America land of the free!  Click to hear a random patriotic tuneIra's Computer Maintenance Guide
and Favorite Web Sites

Last Revision: 12/17/2019
Eureka I have found it
Computer MaintenanceFavorite Programs
Computing HintsFavorite Web Sites
DMV-CALC Auto Links

Computer Maintenance

What should be added to this section? Report dead links please.
  1. Always accept Microsoft Security and Critical Updates usually offered on Wednesdays.
  2. Virus protection. Free: Windows Defender included with Windows. Paid: I use Norton Security and re-purchase it annually from Amazon.
  3. Use The PC Decrapifier to remove promotional products from a new PC. No installation. Freeware
  4. Use ATF Cleaner to delete temporary files from everywhere. Run daily. Has a special Firefox cleanup tab. No installation. Freeware
  5. Use SpywareBlaster to block browser access to known infected websites. Compatible with all browsers. Freeware
  6. Use Revo Uninstaller to uninstall programs instead of using "ADD/REMOVE Programs." Revo goes beyond the application uninstall. Freeware
  7. Use Defraggler to defragment hard drives. Note: Solid State drives should NOT be defragged. Freeware.
  8. 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.

Computing Hints

What should be added to this section? Report dead links please.
  1. 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.
  2. How to outsmart E-Mail hackers - Never click on links inside e-mail. Only link from saved bookmarks on your web browser.
  3. How to create Shortcut icons without including Shortcut text and Shortcut Arrows.
  4. How to Uninstall Your Windows Product Key before selling your PC.
  5. How to completely delete your hard drive before selling your PC.
  6. How to remove invalid entries from Add/Remove Programs.
  7. How to turn off File Indexing. Only for Solid State drives.
  8. How to enable SSD TRIM Support.
  9. How to optimize your SSD..
  10. How to create bootable MS-DOS 6.22 CD in Windows 10.
  11. How to create bootable USB drives the easy way.
  12. How to boot from a USB device.
  13. How to enable boot from DVD option with UEFI boot mode enabled. (Windows 8, 8.1 & 10).
  14. How to enable or disable Secure Boot in UEFI?
  15. How to Clear and Reset the Print Spooler Queue. Works for all Windows operating systems. I love it!
  16. 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.
  17. Use keyboard shortcuts instead of walking the mouse or your finger on the pad.
  18. The c:\Windows\System32 files explained.
  19. The BIOS/MBR Boot Process explained.
  20. GPT and UEFI vs MBR and BIOS partitioning a drive. The difference between MBR (Master Boot Record) and GPT (GUID Partition Table).
  21. Win 10: 10 Best Free Search Tools For Windows 10.
  22. Win 10: Complete Guide To Windows 10 Privacy Settings.
  23. Win 10: FixWin for Windows10. Read list of fixes available in FixWin 10 or Ultimate Windows Tweaker 4 for Windows 10.
  24. Win 10: Boot into Windows 10 Safe Mode.
  25. Win 10: NETPLWIZ - Remove your login password from Windows 10. Works for Win 7 and Win 8 also.
  26. Windows History: The Evolution Of Productivity - Best of Windows 3.1 to Windows 10.

Favorite Programs

Please report dead links.
  • 7-zip. Compatible with WinZip. Freeware
  • 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
  • Debut. Video Capture and Screen Recorder Software. 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 2.1. 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. Avoid having to reinstall Windows. Restore saved C drive images whether you can get to Windows or not.
  • Malwarebytes Browser Guard. Firefox and Chrome browser extension - "The fastest and safest web browsing experience." Also see "uBlock Origin" below. Freeware
  • 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. Also see UltraViewer.
        If you mistakenly login as a commercial user, you will timeout eventually and will need to complete the personal-use-verification form.
        If you receive the message "commercial use suspected" or "commercial use detected", and you believe the way you use TeamViewer does not match the definition of Commercial Use, complete the TeamViewer Commercial Use Suspected form.
  • UltraViewer. Remote Desktop Sharing, full control, new pwd each session. Free for non-commercial use. Also see TeamViewer.
  • uBlock Origin. Firefox extension to block ads. Easy on CPU and memory. Versions for other browsers and is cross platform compatible. Also see "Malwarebytes Browser Guard".
  • VSO Video Software. Having purchased similar products from other publishers, VSO products are the BEST!
  • XYplorer. A File Manager For Windows like none other. Xyplorer blows all file managers I have ever used including Windows Explorer.

Favorite Web Sites

What websites should be added? Report dead links please.
Search Engine, People, Places Travel, Lodging, Traffic & Weather World Statistics
World Facts 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 Computer Software
ISP, Web Hosting and Computer Programming Language Tutorials Your Internet Connection Speed & Security Outlet shopping and Bridal Registries
Automobile Resources Public Databases How it works
Movies, TV, Music Ask Anything Residential House Wiring
Search Engine, People and Places:

Who hasn't heard of this one?
Name: Google

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
Name: CrimeMapping

Find items in libraries near you.
Name: WorldCat

Travel, Lodging, Traffic & Weather:

Find restaurants, night life, shopping, hotels, deals in US cities.
Name: CitySearch

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.
Name: FlightAware

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

Foreign Country Currency Conversion - Current exchange rates
Name: OANDA Currency Converter and Financial Forecasts

Language Converter - sentences and web sites
Name: Google Translate - Free Translation from English to Spanish, French, to from many languages

World Statistics:

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: - Geography, climate, countries, Maps, Flags, Population

Point-to-Point Distance
Name: How Far is it

World Atlas - Geographic, Political, Physical resources & detailed info
Name: Map Machine - National Geographic

Astronomy Calculator plus much more.

Astronomical Data - Sunrise/Sunset, Solar System, Constellations
Name: Heavens Above

World Facts:

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: - 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

Mortgage Calculators
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:

News sites
Name: CNN and FoxNews
URL: and

Reference Desk
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:

Law Dictionary
Name: Duhaime's Law Dictionary

U.S. Congress
Name: 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

Drug Encyclopedia
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
Name: Passmark

Computer Tech Info Site
Name: ExtremeTech - Deep technology content for the IT community

Computer Virus Myths - determine if YOU are spreading a myth
Name: - 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
Name: Databazaar

There is a lot more life after Amazon
Name: CablesNMore

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: - The Smart Place to Start your Shopping

Store Coupons
Name: Ultimate Coupons- Over 3,500 Stores. 60,000+ Free Promo Codes, Discount & Deals

Compare On-Line Bookstore prices
Name: All Book Stores

Classified/4 Sale
Name: Craigslist

Ask Anything:

Discussion Forums - computing H/W and S/W
Name: CNet Help

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

Computer Software:

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
Name: mail2web

A one-time e-mail address when you don't want to give out your primary e-address
Name: Mailinator

Submit your site to a huge network of search engines
Name: EntireWeb

Free - Submit your web site to multiple search engines
Name: | 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: - The Global Broadband Speed Test

Optimize your internet connection speed.
Name: - TCP Optimizer - No installation.  Just set connection speed then click Optimize.

Internet Connection Security Analysis
Name: Gibson Research Corporation

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?
URL: and

Outlet shopping and Bridal Registries:

Nationwide Outlet Directory
Name: Outlet Bound-Online Guide To Outlet Stores & Outlet Centers

Automobile Resources - new and used:

Autos New/Used Dealers, invoice, comparisons, Edmunds, Kelley Bluebook, resources
Name: DMV-CALC Auto Links

Public Databases:

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

Most Wanted People
Name: Most Wanted

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

Song Lyrics
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: Pop Music

Music Montage
Name: History of Rock and Roll Time Sweep - 1955 to 1987 (54:08)

Music Montage
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!
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