Category Archives for Windows

17 Ways to Speedup Windows 7

Windows 7 is specially engineered for speed. It is built to be fast. Faster than any of its preceding Windows Operating Systems. While it may be faster than Windows Vista by a good sized margin, many users remain unsatisfied by the speed of Windows 7. Even with a fully updated hardware installation of Windows 7 you could still be longing for more speed. We aim to make your Windows 7 system run faster than you could remember it ever being.

If you are looking for a little extra speed and a performance, please follow through this guide to get Windows 7 to turbo speed! This guide can really get you the performance and speed up to where you want it.

First, you should be aware of the minimum requirements needed to operate on Windows 7:

1.) 1GHz processor (32- or 64-bit)

2.) 16GB of available disk space

3.) 1GB of main memory total

4.) A DVD – R/W drive

5.) Support for DX9 graphics with 128MB of memory

Actually, the DX9 graphics card is not necessity because it is more for appearance features rather than performance features.

Let’s get straight into the guide so you can speed up that Windows 7 computer!

1.  Disable Any Unneeded Visual Effects

  • To begin, right-click on the Computer icon on your Desktop and select “Properties” from the menu that appears
  • Select “Advanced System Settings” from the left pane to view the System Properties Window
  • Click the “Advanced” tab along the top of that window, then click “Settings” listed under “Performance”. Select “Custom:” options from there.
  • In that window uncheck all the options and make sure that only the last 4 options are checked.

– Optionally you could only leave the last choices checked

  • Lastly, log off of your system and log back in for changes to take effect

Turning off the aero effects in Windows 7 is a good start but you get even better results when you turn off many of the other unwanted visual effects.

2.  Turn off the User Account Control (UAC) Feature

  • Open the Control Panel and select “User Accounts and Family Safety” then “User Account”.
  • Select the User Account Control Settings link
  • Simply click-and-drag the slider until it reaches “Never Notify”
  • Click “OK” and restart your computer for changes to take effect

The UAC feature in Windows 7 is found annoying by many users especially those that are daily users of their computer.

3.  Disable Search Indexing Feature

  • Right-click the Computer icon on your Desktop and select “Manage” from the menu that appears
  • Select “Services and Applications” from the Computer Management Window and click “Services”
  • You will then see a list of services available – locate the Windows Search on that screen
  • Right-click “Windows Search” from that list and click “Properties”
  • The Windows Search Properties window will appear
  • Select “Disabled” from the drop-down menu for Startup Type
  • Click “Apply” and “OK”

Now the startup feature for Search Indexing in Windows 7 has been disabled.

The Windows 7 Search Indexing feature was created so that the computer would keep records of the files that have previously been searched so items can be located quicker the next time you search them. This feature is really only useful if search for things very frequently and need them searched as fast as possible on your system after repeatedly requesting a search on that item.

If you only occasionally perform a system search for files, downloads, etc. then the Search Index Feature, especially when selected to run at system startup can eat away at memory and system resources without you even knowing it’s running.

If you would like to disable the Search Indexing Feature all together in Windows 7 you can by setting the Search Indexing Service to “Manual”. That is along with following the above steps under Disable Search Indexing Feature.

4.  Disable Unwanted Services

A lot of the features and services offered with Windows 7 operating systems are not necessary for everyday use. There are some; however, that are necessary and not safe to be turned off or disabled. But things like the Print Spooler are only needed when printed a document or picture. This is something that you can safely turn off on a regular basis and then turn on when going to print something. Below are 10 more things in Windows 7 that you can safely disable.

  • Secondary Logon
  • Windows Error Reporting Service
  • Desktop Window Session Manager (leave on if you want aero effects)
  • TCP/IP NetBIOS Helper
  • Distributing Link Tracking Client
  • Offline Files
  • Diagnostic Policy Service
  • Protected Storage
  • IP Helper
  • Application Experience

Without these always running you can really improve the speed on your Windows 7 system.

5.  Set Up the Ready Boost Service

  • You will need a USB/Highspeed Flash/Pendrive that is Ready Boost compatible in order to configure the Ready Boost feature.
  • After inserting the  USB/Highspeed Flash/Pendrive open it by going to Computer and right-click it and select “Ready Boost” from the options
  • Check the “Use this Device” checkbox.
  • You can choose how much space on your  USB/Highspeed Flash/Pendrive you would like used as RAM

Windows 7 offers the Ready Boost feature so that you can use your  USB/Highspeed Flash/Pendrive as extra RAM. This one step improves the speed and performance by a good margin.

6.  Disable the Sidebar

  • Right-click on the sidebar and click “Properties” from the menu
  • When the Properties window appears uncheck the box that says “Start Sidebar when Windows Starts”

Now the sidebar will not appear when you start your computer or log in to Windows. Disabling this feature will not only make your computer run faster in general but it will get you to a fast startup.

7.  Turn off the Thumbnail Preview Feature

  • Open your Computer and select the “Organize” drop-down menu to select “Folder and Search Options”
  • In the Files and Folders section select the View tab and check the box showing “Always Show Icons, Never Thumbnails”.

Displaying thumbnails of folders rather than icons can take up more space and time than just icons. So turning off the thumbnail preview option saves you both!

8.  Disable the Aero Theme

  • Right-click any space on your Desktop and select “Personalize” from the menu that appears
  • Open the Window Color tab
  • Uncheck the box that says “Enable Transparency” and then select “Open Classic Appearance Properties for More Options”
  • A new window will appear, select a Standard or Basic them from it. (Standard Windows 7 theme is a good choice)

If you are looking for aesthetics rather than performance you can keep the aero user interface. While it obviously adds luster to the appearance of things it also takes up a lot of space on the graphics and video cards. You can check this out yourself by viewing its memory consumption when aero theme is both on and off to see the difference.

9.  Disable Aero Peek and Aero Snap

  • Go to your Control Panel of Windows 7 and double-click the “Ease of Access Center” icon.
  • Select “Make It Easier to Focus on Tasks” listed near the bottom
  • Uncheck the box that says “Prevent Windows from being automatically arranged when moved to the edge of the screen”
  • Right-click on the Windows 7 taskbar and click “Properties” from the menu that appears
  • Lastly, uncheck the box that says “User Aero Peek to Preview the Desktop”

Windows 7 has these new features designed to do things you already did in XP and Vista just in new ways. Aero Snap allows you to Maximize, Minimize and Resize your windows simply by dragging-and-dropping at screen corners.

Aero Peek is pretty much the same as the “Show Desktop” icon from Windows XP and Windows Vista. It hides all of your windows to show a clean desktop and icons.

10.  Disable Password Protection

Users that set up passwords to access their account in Windows 7 spend a few seconds every time they start up or log in to enter that password. If you are the only person who uses your computer my opinion is that you don’t really need this feature. I opt for getting on my account quickly. When I previously had a password set and someone wanted on my computer I would just give out the password anyway so it was completely useless and took extra time to log in every day.

11.  Disable Unwanted Startup Items

  • Open the Windows button and type “msconfig” in the Run option of the start menu and press Enter
  • This opens the System Configuration Utility window
  • Select the Startup tab and uncheck all items that you do not need to run automatically when the computer starts up

This can drastically improve startup time and even running time if you have had a lot of things running when your computer starts. This often happens automatically when several things have been downloaded and installed onto your computer.

12.  Change your Power Plan to Maximum Performance

  • Open your Control Panel and double-click the “Power Options” icon
  • Scroll down to see the Show Additional Plans option and select “High Performance” power plan to activate it.
  • Further tweaking can be done to this by selecting the Advanced Settings

13.  Turn off Unwanted Windows 7 Features

  • Open your Control Panel and select “Programs and Features”
  • Select the “Turn Windows features On or Off” from the left panel
  • Uncheck all of the features that you do not use
  • Restart your computer for the changes to take effect

There are several features that Windows 7 offers that many users don’t need or use often so by disabling them you are making more room for running time on things you do use frequently.

14.  Disable the Screen Saver and Wallpaper

  • Right-click any blank space on your Desktop and select “Personalize” from the menu that appears
  • Select the Screen Saver link
  • From the Screen Saver drop-down menu select “None” then select “Apply” then “OK”
  • Next click “Desktop Background”
  • From the Location drop-down menu select “Solid Colors” pick a color and click “OK”

It takes up memory to display wallpaper and screen savers and more memory means faster computer.

15.  Disable Unwanted System Sounds

  • Open the Start Menu and type “mmsys.cpl” in the Run option
  • Locate the Sounds tab
  • Under “Sound Schemes” then choose “No Sounds”, click “Apply”, click “OK”
  • Optionally, you can keep some of your favorite sounds turned on and select which sounds to disable, but keep in mind that sounds played during startup, shutdown, logon, etc. take away from performance that could be utilized better elsewhere

16.  Tweak your Registry

We have a couple of articles in our PC 911 blog that have a lot of information on how you can tweak your registry to improve the speed of your computer!

17.  Software to help Speed Up Windows 7

There are several software programs out there that you can use to maintain a nice, healthy system. Programs that update your hardware, programs that clear bugs, programs that clean registries and programs that remove potentially harmful information against you. Some of my favorites are listed below.

Performing all of these tasks will get your Windows 7 computer running noticeably quicker! Feel free to share more tips to speed up your system in the comments below!

7 solutions for common PC problems

Drawing HP 9830 desktop computer

Image via Wikipedia

You know the kind I’m talking about: they’re not life threatening to your PC, but at the same time they are infuriating in that they are a constant source of bother and wasted time, leading you to loss of focus, lost productivity and a generally sour frame of mind. Here are seven ways to make your computing life ever so much easier, and they’re easy fixes as well!

The Dang Things Starts Up SO Slow! – I’m sure you’ve experienced this one, if you owned a computer for any length of time. You’re sitting there, and sitting there, and sitting there, and finally it crawls open, all the while leaving you wondering about the magic of computers! More than likely the problem lies in the amount of programs demanding access at the moment you start up Many times when you’ve downloaded new software or computer programs, they automatically are set to open at the startup of your PC.

Let Reimage speed up your computer all by itself in about an hour

You can restore your computer to a totally like new state but keep all your programs and information on it just like it is with Reimage Software. We highly recommend you try it out. You have not downloaded anything like it before, we promise. You will be able to tell instantly as you watch it work that this is the most technologically advanced repair software ever. If you have ever used a registry cleaner and wondered if it really helped you really need to try this out!

In fact there are also a bunch of programs that your computer wants to open that aren’t really necessary. You can delete and limit the number of these resource hogging programs and get your startup much more vibrant by clicking Start, Run and type in msconfig, and this will display all the programs that are set to open at startup. You can then uncheck the ones you don’t want.

Make sure you do this one by one with a notepad nearby, as many of these programs are necessary to run your computer, and if you make a boo boo you’ll be able to go back and recheck it.

You Don’t Like The View – You sit at your computer for hours, and there’s just something about the way it looks. Not a problem; we can change this! Start by right-clicking on the desktop, then click Properties in XP, or Personalize in Vista, and then Settings, and you’ll be presented with many ways in which you can change the screen properties. I mean, if you have to look at it all day you may as well like what you’re looking at.

Your Printer Has Gone Haywire – It just won’t stop printing out either old print jobs or ones that were not cleared from the queue. First try turning off the printer and see if this doesn’t do the trick, and if that doesn’t work, go to your printers menu in the Start menu and delete anything you see let there, assuming of course you no longer want it to print. If this doesn’t solve your problem, then you may be forced to download and reinstall drivers for your particular printer.

My Videos Are Now Mute Or Invisible – If the videos are now playing without sound or even worse, without picture or both, then it may well be that the codecs are out of date. There are several places where you can get free updates. DO a search for K-Lite Codec Pack for a nice easy fix. Also, before you go to that length, check and see that you didn’t accidentally hit your keyboard’s mute button! (Speaking from experience!)

You Accidentally Broke A Key Off Your Keyboard – Okay, I won’t ask how this happened, or just what you were so angry at that you slammed your fist down onto it, but you need to know this can be an easy fix. If you happen to have an old keyboard lying around, it’s possible to salvage a good key with an intact key mechanism that you can swap out for the damaged one.

If you are unsure how to do this, do a search for “keycap replacement”, and you should find some good help. It’s fairly simple. If the entire keyboard needs replacing, you’re still in luck: keyboards are some of the cheapest things to replace on your PC. If it’s your laptop that needs a new keyboard, try eBay for good replacement keyboards for laptops, and search out instructions for this as well.

Your Wi-Fi is Now Slow-Fi – Another trial of your so far interminable patience, assuming that you are not a victim of a general network outage, you more than likely have come up against some rather stiff interference. Sometimes your phones router, (If you have one installed , as I do) can be the culprit, sending confusion into your otherwise well designed network. (As it did mine!) Make sure you have the connections in the proper order, as per manufacturers instructions, and you should have no further problem.

Interference can also come from the likes of a microwave oven, cordless phone, or many other types of electronic devices. You may end up having to change the channel to one less populated on your router by taking a peek into your routers config page, and try another channel, most commonly either channel 1, 6, or 11.

You Keep Getting Messages About Your Memory – And no, I’m not talking about YOUR memory, as that is beyond the scope of this article. However the memory on your machine is something you can take steps to improve. If you find yourself constantly getting system messages regarding your system’s memory capacity, or your computer is unusually slow, you may want to look into this. It may be a bad section of RAM, or you may simply need more. Run a memory test; there are several free ones available, and see if boosting your memory might not clear things up and speed it along quite nicely.

While most of these annoying problems won’t necessarily sink your ship, they are a bothersome interference in your computing experience, and you don’t have to put up with them. This list is by no means comprehensive, and you may have demons of your own that bug you to no end, and you have my sympathy. (I find new ones everyday!) These fixes, along with sound general maintenance should keep you from tearing out your hair every time you sit down to use your computer!

Enhanced by Zemanta

Top 10 Internet Safety Rules

Top 10 Internet Safety Rules

The internet has made many things easier for us, but it has also created a whole new venue for con-men. We hope to improve your safety while on the internet with this list of rules. Crooks can destroy our computers or access our personal information unless we learn to protect ourselves. Here’s how to do that.

Bookmark these internet safety rules !

1. Make sure your computer has a firewall.

Most computers come with a firewall installed. You should customize the privacy
settings, before you start browsing the internet using a new computer. If you have
several computers in your home, you can protect them all using a router with a firewall
installed. Some homeowners find that a secure router is more convenient. Firewalls help
prevent hackers from accessing the information stored in your computer’s memory.

2. Install an anti-virus software program.

Anti-virus software protects against viruses. Viruses are basically a kind of vandalism.
They serve no real purpose. The codes for many viruses are written by practical
jokesters. Once your computer is “infected”, everything seems to slow down.
Other programs may act strangely. Eventually, your system may crash all together.

3. Install an anti-spyware program.

Spyware and viruses are similar, but the purpose is not the same. People install spyware
in order to gain access to your personal information or to use your email address to send
spam to all of your friends.

4. Regularly upgrade the security features of your operating system.

Depending on the type of operating system that you have and the type of web browser
you use, you may receive notifications when upgrades or updates are available. You
should choose the “install now” option. The programs are upgraded regularly, because
hackers are constantly changing the ways they operate. You have to change, too.

These internet safety rules can help you avoid a lot of the common issues people get.

5. Regularly upgrade all of the security software programs mentioned above.

Programs are available to automatically upgrade or update, whenever a new patch or anti-
virus becomes available. If you don’t have an automatic version, you will need to install
the upgrades yourself. Hopefully, the system will notify you when one is available.

6. Choose good passwords and keep them in secure locations.

This might be number six, but it is one of the most important of the top 10 ways to
keep your computer safe online. Hackers have to figure out your passwords in order to
gain access to your system. There are cheap programs that allow them to do that. One
program tries every word in the dictionary.

A robber could enter your home and transfer money from your bank account or steal your

personal information, if they can find your passwords. Either keep your passwords on
your person at all times or store them in a locking box or safe.

Use different passwords for different websites. This will help limit the amount of
information stolen in case you are hacked.  You can easily pick the first half of any name
and append a special number to the end to create passwords on the fly that you can recall
easily. Never use your debit pin number for anything online though.

Of all these internet safety rules this one is really important.

Passwords should be 8-10 characters long. Numbers and/or symbols should be included
along with lower case and upper case letters. Don’t use your kid’s names or anything
else that would be easy for a thief to figure out.

Change your passwords every three to six months just to be safe. You can use a
password auto-generator if you can’t come up with unique, difficult to crack passwords
on your own.

7. Invest in an external hard drive just in case.

No matter how good your security system or how unusual your passwords, no system
can be 100% safe. That’s why you need a backup system. You could store important
information on removable discs, but storing those discs becomes a problem. An
external hard drive is a good solution. It is not connected to the internet, can be
stored in a safe location and should have enough memory to serve all of your needs.

8. Think twice about file sharing.

File sharing can be tempting. Other internet users offer free software programs and other
downloads. But the files can easily contain viruses or spyware. Just think twice before
you accept these offers.

9. Learn to identify and avoid phishing scams.

Of all our internet safety rules, this one is very important. Phishing scams are used by individuals
and bogus companies to get your personal information. Social security numbers, bank account
numbers and credit card numbers are among the things they may ask for.

The emails they send typically look very authentic. It will appear to come from a creditor
that you do business with. You will be advised to click on a link included in the email to
verify your information.

The email may indicate that failure to click on the link and verify your info immediately
could result in your account being closed or cause other problems. Do not click on the
links. Call the creditor’s number that appears on your statement and explain the situation.

10. Read their privacy policies before dealing with an online merchant and look for a
security icon.

Although some scammers have become quite good at forging security icons, they usually
lack a page confirming their privacy policy. There may also be some differences in the
appearance of the icon, which usually resembles a shield.

In addition, you can look at the website address. Website addresses of non-secure sites
begin with “http”. As with most internet safety rules, this one is important too.  Secure site
addresses begin with “https”. The “s” stands for secure.

These internet safety rules can really help you protect yourself online.  Another great
post we have made to help you protect yourself is our Top 10 ways to prevent Identity Theft.

These internet safety rules can really help you protect yourself and your identity online.

Don’t forget to Bookmark the top 10 internet safety rules.

 

Registry Mechanic Download and Review

Cleaning the registry of your computer is vital to its health and reliability. Manually going through and cleaning out your computer’s registry can be a nightmare! Deleting one listing in your registry can disrupt and even remove several other things on your computer. This is just one of the reasons you should get a registry cleaning software. The choices are endless when it comes to locating such a program, but finding the one for you might be easier than you thought. A popular, helpful and easy-to-use program to consider is Registry Mechanic.

Registry Mechanic is a PC Tools product and the most recent version is Registry Mechanic 8. This version is compatible with Windows 2000, Windows XP, Windows Vista 32-bit versions and Windows Vista 64-bit version. They also have a separate downloadable version of it for Windows 98.

www.pctools.com/registry-mechanic/

Download Registry Mechanic

Registry Mechanic’s download runs quick and very easily for even those new to computer using. You simply click the download button, select Run, pick the options you want installed with the program and follow the wizard to get it installed and running.

This is a well designed program for registry cleaning. I cannot stress enough how great it is for beginners and experts alike. Like other PC Tools programs, once Registry Mechanic has completed installation it will run an update to insure you have the latest version installed. Once you get that taken care of you are free to run the registry scan and repair anything found with a click of the mouse!

Registry Mechanic runs a thorough scan of your computer’s registry locating anything that could be harmful or suspicious. Along with locating these errors, Registry Mechanic locates missing or invalid references in your registry. Everything this program finds is listed on the results page with details and the option to view manually for further details. I trust this program because it is from PC Tools so I go ahead and use the Repair All button every time. This saves a great deal of time and effort.

Download Registry Mechanic

Registry Mechanic is an award winning program for several reasons. I give it 2 thumbs up and recommend it highly.

Speed Up My PC

How can I speed up my pc?

There are many things that can be done to improve your computer’s speed and keep it running like new. All the things in this article can be done by YOU! Yes, you being the computer user. These tasks can be completed by any user from a beginner to an expert to get your computer in tip-top shape!

3 Things we highly recommend:

1.  Install Reimage and let it replace any missing Windows files.
2.  Download Ccleaner
3.  Follow the directions below

There are a lot of different things slowing down your computer. Think about it, every time you download a program, receive an e-mail or visit a website, a trace is left on your computer’s hard drive. The more the hard drive fills up, the slower it runs. This is similar to a person running, the more things you load them up with, the slower they move. Follow each of the tasks below to improve your computer now!

1.) Backup Your Computer

This step may be the most important of all. It is definitely the step you should perform FIRST. If, for any reason, your hard drive crashes, the backup will be your saving point that you can go back to. Backing up your hard drive is fairly easy. Just go to your Start Menu -> All Programs -> Accessories -> System Tools -> Backup. This opens the Backup Wizard from Windows. Just follow the steps of the wizard including what to back up and where to back it up to. Personally, I think backing up to a CD in one of the disk drives or to a USB is the best way to go.

2.) Clear Out the Recycle Bin

Once you’ve backed up your hard drive, one of the easiest things that you can do to make a difference in your computer’s speed is to empty your Recycle Bin. When you right-click an icon on your Desktop and select Delete, delete a photo or file it really just moves into the Recycle Bin. The Recycle Bin holds on to these things for you in case you delete something by mistake and want to retrieve it. If you want to fully delete everything in the Recycle Bin you can right-click it and select Empty Recycle Bin. If you think you may want to keep certain things in there, you can open the bin and completely delete individual items.

3.) Clear Internet Cache

The Internet Cache is where information from each website you visit it stored. This is true for IE and Firefox both. Clearing the cache improves the speed of web browsing and the loading of pages. To clear the cache, just open your web browser and select the Tools menu then click Internet Options. In the General Department click Delete under Browsing History. If you’re using Firefox select the Tools menu and then Clear Private Data -> click Cache -> Clear Private Data Now.

4.) Delete Junk E-mails

You may already know that any time you receive e-mails it creates a spot stored in your hard drive until that e-mail is deleted. The Spam, Junk or Deleted folders of your e-mail inbox are often overlooked. Because of this, there are many junk e-mails being stored and taking up unnecessary space on your hard drive. To fix this, just open your e-mail inbox, select the junk folder and delete all the e-mails. With AOL, MSN and some others, there is also a Deleted Folder. This is so you can go back through and re-open a deleted folder if you accidentally deleted it. Be sure to check through these folders as well to permanently delete any e-mails you do not wish to keep.

5.) Delete Temporary System Files

Windows created a folder in your hard drive that saves and stores any temporary system files loaded. These files may be loaded when using a Microsoft Office program that uses the AutoSave feature, when you open an attachment from an e-mail and from the history from Internet Explorer searches and websites. Storing these temporary files may come in use if you need to go back in and view something, but most often you never need these things. You can use Windows Explorer to search your computer for the Temporary Folder on your hard drive and delete the files you wish to.

6.) Use Disk Cleanup

There is a Disk Cleanup tool built-in to your computer by Microsoft that helps you manage things on the hard disk. This tool is good to use after completing the steps above to insure those things are fully removed from each area of your computer. You can access the Disk Cleanup by going to the Start Menu -> All Programs -> Accessories -> System Tools -> Disk Cleanup. Follow the prompts of the wizard to complete the process.

7.) Use a Malware/Spyware Scanning Program

There are a thousand different choices for a program to get malware and spyware off your computer. Many of these scanning programs will locate and remove anything harmful to your computer’s hard drive. And nothing is slower than an infected computer. Take precaution and repair possible issues before they attack.

8.) Clean the Registry

A thorough search of your registry can be done by PC Registry Cleaner V2, one of my personal favorites. There are many different error-scanning and repairing programs but this one sticks to your registry and cleans any errors that may have entered through a temporary file or download. Removing the bugs and errors makes more room on your computer for the good stuff.

There are several top notch registry cleaners on the market but our favorite 2 are PC Registry Cleaner and Registry Mechanic.  Using either of those will help you clean out your registry safely and help you speed up your pc.

9.) Run chkdsk

Chkdsk is another great feature that Windows has built-in to help you manage your computer. It searches through and lets you know the reliability of the files stored on your computer. Any bad files or folders can go and that makes yet more space on your computer. To run this feature, go to your Start Menu -> Run -> type cmd and press Enter -> type chkdsk and press Enter.

10.) Check Drivers

Go through Windows and check your computer’s drivers. You should check for updates and new security features. You can do this online and it makes a world of difference if you get your computer up to date.

11.) Uninstall Unused Programs

As we’ve gone over again and again, anything you can get off your computer increases room and, thus, increases speed. So, it would only make sense to go through your computer and uninstall any programs that are no longer being used. This includes games you installed but no longer play, programs installed that are no longer used and probably some things that Microsoft included on your computer for you but that you don’t use.

Just go to your Start Menu -> Control Panel -> Add/Remove Programs. A list of all the programs installed on your computer will appear. Do a detailed check of the list and remove anything you no longer use. Newer Windows systems will tell you how often the program is used and the last date you used it when you select a program on the list. This may help you decide what can go.

12.) Remove Programs from Startup

This step is specific to your computer’s startup speed but is just as important as the previous steps. There are many programs, whether you set them to or not, that automatically start running when your computer boots up. You can easily go through and choose which programs you would like to run upon startup. Obviously, the more you choose, the longer startup takes. You can use MSCONFIG to sort through the mess. Do NOT uncheck your anti-virus programs from the list of startup programs.

13.) Delete Old & Unused Files

Remember that report in Word you did last year? You saved it, printed it, and turned it in… and it’s still saved on your computer. Go through your old documents and delete the stuff you know you’ll never need again. Quick, easy and effective. Don’t forget to go through your Recycle Bin after wards to fully delete them. *Refer to step 2.

Doing all these steps for the first time is likely to drastically speed up your computer and make it more reliable. This isn’t something you do today and then forget about forever, you should do these steps at least once a month. I do many of these steps weekly to prevent a slowdown in my computer, you should try to do the same.

As for the error scanning steps, I suggest Maximum Software’s line of programs. I use them because they not only locate and repair the errors on your computer but their company offers technical assistance if you own a license like PC Registry Cleaner or Bug Doctor. These scans are a couple of the things I perform weekly to keep my computer going.

Download PCCleaner

I believe you will notice a difference in your computer almost immediately after performing all the steps above! The easiest way to tell? Restart your computer. You should see the difference in the boot up time and then the time it takes your computer to run the programs you open.

Spyware Doctor Review

The paragraph below has been copied straight from the Spyware Doctor website. The paragraph will be used as a principle to review the truths of the program.

 

Spyware Doctor is a top-rated malware & spyware removal utility that detects, removes and protects your PC from thousands of potential spyware, adware, trojans, keyloggers, spybots and tracking threats. Protect your privacy and computing habits from prying eyes and virtual trespassers with the help of Spyware Doctor.”

 

One thing you immediately notice upon installing the Spyware Doctor is the ease of updating the program. After you install and open the program you are prompted to run the Smart Update feature. This insures that you have the latest version of Spyware Doctor at all times. After the updating is complete you are free to open and use the program.

Download Spyware Doctor

Spyware Doctor Update

Spyware Doctor Update

 

Before you begin using Spyware Doctor you may be interested in reviewing the Spyware Doctor Quick Start Guide. This is an overview of the most common tools used in Spyware Doctor. The guide shows the buttons of the interface and what each does or represents. The guide also lets you know about the navigation of Spyware Doctor and how to use the Smart Update feature. If you need further assistance on Spyware Doctor you can use their Help option for more detailed information.

 

The main screen, or the interface, of Spyware Doctor is easy to understand and use. The simplicity is refreshing but also can leave you wanting more. I do enjoy all of the numbers and facts listed under System Status on the interface. For example, when the subscription expires or when your last scan was done. I like that it is very obvious as to whether your protection is on or off, too.

Spyware Doctor Scan

Spyware Doctor Scan

 

A really great thing about this program is that you are still able to run and operate other programs and such of your computer WHILE running the scan of Spyware Doctor. All too often your computer slows down drastically when a search or scan of this nature is being done. With some, you might as well start the scan and leave the computer until it finishes, but not with this particular program.

 

Don’t let the straightforward name fool you, Spyware Doctor does much more than watch out for simple spyware. This program uses IntelliGuard to immunize your computer against malicious ActiveX objects. Spyware Doctor will also rid tracking cookies, Trojans, dialers and keyloggers from your PC while IntelliGuard is in the active stage.

 

I have noted many great features of Spyware Doctor and overall I think it’s a great program to use. This program is not only something I now, personally use, but something I also recommend to any and all PC users. The value of your dollar goes so far when using Spyware Doctor to prevent horrible things from happening to your computer that it would be crazy not to be safe and get this program.

Download Spyware Doctor

 

 

Optimizing Windows Vista Process and Resource Handling

 Windows Vista by default installs services and configures several applications which may not suite your needs. If you are a home user rather than in a business environment there are many things you can change to give your computer that little extra oomph for applications and process you use.

 I have put together a few items which when set correctly can help you control how resources are used on your system. Some of these items listed will simply uninstall certain features or change a program configuration. Others listed can be used to actually designate what resources are dedicate to individual programs. If used properly this can make specific programs operate faster and more efficiently.

You may or may not wish to implement some or all of these changes as it will be a matter of preference. Please remember you should document any changes made to your system. This well help you reverse any changes made if for any reason you experience adverse effects. 

Uninstalling remote differential compression

The remote differential compression feature is designed to streamline file transfers to and from remote directories by keeping track of file changes and only transferring the changed information.

To disable this feature:

Go to “start/control panel/programs/uninstall a program”.

On the sidebar select “turn windows features on and off”.

Uncheck “remote differential compression” and select “ok.”

Designating which CPU (if using multiple processors) runs a specific process

Windows Vista allows you the ability to assign an application to run only on a specific CPU. This is called processor affinity. This is a good way of balancing the load on a multi-core CPU.

Assigning processor affinity to an application:

Launch the desired application.

Press CTRL+ALT+DEL and choose the “task manager”.

In the “applications” tab locate the desired program and right click it. Choose “go to process”.

This will bring you to the “processes” tab with the process used by the application application highlighted. Right click the process and select “set affinity”.

The processor affinity window will open. Using the check box select which processor(s) you want to run that application.

Note: All settings will reset to default when a restart of the computer is performed.

Assigning priority to an application

All recent Microsoft operating systems have contained the concept of priority, meaning in this case, which process gets the most attention from the CPU. In Vista, you can customize these priority settings so that your hardware is concentrating most on what you want it to.

Vista has a range of available settings ranging from “low” to “real time”.

Note: Any full screen application automatically is assigned high priority by Windows Vista.The best way to optimize such applications is to tweak the commonly used windowed applications.

Assigning a custom priority to an application:

Launch the desired application.

Press CTRL+ALT+DEL and choose the “task manager”.

In the “applications” tab locate the desired program and right click it. Choose “go to process”.

This will open the “processes” tab with the process highlighted.

Right click the process and choose “set priority”. The priority list will openand you may designate your desired level.

Note: that choosing “realtime” is not wise as this will designate all processing being alloted to this one specific process. All settings will be reset to default when you restart the computer.

Configuring Windows Defender

Windows Defender by default runs a scan daily. Even though this scan runs in the background it can impact system performance. You may wish to disable the automatic scanning and perform only occasional manual system scans.

Disable Windows Defender automated scans:

Open the “start” menu and in the search field type “defender.”

select the “tools” icon at the top of the window and then “options”.

Uncheck “automatically scan my computer” and select “save”.

This will be the first in a line of articles dedicated to improving performance on Windows Vista. If you have a suggestion of your own that you have implemented and you feel may be beneficial to others please comment on this article. We would be happy to include any viable tips in our next article.

 

Ultimate PC Secrets

I just read a good book thats shows many tips for speeding up computers. Ultimate PC Secrets is the name and it comes packed with page after page of optimization tricks. I read thru the entire thing and even this old dog learned a few new tricks.

Download Ultimate PC Secrets

I highly suggest any pc users grab a copy and check it out.

Have a great day
Patrick

PC VS Mac

According to some recent benchmarks the Mac hardware out performs PC based systems when running Windows. Consider they use almost identical hardware it makes you wonder why this is.

Well for starters the Mac does not have the x86 memory limitations. In a Mac when you have 2gigs of memory that is exactly what it sees; whereas a PC has the 640k limit in which it must break up the 2gigs worth of memory. Thats not to say Mac’s dont have their issues with memory.

The main benefit I believe comes from a standard hardware set. If you have a set type of hardware then you can test that hardware for a more efficient design of the overall computer. Unfortunately with the typical PC based OEM system hardware is not picked by best performance, but rather the lowest bidder. This is where you can run into trouble. I know I have experienced issues with PC based systems having compatibility issues between hardware devices.

PC based systems might reap the benefits of atleast somewhat standardizing the equipment (atleast between models), and before you say it; yes I understand the impact it would have on the hardware industry, but maybe performance is atleast one cause for the increase in market share that Apple is enjoying.

Windows xp sp3

Although xp has been proven to be one of the better operating systems written by Microsoft there of course are updates and changes which still need to be addressed.

Some of the changes included in xp sp3 have been implemented in there own individual update packages previously, but are now included in the encompassing sp3 pack. This will provide a one time update solution for those who are like me on many of Microsofts’ patches.. a little weary.

I most curious to test the latest service pack to see how performance compares with Vista sp1; which at least with xpsp2 the xp operating system has proven to out perform Vista.

The service pack has been released on TechNet and made available in an admin pack, but has yet to be released on the Windows Update site.

Of course many of you know my feelings on jumping out there and immediately grabbing the latest updates. This isn’t to say I will not grab it for testing. I’m just always the cautious one when implementing in a production environment. This does include you individual users……at least those who consider their data valuable.

Considering this I have as well fallen into a comfort zone when it comes to the xp operating system and my confidence in it, even still I will muster the strength to be patient.

Of course right now the big buzz is being generated by all the sites guessing when the service pack will be made available to the update service. I will not even venture to even guess. Besides I am more interested in the buzz it will create after the release. Yes that was me chuckling in the background!

1 2 3