Kick-Starting Computer

shaxhomeFebruary 14, 2012

In a couple of weeks I'll be returning to Australia after 2 years living away. My computer there (Vista Home Premium, from memory) has been in mothballs all that time.

I know that there have been upGRADES of all my protection programs (SAS, MWBAM, SpyB, Scotty, Avast...) in my absence.

Not to mention all those Windows updates.

My ISP plan is only for 500Mb downloads monthly, so I'm planning to save as many current .exe files of those programs to a thumb drive before returning.

Any suggestions as to the sequence of re-installation? Can I just install new over the top of old? I figure Avast first, in safe mode.

The logistics of this are doing my head in...



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Shax after 2 years most safety programs will have been replaced with newer versions. I would do as you say and save all needed programs and ALSO get the latest definitions for each program. Not forgetting Java and Flash updates.

Before starting the computer I would remove it from the internet and then uninstall those programs and run Ccleaner before installing the new stuff. Not sure any specific order of install is needed and I assume you already have service pack 1 for Vista.

    Bookmark   February 14, 2012 at 7:09AM
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Owbist, thanks, yes, but the definitions will have to be updated again after installation of the programs, because it'll be a week between me saving them on thumb drive and when I can install them. So I'll have to go onto the 'net to do those. That's why I thought Avast first, as my first line of defence.
I suppose a week is not too long a gap...and thanks for reminding me about Java and Flash!

And yes, I do already have SP1...there's no SP2 is there?


    Bookmark   February 14, 2012 at 7:49AM
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Shax just a thought trying to preserve your meagre download allowance. Have you considered Microsoft Security Essentials? This is an all in one anti virus and malware program and nothing else is really necessary. I installed it when it first appeared over 2 years ago and have nothing else on my confuser. Fully automatic installing updates and by default scans every Sunday at 2a.m.

Note for lurkers that is not to suggest you need to follow suit, Shax does not enjoy unlimited downloads so must be sparing in his wild ventures on the internet. More than one safety program can be nothing but beneficial.

    Bookmark   February 14, 2012 at 8:48AM
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Owbist, I'm aware of MSE and its good reputation, but haven't really studied it. How heavy are its regular downloads? If it replaces ALL of my others, it's certainly worth me trying it.

But there's no real urgency, as I'm only back in Oz for a couple of weeks, then returning here to Bhutan for another year or more, so these computer updates will have to be done all over again at a later date...I just don't want them to pile up too much in my absence.

Off to read up on MSE!


    Bookmark   February 14, 2012 at 9:07AM
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There is a Vista SP2.

If it were me:

I would connect to the Internet and download Firefox, REVO, CCleaner and the removal tool for your version of Avast. I would then disconnect from the Internet and begin cleaning house. Everything passe would be deleted with REVO. After each removal I would run the registry tool in CCleaner deleting only the options directly associated to the prior guessing and of course use the backup option when offered.

A few hard shutdown and startups through the process wouldn't hurt either.

Once I was done I would do a a final CC cleaning and a defrag.

MSE has a decent reputation so under your circumstances go for it. You will still need SAS and MAM. WinPatrol when you have a chance too.

You have your work cut out for you.


    Bookmark   February 14, 2012 at 2:12PM
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Thanks, DA...yes, I'm not looking forward to it. Can you imagine all the update/upgrade warnings I'll be hit with on the first start-up!? May well end up just plugging in this XP laptop if the going gets too much.

I do see that Vista SP2 was released around May 2009, so I'm confident I'd have that on the machine already. Can't remember!

So you are saying that MSE only replaces Avast?

    Bookmark   February 14, 2012 at 9:08PM
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No, MSE is a full featured program as I noted above but if you feel more comfortable with more stuff in your arsenal then by all means install them Shax. How much is enough is determined by the user.

As I noted above, I only have MSE and nothing else and have ran like that since MSE arrived over 2 years ago.

    Bookmark   February 14, 2012 at 9:43PM
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Thanks, Owbist. It's all a matter of balancing my programs with the low ISP allowance. And slow satellite downloads. Maybe that's sped up since I've been away?
I never cancelled my ISP, as I was originally going to be away for just a few months, then 6, then 12, now 2 years. So they've been sucking $36 monthly from my bank acct for no service. My own fault, I know. Pity it doesn't accumulate my download allowance...

    Bookmark   February 14, 2012 at 9:55PM
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You could always buy a cheap wireless adapter and an inverter and sit outside a coffee shop or McDonald to do your downloads.

    Bookmark   February 14, 2012 at 10:00PM
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Thanks, Justin. But I can do the necessary major downloads right now, where I am, before returning home. Here, I have unlimited fast connection. In Oz, I live in an isolated cabin in the bush, many miles from anyone, let alone a cafe or McD.

I suppose I could use the laptop as you suggest, on the few occasions I venture to the "big smoke", but it all gets too hard...

    Bookmark   February 14, 2012 at 10:09PM
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When you get back do you have any friends or family that has a higher allocation of bandwidth. Go hang out for an afternoon... 500 megs. is not very much at all. That or upgrade your service for the first month back and turn it back down.

    Bookmark   February 14, 2012 at 10:26PM
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Right...I now have a thumb drive with today's versions of .exe files for Firefox, MWBAM, SuperAS, CCleaner, Avast, Avast Uninstaller, CCleaner, Win Patrol and Revo. It'll be 2 weeks before I can do this computer clean-up.

Doing this all off-line, should I uninstall old Revo first, then install current Revo and use that to uninstall other programs one by one? And run new CCleaner after each uninstall?

Any flaws in this plan?

Appreciate any advice!


    Bookmark   February 17, 2012 at 1:41AM
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Just checking in to say it's all up and running!
Even though I updated all programs from my thumb drive, I still managed to upload more than 1Gb from ISP (88 important Windows updates!)

One small question if I may...all GardenWeb sites are shown in a font like Times New Roman, and in the past I've changed this permanently to Ariel. Cannot work out how to do it now.

Advice appreciated!

Regards, Shax

    Bookmark   March 1, 2012 at 6:18PM
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In Firefox it's tools > options > content then under fonts and colors you can change the default font. I like Verdana size 18.
In IE its tools > internet options > general then under appearance click on fonts.

    Bookmark   March 1, 2012 at 8:25PM
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Many thanks, Bob!
Knew it was just under my nose...


    Bookmark   March 1, 2012 at 9:55PM
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