OneCare does more than you may think

A few weeks back I blogged about the new version of Windows Live OneCare. We can argue the toss (lets not though) about its merits in the field of security but as  dug deeper I noticed some intersting additions under the Proactive Fixes and Recommendations section. I'm normally pretty skeptical about software "tweaking" my system for me but I spend a lot of time doing this for friends and family. Increasingly I'm thinking of pointing them to install the 90 day trial of OneCare to save myself the hassle. Here are some features I was pleased to see in the (long) list with a few personal favourites bolded.

  • Turns on Internet Explorer 7 pop-up blocker.
  • Adjusts Internet Explorer security and privacy settings to default levels of Medium High. (No action is taken if current level is higher than default.)
  • Restores Internet Explorer host file (to prevent browser hijacking).
  • Deactivates remote registry service, which enables remote users to change registry settings on a computer. (This service is turned off in Windows Vista by default. OneCare turns it off in Windows XP as well.)
  • Removes broken entries from Startup.
  • Limits Internet Explorer cache size for broadband connections. (For broadband connections, it is often faster to fetch content from a Web site than to search through a large local cache.)
  • Enables and/or optimizes the size of virtual memory. (Virtual memory is enabled, if disabled, and size is set based on amount of RAM and available disk space.)
  • Clears failed jobs in printer queue.
  • Restores printer spooling.
  • Prevents installation failures on 32-bit systems due to 64-bit flag set by some installers.
  • Turns on User Account Control (UAC) installation detection for Windows Vista. (When enabled, this feature prompts the user for consent or credentials when Windows Vista detects an installer. If disabled, applications may fail silently or in a nondeterministic manner.)
  • Examines Winsock DLL and restores if missing or corrupted.
  • Enables transport layer security (TLS) and secure sockets layer (SSL) protocols (e.g., Windows Live Messenger may not work).
  • Restores XPS and WPF document-viewing capability.
  • Sets a screen saver to prevent monitor burn-in.
  • Enables System Restore.

What I like about OneCare is it's striving to go beyond other security suites by addressing PC performance issues. In light of bad press around Vista, this isn't a bad thing.

Comments (4)
  1. Ryan Walters says:

    I just wish there were a way to disable some of these enhancements. For example, I run without a screen saver — I’d rather have my monitor save energy and go to sleep. And I prefer to have Windows download automatic updates but not install them until I say so; otherwise I end up in a situation where I resume my computer in the morning and it immediately restarts to install updates (and too frequently).

  2. stevecla01 says:

    Ryan – useful input. I’ll send back to the Onecare team

    on updates, Vista provides the option to download but not install updates but does OneCare override this?



  3. I would of expected some of this to be part of XP/Vista, but anyway will take another look at OneCare.


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