Thursday, February 3, 2011

Migrating to a new computer using Windows Easy Transfer

Windows Vista is one of Microsoft's latest cli...Image via Wikipedia

You have just purchased a new computer because your old computer has a version of Windows that is no longer supported and you want a faster computer. You have files and settings on your old computer that you desperately want to retain. How can you get the files and settings from your old computer over to your new computer without having to do it manually?

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Windows Vista Startup Repair Tool

System Restore // 18-8-2008
Image by twinkleboi via Flickr

Use the Startup Repair tool if your computer won't start up. Windows Vista has a Startup Repair tool that automatically fixes common problems. The Startup Repair tool scans your computer and attempts to fix it so your computer can start correctly. 

When your system detects a startup failure, it automatically fails over to the Startup Repair tool. The Startup Repair tool performs diagnostics to determine the cause of the failure, and then attempts to recover.

The Startup Repair tool can automatically repair incompatible drivers, missing and corrupted startup configuration settings, and corrupted metadata.  Afterwards, a log is provided to you about the steps that were taken in the repair, and diagnostic information to make further troubleshooting easier.

If the Startup Repair is unable to repair the startup errors, the system is rolled back to the last known working state.

If you want to start the Startup Repair manually, make sure the disc is enabled as a boot device in the BIOS with a higher priority than the other drives.  Insert the Windows Vista installation disc. Restart and follow these steps:

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Hibernation power option

You need to configure your desktop computer to maximize the time between recharging your computer that is used infrequently during the day. What mode should you use?

Hibernation is a feature of laptops that allow them to enter into a low power state. This low power state will ensure that the laptop battery is not consumed when it is sitting idle. Hibernation can be configured through the Power Options applet in the Control Panel.

Do you want some pointers on how to save energy and be green doing it?  Get your daily green tips from Our Daily Green Life and Life the Green Way

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    Standby mode and Screen Savers

    You tried to configure your XP laptop to go into Standby after 15 minutes, but it is not working. What is wrong?

    Is a screen saver configured? If so, is it a Direct3D screen saver? Direct3D screen savers sometimes prevent a computer from entering standby mode. This is because a computer goes into standby only when the CPU has been idle for the time that is configured in Power Options. When a 3D screen saver runs, the CPU begins processing. This is a known issue in MS Windows XP and a hot fix is available.
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    Sunday, January 30, 2011

    Autoruns -Another awesome freee utility from SysInternals!

    The sequence of components activated during th...Image via Wikipedia

    This week I received an email from my brother complaining about his Windows XP computer's slow start up time. He said the normal startup time was about 40 minutes! Ray said, "the computer runs fine once it starts, the problem is totally within the boot up process".

    Well, big sister to the rescue. Or, more like it, Sysinternals Autoruns to the rescue. My brother is in South Carolina, and since I am in Long Island, I used GoToAssist to do a remote dial-up session to his computer. After the session started, I quickly went to Live SysInternals to download Autoruns, written by the great Mark Russinovich and Bryce Cogswell, co-founders of Sysinternals, before it was acquired by Microsoft in 1996.

    With Autoruns, you can check to see what is actually running at startup on your Windows computer, and I mean everything that's running at startup. Autoruns shows you much more than the included Msconfig Windows utility. You will be surprised by the number of third party items loaded into your system at startup. The longer you have had the computer, the more 'stuff' will be configured into registries and directories and loading automatically when you boot up.

    Select the Options menu and click on Include Empty Locations, this will cause Autoruns to show all the locations it inspects. Under the Options menu, you also have the ability to hide Microsoft entries, a good thing to do so you won't deselect one of the needed system files by accident from your startup.  You should always combine the option to hide Microsoft entries with the option to Verify Image Signatures, to prevent hiding malicious programs.  Uncheck the unwanted third party items. If you are unsure about a particular item, Google it to see what it is.

    I went through the Autoruns and unchecked many, many boxes. After closing Autoruns, I proceeded to restart the computer. This disconnected my GoToAssist session, so I waited for Ray to tell me how fast the boot up was. Ray was ecstatic. He has never seen such a quick boot up on a Windows computer.

    I also have Autoruns loaded on my Windows Vista computer. My boot up is almost instantaneous, actually faster than my Macbook. And, I never thought I'd see that day. Thank you Mark Russinovich!  Windows is getting better and better!


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