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  1. #1
    5 Star Lounger petesmst's Avatar
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    Something to ponder on: I, like the vast majority of Loungers, like to keep my PC "clean": My anti virus/system security software program runs daily back-ground checks to ensure I have not been infected or compromised in some way; I regularly defragment my drives to ensure they are optimised; I run "CC Cleaner" regularly to get rid of excess "junk". I create a full system image monthly and before installing new software; I run a daily backup of my data; I regularly download and install updates to my software; etc, etc. Tons of good house-keeping.....or is it? Is all this REALLY necessary?

    Yes, my system is clean and optimised, but all of the above keeps my system, and particularly my hard drives very active, constantly reading, re-arranging/re-writing. "Use = wear".

    Now here's the rub: Over the years, I have had a number of hard drive "crashes" and other odd system glitches. But, a professional artist friend, however, who spends hours every day working with large images, does a system back-up once a month and has security software installed and kept up to date, but does NOTHING else by way of house-keeping, has been using the same system for 7 years with no data loss, no hardware or general problems, no "slow" PC.

    Am I paranoid; and/or is he being reckless? (Or is what I do, by definition "geeky" and what he does, what REAL power users do?)
    (My Setup: Custom built: 4.00GHz Intel Core i7-6700K CPU; MSI Z170A Gaming Carbon Motherboard (Military Class III); Win 10 Pro (64 bit)-(UEFI-booted); 16GB RAM; 512GB SAMSUNG SD850 PRO SSD; 120GB SAMSUNG 840 SSD; Seagate 2TB Barracuda SATA6G HDD; 2 X GeForceGTX 1070 8GB Graphics Card (SLI); Office 2013 Prof (32-bit); MS Project 2013 (32-bit); Acronis TI 2017 Premium, Norton Internet Security, VMWare Workstation12 Pro). WD My Book 3 1TB USB External Backup Drive). Samsung 24" Curved HD Monitor.

  2. #2
    Super Moderator BATcher's Avatar
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    Statisticians would tell you that you can't extrapolate two instances to form a theory!

    I rather think that PC housekeeping is in the same situation as the comment that "90% of all advertising is wasted - but we don't know which 90%".
    BATcher

    Time prevents everything happening all at once...

  3. #3
    Super Moderator CLiNT's Avatar
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    Your probably overdoing it in some areas.

    Keeping a computer clean, for me at least, also means not installing every piece of junk software and toolbar that comes along. I keep a certain set of tried and true programs in the most minimal software environment I possibly can. And this goes doubly for start up and real time run processes. Defragmenting, although still very necessary, does not need to be done more often than once a month. Keep your browsers cache down to 50-100 MB and it's history to a few days. Cookies don't add up to dirt, don't worry about them.

    With a well organized file system, searching becomes less of an issue and, consequently, indexing has little use for me. That translates to less backgrownd hard drive activity as well. System Restore has never appealed to me, it's benefits are offset by it's use of resources. That, with indexing minimalized, translates to even less backgrownd hard drive activity. Less backgrownd hard drive activity allows me to be more astute to the goings on in both network usage and realtime internal processes that may crop up. I can figure out what they are easier and in less time.

    For me the use of MSE is probably the first time that I have ever allowed an AV program to reside in realtime on any computer that I've owned. AV programs in the past for me just constituted too much of a resource hog to have any real benefit vs risk. This speaks very well of MSE imo.
    The best security software in the world is your brain, if you truly use it, your infection rates will drop considerably.

    Doing an image backup once a month for me is gross overkill. I keep one bare bones image of my os with minimal drivers and software, and one image with full drivers, updates, and all my needed software for the quick restore as needed.
    Having an organized file system also means having all your needed drivers & software well labeled, dated, and located for easy find and installation.
    DRIVE IMAGING
    Invest a little time and energy in a well thought out BACKUP regimen and you will have minimal down time, and headache.

    Build your own system; get everything you want and nothing you don't.
    Latest Build:
    ASUS X99 Deluxe, Core i7-5960X, Corsair Hydro H100i, Plextor M6e 256GB M.2 SSD, Corsair DOMINATOR Platinum 32GB DDR4@2666, W8.1 64 bit,
    EVGA GTX980, Seasonic PLATINUM-1000W PSU, MountainMods U2-UFO Case, and 7 other internal drives.

  4. #4
    5 Star Lounger petesmst's Avatar
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    Thanks Clint. Sounds sensible and reasonable to me. But do others agree? (From what I have read in other posts, certain other Loungers seem to be like me (and some, even more "intense" about house cleaning/security/back-ups!!!)
    (My Setup: Custom built: 4.00GHz Intel Core i7-6700K CPU; MSI Z170A Gaming Carbon Motherboard (Military Class III); Win 10 Pro (64 bit)-(UEFI-booted); 16GB RAM; 512GB SAMSUNG SD850 PRO SSD; 120GB SAMSUNG 840 SSD; Seagate 2TB Barracuda SATA6G HDD; 2 X GeForceGTX 1070 8GB Graphics Card (SLI); Office 2013 Prof (32-bit); MS Project 2013 (32-bit); Acronis TI 2017 Premium, Norton Internet Security, VMWare Workstation12 Pro). WD My Book 3 1TB USB External Backup Drive). Samsung 24" Curved HD Monitor.

  5. #5
    5 Star Lounger
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    I personally would leave ccleaner out of the picture (or use it just with settings that don't touch the registry). I don't like stuff messing with the registry that I don't know what is going on. There is no reason you can't delete temp internet files now and then and empty the recycle bin on your own. Also windows temp files are not that hard to manage on your own.

    I have had ccleaner mess up programs on several occasions (these were Home cooked VBA programs so probably I didn't dot all the i's and cross all the t's correctly when I wrote them).

    Clint is right on with his post. If you insist on having 70 shortcuts on the desktop, run every cool windows gadget and install every weather or stock ticker feed that runs in the tray and continuously updates, and accept all the browser toolbars that come with the before mentioned software, you will have a less responsive machine.....

    I would really doubt that what you are doing is significantly reducing harddrive life though. My experience is that the newer faster hard drives simply don't last as long

  6. #6
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    In my opinion, believing registry cleaners are worthwhile is akin to believing snake oil will benefit you. The registry is a huge database. Its structure was changed considerably with the advent of XP. Prior to XP there was some merit to keeping the registry clean. Along with the change in structure the processing of it has been changed since XP to make it more efficient. On a single user system with Windows, Office, and a few other applications installed the registry will contains many tens of thousands if not hundreds of thousands of entries. Under normal operation the registry is never accessed serially nor completely at any one time save creating System Restore copies and a complete registry search. Removing hundreds or even a thousand entries will not make any difference in performance that you can easily observe. There is always the chance of trashing your system when you use a registry cleaner. Go and search the support forums for various registry cleaning programs and observe the problems caused by them.

    Also consider a system where you have more than one user defined. Most software today is installed on a per user basis. You are given the opportunity to install for you or for everyone. If installed for everyone, there will be registry entries for all users. When you uninstall a program it is most likely done as your user context which will only remove the registry entries for you leaving them for everyone else. However, a registry cleaner may see those as orphaned and remove them thus breaking the program access for others.

    See Why I donít use registry cleaners and AumHa Forums ē View topic - AUMHA Discussion: Should I Use a Registry Cleaner? for more discussion.

    Joe



    Joe

  7. #7
    5 Star Lounger petesmst's Avatar
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    Interesing feedback. Thanks. (There are, in fact, a number of posts in the Lounge extolling the virtues/reliability and safety of CC Cleaner and, yes, some offer warnings, too). Incidently, even though I have had some disk failures as referred to in my original post, I am now using a Velociraptor which the manufacturers claim has an expected life of many thousands of hours.....so, maybe I'm in for a better time!

    My post was triggered by the many posts that suggest many readers spend a great deal of time cleaning up, backing up and optimising their PCs/Laptops and I began wondering about the ACTUAL need for all of this, as opposed to the "fun value" of playing with/using/tweaking the OS that is apparently enjoyed by so many. Certainly many (most?) power users of software such as the Office suite don't have time for all of that: They are too busy power-using, and in spite of this, don't appear to have any significant problems even though they do not spend (much) time doing all the optimising etc.
    (My Setup: Custom built: 4.00GHz Intel Core i7-6700K CPU; MSI Z170A Gaming Carbon Motherboard (Military Class III); Win 10 Pro (64 bit)-(UEFI-booted); 16GB RAM; 512GB SAMSUNG SD850 PRO SSD; 120GB SAMSUNG 840 SSD; Seagate 2TB Barracuda SATA6G HDD; 2 X GeForceGTX 1070 8GB Graphics Card (SLI); Office 2013 Prof (32-bit); MS Project 2013 (32-bit); Acronis TI 2017 Premium, Norton Internet Security, VMWare Workstation12 Pro). WD My Book 3 1TB USB External Backup Drive). Samsung 24" Curved HD Monitor.

  8. #8
    5 Star Lounger
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    I'm a key point minimalist, definitely not a type A and definitely do not preach my methodology. Critical files are backed up automatically on a daily basis and I have a hardware firewall (router). That's about it. I image, defrag, cleanup temp files and the like about once each Blue moon. I demand very good performance but not "like a new install" performance and stay on top of any glitch that develops so again I'm more sensibly reactive than proactive. I don't get bit rot and have never been infected despite only running passive security.

    Now I've almost lost non-critical data on three different occasions over the last decade that would not have been such a close call had my backups been more complete, but my time investment, because I have so many systems, almost requires an efficient management plan, and no one else uses these systems so there's no "oh no, what did you do now!?," mystery problem to solve.

    The old axiom of spending lots of time up front in order to ensure a quick turaround (in the case of business) in case something goes wrong vs. not spending much time up front at the cost of longer downtime/restoration still applies. I'm a bit unique I guess in that I solve the yin and yang with redundancy between systems. That way, in the rare instance when one does go down I just move over to the backup computer and soldier on, and I lose hardware bits all the time; PS go up in a puff of smoke, motherboards, graphics cards, hard drives, optical drives, and most recently a NIC that tells me all is well in diagnostics but is clearly non-functional. I work at a place with a lot of industrial electricly powered equipment and I can tell you that its not just computers that the combination of electricity, heat and dirt-dust take thier toll on.

  9. #9
    Bronze Lounger DrWho's Avatar
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    A computer is like a car.... you can't give it too much maintenance, but you sure as heck can give it too little. Ask any Nascar driver!
    And just like a car, if you don't maintain your PC properly it will let you down in the worse possible place at the worse possible time.

    Nobody beats their computer any worse than I do, but very few give their computer the TLC that I give mine.

    I'm running Windows XP-Pro-SP3 and most of the junk files get deleted off'n my HD DAILY. AVG scans my HD for Malware, DAILY
    and I do a full Ghost backup of my OS drive at least once a week.
    Use is not what makes HD's crash, but excessive HEAT sure as heck will. Every one of my three internal HD's is equipped with a TWO-Fan cooler.
    Regardless of how hard I push a HD, they all stay at room temperature.

    CCleaner? Well, every time I've tried that program I've had to restore my HD from a Ghost Backup Image. Some folks have no problems with it, but for me it's been a total disaster. Inversly, I've used "Easy Cleaner" for years, through several versions and I've never once had any problem with it, for myself or my several hundred computer customers. I use it to clean up every computer I have to work on.
    To get things that those patented cleaners miss, I wrote my own Cleanup.bat batch file program to clean out all the little junk file storage places on my HD. It runs from my Startup folder so I get a FREE cleanup every time I reboot my PC.
    Also, Windows Disk Cleanup will only do a great job if you run it in the Extended Cleanup mode.
    Here's the shortcut for the "Extended Disk Cleanup" program. Copy and paste it into a desktop shortcut.

    %SystemRoot%\System32\Cmd.exe /c Cleanmgr /sageset:35 & Cleanmgr /sagerun:35


    keep the air vents and fans in your PC clean, just like your HD and you should have no overheating problems.

    Good Luck,
    The Doctor
    Experience is truly the best teacher.

    Backup! Backup! Backup! GHOST Rocks!

  10. #10
    2 Star Lounger
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    I think Clint's reply makes the most sense. I suppose it depends on how important your OS is compared to your data. In my case I only use restore point as a system or OS backup. But I keep an external hard drive and two sets of CD's as data backups. I usually do a data back-up about 2 to 4 weeks apart.

  11. #11
    Plutonium Lounger Medico's Avatar
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    I am of a mind that parts of what everyone says works for me and parts don't. I do keep my system lean and mean. I do keep my cooling fins clean. I do elliminate temp files on a regular basis. I do use CCleaner with absolutely NO adverse effects. I do keep the start up apps to a bare minumum. I do not need a bunch of junk running in real time slowing things down. I do keep my AV/AM up to date (I also use MSE and believe it to be one of the best) I do keep all apps up to date as best as I can. I do make a new image about once per month. It takes about 1/2 hour and I believe it's time well spent.

    I spend a lot of time trying different things and occ. screw up and hose my OS. The latest was this weekend when attempting to remove the Linux partition the wrong way. Thanks for an image. I wish it were newer than 25 days old, but oh well. I do not use my home PCes for work so I do not have huge amounts of apps or data to worry about so I do not have a data partition, oh well, works well for me.

    I think the bottom line is you will take parts of what everyone says they do then develop your own methods. As Dr Who says, it's not the activity so much as the heat that kills electronics, and after all a PC is an electronic device. Yes perhaps doing what I do will wear something out in 7 or 8 years rather than 8 or 9 years, so what, with my image I will just get my next PC up to speed quicker. By the time I wear something out I will be ready for new hardware anyway. I worked for many years trouble shooting electronics in the aeospace industry for jet fighters, and believe me it's not the use that kills them, it's the adverse conditions (heat) and lack of maintenance.

    That's just my 2 cents.
    BACKUP...BACKUP...BACKUP
    Have a Great Day! Ted


    Sony Vaio Laptop, 2.53 GHz Duo Core Intel CPU, 8 GB RAM, 320 GB HD
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    Complete PC Specs: By Speccy

  12. #12
    Super Moderator RetiredGeek's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Peter S View Post
    I am now using a Velociraptor which the manufacturers claim has an expected life of many thousands of hours.....so, maybe I'm in for a better time!
    The specs quoted by the manufacturer is Mean Time Between Failure {MTBF}. As with all statistics they are used to LIE! One drive may last decades while another one 10 minutes! Do your backups...regularly! I just got bit and I was lucky that I had my data on a separate partition.
    May the Forces of good computing be with you!

    RG

    PowerShell & VBA Rule!

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  13. #13
    Plutonium Lounger Medico's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by RetiredGeek View Post
    The specs quoted by the manufacturer is Mean Time Between Failure {MTBF}. As with all statistics they are used to LIE! One drive may last decades while another one 10 minutes! Do your backups...regularly! I just got bit and I was lucky that I had my data on a separate partition.
    This is also a good argument for imaging regularly. Electronics can fail unexpectantly. The MTBF is generally an average of many units. As with all things, hardware can fail unexpectantly, bearings can seize on a hard drive. A transistor in an IC can short, a solder joint may not be up to spec, who knows. As Dr Who mentions, maintenance can keep good components from failing prematurely. I have also had my share of hardware failures, power supplies, RAM, HD, etc. That's why b/u and imaging are so important.
    BACKUP...BACKUP...BACKUP
    Have a Great Day! Ted


    Sony Vaio Laptop, 2.53 GHz Duo Core Intel CPU, 8 GB RAM, 320 GB HD
    Win 8 Pro (64 Bit), IE 10 (64 Bit)


    Complete PC Specs: By Speccy

  14. #14
    5 Star Lounger petesmst's Avatar
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    Thanks a ton to you all. I started this thread hoping that it would bring out the "big star" Loungers, and it has. Your opinions, based on much experience should help other readers decide what approach to take with respect to their own systems.

    Just a comment regarding the effects that surroundings have on equipment: I served at sea for many years and was amazed at the power surges, pounding and vibrations that standard (not "milspec") desktop PCs could take with no (apparent) side effects.
    (My Setup: Custom built: 4.00GHz Intel Core i7-6700K CPU; MSI Z170A Gaming Carbon Motherboard (Military Class III); Win 10 Pro (64 bit)-(UEFI-booted); 16GB RAM; 512GB SAMSUNG SD850 PRO SSD; 120GB SAMSUNG 840 SSD; Seagate 2TB Barracuda SATA6G HDD; 2 X GeForceGTX 1070 8GB Graphics Card (SLI); Office 2013 Prof (32-bit); MS Project 2013 (32-bit); Acronis TI 2017 Premium, Norton Internet Security, VMWare Workstation12 Pro). WD My Book 3 1TB USB External Backup Drive). Samsung 24" Curved HD Monitor.

  15. #15
    5 Star Lounger petesmst's Avatar
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    Hmm. Having just read the thread "Hosed Win-7 Setup", perhaps my possibly-over-zelous approach to system manegement is not too far off the mark (tongue in cheek!)
    (My Setup: Custom built: 4.00GHz Intel Core i7-6700K CPU; MSI Z170A Gaming Carbon Motherboard (Military Class III); Win 10 Pro (64 bit)-(UEFI-booted); 16GB RAM; 512GB SAMSUNG SD850 PRO SSD; 120GB SAMSUNG 840 SSD; Seagate 2TB Barracuda SATA6G HDD; 2 X GeForceGTX 1070 8GB Graphics Card (SLI); Office 2013 Prof (32-bit); MS Project 2013 (32-bit); Acronis TI 2017 Premium, Norton Internet Security, VMWare Workstation12 Pro). WD My Book 3 1TB USB External Backup Drive). Samsung 24" Curved HD Monitor.

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