manager.





Examining System Resources

Particularly useful to see if a slow computer is just down to heavy usage of memory, open the task manager and have a look under the performance tab. A common one is simply to have so many programs open that memory is exhausted, meaning the computer will write some memory to hard drive (its paging file), drastically slowing down the computer. We can see if this is the case easily enough from the memory performance graph.






System Refresh and System Reinstall DANGER!!


System Refresh will reinstall windows, remove all user applications, but preserve user data. Any applications supplied by us would need to be reinstalled, in the future Assistive Solution PC's will come with a custom system image, allowing a system refresh to be carried out which will preserve all the Assistive Solutions supplied software too.


System Restore will reinstall windows and get rid of user data and applications, you probably won't want to do this :*)