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My Computer Tips

Windows Maintenance Tips

My Number 1 Tip: Get Your Computer Off The Floor!!!!

I can't stress this enough, it's the worst place to keep it.
Why? where do you think everything lands? On The Floor! And your computer is sucking it in!

Windows PerformanceTips

Set Windows Performance Options to get the best overall performance.
Right click on My Computer / Properties / Advanced Tab
In the Performance Frame, click on Settings.
On the Visual Effects tab, Un-Check these options,

Animate windows when minimizing and maximizing
Fade or slide menus into view
Fade or slide tooltips into view
Fadeout menu items after clicking
Slide open combo boxes
Slide taskbar buttons
Smooth-scroll list boxes

By Un-Checking just these options, you gain system performance while keeping XP's Nice Looks.
Virtual Memory Tips for Windows

Configure your Virtual Memory according to this:
Right click on My Computer / Properties / Advanced Tab
In the Performance Frame, click on Settings
Once in Settings click on the Advanced Tab
Now under Virtual Memory, click on Change
Here you can set your RAM value. The recommended increase you should make should be achieved by multiplying your RAM by 1.5. This should already be done if you have a System Managed file size. You should set "Initial Size" and "Maximum Size" to be the same to get better performance. i.e. If you have 256MB of memory installed, set your pagefile's "Initial Size" and "Maximum Size" to 384MB. (256MBx1.5=384MB).

I use these guidelines for memory settings
If you have 512MB (or below) of memory installed, set your pagefile to 1.5 times the amount of Physical RAM you have.
If you have above 512MB to 1GB of memory, you may want set it no higher than the amount of Physical RAM you have.
If you have more then 1GB of memory, you may want to consider disabling the pagefile all together. BUT some programs will not run without a virtual memory.
If you have windows 95/98/ME, set your pagefile to 2.5 times the amount of Physical RAM you have.
XP Game Tips
I thought this might come in handy to all you Hardcore Gamers who want to get a little more from your XP system. And I mean just to game with, No Internet, No Chatting, No Email, Nothing but Game! I turn off as much as possible short of crashing windows. Now you can turn off items running in the task manager but it’s just not enough. Instead of disabling hardware and stopping services for gaming, create a Gaming Hardware Profile.
Windows Services
A: Setting up a Hardware Profile for Gaming
Right click on My Computer / Properties / Hardware Tab / Hardware Profiles button
Copy Profile 1 and rename it Gaming Profile
Leave Profile 1 at the top of the list - Never delete your "Original Configuration"
Set to select the first profile in 5 seconds
Now you have created a menu that shows up when you boot your computer.
Reboot your computer to see that this takes effect.
B: Disabling Services for Gaming.
Control Panel / Administrative Tools / Services
For each service listed below do the following:
Double Click on service / Log on Tab / Click on Gaming Profile / click Disable Button
Click Apply but Do NOT disable for Profile 1
List of Services that can be disabled:
Application Layer Gateway Service (only if firewall is not used)
Application Management
Automatic Updates
Background Intelligent Transfer Service
COM+ System Application
Computer Browser
Cryptographic Services (Will cause "Logo" Errors when installing SP1 or DX9)
Distributed Link Tracking Client
Distributed Transaction Coordinator
Error Reporting Service
Fast User Switching Compatibility (only if fast user switching is not used or the machine has one user only)
Help and Support
Indexing Service
Internet Connection Firewall/ Internet Connection Sharing (ICS)
IPSEC Services
Logical Disk Manager Administrative Service
MS Software Shadow Copy Provider
Net Logon
NetMeeting Remote Desktop Sharing
Network DDE
Network DDE DSDM
Network Location Awareness (NLA)
NT LM Security Support Provider
Performance Logs and Alerts
Portable Media Serial Number
Print Spooler ** (only if the pc do not have or use a printer)
Protected Storage
Remote Desktop Help Session Manager
Remote Procedure Call (RPC) Locator
Remote Registry
Removable Storage
Routing and Remote Access
Secondary Logon (Run as... will not function)
Smart Card
Smart Card Helper
SSDP Discovery Service
System Restore Service
Task Scheduler
Terminal Services
Uninterruptible Power Supply
Universal Plug and Play Device Host
Upload Manager
VMWare Authorization Service (These services only appear if you use VM Ware)
VMWare DHCP Service " "
VMWare NAT Service " "
Volume Shadow Copy
Windows Image Acquisition (I won't be scanning while playing)
Windows Installer
Windows Management Instrumentation Driver Extensions
Windows Time
Wireless Zero Configuration
WMI Performance Adapter
You cannot expect to install games and use windows everyday with the above services disabled. Those are just safe services to disable *WHILE* you're in a game.
After the games are over, reboot and use the original Profile 1 again.
I disabled all these services on my system with no problems.
This does NOT guarantee that it will work fine on your system.
Every System is different. In other words,
And if you mess up your system doing this,
It's Your Own Dang Fault!
More Game Performance
Improve Framerates by Lowering Game Eyecandy and Sound. I found that by setting my resolution in C&C Generals Zero Hour to 800x600, and lowering the visual effects, I was able to improve my framerate from 24 to 52 FPS! This is more improvement than any of the other tweaks provided. Background Music is something that you don't need. Only keep sound settings that will help keep you alive, for example to hear a tank rumbling near you.
Firewalls & Games
If your doing Network gaming, Use XP's Firewall Instead of 3rd Party Firewalls. Check your services using the method in step A (above) to see if the firewall or antivirus program has services you should disable, i.e. Zone Alarm installs a True Vector service you can disable for the Gaming Profile. I have a router with firewall so I don’t have any firewalls on my system.
How to Set the Size of the INTERNET EXPLORER Window on Opening
When you open IE, do you always have to resize the window because it's too large or too small? You can change the window size at opening by doing the following:
Close any open IE windows.
Open IE, right click on a link in the page you opened, and select Open in New Window from the context menu.
Resize the new window to the size you want all IE windows to be when you open them by clicking a link.
Hold down the Shift key and click the Close icon (X) at the top right of the window to close the new window.
Resize the first window you opened to the size you want IE to be when you launch the browser. Close it by holding down Shift and clicking the Close icon.
Now your IE windows should open in the sizes you've set, depending on how you open the browser (from a link or by clicking the IE icon to launch the browser).
How to Change the Logon Screen Saver
The logon screen saver is the one that starts if no user logs onto XP's Welcome screen or dialog box after the timeout period. The default screen saver is logon.scr, but you can change it to any screen saver you like.
Here's how:
Open your favorite Registry Editor and navigate to the following key: HKEY USERS\DEFAULT\Control Panel\Desktop In the right pane, double click SCRNSAVE.EXE. In the Edit String dialog box, navigate to the Value Data field and enter the path and name of the screensaver you want to use (if the screensaver is located in the System32 folder, you can just enter the file name). Close the Registry Editor.
Note that if you want to turn the logon screen saver off, you can do that by entering a 0 in the Value Data field.
How to Make a Keyboard Shortcut to Open your Favorite Program
You can create a keyboard shortcut to open a much-used program if the program has a shortcut on the desktop and/or in the Start menu. Here's how:
Right click the program's shortcut on the desktop or Start menu and select Properties.
Click the Shortcut tab.
In the Shortcut key box, press the key combination you want to use to start the program. The key combo should include two of the following: CTRL, ALT, SHIFT plus one other key. For example, to start my PaperPiort scanning and document management program, I press CTRL+ALT+P.
Click Apply.
Click OK to close the dialog box.
If you make shortcuts for your most used programs, this can be much quicker than navigating through the Start menu or even than taking your hands off the keyboard to click an icon on the quick launch bar (Note that this may not work for all programs).
How to Remove Unnecessary Programs from Startup
Thanks to T.B. for reminding us that another thing that can slow down XP is having two many programs running in the background. Take a look in the notification area (Microsoft's term in XP for what we used to call the system tray) after you boot and notice all the icons there that represent programs that launch at startup.
There are a couple of ways to stop programs from loading at startup. In Windows Explorer, go to Documents and Settings on the partition where Windows is installed, click the folder with your user name, click Start Menu, then Programs, then Startup. This will show programs specific to your account that start when you boot. Then go to the All Users folder, Start Menu, Programs, Startup to see programs that start at boot time for all users. You can right click to delete the shortcuts, which will prevent the program from starting at startup. These are only shortcuts and will not delete the programs themselves.
Another way is to click Start, Run and type msconfig. Click the Startup tab and you can view programs that are set in the Registry to run at startup. You can uncheck the checkbox for each program that you want to prevent from launching at startup.
How to Use Content Advisor in IE 6.0 or Parental Controls
If you share a home computer with your kids, you can control access to web sites with Internet Explorer's Content Advisor, by using rating systems or by specifying sites that users can or cannot view.
Here's how:
In IE 6, click Tools | Internet Options and click the Content tab.
Under Content Advisor, click the Enable button. This opens the Content Advisor dialog box.
To use ratings, click the Ratings tab and adjust the slider bar to the level you want to use for each category (language, nudity, sex, violence).
To specify web sites, click the Approved Sites tab and enter the URL of each site you want to allow in the Allow This Web Site box. Click Always or Never to add the site to the Approved or Disapproved list, respectively. To remove a site from the list, click it in the list and click the Remove button.

You can also create a supervisor password so others who use the computer won't be able to change these settings: Click the General tab, then the Create Password button and type in and confirm your password.

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