Jul 01 2011

Cleaning Up Before I Go

Category: PersonalChrisM @ 8:15 pm

Before our trip to Britain (see the previous post), I have been catching up with some technical support jobs that I had promised to carry out for friends. One of them is selling their computer, and the others just required a little tweaking here and there.
The PC that will soon be sold needed to have personal data wiped securely (CCleaner to the rescue there), and a general tidy up. We also wanted to make sure that the new owner would have a decent security system in place, as ex-Soviet citizens often do not seem to view firewalls, antivirus software and other security related applications as not very essential at all. Even if you take the stance that the new owner should be responsible for keeping their system clean, any infection could easily spread to other people’s computers, and mushroom (infection-rate wise) from there. Ensuring that just a handful of extra computers are able to kill viruses, trojans and the like could stop dozens of other (undefended) PCs from being put in harm’s way. I also wanted to ensure that the software and Windows itself would automatically update as often as possible, to ensure any new exploits discovered in the future would be protected against as soon as possible.

Trojan Helmet. Viruses Don't Seem To Make For Interesting Images. Sorry.

Other than that, I tried to think of the most common issues I get asked to help with by people over here, so installed the CCCP codec pack, ensuring most downloaded media could be watched/listened to without the new owner having to worry about sourcing the correct codec and player. I also went through the startup list of programs that get loaded each time the computer boots up. A lot of these applications are designed to shave a second or two from the time it takes to load certain programs. However, if you don’t use your PDF reader or QuickTime very often, for example, these startup items just slow down your boot up time and also occupy RAM (and occasionally a little CPU time) that could be put to better use in programs you actually find yourself using more regularly.
Anyway, I’m happy that we managed to get them all sorted in time, and I don’t need to worry about random phone calls in a year’s time asking why a PC isn’t as secure as it used to be!