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new user needs help w/ XP

Discussion in 'Tech Talk' started by Dyno, Nov 27, 2004.

  1. Dyno


    Oct 11, 2002
    Hi GT'ers,
    I know very little about Xp and need some help to get going safely.
    This computer is a new HP 720 I am trying to get it going for my grand-daughter. When I went online to start with I registered Norton AV and downloaded all available options,don't know if this was good or bad.

    #1 How do I turn off all running programs so I can make a copy of recovery dics ?

    #2 What do I need to turn off or on as a first time user ?

    #3 What do I need to do about firewall use ? This unit has Norton firewall disabled and I have heard that XP has one also.

    #4 If there is a question that I just don't know enough to ask please answer that too.

    Thanks , Dyno
  2. I think normally it says to turn off all running programs because if you don't ,it will.It just means if you are in the middle of something you should quit or finish first.The Norton firewall is more secure than the Windows XP firewall.Some firewall is better than no firewall though.Not all Norton AV include an additional firewall.If it has a Norton firewall then that version includes one.

  3. Egyas

    Egyas Troll Hater

    That's a pretty big question Dino. I'll throw a few things to you. Keep in mind that while this is my profession (I'm a System Administrator for MCI) this is still my opinion, and others will vary.

    1) If it is a new computer with Windows XP, it probably has service pack 2 installed. If not, go to the windows update site and download it. You can check by opening "My Computer" and selecting the "Help" menu, then "About Windows". look for a line containing "xpsp2" in small letters. This means you are running Service Pack 2 (even if the end of the like says Service Pack 1). For some reason, a known error in XP sometimes keeps that last line from updating.

    2) As long as the system has SP2 installed, leave Norton's firewall disabled. The XP firewall (built in to service pack 2) as actually pretty good, for a Micro$oft product.

    3) I ALWAYS disable the Messenger service. If she is going on-line, this will eliminate messenger-related pop-up spam. Don't worry, this isn't Micro$oft Messenger, it is just a system messaging service. You can do this by going to "Start - Control Panels - Services", finding "Messenger" and setting it to disabled.

    4) As to making copies of the recovery disks, do you mean the CD's that came with it? If so, you shouldn't need to turn things off. As long as the computer has disk coping software installed (Nero, Easy CD creator, etc) you can just pop it in, load the program, and copy the disk. The step-by-step directions vary from program to program.

    5) ALWAYS make sure that the virus scanner is up to date. Since I'm always connected (cable modem), I set my virus scanner to update itself every night at 4:00 AM (when I know I'll be in bed), and run a full system scan at 4:15 AM.

    6) Spy-ware removal software is also good. I'm cheep, so I use the free stuff. Adaware (from Lavasoft) and SpyBot, Search and Destroy. Both free, and they work well. Just run them one at a time.

    7) Regular defragmentation is a good idea as well. I set a scheduled task to run the defrag every morning at 5:30 AM. That way it is all ready to go by 6:00 - 6:30 AM. Of coarse, every person;s schedule varies.

    Hope that helps! Let me know if you need any more advice or have any questions. :)
  4. I think it has a Norton package or a back up program that recomends making back up disks of the system,not the CD's that came with the PC.It might be in the papers with the PC recomending making back up disks.Anyway I doubt you need to turn off anything.I am sure it means when the back up program is running it shuts down other programs.So they don't want you be in the middle of something else during the back up.
  5. Egyas

    Egyas Troll Hater

    If all you want is a system backup, than yopu can do that directly in Windows. Open "My Computer", right-click on "Local Drive C:", and choose "Properties". Then choose the "Tools" tab at the top, and click the "Backup Now" button. This will launch the backup wizard, and give you all sorts of options.

    Otherwise, I can't really offer any other advice on backup-utilities. The only one I use regulary is ArchServ (for servers any my network at home) and a few Linux-based ones.
  6. I see now,Norton Anti-Virus 2005 has a small firewall to protect against certain worms.
  7. Dyno


    Oct 11, 2002
    The norton pkg. that came with this new H P computer has a trial version of Norton 2004 anti virus and personal firewall. I'm using the antivirus and not the firewall at this time. I think that the XP firewall is active but not sure yet. Thanks for the help , I'm still up to my ears in XP and it will just take time.

    You are correct about that being a big question and thanks for the detailed help as I need it bigtime as I know just enough to reach up and touch the bottom at this point. H P computers don't come with a hard copy of the OS or any restore discs,however, they do say you can make your own copy and that is what I'm looking at doing. I will be trying some of your how to advice as this is a great learning experience for me.

    Thanks , Dyno
  8. Yeah I had a PC that came with a trial Norton package.They say Norton 2004 and 2005 must be removed with a uninstall tool on their website if you choose not to keep it.On a fast computer Norton is a good deal.They stay up to date and that's important with anti-virus.If the PC came with a CD or DVD writer,sometimes the software for them include a back up program.I got one with my HP CD writer and the program is available free of charge on their website.