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Maintenance (what do the PROS do?)

Discussion in 'Earlier Versions of Windows' started by yomaddog, Nov 22, 2001.

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  1. yomaddog

    yomaddog Thread Starter

    Joined:
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    I perform this maintenance ritual every weekend...
    How do you PROS out there do yours ?

    First, my stuff:

    HP 866MHZ Windows ME (adults,2-users)
    (LAN networked to kids computer,w/internet connection sharing)
    Gateway 366Mhz Windows 98 (kids,2-users)

    Ritual: Check start-up resources
    Look for programs to uninstall
    Check out System Configuration/Start-Up (for trash)
    Ad Aware
    Windows Update
    Update programs I care about
    JPG clean
    Delete unwanted cookies & temp.internet trash
    (check kids history)
    Maintenance Wizard
    Update Norton & full virus scan

    ...by the way,do I have to do this stuff w/each login user independently?
    (what happens with defrag, for instance?)
     
  2. Dan O

    Dan O

    Joined:
    Feb 13, 1999
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    8,974
    You do more than most pros. I would add a ScanDisk to your weekly schedule. Also perform a Defrag once a month. I personally perfrom a backup of my C: drive once a month using a drive image program, such as DriveImage or Ghost. It's fast and reliable. It allows you to complete restore your PC the way it was without reinstalling Windows and your applications.

    Happy Thanksgivings
     
  3. yomaddog

    yomaddog Thread Starter

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    Scan Disc & Defrag are part of "Maintenance Wizard"...
     
  4. yomaddog

    yomaddog Thread Starter

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    ...& "Happy-Thanksgiving" to you too!!!
     
  5. Dan O

    Dan O

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    Well you're on the ball. Think about adding disk imaging, it will will give you a lot of confidence. It's also great to have in case a virus get your PC, as it replaces everything except the virus.
     
  6. Chris Hester

    Chris Hester

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    "I personally perfrom a backup of my C: drive once a month using a drive image program, such as DriveImage or Ghost. It's fast and reliable. It allows you to complete restore your PC the way it was without reinstalling Windows and your applications. "

    Pray, how do you back up such a large amount of data though? Use a lot of CD-Rs? Or have you a second HD or Iomega backup unit like the new 10Gb/20Gb drive?
     
  7. 01101001

    01101001

    Joined:
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    Congratulations! :D You're doing a very admirable job of maintaining your systems.

    I might add a couple of things to the routine as well:

    Don't forget to clean out your e-mail client once in a while by clearing out the Sent items & emptying the Deleted Items folder. In Outlook Express you can also compact your databases easily by clicking: File > Folder > Compact All Folders.

    You may also want to look into a program to safely maintain the Registry.

    A few of the most reliable, popular and free ones are:

    MS RegClean

    Jouni Vuorio's RegCleaner

    Toni Art's EasyCleaner
     
  8. yomaddog

    yomaddog Thread Starter

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    Thanks to everyone so far,...
    By the way, 2 questions to add...

    How do you uninstall a program that did not come with an uninstall exe ?

    And what about that windows-temp folder,...safe to delete stuff inside?
     
  9. Dan O

    Dan O

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    Chris,

    I partition my c: drive to 4GB and use it for Windows and applications only. I moved the Windows swap file, Internet cache file, and data files to other partitions or to another drive. When imaging you can place it on the same drive or another drive if you have two drives. I personally purchased a drive tray and a spare hard drive. I insert it for backups or to run other operating systems, such as Linux.

    yomaddog,

    Try Add/Remove Programs, which is in the Control Panel. Also sometimes an uninstall option is available if you attempt to reinstall an application. As for Windows Temp it is normally save to delete everything if all applications are closed. But I recommend you use Windows Explorer when deleting and don't empty the Recycle Bin for a few days, in case you need to restore one of the files.
     
  10. Chris Hester

    Chris Hester

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    I am interested in this idea myself, but with a RAID mirror system so the data is automatically copied onto the 2nd removable drive. Do you think this is a good idea? Or should I remember to copy everything manually now and then instead? What if the computer crashes before I have gotten round to a backup?
     
  11. Dan O

    Dan O

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    It is always best to have an off-line backup, if possible. Disk mirrowing, RAID 1, only protects you if a hard drive fails, which happens now days very rarely. If an application or virus damages one drive's data the mirror drive's data would be damaged as well, because no error checking occurs. If you want real time backup you need a product such as DataKeeper from PowerQuest.
     
  12. 01101001

    01101001

    Joined:
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    yomaddog, which program is it that you wish to un-install? There are programs that don't actually 'install', they simply run from the EXE. If this is the case you need only delete the programs folder -- this is of course a major no-no for an installed program. Check the programs ReadMe for un-install or removal instructions.

    re: Imaging -- If your data is important to you then "off-line" is indeed your best protection. For speed and accessibility you may want to maintain "on-line" backups as well. I think having an unbeatable backup routine is essential (unless you enjoy re-installing Windows and all your apps. :D)

    The common limitation with imaging software is that the 'source' and 'destination' must be on different partitions or physical drives (HDD or CDR/CDRW). For instance, you cannot image C drive and select that drive as the destination for the image file. Makes sense, doesn't it? ;)
    There is a saying that goes, "You're only as good as your last backup." and nothing could be truer but, to be more accurate the saying should be "You're only as good as your last accessible backup. Although Windows is much more prone to corruption and disaster, HHDs can and do fail (though it's rare as Dan O mentioned). What happens if you have a carefully designed hard drive that contains everything -- including your backup files -- and it suffers catastrophic failure? Not only will you have lost your HDD, but you will have lost your backups as well -- probably irretrievably.

    Personally I have 2 20GB hard drives. (HDDs are cheap these days and easy to install)
    Drive 1 is partitioned into four sections.
    C drive is Windows (no swap, no Applog) and applications (smaller volume & less fragmentation)
    D drive is My Documents
    E drive is Files (Internet files, Mail, downloads, program installers, etc.)
    F drive is Backups
    G drive is the 2nd HDD -- This drive is not partitioned. It contains 10Gb of music files plus the swap file (at the front of the drive). This is where 2 HDDs come in handy. I don't see a gain by moving the swap file out of C drive and onto another partiton on the same drive since the drive will be doing the reading and the writing. Moving the swap file to a 2nd (less used / equally fast or faster) HDD makes for much faster access, IMO.

    I put all my image files onto G drive (imaging to a HDD is way faster than imaging to CDR or RW) ... then I occasionally burn them to disk. If Windows craps out on me I just restore a recent image (takes less than 5 minutes), reboot and I am back in business. Even my most recent e-mails are there since those files were stored on a different partition. Ta da!

    Image files can be compressed reducing the file size by about 33%. They can also be spanned over as many disks as need be.

    Heaven forbid but, should my Primary HDD fail, I still have recent images of everything on CDR to fall back on. This backup routine may be overkill, but even in a worst-case scenario I'll be sitting pretty.

    Sorry for the length here, I must have had too many cuppas! :D
     
  13. Double07

    Double07

    Joined:
    Jan 9, 2001
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    All of the above is great advice.

    However a word of caution to those backing up their hard disks with GHOST 2002 when they have Windows XP installed.... it doesn't always work....

    1) My brand new computer came pre-installed with Windows XP HOME Edition... and immediately backed it up with Ghost - even though I hadn't installed any other software - this way I have a clean backup of my computer. The GHOST BACKUP onto 2 CD's worked perfectly.

    2) Next I installed some software, Antivirus, Email, Downloaded updates etc etc... and after doing that, I backed it up using GHOST 2002 AGAIN... on to 2 more CD's...
    so how I had 2 backups of my computer.... this backup worked fine too.

    3) I had purchased Windows XP Proffessional earlier, so I decided to install Windows XP Proffessional on my computer to see the differences between XP HOME and XP Proffesional (there's not much difference... you won't even notice the difference until to start to LOOK INTO SMALL THE DETAILS such as password protecting files / folders, and some more advanced networking options).
    THIS BACKUP TOOK 3 CDS USING GHOST 2002.


    Later, I decided to TEST each one of my CDs to see if they restored my computer properly.... so I tried GHOSTING another computer with my backup CD's....

    The FIRST GHOST BACKUP restored perfectly.
    The SECOND GHOST BACKUP restored perfectly.

    THE THIRD GHOST BACKUP crashed on the 2CD with an error saying "could not restore file xxxxxxx.xxx" (I can't remember the file name)....
    AND THEN it said "can't find GhostERR.Txt" which is obviously some Ghost Error Text file... but guess what... I can't find this file installed in my GHOST Program file folder..... or the Original Ghost CD...... or on ANY FOLDER IN MY COMPUTER ANYWAY... so how is GHOST supposed to find a file that doesn't exist!!!!

    This is a serious BUG in Ghost 2002... beware...


    anyway.... I thought maybe the 2nd CD was corrupt... so I MADE ANOTHER BACKUP OF MY COMPUTER....

    when I used the NEW 3CDs to restore my other computer... GHOST CRASHED IN THE SAME PLACE ON THE SECOND CD WITH THE SAME ERROR MESSAGE AGAIN!!!!


    So basically, I can't GHOST my windows XP Proffesional computer... I just have to restore from the XP HOME Ed Backup I have and work my way re-installing everthing from there....


    Just a word of warning to everyone... if you have a spare computer, it's worth TESTING your BACKUP's to see if they REALLY WORK... coz sometimes they don't and there is REALLY NO EXPLANATION TELLING YOU WHAT THE ERROR WAS... and then you are really screwed when you need the data the most.


    And if anyone out there can tell me why I can't restore my 3rd backup... I still have both my original sets of GHOST BACKUP DISKS.... please tell me what I should do so I can backup my computer in the future.

    Cheers,
    Double07
     
  14. 01101001

    01101001

    Joined:
    Nov 20, 2001
    Messages:
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    Hi, Double07:

    Sorry to hear your tales of woe.

    Have you had Ghost check the 'Integrity' of your Image files?

    Personally I run Check > Image File religiously after creating an image. I also learned the hard way to re-check the Image file's integrity before initiating a Restore.

    The only time I had a problem was when I was about 2/3s of the way thru a Restore when Ghost recognized that the image file was corrupt and wouldn't proceed. Luckily I had an alternative Image to restore or I would have been in a fine mess.

    I don't have any Xperience with XP or Ghost 2002 so I can't comment on their involvement in this.
     
  15. TonyKlein

    TonyKlein Malware Specialist

    Joined:
    Aug 26, 2001
    Messages:
    10,392
    Hi,

    1) A relatively safe method is by using <A HREF="http://www.vtoy.fi/jv16/shtml/regcleaner.shtml">RegCleaner</A>

    When you start RC you see in the opening window all software RegCleaner has found on your system. Pinpoint the one you're unable to remove otherwise.
    Rightclick it, and click 'Advanced info'. RegCleaner will show you all found registry keys pertaining to that program.
    Check the item, click 'delete selected', and everything you just saw will be removed from the registry.
    A backup is made in the shape of a *.reg file.
    Very handy indeed!
    This takes care of most of the program's registry entries.
    Now look for remaining items on your drive: the to be deleted program's folder in Program Files , shortcuts in Start Menu, and delete those as well.

    Reboot.

    I hasten to add, do this only when the uninstall doesn't work any more, or is absent.


    2) Yes, everything in C:\Windows\Temp can and must be deleted, preferably the next day after Startup.

    Good luck,
     
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