I read a question “Why does Windows require so much “hands-on” maintenance?” asked by a user on Cnet.com, and I have also read all 86 user comments, left as of November 14, 2015 10:51 a.m. Pacific Time. Though there are many informative comments offered on the internet, I am also careful about the merit of each comment with the thought that an emergency room medical doctor once expressed to me in a conversation at our gym; He said: Though the medical information on the internet is abundant, we don’t know where the information is really coming from. Going back to the question of “Why does Windows require so much “hands-on” maintenance?”, I actually feel that it is no longer a question for Windows 10 on most brand name computers (like Microsoft Surface Pro 3, Dell, HP that I have experience with). Microsoft Windows 10 takes care of its own maintenance from my experience of using Windows 10 from the Public beta version to the most current formal Windows 10 release.
My main computer is Apple MacBook Pro (early 2011 model) with operating systems from OS X 10.3 to current OS X 10.11. I have been installing my own computer operating systems on desktop and laptop computers since MS-DOS 5.0 as soon as the operating system is released. Microsoft Windows 10 has reached the intelligent level similar to Mac OS X that they could automatically troubleshoot issues and fix problems by themselves quickly with very little user’s interventions.
I quote a user’s comment with this subject line “I think one would find that Redmond has studied Linux….” by JCitizen dated November 13, 2015 7:33 PM PT for its being quite informative and similar to my thoughts. However, the following quoted JCitizen’s itemized suggestions sound overwhelming to a non-computer enthusiast, and seem justifying the question of ” … require so much “hands-on” maintenance?”; I believe that his suggestion #1 shall be sufficient for most Windows 10 users – thus Windows 10 remains to be a low-maintenance operating system (OS). The entire discussion could be found on this web page http://www.cnet.com/forums/discussions/why-does-windows-require-so-much-hands-on-maintenance/.
Quote from “I think one would find that Redmond has studied Linux….” by JCitizen:
I think one would find that Redmond has studied Linux and studied it closely. Many of the lessons learned were incorporated with Windows code on the new operating systems. Even the NT drive geometry for magnetic spinning type drives has changed for the 64 bit Windows, and improved security even more. Cross platform applications are becoming more of a reality because of this, which has improved the reliability and usefulness of Windows as things progress.
Let’s face it, Guys like Joe Sixpack and I just want things to work. More people can do more things with a Windows computer than any other platform. Are there problems – yes – anytime you can run such an operating system with such a wide variety of applications and hardware it is going to have an underlying complexity that will raise its ugly head occasionally. Folks are discovering things like this with Android on smart phones, so there is some similarity in the two this way.
Unfortunately because of the popularity of the Windows platform and the ubiquitous use of Adobe Reader, Flash, and Java on the PC, there can be many vulnerabilities that make Windows a target. I have this basic advice for keeping Windows running relatively trouble free, but it will take some minor leg work.
1. At least turn on Windows Defender – I mean the one that has anti-virius as well as anti-malware.
2. Create a limited user account and stick to it for daily operation. Only go to the Administrative account when installing updates and applications.
3. Keep all applications up to date. 3rd Party Browsers are pretty good at doing this automatically now. and also their extensions.
4. Install File Hippo Application Manager to watch your applications for updates.
5. Install Secunia PSI as soon as it is listed to work on the new operating systems, if not already. Secunia will pop up and let you know you are behind on updates, even on the limited account. I haven’t seen how well this works on Win8.1 or Win10 yet., but it will prevent drive by take overs by malware looking for vulnerabilities.
6. Set up schedules for auto scanning by your AV and AM solutions, or at least do it manually, once a week from a 3rd party scanner (see CNET user reviews)
7. Use NoScript, AdBlock Plus, or ScriptSafe for 3rd Party Browsers to block infections from happening in the 1st place – a good free host file can help block malicious servers as well. See CNET user reviews for SpywareBlaster or equivalent.
8. Run the system file cleaner at least once a day or try something like CCleaner which can get rid of LSOs and Zombie files that can slow down your computer by robbing you of band width.
9. Normally I’d recommend a good free HIPs like Commodo Firewall, or Online Armor – but for beginners the messages the HIPs tells you may be confusing – generally as long as it doesn’t pop up while you are on the limited account, and you are not installing anything you will rarely see anything – if you do, it is time to question whether the web site you are on, or the game you are playing online is safe. Close all programs but CCleaner and run it to make sure no resident Trojans or other malware are left in the app-data files.
If you can do without Adobe or Java products installed on the PC, this will reduce your maintenance worries quite a bit – but at least you will get automatic reminders if you do all the above, or sign up for email update reminders from CNET on your favorite applications.
Windows has done its own defragging since Vista, and I’ve never noticed an improvement from 3rd Party defrag utilities, or doing it manually the Windows way. Be sure and leave at least 14% free space on your drive to do this efficiently. If you check “Computer” and see a red area on the drive, you know there are too many files on the system.If you don’t use a solid state drive, it wouldn’t hurt to run a check disc once a year, as bare minimum – although I never have had to at all myself, and still have very good run times. Though anytime you have to do a recovery from backup, or other major disaster, it is time to do this also .
If all you do is watch YouTube videos, surf the web, and email on a computer, perhaps it is time to look at Apple or Linux – but I’ve not seen either of them to be totally maintenance free. My brother is a Mac head and I see him working with that on his machines regularly.