The Explorer: System Setup Secrets Updated for 2001

Fred's newest PC forced him to modify his time-tested ''system setup secrets''. Here's the scoop!

Fred Langa, Contributor

July 22, 2003

2 Min Read

Step 11: With the growth of the Internet and the proliferation of always-on network connections, online security has become incredibly important. The advice originally offered in Step 11 is valid, as far as it goes, but today's online environment demands more: Our "Secure Your PC Online" series will help you plug all the holes, and make your new PC as safe as can be.

Step 12 -- 15: No change.

Step 16: This change is occasioned by the fact that some OSes in widespread use -- to a degree Win98, and especially Win95 -- are getting long in the tooth. Older applications written specifically for those OSes may ship with older system components that may destabilize a newer OS if you let them overwrite new system files with the old ones.

So, if possible, install your applications, plus any software updates and patches for those applications, in the approximate chronological order of their initial release. By itself, this will help minimize the changes of destructive overwriting, but to be sure, use the System File Checker (from Step 9) to ensure that your older applications haven't downgraded your new setup in any way.

Also, check the advice in our series on "Resource Leaks" to ensure you're not hobbling your new system with "leaky" old software.

Step 17 -- 20: No changes.

Of course, there are other OS-specific steps that you may opt for: For example, in WinME, you may choose either to reduce the amount of space reserved for System Restore files, or you might prefer (as I do) to completely disable the System Restore function. But OS-specific steps like these are outside the 20 general setup steps outlined in the original System Setup Secrets article (and refined above), so we'll leave them for another time. For now: What tricks or techniques do you use? What tips can you share? What steps do you take to keep your system running smoothly? Join in the Discussion! To discuss this column with other readers, please visit Fred Langa's forum on the Listening Post. To find out more about Fred Langa, please visit his page on the Listening Post.

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