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Ever Wonder Why Some People's PCs Have Constant Problems And Others Dont?

IT Services has developed some key practices that can reduce the number of problems you have
with your NCR computer. Here are easy things to do every week to keep your system running fast and virus/spyware free. Taking a few minutes each week to perform these tune up tips can improve your systems performance significantly. Right before lunch on Friday is a great time to do this.

1. Delete Unneeded files. Start - All Programs - Accessories - System Tools - Disk Cleanup

Or just Delete Cached Files from the Internet

- Internet Explorer stores information about websites that users have visited. This information is stored to make pages that are visited often load faster and allows websites to recognize returning users. Some times these grow too large or get corrupted.
Start your web browser (IE 7) Then under Tools-Options under the General tab under Browsing history", click Delete then Delete files... box under Temporary Internet Files then select yes then close. (this takes about 1 minute first time and 20 seconds each

2. Remove unwanted items from the PC Startup

I. Easy - Go to: Start - All Programs - Startup The startup box should be empty. Highlight and press Delete key to remove items. II. Medium Difficulty - Go to: Start Run - enter MSconfig and go to the Startup tab. Below is a clean laptop example. (try this only if you are comfortable in this area, else contact the helpdesk) Uncheck items such as:

Adobe programs, QuickTime, Real Player, Nero, Adaptec, MSN Messenger, AIM, Yahoo,, WinZip, & most 3rd party programs these items do not need to be preloaded. If you are not sure what the startup program is, here is a lookup tool Many folks have PDA sync programs that are no longer needed If you make a mistake, and find you need a program pre loaded, you can reselect it after your next boot. Sample Laptop MSconfig Startup tab

III. Advanced users/Help Desk Personnel only - registry startup items:

3. Check for Spyware Watch this video on what spyware is to determine if you may have a problem. Here is the NCR Spyware site for additional details. Trend Micro is Anti-Spyware Solution for NCR. It is rolled out to all workstations automatically. It also auto-updates for the latest threats. If you suspect you still "may" have a Spyware problem, try to find and install a free 3rd party product .

4. Ensure you have latest Trend virus detection files - Make sure you have a blue octagon Trend icon in your system tray (lower right corner). While it should automatically update you still may want to right click the icon and click Update Now! twice.

5. Stay current, accept all SCCM updates/patches Check to see if you are up to date
Accept all SCCM package updates as soon as they arrive. When given the option to re-boot after the update, always re-boot. Reboot your PC at least weekly for XP/Windows 7. Login to the NCR domain daily. Allow the NCR login script to run. For most people (XP and Win 7 users) this is automatic. The login script is used to check that critical software has been applied. Check to ensure that your PC has all of the required security patches installed by running this Click Here for Easy OS Patcher This will bring your PC up to date for OS security patches. Choose your region, click install security patches. Takes about 5 minutes to run.

6. Optimize your E-mail files - (Non US Only - USA does not have .pst files) Compacting My Personal Folder Files (pst files)
Compacting your E-mail will remove the empty slots where you have deleted mail and will substantially speed up your mail processing. Compacting the Personal File Folder may take an hour the first time then only a few minutes in subsequent weeks. To compact a Personal File Folder:

a. From the main Microsoft Outlook window, select File/Data File Management from the
toolbar. (or click the double-arrow at the bottom of the pull-down menu.)

The Outlook Data Files window displays.

2. In the Outlook Data Files window, click to select the Personal File Folder that
you want to compact. 3. Click the Settings button. 4. Click the Compact Now button. 5. When the compacting is compete, click the OK button. You may compact additional Personal File Folders, or click the Close button to return to the Outlook Main window. Click here for more Outlook 2003 Tips

7. Defrag your disk - Just like mail, your disk gets fragmented by document additions and deletions, defragmenting removes these gaps for improved disk performance. This really makes a big difference, do it weekly. Click Start-All Programs-Accessories-System Tools-Disk Defragmenter - per on screen instructions defrag the C: drive.
(This will take a long time (~30 min) and ten minutes then subsequent times. This can double your drives performance!)

8. System Memory - Do you need more memory and is your virtual memory file file big enough?
To set Virtual Memory: Start - Control Panel - System - Advanced - Performance - Settings - Advanced - Virtual Memory - Change. A. Select - System managed size B. Set-OK- Apply and OK to Reboot

Advanced users/Help Desk Personnel only - Memory Paging Monitor Press the Ctrl + Alt + Delete key. Now click on Task Manager and select the Performance tab.

A. Look just under midway down on the right and you will see a box labeled Physical
Memory (K). Read the Total right under that. That is your installed memory (in kilobytes). If you want to convert it to MB, divide it by 1024.

B. Now look at the box to its left that says Commit Charge (K). The total there will be how
much memory is being used. You will also see a Peak under that total which tells the highest amount of memory used since the last reboot.

C. If the Peak is lower than the Physical Memory total, then you dont need additional
memory. If the total Commit Charge is higher than the Physical Memory Total, then additional memory would give you a significant performance boost because of how much of the memory your system is using with the Operating System and applications. Can I just add more memory? - Memory is cheap, just buy more A reasonable question, except more memory will not fix a crashing or hanging up PC -- it only speeds up slow PC that is using the virtual memory excessively. (see above) If your are running XP Pro: 512mb - you need more memory

1gb -is barley acceptable 2gb - is better if you have many large applications open at once 3-4gb - if you have some special computing requirement such as local database development or an emulated environment. XP pro and Windows 7 32 bit can only use 3.5gb of memory no matter how much is installed.

9. Desktop Search Settings - If you use a desktop local search tool such as Google, Microsoft, Yahoo, XI . Hot Bot add on packages to search your mail or desktop be sure to set your index building effectively. Under the options setting on most programs: 1. Re-Index only once a day preferably over lunch or in the evening, Do not index your deleted mail. Do not index network or shared drives as it causes network and server problems and probably will not work correctly. Exclude Trend and Endforce directories from your search.
More tips and Trick on desktop Searches --

10. Slow PC Startup Times Several people have mentioned that their laptops are taking a long time to cold boot to be ready to read e-mail. There of course are several factors that can cause slowdowns. Here are a few tips you can review that should help you understand or resolve the problem.

1. Remove unneeded applications/drivers being loaded at boot time (see below for fix) 2. Laptops Generally laptops are slower than desktops, so cleaning off unneeded start
jobs is more critical and your boot time expectation should be different.

3. A pending SCCM job (our PC updater/patcher) may run after you boot often you can 4. 5.
tell it to run at another time, but critical patches may run right away. Laptops that have Pointsec encryption software installed will see slightly longer boot times. IT Services recently completed the deployment of the NCR Security Compliance software (NSCA) to ensure that only properly configured/protected workstations are permitted to access to NCR's network. While checking your system, NSCA does increase the amount of time it takes to finish the boot process. Adding memory to your machine will not fix slow boot times.


Also see web page for improving slow boot times.

End of weekly Housekeeping

Good Tips and Ideas from Others:

Review software installed on your PC under Add / Remove Programs in Control Panel. Delete all unnecessary programs. Do not install shareware, freeware, personal software. (Keep things uncluttered) When in doubt, obviously do NOT delete the software. Review programs that are run at startup. XP Only (click Start-Run-Openmsconfig .) Un check all unnecessary startup programs. When in doubt, do NOT disable the program.

Please send feedback and your tune up tips to

Disk Errors: If you suspect you have a disk error: 1. Backup My Documents to a CD or external media at least one a week best method. 2. If you hear the disk clicking or ticking more than usual usually means retries of bad
sectors or going bad

3. Go to Computer Management event viewer choose System and look for disk errors 4. Let XP search for bad disk clusters and fix or move them automatically. a. Start Run
Open cmd and then at the dos prompt enter chkdsk /f b. Reboot and follow prompts

5. Free or pay hard drive problem detection software usually does not work well may not
worth the effort (many false positives) 6. Call helpdesk and speak Dell technician if sound or errors persist. Prevention tips:

1. 2. 3. 4.

Let laptops warm up before turning on from the cold outside Do not leave in car trunk over night Do not move or jolt the laptop while it is busy i.e. writing or reading disk Turn off or Leave powered up? o This issue had been debated endlessly by techies with no conclusion o One idea -- Leave PC or Desktop running and automate your defrag and backup to run during the night o A bad disk with a good backup is almost a non issue

Disk Recovery and Rescue

NCR has an internal disk recovery service to help you:

Virtual Office Multi-Function Printer Trouble Shooting Guide ( beta)

click Printer for Trouble Shooting Tips

PC Asset Information Please install this utility to read your PC's bios and display key information about your machine such as: Computer name, Model, Serial number (service tag) and Username (Qlook ID) Example:

Click your region to install

the PC Asset Information Icon on your desktop. Click Run

when prompted. Choose Run to "The publisher could not be verified. Are you SURE you want to run this program?" Click the new icon on your desktop to run the PC Asset Information query.