Hassle-Free PC: Use a Sneaky Signature to Reduce Spam

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Tool of the Month: A Cool, Free, and Geeky Diagnostic

tool of the month

Programs running in the background can slow your PC--and may even signal the presence of malware on your machine. To find out what kind of load your PC is carrying, try Silent Runners, a handy little tool (actually, a Visual Basic Script) that looks at all the programs, add-ons, and other things that start when you boot Windows. The utility reports analysis results--the program's name, its Registry entry, and its hard-drive location--in a text file. Then you can use the Process Library to look up suspect entries. Your firewall, antispyware, or antivirus program may whine (as it should) because of the .vbs extension. But ignore the warning and don't worry: Silent Runners is safe to use.

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