At a Xmas party last week, while munching on pineapple empanadas (pictured above and absolutely delicious!), the same question that I hear at every gathering arose. Fortunately, I wasn’t on the receiving end and was able to keep eating in peace. The question, which the poor tech guy responded to while trying to keep things as simple as possible for the lady with a plaintive note in her voice, was simply this:

It’s been 2 years since I bought my computer and it’s just slowing down a lot. What can I do to speed it up?

Resisting the urge to speak up and say, “Load LubuntuLinux on it!” I listened intently for the response. After hearing the recommendation of Malware Bytes, I realized my response would probably be a bit longer, more involved and not conducive to party conversation.

Here is what I recommend to folks as my go-to tools and steps to follow:

1) Install Malware Bytes and run it. If you find stuff, run it again and again until it’s clean.

2) Install Spybot Search and Destroy, then run updates. Run System Scan until it comes up clean.

3) Apply Immunizations using Spybot.

4) Install Spyware Blaster, update, and then apply immunizations.

5) Install CCleaner with CCEnhancer to clean your registry and remove silly Yahoo toolbars. Also, get rid of startup programs that may be slowing down your computer.

6) Uninstall McAfee antivirus or Norton Antivirus that came with the machine and install the free version of AVG Antivirus.

7) Get Patch My PC Updater and then run it. It will update all your programs.

8) Run CCleaner again and clean the registry. Restart your computer…should be as good as new!

Please realize that this process, depending on whether your machine is suffering an infestation, can take several hours. My recommendation is that if you have more than 200 malware items detected, then you need to shut the machine down, start up off a GNU/Linux USB flash drive and backup your data immediately.

How funny that this remains the most often asked “technology” question asked at parties. I’m grateful that I was able to travel incognito at the last one, but I wish I could have just given her a web site that said, “Here, follow the steps on this web page!” Perhaps, now I can!

“Pardon me, why don’t you go to this web site and follow the instructions? The address is . Yes, it will fairly straightforward…just follow directions!”

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Everything posted on Miguel Guhlin’s blogs/wikis are his personal opinion and do not necessarily represent the views of his employer(s) or its clients. Read Full Disclosure

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