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Craplets & Bloatware
What is causing your PC to feel bloated?
WHAT'S NEW AT PC PITSTOP, JULY 2003
Your Source for Free Online PC Tests & Diagnostics
Thanks for using PC Pitstop! Here's an update on what's new at our site, plus some helpful tips to help you get the most out of your computer.
IN THIS ISSUE
SECURITY ALERT: WHAT'S RUNNING WHEN YOU POWER UP?
Windows has a convenient utility that can show you what
runs at startup. Click Start | Run and type MSCONFIG. On
the Startup tab you'll see a list of what gets run each
time you start the system. Some like SysTray are essential
Windows components, but you probably have at least a few
unwanted programs that run when you start your computer.
Whenever you test your computer at PC Pitstop, you'll get
a color-coded report of what's running, what it does, and
whether you should disable it.
UPDATED DISK HEALTH TEST NOW PROVIDES DETAILED ANALYSIS
Disk fragmentation is a major cause of poor PC performance.
Our disk health test now provides even more detail about the
condition of your drives, including the number of fragmented
files on the drive. This new test has been incorporated into
the full tests. We'll scan your C drive during the full tests,
or you can go directly to the disk health page to get the
complete results on any drive in your system:
ANTI-SPAM TIP: ELIMINATE ANNOYING MESSENGER POPUPS
Windows XP/2000 has a service called Messenger that can be used to pop up a dialog on your computer. (This is *not* the same as MSN Messenger, the IM program.) Spammers have found this service and are using it to send annoying ads. Home users should not have this service running, but by default they do. To turn the service off, click Start | Programs | Administrative Tools | Services. Find "Messenger" on the list and double-click it. Click the Stop button to stop the service, and set the startup type to Manual. Now you are protected from Messenger spams!
SPYWARE AND ADWARE GETS COURT'S BLESSING
Prepare for more annoying ads and system crashes. A Virginia
court has ruled that WhenU.com, makers of annoying adware
"applications", can continue to pop up ads on in front of any
site they like. Like Gator, the WhenU applications appear to
be helpful software but their primary goal is to barrage you
with ads. Worse, they can make your system unstable or slow.
Our full tests will scan your system for spyware, adware, and
many common viruses, to protect you even if the law won't!
EXPERT TIP: MAKE WINDOWS TELL YOU EVERYTHING
Windows--especially XP--loves to hide information from you. Fortunately, you can get Windows to cough up the info if you check a few boxes. Click on My Computer to open a folder view, then click Tools | Folder Options and click on the View tab. Under Advanced Settings, check the boxes next to these:
Clear the check on this box:
Now that you can see these files, be careful what you delete!
PC PITSTOP CURES CANCER AND FINDS ALIEN LIFE
Well, not yet, but maybe soon. Many visitors to our forums,
known as The Pit, have joined one of the collaborative projects
that we are hosting. The Folding@Home project uses your spare
CPU time to find proteins that might be useful in the fight
against diseases. SETI@Home puts your computing power to work
searching for messages in the signals we receive from space.
Learn more and join the team by visiting the Collaborative
Computing section of our forums!
PERFORMANCE TIP: MAX OUT YOUR DISK SPEED
Looking for even better disk performance? Most PCs can take
advantage of tweaked disk drivers from chipset makers. Intel
chipset systems can use the Intel Application Accelerator;
Via chipsets use the Via Hyperion drivers. Not sure which
driver to use on your system? Ask on our forums!
ABOUT PC PITSTOP
PC Pitstop, LLC (http://www.pcpitstop.com) was formed in February 2000, and offers users a unique way to make sure their PCs are running fast, stable and secure--all through a free, Web-based interface.
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