This tutorial is written for beginner's right through to people who regularly use the Windows XP operating system. You will discover new things about the system that you should look out for, especially in order to keep an optimized system, and ways to realize better performance.
Guide to Windows XP optimisation
Viruses not only reduce our systems performance, they can also destroy our files and take control of your computer. At the moment, no PC connected to the internet should be turned on without an updated antivirus program. To be up to date means that your virus definitions are less then 7 days old. As a reminder, you can get infected by viruses from emails, sharing files or simply surfing on dangerous sectors of the internet.
Trend Micro Online Virus Scanner
This is an antivirus scanner online that is free which can be started every time that a virus is suspected.
How does this work'
To start, select your country and then click on the “Go”. Next, choose either “Virus Scan”, “Security Scan” or “Complete Scan” (complete scan is preferable which will not only check for viruses but will also analyze your PC’s security). Authorize the ActiveX control installation and select your hard drives partitions in your Windows Explorer. If there is a virus that appears to be present then you should use the “Sysclean Package”, a sort of absolute protection that we will look at in the next paragraph.
Even if there is an antivirus program installed on your PC, don’t hesitate to use this online antivirus. You should also be aware that this service will only function with the Internet Explorer web browser.
Trend Micro Sysclean Package
A virus deletion tool that can’t repair or delete with an online scan isn’t really an antivirus program.
How does this work'
a) Download the “Sysclean Package” (sysclean.com) and the latest version of their definitions (lptXXX.zip). Create a folder at the root of your system partition (c: in most cases) and place the two files in this folder. Unzip the program “lptXXX.zip” in the same folder.
b) Start “sysclean.com”, check the “Automatically clean or delete detected files” and finally click on “Scan”.
If there are traces of viruses that can’t be removed, restart your computer in safe mode (press the F8 key at startup) and restart the procedure at “b)”, then you should have no problems.
NB (1): The definition files are updated at least once every week, possibly even more often. So this means that each time you antivirus program or online scanner detects a virus, you will need to download the latest file to update your software. So that you can be sure that you have the most recent version, take note of the stamp: this will help you see what the latest version is.
NB (2): If you start Sysclean after installing Avast!, your system will detect sysclean.com as being infected with VBS:Redlof. This confusion comes about as the Sysclean base is not encrypted. Other antivirus can throw up the same error, so the easiest thing to do is to disable them while you perform the Sysclean scan.
Avast! Home Edition
Avast is a free antivirus program for those that don’t have a commercial product like Trend Micro’s PC-Cillin, McAfee or Norton antivirus. Avast Home Edition offers total protection against viruses via a simple interface that can be freely and automatically updated. If you try to install Avast while you already have a commercial program installed, it will refuse the installation but notify you if your program is up to date.
Avast! Professional Edition
If you like the home version, you are going to love the professional one that offers a lot of powerful functions. For example, the professional version has a better interface and also allows a user to perform a scan from a command line, to plan tasks, provide a scan history and to block scripts.
Not all antivirus programs are programmed in the same way, which is the reason that there is a certification that allows you to be sure that your antivirus program functions correctly. This certification was baptized ICSA and guarantees the reliability of your antivirus system that it will meet the following criteria:
100% detection of viruses on the world list
100% detection of the viruses on the ICSA Common Labs Infectors Test Suite list
100% detection of the viruses from the ICSA Polymorphic Labs Test Suite
90% detection of the ICSA Labs Virus Collection
No false alerts
For those of you that want a “commercial” antivirus, then you simply need to go to your closest shop.
Let’s now take a look at the biggest problem in computers today, Spyware.
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