I just fixed Erin's mom's computer, as Internet Explorer was crashing as soon as it was opened. Erin posted a request for help a month or so ago. Can't believe no one took her up on it. I mean, free dinner with a hot chick, just for fixing a computer?
fixing it was easy. 90% of the time when someone complains to me their computer is all fuckered up, a couple of simple things will clear all the crap up.
- Go to Sysinternals and pick up a copy of Autoruns. Just a little utility program that lets you see what runs when your computer starts up (Windows only, that is). Delete most of the crap that starts up. Though you may want to get the help of someone knowledgeable but most items don't need to run whenever the computer starts. AOL Tray Icon? Kill it. RealPlayer? Kill it. Weatherbug? Kill it.
- Go to Control Panel→Add or Remove Programs. Uninstall all the crap. Comet Cursor? Uninstall. Weather bug? Uninstall. CNet downloader? Uninstall. MJuice player? Uninstall. Screensavers? Uninstall. If it's something you use, keep it. But if it's something you don't use, or if it's something that is just cool, uninstall. Pretty much anything you downloaded off the net to manage your passwords or to give you some toolbar in I.E., or to download some music or to play some cheesy game, uninstall it. Again, ask for help from a knowledgeable person. But usually quite a bit of crap can be removed safely.
- Got to Lavasoft and get Ad-aware. Install it and run it. Update the signature file. Then scan. Remove pretty much everything it comes up with. This gets rid of a lot of
secretbrowser add ins that monitor your behavior for various nefarious purposes (though most are just to give you more crappy ads). In the case of the computer I fixed tonight, this did the trick and I.E. no longer crashed every time. I suspect two ad-ware pieces were conflicting every time I.E. was loaded.
There's other things you can do if the problems are more severe. But these basic steps will speed up your computer as well as fix a bunch of crashing problems. Without having as much loaded at any time, more of your computer's power is available for use by the apps you want. Like AOL Instant Messenger. Or your porn collection.
This has been a public service announcement. For future reference, I don't fix computers unless a) you fix me a homemade dinner, or b) you're cute and I harbor dreams of sleeping with you. I know my real chances on b, so either make it convincing or fix me dinner. (Erin wasn't very convincing, so she made me dinner instead. Tasty salmon, green beans, and baked potato.)