We have had many calls and emails thanking us for the previous blog post “Why Everyone Needs A ToolBox!” So, the next question is always, “Now that I have a ToolBox!, how do I use it?” Let’s dive in, shall we? The ToolBox! is designed to be a one-stop-shopping experience for the DIY crowd for maintenance. We recommend to run the ToolBox! at least once every four to six months. If you are a heavy internet user, maybe every one to two months. All of the programs when run in Windows Vista or 7 will ask if you want to run the program with a pop up. This is normal and you can just click yes to allow them to run. After each program is run, you will need to exit out of that program. NOTE: This is a general guide on how we use these products and services. Use of this guide is at your own risk and we are not liable for any misrepresentation of the products or damage to your system. As with all computers, backing up your data before doing anything is recommended. If this is a concern to you, please do not hesitate to call us or we would be pleased to do these steps for you as part of our service at our normal rates.
We always start with the Windows Update and keep running the updater until they are all done. With Windows XP you will see this screen taking you to a website:
We recommend that you click on “Custom” instead of “Express”. Custom gives you all of the updates available where “Express” is just the security updates and fixes. The updates will have a number next to them on the right hand side of the screen. You will have to manually select all of the updates. Keep updating until there are no more updates available. Your computer might have to reboot several times so it might be a good idea to bookmark our website so you can come back to it quickly.
In Windows Vista and Windows 7, your screen will look something like this:
If you see the “Get updates for other Micrcosoft products. Find out more,” click on the “Find out more” and agree to allow the updates. This will update programs like Microsoft Office along with Windows updates. On the left side of that window, click on “Get Updates” to make sure it has checked for the most recent updates. Click on the “Install updates” button and follow the prompts. Your computer might have to reboot several times. Keep running this until you get a green check mark saying that there are no more updates. If you still have some updates available, you might have to click on the Optional Update list itself to enable the updates to be downloaded.
Next, we like to run SuperAntiSpyware. If you do not get a screen pop up on your computer, you might have to double click on it again. It creates an icon down by your clock in the system tray. We turn off the feature to have the program running all the time. If you want to turn that feature on or off, click on the “Preferences” button and uncheck the “Start SUPERAntiSpyware when Windows starts” box to turn off or leave it checked to let it run all the time. Then click “Home” to get back to the main screen. The first thing we recommend is that you click on “Check for Updates” first.
After you have all the updates, you might get a website window pop-up advertising to purchase the program. You can close it out or purchase it if you choose. Click on “Quick Scan” and then “Scan Your Computer.” The scan will take anywhere from five minutes or longer. Average scan takes about fifteen minutes. As with all of the program scans, if you feel your system is really slow or think it might be infected, you can do a full scan and it can take five to ten times longer to run. Follow the prompts for the cleanup and you might have to reboot. The average computer has around three to three hundred issues with Spyware.
Next, we run SpyBot Search & Destroy. You will notice a pattern here with all of these products: run program, update it, scan, fix, and reboot. With Windows Vista and 7, before we run it, we will have to right click on the icon, select Properties, Compatibility, check the box that says “Run this program as an administrator,” Apply, and OK. With XP, just run the program.
First, click “Search for Updates” and then click on any flag that is in your country so the downloads do not take long. Here, we choose an American flag. Check all the boxes to download everything and click on “Download.” Let it download the updates, close out the updater when it is done. The program should restart itself, if not, rerun the program. Give it a bit to start. Sometimes the updates are being applied and it might appear that Spybot is hanging up while loading. Then we click on the “Immunize” button on the left. Give it a second to check for the installed immunizations and then click on the green “+ Immunize” at the top. This can take a while, so be patient as it applies the immunizations into your browser(s). If you want to scan, you can click on the “Search & Destroy” then click on “Check for problems.” We are just covering the Immunizing feature in this article.
Next up, Malwarebyte’s. Malwarebyte’s will pop up a window that says something like, “Malwarebyte’s is out of date by 54 days, would you like to update now?” and you can click yes. Malwarebyte’s might have you restart your computer. On the first run, it will ask you if you want to use the trial. It is up to you if you want to use the full features trial or not. We usually use the free version instead of the trial version.
We recommend just running the quick scan. Follow the prompts to finish and you might have to reboot.
If you installed CCleaner, then run it now. You might get a pop up asking you to update and run CCleaner. You may do so if you wish.
In this article we will only focus on cleaning the registry. If you choose, you can run the “Cleaner” option. This option cleans up website history, cookies, recent documents, etc. The registry is what we are after. Click on “Registry” icon and click on “Scan for Issues.” When it gets to 100%, click on “Fix selected issues…” and click “Yes”. It will save it by default into your “Documents” or “My Documents” folder. Then after it is saved, click on “Fix All Selected Issues” and then click on “Close” when it is done.
The next product in our ToolBox! is Glary Utilities. This is just like CCleaner, but has all the features automated. This product does not ask to make a backup, so use at your own risk. The product is solid as far as we have seen.
If you have had this installed for a while, you might get a pop up asking to update to the latest version of the program. It is up to you. Just click “Scan for Issues” and let it run. When it is done scanning, click on “Repair Problems” and that is it!
The last step is to run your anti-virus. The one we use is Microsoft Security Essentials. Run Microsoft Security Essentials and you will see the main screen.
Click on the “Update” tab and then click on the “Update” button. When that is done, click on the “Home” tab. Click on the “Quick” scan option and click “Scan now.” The scan will take anywhere from a minute and longer.
That is it! You did it! You successfully ran your ToolBox! like the pros! If you run into any problems along the way, please do not hesitate to call us. We would love to help you learn to maintain your own computers. A clean computer is a fast computer! A fast computer makes for a happy user!