Preparing Your Computer for Folding

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Preparing Your Computer for Folding (Difficulty: Very Easy)
Most PCs are not ready for prime-time when it comes to maximizing folding production. Various programs and settings can either slow Folding at Home to a crawl or stop it from working altogether. Follow these simple steps to keep Folding at Home humming along.

a) Disable Your Screen Saver, System Standby, and Hibernation.
First and foremost on the checklist for prepping your system is to disable any screen saver. In the best case scenario, all screen savers use CPU resources that would otherwise be utilized by Folding at Home. To prevent monitor burn-in and conserve energy, use your computer's power management options and have Windows automatically turn off your monitor after 20 or 30 minutes of inactivity. To do this, Right Click on any empty area of your desktop, select Properties. Hit the Screen Saver Tab and make sure it says (None) (don't use "Blank Screen"). Then, hit the Power button, and use the Turn off monitor pull-down menu and select a 20 or 30 minute inactivity period.
While you're in the Power Scheme window, make sure that System Standby is set to Never. A computer that's in standby mode will not fold.
Finally, if you see a Hibernate tab, click it and make sure to uncheck Enable hibernate support. As is the case with system standby, a system that's in Hibernation will not fold.

b) Get rid of spyware!
Not only is spyware bad for anyone who values privacy, but spyware steals CPU cycles that should be folding proteins! Rid your computer of spyware with either PepiMK's Spybot Search & Destroy or Lavasoft's Ad-aware.

Spybot S&D: http://spybot.safer-networking.de/
Ad-aware: http://www.lavasoftusa.com

c) Destroy all Viruses
This should be a no-brainer, but viruses happen. Clearly if your processor is spending its time reproducing an e-mail worm, deleting your files, or otherwise wrecking havoc with your system, it's not folding! Do yourself and the world a favor and keep your system free of viruses by running antivirus software and doing system scans and virus definition file updates every week.