Best pc health optimizer tools for novices?


I don`t have much knowledge about how to keep my pc in good health so I was hoping for some good all in one package suggestions.
So far I`ve only seen Norton Systemworks Basic and System Mechaninic(Proffesional)6.
But is these programs safe and easy to use?,or is there any better ones on the market?

nightflowerAsked:
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rindiCommented:
I wouldn't use symantec's tools, they are bloatware and slows the PC down, and they can cause things to worsen more than help. Get yourself a good antivirus software, like avast! home which is free, or mcafee.

http://avast.com

Then get antispyware software, having two or three is always good, like spybot S&D, adaware and the microsoft antispyware tool, which you should install so it runs in the background.

http://www.safer-networking.org/
http://lavasoft.com

Let these tools scan and clean the PC occasionally, and make sure their definitions are uptodate.

Delete your temporary files regularly and run the windows defrager, it is good enough so you don't need anything 3rd party for that.

Make yourself a UBCD4WIN, which will allow you to boot a windows directly off CD and includes AV scanners which you can download the definitions while running and therefore scan the PC while it's own windows isn't running, this is a very good tool to have when something has really gone wrong with your installation with the OS itself. Such problems usually aren't easily repaired when the broken OS itself is running.

http://ubcd4win.com

Another bootable CD with many (DOS based) tools you should allways have ready is the UBCD.

http://ultimatebootcd.com

With all that you should be fine and have the necessary tools to recover from disaster.
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r-kCommented:
Yes, very good advice from rindi. I too would suggest avoiding automate tools that claim to tune up your PC unless you suspect a specific problem. Here is my top-10 list of how to stay out of trouble:

(1) Backup all important files.

(2) Keep Windows updated with automatic updates from Microsoft.

(3) Enable the Windows Firewall that is included with XP (or install some other Firewall if using older versions of Windows).

(4) Treat all attachments, and all links within email with great suspicion. Do not click on them unless 110% sure.

(5) Do not click on web pop-ups. For suspicious pop-ups, use ALT-F4 to close the topmost window.

(6) Don't install unknown games, music-sharing programs etc.

(7) Get and install the free MS "Windows Defender" program from: http://www.microsoft.com/athome/security/spyware/software/default.mspx 

(8) Use any anti-virus program, and keep it updated.

(9) Be aware of what is "normal". Unusual disk or network activity, too many pop-ups, sluggish CPU, may all be signs of a virus or other malware.

(10) Backup all important files (worth saying twice).
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