Optimization for your computer


Ever since I’ve arrived at Taiwan I’ve seen a lot of people using some extremely slow and old computers for their daily tasks. It makes sense that not everybody has the money to refresh their specs every year or so. Seeing some of my friend’s machines I’m usually overwhelmed by how bad things are and how much time they waste because of a lack in knowledge as to how they could make things better.

The major problems I usually encounter are:

  • An extremely slow user experience. Applications and heavy websites take a long time to load.
  • If an internet connection is used, then a computer is usually packed with spyware and pop-ups that make it impossible to do anything.

Since I’ve helped at least 5 of my friends to set up their machine during the past month, I thought it might be good to write a small guide about the medical care that I’ve provided them in order to overcome the problems mentioned. For someone who knows basic computing, the overall process should not take more than an hour

Thanks for the very useful post.

Spybot and Ad-Aware are good but they don’t get rid of all spyware. I’ve been using the free Zonealarm firewall for ages and like it, and this month I’ve been trying out the free trial of their (pay) anti-spyware program. It has got rid of a couple of things that Spybot and Ad-Aware didn’t find.


Yeah, well, you’re right ofcourse. Totally free light-weight programs will only get you so far, I guess.

For example, as far as spyware is concerned, there’s also the Microsoft anti-spyware beta which is based on a Giant’s former successful product. But, I do know, that lots of people in Taiwan do not hold a legitimate Windows copy and might therefore have trouble downloading it. That antispyware software is pretty advanced and will also do resident monitoring, if one should so require :
microsoft.com/downloads/deta … laylang=en

Zonealarm is a great piece of software (that was bought not too long ago by Checkpoint), yet the regular users seem to find it a bit too complicated and the users with old machines seem to find it taking too many of their resources.

Is there any possible way to use outlook express and MSIE without MSN messenger opening? Like a hack or something… I have stuff that requires OE and things like firefox and opera wont render certain pages properly…


Yeah, there are some things in Windows that I just don’t get. The integration with Windows Messenger is one of them.

Ofcourse you aren’t the first one to tackle this question and there are plenty of solutions out there on the web, I’ll just give you one of them that works.

(Almost copypasting from a guy called Matty - msghelp.net/member.php?actio … e&uid=3254, here is a good tip:)

If you wish to disable Windows Messenger totally then refer to Microsoft knowledge base at :
support.microsoft.com/default.as … ct=WinMsgr

If you want to disable Windows Messenger from running when you use outlook express then I suggest editing this into your registry…


[Start] [Run] [Regedit]
Registry Key: HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Outlook Express
Modify/Create the Value Name according to the Value Data listed below.
Data Type: REG_DWORD [Dword Value] // Value Name: Hide Messenger
Value Data: [2 = Messenger Will Not Load]
Exit Registry and Reboot

That way, Outlook Express wont try and open WIndows Messenger and take 5 mins doing it.

Another way to completly remove Windows Messenger from the computer do this


Click [Start] [Run] and in the [Open:] box type or copy/paste the following command
RunDll32 advpack.dll,LaunchINFSection %windir%\INF\msmsgs.inf,BLC.Remove
Click [OK]

Now by doing this, you may limit programs and addons for Messenger from actuall working. (Not a good idea if you program addons for Messenger)

To reinstall download file from here - download.microsoft.com/download/ … SSETUP.EXE.

Good luck, hope that helps.

Have you guys tried Tweakguides.com? That site’s advice has always done wonders for any machine I 've tinkered with.

I’d post a link, but as I’ve already brought this site up before, it would be inexcusable…

Oh yeah, TweakGuides is one of the easiest guides for the average homeuser to read and implement and it doesn’t take any risks with some extreme tweaking.

The following is an example for one’s that’s a bit more extreme - mywebpages.comcast.net/SupportCD/OptimizeXP.html

And another nice site that I find to be very useful is about the best freeware software that you can find on the web - techsupportalert.com/best_46 … lities.htm . In the world of freeware/open-source software, there’s really no need for any homeuser to pay for software (or pirate/copy). You can find everything you need for free…