eRodzen & Son Computer Services

System Cleanup Tools and Advice

Eric Rodzen
PO Box 27
Livermore Falls, ME  04254


Cleanup checklist

  • Remote assistance disabled – security risk if enabled
  • Automatic Windows updates set to automatic or notify when available
  • Messenger Service disabled – this has no use except for popups
  • SSDP service disabled – security risk while online
  • Temp and cache files deleted
  • Stop programs running in the background that are not needed all the time
  • Add/remove programs for known spyware/adware/problems
  • Install if needed, Update and run virus scanner – remove any viruses found
  • Search for and delete all spyware/adware (Spybot, Adaware, SpywareBlaster, MS AntiSpyware, WinPatrol & PestPatrol)
  • Windows updates installed
  • Install current version of Adobe Reader (for PDF files)
  • Google toolbar installed
  • Defrag drive


Here is a list of things that I recommend and may have installed on your computer while I was working on it – to hopefully make it work better for you:


AVG antivirus from

I always recommend and install this program when a computer does not have a paid up subscription to McAfee or Norton or one of the other anti virus programs.  I honestly believe that this FREE (for personal use) program is as good, if not better, and uses less of the computer’s resources.

AVG will try to run an online update every 14 days – if it should forget you can easily check yourself by opening the program and clicking "Check for update".  If it is out of date it will start an update – you do need to be online for it to work.

AVG will also run a full scan of your computer every day – usually it is scheduled for 2:00am – but you can change that by clicking on the Scheduler and then scheduled tasks button on the lower right.  If you usually shut your pc off over night either change the time to when you have it on but don’t need great response time (lunch) or just remember to leave it running once a week over night to do the scan – maybe every Friday night?


I use this FREE program as a first line of defense against Spyware, Adware, and other nasties, etc.  I leave it installed for my customers so that you may use it if you choose.  When you run it you can choose to update it (you must be online), and then do a “Check for problems”.  If it finds anything you can have the program “fix” the problems.  This is an easy way for anyone to do some cleanup.


This is another freebie that will scan and fix junk that it finds.  Similar to Spybot but they each will find some items that the other one does not.  Update it and scan for all, then let it remove all.


Prevents the installation of ActiveX-based spyware, adware, browser hijackers, dialers, and other potentially unwanted pests.  Blocks spyware/tracking cookies in Internet Explorer and Mozilla/Firefox.  Restricts the actions of potentially dangerous sites in Internet Explorer.  SpywareBlaster can help keep your system spyware-free and secure, without interfering with the "good side" of the web.  And unlike other programs, SpywareBlaster does not have to remain running in the background.  SpywareBlaster is freeware for personal and educational use.

Microsoft Windows Defender

While this one direct from Microsoft will only run on Windows 2000 or newer, it is free, (so far), and does a good job of killing some difficult junkware.  It will continue to run in the background, update itself when you are online, and do a full scan every night at 2:00am (unless you change it).


Scotty the Windows Watch Dog sniffs out malicious "mysteryware" , web attacks and parasites that may assault your computer. WinPatrol puts you back in control of your computer so you'll know what programs are and should be running at all times.


CCleaner is a freeware system optimization and privacy tool. It removes unused files from your system - allowing Windows to run faster and freeing up valuable hard disk space. It also cleans traces of your online activities such as your Internet history. But the best part is that it's fast (normally taking less than a second to run) and contains NO Spyware or Adware! :)

Windows Updates

I always do all the Critical Updates and I also will have installed the other updates that I feel are needed for your computer.  Please learn how to allow Microsoft to install the critical updates as they come out in the future: A little globe will appear in the system tray (near the clock) and if you click on it directions will appear to guide you thru the update process – again you need to be online for this to work.  (I also will usually do the online updates for Microsoft Office if you have it installed, and I remember.)

Google Toolbar

I always install the google toolbar in Internet Explorer.  It is a quick and easy way to do online searches.  But more important than that it includes a built in pop-up blocker.  When it blocks you will see the counter increase, a sound will play, and the cursor will change for a few seconds.  If you need to allow pop-ups for a certain site just click the counter button while at the site and it will change to show pop-ups allowed – click it again to turn off.  The toolbar also includes a form filler that you can populate with your name, address, etc, and when you are on a page that wants that info the fields will turn yellow to let you know you can click once on the Auto-fill button to fill them in with your personal info.

Adobe Acrobat Reader

I usually will uninstall your version of Adobe reader, if you had one, and install the newest available version.  This program is free for anyone and allows you to view PDF files, and print them.

Installing other programs found online

Please do not allow any programs to be installed while you are surfing the net unless you know exactly what it is and why it is asking to install.  A few like Shockwave, Java, and some Microsoft files are ok, but there are many others that are spyware and junk that you should stay away from.   The same thing with FREE software that you can download and install.   Do a Google search for the program name and spyware and see what is said about it before you install.   (Or ask me!)   You may save us both a lot of time and headaches.  

KAZAA is one of the absolute worst – do not under any circumstances let anyone install KAZAA!!!!  If they want a way to download music download and install WINMX.  It is small, free, and has no built in junk.  Just make sure you do not share your private music collection with the world – the music industry is getting very upset with people that do that!

If there are programs missing now that were there when you sent it to me most likely I removed them because they were possibly causing problems.  Check with me before re-installing any that might be questionable!

Also I will have stopped many of the running programs that were in your system tray (near the clock).  They can be started from the start menu or a desktop icon when you need them.  The more things that are running in the background the slower the pc is going to act.  If you don’t use things all the time, why have them hogging the pc in the background?  If I shut off something that you think is important to you please ask me about it and we can turn it back on if you want.


As always, if you have any questions please email me.  I respond to most emails within hours or even minutes.  If you feel it would work better for you a phone call can also usually work.

Thanks for letting me work for you.  If you have any complaints please tell me – if you are happy with my work please tell everyone else!!!  If you can use some of my cards to give to friends I am happy to give you as many as you would like!


ps.  If you have any trouble with links on this page you can probably also find and download the most current versions from my personal download site: