Last week I went to a networking meeting where I met a young lady who’s husband runs Legion Skateboards down in Payson, UT. She started telling me of a Virus she got on her computer. I listened to her talk and chuckled as I did knowing that the problem wasn’t as horrible as she made it out to be, but during the struggle it always seems monumental.
So I thought I would let you … my loyal email subscribers … see a little about what I do to help out those with these struggles. Just so you know, this trick will only work on Windows machines. There is a misconception in the world that Apple Computers don’t get viruses. THIS IS NOT TRUE There are security issues and threats attacking Macs out there in the world. Please make sure you get a virus scanner to protect your machines. Whether it be AVG, Microsoft Essentials or another program you love to use … make sure you install something to protect your computer.
So here is the trick:
When possible keep Windows Task Manager open to see the resources your computer is using.
What is Windows Task Manager? It is a process monitor that tells you what processes, applications and little thingys are running on your computer. It also shows how much CPU (Central Processing Unit) usage is running at any given moment. It’s a great tool to show what is happening on your computer.
How do I get to it, Enoch? Well thank you for asking voice in my head who sounds like me. There are a couple of ways. Let me spell those out for you:
1. <Right Click> on the Windows Task bar and select Start Task Manager
2. Press <Windows Key> + <R> and then type TaskMgr
3. or there is my favorite, because it can be done on one hand without typing … Press <CTRL> + <SHIFT> + <ESC>
Now when the application comes up you can see what is running on your computer. For those with newer OS (i.e. Vista or Windows 7) you may see a button on the bottom of the application that says Show processes from all users. I suggest to click on this button so you can see the full version of what is happening.
For the most part this is a huge mess of processes and applications. Sometimes things make sense (like Outlook.exe) while other applications may not make sense (like SVCHost.exe). Each of these “processes” are running on your computer and taking up valuable resources. If your computer is running slow you can see what is happening to check what is hogging everything. Windows Task Manager is a powerful tool to help you discover what is running on your system.
Ok, Enoch, now I see these things … what do I do with it? I’m glad you asked again voice in my head. Some of these processes are things you can turn off through Windows Services, others require you to look in the Windows Startup Directory, while other will require using the Registry Editor to find the solution.
Here is what I’ll do to help you out. If you take screen shots of each pane on your Windows Task Manager and email them to me, I will give you a quick assessment of what you’re running and what you can close. But here is the catch … I will only do this for the first 10 people who respond to this email with screenshots (preferably <ALT> + <PrntScrn> screenshots and not full Screenshots).
For the remainder of you who don’t take me up on this offer, but still want to know what to do … each of these processes are running on your machine because they were started on your machine. Somewhere in the OS there is a command to start these processes. Digging into your OS can be difficult, but with the next couple emails I’ll let you know where to go and how to look for things.
For now … keep the Windows Task Manager running to check what is happening on those machines. It’s a great first step to optimizing your Windows Machine! And it’s fun to watch it go up and down in your icon tray. 🙂