Posts Tagged ‘Windows 7’

Restart regularly in Windows 7.

Thursday, March 24th, 2011

As with all past Windows Versions restarting will clear up some common problems. Restart your PC at least once a week, especially if you use it a lot. Restarting a PC is a good way to clear out its memory and ensure that any errant processes and services that started running get shut down.

Restarting closes all the software running on your PC, not only the programs you see running on the taskbar, but also dozens of services that might have been started by various programs and never stopped. Restarting can fix mysterious performance problems when the exact cause is hard to pinpoint.

If you keep so many programs, e mail messages, and websites open that you think restarting is a hassle, that’s probably a sign you should restart your PC. The more things you have open and the longer you keep them running, the greater the chances your PC will bog down and eventually run low on memory.

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Turn off Visual Effects in Windows 7.

Monday, March 21st, 2011

As with all past versions of Windows if your PC is running slowly, you can speed it up by disabling some of its visual effects. It comes down to appearance versus performance. Would you rather have Windows run faster or look prettier? If your PC is fast enough, you don’t have to make this tradeoff, but if your computer is just barely powerful enough for Windows 7, it can be useful to scale back on the visual bells and whistles.

You can choose which visual effects to turn off, one by one, or you can let Windows choose for you. There are many visual effects you can control, such as the transparent glass look, the way menus open or close, and whether shadows are displayed.

To adjust all visual effects for best performance:

1. Open Performance Information and Tools by clicking the Start button, and then clicking Control Panel. In the search box, type Performance Information and Tools, and then, in the list of results, click Performance Information and Tools.

2. Click Adjust visual effects. If you’re prompted for an administrator password or confirmation, type the password or provide confirmation.

3. Click the Visual Effects tab, click Adjust for best performance, and then click OK. (For a less drastic option, select Let Windows choose what’s best for my computer.)

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Clean Up Your Hard Disk Weekly.

Wednesday, March 2nd, 2011

Your computer amasses temporary files over time. These files can come from any number of sources, with the web being one of the largest offenders. After a while, these temporary files will slow down your computer.

About once every week, you should run the Windows Disk Cleanup utility to clear your PC of these temporary files. The Windows Disk Cleanup tool requires user input to complete its designated task. For this reason, it is recommended that, when setting up the utility to run automatically (as described in the next paragraph), you choose a time when you are typically on the computer so you can provide this input.

When using the Create Basic Task Wizard, select the Open the Properties dialog for this task when I click Finish check box. This allows you to access additional properties related to the task. On the Settings tab, select the Run task as soon as possible after a scheduled start is missed check box to ensure that the task starts the next time you are logged on to your computer.

Schedule Disk Cleanup to run automatically:

Windows 7
1. Open Task Scheduler: Click the Start button, click Control Panel, click Administrative Tools, and then double-click Task Scheduler. If you’re prompted for an administrator password or confirmation, type the password or provide confirmation.
2. Click the Action menu, and then click Create Basic Task. This opens the Create Basic Task Wizard.
3. Type a name for the task and an optional description, and then click Next.
4. To select a schedule based on the calendar, click Daily, Weekly, Monthly, or One time, and then click Next.
5. Specify the schedule you want to use, and then click Next.
6. Click Start a program, and then click Next.
7. Click Browse, and, in the File name box, type cleanmgr.exe, click Open, and then click Next.
8. Click Finish.

Windows Vista
1. Open Task Scheduler: Click the Start button, click Administrative Tools, and then click Task Scheduler. If you are prompted for an administrator password or confirmation, type the password or provide confirmation.
2. Click the Action menu, and then click Create Basic Task.
3. Type a name for the task and an optional description, and then click Next.
4. To select a schedule based on the calendar, click Daily, Weekly, Monthly, or One time, and then click Next.
5. Specify the schedule you want to use, and then click Next.
6. Click Start a program, and then click Next.
7. Click Browse, and, in the File name box, type cleanmgr.exe, click Open, and then click Next.
8. Click Finish.

Windows XP
1. Click Start, and then click Control Panel.
2. Click Performance and Maintenance.
3. Under or pick a Control Panel icon, click Scheduled Tasks.
4. In the Scheduled Tasks window, double-click Add Scheduled Task.
5. In the Scheduled Task Wizard, click Next.
6. Scroll down to Disk Cleanup in the list of Applications, click it (to highlight it), and then click Next.
7. Under Perform this task, click Weekly, and then click Next.
8. Set the time and day of the week you would like to run Disk Cleanup. For best results, choose a time when you’re typically at your computer so you can provide any required input. Click Next.
9. Type your password in both the Enter the password and Confirm password boxes, and then click Next.
10. Click Finish.

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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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