Posts Tagged ‘Windows’

What to Do After Buying a New Laptop

October 23, 2013 by JTRipton. 10 comments

Buying a new laptop can be a difficult venture. You must decide which one is right for you. Depending on what your needs are, there are tons of things to consider like hard drive space, graphics cards, and general ease of use.

But once you find your dream computer, there are a few things that you must do. Here are some tips to follow after you purchase your laptop to make your computing experience a pleasurable one.

Register and Update Windows

win8

Image via Flickr by Microsoft Sweden

An important part of purchasing your computer is actually registering (and successfully activating) Windows. It activates all the perks of having Windows as an operating system, such as Windows Media Player, and it also enables desktop personalization.

Next you’ll want to download all system updates and service packs. You’ll want a really fast internet connection for this, because these can be huge files and take a while to download. However, they’re vital to making your computer safer and run much smoother. These updates patch up any bugs or glitches that were newly found, and they streamline the performance of the operating system as well as add new features.  To answer super user “Hennes” question, it doesn’t matter which variation of Windows 7 you have, Pro or Home, it will run, performance wise, the same, if you’re worried about performance issues think about either adding more RAM or upgrading to Windows 8, which for the for the most part is a more streamlined and smoother operating system.

Rid your Computer from Unwanted “Bloatware”

When you purchase a computer, you’d imagine that you’re starting with a clean slate. However, this couldn’t be further from the truth. Most computers are loaded with unwanted games and software (referred to as bloatware, since it bulks up what should be a clean slate). The most efficient way to truly free up your computer is to install a brand-new, store-bought copy of Windows onto your hard drive.  This will wipe out everything that was on the hard drive (so make sure you save everything you wanted to keep on an external drive or disc) and leave a clean and smoothly operating system, free of unwanted, useless bloatware.

If you don’t feel like doing this, or don’t want to buy a new copy of Windows, you can try manually uninstalling the offending software, by going to Start > Control Panel > Programs and Features. From here you can go to each program you don’t want and click uninstall. For programs that are more deeply rooted, like anti-virus software, you can go to the developers website and search for the “complete uninstall” procedure and follow their steps to completely eradicate it from your system.

Anti-virus and Security Software

While many computers come with standard anti-virus software, it’s important to make sure you have the right program to deal with potential intruders. That being said, you may want to consider forking out a few dollars for an all-encompassing anti-virus program, such as Norton Antivirus software, or save some money and get basic protection, with something like AVG Anti-Virus software.

Going together with anti-virus software is security scanning software. What you’re looking for are programs such as malware that will make your computer run at a turtle’s pace. By running a security scan, you can remove all the unwanted unintentionally downloaded programs off your hard drive before you get into computing that would release sensitive information.

Schedule a security scan for about once a week (you can set it to automatically begin when you want, in whatever increment you choose) to keep your computer free from malicious programs. Keep this software running in the background, and it will detect and quarantine any questionable and infected files that you may have just unintentionally downloaded and it will also warn you and deter you away from possibly unsafe sites.

Back Up Software and Recovery

Any computer with Windows will have system recovery loaded to it. Recovery restores your computer to a pre-existing state if the worst should happen.

If you drop your computer or it suddenly fails due to a power surge or something else, recovery will make your computer work again if possible. Backing up, on the other hand, is basically insurance for your computer. You can take all the files that you never want to lose, and you can put them on an external hard drive. Or if you don’t want to buy one of those, you can copy the files on to a DVD or CD and keep them in a safe place. These measures ensure that you will never have to fret over lost work.

Physical back-ups aren’t your only option – there are plenty of ways to back up your info using an online cloud service, doing this will automatically back up your files as you make them, and no matter what happens to your computer, or backup drives, your files will be downloadable from their hard drives on their servers.

Power Saving

Make sure that, after registering Windows, you go into your personalization and check your power saving scheme. Here, you can configure your Windows 8 power plan settings and options. Choose how long until your computer turns off after it’s idle, as well as setting a screen saver. Both of these things will save you on your energy bill and keep your computer running longer.

No matter what laptop you choose to buy, following a few simple steps for your new laptop will go a long way. Although you shouldn’t expect problems on a brand new machine, it’s all about peace of mind. You can use the computer at your leisure and not be worried about the problems that can compound over time.

Kon Boot: Getting into a Client’s Computer without using a Portal Gun

March 1, 2012 by bloodphilia. 4 comments

Okay, here you are again. Another computer from another (self-proclaimed) client for you to fix. So, let’s boot this thing and see what’s wrong with it this time. Okay, first obstacle; logging into the client’s user account. Now for me, repairs would usually pause here while I’m waiting for the moment I can get a hold of my client and ask him or her for the correct password. Annoying…

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WTFriday: What happens when Windows runs out of Disk Space?

February 17, 2012 by George Edison. 11 comments

I have been using the Windows 8 Developer Preview for about 5 months or so and in order to install it on my PC, I had to create a rather small partition on my primary hard drive consisting of only about 16GB. Thankfully, a clean install of Windows 8 will fit comfortably within that space and still provide enough room for some basic utilities and drivers (of course, I do have other secondary partitions that I use for installing applications).

During the installation of a particular application, the free disk space on the partition dropped to about 28MB. One of the users over in the Root Access chat room suggested that I try filling the disk until it is completely full and then blogging about what happens – hence this article. I was a bit reluctant at first since I didn’t want the hassle of reinstalling anything if it became corrupted somehow, but since I have up to date backups of everything, I decided to proceed anyway.

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Running Windows Applications in Linux

September 19, 2011 by George Edison. 3 comments

Ask some Windows users why they aren’t using Linux and chances are you will hear “because [program] doesn’t have a Linux version.” Although cross-platform software is popping up all over the place, there are still a number of applications that are restricted to a single platform – and for a lot of software, that platform is Microsoft Windows.

However, all is not lost. Although Linux has its own executable format and set of system libraries, a tool exists that will allows us to run a good portion of our Windows applications directly in Linux. This tool is of course, Wine. Wine initially began as a small project that was designed to run simple 16-bit Windows applications. As time went on, the target shifted to 32-bit applications and the long and hard process of rewriting Windows’ user-mode libraries began.

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Digging Deeper: Searching in Windows

June 23, 2011 by Tom Wijsman. 9 comments

In the series of digging deeper within our files, we’ve had Spotlight and mdfind on Mac OS X. Now we’re back with a Windows counter-part article; where we will outline Windows Search and Search Everything for Windows…

Next in our series will be an article on digging deeper in Linux! :)

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Windows 7 Network Awareness: How Windows knows it has an internet connection

May 16, 2011 by nhinkle. 88 comments

Have you ever been connecting to a new wireless network and seen the following pop-up balloon?

Additional login information may be required. Click to open your browser.

no internet accessWhenever I connect to a WiFi network which requires in-browser authentication, such as university networks and hotel access points, Windows somehow magically knows. Windows also knows when your internet connection isn’t working, and can differentiate between having local LAN access, no network access at all, or full internet access. But how?

This week’s question of the week is one I myself asked about this very topic. I guessed that there must be some online Microsoft site that Windows is checking to determine the state of the connection, but I wanted proof, not just speculation.

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Migrating to Linux from Windows

May 15, 2011 by George Edison. 8 comments

Ask someone what operating system they’re using, and chances are they’ll reply with some version of Windows. It’s hard to find a PC for sale anywhere that doesn’t have some version of Windows pre-installed on it. However, with recent privacy and security threats, Windows has taken a lot of heat for vulnerabilities found within the operating system. For that reason and perhaps others, many are beginning to look at alternatives. One such alternative is Linux.

The decision to migrate to Linux might be based on a number of factors such as performance, security, or stability. Linux is widely known for its robust kernel and raw speed. Many web servers run Linux – in fact, according to Wikipedia, the majority of websites are powered by Linux. Despite its huge presence in the server market though, it does not enjoy the same widespread usage on typical desktop computers – probably the two biggest reasons for that are education and compatibility.

A lot of people are surprised to find out that the same software they use on Windows is either available for Linux or a program with equivalent functionality can be used. In some cases, it is even possible to run Windows applications in Linux using a compatibility layer (such as Wine or Mono). In order to understand Linux a little better, we’ll take a look at its history.

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IObit Advanced SystemCare 4

April 28, 2011 by mokubai. 5 comments

IObit Advanced SystemCare4 is your one-stop shop for all your computer management needs and is, quite honestly, the most full featured and complete PC cleaner application I have ever seen.

Along with the standard suite of malware, registry and disk drive cleaners SystemCare4 also includes privacy protection, several speed boosting modes, closing of application vulnerabilities (which in my case recommended a couple of Microsoft updates that were not dished out by Windows Update) and several other useful features.  It even has disk defragmentation which moves into disk optimization in the “Pro” version.

asc4-main

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Downgrading Windows To An Earlier Version

April 15, 2011 by mokubai. 0 comments

In this post we ask two related questions about downgrading.

Can I legally downgrade from Win 7 64 bits to Win 7 32 bits?

and

Winows 7 Professional downgrade rights to Vista and XP

Granted these are quite distinctly different intentions of end results, but they do share a lot of similar ramifications regarding what you are allowed to do within the scope of your Windows licence.

Downgrading 64-bit to 32-bit.

This not actually a real downgrade as it is simply changing the bit-ness of your operating system but people think of it as a downgrade as it is almost a step backwards in terms of compatibility.  If you have more than 3GB of memory then you should almost never consider this as an option as, for reasons I have already stated, you will be effectively crippling your computer.

I’m going to start again by using the Microsoft End User License Terms search tool and present in all versions of the EULA is the following section:

2.  INSTALLATION AND USE RIGHTS.

d.  Alternative Versions. The software may include more than one version, such as 32-bit and 64-bit. You may use only one version at one time.

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Transferring Windows to Another Computer

April 6, 2011 by mokubai. 2 comments

Sold or Licenced?

We’ve all been there, we have a machine that has Windows installed on it and for some reason that machine is on the way out or we want to do something else with it, and we ask ourselves “Why can’t I just install it on another machine?”

In the early years you bought your operating system, installed it wherever you needed it and as far as you were concerned you owned that software.  Volume licensing was something big companies did, a home user with two machines bought one copy of the software, installed it on both and that was the end of it.  The problem is that companies didn’t like you doing that, big companies want you to buy as many copies of the software as computers you own.  Two computers, two copies to buy.

It’s only recently with the advent of the internet and almost everyone having at least some access to phone lines that companies have been able to come up with enforceable ways to prevent people from installing the companies software on every computer in sight.  The first thing they did was to get rid of the idea that they are actually selling you something.

To quote Microsoft themselves:

The software is licensed, not sold. This agreement only gives you some rights to use the features included in the software edition you licensed. Microsoft reserves all other rights.

You aren’t “buying” the software, you are just renting it for some indefinite period.

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