PC 911
Share This Article

Tag Archives for " Microsoft "

Windows 8 release date

Windows 8 rumors are flying around now and the buzz about Windows 8 is full of hype. There are rumors of a release date in late 2011 and early 2012.  My opinion is that it will be released around Feb 2012.  There have been a couple of sneak peeks at the new operating system and it seems to be less targeted to just PC’s with an obvious tablet inspired interface.

Windows 8 TilesThere are tiles as shown above scattered throughout Windows 8 and you can quickly launch apps from the new tiled start screen.  You can easily multitask, or switch between different apps and the tiles and live notifications. You can quickly resize tiles and there seems to be a new app store to easily download free or low priced apps.

As always I will be late to adapt to the new operating system. I skipped Vista altogether and reluctantly upgraded to Windows 7 when I had to buy a new tower.  From the first day I loved it and eagerly trashed my dated Windows XP despite my claims that I would just stick with XP for years.

It seems to lean towards touchscreen monitors which I don’t care for personally.  I find touchscreens to be more of a vanity than useful. Maybe I am just old school preferring a mouse to make my way around.

Stay tuned for more articles on the upcoming Windows 8 and the Windows 8 release date.

Enhanced by Zemanta

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.

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!

Is Microsoft Giving up on Vista?

 The buzz here lately around the tech shop deals with whether in fact Microsoft is giving up on Windows Vista and all it’s problems.

No definite answer has been given, but as Reuters reports Bill Gates was touting Windows 7 which he stated is slated for release in the next year or so.

As with my earlier blogs we already know according to reports that Windows xp sp1 and sp2 out perform Windows Vista in a side by side comparison. Not to mention how users feel about all of the headaches…I mean changes such as the User Account Control.

The only thing I would like to know is how Microsoft is going to compensate the million or so users that have sunk two to four hundred dollars into an operating system that may end of life before it ever got going?

No wait! That isn’t the only question I have. What about all us admins and technicians that have sunk thousands of dollars into Microsoft’s training and MSITPRO certification for Vista? This will undoubtedly be very frustrating if we receive the typical Microsoft response.

No wonder Microsoft is losing market share to Linux and Apple…I know I’m not going to stand for being treated like that. Not only as a customer but as an admin and technician.

Hmmm! Maybe I will just get my Mac certification rather then spending thousands of my hard earned money on Microsoft products and training just to have them decide they made a mistake.

Despite all my ranting you can bet my ear will be to the ground on this one. Lets see how it plays out.

Microsoft Vista Update Causes Continual Reboot

Microsoft recently (At the end of February) released a patch to fix issues with one of the Windows Vista installation software features.

When installed the patch (ID number 937287 which is still available for download) causes some systems to continually reboot themselves in an un-ending loop.

Of course who would have ever thought that Microsoft wouldn’t get it right? Microsoft stated the problem seems to only affect “a small number” of the more than 100 million Vista users. In my opinion thats still to many (especially if you are one of the affected users).

Do not threat though! Microsoft is offering assistance with this issue. Of course the contact information isn’t posted on the front page of the main web site so I figured I would offer it here for anyone who may need it.

Please if you know anyone affected by this issue pass the following information to them. Microsoft is offering assistance at the following toll free number 866/727-2338.

Just another reason to wait on installing those wonderful Microsoft updates.

Windows Vista Update SP1

According to the buzz Windows Vista sp1 is soon to be released. This may be a blessing or a curse only time will tell.

I am a little apprehensive to say the least. I know what your thinking “Oh come on can it really be that bad?”. Well that really depends on Microsoft does it not? I’m sure we have all had our experiences whether good or bad with service packs. If you are an IT admin you know exactly where I am coming from.

Maybe just maybe Microsft has learned from past experience with the release of service packs how simple mistakes can effect users and they wont leave anything to chance.

The word on the street (and in other articles) is the fact that Windows xp is faster at more operations than Vista sp1. According to Principled Technologies Inc. (Whom performed the testing at the request of Microsoft) Windows xp is faster than Vista sp1 at 61% of the operations grouped in a consumer test suite and in 46% of the operations in the business-oriented in a head-to-head competition on duplicate computers.

These facts do not deliver much hope for improved performance for Vista when it comes to the sp1 update. The best bet will be to let everyone else test it first. Once most of the issues have been resolved….Well then it will be my turn.

Microsoft Security Hole In Windows Vista and XP

Microsoft is currently addressing newly discovered holes in the security of their Vista and xp operating systems. Most importantly a security vulnerability in Windows Vista and XP that could expose a computer to an early-season bite while you are connected to the Internet.

How it works is a hacker can broadcast rogue TCP/IP packets to any range of IP addresses. The rogue packets have the ability to circumvent Windows’ security and hijack a computer turning that computer into part of a Bot net. Bot nets are designed for spamming as well as launching self replicating worms and even worse ICMP attacks which can shut down servers.

Currently there have been no attacks using this vulnerability. Microsoft scrambled to make available a patch to secure this hole and it is currently available using the link below. The patch may already be applied to your system if automatic updates are turned on.