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15 Mar 2012  

Clean Up Factory Bloatware

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Today's consumer PC's are loaded with pre-installed sponsors' bloatware programs and useless factory utilities which interfere with better versions built into Win7. Bloatware can compromise the OS in many ways. Even uninstalling it can damage System files. These tips are based on helping countless users here to safely clean up OEM factory bloatware.

1. Type "msconfig" in Start Search box, right click result to Run As Administrator. On Startup tab, uncheck everything except AV, MS listings for Sidebar Gadgets, Stickies, Skydrive if you use them; and touchpad driver software if required to use certain features like scrolling or gestures. The rest are freeloaders that slow startup, hog CPU/RAM, and can spy on you. Programs can wait to start until you run them.

Illustrated steps here: Startup Programs - Change.

● If you have a question about any listing, google it to find out what it does.

● Turning off HP Wireless manager sometimes requires first ticking "Allow Independent Wireless" box in its Preferences to default to Windows 7's superior wireless manager.

2. After reboot enter msconfig>Services, check box to "Hide all MS services" then again deselect items same as in #1. Check back repeatedly here and in Startup list to see if anything writes itself back in - if so turn it off in its Program Preferences or Uninstall it.
You now have a Clean Boot!

3. Decide which programs you can do without over time then uninstall them in Control Panel>Programs and Features. To help decide, open each program and look at its features, google it's name to learn more. If in doubt keep the program until you can try it. Almost no OEM utilities are worth keeping except cam software if you use its special features, battery or HD monitor if these work better for you than what's built into Win7.

Specific HP software which might be worth keeping is discussed in HP Bloatware, or useful system utilities?

4. Monitor whether bloatware uninstalls corrupt System files by running SFC /SCANNOW Command - System File Checker. Irreparable system files which will not repair after running SFC three times and result in Performance problems can sometimes be remedied without reinstall by a Repair Install.

5. Use a lightweight free AV like MS Security Essentials with the Windows Firewall to gain back performance from more bloated AV's, which should be uninstalled first without even starting them up if possible. These AV's are so cumbersome they require special Uninstallers (removal tools) for common antivirus software - ESET Knowledgebase

6. Type WIndows Update in Start Search Box. Check for Updates, Install all Important and Optional Windows Updates until no more are offered when you go back to check after reboot. In Windows Updates Settings, set to Automatic install, ticking box to Treat Recommended as Important.

Check optional Windows Updates regularly for driver updates after enabling Automatically deliver drivers via Windows Update (Step 3)
. You can trust all Updates given by Windows 7 as malfunctions are one in a million, they keep your drivers current, OS performance updated and Firewall security fortified. Without an SP2, Win7 is so heavily patched by these that if you don't have all Updates, you really don't have Win7!

7. For less than 4gb RAM I always edit Visual Effects to improve performance. At Control Panel\System and Security\System\Advanced System Settings\Performance\ Settings uncheck boxes pertaining to animation, fading, sliding, Show translucent selection rectangle, and Show Window content while dragging. T

8. Type "event" in Start Search box. Monitor Event Viewer>Administrative View to google repeat error text and ID# to find how others have resolved these.

9. Do a Windows Experience Index - Reset then in the Advanced Tools shown in Option One, look for queued issues at the top, resolve repeat errors in Performance log also listed, then Generate a System Health Report.

10. Type "Solutions" in Start Search box to see solutions to problems sent and not. Windows 7 is interactive this way so always send Problem Reports.

11. Clean and order the HD perfectly using free state-of-the-art CCleaner (using "Run Cleaner" and Registry tab at defaults).

12. Type Defrag in Start Search box, run Windows Defragmenter, set a scheduled defrag if you want. Do not defrag SSD's!

13. Keep a file backup to another hard drive or external using Backup User and System Files. You can simultaneously back up your files to the cloud and sync to your other devices using a method such as this to Sync, Backup and Store your Files to the Cloud with OneDrive

14. The most important thing you can do to avoid spyware creeping in is to watch your program installs like a hawk at every step because programs have found ingenious ways to sneak in spyware with tricky checkbox choices, even in the License Agreement. I always do a Custom install and only allow the features I know I want, later removing any extra in Control Panel>Change.

15. You can scan for infection or to remove spy/adware leftovers using Malwarebytes and SUPERAntiSpyware freeware scanners - decline the free trial unless regularly infected for which I would buy Malwarebytes Real Time protection at $25 for life.

16. Keep an eye also on your Browser Add-Ons to only allow the ones you know you want or are required to make a page display correctly, including Flash, Shockwave, WMP or Quicktime plug-in, Silverlight. Spyware likes to nest here. If you find an intruder in the Add-Ons list you may also need to uninstall in in Control Panel>Programs and Features, then run a full scan with SUPERAntiSpyware on-demand scanner to root it out in the registry where it can hide and run after uninstall.

17. If there are any lags or problems work through these additional Troubleshooting Steps for Windows 7. If needed start a new thread for a specialist's help. Win7 should always have instantaneous performance on adequate tested hardware with a perfect install.

18. Save externally a Windows 7 backup image of your optimized Windows 7 which may become preferable to Factory Recovery and can re-image your HD or it's replacement in 20 minutes: Backup Complete Computer - Create an Image Backup ● System Image Recovery. A more flexible imaging app that will restore to any partition layout instead of the exact same one required by Win7, is Macrium Imaging - Windows 7 Help Forums

19. Consider a Clean Reinstall - Factory OEM Windows 7 which is often better than getting a new computer considering how pre-installed bloatware can corrupt Win7 even if it's completely cleaned up. If you stick with the tools and methods given you will get and keep a perfect install.

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