Optimizing and Protecting Windows 7

Hello:

I have a Windows 7 computer that has not had any maintenance or optimization performed on it, in the nearly three years that I've had it.

So, I'm planning on conducting the following steps:

(1)  Run a Malwarebytes scan,
(2)  load the latest Microsoft Windows updates, and
(3)  conduct disk defragmentation.

Are there any other good steps that I should be taking?

Also, is it possible to password protect the applets in Control Panel?  Is that conducted through User Access Control (UAC)?

Thanks!

TBSupport
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TBSupportAsked:
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JohnConnect With a Mentor Business Consultant (Owner)Commented:
The 3 steps you outline are good. If you are literally correct, it may not even be at SP1 and so will have SP1 and hundreds of updates. Just doing updates will take some hours. Make sure you get recommended updates as well.

Get a good commercial paid anti-virus for it. Nothing wrong with running Malwarebytes, but have a good anti-virus.

Run both Disk Cleanup and Disk Defrag after the above has been done.

Security:  Leave UAC enabled for sure. Disable the administrator user id and do not use it. First make sure the main ID is a member of the administrators group. Be sure of this. Disabled administrator is the default for Windows 7

Then have good passwords on your user ids. That should suffice and applets do not need to be separately protected.

.... Thinkpads_User
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aadihCommented:
Make manual restore points after each step. Also update the security software data. Do a secunia scan and get updated versions of all programs.
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David Johnson, CD, MVPOwnerCommented:
not counting updates running as a standard user is the best security feature you can do.  Programs that need to run as administrator you can change the compatibility setting to always run as administrator and you will get the uac prompt (this is Microsoft's recommendation) http://blogs.technet.com/b/security/archive/2010/03/30/be-safer-run-as-standard-user.aspx
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dbruntonCommented:
Besides Secunia PSI mentioned above I recommend File Hippo http://www.filehippo.com/updatechecker and Sumo http://www.kcsoftwares.com/index.php?download  (Warning!  Download the Lite version of Sumo only. See http://www.techsupportalert.com/best-free-software-update-monitor.htm for lots more details).

I use all three.  None pick up everything but combined they are very good.

If you have an extra hard disk you can change the location of My Documents to point to the extra disk.  This means the the data in C: will change very little from that period on and require minimal defragging.
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JohnBusiness Consultant (Owner)Commented:
@TBSupport - Thank you and I was happy to help.

.... Thinkpads_User
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