Posts Tagged ‘Microsoft’

Defragmenting a Drive in Windows 7.

Thursday, January 6th, 2011

Defragmenting your hard drive instructing Windows to rearrange files on a hard drive so that the various parts of a file all sit next to one another rated as a Big Deal. Windows didn’t help automate running defrags, so few people bothered. As a result, drives started to look like patchwork quilts with pieces of files stored randomly. On the rare occasion that a Windows user ran the defragmenter, bringing all the pieces together could take hours and the resulting system speed-up rarely raised any eyebrows.

Windows 7 changes that by simply and quietly scheduling a disk defragmentation to run every week. You don’t need to touch a thing.

Windows 7 doesn’t run automatic defrags on solid state drives which is to say, flash memory drives that don’t have any moving parts. (You probably don’t have one yet, but they’re becoming more common every year.) Solid state drives don’t need defragmentation. They also have a finite lifespan, so there’s no need to overwork the drives with a senseless exercise in futility.

If you’re curious about how your computer’s doing in the defrag department, choose Start > All Programs > Accessories > System Tools > Disk Defragmenter. Disk Defragmenter gives you a full report allowing you to make scheduling changes if you so desire. You can also choose which drives you want to defrag.

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Scheduling a task in Windows 7

Tuesday, January 4th, 2011

With the Task Scheduler configured properly, you can set it to run a disk cleanup every night, by following these steps:

1. Choose Start > All Programs > Accessories > System Tools > Task Scheduler.
The Task Scheduler appears.

2. On the right, select the Create Basic Task option. The Create Basic Task Wizard appears. In spite of its intimidating appearance, the Task Scheduler can help you schedule almost any repetitive task.

3. Type a name for the task, and then click the Next button. The wizard asks for a trigger. That’s computer talk for “Under what circumstances do you want the scheduled task to run?”

4. Choose Daily if you want the cleanup to run every day, and then click the Next button.

5. Set the time of day that you want the cleanup to run, and click Next.

6. Choose an action. In this case, select the Start a Program option, and then click Next. The Task Scheduler asks you for the program you want to run.

7. To run Windows 7 Disk Cleanup, click the Browse button, navigate to \Windows\System32\cleaningr.exe, click the program once, and click the Open button. You can similarly run any other program with the Task Scheduler by clicking the Browse button, navigating to the program, and clicking Open.

8. In the add Arguments (Optional) box, type /sagerun:9
This step tells Windows 7 Disk Cleanup to use the “number 9” parameters (9 = your Disk Cleanup settings, this can change. This just happened to be mine.).

9. Click Next, select the Open the Properties Dialog for This Task When I Click Finish check box, and then click the Finish button.
The Task Scheduler Wizard adds your cleanup run to its list of active tasks. You can verify it by clicking the Refresh button at the bottom of the Task Scheduler window and then scrolling through the active tasks.

10. In the Task Properties box, select the Run Whether User Is Logged On or Not option, and then dick OK. If prompted for a password, type it and click OK. You have to complete this final step in the Task Properties dialog box so that the cleanup can run whether you’re logged on or not.

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Using the Windows 7 Resource Monitor and Reliability Monitor.

Saturday, January 1st, 2011

The Windows 7 Resource Monitor lets you peek into the inner workings of the beast, with graphs and statistics galore. If you’re having trouble with a program taking over your computer, or if you’re curious to see how much of its memory is being used, the Resource Monitor knows all, sees all, and tells all most of the time.

To examine the internal behavior of your system, follow these steps:

1. Choose Start > All Programs > Accessories > System Tools > Resource Monitor.
To get there quickly, click Start, type resmon, and hit Enter. The Windows 7 Resource Monitor appears, in its Overview state.

2. To keep a watch on which programs are hogging the CPU, click the Average CPU column heading. That column presents a 60-second running average of CPU utilization. The hogs float to the top.

If a program has stopped responding, right-click it here and choose Analyze Process. You may be able to gather some worthwhile
information that helps you fix the program.

3. If you’re curious about how your computer’s memory is being used, click the Memory tab. The Resource Monitor’s memory tracker appears. The bar graph at the bottom may surprise you, particularly if you have 4GB installed on a 32-bit Windows 7 system: A sizable chunk of memory isn’t accessible, and this graph tells you how much.

In general, if Windows reports many page faults (the graph marked Hard Faults/sec), you may be able to increase your computer’s performance significantly by increasing its amount of memory.

4. When you’re done, click the X Close button to close the Resource Monitor.

By contrast, the Windows 7 Reliability Monitor gives you a view of the problems your PC has encountered, with some insight as to the causes.

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Zipping the easy way with Compressed (zipped) Folders in Windows 7.

Wednesday, December 29th, 2010

The easiest way to create a Zip file, a Compressed (zipped) Folder is with a simple right-click. Here’s how.

1. Navigate to the files you want to zip. (For example, choose Start > Documents or Start > Computer and go from there.)

2. Select the file or files that you want to zip together. (You can Ctrl + click to select individual files or Shift + click to select a bunch.)
Right-click any of the selected files and choose Send To Compressed (Zipped) Folder.

Windows responds by creating a new Zip file, with a .zip filename extension, and placing the selected files in the new Zip folder.

The new file is just like any other file; you can rename it, copy it, move it, delete it, send it as an e-mail attachment, save it on the Internet, or do anything else to it that you can do to a file.

3. To add another file to your Compressed (zipped) Folder, simply drag it onto the zipped folder icon.

4. To copy a file from your Zip file (uh, folder), double-click the zipped folder icon and treat the file the same way you would treat any regular” file.

5. To copy all files out of your Zip file (folder), click the Extract All Files button on the command bar. You see the Windows 7 Compressed (Zipped) Folders Extraction Wizard, which guides you through the steps.

The Compressed (Zipped) Folders Extraction Wizard places all copied files into a new folder with the same name as the Zip file; which confuses everybody. Unless you give the extracted folder a different name from the original Compressed (zipped) Folder, you end up with two folders with precisely the same name sitting on your desktop. It is a good idea to give the wizard a different folder name while you’re extracting the files.

These tutorials are a one-person effort. Please donate if you find them useful.