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On this page we will provide some tips that can improve the performance of your computer and give you ideas you can use with your system.

What can I do if an application on my system gets stuck?


1. Kill/End the application/task:

     A. Windows® system--CTRL+ALT+del -- select Task Manager--from there you should be able to click the hung application and click "end" button on right bottom.

     B. OpenSUSE Linux--just had to use this to kill an update program (Apper) that was hung... Task Manager equivalent = CTRL+ESC...search for hung application, right click and KILL...give root password & hopefully done!

          (I just    learned this trick today...yes, an old dog CAN learn NEW tricks :0)...LOVE the OpenSUSE community forums for answers when I get stuck!


2. Log out of the user account and log back in to see if that works (in Linux most likely will not)


3. Re-start your computer (sometimes clearing out the memory cache by re-starting helps)






Computer Operations

  • Try not to open too many programs while working on your computer. The more things that are open, the slower your system will run.


  • Good password security is to use at least 14 characters & use a combination of Upper/Lower; symbols and numbers together!
  • Even better is to use a sentence that incorporates the above combinations!
  • ALWAYS be sure to write the passwords down!  (I have 4 kids with systems, my husband has one and I have 2--I have all of our passwords written down and safely stored in a book because I'm good, but not good enough to remember multiple passwords for multiple people!)
  • When writing passwords down in your book (see My Favorite Tip Below), make sure to encrypt for yourself...I do this by using a code only I know such as Kids(N)...only I know what this means...also, don't FORGET your own encryption (yes, I HAVE done this and had to guess what I meant...not fun either).  If I forget my encryption, I just fill the entire password in & make sure no one has access or knows where I store the book.


 My Favorite Tip: Purchase a $1 journal from Michaels or hobby Lobby to keep all your passwords written down in! (At some point, you will have so many that you WILL forget & using software cracking methods to regain it, is NOT always successful)







Re-Format Tips:

So you need to Re-format (re-install) your hard drive & re-install ALL your software...this can happen if you have a hard drive fail...I just had to replace a hard drive in my daughter's laptop after only 19 month...6 months + 24 days AFTER the warranty expired!

I have a system for performing a re-format or new install on a replaced hard drive...tips below!


In my case, I installed the new hard drive & then took out my RECOVERY disks (only needed for Windows® based systems--Linux just install from the CD/DVD).  You do remember the IMPORTANCE of your "Recovery" disks...you made them AFTER purchasing a NEW system (this should be step 1 after setting up a new computer with Windows® because you no longer get an ACTUAL software disk;The hardware Manufactures and Microsoft® either give you an OEM version (branded to the HARDWARE--significant changes here mean you need to PURCHASE another license...BOO!) or you have a hidden "Restore Partition"...ok, I have had several systems loose THIS ability to restore...namely, this Toshiba® system...came w/Restore Partition; BUT, I installed Acronis Backup® software & it completely destroyed my partitions (except for my LINUX--another case for Dual Boot!) and I had to reformat...could have been costly if I had not ALREADY made backup CD's!


Ok...have my Restore Disks & I backup my system daily; so, here we go...re-building a system Lita Style:


Step 1:

  • Install your version of Microsoft Windows® via the Restore Disk (this will ALSO install all of the "Bloatware" software that was originally on the system when you purchased it) Be sure to "uninstall" any YOU don't want as it only takes up space on YOUR hard drive!
  • Set up your User account--the first one set up is an Administrator Account (set this up to be your Admin account & set up a 2nd account for you to use--Linux takes care of this automatically (1st user=root & then you set up your ACTUAL user account)
  • check to make sure all hardware/drivers are installed:  Start>Control Panel>Hardware and Sound>Device Manager>View Hardware and Devices (look for yellow ? marks--none--good to go, marks--you need to install drivers)--this is the location for a Vista Home Basic® system (if you need XP® or Vista Home Premium® e-mail me & I will add it here!

 Step 2:

  • Log in to your system & perform a Windows Update® to bring your system current w/security patches. (you may need to set up your internet connection)
  • At this point, I go to http://www.mozilla.com and get the most current version of Firefox because it's MyPCMyWay™ and I use Firefox (if you like the browser pre-installed use it and move to the next step; if you like Opera®, Safari® or Chrome®, go download and install them.
Step 3:
  • Install Security Software:
  1. Firewall Options: ZoneAlarm Free®
  2. Antivirus: AVG Anti-Virus Free Edition 2012® (most current) *
  3. Malware Options: Malwarebytes® Anti-Malware (free and paid versions); Ad-Aware® Free Internet Security;
  4. Registry Cleaners: CCleane®r (you might consider Purchasing here if you don't feel comfortable making registry changes--http://download.cnet.com for recommendation (have also used ToniArts EasyCleaner®)
  5. Rootkit Detection:  I just recently downloaded Tizer Rootkit Razor® (not sure if this is still available); Also AVG® now has Anti-Rootkit component added *

  • Other Security Software:
  1. Defrag: Smart Defrag® by Iobit (CNET Editor's Choice April, 2009)
  2. Trend Micro HijackThis®
  3. Spybot Search & Destroy®
  • Additional Needed Software:
  1. Adobe Reader®
  2. Adobe Flash® (your browser should now install this...go to adobe.com & click get Flash)
Step 4:
  • Re-install your favorite programs/games, etc. (be sure to honor the licensing requirements where applicable!) --not an issue on your Linux Side (yet another plus for dual boot)
*Hint: most of the software mentioned above (NOT MS Windows®) can be downloaded from http://download.cnet.com
(you can go to each of their website to download also)
Disclaimer:  All of the software products mentioned throughout the MyPCMyWay™ family of websites is the property of their respective copyright and trademark holders and is mentioned as a courtesy to the users of MyPCMyWay™.  We will do our best to properly mark the references when used on our sites.  These trademark holders are not affiliated with MyPCMyWay™; nor, do they endorse or sponsor our Business or Websites.


Replacing Hardware???
Just had to replace a hard drive in one of our Toshiba Satellite L-305 laptops (only 19 months old--a record for failure on WD drives in our home!)
Tips and a checklist for this procedure below!

Basic Tips:
  • When you purchase a new computer...make sure to make a set of Recovery Disks if your system is Windows® Based!
  • Purchase an External Hard Drive -- It's a GREAT way to Back-up your Data!  (Seagate Free Agent drives include software)






  • When you purchase a new printer, remember to add it to the list of printers for your computer. This will allow you to print on your new printer.
  • Add a PDF printer to allow you to utilize paperless printing--I use PDF print for copies of my household bills (I use doPDF--link below)


Maintenance Issues

  • Keep your laptop out of extreme hot and cold temperatures, which could affect the performance of the PC.
  • Purchase a Cooling Mat for your laptop and make sure your desktop is well ventilated to help with overheating.