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Looking for a tool to manage all maintenance work on my PC

So I guess these questions are a little basic for this form, so sorry to come across as a fool! I've been using mac's for most of my life, I do a lot of software development on the mac side, and am currently getting my Batchlers in Computer Science. So to say I'm fairly comfortable with a computer is correct.

As of lately I've been wanting to get a PC for higherend processing and some gaming when I can squeeze it in. So with the help of my brother-in-law we built a computer (See specs at the bottom of this message)

I've worked with PC's through school, and on my mac I run XP under bootcamp for when I need to use Visual Studio or what have you. However now having a full PC system with Windows 7 Home Edition loaded up, I'm a little scared to come out of my bubble. That brings me to a few basic questions or wisdom!

1) Anti-Virus protection: Currently I'm using AVG Anti-Virus Free edition. Is this enough protection? Should I be worried about Ad-Ware, or spyware? I don't plan to use the internet a whole lot, besides online gaming and surfing thats really about it. I'll still use my MacBookPro for most other things.

2) Keeping the system updated, I understand there are automatic updates, and I've set it up to automattically install them, however what about drivers? Does windows manage that? Or should I be running checks on specific hardware elements now and again?

3) Defragging, is this still needed to be done within Windows 7? If so, how often and what tools would be of best use?

4) Any other helpful advise that I should be aware of!

I'm running Windows 7 Home on a high-end system

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marked as duplicate by Sathya, Ivo Flipse Aug 12 '10 at 17:34

This question has been asked before and already has an answer. If those answers do not fully address your question, please ask a new question.

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much more concise than my answer lol! –  Tim Alexander Aug 12 '10 at 17:19
    
Thanks for the links! Tim, any answer is a good answer :) thanks! –  cdnicoll Aug 12 '10 at 17:24
    
The last link of Sathya looks pretty good to read through. My answer seems to complement Tim Alexander's answer so I would suggest you to read both... Feel free to accept his, he went into detail. :-) –  Tom Wijsman Aug 12 '10 at 17:26
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2 Answers 2

Will try and answer as best I can:

1) AVG should be fine for viruses. I would recommend having something like SpyBot Search and Destroy or AdAware just in case you do stumble across something on the internet but I am sure people will argue the other way.

2)Windows will manage some drivers but only those that have gone through the certification process at Microsoft (I believe). This is expensive so not every vendor will do so. If gaming is your bag then certainly video drivers are better updated manually I have found.

3) As of Vista this is supposed be done in the background automatically. Depending on how much thrashing you give your disk then it should be able to sort itself out. You can still access the defrag tool through the start menu. Normally used to run it about once a month on XP but have had my win7 install for 6 months now and have noticed no change in performance (ignorance is bliss).

4) Nothing yet but will get back to you if anything burning leaps out at me!

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Anti-Virus protection: Currently I'm using AVG Anti-Virus Free edition. Is this enough protection? Should I be worried about Ad-Ware, or spyware? I don't plan to use the internet a whole lot, besides online gaming and surfing thats really about it. I'll still use my MacBookPro for most other things.

Having multiple anti-virus software is bad, so just AVG Anti-Virus Free Edition is fine.

You seem to have a 64 bit OS which is also a good step towards being protected...

For Adware and Spyware you can do a scan with MBAM now and then.

Keeping the system updated, I understand there are automatic updates, and I've set it up to automattically install them, however what about drivers? Does windows manage that? Or should I be running checks on specific hardware elements now and again?

Automatically, no, but they are available as optional updates.

Checking for the latest drivers on the internet a few times a year is fine enough...

Defragging, is this still needed to be done within Windows 7?
If so, how often and what tools would be of best use?

This is subjective, I can only recommend you MyDefrag.

Any other helpful advise that I should be aware of!

You can always come to Super User for good advice on computer hardware and software.

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Am interested about your comment on 64bit being a good step towards being protected. How is this? (Tone is always difficult to convey but I assure you I am interested to know as I have not heard this angle before). –  Tim Alexander Aug 13 '10 at 7:24
    
See the Security Features section of winsupersite.com/showcase/winvista_ff_x64.asp. This disallows all those nasty viruses and rootkits that work themself into the system to do their job, a virus thus would have to take the UAC elevation way to be able to schedule itself for running each boot. –  Tom Wijsman Aug 14 '10 at 9:26
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