How do I go about finding "hidden files" aka memory hogs and deleting them safely?
How much hard drive space do you have left? Click Start/My Computer then right click on the Local C: drive and select properties. This will show a pie chart of the disk drive.
You might need to invest in a external drive and start taking off some of your Documents, Music and Pictures or you could buy a 2nd hard drive and put it in the computer if it has an extra slot for one.
Are you sure your hard drive is not partitioned off into a C: and a D: and C: is full but D: is sitting there with almost nothing on it? Clicking My Computer will tell you that because 99% of the time D: is the DvD/CD drive.
So one clarification, Files on the disk drive do not occupy memory, they take up disk space, so they are not memory hogs. Memory hogs are things like Norton Antivirus, McAfee Antivirus, AOL products.
If your system is running slow it might have a virus and most definitely if you've got Norton or McAfee on it, you can almost bet they've let something in.
Now, let's clean your system up a bit.
Click Start/Programs and look for the RUN command. You might see it anywhere once you click Programs, or it might be inside the Accessories folder. Click RUN and when it opens up type "msconfig.exe" (without the quotes) then hit ok.
When the System Configuration window opens click the Startup tab. In the Startup Tab we are only concerned with 2 columns, the first column which is the Startup Items and the column that says Command. You can put your mouse pointer between two column headings and it will turn into a +, then hold the left mouse button and drag the column over to the right to expand it so you can read what's below it.
Now everything has a check mark beside it. This means that everytime you start your computer, these items have to load and run. Most of the stuff is good, but there might be so viruses that are running also so we want to remove the check mark from them.
Start with the first time listed under the startup item column and look at it and look at the command for it. Most times you will see something under the command such as Adobe, Yahoo, Dell, HP, etc. that you know are ok so go to the next item. Also if you see something under the command like C:\Program Files\.... then it's ok, also C:\Windows\System32\.... then it's ok.
If you see something that does not have anything under the Command column, remove the check mark, it's a virus that's trying to hide.
If you see something that says something like: dumprep 0 -k in the startup item column remove the check mark from it.
Most viruses will attach themselves to a User Account and be in one of the hidden folders. If you see something under the Startup Item column that does not make sense such as xjieryert67 or 12326543;ehdyu and when you look at the Command column it is located in c:\Documents and Settings\the user id\Local Settings\Application Data\...... remove the check mark because it's a virus. Note that the user id will be the name of one of your user accounts. It could be something like your name, Owner, User, etc.
When you have been through all the items click OK or Apply then OK and the system will show you restart options. Select Exit Without Restart so that the machine does not reboot yet.
Don't be afraid about removing the check mark from something. All this does is stop something from starting when you boot your machine. You can always go back in and put the check mark back on something.
Now all we've done so far is stopped the virus from running when you boot your machine. The next thing we want to do is kill it.
Open your internet browser and go to www.google.com and in the search box type: 'Download Cnet Malwarebytes" (without the quotes) and you will see a site called download.cnet/malwarebytes and you might see a January 30, 2012 date on it. Download and install MalwareBytes from that site. When their site opens be sure to click on the Green Download button on the left, that's malwarebytes. Don't click the Red Download button, that's some junk.
Once malwarebytes is at the end of the installation process it will pop up the Gui Interface and a popup window overlaying it that says Decline or Accept a 30 Day Trial. CLICK DECLINE and your copy will always be FREE without a trial period. Then take the option to RUN A QUICK SCAN.
The Quick Scan will run and if it finds infections the number will be shown in RED. When it is done you will click SHOW RESULTS. A notepad text document will open up showing you the results of the scan. You can close it because we are only interested in the Gui Interface. Next click REMOVE SELECTED RESULTS and the results will already be selected for you. Once the infections are removed you will be instructed to click and reboot your computer.
If you're amazed at how many infections Norton or McAfee let in give them the boot and go with a FREE Antivirus such as Microsoft Security Essentials, AVG Antivirus or AVAST Antivirus. If you're going to get a virus, WHY PAY FOR IT WHEN YOU CAN GET ONE FREE.
Also when you reboot and everything is running smoothly go into www.google.com and search for "download Mozilla Firefox", and "Download Opera" and "Download Google Chrome". Download and install each of these internet browsers, you don't need to make them your default browser unless you want to. They are much faster and safer than Internet Explorer. if you want a virus, continue using Internet Explorer. And don't worry they don't take a long time to install like Internet Explorer they install very fast.
More little things that makes your system run faster:
Don't install toolbars from everybody that wants to stick it on your internet browser. You only need Google and Yahoo toolbars. Toolbars will clutter your browser and slow it down and some just let viruses, addware and spyware in.
Be careful when you search the internet and download something because some products like Norton, McAfee and Ask will already have a check mark by them to install on your system. You don't need that junk.
Click Start/Program and look in your program list and uninstall any buggy and junk programs such as: Weather Bug, anything from Freeze.com, My Fun Web Products, My Web Search, Coupons, Rebates, Norton Products, McAfee Products, etc.
Sometimes there will not be an uninstall option for Norton or McAfee. In that case click Start/Control Panel/Add or Remove Programs in windows XP. For Vista click Start/Control Panel/Programs and Features. When the window opens showing you all the installed programs, click to highlight the one you want to remove and click uninstall, on some it might say remove.
Most people rely on Norton and McAfee because that is what they have on their job. On the Job, they have what is called the Enterprise Version of Norton or McAfee, plus they have someone there monitoring it all the time. The Enterprise Version is a good product, but what they sell you and I in the store is the consumer version which is nothing but a core hog and junk. Also now since they realize people are gaining knowledge about the products they give it away Free from your Internet Service Provider. Also remember this, on your job you're on lock down. You can't go to certain sites, you can't get to your personal email, etc. So that help protect the company from getting viruses. At home there are no restrictions unless you're smart enough to set them.
Mar 25, 2012 |
Dell Computers & Internet