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How to Run a Full Computer Backup or Virus Scan Efficiently





infinisa
Hello all

I hope that you will find this procedure saves you time whenever you need to run a full computer backup or virus scan.

The basic idea is that a backup up or virus scan of the whole computer is potentially a long running job, so you need to make it as fast as possible by:
a) Removing as many unneeded files as possible
b) Disabling as many programs (that would normally be running in the background) as possible

The procedure is divided into three sections:
1) Preparation (do a clean boot & remove unneeded files)
2) Execution (of the computer backup or virus scan)
3) Post Execution (Returning the PC to its normal state)

Here are the details:

1) Preparation (do a clean boot & remove unneeded files)
- Install CCleaner, if you haven’t already done so. It’s an excellent free utility available at http://www.ccleaner.com/download.
- Open CCleaner, and click on “Check for updates now...” at the lower right corner, to make sure you have the latest version (If there is an update to install, close CCleaner, and install it).
- Disable the screen saver, if active (or increase the Wait time to 1000 minutes)
- Disconnect from the Internet, as the PC will not be protected during this procedure (This may mean disconnecting a network cable, switching off the wireless switch on a portable computer or deactivating a wireless device)
- Close any kind of software that detects registry changes, such as Spybot-S&D Resident or CounterSpy
- Use the “System Configuration Utility” (msconfig) to configure and run a “Clean Boot” (i.e. boot the PC with all non essential software deactivated):
-- Press Start, Run..., key in msconfig and press Enter.
-- On the General Tab, if “Selective Startup” is selected, note the disabled items on the Services e Startup Tabs (so as to be able to restore this situation at the end).
-- On the Services Tab, activate the option “Hide All Microsoft Services” and then press “Disable All”
-- On the Startup Tab, press “Disable All”
-- On the General Tab, press OK, ignoring the following error message, should it appear:
“An Access Denied error was returned while attempting to change a service. You may need to log on using an Administrator account to make the specific changes.” (For an explanation of and how to avoid this error, see http://answers.yahoo.com/question/index?qid=1006021605664)
-- When you see the message “You must restart…”, press “Restart” to restart the PC
- After the (clean) reboot, the following message will appear: “You have used the System Configuration Utility...”: Close the message window without activating the option “Don’t show...”
- The “System Configuration Utility” (msconfig) window will open: Close it
- Remove the uninstall folders left by the Microsoft patches (folders named $MS... or $Nt... in C:\Windows) that are at least a month old. Note: These folders are hidden, and so may not be visible. If this is the case, then (in Windows Explorer or My Computer) select Tools: Folder Options: View Tab: Hidden files and folders: Activate: Show... and press OK.
- Run the CCleaner Cleaner (Press the “Analyze” button. When the analysis is complete, press “Run Cleaner”. When the Cleanup is complete, close the program)

2) Execution (of the computer backup or virus scan)
- Run your backup or virus scanning software. I recommend Norton Ghost & Kaspersky Internet Security. Unfortunately, neither of these products is free.

3) Post Execution (Returning the PC to its normal state)
- Reactivate the Screen saver, if you deactivated it earlier
- Use the “System Configuration Utility” (msconfig) to configure e run a “Normal Startup”:
- Press Start, Run..., key in msconfig and press Enter.
-- On the General Tab, select “Normal Startup …”
-- If “Selective Startup” was active initially, disable all the items that were initially disabled in Services e Startup.
-- On the General Tab, press OK
-- When you see the message “You must restart…”, press “Restart” to restart the PC
- After the reboot, reconnect to the Internet

And there you have it!
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