Dale Dietrich
friedman: always supply your comparative advantage
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Give your PC a Check-up with Microsoft’s PC Advisor

Categories: small officeutilitiesvistawindows xp
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Microsoft PC AdvisorHere’s another Paul Thurrott tip from the Windows Weekly 81 podcast (also discussed on his blog here).

Microsoft’s free PC Advisor (download here) falls into the ‘does no harm and just might help’ category. I would recommend it to friends and family who find their computer is having problems. Hey, it can’t hurt.

I downloaded it (here) and installed it all of my Vista 64 and XP machines. I run a pretty tight ship so I wasn’t expecting much. As you can see from the pictures below, it recommended I take certain actions to speed up my PC, clean things up, update software etc.

I opted to let it do many of recommended actions (click the ‘fix it’ button to take action) but not others. For example, I let it remove temporary cache files but didn’t let it enable UAC or turn on the software firewall, each of which I had deliberately disabled.

Ironically, the best recommendation it made for my XP laptop was to remind me that the abysmal Adobe Acrobat bloatware was still installed. It recommended an update. Having previously moved to the much lighter, faster, terrific and free pdf reader Foxit Reader, I removed Acrobat completely.

How to Use PC Advisor

  • Create a System Restore Point: As a rule I always create a system restore point before downloading/installing any new software so that I can recover to my previous state if something goes wrong.
  • Download the PC Advisor: You can download PC Advisor by clicking here.
  • Install and Run
  • Choose the PC Checkup Option: Your computer will be scanned as shown below (click picture for larger view).

Microsoft PC Advisor - Performing a Checkup Screen PC Advisor Performing a Checkup
(click for larger view)

  • View the Report & Take Action: You’ll get a list of suggested actions. Clicking on any item opens up a more detailed description and provides the “Fix It” button for you to click if you want the software to take the suggested action.

Microsoft PC Advisor - PC Checkup Results Screen on XP Laptop - Adobe Acrobat Warning

PC Advisor Results / ‘Fix It’ Screen
(click for larger view)

  • Adjust the Settings: The default installation setting loads PC Advisor whenever your PC starts. That could be good for people that frequently have problems and want constant scanning. I prefer to run scans periodically rather than constantly running and chewing up cycles. To adjust the utility’s settings, right click on it’s icon in the task bar, then left click on the “Microsoft PC Advisor Settings” option to open the settings screen shown below.

Microsoft PC Advisor - Settings Screen

PC Advisor Settings Screen
(click for larger view)

Adjust the settings to your preference and click ‘Apply’.

I hope you find the utility useful.

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  • Laurie

    It sure checks pc fast Dale like spy bot did and the easy fix butons good for pc dumies or learning curve challenged lieke me. Gret web blog Dale .

  • Don Hicks

    great Blog Dale (as usual) :)

  • Steve

    Dare we compare the software footprints?

    Adobe Reader – 204 .00 MB
    Foxit Reader – 7.54 MB

    Who wins? It’s not even a fair contest :-)