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I'm no computer guru

 
 
Treya
 
Reply Thu 1 Feb, 2007 07:02 pm
Ok. I was given a brand new computer. It's so cool. I really like it. It's very fast, has tons of really neat programs on it, and seems to do a lot more than my last computer did. However, I remember someone telling me once that you aren't suppose to have a lot of crap on your computer. Errrr... I think this has a lot of crap on it. Take a look at my display:

http://i39.photobucket.com/albums/e179/princesshephzibah/100_0437.jpg

The problem is I don't know what I can keep and what I can get rid of. It seems like every time I get on a kick to get rid of stuff I get rid of something I shouldn't and screw something up. Is there anyone out there who can help me get my new computer up and running with as little as necessary on it? Any help would be appreciated!
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Type: Discussion • Score: 1 • Views: 768 • Replies: 9
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fishin
 
  1  
Reply Thu 1 Feb, 2007 07:35 pm
The number of icons on your desktop is pretty much irrelevant to what is actually on the computer. Most of what is displayed are standard applications or hyperlink shortcuts.

btw, you don't need to take a pic of your desktop to post it like you did. If you hit the "Prt Scr" (Print Screen) key on your keyboard and then open MS Paint and hit CTRL-P it will paste a copy of your desktop into Paint as an image. It will be much clearer than your digital camera pics too. Wink
0 Replies
 
Treya
 
  1  
Reply Thu 1 Feb, 2007 10:20 pm
Ok, so I can take the ones I don't use off. Great. But I seem to have a lot of programs running in the background on my tool bar. That is what my main concern is. I was told a while back if you have too many programs running it can cause problems. Slow down the computer. Cause it to crash even? I don't know. That's why I'm asking. Cool

btw, thanks for the tip. :wink:
0 Replies
 
fishin
 
  1  
Reply Thu 1 Feb, 2007 10:34 pm
You can delete any you don't use. Be aware though that if you just delete the icon on your desktop you aren't really accomplishing much. The program is still on the computer's hard drive.

As for thing sin the systray, go to "Start", "All Programs" and "Startup". That will have a listing of most of the programs that automatically start when you turn the computer on. You can delete any from there that you don't use.

Some others - like Yahoo! Instant Messanger, you need to open the program and find the settings for the program from within and change the settings for it there so that it doesn't automatically start when you power up. Wink
0 Replies
 
timberlandko
 
  1  
Reply Thu 1 Feb, 2007 11:21 pm
Right-click anywhere in an empty space (no icon) on your desktop. Select "Properties". Click the "Desktop" tab, then locate and click the "Customize Desktop" button. In the "General" tab, look in the bottom panel - "Desktop cleanup". Click the "Clean Desktop Now" button to open the Desktop Cleanup Wizard, and click "Next" to start the wizard. The next box that opens will show a list of Desktop Icons, along with "Date Last Used" for each icon. To remove an icon from your dektop, place (or if already checked, leave) a checkmark in the box to the left of the icon. Icons not checked will be left your desktop . When you've made your selections, click "Next", review the selections, and either click "Back" to re-edit your choices, or click "Finish" to remove the selected icons. Click "OK", "Apply", and "OK" again to exit to your desktop. That takes care of your icon situation. Unnecessary folders and documents may be deleted or moved off the desktop to any other folder you wish.

Now, for what's running on your machine, if ya want me to take a look and offer suggestions, do the following:

Download HiJackThis, and extract it to a folder of its own either in your Programs file or directly on your root drive.

To place HJT in its own folder, open Windows Explorer (Windows key + E - locate and select your root drive, the drive on which Windows is installed, and open that folder, right-clicking anywhere in that folder's blank space, select "New">"Folder", name the new folder "HJT", then download and extract HJT into that folder.

Launch the application by clicking its icon from within its folder, then from HJT's splash screen, choose "Miscellaneous Tools", or from the main start page, select "Config", then select "Search for updates online", confirm, and be sure your's is the latest version. When you are sure HJT is properly located and updated, close it, then re-open it. Select "Do A System Scan and Save a Logfile". When the scan has completed, copy-and-paste the entire logfile to this thread. Do not "FIX" anything yet; wait for specific instructions.
0 Replies
 
Treya
 
  1  
Reply Sun 4 Feb, 2007 09:11 pm
fishin wrote:
You can delete any you don't use. Be aware though that if you just delete the icon on your desktop you aren't really accomplishing much. The program is still on the computer's hard drive.

As for thing sin the systray, go to "Start", "All Programs" and "Startup". That will have a listing of most of the programs that automatically start when you turn the computer on. You can delete any from there that you don't use.

Some others - like Yahoo! Instant Messanger, you need to open the program and find the settings for the program from within and change the settings for it there so that it doesn't automatically start when you power up. Wink


At this point, getting the extra icons off my desktop would be just lovely. I don't use most of them right now. I can still access the programs I want to use though right? From the start menu?

Timber thanks for the specifics. I'm a little nervous about doing this to be honest. I'm so NOT computer literate and afraid of screwing something up. One question I have is that I have a wireless network connection and a local area connection icon that I am not using. Can I get rid of those? Or will I maybe need them in the future?
0 Replies
 
timberlandko
 
  1  
Reply Sun 4 Feb, 2007 11:49 pm
Removing an icon from your desktop is just that - removing it from your desktop; there is no effect on the program/app itself, whether its icon is on your desktop or not. Try deleting a desktop icon, and read the popup you get -

http://img510.imageshack.us/img510/5594/bothgc0.jpg

Folders/files are a slightly different deal - you'll still get a confirmation prompt, but if you confirm, the folder and contents or the file go to the Recycle Bin - unless that's not real the folder or file on the desktop, but a shortcut to a folder or file located somewhere else on your machine; then you'll be told, just as above, all you're doing is deleting the shortcut, not the folder and contents or the file.
0 Replies
 
timberlandko
 
  1  
Reply Mon 5 Feb, 2007 12:06 am
BTW - you say its a brand-new computer - that probably means you don't have much personal stuff on it yet. Now woyuld be a good time to start a backup routine - back up everything of yours - programs you've downloaded or purchased, documents, music, pictures, financial stuff - in short, everything that is YOURS to removable media (CD/DVD,ZIP drive, thumbdrive, whatever) or to an external hard drive (they're cheap and connect via USB or Firewire depending on the drive and your machine, usually requiring no installation; just plug it in and its there). Then, keep your backup up to date - say, once a week or so. That way, if you do wind up really hosing something, the worst that can happen is you can recover your most recently backed up files and folders. XP has some Built In Backup Functionality, and there are lotsa programs out there that automate the process for you, some free, some for fee, and many external hard drives will come with a backup routine - as do many 3rd-party (that means other than Microsoft, mostly) CD/DVD burning programs.

Also, learn about System Restore - often a very handy first-resort "fix".

Unless you get the dreaded sparks-smoke-and-scary noises error message (most often a very, very bad sign), you can prolly recover from just about anything you do to the machine. Sometimes recovery can be a bitch - like if whatever you did was really inventive - but recovery generally is possible, even if it comes down to re-installing the operating system/drivers/programs and restoring personal data from back-up.
0 Replies
 
Treya
 
  1  
Reply Tue 6 Feb, 2007 05:42 am
Well... I didn't state myself quite right actually. This computer is almost brand new. Two weeks old given to me by the head wrangler who got fired while I was in TN. But in two weeks he managed to put a lot of stuff on this thing. That's part of my problem. I'm not sure what he put on it and what it came with. What's good for my needs and what's not. I'm still trying to sort through it all.

I've actually been through most of what you've listed here. System restore has saved me many a time. But that also is recently discovered on my part. My first computer... a junky compaq laptop, had "system restore" on it but I could never use it because it didn't have enough memory to use that program. Though it took me two years to figure out that's why it wouldn't work! What a rip off.

So in the process of trying to "fix" it once, I managed to completely wipe out the hard drive. So much so that when I turned it on it had a black screen that said it couldn't find the hard drive. Shocked Oops. Sadly I lost about 1/3 of my stuff with that incident because I wasn't so good with backing things up back then. I'm still not exactly sure how I did that. Heh...

So anyway, that incident has left me pretty afraid of my computers. Afraid to mess with anything. I've tried at other times to get rid of unwanted programs and gotten a message that said if I removed it, it would effect other programs. So I'd do it anyway, and yep... sure did. Bingo... system restore was my saving grace when I got a computer with enough memory to use it! Once I somehow managed to delete a file concerning my music somehow. So the music was there, but I was missing a connection to play it.

It's all just so confusing to me. I'm not sure what belongs and what doesn't. What's necessary, what's not. What's part of the running system and what's not. I've learned from most of my mistakes. But I dread the thought of possibly wiping out another hard drive. Shocked
0 Replies
 
Treya
 
  1  
Reply Tue 6 Feb, 2007 05:50 am
Well... I didn't state myself quite right actually. This computer is almost brand new. Two weeks old given to me by the head wrangler who got fired while I was in TN. But in two weeks he managed to put a lot of stuff on this thing. That's part of my problem. I'm not sure what he put on it and what it came with. What's good for my needs and what's not. I'm still trying to sort through it all.

I've actually been through most of what you've listed here. System restore has saved me many a time. But that also is recently discovered on my part. My first computer... a junky compaq laptop, had "system restore" on it but I could never use it because it didn't have enough memory to use that program. Though it took me two years to figure out that's why it wouldn't work! What a rip off.

So in the process of trying to "fix" it once, I managed to completely wipe out the hard drive. So much so that when I turned it on it had a black screen that said it couldn't find the hard drive. Shocked Oops. Sadly I lost about 1/3 of my stuff with that incident because I wasn't so good with backing things up back then. I'm still not exactly sure how I did that. Heh...

So anyway, that incident has left me pretty afraid of my computers. Afraid to mess with anything. I've tried at other times to get rid of unwanted programs and gotten a message that said if I removed it, it would effect other programs. So I'd do it anyway, and yep... sure did. Bingo... system restore was my saving grace when I got a computer with enough memory to use it! Once I somehow managed to delete a file concerning my music somehow. So the music was there, but I was missing a connection to play it.

It's all just so confusing to me. I'm not sure what belongs and what doesn't. What's necessary, what's not. What's part of the running system and what's not. I've learned from most of my mistakes. But I dread the thought of possibly wiping out another hard drive. Shocked
0 Replies
 
 

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