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How To Professionally Speed Up/Clean Your PC!

Safe Mode With Networking

First of all you need to go into 'Safe Mode With Networking' in order to maximise your chances of finding something nasty. To do this restart your PC and keep hitting F8 until your are presented with some options on your screen, then with your keyboard select 'Safe Mode With Networking' and hit the Enter button on your keyboard to select it. The difference between Safe Mode and Safe Mode With Networking is that the latter will still allow you to surf the web while the prior wont. Please note that if you happen to restart your PC by accident during this clean up make sure you go back in Safe Mode With Networking until all of the steps I give have been completed.

MSConfig

Now when you are in Safe Mode With Networking click on your Windows icon at the bottom of the screen and the select 'Run'. Once the box opens type MSCONFIG into it and click OK. A new System Configuration box should now open up, go onto 'StartUp' and there you will see a list of programs that automatically start running in the background every time you start Windows…I bet your surprised how long it is aren't you ;) Now because your PC is running slow or is infected we want to reduce the amount of programs that start up automatically because some of them could be Virus's/Spyware or they could just be system hogs. So click on 'Disable All' to begin with and you will see that all of the programs are de-selected to auto start with Windows. Now we want to make sure that your anti-virus program starts with Windows because that is probably the only essential program on there so try to locate it and re-enter the little tick into the box next to it, also if there are others you NEED then you can also turn them back on. Now once you have done that click the 'Apply' button and then click the 'OK' button to finish. It will now ask if you want to restart your PC, select No because we have some other tasks to do.

CCleaner

Now before we start scanning for Virus's and Spyware we should really delete all of your old temporary Internet files and other unnecessary things. This will have two benefits, firstly it will help speed up your PC a little bit and secondly it will speed up the security scans which we will be doing in a little while because there will be less files for it to look through. So to begin with download the latest version of a program called CCleaner. Now once you have installed it open the program and click the 'Run Cleaner' button, this will now take a minute or so to delete all of your junk files. Once the program has finished close CCleaner down.

Malware Bytes

So now we begin looking for little gremlins in your PC, namely Malware also known as Spyware and Adware. Download the latest version of a brilliant little program that's saved my bacon many a time called Malware Bytes. Now once you have installed the program its important to update its database to maximise your chances of detecting Malware, you can do this by selecting the 'Update' tab and then clicking 'Check For Updates'. Once your program is up to date then go back onto the 'Scanner' tab and click either 'Perform Quick Scan' or 'Perform Full Scan' depending on how much time you have to spare. Once it has finished scanning you may find that it found some nasties which it would have highlighted in bold red for you. Our next job is to remove them so click the button to permanently remove them. If it prompts you saying "the program needs to restart in order to delete the Malware" select 'OK' to restart, make sure that when your PC does restart you go back into 'Safe Mode With Networking'.

Spybot S&D

Now its time for our second scan to delete malicious programs. We are going to download the latest version of a program called Spybot Search & Destroy. Now when you are installing Spybot make sure to de-select 'Use system settings protection (Tea Timer)' as this feature is extremely annoying at times and isn't particularly essential for keeping your PC safe. Once you finish the installation you need to once again download the latest updates in order to maximise your chances of having a squeaky clean PC. Now before we start scanning you need to 'Immunize' your system from getting infected in the future, select the 'Immunize' tab on the side and then once it has gathered a list of all the protected and unprotected files you should click the green 'Immunize' button to perform the action. When that is finished it's once again time to scan for malicious programs hiding in your PC, so go onto the 'Search & Destroy' tab on the left hand side and then click the 'Check For Problems' button to begin scanning. Once it has finished finding problems click the 'Fix Selected Problems' button in order to delete them.

Anti-Virus

So iam sure you have heard on an anti-virus program before, everyone seems to have a different opinion on which is the best but iam going to give you my opinion from repairing maybe 10 PC's every week for the last few years that have both Spyware and Virus infections. First of all I wholeheartedly suggest you DON'T use either McAfee or Norton to protect your system, they use an absurd amount of system resources thus slowing many peoples PC's to a crawl. Also they seem to be extremely slow at receiving updates for new threats that are circulating on the web.

Now some of the best anti-virus programs out there are completely free to use. The one I personally suggest is Avast! It is updated extremely fast to new threats and also allows you to do 'boot time scans' if you really have a bad virus infection. Apart from that I also strongly suggest AntiViras it uses a very small amount of system resources thus helping keep your PC running fast. Like I said before these programs are completely free and never require any payment unless you want the full Internet suite (but I don't recommend you do that anyway). Also an essential rule regarding anti-virus programs is that you should NEVER have more than one installed at any given time, they get in each others way and end up making you even more vulnerable because they wont be able to do their individual jobs properly.

De-Fragmentation

For a de-fragmentation program there isn't any one that is definitively better than the rest, the one I use and suggest is Defraggler. Defragging your PC sorts all your files into an order which makes it faster for your PC to read thus speeding up your whole experience.

Web Browser

First things first,,,DON'T USE INTERNET EXPLORER! Internet Explorer is by far the worst web browser to use because everyone uses it thus when someone is making a virus to exploit a web browser they design it to attack Internet Explorer thus maximizing its chances of getting picked up, in order to stop this happening Microsoft has to put a LOT of security measures in their browser to protect people and this ends up slowing down your Internet experience greatly. In order to have a much faster, safer and all together more pleasant experience while surfing the web I suggest you use either FireFox or Google Chrome.

Computer Games

Now a lot of people dont seem to understand that your video card has drivers and sometimes newer drivers offer extra frames per second in games for free.So if you havnt updated yours in a while then now maybe a good time to do so. Click on the correct link for either NVIDIA or ATI depending on what graphics card you are currently using and enter in the details which it asks you for, download the drivers it recommends and then follow the installationinstructions.

Nvidia 178.13 WHQL Drivers Released. Amazing Performance Increase!

Nvidia has now released a new WHQL-certified graphics card driver, the GeForce 178.13. Coming with support for the GeForce 6, 7, 8, 9 and GTX 200 series cards, the 178.13 includes the PhysX v8.09.04 software and features:

- Added support for 2-way and 3-way Nvidia SLI technology with GeForce GTX 200-series GPUs on Intel D5400XS motherboards
- Support for single GPU and Nvidia SLI technology on DirectX 9, DirectX 10, and OpenGL, including 3-way and Quad SLI technology
- CUDA support
- Support for the Folding@home distributing computing application.
- Numerous 3D application compatibility fixes
- Several 3D application performance improvements. For example (improvements measured with 178.13 versus 175.19):
Single GPU increases up to 11% in 3DMark Vantage (performance preset)
Single GPU increases up to 11% in Assassin's Creed DX10
Single GPU increases up to 15% in Bioshock DX10
Single GPU increases up to 15% in Call of Duty 4
Single GPU increases up to 8% in Enemy Territory: Quake Wars
2-way SLI increases up to 7% in Bioshock DX10
2-way SLI increases up to 10% in Company of Heroes: Opposing Fronts DX10
2-way SLI increases up to 12% in Enemy Territory: Quake Wars
2-way SLI increases up to 10% in World in Conflict DX10

To download the fresh GeForce 178.13 WHQL drivers just follow the 2Many links below:

- GeForce 178.13 WHQL (Windows XP 32bit)
- GeForce 178.13 WHQL (Windows XP 64bit)
- GeForce 178.13 WHQL (Windows Vista 32bit)
- GeForce 178.13 WHQL (Windows Vista 64bit)

**NEWS** Xbox Live Down For Service Maintenance 29/09/08!

On Monday, 9/29/2008 from 12:01 AM PST for up to 24 hours, Xbox Live will be offline for maintenance. As a result, Xbox LIVE and the 'My Xbox' section of Xbox.com will be unavailable, and the Xbox forums will be in read only mode (you won't be able to post.) The remainder of Xbox.com will be available with limited interruptions.

This service maintenance is in preparation for the new Xbox experience which will be available later this fall.

Let me reiterate: When the service returns, you will not have any new features and you will not have thenew Xbox experience update. That will happen later this Fall.

LINK

**NEWS** New Google Chrome Beta Available!

While those that have Chrome installed are stuck at 0.2.149.30, a new beta version of Google's browser has been making its way into every corner of the web. Known as 0.2.152.1, the release has been launched through the Chrome Dev channel last week and it features new Network and Window managers, plus:

Javascript/Web API

- Fix hit-test detection in SVG
- Ensure contextmenu event is dispatched _after_ mouseup.

User Interface/Behavior

- Stop creating full-text index data for https: pages.
- Changes the behavior of 'New incognito window' to always open a new window and 'New window' to always open a new normal window.
- Move the New tab, New window, and New incognito window options to the wrench menu (from the page menu).
- When you right-click a tab and hover on Close other tabs, Close tabs to the right, or Close tabs opened by this tab, the tabs that would get closed pulse briefly so you can see what tabs will be affected.
- The about :version page has been rearranged to show the versions of Google Chrome, WebKit, and V8. The About dialog no longer shows the user agent string (it's still available in about :version).
- Tables in dialogs like the task manager and keyword editor do not flicker on resize.
- Fix errors with tabs sometimes showing the wrong title or favicon.
- Allows chrome menu items and bookmarks bar menu items to be selected with right-click.
- Update the New Tab page properly when bookmarks change.

Plugins

- Fixes bugs with Silverlight plugin not displaying correctly.
- Fix YouTube (and other Flash videos) halting if the time-advance slider is used.
- Fixes a problem with Shockwave/Flash games not loading.

Application Shortcuts and Pop-up Windows

- Makes sure that application windows (and popups from applications) show the application icon and do not have an address bar.
- Fixes the "Create application shortcut" window being too short on Windows Vista.

Network/Proxy

- Better handling of proxy settings, fixing a corruption reading the config file.
- Fix performance problems with using proxies.
- Fix a problem accessing some SSL sites that return an illegal message.

Crashes

- Fix occasional crash when trying to make Google Chrome the default browser.
- Fix crash in history view when deleting a day of history.

To download Google Chrome beta 0.2.152.1 follow this link.

**NEWS** The PS3's Cell CPU Is Going 45nm!

Japan heavyweights Sony and Toshiba are expected to move production of the Cell Broadband Engine chip to 45nm next year, later than previously predicted. Set to be used within new, cooler and hopefully cheaper PlayStation 3 consoles, the 45nm Cell will also be made by IBM and will consume 40% less power and be 34% smaller than the current 65nm-made chip.

LINK

http://spong.com/news/i/b/ibmannounc234375.jpg

I Think Running Folding@Home On My GPU 24/7 Has Damaged it! :(

Now when i first got my rig i played the first Crysis game and i could run it playable @ 1440x900 at High settings. After that i decided to leave my PC on 24/7 folding proteins on the GPU client of Folding@Home, and as some of you may know this client stresses your GPU to its extremes. Now after some months have passed of constant protein folding i decided to give this new Crysis Warhead a try (which is supposed to be a lot more optimised) so i expected my rig to play it on High settings even better,,,,,,that wasn't the case! My FPS was unplayably low which got me wondering if all that stress from F@H has damaged my graphics card a bit :/

Whats your thought on the matter?

**NEWS** 216 Core equipped NVidia GTX 260 Reviewed!

Nvidia has now (finally) given the thumbs up for the introduction of the improved GeForce GTX 260 which, compared to the older GTX 260, has not 192 but 216 Processing Cores. Powered by the 65nm G200-103-A2 chip, the 'new' graphics card looks just like a regular GTX 260 and has the same reference clocks as its predecessor - 576 MHz for the GPU, 1242 MHz for the shaders and 1998 MHz for the 896 MB of GDDR3 memory.

The upgraded GeForce GTX 260 still has a 448-bit memory interface, triple-SLI and DirectX 10(.0) support and requires extra power via two 6-pin PCIe connectors. Given the surplus of Processing Cores, the 1.1 version GeForce GTX 260 will come with a little price premium but hopefully that will go down as soon as the stocks of older GTX 260s are depleted.

@ Guru3D
@ Hexus
@ FiringSquad
@ HotHardware
@ Hardware Canucks
@ techPowerUp

Happy 9th Birthday Dreamcast.

Well if you didnt guess it already its the Dreamcasts 9th birthday today. Let us use this time to reflect on what a great console it was in bringing online console play to the masses, also on how great Shenmue 1&2 was (we are still awaiting number 3 to finish the story). What did you enjoy most about the Dreamcast?

Battle.Net 2.0 Features Revealed!

  • Excellent Ping
  • Channels and Chat in-game
  • Ladders and Rankings, secured against cheating.
  • Extended stats, with possibility to see who D/C etc (source)
  • AMM-type Matchmaking
  • Avatars, Images and Icons to represent yourself
  • Diablo III Hardcore mode
  • Friends/Ignore Lists with advanced management (see accounts below)
  • Clan Support
  • Automated Tournaments

LINK

Looks pretty good to me!