By Nuo Yan
I’ve been a Windows OneCare Beta tester for several weeks but never had enough time to write an article about this amazing system protection and optimization software. Today, when I finished the latest survey I decided to spend some time to write this article to introduce Windows OneCare.
Note: The version of Windows OneCare mentioned in this article is the 0.6.0692.42 build. The features may subject to change in the future versions.
As a beta tester, I installed Windows OneCare through Microsoft BetaPlace. The whole process is web-based on a web site called Windows OneCare live. I have specially set up a new Windows XP Professional with Service Pack 2 Virtual PC for the Windows OneCare test. Before I install Windows OneCare, the Windows XP security center detected I didn’t install any anti-virus product, as I showed in figure 1.
Then I logged in to the web site and began the installation. Figure 2 shows the web page.
Click on “Start Setup Now”, and the installation web will check the system and settings. If the system or settings don’t meet the requirement, the setup cannot be continued. Figure 3 shows the web page asking the user to perform system and settings check.
Click “Continue”, it will perform the check and either guide the user to quit setup or to finish downloading and installation.
Using Windows OneCare
After downloading and finishing the web-based installation wizard, the computer needs to be rebooted to complete the installation. Then we could see the Windows OneCare icon in the System Tray area. Double click it, then we could see its interface (Figure 4).
Clearly, its 3 most useful features are listed in the main interface. “Protection Plus” can be used to scan for virus; “Performance Plus” can be used to run a series of tasks including scanning virus, backing up files, defragmenting disk, and cleaning unnecessary files; “Backup and Restore” is tool for backing up files to a CD or DVD.
Let’s have a look at each function. By clicking “Scan for virus” link under “Protection Plus”, we could scan for virus on the computer. Figure 5 shows the Windows OneCare Antivirus dialog box. This is used for selecting what disks, folders or files the user wants to scan.
After selection, click “Scan”. The Antivirus program will begin the scanning process, as figure 6 shows.
When it finishes scanning, it will generate a report and show a abstract on the dialog box (Figure 7). Click “Show Details” button it will show you the entire report.
Let’s return to the main interface and try the “Performance Plus”. Click “Run Tune-up”, the “Windows OneCare Tune-up” dialog box will do the entire work automatically (Figure 8).
We could always “Close” the dialog box; however, closing it doesn’t mean stopping the tune-up. We should click “Cancel Tune-up” if we want to stop it.
As we could see the second step of the “tune-up” is to check the files in the computer that needing backup. You may still remember I mentioned we are only able to back up files to a CD or DVD by using Windows OneCare. As in this case I’m running Windows OneCare in a Virtual PC, I don’t have a CD or DVD burner. Windows OneCare knows that. So it tells me I don’t have a burner and need to turn off the backup feature (Figure 9).
As same as the antivirus feature, when it finishes the tune-up process, it will generate a detailed report. Let’s click “View Report” (Figure 10) to take a look at the report (Figure 11).
I can’t show you the back up feature because I don’t a CD burner in the Virtual PC. What I can show at this time, is some settings of Windows OneCare.
Windows OneCare Settings
Windows OneCare is extremely easy to use. Even in the “Settings” part, I believe every end user would be able to deal with the settings of Windows OneCare without learning much. From the main interface, click “View and Change Settings” link on the left side of the window. The “Windows OneCare Settings” dialog box has 5 tabs. The first tab is for setting automatic tune-up. I recommend keeping the default settings to let Windows OneCare tune-up the computer automatically once each week. However, we could choose any time we’d like to make this happen. I also recommend selecting “Include hard disk cleanup in Tune-up.” Then it will automatically delete those unnecessary temporary files. Figure 12 shows the “Tune-up” tab.
The second tab is “Backup”. This is for Windows OneCare to remind the user when there’re new files need to be backed up. Figure 13 shows the “Backup” tab.
The third tab is “Antivirus”. By enabling the antivirus feature, we could use Windows OneCare to scan virus and monitor virus. I strongly recommend enabling the antivirus part of Windows OneCare. It’s also one of the key features Windows OneCare offers.
The fourth tab named “Firewall”. Amazing? Yes! Windows OneCare includes a full functioning firewall! Now, you may think Windows XP Service Pack 2 already has its built-in firewall, so only one can be used. Really? No! Let’s keep the original Windows Firewall enabled, and then enable the Windows OneCare firewall in the “firewall” tab (Figure 15).
Then click “Start”, click “Control Panel” and then click “Security Center”. Expand the Firewall option and we could see the most amazing things. Figure 16 shows how amazing it is.
As we can see, “Windows OneCare Firewall is currently ON…” Yes, and I think I needn’t say anything more.
Let’s return to the Windows OneCare Settings. The last tab is “Log” (Figure 17). If we enable logging, it will log any action Windows OneCare performs. This would be good for future troubleshooting.
Well, this is Windows OneCare. I think it’s a very powerful and easy to use system protection product. As same as what you may think, I’m looking forward to seeing the next versions of it. I will introduce the differences and additional features in the future versions of this software on my blog once I have tested it. Hope you will like.