Routine Preventative Maintenance (RPM)

What can you do to limit computer problems in the future?  

Or

What can I do before Tech Support arrives to save time and money?

Or

What can I do to limit my exposure to the common security threats and pc pitfalls?

The answer all these question is to routinely preform preventative maintenance tasks on your PC.  Unfortunately, most people don’t know where to start or find these tasks too long and complex.    So, for our clients we have tried to simplify these tasks by adding a Monthly Maintenance Folder to your desktop.  By pre-installing some software on your machine we have simplified most of these tasks down to a two pages of instructions and a handful of software shortcuts all in that desktop folder we installed on your desktop called the..

Monthly Maintenance Folder:

Current TrustedCTO.com clients have a Monthly Maintenance folder on your PC’s desktop.  We put this on the desktop as a reminder and to help simplify most of your maintenance tasks.   Once we have shown you how to maintain your computer the monthly maintenance folder just makes running those tasks faster and more convenient.  The “Monthly” part of Monthly Maintenance Folder is just a loose frequency suggestion for running these routine tasks.  These items can also be run whenever your computer is showing signs of trouble.  Your folder may, or may not, be customized with additional instructions we have discussed.  Below are some common steps that may be listed in your folder’s instructions file.  Software interfaces change and we improve these procedures regularly so do yourself a favor and copy the most recent procedure from: www.trustedcto.com/rpm  then paste that over these instructions to save them locally.  This is not a complete list of tasks nor does it have in-depth instructions.  For those needing in depth maintenance instructions or even video links see the “longer version” at the bottom of page at: www.trustedcto.com/rpm   

Run these steps when the computer is having problems, when you see popups about updates available or around the 15th day of each month.  When possible complete these steps in order but to save time you can run scans in steps 3 through 7 all at the same time (if your pc is running fast enough.  If it bogs down try ending the tasks ore rebooting and running fewer tasks at once).  I do not recommend a novice should run Microsoft updates while you are doing these scans below.

  1. Check for your windows Version. “Type here to search”  search for “winver”, click it, confirm you see Version 21H1 and Windows 10.  If then that will be addressed in Step 7 below. 
  2. Run your customized Niniteupdater in this folder. Most current versions have number 2109 or higher.   Ninite must complete before your scans below will be effective. Ask your Trusted CTO if you have a custom Ninite version for your needs.
  3. Malwarebytes Click any of these that appear: “Get Started, “Use Malwarebytes Free” “Scan” Quarantine All, Exit when complete).  If Malwarebytes asks you to reboot then see “Note” below.
  4. SuperAntiSpywareclick here to check for Updates, OK, choose quick or full scan, Continue, Continue, Continue, Exit)
  5. Spybot Start Center(version 2.8 or newer) If you have an older version please download and install the newer version in Step 9a before you continue.  Open Spybot, it should update automatically.  Click Immunize. Check System, Apply Immunization.  Close Immunization with the X in the top right corner.  Choose “System Scan”, YES,  “Start a Scan”, Fix All, Close)
  6. Check that your Antivirus program has updated and scanned recently. This is generally  Windows Defender(windows 10).  Some people have their own favorite antivirus program. If you are using Windows Defender in Windows 10. Here are the steps.  In the “type here to search” begin to search for: “Windows Security” and click the shield and review alerts.  Choose apply or dismiss until you see “no action needed”.
  7. Open Glary Utilities; Click the tab “1-Click Maintenance” Double check that all 7 boxes have green check marks.  Click “Scan for Issues”, Check the box “Automatic Repair” Glary will now look for issues and automatically fix them. It will eventually complete and tell you all listed issues have been repaired.  Close Glary when repairs appear complete.

Note:  When a reboot is requested by a program in step 3-7, please wait for other scans and repairs before rebooting. Otherwise you must start over any of these scanning programs which you had not completed all the steps 3-7 you rebooted.

  1. Windows 10/11 Updates

In the “type here to search” box at the bottom left of desktop search for:”winver” click winver and check for the windows 10 update version.  (Update 21h1 was scheduled for release in May 2021.  Windows 11 is rolling out to compatible Windows 10 pc’s in November 2021). Make sure that you are not running old versions like 1903 1909 2004, or 20H2 Close winver.   Next type to search for “Check for updates” choose “Check for Updates” or “Download and Install” Restart if requested.  Then Check again and repeat installing updates until “Check for updates” finds nothing to install or download.  Install all updates available.  Check “winver” again and confirm that you are running windows 10 ver 21H1 or newer.

9. Update more software:

a. Spybot will give you popups if you are running an older version.  So if you are not running Spybot 2.8.68 or newer then downloading and installing the newer version will help you remove the old version.  (Ninite cannot remove or update old version of Spybot.  Download the newest version of spybot from the previous link.  Running the free version is most compatible with other antivirus programs. Installing the newer version will ask you to uninstall the older version and reboot.  Please complete those steps if they are suggested

b. Update your Adobe Reader for i.e. Browse to the URL:  https://get.adobe.com/reader/

c. Super Anti-Spyware  will pop up wanting you to install newer version every week or so.  Re run you Ninite and those popups will go away.

d. Remove unwanted popups and extensions from Google Chrome.  See here

e. Consider safer untracked and unbiased internet searches with DuckDuckGo.com and its Extension.  Some of my IT friends are recommending a browser called Brave.  It is interesting to me. I am just starting my testing so I can’t personally endorse it yet.

f. Check the support website of your PC manufacturer. (i.e. http://dell.com/support) Makes sure you are not at a fake URL. (ie dell.driverupdate.com is fake) Fake websites are generally risky or otherwise expensive to visit.   Search for and install newer driver if available.

  1. Run a S.M.A.R.T. Hard Drive Test (Self-Monitoring, Analysis, and Reporting Technology) with Western Digital Data Lifeguard,Seatools Source forge SMART Monitoring Tools or https://support.Dell.com Testing.
  1. Back UP!  It is also very important to verify that your recent back-ups have been successful.  See also: trustedcto.com/backups ›  and http://www.howtogeek.com/howto/30173/what-files-should-you-backup-on-your-windows-pc/ Try FreeFilesync.org and idrive.com and excellent values in your 3221 back-up strategy.

If you have any technical problems contact your Trusted CTO

Jim Ensign  jim@TrustedCTO.com at 630-445-1586

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