Fixing your computer isn’t hard and you own it to yourself to be tech-literate. That being said crippling tech errors can happen to anyone. I’m nowhere near an expert but I’ve compiled here a huge list that I’ll be updating of general advice, common problems, and how to fix them.
A lot of it is in the mindset. You wouldn’t drive around daily in a dirty car that’s half broken, slow, and unreliable. Your computer, like your car, is a complex tool and you ought to keep it well oiled. Recognize that if your car sucks, you probably don’t have a choice that doesn’t involve copious amounts of moolah. Recognize that you have a choice with your computer and that moolah is not a limiting factor. Recognize that this is awesome.
- Keep your desktop clean. Use huge icon sizes if you need to force yourself.
- Virustotal.com. Use it.
- Install as little software as you possibly need.
- If it comes in a portable version, consider using that and a shortcut instead of installing.
- Learn to google. It’s keyword based, not question based.
- Use an antivirus like avast or ad-aware.
- Uninstall all of your bloatware. All of it.
- Unhide system files, and then never ever touch them yourself. Educate yourself on their contents.
- Show file extensions.
- Security is vigilance. Complacency is weakness. Never trust any file ever.
- Fear .exe.
- Viruses come in many forms – .docx, .pdf, not just .exes.
- Disable AutoRun. You should make choices for your computer, not the other way around
- Educate yourself on the risks
- Educate yourself on the possibilities
- Stop using IE. I hate you.
- If it doesn’t work, doesn’t mean it’s a virus
- If it’s slow, doesn’t mean it’s a virus
- Don’t install browser toolbars. You will never need it.
- Learn what a gHz, mB, GiB, SSD, and RAM are.
- Get pissed that you’re advertised 10^3 but get 2^10.
- Don’t try anything before you’ve made sure it’s safe.
- Use the cloud.
- Data redundancy is the best flavor of redundancy.
- Simple is better.
- Update. your. software.
- Read the update and release notes.
- Stop giving up so easily. Your computer isn’t going to offer to help you, so help yourself.
- Google is your friend
- So are Ctrl+C and error messages.
- HijackThis. Learn to read its output.
- avast!, ad-aware, avg, bitdefender.
- Boot time scans. avast! does this well
- Safe mode scans. Mash F8 on Windows boot.
- If you don’t recognize it, it’s probably bad or system related.
- BHOs are not your friends.
- Double check removal worked.
- ComboFix, sometimes.
- Keep a LiveCD handy. Ubuntu.
- Don’t trust bootsec.exe /fixmbr unless you must.
- gparted and ntfsfix.