Screen Captures are helpful

Posted: January 3, 2011 in Musings, Technology
Tags: , , ,

PC maintenance is my religion. Aside from the inbuilt error-checking and disk defragmentation program found in every PC, I also have a third-party maintenance software installed for the general upkeep of my precious desktop computer. On that note, another tip I would like to share with you is a basic way to somehow preserve the stability of your PC and keep it nearly virus-free. 

Let me first share my experience on why this tip can be useful. I was online one time a few years ago. During my connection I noticed that my anti-virus software kept turning off. I suspected that I might’ve had a malicious program silently downloaded and installed into my computer (which my AV software failed to detect that time), while I was still connected. I went offline and opened my Task Manager. Since I was already aware of the total number of processes I’ve had, I was startled to find a new unknown application that didn’t belong to my list of valid processes. That’s when I knew that my computer was infected. I searched for the location of the suspicious file, which had a graffito-ish icon next to it when I found it. I deleted it post-haste. When I logged back on, my AV software didn’t act weird anymore. 

Back when I was still using an older version of Windows, I used to hit the Print Screen (Prt Scr) button on my keyboard a lot. The practicality of this button is still untapped. But the most useful function of this button—I personally found out—is actually to “record” or screen-capture the list of valid processes on your Task Manager. Here’s to expound on this statement:

A screen shot of my Task Manager


Say you have a brand-new computer, and you know it’s still devoid of those nasty malware software. What you could do is open your Task Manager (it instantly shows the Processes tab) and take a screen shot of all the processes running in the background (don’t forget to click ‘Show processes from all users’). This way you sort of have an instant log of all your valid processes, without having to jot or type it in a spreadsheet software to list it, which saves you time. Save your screenshot and voila, you’re done! 

And you can easily update this virtual log. With the Task Manager already open, run a newly installed software that you know to be clean, then press that magical button again. Of course, you may need to take more than one screenshot, if you have a lot of processes running and you need to scroll further down from within the Task Manger window. Take note of the total number of processes, too. 

Now, with your log complete, you can take a look-see; and if the next time you see a questionable process not listed on your Task Manager, disconnect from the internet, terminate the process, search & destroy (or delete) the file in question, and as a safety precaution scan your computer for viruses (make sure your AV is updated, though). 

Note: I came up with this tip for you to familiarize yourselves and have a reference and understanding of the valid processes running in the background of your PC.

Another note: I use the term valid to mean and ascribe to those processes that are inherent to your Operating System (which are trusted), and those processes and applications that you allow to run on your computer.

Final note: Be sure that you are 100% certain of the process/es you’re about to terminate. I can’t be held liable in case your system goes haywire.


Hope this helps. 🙂


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