Many computer repairs can be avoided with good virus & malware protection along with keeping your computer cleaned and up-to-date with Microsoft Updates. Here is a list of the recommended software that we think would make your life easier! All of the suggested applications on this page are free to download and use as well!
Microsoft Security Essentials
Microsoft Security Essentials is a terrific antivirus program for your home computer! We have had fantastic success when using it to remove current virus infections and keeping new threats out! While it may not work for a business network, any home user should check it out! Make sure that you only have one antivirus program installed at a time! Multiple virus protection programs can cause problems with your PC!
Avira Free Antivirus
Avira Free Antivirus is another great antivirus program that you can use. Avira received the AV-Comparitives ADVANCED+ award in February 2010, so you know its a solid application to protect your computer from viruses! For businesses, Avira has a Premium antivirus product which will give you even more protection for your workstations and servers!
The number one anti-malware program in our book is Malwarebytes’ Anti-Malware! It is so easy to use and removes the largest amount of junk from your PC when compared to most other spyware, adware, and malware scanners. The only drawback about the free version is that there’s no active protection for your computer, meaning that you have to manually update and scan your computer to remove any threats. Regardless, its a terrific program and if you like it or would like the active protection, we’d recommend purchasing the full version.
Another great anti-malware program is SUPERAntiSpyware! No single program will remove every threat from your computer, but this one sure tries! While having a free version and a professional version available, we would recommend downloading the portable scanner option if you’re currently having a problem. This application usually scans very quickly and should have you back up and spyware free in no time!
When it comes to clearing junk and temporary files from your computer, CCleaner has got your back! Created by the great guys at Piriform, this little app will analyze and remove the temp files on your computer for a multitude of applications. It includes a registry scanner as well that can be used to delete registry keys for missing files. We normally don’t recommend using automatic registry scanners by yourself, so if you do decide to try it, MAKE SURE YOU HAVE A BACKUP!
And as if that wasn’t enough, CCleaner also boasts a very handy uninstall, startup, and system restore utility. The only drawback to CCleaner (as well as the other applications by Piriform) is that it wants to include a Yahoo! Toolbar during installation by default. You can easily uncheck this option, which we would recommend, but it still is a little annoying.
We have tested out several different disk defragment tools here at PC Co-Pilots, but the one at the top of our list is Defraggler. It is a very efficient defrag program that will allow you to run a quick defrag or a full defrag of your hard drive. It also has a nice feature to scheduled defrag jobs, so you can set it and forget it! This sucker will definitely help speed up your computer. Just make sure to clean out your temporary files first!
Microsoft Fix it Center (beta)
Bravo Microsoft! Finally, we have a tool that will help save some of the time troubleshooting computer issues! Truly, computer geeks everywhere should be letting out a sigh of relief right now.
We’ve been testing out Microsoft Fix it Center since news of it has broke, and it really does help automatically solve some common computer problems we see. Please note that this software is still in beta though, so as with any other beta software, random bugs may appear. To be honest, we haven’t had any problems with Microsoft Fix it Center so far, but please take that into consideration before using this program.
This slick program will give you a report on all of the hardware in your computer and even give you real-time temperature readings for some of those devices! Speccy doesn’t automatically troubleshoot the problems with your PC, but it does give you a good idea about what you have. If your local computer tech also has Speccy, you can even send them a snapshot of your system’s report for review!
Unfortunately, these utilities aren’t a cure-all method for every computer problem you run into, but they should help quite a bit! You can always contact us here at PC Co-Pilots in case you run into an issue that you can’t resolve on your own.