||Ira's Computer Maintenance Guide
and Favorite Web Sites
Last Revision: 10/31/2018
What should be added to this section? Report dead links please. email@example.com.
- Always accept Microsoft Security and Critical Updates usually offered on Wednesdays.
- Virus protection. Free: Windows Defender included with Windows. Paid: I use Norton Security and re-purchase it annually from Amazon.
- Use PC Decrapifier to remove promotional products from a new PC. No installation. Freeware
- Use ATF Cleaner 3.0 to delete temporary files from everywhere. Run daily. Has a special Firefox cleanup tab. No installation. Freeware
- Use SpywareBlaster to block browser access to known infected websites. Compatible with all browsers. Freeware
- Use Revo Uninstaller to uninstall programs instead of using "ADD/REMOVE Programs." Revo goes beyond the application uninstall. Freeware
- Use Defraggler to defragment hard drives. Note: Solid State drives should NOT be defragged. Freeware.
- Use Macrium Reflect Free to back up your hard drive. Maintain two backup images. Recover from a virus or errant s/w installation or HD crash in minutes.
What should be added to this section? Report dead links please. firstname.lastname@example.org.
- E-Mail etiquette - When sending jokes or non-essential informtion to multiple individuals, place addresses in the "BCC" (Blind Carbon Copy) box.
Addresses will a) be hidden from each other but more importantly, b) they will not be on each other's PC. This will reduce the chance of e-mail addresses being captured when e-mail is hacked.
Addresses in the "CC" box only need to be aware but not expected to respond. Addresses in the "TO" box are expected to respond.
Note: If you do not see the "BCC" box, enable it from Options.
- How to outsmart E-Mail hackers - Never click on links inside e-mail. Only link from saved bookmarks on your web browser.
- How to create Shortcut icons without including Shortcut text and Shortcut Arrows.
- How to Uninstall Your Windows Product Key before selling your PC.
- How to completely delete your hard drive before selling your PC.
- How to remove invalid entries from Add/Remove Programs.
- How to turn off File Indexing. Only for Solid State drives.
- How to enable SSD TRIM Support.
- How to optimize your SSD.
- How to boot from a USB device.
- How to enable boot from DVD option with UEFI boot mode enabled. (Windows 8, 8.1 & 10).
- How to enable or disable Secure Boot in UEFI?
- How to Clear and Reset the Print Spooler Queue. Works for all Windows operating systems. I love it!
- How to build a Generic Windows PE ISO, then burn to a CD or Flashdrive.
When Windows won't load, boot using your Windows PE media. You will be able to view/copy recent folders and files prior to restoring your "C drive" often from an older image or if you must reinstall your OS.
- Use keyboard shortcuts instead of walking the mouse or your finger on the pad.
- The c:\Windows\System32 files explained.
- The BIOS/MBR Boot Process explained.
- GPT and UEFI vs MBR and BIOS partitioning a drive. The difference between MBR (Master Boot Record) and GPT (GUID Partition Table).
- Win 10: 10 Best Free Search Tools For Windows 10.
- Win 10: Complete Guide To Windows 10 Privacy Settings.
- Win 10: FixWin for Windows10. Read list of fixes available in FixWin 10 or Ultimate Windows Tweaker 4 for Windows 10.
- Win 10: Boot into Windows 10 Safe Mode.
- Win 10: Remove your login password from Windows 10. Works for Win 7 and Win 8 also.
- Windows History: The Evolution Of Productivity - Best of Windows 3.1 to Windows 10.
Please report dead links. email@example.com.
- ATF Cleaner 3.0 to delete temporary files from everywhere. No installation. Freeware
- Belarc System Advisor - List/save/print your PC hardware and software configuration. Freeware
- Better File Rename for Windows - Rename files from Windows Explorer context menu. Include prefix, suffix, increment, pad zeros.
- Bookmarks Search Plus 2 - Firefox extension to search your bookmarks and see/edit them in their folders.
- Bulk Rename Utility - The most feature-rich file rename utility I have ever used! User menu is a bit cryptic. FreeWare.
- Bullzip Free PDF Printer - Create PDF documents from any Windows application that offers a print option. Freeware.
- Convert - Units Conversion calculator. Freeware
- DesktopOK - Save and Restore multiple desktop icon arrangements. Great when icons move around or running different resolutions. Freeware
- DVD Audio Extractor - Extract audio tracks from a DVD.
- Fireshot - Firefox extension to capture full and partial web page screenshots saved to PDF. Other browser versions available. Freeware
- HotKey Detective - List of Start menu icon shortcut key and Internet shortcuts. List/Change/Print. Freeware
- IconArt - Make your own icons from any image or create it yourself. FreeWare.
- IrfanView - Graphic file manipulation and great slide show features. Can perform patch editing, create contact sheets plus so much more. Freeware
- LibreOffice Suite or Apache OpenOffice Suite Freeware vs Microsoft Office Suite.
- Macrium Reflect Free Edition - Backup and Restore PC. Paid: I use Acronis True Image but from personal experience Macrium Reflect FREE has never failed to restore even Win 10.
- MP3DirectCut - fast mpeg audio editing. All you need to cut your MP3. Freeware
- MP3Gain - Finally, set your MP3's at same volume. MP3GAIN does statistical analysis to determine how loud the file actually sounds. Freeware
- MP3Tag - Add/modify text tags inside of mp3's. Best used to display file, artist and genre correctly when playing from flashdrive in your vehicle. Freeware
- NK2Edit - View/delete MS Outlook e-mail addresses that pop-up when typing an e-mail address. Does not install. Freeware
- QImage - Outstanding digital camera image printing program. It will best fill the paper size you use and print quality is surperb.
- RadioSure? Sure! - The Best Internet Radio Player Ever! Freeware
- Revo Uninstaller - A faster and more complete program removal utility than Add/Remove Programs. Freeware.
- SyncToy - Silly name for a fantastic [free] utility to Sync, Echo or Contribute folders and files PC <--> External Drive.
- TeamViewer - Remote Desktop Sharing, full control, new pwd each session. Does not need to be installed. Free for non-commercial use.
Note: If you mistakenly login as a commercial user, you will timeout eventually and will need to complete the personal-use-verification form.
- UltraViewer - A TeamViewer alternative - Remote Desktop Sharing, full control, new pwd each session. Free for non-commercial use.
- uBlock Origin - Firefox extension to block ads. Easy on CPU and memory. Versions for other browsers and is cross platform compatible. Freeware
- VSO Video Software - Having purchased similar products from other publishers, VSO products are the BEST!
- XYplorer - A File Manager For Windows like none other. I've tried others, paid and free. Xyplorer blows them all away including Windows Explorer. Here is XYplorer Free.
|Favorite Web Sites
What websites should be added? Report dead links please. firstname.lastname@example.org.
|Search Engine, People, Places
||Travel, Lodging, Traffic & Weather
||Our World and the Universe
||Financial and Consumer Empowerment
|IRS, Business and Insurance
||News and Dictionary/Reference desk
||English, Math, Sciences and Games
|Legal and Government
||Food, Health, Drugs, Nutrition
||Computer Benchmarks, Myths & more
|Product and Store Reviews
||Best Price, Comparison, Classified
|ISP, Web Hosting and Computer Programming Language Tutorials
||Your Internet Connection Speed & Security
||Outlet shopping and Bridal Registries
||How it works
|Movies, TV, Music
||Residential House Wiring
Search Engine, People and Places:
Who hasn't heard of this one?
Find/Hire Professional Services in Your Neighborhood.
Mapping - Find any place in the world. Topographical view.
Name: Google Earth
Famous People - Famous People in History, Famous People List & Biography
Name:The Famous People
Digitally preview your mail and manage your packages scheduled to arrive soon!
Name:Informed Delivery® by USPS®
Crime - Search address, landmark or zipcode
Find items in libraries near you.
Travel, Lodging, Traffic & Weather:
Find restaurants, night life, shopping, hotels, deals in US cities.
Mapping - Find any place in the world. Roadmaps all countries.
Name: Windows Live Local
Weather - Worldwide realtime
Name: The Weather Channel
Weather - Current Jet Stream Maps serving North America
Name: CRWS Background Information: Jet Stream Maps
Flight Time Calculator, Airplane Specification, Airport/Airline Codes
Name: Airlines, Airplanes and Airports
Search engine for rideshares, taxis, and limos
Name: RideGuru - Fare Estimates, Uber, Lyft, Taxis, Limos, and more
Source for airplane seating and in-flight services information
Name: SeatGuru - Your Enlightened Guide to Airline Seating
Plot Great Circle distances - airport to airport worldwide. Observe aircraft range from any airport.
Name: Great Circle Mapper
Airfares across all major airlines. Need to create simple login/pwd.
Name: ITA Software AirFare Shopping Engine
Airfares across all major airlines.
Name: Booking Buddy
Airline In-Flight Tracking - location on earth, speed, etc.
Ben Schlappig details every aspect of his stays at exclusive hotels, airline flights, best credit cards and much more.
Name: One Mile At A Time
Hotels and Lodging in New York City - Better prices than Expedia
Name: New York Guide
Car Rental Agency Database - National and local agencies in each city.
Name: Car rental discounts & rental car directory online
Foreign Country Currency Conversion - Current exchange rates
Name: OANDA Currency Converter and Financial Forecasts
Language Converter - sentences and web sites
Name: FreeTranslation.com - Free Translation from English to Spanish, French, German, Portuguese, Italian and Norwegian
World Time Zones, Calendar - Current times around the world. Print calendar for any year.
Name: The World Clock
Print a Calendar
Name: Free printable PDF Calendar 2008-2009
Current time in U.S. time zones accurate to 0.2 second (does not read your PC clock).
Name: The offical U.S. time
World Geography facts, maps and Country stats. Wish I had this in High School!
Name: Geographic.org - Geography, climate, countries, Maps, Flags, Population
Name: How Far is it
World Atlas - Geographic, Political, Physical resources & detailed info
Name: Map Machine - National Geographic
Astronomical Data - Sunrise/Sunset times any place/day plus much more.
Name: U.S. Naval Observatory - Astronomical Applications Department
Astronomical Data - Sunrise/Sunset, Solar System, Constellations
Name: Heavens Above
Loads of facts comparing countries
Name: Country Ranking and Records
City/Urban Areas/World Population and facts
Name: City Population
World Population Statistics
Name: Population Reference Bureau
World City Population Statistics
Name: City Population
Major Religions of the World Ranked by Number of Adherents
Name: Major Religions Ranked By Size
Global Incident Map updated every 420 seconds
Name: Global Incident Map Displaying Terrorist Acts, Suspicious Activity, and General Terrorism News
Census Bureau - everything and anything
Name: U.S. Census Bureau Home Page
Who's Dead, Who's Alive
Name: Dead or Alive?
Best Places to Live
Name: BestPlaces.net - City info, data, stats
Our World and the Universe:
Photos of notable places in the Universe
Name: Astronomy Picture of the Day Archive - View Earth At Night - Earthlights
See Utah and other places like never before
Name: Utah 3D
Move through Space
Name: Molecular Expressions: Science, Optics and You - Powers Of 10: Interactive Java Tutorial
Our Solar System
Name: Views of the Solar System
Realtime Worldwide Earthquake Data
Name: List of Recent Earthquakes for California and Nevada
Financial and Consumer Empowerment:
Best Bank Loan/Investment/Credit Card Rates Nationwide
Name: Bank Rate Monitor
Stock/Mutual fund quotes, history, ratings. Side/side comparison of funds.
Name: Excite Money & Investing.
Mutual Fund Ratings
Name: Morningstar - Independent fund opinions and analysis
Name: Mortgage Calculator & Financial Calculators
Consumer Action Center
Name: Team Clark Howard - Ways to pack more punch in your wallet and empower yourself!
Analyze your Salary - What should you be earning in your profession?
Name: WorkPlace Channel
How your Charity Contribution Dollar is $pent
Name: Charity Navigator - Guiding Intelligent Giving - Charitable Donations
IRS, Business and Insurance:
Better Business Bureau
Name: Better Business Bureau
Name: IRS - Income Tax Forms, Publications and Instructions
Insurance Company Ratings
Name: A.M. Best
News and Dictionary/Reference desk:
Name: CNN and FoxNews
URL: https://www.cnn.com/ and http://www.foxnews.com/
Read article when your keywords are spoken on TV
Name: TVEyes, we're watching while you're not!
Name: Merriam-Webster Online - Dictionaries, Thesaurus, Encyclopaedia
Mil-Std Document Library
Name: Every Spec
English, Math, Sciences and Games:
Have a Math Problem - K-12 and beyond? Let a student answer it.
Name: The Math Forum - Ask Dr. Math
Guide to Grammar and Writing
Name: Guide to Grammar and Writing
Physics, Math, Chemistry, Science, Biology, Mechanics
Name: Georgia State University link to all the Sciences - formulas, laws, etc.
Legal and Federal Government:
Name: Duhaime's Law Dictionary
Name: C-SPAN Congressional Glossary
U.S. Federal Government Agencies
Name: U.S. Federal Government Agencies Directory
Food, Drugs, Health, Nutrition Database:
The Ultimate Recipe site - ethnic foods, beverages, health foods plus much more.
Name: Mimi's Cyber Kitchen
Family favorite recipes - Under Construction!
Name: Susan's Private Recipe Collection
Name: Welcome To RxList
Food Nutrition and Composition Database
Name: Nutrient Data Laboratory
Computer Benchmark, Myths & more:
Computer Hardware Guide
Name: The PC Guide
Compare Processor Performance
Name: CPU Charts - Tom's Hardware
Compare GPU, CPU, SSD
Name: Hardware Compare
Compare PC and Smart Device Hardware Components
Computer Tech Info Site
Name: ExtremeTech - Deep technology content for the IT community
Computer Virus Myths - determine if YOU are spreading a myth
Name: Vmyths.com - Truth About Computer Virus Myths & Hoaxes
Tall stories and other fairy tales not worth disseminating
Name: Urban Legends
Product and Store Reviews:
Expert Buying Guides And Product Reviews
Name: Galt Technology Reviews
Consumer Product Reviews
Name: Top Ten Reviews
Consumer Product Reviews
Name: Consumer Reports
Digital Cameras, Photography, Scanners, Printers
Name: The Imaging Resource!
Digital Camera Review #1
Name: The Digital Camera Resource
Digital Camera Review #2
Name: Digital Camera Reviews and News: Digital Photography Review: Forums, Glossary, FAQ
There is life after Amazon
Name: PC Connection
There is more life after Amazon
There is a lot more life after Amazon
Store Reviews From Customers- Camera, Computer and Electronics outlets
Name: User Evaluations of On-Line Computer Hardware Vendors
Consumer Product Price Comparison and On-Line Classifieds:
True Price Comparison including tax and shipping charges to your zip code. Many consumer items.
Name: NexTag - Compare prices before you buy
True Price Comparison including tax and shipping charges to your zip code.
Name: PriceGrabber.com - The Smart Place to Start your Shopping
Name: Ultimate Coupons- Over 3,500 Stores. 60,000+ Free Promo Codes, Discount & Deals
Compare On-Line Bookstore prices
Name: All Book Stores
Discussion Forums - computing H/W and S/W
Name: CNet Help
Ask An Expert - Free Q&A on many topics
Residential House Wiring:
Residential Wiring Connections -Tutorial
Name: The Circuit Detective
Electrical guide for wiring a house, codes, and common electrical questions
Name: Wiring a House
Wiring Examples and Instructions
Name: How To Wire it
Freeware - This is the best freeware site with respectable reviews I've ever visited!
Name: Gizmo's - Gizmo's List - The Best Freeware Reviewed and Rated. Gizmo's Tech Support Alert
Shareware - Another good source
Name: ZDNet Downloads - Download shareware, freeware, demos and more
ISP, Web Hosting, Computer Programming Tutorials and Guides:
Links to a multitude of computer program tutorials and guides
Name: Home Learning: Computer Programming Resources
Web Host Search
Name: Web Host Directory
Check your POP3 E-mail from any web browser
A one-time e-mail address when you don't want to give out your primary e-address
Submit your site to a huge network of search engines
Free - Submit your web site to multiple search engines
Name: BuildTraffic.com | URL Submitter - 40 sites
Connection Speed and Internet Security:
Your Internet Connection test - This is the best most trusted site for your true connection speed.
Name: Speedtest.net - The Global Broadband Speed Test
Optimize your internet connection speed.
Name: SpeedGuide.net - TCP Optimizer - No installation. Just set connection speed then click Optimize.
Internet Security Test
Name: Shields Up! -- Internet Connection Security Analysis
Your Cable Modem and ISP - System Information, Startup Procedure, Signal Downstream/Upstream, CPE connections, Log
Name: Cable Modem Web Page
Your IP address
Name: What is my IP Address?
Outlet shopping and Bridal Registries:
Nationwide Outlet Directory
Name: Outlet Bound-Online Guide To Outlet Stores & Outlet Centers
Bridal Registries across multiple stores
Automobile Resources - new and used:
Autos New/Used Dealers, invoice, comparisons, Edmunds, Kelley Bluebook, resources
Name: DMV-CALC Auto Links
Public Records Databases
Name: Search Systems - Largest Free Public Records Database Collection
Name of Vietnam War Casualities by City and State
Name: Vietnam War Casualties Listed by Home of Record
World's Most Wanted People
Name: The World's Most Wanted - Fugitives and Unsolved Crimes
Unclaimed Property Databases
Name: NAUPA | State UP Offices - Unclaimed Property
How it works:
Interactive [Graphic] Tutorials - Human Body, Automobile, Computer
Name: Inner Learning On-line
How it works
Name: How Stuff Works!
How to do anything
Name: eHow - How things get done
Movies, TV, Music:
All Movie Site - movie roots
Name: All-Movie Guide
Your TV Listings - set zipcode, cable, local or satellite
Name: TV Guide
City Guide - Entertainment, Restaurants, Events, Hotels, Movies, Businesses plus more!
Name: The city guide to Entertainment, Restaurants, Events, Hotels, Movies, Businesses
Music Midi Search Engine - Find a midi
Name:vanBasco's MIDI Search
Music Database - Search on Album, Artist and Song - view all album song titles
Name: Gracenote - CDDB Album Info
Songs play on and on and ... includes user controls.
Name: The Infinite Jukebox - For when your favorite song just isn't long enough
Name: Song Lyrics
The Best Music Videos
Name: Songs Tube
Pop Styles and Genres - Explore the many genres and styles of pop music with this guide.
Name: History of Rock and Roll Time Sweep - 1955 to 1987 (54:08)
Name: The WABC Musicradio Music Remembrance - December 7, 1960 until May 10, 1982 (37 Min)
Worldwide Radio Station database
Name: Live Radio on the Internet - Listen to the World on your PC!
Your comments are welcome.
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