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Old 10-02-2011, 03:23 PM   #1
terrie
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Default The aftermath...'-}}

Sooo...early yesterday evening after 4 days of furiously obsessive work on my part, my sister and her 2 laptops left on their merrry way back to ME early this morning...'-}}

I must say that cleaning up and tweaking the old Dell laptop (17") wasn't quite as awful as I thought it would be but I MBAM did find 292!!! adware/spyware/crapware goodies and her IE was just ghastly with about a third of the display screen taken over by various "helpful" toolbars. It was so bad that my sister had taken to creating desktop shortcuts of websites she wanted to revisit because she had trouble finding them through all the muck on the IE screen...'-}}

By the time I finished uninstalling stuff--let's hear it for Revo Uninstaller!--IE was pristine and actually usable. I updated to IE8 and as reluctant as I am to say this, I'm impressed with IE8 and left it as her default browser...

Speaking of being impressed, I was when I saw that she had Acrobat on her system...impressed until I opened it and realized that she'd never used it--witness the request for a serial number. I asked her if she knew what Acrobat was and she gave me a blank look. I figured she must have been trying to download Acrobat Reader and got confused and she said, yes, that's what had happened...'-}}

I was quite surprised to discover that the laptop had only a 52GB harddrive--I think she ordered this in maybe 2004 or 2005--and she only had about 15GB of free space. By the time I was done uninstalling unneed and unused crap, she had 30GB of free space--it also helped to delete who knows how many MB/GB worth of Temporary Internet files, Temp files and cookies on her system...some went back to 2004...'-}}

I got McAfee uninstalled pretty easily--thanks to Hugh for that antivirus uninstallers link which lead me to McAfee's clean up app. I installed Avira and ran into an odd and somewhat scary glitch in that when the scan had scanned a portion of System Volume Information folder it not only aborted Windows but actually shut down the laptop! It took me a couple of scan passes to figure out it was happening in System Volume Information and then a bit of research to find out that folder holds the System Restore info.

In Revo Uninstaller, I had left "create a restore point" checkmarked because I wasn't sure about all the stuff I was uninstalling and I think that may be what caused the problem. The webpage I found with info on Avira and System Volume Information suggested turning off System Restore which causes Windows to clear the folder and that's when I discovered that it was over 6GB in size! I unchecked "allow system restore" and it took a good few minutes to clear that folder and Avira was then able to successfully complete the full scan. I turned System Restore back on but reset the size to just under 1GB--reran the Avira scan after turning restore back on and it worked just fine.

All in all, while its got a slow processor, it's running much better now and I think my sister will find it much more usable...

On the HP Win7 laptop we decided to go with just one user--Admin--because given the new approach to Explorer (UGH!!!), we both thought it would be too confusing to have her data in two different places--I was concerned about future software she might install putting her data in the standard Windows "my document" folders to create a folder for her data "outside" the default Windows folders. IE9 is less impressive than IE8 and so we decided to have Firefox set as her default browser on the small laptop.

I was able to transfer her data from the Dell to the HP laptop with no problems using my external hardddrive. I was also able to get the data somewhat organized so she could more easily work with it. One of the last things I did was to install IrfanView on both laptops and get her photos all in one master folder--not "My Pictures"!

By the time my sister left my place early Saturday evening I was exhausted but I think she was happy...'-}}

Terrie

Last edited by terrie; 10-02-2011 at 07:06 PM. Reason: fix a typo
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Old 10-02-2011, 07:19 PM   #2
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Now where do you apply for course credit? Should be worth at least three credit hours, don't you think?

   
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Old 10-02-2011, 07:54 PM   #3
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john: Now where do you apply for course credit? Should be worth at least three credit hours, don't you think?
LOL!! 4 I think...'-}}

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Old 10-03-2011, 07:52 AM   #4
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I think you just won the Iron Nerd competition.

   
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Old 10-03-2011, 12:45 PM   #5
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andrew: I think you just won the Iron Nerd competition.
LOL!! Thanks...I think...'-}}

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Old 10-04-2011, 08:12 AM   #6
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Hmmm, maybe I should have said Iron Tech competition.

   
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Old 10-04-2011, 11:24 AM   #7
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andrew: Hmmm, maybe I should have said Iron Tech competition.
LOL! That's actually what I thought of...'-}}

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Old 10-03-2011, 10:11 AM   #8
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Shame you are so far away from the UK, otherwise you could come and sort out my brother-in-law's PCs. Both desktop and laptop are virtually unusable - bogged down with a cocktail of nasty stuff. Ugh!

Oh, well - gives me something to do over a weekend in the near future. The longer I can put it off, the longer before it needs doing all over again.

They should do the equivalent of drivers licenses for computers.

   
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Old 10-03-2011, 01:01 PM   #9
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bo: Shame you are so far away from the UK, otherwise you could come and sort out my brother-in-law's PCs. Both desktop and laptop are virtually unusable - bogged down with a cocktail of nasty stuff. Ugh!
I can just imagine! While IE on her older laptop was just soooo ugly! and of course there were all those adware/spyware that MBAM turned up, the rest of it was just regular sort of cleanup of useless software and overall it wasn't nearly as bad as I expected...


>>Oh, well - gives me something to do over a weekend in the near future. The longer I can put it off, the longer before it needs doing all over again.

I'd suggest the following steps:

1. Get MBAM free and run a deep scan as the first thing you do and once you've got anything bad quarantined you can go on to other clean up work...

2. Download RevoUninstaller free and take a look at what software you can get rid of--given my experience wtih my sister's old laptop, turn off Revo's "create a restore point" option or plan to turn off System Restore (Start > Programs > Accessories > System Tools > System Restore and then see "System Restore Settings" on the left hand portion of the System Restore window) after you've used Revo to uninstall everything you want to remove and have rebooted and tested the system a bit to make sure everything is working ok. When you checkmark "Turn off System Restore" the System Volume Information folder will be cleared and then you can turn System Restore back on if you want--check the amount of space allocated to it.

3. Get Mike Lin's Startup Control Panel app to see what's being loaded and turn off unneeded stuff--you could do that after running MBAM

4. I uninstalled her McAfee antivirus and installed Avira Antifir free

5. I installed Firefox but after getting IE cleaned up and then updating to IE8, I was impressed enough with IE8 to set it as her default browser but on her new laptop, I set Firefox as her default browser because there are a number of issues with IE9 that are problematic--some forums don't display properly with IE9 and forum posts written while in IE9 don't display, gmail doesn't work correctly (don't know the specifics)--and overall, it just doesn't work as well as IE8.


It took me the better part of 2 days to get things cleaned up and then another day or so to tweak her system.

Have fun...'-}}

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Old 10-03-2011, 02:23 PM   #10
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Step 1 is already sorted out and step 4 (except that I will be installing the free version of Avast - again since some friend of his un-unstalled this some time ago...).

2 & 3 is worth putting in my toolbox too. Thanks for those links.

Not the first time I have had to endure this, but what can you do when you have relatives that click on anything that says "free".

   
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