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Fix your goddamn computer

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.┬áRecognize that you have a choice with your computer and that moolah is not a limiting factor. Recognize that this is awesome.

General Advice

  1. Keep your desktop clean. Use huge icon sizes if you need to force yourself.
  2. Use it.
  3. Install as little software as you possibly need.
  4. If it comes in a portable version, consider using that and a shortcut instead of installing.
  5. Learn to google. It’s keyword based, not question based.
  6. Use an antivirus like avast or ad-aware.
  7. Uninstall all of your bloatware. All of it.
  8. Unhide system files, and then never ever touch them yourself. Educate yourself on their contents.
  9. Show file extensions.
  10. Security is vigilance. Complacency is weakness. Never trust any file ever.
  11. Fear .exe.
  12. Viruses come in many forms – .docx, .pdf, not just .exes.
  13. Disable AutoRun. You should make choices for your computer, not the other way around
  14. Educate yourself on the risks
  15. Educate yourself on the possibilities
  16. Stop using IE. I hate you.
  17. If it doesn’t work, doesn’t mean it’s a virus
  18. If it’s slow, doesn’t mean it’s a virus
  19. Don’t install browser toolbars. You will never need it.
  20. DoNotTrack.
  21. Learn what a gHz, mB, GiB, SSD, and RAM are.
  22. Get pissed that you’re advertised 10^3 but get 2^10.
  23. Don’t try anything before you’ve made sure it’s safe.
  24. Use the cloud.
  25. Data redundancy is the best flavor of redundancy.
  26. Simple is better.
  27. Update. your. software.
  28. Read the update and release notes.
  29. Stop giving up so easily. Your computer isn’t going to offer to help you, so help yourself.

Virus Advice

  1. Google is your friend
  2. So are Ctrl+C and error messages.
  3. HijackThis. Learn to read its output.
  4. avast!, ad-aware, avg, bitdefender.
  5. Boot time scans. avast! does this well
  6. Safe mode scans. Mash F8 on Windows boot.
  7. If you don’t recognize it, it’s probably bad or system related.
  8. BHOs are not your friends.
  9. Double check removal worked.
  10. ComboFix, sometimes.

Fix Advice

  1. Keep a LiveCD handy. Ubuntu.
  2. Don’t trust bootsec.exe /fixmbr unless you must.
  3. gparted and ntfsfix.