How to Optimize that New Computer
1: Format and start all over (if you can)
This is a bit geeky but for the hours spent removing programs and installing new ones this is my preferred method. Only problem is you must have the actual Windows DVD. Recovery options typically come in one of 2 ways:
1: Multiple DVDвЂ™s with Windows on one DVD and drivers and programs on another. Yay!
2: A recovery partition or single DVD with everything on one DVD. Boo.
If you do not have a Windows operating system DVD then you can move on to step 2. If you have an actual Windows operating DVD then start your computer from the DVD and reinstall Windows clean.
Not sure what you have? As a general rule, budget вЂ“ mid range computers do not come with a Windows DVD whereas higher end computers do. Once you install clean you will need the additional step of installing drivers with a program like SlimDrivers as well as installing antivirus (listed below) and getting your Windows Updates. In other words grab an anti-virus program from step 2 and jump to step 4.
2: Get rid of all the junk and download programs
So, formatting is not an option? No problem, letвЂ™s remove all the crap and clean it up. At some point we are going to remove whatever commercial protection you have installed leaving you unprotected so be sure to download free alternatives now and save it somewhere you can find it so your new computer is not left at risk
Antivirus (pick one):
Anti-spyware (pick one plus Spyware Blaster):
3: Remove all the programs you do not need:
Download PC Decrapifier. This program targets a lot of known preinstalled software and can remove it in batch. Save your anti-virus program for last. This video may help:
IOBit Uninstaller also can remove programs in batch mode. A video on using that is also available:
4: Set it up the way you want it
Once everything has been removed you can now uninstall the included commercial anti-virus. You want to disconnect from the internet here or at least do not use anything internet related until this is done. Your best bet is to disconnect. Install whichever anti-virus you downloaded earlier.
5: Additional protection
From here you might want to install some sort of anti-malware scanner or a firewall if you need it. This is not required right now although SpywareBlaster mentioned earlier does a great job of setting up additional protection from known rogue websites, etc. You should have downloaded these in step 2.
6: Almost finished!
From here you should have a clean setup and just need to personalize your computer however you want it. You can setup your email, Skype, instant messaging or whatever you use every day. You are going to want to leave it so only programs you would use every day are installed. This would be a good time to consider installing Simple Perfomance Boost to optimize your Windows settings. ItвЂ™s easy, safe and fast. Here is a video on doing this optional step:
You might also want to do a little cleanup and a disk defrag before you backup. Again, this is optional although this guide on cleaning your computer will also come in handy and the tools mentioned in that guide will also be needed down the road for maintenance.
7: Back it up!
You made it! Now the only problem with your clean, lean screaming machine is that you only have the factory restore DVD or partition. What you want to consider here is creating your own image, essentially a personal restore DVD in case you need to recover down the road. This is why I wanted you to take the time to get your email and personal settings ready. My personal favorite too here is Acronis True Image. It is not free but it is the best I have used. There are some free tools also available if you want to browse our backup category.