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Keeping your Win7 machine clean and up-to-date

Software updates

Symantec Endpoint Protection

Only the virus definitions are updated automatically!

And there is NO automatic complete scan of the computer…
  • To perform a complete update, click on the Symantec shield icon in the right part of the taskbar, and the click on LiveUpdate
  • You can also click on Rechercher les menaces and then start a quick Active Scan or an Analyse complète
  • Adding an automatic complete scan: TODO

Computer updates

Updating Windows

All the Windows updating settings are available from
Start ⇒ Control Panel ⇒ System & Security ⇒ Windows Update

Click on Change parameters to select how and when Windows should be updated and select:

  • Mises à jour importantes: read the warning below
  • Enable Mises à jour recommandées, Qui peut installer les mises à jour, Microsoft Update and Afficher des notifications détaillées
If you use putty, cygwin/X or other applications that may remain open a long time (e.g during the night, weekend, etc…) make sure to select Télécharger les mises à jour mais me laisser choisir s'il convient de les installer instead of the default Installer les mises à jour automatiquement

With a full automatic update, Windows will automatically restart your computer (if required) after an update, which will kill the open connections…

Dell specific updates

Start ⇒ All programs ⇒ Dell ⇒ Dell Client System Update or Dell Command Update

  • Choose to set up things manually
    • Download the files to a scratch directory: <disk>:\Scratch\<your_login>\Dell_System_Update
    • Check for updates every week (eg Saturday at noon) and just notify the user about new available updates
  • Start a manual check from the first screen

HP specific updates


Cleaning the computer

Using the Disk Cleanup tool

  • Right-click on the C: disk and select Properties
  • Disk cleanup ⇒ Clean system files
    1. Other options ⇒ Clean restoration files
    2. Select the file types you want to clean, and then OK

Removing the user's temporary files

Note: temporary files created by Windows (attachments opened when clicking in Thunderbird, etc…)

  • Go to C:\Users\jypeter\AppData\Local\Temp
  • Delete the files (it will not be possible to remove the files/folders that are currently being used by the system)

Cleaning the Firefox cache

Go to Tools ⇒ Options ⇒ Advanced ⇒ Network and click on Clear Now

Cleaning the Internet Explorer cache

Go to Start ⇒ Configuration Panel ⇒ Network and Internet ⇒ Internet Options ⇒ General ⇒ Navigation history ⇒ Delete and then select what you want to remove

Cleaning the Java cache

  • Start ⇒ Control Panel ⇒ Programs ⇒ Java ⇒ General
  • In the Internet temporary files section, Clear the cache by clicking on Parameters…⇒ Remove files
  • Note: it's also a good idea to reduce the maximum size allowed for the cache!

Removing the hibernation file

If you are on a desktop and you don't use the hibernation, you can gain a few Gb on the C: partition by removing the hibernation file. See the appropriate tech note.

Cleaning some hidden Windows temporary files

Use with caution, only if you know what you are doing! You will need to use the Administrator/adminuser account

An easy way to determine the space used by the Window directories is to run a Cygwin shell as an administrator and execute:
du -sh /cygdrive/c/Windows/* | sort -rh

C:\Windows\Installer directory

The hidden C:\Windows\Installer directory can easily grow to more than 10 Gb, because Windows uses it for storing files it needs at installation/update/removal time. Unfortunately, some files that could be removed when they are not need anymore (orphan files) stay in this directory.

You can use the PatchCleaner utility to (re)move these orphan files. Rather than removing those files, you should move them to a disk partition other than C:\ (e.g. <some_disk>:\Scratch\<your_login>\PatchCleanerMovedInstallerFiles) and free a few Gb of disk space on C:\. More details...

C:\Windows\Temp and C:\Windows\Logs\CBS

in some cases, the C:\Windows\Logs\CBS directory may grow to several Gb, due to some log files rotation and compression problem. In that case, remove everything (that you can), except the latest file, CBS.log, and remove what you can in C:\Windows\Temp


It seems that Windows may need all the files in this directory. Don't touch it…

Cleaning the Start Up services

Use with caution, only if you know what you are doing! You will need to use the Administrator/adminuser account

Some programs may install start up services that you don't really need. Disabling these services may free some memory and decrease a bit the CPU usage…

  • Click on Start, then type msconfig in the search box and launch msconfig.exe
  • Go to the Services window, hide the Microsoft services, and uncheck the services that you know for sure you will not need

Backing up the computer

other/win7maintain.txt · Last modified: 2016/03/01 15:02 by jypeter