Health Check my laptop
September 10, 2011 7:37 AM   Subscribe

The Pre-School my son attends has had a used laptop donated to it. The person who donated it has said that they've wiped the drive and done a clean install of Windows onto it. Any tips for doing a quick "Health Check" of the laptop before we let it into the wild.
posted by lloyder to Computers & Internet (7 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
To check for malware:
* ms security essentials (antivirus)
* Malwarebytes (malware)
* TDSSKiller (rootkits)
* Autoruns to look for any code that autostarts

To check the hardware:
* Use windows built-in tool to scan the hard disk drive

* If you want to check the RAM, use Memtest
posted by Foci for Analysis at 7:49 AM on September 10, 2011

In my opinion you should always start with a clean slate -- that is, with an OS you obtain and install yourself, rather than an OS from an unknown source. There is too much of a risk of rootkits, loggers, and other issues with systems from unknown sources, and occasionally the OS comes from questionable torrents. Antivirus tools are just that: tools, and won't necessarily uncover all problems.
posted by crapmatic at 7:56 AM on September 10, 2011 [2 favorites]

Yes, wipe it and install the OS yourself. It's the only way to be sure.
posted by Chocolate Pickle at 8:00 AM on September 10, 2011 [2 favorites]

Best answer: Deezil's profile! Samsara's profile!

They advice in both seems great. But I'm with crapmatic in liking the idea of a clean install. Quite apart from the peace of mind involved, if it's done by someone who'll continue to be involved with the computer in question, they have the opportunity to continue maintaining the installation, and that's a good thing.
posted by Ahab at 8:02 AM on September 10, 2011 [6 favorites]

Uninstall any bloatware that came with the OS, like AOL.
posted by radioamy at 8:37 AM on September 10, 2011

How credible is the donator? If the person has experience in IT, it's probably fine. Add Ccleaner to foci's list. In a pre-school, how will you use this? If it's not connected to the Internet, it's pretty safe.
posted by theora55 at 12:34 PM on September 10, 2011

Response by poster: Hi, thanks for the advice. Loathe to do a completely clean install unless completely required. Gonna have a read through the details on Deezil & Samsara's profiles.
posted by lloyder at 1:00 AM on September 11, 2011

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