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New Computer - What Do I Need To Install Before Anything Else?


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12 replies to this topic

#1 omurchu

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Posted 09 January 2008 - 03:41 PM

Have just upgraded the home computer to Win XP Pro from Win Me (bought from Dell). Before I install any programs or downloads do you have any advice on what to do with the system to ensure the least amount of problems in the future?

I have McAfee installed with the computer and would prefer to use my previous programs which consisted of AdAware, Spybot, Spyware Blaster, Sygate firewall and Avast.

All advice greatly appreciated as always.

Frank

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#2 nigglesnush85

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Posted 09 January 2008 - 04:23 PM

Hello,

The set up sounds fine to me except for a few issues, the first is that you should only have 1 anti virus program installed. Also, Sygate firewall has been discontinued only the free basic version is availabe, I would recomend a comodo firewall http://www.personalfirewall.comodo.com/ I've had it on all my systems and it hasn't let me down yet.

I would also recomend a good cleaner www.ccleaner.com/ good for cleaning temp files
A good Defag tools http://www.auslogics.com/disk-defrag
A good system optimisation kit http://www.iobit.com/advancedwindowscareper.html
Regards,

Alan.

#3 hamluis

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Posted 09 January 2008 - 05:18 PM

Yes...do a clean install, rather than building on the Me structure...assuming that you have CDs for each O/S.

Clean Install Procedure with Illustrative Screen Captures - http://www.theeldergeek.com/xp_home_install_-_graphic.htm

Louis

#4 omurchu

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Posted 10 January 2008 - 09:23 AM

Thanks for the above information.

I may not have been entirely clear in my first post. There are two parts to my question:

1. I have bought a new computer running XP Pro and want to know if there are any programs or utilities I can install which will prevent future problems or make maintenance etc. easier. I think I read a post about use a registry monitoring program, which is useful when uninstalling any program - any tips like that.

2. The computer is packaged with McAfee - free for 15 months. Would it be an good idea to uninstall McAfee and install a combination of any of the above instead i.e. AdAware, Spybot, Spyware Blaster, Sygate firewall and Avast. Or should I install one or all with McAfee - I'm thinking of conflicts between programs (taking into account above replies about one anti-virus and the recommendation for the comodo firewall). When I had Me on the previous computer the free programs worked fine for me.

Thanks again.

Frank

#5 drpepper55

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Posted 10 January 2008 - 10:48 AM

Omurchu,

Your setup sounds almost like what I have. I too, have a dell(laptop Latitude CPxJ650) w/xp home, sp2 and I have Adaware 2007, Spybot SnD w/TeaTimer active, Spywareblaster, and McAfee AV, but I also have McAfee's Firewall as part of the Suite. I have not had any conflict problems with this setup for several years now and they all work well together. I also have Cyberhawk and Advanced Windows care on my rig and no problems. I would heed nn85's advice though, and not have more than 1 AV installed as they may conflict and cause problems. You can always go on-line and do an AV check at one of the free scan sites if you feel you need a second opinion or second check. That is what I do and no problems so far. Myself, I also have 2 little programs that I would not do without, Startup Monitor and RegProtect. The first monitors my startup list and prompts me if anything tries to add itself to the startup list and I can block it from allowing it to add itself and the second, RegProtect does basically the same thing but with the registry. It too will prompt me if anything is trying to add itself to the registry and I can stop and block any rogue or uninitiated changes. Both are free and have worked great for me for years. You can get RegProtect at this link:

DiamondCS RegProt v.2.0 Download - RegistryProt is a free registry ...RegistryProt is a free registry monitoring program to protect from trojans ... Free tool designed to detect malicious software on your computer:

http://www.filedudes.com/DiamondCS_RegProt...load-37746.html

You can get StarupMonitor at this link:

Mike Lin's Home PageStartupMonitor does not require Startup Control Panel, ... StartupMonitor watches the Start Menu's Startup folders and the Run entries in the registry:

http://www.mlin.net/StartupMonitor.shtml

Best to you...

#6 hamluis

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Posted 10 January 2008 - 11:13 AM

Actually...

If you install critical updates in a timely manner...protect your system with a reliable AV program and (IMO) two reliable malware detection/prevention programs...learn to use Event Viewer...run chkdsk and defrag routinely...employ safe computing practices...and back up the system routinely...you will have done many of the prudent things a user/owner should do.

I also like the suggestion about monitoring startups (I use Autoruns).

There is no application that will routinely do all the good that the above practices will do.

My last bit of advice would be: Do not use the WinUpdate site for driver downloads/updates. WinUpdate is fine for critical updates.

Louis

#7 drpepper55

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Posted 10 January 2008 - 02:04 PM

You are absolutely right Hamluis that there are very few if any substitutes for good, sound, and safe practices while on the net together with keeping the rig updated and defragged and clean..., but in the event that we don't always do what is best and prudent, having a few little safety nets and little reminders never hurt. That is what I call my StartupMonitor, RegProtect, and my TeatTimer, my little bells to prompt me and alert me when something is trying to sneak in and goes against the grain and the norm...it is there to remind me that I should do some updating and some re-evaluating to what may be ahead of my defenses. These little programs have never failed to alert me when something I did not authorize is trying to make changes that I did not initiate. Always nice to have that little extra layer, I say...Thanks, best to you...

#8 omurchu

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Posted 13 January 2008 - 03:32 PM

Thanks for the advice. I understand the need for several different elements in the effort to protect the system from malware. What I would like advice on is what to install in addition to or instead of the McAfee that is already in operation. I will be using RegistryProt and Autoruns as suggested. Do you think I should get rid of McAfee and use a different AV??

Thanks,
Frank

#9 omurchu

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Posted 13 January 2008 - 03:36 PM

Oh, one other thing. I downloaded RegistryProt - where should this zipped file be installed on the computer? Under program files?

Thanks,
Frank

#10 hamluis

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Posted 13 January 2008 - 04:50 PM

My suggestion is to NOT install this Registry Prot program.

From what I see, if one is not familiar with the registry and the way it operates, this program doesn't do much that XP and Windows Defender don't do. And if one has the necessary understanding of the registry to decide what key should be deleted/allowed, etc...what's the need for this monitoring?

Anyway, that's my opinion.

As I stated in another thread...most persons don't seem to understand that there IS no "best program" when it comes to firewalls, AV programs, and other malware programs. There are many which work...user choice just comes down to user preference, as it does with most programs that we decide to install on our systems.

Illustration: I've used Norton AV, NIS, Panda Platinum, McAfee, Comodo, AVG, Trend Micro, and a couple of others on my two systems over the years...all of them were effective, I never had any problems with any kind of malware infecting my system.

IMO, the weak link in system defense is not the lack of programs which do the job...but the users who fail to implement/maintain safe computing practices. An AV program is only one aspect, a firewall is only one aspect...of a defense posture.

While I'm also on the subject...it's a hunch of mine that many persons who persist in not installing Windows critical updates in a timely manner...also contribute to their own miseries and cries for help later.

In short, it's your system. You decide what you want to install and try to understand why you want to install such...and realize that there is no program or group of programs which can ever solve the "user responsibility" aspect of maintaining system defenses.

Other persons have differing opinions on these subjects and I don't claim that mine is better than theirs...but I have to say that I just try to state it as I see it (or have been seeing it over 11 years now, as a user).

To answer a question: I find that most files which are zipped...can be found in the C:\Unzipped folder, rather than in the C:\Program Files folder (when installed on a system).

Louis

Edited by hamluis, 13 January 2008 - 04:51 PM.


#11 drpepper55

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Posted 14 January 2008 - 11:37 AM

omurchu (Frank), In answer to your question, as for me and RegProtect and StartUpMonitor, I saved them to their own folders and opened them from there and the install wizard for each took care of the rest and installed them to the 'program files' folder which is the default and which I accepted for myself, but if you want it somewhere else it will ask you and you can choose elsewhere if you wish and then it saves the path and does the rest as far as installation. I differ a little from hamluis's advice in his advising against installing it as it-RegProtect- does not change or affect the registry, it only monitors it as far as protecting from something attempting to change your registry with you not being aware of it. If something does try to change or add itself to your registry, then it alerts you and lets you block it. But if, indeed you are adding a program and thus it would be adding itself or changing the registry, then it also alerts you, and since this is an add or change that you are making, then you would allow it when you are prompted. That is what both of these programs do in protecting and monitoring the registry and the startup list, respectively. They do not make any changes in and of themselves, they just give you another layer of protection which alert you to attempted changes and lets you stop un-initiated or undesired changes. I am not in any way suggesting that one should not practice good and safe practices, to the contrary; I am only making safer choices by recommending these programs and improving my own practices by giving myself added defenses wherever I can and these 2 little programs have saved me many a time and protected and alerted me to bad or malware attempts too many times for me to let myself do without them...Best to you...

Edited by drpepper55, 14 January 2008 - 04:09 PM.


#12 drpepper55

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Posted 16 January 2008 - 10:03 AM

Frank, in my haste I did not answer your question about dumping McAfee for something else. All I can say to that is that some people like McAfee, some don't and prefer Norton, while some don't like Norton and want something else...AVG, Avast, Kapersky, F-Secure, and yet others don't like any of those and go with something else yet again. In my experience and my opinion, they all have good points and some thing or another that one likes the way something else does it, so it boils down to a matter of personal taste and preference as to what features one likes and how they understand something and think it is easier for them to remember or configure something. Me, I've been using McAfee for about 7 years or so and for the most part it has kept me clean and I have gotten used to how it works, how it is set up, and therefore I have stayed with it. As I stated before, just to make sure it is catching and monitoring my system well, on occasion-about once a month or more often if I decide to-I go to a couple of the free on-line scan sites-Trendmicro's Housecall and Panda's Activescan-and run a scan just as a check on my setup and have found for the most part that McAfee has been working fine and that I am clean. Therefore, I feel justified, comfortable, and satisfied with McAfee. Best to you...

#13 Pippincp

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Posted 16 January 2008 - 08:36 PM

Bottom line - if it's free for a good while-USE IT. It's as good as any other out there The point which no-one has approached on a quick read of this thread is that it really does not matter which AV prog you have if you do not do a regular update and scan. I'm not a PC geek but friends have come to me with problems and have said "I have an AV prog - it updates itself" but they never run it. An update will have the cure AFTER THE EFFECT! Until you run your AV prog there's no cure.

BTW I used Macafee for a while and found no problems with it.




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