Archive for April, 2006

Top 10 Windows XP Tips of All Time

It’s a pretty good top ten I think, anybody have an they think were missed? Here’s number 10, see the whole article, here.

Tip 10: Halt background services to improve performance.

This tip is one of our favorites because it always works. Running in the background of Windows are scores of services, small processes used by Windows and many Windows applications. The thing is, you don’t need all these services ? especially for applications you never use ? and many of them actually slow your PC down.

Win XP power users have long known that you can easily eke a little extra performance out of your PC by disabling services that are completely unnecessary or that don’t need to be running all the time. Here’s how it works.

1. Click Start > Run, type services.msc and click OK. This will bring up the Services management console. Click on the Extended tab at the bottom of this window; each background service running on your PC is listed here. Windows includes a fairly detailed description of each service; simply drag the Description column wider to read more of each description, or click on a service to see its full description in the left pane.

2. Double-click a service to bring up a window with several options. In the Startup Type area, you can set the service to run automatically in the background at all times so it’s ready whenever it’s needed, or you can tell it to run manually, which means you’ll have to go into this Services management console and re-enable it if an application needs it.

Be the first to comment - What do you think?  Posted by Jimmy Daniels - April 30, 2006 at 11:13 pm

Categories: Windows XP   Tags:

Buy.com Sales and Coupons

Here are the latest promotions from Buy.com.

Lenovo Ideapad Y510 Notebook Intel Dual Core T2330 15.4″ Widescreen WXGA VibrantView (1280 x 800), Intel Graphics Media Accelerator X3100 (up to 256MB), 250GB, 2GB, Dual Layer CD/DVD Recordable, 1.3MP Camera, Windows Vista Premium – 6-Month Warranty (Factory Refurbished) FREE BUDGET SHIPPING List price: $999.99 SAVE $500.00
Buy.com price: $499.99


Toshiba at Buy.com

Be the first to comment - What do you think?  Posted by Jimmy Daniels - April 29, 2006 at 9:39 pm

Categories: Ramblings   Tags:

Microsoft Releases Latest IE Beta

Microsoft is releasing the latest version of Internet Explorer, and has plans for one more release.

Microsoft Corp. is releasing a new test version of Internet Explorer, the market-leading Web browser that is facing competition from smaller players.

The new beta, available Tuesday for free download to English-languages customers, includes fixes for problems that were causing Internet Explorer 7 to stop working, said Dean Hachamovitch, general manager in charge of Internet Explorer development.

This is Microsoft’s third beta of Internet Explorer 7 made available to the general public, and Hachamovitch said there are plans for one more. The new version comes amid growing competition from browsers such as Firefox, which has long offered functions such as tabbed browsing. Some also consider other browsers to be more secure, since IE, with its market dominance, is a popular target for attacks.

The final version of Internet Explorer 7 is expected to be released in the second half of this year, around the time a version of Microsoft’s new Windows operating system is expected to be available for business users. Source: Yahoo

Grab the latest beta here, http://www.microsoft.com/ie.

In a semi-related article, John C Dvorak, long known for “running off at the mouth” on lots of stuff has posted an article calling the integration of IE into the Operating System the Great Microsoft Blunder.

Microsoft should pull the browser out of the OS and discontinue all IE development immediately. It should then bless the Mozilla.org folks with a cash endowment and take an investment stake in Opera, to influence the future direction of browser technology from the outside in.

He makes a good point this time, believe it or not.

Be the first to comment - What do you think?  Posted by Jimmy Daniels - April 25, 2006 at 12:14 pm

Categories: Internet Explorer   Tags:

How To: Disable Error Reporting

You can get rid of the Windows XP error report messages if you don’t want to send another one in. Start the System Configuration Utility:

  1. Click Start, and then click Run.
  2. Type msconfig to open the System Configuration Utility.
  3. Click the Services tab.
  4. Clear the Error Reporting Service check box, and then click OK.
  5. Hit Restart to reboot your system.

Your computer will now start without loading the error reporting service.

Click here for more.

Be the first to comment - What do you think?  Posted by Jimmy Daniels - at 1:39 am

Categories: How To, Tips, Windows XP, Windows XP Tips   Tags:

Microsoft Patching the Latest Patch

Microsoft is now patching patches. The latest patch, detailed here, is now being patched to correct the problems it created, such as not being able to do a save as in Word, because of a problem in created in saving files in the My Documents folder, or being able to click the plus sign which should expand the directory tree.

The MS06-015 patch, designed to plug a flaw in Windows Explorer, can cause myriad problems for users of HP printers, scanners and digital cameras or Nvidia drivers prior to version 61.94. People with Sunbelt Software’s Kerio Personal Firewall also will notice that Windows no longer works as it should after applying the fix, Microsoft has said.

The troubles include being unable to access or save files in special folders like “My Documents” and “My Pictures” and unresponsive Office applications. Other issues include applications that crash after trying to open a file, no response after typing an address into Internet Explorer’s address bar, and no effect after right-clicking on a file and selecting “Send To,” according to an article on Microsoft’s support Web site.

While designed to fix a security issue in Windows Explorer, the patch can actually also impair that specific Windows feature. Clicking on the “plus” sign beside a folder in the file browser may have no effect, Microsoft said in its support article. That action should expand the directory tree.

The Windows Explorer fix is not the only patch that can cause trouble for users. Some people have reported problems with three out of five security updates that Microsoft released this month. A comprehensive fix for Internet Explorer can break some Web applications and an update for Outlook Express can block access to the address book, among other issues. Source: News.com

This patch will be released Tuesday to people who have already applied the patch and are experiencing problems. Wonder how they know people who are experiencing problems? Are they expecting everyone to send those error reports you get when a program crashes? Lot’s of people don’t do this, and lot’s of people try to fix stuff on their own, rather than rely on their IT department. They say if you are not experiencing the problem, then you don’t need the patch. But one would think you would want to cover every base and make every pc the same, what happens when someone installs a printer they got from someone in the HR department with the older software? Will Microsoft automatically know this has happened?

Here is a list of the operating systems affected:

Microsoft Windows Server 2003 R2 Standard x64 Edition
Microsoft Windows Server 2003 R2 Datacenter x64 Edition
Microsoft Windows Server 2003 R2 Enterprise x64 Edition
Microsoft Windows Server 2003 R2 Standard Edition (32-bit x86)
Microsoft Windows Server 2003 R2 Datacenter Edition (32-Bit x86)
Microsoft Windows Server 2003 R2 Enterprise Edition (32-Bit x86)
Microsoft Windows Server 2003, Standard x64 Edition
Microsoft Windows Server 2003, Datacenter x64 Edition
Microsoft Windows Server 2003, Enterprise x64 Edition
Microsoft Windows Server 2003 Service Pack 1, when used with:
Microsoft Windows Server 2003, Datacenter Edition for Itanium-Based Systems
Microsoft Windows Server 2003, Enterprise Edition for Itanium-based Systems
Microsoft Windows Server 2003, Standard Edition (32-bit x86)
Microsoft Windows Server 2003, Datacenter Edition (32-bit x86)
Microsoft Windows Server 2003, Enterprise Edition (32-bit x86)
Microsoft Windows Server 2003, Web Edition
Microsoft Windows Server 2003, Datacenter Edition for Itanium-Based Systems
Microsoft Windows Server 2003, Enterprise Edition for Itanium-based Systems
Microsoft Windows Server 2003, Standard Edition (32-bit x86)
Microsoft Windows Server 2003, Datacenter Edition (32-bit x86)
Microsoft Windows Server 2003, Enterprise Edition (32-bit x86)
Microsoft Windows Server 2003, Web Edition
Microsoft Windows Small Business Server 2003 Premium Edition
Microsoft Windows Small Business Server 2003 Standard Edition
Microsoft BackOffice Small Business Server 2000 Service Pack 1
Microsoft Windows XP Professional x64 Edition
Microsoft Windows XP Service Pack 2, when used with:
Microsoft Windows XP Home Edition
Microsoft Windows XP Professional
Microsoft Windows XP Service Pack 1, when used with:
Microsoft Windows XP Home Edition
Microsoft Windows XP Professional
Microsoft Windows XP Media Center Edition 2005
Microsoft Windows XP Media Center Edition 2002
Microsoft Windows XP Tablet PC Edition 2005
Microsoft Windows XP Tablet PC Edition
Microsoft Windows 2000 Service Pack 4, when used with:
Microsoft Small Business Server 2000 Standard Edition
Microsoft Windows 2000 Advanced Server
Microsoft Windows 2000 Datacenter Server
Microsoft Windows 2000 Professional Edition
Microsoft Windows 2000 Service Pack 4

Be the first to comment - What do you think?  Posted by Jimmy Daniels - April 22, 2006 at 1:51 pm

Categories: Microsoft News, Tech News   Tags: ,

AOL To Launch Myspace Killer?

AOL may be preparing to launch a Myspace-type social network sometime in the next few weeks, says Dave Winer.

read more | digg story

Nowadays it’s hard to tell what is serious and what is just hype or noise, but, if AOL can somehow tie this into their instant messenger, they may be onto something. It seems everyone on MySpace is on AOL IM so if they start this service, and then start the ad’s in instant messenger, I can see it having an impact, but a killer? I don’t know, it will depend on how it is preceived by users and the fickle teens and young adults who use these services. But, if they can get some kind of viral campaign going and the service is better, they may be able to do something with it.

Be the first to comment - What do you think?  Posted by Jimmy Daniels - April 20, 2006 at 10:33 am

Categories: Tech News   Tags:

Counterfeit Apple iPod Nanos and Shuffles

Apple’s iPod has become so popular that counterfeiters are making their own versions and passing them off as authentic. At first glance, the fake iPods appear very real.

read more | digg story

These knockoff’s are very similar, but are very obvious when compared to a real iPod, click here for a side by side comparison. As one commenter on digg said it, Apple’s iPod box will never, ever say Digital Music Player.

Be the first to comment - What do you think?  Posted by Jimmy Daniels - April 19, 2006 at 12:35 pm

Categories: Tech News   Tags:

Problem with Windows Update and Some HP Products

I guess I should say most HP products instead of some, but, if you are suddenly having trouble saving files in some office products, if you are having trouble using the open dialog box in IE, or if you are having trouble just using the open command form the file menu, then you’ll need to check out this support document from Microsoft.

After you install security update MS06-015 (908531) (http://www.microsoft.com/technet/security/bulletin/ms06-015.mspx), you may experience one of more of the following issues:? Unable to access special folders like “My Documents” or “My Pictures”.
? Microsoft Office applications may stop responding when you attempt to save or open Office files in the “My Documents” folder.
? Office files in the “My Documents” folder are not able to open in Microsoft Office.
? Opening a file through an application’s File / Open menu causes the program to stop responding .
? Typing an address into Internet Explorer?s address bar has no effect.
? Right-clicking on a file and selecting Send To has no effect.
? Clicking on the plus (+) sign beside a folder in Windows Explorer has no effect.
? Some third-party applications stop responding when opening or saving data in the ?My Documents? folder.

Here is the fix, quoted from the same document,

Hewlett-Packard’s Share-to-Web software. The MS06-015 (908531) (http://www.microsoft.com/technet/security/bulletin/ms06-015.mspx) security update includes a “white list”; VERCLSID.EXE will not scan any extension that appears on this list. Adding the HP shell extension corrects the problem. Manually edit the registry:1. Log on to the computer with an account with administrator privileges.
2. Click the Start button and then click Run.
3. Type Regedit and then click OK.
4. Navigate to HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Shell Extensions\Cached
5. Right-click “Cached”, point to New, click “DWORD Value”, and then enter: {A4DF5659-0801-4A60-9607-1C48695EFDA9} {000214E6-0000-0000-C000-000000000046} 0×401
6. Set the Data of this value to 1
7. Close the Registry Editor.
8. Use Task Manager to end the Verclsid.exe process or restart the computer.

Pain in the butt, I have been installing the latest patches and fixes from the Office update site until I saw this article posted on Microsoft’s site. This way atleast our versions of Office were up to date. ;)

Be the first to comment - What do you think?  Posted by Jimmy Daniels - at 9:49 am

Categories: Office News, Security   Tags:

10 Tips Every Microsoft Word user should know

Get out of the word-processing stone age and learn how to use your word processor the smart way. A nice rundown of some great tips for Microsoft Word users of all platforms, the author himself is running word on a Mac.
read more | digg story

Be the first to comment - What do you think?  Posted by Jimmy Daniels - April 17, 2006 at 12:20 pm

Categories: Office News   Tags:

Windows XP Rebuild Command

Have you ever run into a “Missing HAL.DLL,” “Invalid Boot.Ini,” or “Windows could not start…” message?
That was when I learned about XP’s built-in “Rebuild” command. It often can easily fix “missing HAL,” “Invalid Boot.Ini,” “Windows could not start…” and similar problems in just a minute or two.

read more | digg story

Found this post on digg.com this afternoon, I know I’ve probably posted links to a tip like this one before, but this definitely deserves repeating.

It usually takes a lot to stop XP in its tracks. Even in those rare cases when the operating system is badly damaged, you’ll usually at least have the option of booting into the “Last Known Good” configuration, or to Safe Mode. But sometimes, especially after major hardware failures or part swaps (e.g. moving the operating system to a new hard drive), or after problems with dual- or multi-booting software, you may encounter seemingly intractable errors such as “Missing or corrupt HAL.DLL,” “Invalid Boot.Ini,” or “Windows could not start…”

These problems can seem hard to get past. For example, the first time I got a “Cannot find \Windows\System32\hal.dll” error message, I thought I’d be clever and replace the missing file via a simple Copy command from the Recovery Console. I booted the PC, switched to the \Windows\System32 folder, and there it was: The HAL.DLL was already there. It wasn’t missing at all. Why couldn’t the operating system find it?

I tried copying a fresh version of the file to \Windows\System32. No dice. I tried renaming it all uppercase and then all lowercase. Nothing. I put a copy in the root directory. No effect. I tried everything I could think of, but nothing worked.

Then–doh!–I stopped thrashing and did what I should have done initially: I dug into the Microsoft Knowledge Base and learned about XP’s built-in Rebuild command. It can often easily fix “Missing HAL” and similar problems in just a minute or two. If you know about this command and how to use it, you can potentially save yourself hours and hours of manually reinstalling or rebuilding a failed operating system.

He basically mention these commands being all that you will need in some situations,
Boot from your XP Setup CD and enter the Recovery Console
Run “Attrib -H -R -S” on the C:\Boot.ini file
Delete the C:\Boot.ini file
Run “Bootcfg /Rebuild”
Run Fixboot
Sounds like a piece of cake, and it is. Try this the next time you get one of those error messages, before you reinstall the whole operating system, AGAIN!

Be the first to comment - What do you think?  Posted by Jimmy Daniels - at 12:06 pm

Categories: Windows XP   Tags:

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