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  1. #1
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    PC FineTune from Earthlink

    Recently I installed DSL from Earthlink (good price, keep my email address, etc.) and they also suggested a product called PC FineTune. I haven't installed it yet, but have a 30-day free trial, after which I'd pay $4.95/month. It looks to me like PC FineTune does things I already can do with my Windows 2000 system, such as Defragmenting; removing unused Desktop icons; deleting unwanted files completely; uninstalling unwanted program; Registry backup and repair (which I'm loathe to attempt); removing junk files such as cache, cookies, and temps; and managing the Startup to make it faster (never tried this).

    What do you know about Earthlink's PC FineTune? Is it a bargain or an unnecessary ripoff?

  2. #2
    Uranium Lounger viking33's Avatar
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    Re: PC FineTune from Earthlink

    Betsy,

    I don't use Earthlink or PC FineTune anymore, so I can't speak directly about them BUT if you already have Utilities that do the same things, why pay for redundant coverage?

    All of those things you mentioned can be done either within Windows or with Free utilities.
    BOB
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  3. #3
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    Re: PC FineTune from Earthlink

    Thanks for your wise words about redundant services. No point in paying for what I have for "free" included already in my computer system.

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    Re: PC FineTune from Earthlink

    Just where will I find these things in Windows XP and what is the name of the Free Utilities that will fine tune my PC?
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    Uranium Lounger viking33's Avatar
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    Re: PC FineTune from Earthlink

    Gloria,
    Do you have IE7 installed yet?
    If not, lets wait until you get your other problems ( mentioned in other threads ) straightened out before we tackle this one. OK?
    Remind me.
    BOB
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  6. #6
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    Re: PC FineTune from Earthlink

    Gloria,
    I'm not Bob. But if we take a look at what Betsy Frick mentioned, and what Bob referred to as "if you already have" these;
    -defragmenting
    -removing unused Desktop icons
    -deleting unwanted files completely
    -uninstalling unwanted program
    -registry backup and repair
    -removing junk files such as cache, cookies, and temps
    -managing the Startup to make it faster

    It can be that he thinks that she has a combination of the built in tools (in OS), and some other, maybe freeware tools. Or he is thinking as I do, that the majority of this can be done from within the OS, although there are nice freeware tools.

    (There is no, as you know, one-fix-all-utility, even though some companies almost claim that.)

    This is for your information (and is common WinXP knowledge), but nothing of this mentioned here can help you directly if you now have major problems in the registry, file setup etc. as from your System Restore thread.

    All these things are documented in Windows help files and in MS KB. OK;
    <UL><LI> Defragmenting (you probably know this one):
    -right-click a drive in WinExplorer (or My Computer, whatever) and select Properties
    -Select Tools tab
    -Select Defragment now.

    It can also be done via the MS Management Console snap-in, run from Start > Accessories > System Tools > Defragment.

    <LI> Removing unused Desktop icons
    On a standard installation of XP, one will probably see the Desktop Cleanup Wizard after some month, but it can be run at will:
    -right-click on the Desktop
    -Choose Arrange Icons By
    -Select Run Desktop Cleanup Wizard
    Settings for auto run and running is also found in the Desktop Items dialog box (riight-click desktop > Desktop tab > Customise desktop).

    <LI> Deleting unwanted files completely & removing junk files such as cache, cookies, and temps
    Well, if one want to use there is always the Windows Disk cleanup utility at Start > Accessories > System Tools.

    But you already know that you can remove cookies & cache from within the browser. Then some other programs also have their cache files, and decent programs allows to remove these by simple process. Media Player, Adobe Reader search cache etc.

    The temp files; well, either the Disk cleanup utility, or you let loose the Delete key in your Temp folder. <img src=/S/grin.gif border=0 alt=grin width=15 height=15> Simple.

    Now deleting "unwanted files", that is more simple for the common user than to actually know what is an unwanted file. I would, although I know better, put it as simply only delete files you have created yourself. Running around in the Windows folders and deleting backups of installed OS updates is most of the time only therapy. Most users have plenty of room on their HDD.

    <LI> Uninstalling unwanted program
    Most every Windows user knows how to uninstall a program. If extreme problems one can maybe use a program or registry trick to remove left over entries in the "Add or Remove Programs"-listing. To track and remove every trace of a program, one sometimes may need a special uninstall program, but that one obviously must be there before the uninstall to track the installation. Otherwise one have to use some registry cleaning method (manual or semi-automatic). This "advanced" interpret of "uninstalling unwanted program" is normally not needed, just use the link to uninstall, or the Windows "Add or Remove Programs".

    <LI> Registry backup and repair
    Well, if one isn't skilled, one shouldn't change things in the Registry. On the other hand a backup can be good. It can be individual keys, or complete hives. But one have to remember that in many cases a System Restore Point is better since it includes registry and monitored files. (Though the "image-ladies & gentlemen" are of course right in that an image is a complete backup.)

    -In the Registry Editor (regedit) there is an Export command under File.
    - You can chose to select all registry or a part, chose export format; Registry Hive Files (though All registry cannot go as Hive file), Hive Files are binary image, not readable for humans but works good in backups, or Registration Files (.reg) typically a file merged into the registry, the file will replace the keys and values; Text Files, a larger file format. This one has no .reg extension and isn't quickly added to registry. There is also an older Win9x/NT4 format that is not interesting.

    To repair, in this sense, one can use Registry Editor > File > Import, and chose the previously exported file. Then as you know, SR is a "repair tool". then there are also Registry Repair programs, but why fix something if it isn't broke. And if indeed something is wrong in the registry, one have to put some faith in that program finding it. There are other ways.

    <LI> Managing the Startup to make it faster
    Well, anyone can run the System Configuration utility (msconfig) as a troubleshooter, to test what is run at start. Then one can check program settings to see if possible to exclude "run at start", otherwise use a program such as AutoRuns to deselect individual items at the different run-keys, files etc.[/list]Above all, and most important is to read and learn from the help files, MSKB, MS articles (there are a lot at Windows XP Expert Zone (and has been around since XP came and deal with a lot of ordinary maintenance) etc, to understand how the tools work, what they will do, and what they will not do.

  7. #7
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    Re: PC FineTune from Earthlink

    Adding two comments to those very thorough explanations from Argus:

    1. CCleaner, referred to often in the Software F&W Forum, does a reasonable job of removing unneeded files, it also has a conservative Registry Cleaner function, and an alternative application remover. Be sure to select installation and configuration options thoughtfully before running the tool.

    2. Though most of the OS services Argus mentions are "exposed" to the user in native XP setup, some under Programs > Accessories > System Tools, MSConfig is not - you can get to it via Start > Run > enter "msconfig", press enter, or you can find msconfig.exe and create a shortcut to it and place it where you choose.
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    Re: PC FineTune from Earthlink

    Gloria,
    Argus and JohnBF have suggested some good ways to clean out and refine things in XP.
    I would ask you, PLEASE wait until your other issues are corrected BEFORE you start doing any other changes.
    I can only see further complications if you jump right in and doing some of these things. <img src=/S/please.gif border=0 alt=please width=31 height=23>
    BOB
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  9. #9
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    Re: PC FineTune from Earthlink

    I'm familiar with all the programs you mentioned, but I hesitate using cleanup programs because something I ran removed all the programs I had stored under Run and I had to retype them all. Even Search Assistant no longer showed me programs I had searched for previously.

    I use a third-party defrag program because it allows the compacting of things on the computer that Windows Defrag did or could not do.
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    Re: PC FineTune from Earthlink

    I have had IE 7 for about 6 or 7 months now, and I am not interested in using those cleanup tools. All my attention, at this point, is getting SR up and running again. I read an article on the web that said SP2 does things to SR and there was a fix by getting SP1 back. Do you know anything about those so called fixes? Don't ask me where I saw the article, I forgot the moment I left the site. SR has my mind in a fog and I even dream about it.
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    Re: PC FineTune from Earthlink

    Thanks John for your addition to what Argus wrote. I have other pressing problems at the moment and cleaning up my PC is the last thing on my mind.
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    Re: PC FineTune from Earthlink

    You asked, and were answered. We are also trying to help the original poster. EOT.
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    Re: PC FineTune from Earthlink

    <hr>something I ran removed all the programs I had stored under Run and I had to retype them <hr>

    These are only links called "Recent's" which are used in almost all programs. They are ONLY temporary and will scroll off your listing as the maximum is reached.

    Now running HP Pavilion a6528p, with Win7 64 Bit OS.

  14. #14
    Uranium Lounger viking33's Avatar
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    Re: PC FineTune from Earthlink

    -----------------------------------------------------
    that said SP2 does things to SR and there was a fix by getting SP1 back. Do you know anything about those so called fixes?
    ----------------------------------------------------

    No I don't know of or have heard of any such claim. I wouldn't put much stock in it either.
    BOB
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    Today it is called golf!

  15. #15
    Silver Lounger Duchess843's Avatar
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    Re: PC FineTune from Earthlink

    I tried to get on Woody's about an hour ago. Got a message that said: Sorry, The Lounge is overloaded at the moment. Try again shortly." I never saw that message before, do you know what happened in the Lounge to cause that message to appear?

    I also would like you to answer a question. I tried to use scanreg /restore at Run and a Command Promt which were not accepted. What is the proper command?

    I will disregard that article,
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