SOHO office - System Maintenance Reminder

Discussion in 'PC Maintenance' started by snh, Oct 27, 2009.

  1. snh

    snh Well-Known Member

    Oct 6, 2008
    Likes Received:
    If you are the IT guy for a SOHO office, especially one on a workgroup and not on a domain, this is a handy guide for system maintenance. I send this arround to my officemates on a monthly basis. The HTML didn't paste well herein, but the bullets can be remade without too much effort.

    REMINDER - System Maintenance on your Machines


    • Anti-Virus is installed and running
      • Office servers and workstations are using ________ - see me if a license is needed[/list:u]
      • Anti-Spyware/Anti-Malware (Malicious Software) is installed and running
        • F-Prot 6 (and earlier) it turns out offers minimal Spyware/Malware protection - only where such programs fall specifically into virus territory, which excludes trojans in many cases
        • Anti-Spyware/Anti-Malware may already be part of an Internet Security Suite installed on your machine.
          (Ex. Norton, McAfee, Avast!)
        • Before enabling any Anti-Spyware active protection, make sure to check whether compatible with your installed Anti-Virus and compatible with your operating system. Not all programs are fully compatible with MS Windows Vista or MS Windows Server[/list:u][/list:u]
          Weekly (or at least Monthly):

          * Defrag hard drive (if not done automatically) with Disk Defragmenter (15% free hard drive space required in some cases)
          * Clean registry. As of 10/2009 Easy Cleaner by ToniArts is still recommended
          * XP users can (and should) create a Restore Point
          * Minimally, if not automatically, backup your My Documents directory to a DVD-ROM, flash drive or otherwise
          o If you do not have scheduled backups, try Cobian Backup or try scheduling Windows built-in NT Backup (XP, Vista)
          o Advanced: Use path described in variable %userprofile% instead, since it contains My Documents , application settings and some start menu settings


          * Run other cleanup tools like those found in Easy Cleaner, such as Unncessary Files, Shortcuts to nowhere, and IE maintenance
          * Update any browser add-ons, themes or program extensions, especially where a security update is mentioned
          * If not otherwise scheduled or performed regularly, do a complete backup of your machine
          o Advanced: If you have a spare drive, try swapping it with your current drive and doing a full restore
          * Test/condition your UPS device by unplugging it from the power outlet for a few minutes


          * Login passwords should be strong
          o Contain a mix of upper and lower case characters
          o Contain numbers
          o Contain punctuation
          o Have at least 8 characters, but 16 or more is better
          o If it is a word found in a dictionary, it is not a strong password
          + Do not use a password generator or a password evaluator not approved by the IT department
          + Login password should be different from your email account password and different still from any app login managing your email account.
          # E.g., Windows Login, Outlook, and Windows Live should all have different passwords
          * Screen savers/Power Savers set with a password
          * XP/Vista workstations:
          o Have Windows Update set to full automatic
          o Fast User Switching disabled
          o Guest Accounts disabled where appropriate
          o Welcome Screen disabled, Windows/NT Logon enabled
          * Internet Explorer 7 Privacy and Security settings should be set to their most restrictive settings that still permit full use of your company's application(s)
          o Note that if you reset Internet Explorer 7 to its defaults, you'll may need to make the following adjustment(s):
          + Tools > Internet Options > General > Tabs > Settings > When a popup is encountered: > Let Internet Explorer decide how popups should open
          + Tools > Internet Options > Security > Trusted Sites > Sites > Add this website to the zone:
          # Add your local and or LAN websites here
          + If prompted, turn on Intranet Settings if your firm has local or LAN applications
          o Advanced: Update your hosts file on your machines to dead-end known advertising IPs such as DoubleClick. See a tech for info on this if interested.


          * Uninstall or consider uninstalling unneeded software
          o Examples are:
          + Unused so-called "express databases" such as SQLite, SQL Server 2005 Express
          + Unused trial-ware (if installed via Sandboxie, can just use its built-in delete to blow the whole install and registry entries away easily)
          + Unused Internet Explorer add-ons, extensions
          + Unused FireFox add-ons, themes and extensions
          * Verify at least twice the amount of disk space is available as you have RAM on your machine. (2GB RAM = 4GB free space needed on hard drive for pagefile and other swap operations, including hibernation on laptops.)
          * Before installing any new software, consider some of the following
          o In Windows XP, set a restore point first
          o If it is trial-ware and unsure about upgrading or think you may want to use it past its trial period, try
          + Installing it using a sandbox of some sort (ex. SandBoxie)
          # Advanced: Install onto a VMWare appliance of your OS
          * If you have not considered automated backup software, consider something like Carbonite - an on-line backup service

          Tech News:

          * Microsoft Free AV Beta Available June 23, 2009
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          * PC Mag 2009 Windows Utility Guide
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          To run Disk Defragmenter on XP try:

          * Start > All Programs > Accessories > System Tools > Disk Defragmenter

          If not installed on your machine, Easy Cleaner 2.0 by Toni Arts may be found on the File Server:

          * D:\Software\EasyClean_Registry_Cleaner\EClea2_0.exe
          * or, if not mapped to your D drive or mapped to any of your drive letters at all:
          o (link to eclea2_0.exe)
          To install Easy Cleaner, copy the .exe file to your desktop and click it. Installation is pretty simple.
          To run Easy Cleaner (assuming default install):

          * Start > All Programs > EasyCleaner > EasyCleaner
          o Then click 'Registry'
          o Then 'Find'
          o Then 'Delete All'
          + Files/entries currently in use may not be able to be deleted, and that is fine
          o If using other items, such as 'Un-necessary files', make sure and make use of the 'skip' field, which is basically a white-list.
          + Example 'skip' field on Beta would be "mssql, alliance, Inetpub, Dev, Documents, CFusionMX, batch"

          Let us know if you have any questions or need help with any of the above.

          IT Department

          PS - Some helpful links below

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          <!-- m --><a class="postlink" href=""></a><!-- m --> (Cobian Backup Software (note: note the same as disk imaging backup software))
          <!-- m --><a class="postlink" href=""></a><!-- m --> (CounterSpy Anti-spyware - recommended if anti-virus program/suite does not contain anti-spyware aka anti-malware)
          <!-- m --><a class="postlink" href=""></a><!-- m --> (AV Comparatives - a good reference for anti-virus programs)

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