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Archive for the ‘System Tune-Up Help’ Category

Hibernation – The Positive Effects

Friday, March 17th, 2006

Hibernation – The Positive Effects

Some of you may know about hibernation techniques in Windows, but let’s take a look at the positive effects of using hibernation in your computer’s life. You might know that each hard drive has an optimal life of some thousands of hours and each time we restart our computers, the hard drive gets exhausted. The hard drive dies down a bit each time, because although… Continue reading

Hibernation – The Positive Effects

Friday, March 17th, 2006

Hibernation – The Positive Effects

Some of you may know about hibernation techniques in Windows, but let’s take a look at the positive effects of using hibernation in your computer’s life. You might know that each hard drive has an optimal life of some thousands of hours and each time we restart our computers, the hard drive gets exhausted. The hard drive dies down a bit each time, because although… Continue reading

You Might Be Low On Resources: The ZoneAlarm Firewall Factor

The topic I am going to talk about relates to all of us, because we simply just want our computers to run applications and software as fast as possible, right? As you might know, ZoneAlarm is a powerful security software package that is recommended to everyone to protect his/her computer from threats like viruses. ZoneAlarm protects our PCs from people… Continue reading

Create a New Account in XP

Friday, March 3rd, 2006

Can you please tell me how to create a new account for my computer under XP? I want to make a separate account just for my children to use.

User Accounts are very important for the operation of Windows XP. They allow certain users to access authorized files and prohibit others from using the important files. They are important, even if you don’t share a computer… Continue reading

Password Protected

Friday, February 24th, 2006

Is your computer password protected? Have you ever wanted to lockdown your desktop with a password that only you or your family members know, just in case? Well, here’s a short guide to help you do so.

In Windows XP, go to Start, Control Panel and click on User Accounts. Next, you’re going to click on Change an Account, because you’re modifying the account you have already created. Choose the… Continue reading

Keep It Regular

Thursday, February 9th, 2006

Keep It Regular

You’ve probably heard over and over again the things you should do or actions you should take to keep your computer safe and secure. That’s all great, but aren’t all of those things a little hard to remember on a day to day or a month to month basis? Wouldn’t it be nice to just have a list to print out to remind you when those things… Continue reading

Pre-installation Cleanup

Monday, January 16th, 2006

Pre-installation cleanup

Yesterday (Catch up). Read yesterday’s Tip of the Day to learn how to check if your system can handle that new program or download you want to install. Just use the scrolldown box to view the newsletter for 11/1/2005.

Before installing software, it’s a good idea to do an extra round of the usual maintenance tasks. Think of it like vacuuming the… Continue reading

Weekly Download: Windows Startup list

Tuesday, November 15th, 2005

Weekly Download: Windows Startup List

Everybody wants their system to operate responsively, boot quickly, and run applications immediately with no errors. Pruning your Startup List can be one of the greatest ways to help your system run without the burden of unnecessary programs.

Startup items are the programs that run when the PC first starts, using up system resources (usually unnecessarily). A couple of examples would be QuickTime… Continue reading

Stop lengthy Autochck at startup

Thursday, November 10th, 2005

Every time I start up my computer, it says Check Disk and takes forever. How do I stop it?


This seems to be going around. I’ve had several letters with this repetitive checking problem in the last two weeks. Sometimes this is the result of a previous improper shutdown, sometimes this is the result of an error on your disk. To find out if your disk is… Continue reading

Break in that new PC

Wednesday, November 2nd, 2005

Everyone loves getting a new PC. Why not? It’s exciting and fun. However, there are a few things you might want to do before you plug it in and start surfing the web. These good practices include backing up data, taking care of online and physical security, and a few other ideas to help make the migration to your new system as seamless as possible.

According to Swedish security company… Continue reading

View the Scheduled Tasks Log

Wednesday, November 2nd, 2005

What has your PC been doing automatically?

Sometimes, it’s just easier to schedule tasks to happen when you’re not using your computer, especially routine PC maintenance jobs. Don’t remember what you’ve instructed your PC to do on its own? Want to see if those tasks are actually being performed or if your PC was turned off at the scheduled time? XP users, just look at the Scheduled Task log!… Continue reading

Administrator account password for security

Monday, October 24th, 2005

Weekly Security Tip: Setting an Administrator Password

The Administrator account is actually the default account on a new install of Windows XP. It has no restrictions on changing any facet of your system, giving this user full control. Sometimes a computer will come with a guest or a general account created for the initial user. This is typical if you buy your PC from one of the larger companies. Otherwise… Continue reading

Checking up on kids’ web use and clearing your web history

Want to know what sites the kids (or your spouse) have been visiting on the internet? Besides the #1 rule of internet parenting (No child should use the web without at least periodic living human supervision), you can check the sites in History. In Internet Explorer, the icon looks like a clock with an arrow going counter-clockwise.

The… Continue reading

Disk Cleanup- Open up some space!

Friday, September 16th, 2005

Feel like giving your computer some elbow room to get work done a little faster? Don’t want to remove any programs or files to do it?

Similar to the Scan Disk tool, Disk Cleanup is Windows XP’s tool to speed up your computer by removing temporary files that might be cluttering up your disk space. Unlike Scan Disk, Disk Cleanup doesn’t require rebooting your computer, and it gives you more… Continue reading

Low Disk Space

Friday, September 16th, 2005

Do you ever see “Low Disk Space” error messages? They mean that your computer has used most of the open space on your disk and may not be working efficiently. This problem can cause programs to run slowly, even if you haven’t seen the “Low Disk Error” message yet. ~Chris Fisher… Continue reading

Weekly Download: AutoStreamer

Friday, September 16th, 2005

If you have installed Windows XP, then you know that half the battle is keeping the system up-to-date with service packs and patches. This can actually take longer than the install. In fact, if you use a dial-up connection, it can take longer than a holiday weekend. This can be a real “time sucker”.

If people call you to fix their PC, you may find yourself installing Windows from time… Continue reading

Skip the User Login Step

Friday, September 16th, 2005

I am the only user name on my computer. How can I skip the user login step?

For security reasons, it can be a good idea to leave this be. However, if saving time is important to you, try the following:

In Windows XP Go to “Start” and choose “Run”.

In Windows Vista click “Start” and type in the Search Bar

Web Accelerator Vs. Updates

Friday, September 2nd, 2005

If you have a web accelerator on your computer you may need to turn it off before downloading updates for Norton Antivirus and other programs.

Set your programs for manual updating and find out how to temporarily disable the accelerator.

This advice comes from a reader named Syd “who learns everything the hard way”.

~ David

David Samuel Thomas… Continue reading

Windows XP System File Checker

Saturday, August 20th, 2005

I tried typing “sfc.exe” in the Run window of XP and all I got was a one second DOS window flash. So, I figured that SFC wasn’t necessary. Then, to my surprise, I found out how to use SFC in XP. I’m gonna pass this info along to you today.

When you run System File Checker it looks to see if any protected files have been overwritten. If so, it… Continue reading

Apply or OK?

Saturday, August 20th, 2005

When I make a change to a program or in Control Panel, should I hit “Apply” before “OK” or is just “OK” fine?

Hitting OK will apply the changes that you want made, so you don’t need to hit “Apply” first.

Where Apply comes in handy is when you are making a change to your desktop… Continue reading

Defrag Restarts

Saturday, August 20th, 2005

Does your Disk Defragment keep restarting?

We’ve often suggested running it in Safe Mode, but what if the problem persists?

Reader Debbie H. sent in this suggestion that worked for her: if you have a cable or broadband “always on” internet connection, disconnect or unplug the modem before you begin defrag.

Another good

Use Internet Explorer for Windows Updates

Saturday, June 18th, 2005

Some people don’t like getting automatic updates. They’d rather go to the Microsoft website and choose what they need.

If you are one of the many people using Firefox, you may discover that you can’t update Windows from the Microsoft update site. You’ll still need to use Internet Explorer to update.

You didn’t think Uncle Bill would make it easy for the competition did you?

~ David

David Samuel Thomas… Continue reading

Un-doing a Modification

Thursday, June 2nd, 2005

If you follow a tip to modify your system and decide to change it back, what should you do?

In most cases, just follow the tip again and put the setting back (if you unchecked a box then re-check it). If you take a file out of a location, then put it back in.

For instance, we often tell you to go into Safe Mode to troubleshoot problems… Continue reading

Save Sound Scheme

Thursday, June 2nd, 2005

I created a sound scheme for my computer. Is there a way to save it?

Making a sound scheme is a fun way to personalize your computer. You can download wave files of sound effects or favorite movie quotes and use them at start-up, shut, down, when mail arrives–all sorts of things. To find out how, check out this tip…

So, after… Continue reading

Hide Drives and Partitions

Thursday, June 2nd, 2005

Do you have data on a partition or hard drive that you don’t want tampered with or easily accessible to other users? Well, you can hide any drive/partition in Windows XP, NT, and 2000. That means that they won’t show up in Explorer or My Computer.

If you want access to that drive from your user account you should create a desktop shortcut before proceeding. Once hidden, you can still… Continue reading

Change Computer’s Owner Name

Saturday, May 14th, 2005

I got a used computer and it has the old owners name on it. Is there a way to change this?

Yes, you can go into the registry and change the owner name. We always recommend that you back up the registry before making any changes—here’s how…

Go to Start/Run and type in “regedit” without the quotes (Win 2000 type “regedt32″)

With… Continue reading

Reactivate DLL’s

Saturday, May 7th, 2005

I keep getting a message that says a dll file is missing, but I did a search for the file and it was there. How do I get it to work?

Somehow the .dll was deactivated. This can sometimes happen when new software or applications are installed. Thankfully, with Windows ME, 2000, and XP Microsoft made a way to re-activate the dll files called… Continue reading

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