What Bruce does during his "Regular Servicing"
On Windows computers
I do regular servicing for many people by remote control over the Internet.
Aside: Click here to see What Bruce's automatic servicing does at night (Weekly).
There are my regular steps that I do, then there are extra things I do as needed.
The simple explanation:
I do things that I can't set my automatic servicing to fix, because they require human intelligence to perform. Such as fixing obvious minor problems I see. Fixing things you told me about or doing other things you asked me to do. Getting rid of bad apps & programs (adware, fraudware, spyware, useless software, software you unintentionally installed). Checking for errors in the background of Windows and fixing the causes, if possible. Fixing problems with Windows Updates (unfortunately). Updating various programs (some of which users often ingore the update requests for). Doing maintenance tasks that require expert attention. Fixing major problems if necessary.
If a problem is bad enough that will take a long time to address, I will contact you about it, and may do it another time.
What I charge for this
I charge my usual rate of $30 per hour, plus a $2 remote control charge for the day. How long it takes me can vary depending on what problems there are with the computer, the speed of your computer, and the speed of your Internet connection. It is difficult to estimate ahead of time, but I can try if you ask.
The remote control program costs me money, so I am attempting to pay for it with the $2 Remote Control Charge to clients when I use it.
How I actually do this work
I charge only for the time I'm actively working on a computer, so time spent waiting for various things like scans to finish, or for a computer to reboot, is not charged.
It is very important that no-one touches the computer while I am doing the Remote Servicing on it. You could interfere with what I am doing, causing me to take longer (thus charge you more), for the servicing. It will also annoy & frustrate me.
When I am finished with the servicing, I put a message filling the screen saying so. Or, if the client (you), wishes, I will shutdown the computer when I'm finished.
The details of my steps:
* Defragmentation & optimization is skipped for SSDs (Sold State Drives). SSDs should not be defragmented. A SSD is very different from a traditional "hard drive", and is very fast. A computer with an SSD does not run faster if the SSD is defragmented, and regular defragmentation significantly reduces the life span of the SSD.
- Disable UAC (User Account Control), and reboot the computer. For almost everything I do during the Monthly Servicing, it is necessary for UAC to be disabled.
- Check the logs for my automatic (Weekly), maintenance & that is usually set to run at 2:00 am Tuesday night/Wednesday morning. Correct any problems found.
- Check security program logs, verify removal of bad things, then empty their quarantine.
- Check Windows logs for problems. Track down problems and solve them if needed & possible. This can take awhile, or not not much time at all. It depends on how long it has been since I last looked that the logs, and what I find and fix.
- Backup the Windows Registry
- Run a batch file to stop many processes/apps/programs that may be running. Stopping the many programs that are running in the background is useful for making the next steps works as best as possible.
- Using CCleaner:
- Update CCleaner if it is has been over a month since last updated.
- Check settings for anything new that needs to be configured.
- Check for bad software and uninstall/remove them.
- Check programs that start up with Windows. Look for bad program starts and remove them. Look to see if any programs are not necessary to start with Windows. Reducing the start-up programs makes Windows start-up faster.
- Check for web browser add-ons. Remove bad or unnecessary ones, and enable good ones.
- Check System Restore points to make sure System Restore is working properly, and to remove points that are really old or numerous.
- Cleanup using three programs. There is some duplication in what these three programs do, but these three together do more than any of them separately:
- Windows Disk Cleanup. It cleans up: Temporary Setup Files, Downloaded Program Files, Temporary Internet Files, Debug Dump Files, Old Chkdsk files, Previous Windows installation(s), Recycle Bin, Service Pack Backup Files, Setup Log Files, System error memory dump files, System error minidump files, Temporary files, Temporary Windows installation files, Thumbnails, Windows Update Cleanup, Files discarded by Windows upgrade, Windows Error Reporting Files, Windows upgrade log files.
- Empty Temp Folders. It empties temporary file folders that I previously configured for the program on your computer.
- CCleaner clean. It cleans up: Web browser temporary files & caches, Recycle Bin, Temporary Files, Clipboard, Memory Dumps, Chkdsk File Fragments, Windows Log Files, Windows Error Reporting, DNS Cache, Font Cache, Start Menu Shortcuts, Desktop Shortcuts, Old Prefetch data, IIS Log Files
- Spybot Search & Destroy: Update, Immunize (tell Windows and web browsers not to go to certain really bad websites), Spyware scan. Remove bad things it finds.
- Malwarebytes Anti-Malware: Update, then do malware scan. Remove bad things it finds.
- Windows Update: Check for, and install any important updates, and any optional updates which may apply to your computer.
- NOTE: Windows 8, 8.1, & 10 often have problems with some Updates failing to install. Aside from waiting uselessly for Microsoft to fix the problem (which they usually don't), I often (not always), use these steps to fix the problem, which can take awhile:
- Deleting Window Upate temporary files
- Windows System File Check
- DISM (Microsoft Deployment Image Servicing and Management), cleanup
- Manual download and install of previously failing updates.
- Organize Start Menu: When I first work on someone's computer, I organize the Start Menu into categories. During my Monthly Servicing, I check for any new Start Menu items that need to be categorized, and do so.
- Registry Clean: Search for problems in the Windows Registry and remove the problems.
- Cleanup again (as mentioned before).
- Boot time defragment*. I set Ultra Defrag program to run on next boot. When it runs the next time the computer boots, it will defragment special system files that cannot be defragmented while Windows is running. Those files include the pagefile/virtual memory, and Windows Registry files. Note: Defragmentation of all other files happen during the automatic weekly servicing that I have scheduled on your computer.
- Enable UAC (User Account Control).
- Reboot the computer. It will automatically run the boot time defrag I scheduled above.
- CCleaner: Registry Clean and cleanup. Done again like before because of changes that happen after a reboot.
Extra things I do occasionally if necessary:
- Fix any problems the user has identified. Please keep notes on any problems & errors that happen. If they are urgent problems, contact me immediately. If they are not urgent problems, then tell me about the problems before I do the Monthly Servicing on your computer.
- Update various things:
- The steps that my automatic (weekly), servicing does.
- The programs that are used during the automatic weekly servicing, and what I use during the monthly servicing.
- Adobe programs (Reader, Flash Player, Shockwave Player, AIR), and their browser plug-ins.
- "Classic Shell" Start Menu for Windows 8 (if you for some reason still have Windows 8).
- Thorough Check Disk. This thoroughly checks every sector of the the hard drive for any errors it may have. If a bad sector is found, the data from that sector is recovered, if possible and saved elsewhere. Then the hard drive is told to never use that bad sector again. This should be done about once a year, and if many sectors turn up bad, then the hard drive is probably failing entirely.
- Windows System File Check. Done if there are enough Windows system errors the warrant it.
||© Copyright 2013-2017 - Bruce A. Johnson