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what programs are necessary to run a computer?

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#1 billysgirl79


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Posted 22 August 2014 - 10:09 AM

ok I have a dillema, I recently recieved a computer tower from my dad's new girlfriend. Well there are A LOT of programs installed and I'm not all that computer savy, but at this given time I also can not afford to take my computer anywhere to have it cleaned, and from personal experience I don't trust individuals to do it cause I NEVER get the damn computer back. My question is what files and programs are completely necessary to start up and run the computer? I don't just want to go deleting stuff I don't think it needs in order to clean it and then restart it and..... well..... oops it won't start up or if it does that's all it will do ...... Please help and if someone could please please please find a list of them for me or tell me exactly what I need to keep that would be the most awesome thing cause right now my computer might load up in about 4-6 min... :) Your help would be greatly appreciated.... Thanks in advance

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#2 hamluis



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Posted 22 August 2014 - 10:18 AM

The programs installed on any computer...should reflect the interests/activities of the owner/user, aside from necessary system defense programs (antivirus, antimalware).


The simple way to ensure this is to install Windows yourself and go from there to whatever you like/need.


You used the term "delete"...please don't "delete" any program, uninstall it properly, using Add/Remove Programs.  And I further suggest that you not remove any programs unless you are certain that it is not needed/desired...or have the capability of reinstalling same.




It would be a good idea to clone the hard drive of the system as it is now...before you start experimenting.  It would also be a good idea to have a way of reinstalling Windows...for the time when things go wrong.

Edited by hamluis, 22 August 2014 - 10:20 AM.

#3 Nawt0k


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Posted 22 August 2014 - 10:36 AM

Without knowing the specs of the computer, the hardware, and seeing a list of installed programs it is difficult to give an exact list.  Often times hardware (such as sound cards and wifi) will have assistance programs installed that install the drivers and help manage some options.  Realtek (for sound) and atheros (nic/wifi) install some of those programs as does NVIDIA (for graphic cards and additional visual/preformance tweaks).  Most ant-virus/firewall/defense softwares can be removed and cleaned from the computer but should be replaced with something that meets your personal preferences.  Often times, PCs and laptops purchased from brick and mortar vendors (best buy) come with a ton of promotional bloatware that can be removed if you know that you won't be using it.


To echo the above comments, always use add/remove programs to uninstall applications as opposed to simply deleting them.


My best advice would be to look at the list in add/remove programs and google the names of anything you are not sure of.  If it is related to the manufacturer of the PC or hardware within it, then it is safe to leave it.  If you are unsure of your hardware, Piriform makes a free program called "Speccy."  You can download this and it will provide you with a list of your hardware to compare with your searches.  If anything particular seems puzzling, you could post it here for someone to look into.

#4 badr0b0t


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Posted 22 August 2014 - 10:41 AM

If you have the recovery disks, do a system recovery. That will bring the computer back to it's factory settings and you will be left with just the OS and default programs that came with it.


Or just simply follow the rule of thumb: If it's not broken, don't try to fix it.

Edited by badr0b0t, 22 August 2014 - 10:45 AM.


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#5 softeyes


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Posted 22 August 2014 - 10:54 AM

Here's a link from @quietman7, he shares a program that might be useful for you: http://gotwindows.proboards.com/post/388/thread


I can feel your pain with inheriting a computer, and finding another individuals "life!" It's kind of like moving into a bedroom with a closet full of stuff, what to keep for toss! Over time, all comptuer users find interesting programs that seem like a must have, and are meaningless to another.

As the previous posters have shared, the slower you go with removing the better! 


Do you know how to get to Add/Remove programs?


Did your Dad/girlfriend give you any factory operating system discs?

#6 Queen-Evie


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Posted 22 August 2014 - 11:09 AM

You might not need recovery disks if the computer has a Recovery Partition. This takes the place of the disks.

The best option, in my opinion, is to do a clean install of Windows. This will wipe the drive of everything on it. After that you can customize it to suit you.

Edited by Queen-Evie, 22 August 2014 - 11:29 AM.

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