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how to: Setup an automated system maintenance

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Tired of manually cleaning temp files, defraging your harddrive, and scanning for spyware? Here’s an easy way to have all of that done automatically.

The free software you will need:

CCleaner: 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. (source: official website)

Spybot Search and Destroy: Spybot – Search & Destroy detects and removes spyware, a relatively new kind of threat not yet covered by common anti-virus applications. (source: official website)

Follow these steps below after you are done installing the above software.


  • Allow windows Vista to create a batch file

Open my computer and select the “organize” tab, scroll down the drop down menu and select “folder and search options”.

  • Create the batch file

Right click on your desktop, select “new”, and then select “Text Document”.

Rename the text document to maintenance.bat

Make sure the file ends with “.bat” and not “.txt”

Right click on the batch file and click “edit”.

Type the batch commands into the text box that opens. To create a batch file that automatically defrags your hard-drive, cleans temp files, and removes spyware use these commands.

To automatically clean temp files

“C:\Program Files\CCleaner\CCleaner.exe” /AUTO

If ccleaner is installed in a different directory, you will have to change the command to match it.

To automatically search for and remove spyware

“C:\Program Files\Spybot – Search & Destroy \SpybotSD.exe” /taskbarhide /autoupdate /autoimmunize /autocheck /autofix /onlyspyware /autoclose

If spybot is installed in a different directory, you will have to change the commands to match it.

To defrag your hard-drive(s)

Defrag C:

You can always add more hard drives if you wish to do so

The screenshot below uses the following commands for a typical setup

You can copy and paste this into the batch file

“C:\Program Files\CCleaner\CCleaner.exe” /AUTO

“C:\Program Files\Spybot – Search & Destroy \SpybotSD.exe” /taskbarhide /autoupdate /autoimmunize /autocheck /autofix /onlyspyware /autoclose

Defrag C:

This is what it should look like while it’s running. (the commands in the following screenshot may differ from yours).

  • Setup your task scheduler.

Now that you’ve got the batch file working, you can set it up to run on schedule by placing it on your task scheduler. Don’t forget to place your newly created batch file into a permanent folder like your “documents”.

Type in “task scheduler” into your windows search box.

Create a basic task

Give your task a name and description

Set the schedule date and frequency.

Pick the day of the week that you want your batch file to run

Select “Start a Program”

Use the “browse” button to find and select the batch file

Click on the finish button and close the program.

Assuming you completed the steps successfully; you would have setup your batch file to maintain your computer automatically.

A minor annoyance with this method is that the batch file will popup and may distract you when it’s on schedule. To remedy that, we can create a shortcut to the batch file, and use that as the primary file in the task scheduler. To create a shortcut, right click on your batch file and select “create shortcut”. Right click on the shortcut and select “properties”, select the “shortcut” tab, change the drop down menu under “run”, from “normal window” to “minimized” and click “ok” to complete the process. This will force the shortcut to run while minimized.

This guide does not include other necessities in PC security such as an anti-virus and firewall; there are numerous programs that offer those services for free with built in automation. If you are curious about my preference of those applications; I use Avast anti-virus and the built in windows firewall.

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Written by uche

June 22, 2008 at 10:19 pm

how to: Force Firefox 3 to work on outdated websites.

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Firefox 3 was released recently and I am sure you have run into a few websites that refuse to work properly on it. You can work around that by tricking the website into thinking you are on firefox 2.0.

Here’s how:

  1. Type about:config into your address bar
  2. You should see a webpage warning you of the dangers of altering those files. Click on “I’ll be careful, I promise!” to continue.
  3. Type in useragent into the filter bar.
  4. Select the line that shows: general.useragent.extra.firefox;Firefox/3.0
  5. Double click on Firefox/3.0 and change the value to Firefox/2.0
  6. Close the tab once you are done.

Although this trick works on websites that do not load on Firefox 3.0, it will not work on others that require Microsoft Active X.

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Written by uche

June 22, 2008 at 8:45 pm

Posted in how to

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