Top 15 Methods & built-in tools to troubleshoot windows operating systems

1.Defragmentation and optimize drives

Optimizing your drives can help your PC run smoother and boot up faster. To optimize them:

  1. Select the search bar on the taskbar and enter defrag.
  2. Select Defragment and Optimize Drives.
  3. Select the disk drive you want to optimize.
  4. Select the Optimize button.

2.Disk cleanup

To delete temporary files:

  1. In the search box on the taskbar, type disk cleanup, and select Disk Cleanup from the list of results.
  2. Select the drive you want to clean up, and then select OK.
  3. Under Files to delete, select the file types to get rid of. To get a description of the file type, select it.
  4. Select OK.

If you need to free up more space, you can also delete system files:

  1. In Disk Cleanup, select Clean up system files.
  2. Select the file types to get rid of. To get a description of the file type, select it.
  3. Select OK.

3.Local Security Policy

The local security policy of a system is a set of information about the security of a local computer. The local security policy information includes the following: … Which user accounts may access the system and how. For example, interactively, through a network, or as a service.

4.Recovery drive

A recovery drive stores a copy of your Windows 10 environment on an external source, like a DVD or USB drive. … In most cases you would be out of luck, but not if you’ve already created a recovery drive, which stores a copy of your Windows 10 environment on another source, such as a DVD or USB drive.

5.Registry editor

Registry Editor allows users to perform the following functions: Creating, manipulating, renaming, and deleting registry keys, subkeys, values, and value data. Importing and exporting . … Loading, manipulating, and unloading registry hive format files (Windows NT systems only).

6.Windows defender firewall with advanced security

Windows Defender Firewall with Advanced Security is an important part of a layered security model. By providing host-based, two-way network traffic filtering for a device, Windows Defender Firewall blocks unauthorized network traffic flowing into or out of the local device.

7.Windows memory diagnostic

How to Start Memory Diagnostic Tool in Windows 10

  1. Open Control Panel.
  2. Click on System and Security.
  3. Click on Administrative Tools.
  4. Double-click the “Windows Memory Diagnostic” shortcut.
  5. Click the “Restart now and check for problems” option (The tool also offers an option to schedule a test in the next reboot).

8.System configuration

A system configuration (SC) in systems engineering defines the computers, processes, and devices that compose the system and its boundary. More generally, the system configuration is the specific definition of the elements that define and/or prescribe what a system is composed of.

9.Control panel

 You can use Control Panel to change settings for Windows. These settings control nearly everything about how Windows looks and works.

10.Task Manager 

Task Manager (Windows) … Task Manager, previously known as Windows Task Manager, is a task manager, system monitor, and startup manager included with Microsoft 


HWiNFO is the most comprehensive system summary tool by a long shot. It displays all information about your computer- from the CPU temperatures to fan voltages. In fact, if you are using a Ryzen processor, this should be your go-to choice as alternatives such as CPU-Z have been known to show incorrect readings.

It’s a good tool to have when you want the most accurate readouts of everything related to your computer components.

12.Windows Network Diagnostics Tool

This tool will perform several tests to troubleshoot network connectivity or performance issues. If there are problems with the connection, this tool will try to diagnose the problem and present some possible solutions. It can be used to troubleshoot different network problems such as Internet connectivity, issues connecting to a shared folder, HomeGroup connectivity issues, and even network printer problems. WNDT will automatically run when it detects a problem.

13.Problem Reports and Solutions Tool

This tool will automatically check for problems in Windows related to installations and applications. We can also run this tool manually if we have a particular problem. This tool also enables us to view the problem history. We can also check for new solutions on the Internet. We can always clear solutions and problem history.

14.Services Console

To start or stop the services in real-time, we can use the Services console. The Services console (MMC snap-in) lists detailed information about each service and provides management options. This is the same list as in MSConfig, however, it provides more information and more management options. Keep in mind that services need some type of authentication to be able to start. By default, most services work with a local system account, but we can specify another account to be used when the service wants to start.

15.Windows Diagnostic Infrastructure (WDI)

Starting from Windows 7 we have a Windows Diagnostic Infrastructure (WDI) available. WDI is a set of diagnostic tools that identify existing disk, network, and memory problems. They detect failures and alert us of potential problems. WDI can show us information about existing problems and help us prevent future problems.

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Top 20 best methods to protecting your windows os from viruses, malware, and hacking?

  1. Keep Your Window Up To Date.
  2. Update your software.
  3. Run New Application in Virtual Machine before installing in System.
  4. Install Microsoft Security Essentials (Antivirus).
  5. Browser.
  6. Never Open Un-authorized Email and site.
  7. Keep Distance From Infected Websites.
  8. Stop Using Popular Operating Systems.
  9. Secure Your Wireless Network.
  10. Avoid Open WiFi.
  11. Don’t click on links within emails.
  12. Adjust Browser Security Settings.
  13. Always Scan Pendrive for Virus and Trojans.
  14. Have Two Accounts.
  15. Password Management.
  16. Always Check Before Downloading.
  17. Use encryption.
  18. Turn off Bluetooth.
  19. Clear your browsing history.
  20. System Backup.

1.Keep Your Window Up To Date:

If you use Windows 7, 8, and 10 OS, always keep your Windows update. Microsoft always releases new patches and security updates for Windows OS. These new updates and security patches keep your computer safe from viruses and exploits. Always update your computer and keep your Windows away from the virus.

2.Update your software:

outdated software is one of the topmost reasons for virus infection. So, make sure to update your software to the latest version and install all security patches. To make things easy, you can use a dedicated software updater to update all installed software in just one click.

3.Run New Application in Virtual Machine before installing in System:

When you download software and applications from an unofficial website, you don’t know how that software can affect your system. Many times this software contains viruses and trojans. Try strange software in the virtual machine (Virtual Box). Virtual Machine runs your software in the virtual environment, so malicious software never affects your computer directly.

4.Install Microsoft Security Essentials (Antivirus):

Microsoft Security Essentials is a Microsoft Free Antivirus for every Windows PC user. MSE  scans your Windows PC for a virus, unwanted software, trojans, and malicious files. If you are not running any premium antivirus, my advice is to download this free antivirus from the Microsoft website and install it in your system. MSE  security tool downloads all the latest security updates from Windows update so that your Windows machine is always safe from viruses and trojans.


Web browsers are the primary gateway for viruses and malware. Therefore, make sure to update your browser and set up proper security settings for your browsers, like ‘Warn me when sites try to install add-ons, block suspicious sites, etc.

6.Never Open Un-authorized Email and site:

When you browse the internet, never open a malicious website. Use Google Chrome Browser. When you click on a suspicious website in the Chrome browser, Google Chrome warns you. Never open any hidden links in an email if you don’t know what is inside it.

7.Keep Distance From Infected Websites:

We visit many sites without knowing whether the site is safe for browsing or not. We often see lots of Popup ads coming in front of the screen that always lands you on to download page. These types of sites can spoof your data. So, it’s always better to look at the green lock in the address bar, which contains the prefix of ”HTTPS” while dealing with banking sites.

8.Stop Using Popular Operating Systems:

Windows is far and away from the most popular operating system in the world, which makes it the most vulnerable to attacks. The reason for this is simple, hackers and virus architects want to hit the most machines possible. Since most machines have some version of Windows on them, they program their viruses to aim at these. Mac users tend to have fewer issues in this regard because there are fewer viruses being written for them.

9.Secure Your Wireless Network:

This is a dual-fold system. You should have a secure password to access your WiFi, but you also should have a password that protects your modem or router from being hacked. Most modems or routers come with an administrative password that is the same right out of the box, which allows anyone in range of your WiFi to access it, even if you have it password protected. Make sure you’ve changed your admin settings as well as added WEP, WPA, or some other password-security protocol.

10.Avoid Open WiFi:

If an internet connection doesn’t have password protection, anyone can see anything you do on it. Don’t use it, or, if you must, don’t use it for anything sensitive or personal. It gives anyone on that network a straight pipeline into your computer, tablet, or phone, making it dangerous as hell.

11.Don’t click on links within emails:

One of the major ways that many computers end up being infected is by users receiving links via email that take them into dangerous territory. If an email comes from a suspicious source, ignore it, especially if it promises you riches, work-from-home opportunities, or anything else that seems too good to be true. That’s the bait on the hook.

Since many email-dependent viruses often use your own address book against you, you also should be leery of any email from friends or family that entices you to click on a link. These could very easily be the result of an infection that the person didn’t even know they had gotten.

12.Adjust Browser Security Settings:

Every browser has security built into it which you can change to more or less secure. Typically the medium-security settings are all you need. Your browser will then alert you if you’re headed into a website that’s dangerous or could potentially be harmful. It’s not foolproof, but if your browser is telling you something isn’t safe, don’t go forward unless you like being robbed and recovering from a system crash.

13.Always Scan Pendrive for Virus and Trojans:

When you plug in any Pendrive or Memory Card, always scan Pendrive for a virus from antivirus. Many time virus comes from Pendrive and other media storage. If you doubt any file, but your antivirus show nothing suspicious, try online virus scanner Scan Files & Url from Online Scanner.

14.Have Two Accounts:

Mostly, malware and viruses require administrator rights to harm your computer. You need to put on an administrator-type account for managing Windows and a local user account for work and play. So, make sure to create a new administrator account, then change your existing account’s type to Local.

15.Password Management:

You must learn Password Management’s art because it plays the leading role in securing your online data. You must know the major difference between a good and a bad password. Today we are using email accounts, and we very often download files through it. What if someone attached a keylogger, and you deliberately downloaded and installed it. So always put and secure and Unique Password.

16.Always Check Before Downloading:

First of all, you should always download files from trusted websites. However, if your trusted website fails to provide you with the much-needed software, make sure to download it from the site, running on HTTPS protocol. Apart from these, you should always double-check before downloading any files from the internet. Hackers often push malware, viruses as an add-on bundled with the data. Well, having a good antivirus program will block dangerous files automatically, but it’s still recommended to double-check files before downloading.

17.Use encryption:

Even if cybercriminals gain access to your network and files, encryption can prevent them from accessing any of that information. You can encrypt your Windows or macOS hard drive with BitLocker (Windows) or FileVault (Mac), encrypt any USB flash drive that contains sensitive information, and use a VPN to encrypt web traffic. Only shop at encrypted websites; you can spot them immediately by the “https” in the address bar, accompanied by a closed-padlock icon.

18.Turn off Bluetooth:

When you’re not using Bluetooth, turn it off. Keeping your Bluetooth on but dormant opens another back door for computer hackers.

19.Clear your browsing history:

the web browser has a browsing history, too. Clear it often – including cookies and cached files – to give hackers as little information as possible to work with if they do break into your phone.

20.System Backup:

I had mentioned this one at very last because it is the most important and must do preparation, which everyone must perform. It doesn’t matter whatever precautions you take today, but if you want to keep your precious data safe and fresh, you must create a complete System backup today. It would do a miracle to you if a deadly virus had just corrupted your System drives.

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Top 30 most useful shortcuts in windows operating system?

On Windows 10, keyboard shortcuts provide a quick way to navigate and operate the experience and features using a single press of one or multiple keys, which otherwise will take several clicks and more time to accomplish using the mouse.

These are the essential keyboard shortcuts that every Windows user should know:

Keyboard shortcutAction
Ctrl+ASelect all items in a document or window.
Ctrl+CCopies selected text or item.
Ctrl+X Cuts selected text or item.
Ctrl+VPastes text or item on clipboard to your cursor location or designated file location.
Ctrl+DDelete selected text or item.
Ctrl+ZUndo something.
Alt+F4Close active window. (If no active window is present, then a shutdown box appears.)
Ctrl+YRedo something.
Ctrl+SSave a document.
Ctrl+PPrint a document.
EscClose current task.
Ctrl+Shift+EscOpens the task manager.
Ctrl+plus(+)Zoom in on a large number of items, like apps pinned to the screen.
Ctrl+minus(-)Zoom out on a large number of items, like apps pinned to the screen.
Alt+TabSwitch between open apps
Windows logo key+TabCycle through open apps (except desktop apps in Windows 8)
Shift + DeleteDelete the selected item without moving it to the Recycle Bin first
Windows logo key + L Lock your PC or switch users
Windows logo key + M Minimize all windows
Windows logo key + Shift + M  Restore minimized windows on the desktop
Ctrl + Alt with any arrow key  Rotate the entire screen in direction of the arrow key. Helpful for viewing photos or videos that aren’t right-side up.
Windows logo key + A Access the Action Center menu where you can view your notifications and access commonly used settings like Wi-Fi and Bluetooth
Windows logo key + I Access Windows Settings
Windows logo key + COpen Cortana in listening mode 
Windows logo key + SSearch for any file or an app installed on your computer
Windows logo key + EOpen file Explorer.
Windows logo key+DDisplay and hide the desktop.
Windows logo key+VOpen Clipboard bin.
Windows logo key + Left arrow keySnap app or window left.
Windows logo key + Right arrow keySnap app or window right.
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How to rename bulk image name in upper to lowercase in one click

In this tutorial I’m going to solve how to rename multiple image name in lowercase in one click please follow some easy steps.


Now let’s go to your image folder where your image has stored and select all

Select all image path and paste below code


And press enter Look like below pic

Now paste below command in your cmd

for /f "Tokens=*" %f in ('dir /l/b/a-d') do (rename "%f" "%f")

Now image rename is processing upper to lowercase ……….

Now image rename successfully upper to lowercase

Go to your image directory and refresh the folder

Now you can see all the image successfully rename as uppercase to Lowercase

Thanks its helpful for you.

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Everything – fast file/folder search in Windows


It is hard and time consuming to search a file/folder in Window 7 and 8. “Everything” is a great tool to solve this issue.

Here are some of the benefits of Everything search engine:

  1. Small installation file
  2. Clean and simple user interface
  3. Quick file indexing
  4. Quick searching
  5. Minimal resource usage
  6. Share files with others easily
  7. Real-time updating




1.1 What is “Everything”?

“Everything” is an administrative tool that locates files and folders by filename instantly for Windows.
Unlike Windows search “Everything” initially displays every file and folder on your computer (hence the name “Everything”).
You type in a search filter to limit what files and folders are displayed.

1.2 How long will it take to index my files?

“Everything” only uses file and folder names and generally takes a few seconds to build its database.
A fresh install of Windows XP SP2 (about 20,000 files) will take about 1 second to index.
1,000,000 files will take about 1 minute.

1.3 Does Everything search file contents?

No, “Everything” does not search file contents, only file and folder names.

1.4 Does “Everything” hog my system resources?

No, “Everything” uses very little system resources.
A fresh install of Windows XP SP2 (about 20,000 files) will use about 3-5mb of ram and less than 1mb of disk space.
1,000,000 files will use about 45mb of ram and 5mb of disk space.

1.5 Does “Everything” monitor file system changes?

Yes, “Everything” does monitor file system changes.
Your search windows will reflect changes made to the file system.

1.6 Is “Everything” free?

Yes, “Everything” is Freeware.
If you use “Everything” in a commercial environment and find it useful a donation would be appreciated.

1.7 Does “Everything” miss changes made to the file system if it is not running?

No, “Everything” can be closed and restarted without missing changes made to the file system (even across system restarts).
“Everything” updates the database when it is started.

1.8 What are the system requirements for “Everything”?

“Everything” will run on Windows 2000, XP, 2003 and Vista and Windows 7
“Everything” will only locate files and folders on local NTFS volumes.
“Everything” requires administrative privileges for low level read access to volumes.

1.9 How do I convert a volume to NTFS?

1.10 Can “Everything” index a mapped network drive?

No, “Everything” only indexes local or removable NTFS volumes.

To search a networked computer you will need to run Everything on both computers.
One computer will need to Start an ETP server.
The other computer will need to connect to that ETP server.

To start an ETP server:
1. In Everything, On the Tools menu, click Start ETP server.

To connect to an ETP server:
1. In Everything, On the Tools menu, click Connect to ETP Server….
2. Type in the ETP server name.
3. Type in the ETP server port.
4. Type in the ETP server user.
5. Type in the ETP server password.
6. Click OK.

1.11 How do I install the language pack?

Download the language pack
Unzip the language pack into the folder where “Everything” is installed.
Restart Everything.
In “Everything”, On the Tools menu, click Options.
Click the General tab.
Select your language from the Language dropdown list.
Click OK.
In the “language change” popup, Click OK.
Restart Everything.

1.12 How do I bypass the UAC to run “Everything” with administrative privileges on system startup?

Disable run on system startup in “Everything”.
Follow the Make Vista launch UAC restricted programs at startup with Task Scheduler guide at
Make sure you use -startup in the Add Arguments box

1.13 How do I bypass the UAC to run “Everything” with administrative privileges when I start it from a shortcut ?

2 Searching

2.1 How do I search for a file or folder?

Type the partial file or folder name into the search edit, the results will appear instantly.

2.2 How do I use boolean operators?

AND is the default boolean operator.
For example, here is how to search for foo and bar: foo bar
To search for either of two search terms, add a | between the terms.
For example, here is how to search for .jpg or .bmp: .jpg | .bmp
To exclude something from the search include a ! at the front of the term.
For example, here is how to search for abc and not 123: abc !123

2.3 How do I use wildcards?

Using a * in your search will match any number of any type of character.
For example, here is how to search for files and folders that start with e and end with g: e*g
Using a ? in your search will match one character.
For example, here is how to search for files that have a 2 letter file extension: *.??

2.4 How do I use regex?

| A vertical bar separates alternatives. For example, gray|grey can match “gray” or “grey“.
() Parentheses are used to define the scope and precedence of the operators (among other uses). For example, gray|grey and gr(a|e)y are equivalent patterns which both describe the set of “gray” and “grey“.
? The question mark indicates there is zero or one of the preceding element. For example, colou?r matches both “color” and “colour“.
* The asterisk indicates there are zero or more of the preceding element. For example, ab*c matches “ac“, “abc“, “abbc“, “abbbc“, and so on.
+ The plus sign indicates that there is one or more of the preceding element. For example, ab+c matches “abc“, “abbc“, “abbbc“, and so on, but not “ac“.
. Matches any single character except newlines (exactly which characters are considered newlines is flavor, character encoding, and platform specific, but it is safe to assume that the line feed character is included). Within POSIX bracket expressions, the dot character matches a literal dot. For example, a.c matches “abc“, etc., but [a.c]matches only “a“, “.“, or “c“.
[ ] A bracket expression. Matches a single character that is contained within the brackets. For example, [abc]matches “a“, “b“, or “c“. [a-z] specifies a range which matches any lowercase letter from “a” to “z“. These forms can be mixed: [abcx-z] matches “a“, “b“, “c“, “x“, “y“, and “z“, as does [a-cx-z]
[^ ] Matches a single character that is not contained within the brackets. For example, [^abc] matches any character other than “a“, “b“, or “c“. [^a-z] matches any single character that is not a lowercase letter from “a” to “z“. As above, literal characters and ranges can be mixed.
^ Matches the starting position within the string. In line-based tools, it matches the starting position of any line.
$ Matches the ending position of the string or the position just before a string-ending newline. In line-based tools, it matches the ending position of any line.
{m,n} Matches the preceding element at least m and not more than n times. For example, a{3,5} matches only “aaa“, “aaaa“, and “aaaaa“. This is not found in a few, older instances of regular expressions.

2.5 How do I include spaces in my search?

To include spaces in your search enclose your search in double quotes.
For example, here is how to search for foo<space>bar: “foo bar”

2.6 How do I search for a file type?

To search for a file type, type the file extension into the search edit,
ie to search for the mp3 file type, type *.mp3 into the search edit.
To search for more than one type of file type use a | to separate file types,
ie *.bmp|*.jpg will search for files with the extension bmp or jpg.

2.7 How do I search for files and folders in a specific location?

To search for files and folders in a specific location include a \ in your search string.
For example, here is how to search for all your avis in a downloads folder: downloads\ .avi
You could alternately enable Match Path in the Search menu and include the location in your search string.
For example, here is how to search for all your avis in a downloads folder with Match Path enabled: downloads .avi

3 Results

3.1 How do I jump to a file or folder in the result list?

Make sure the result list has focus by tabbing to it with the keyboard or clicking in it with the mouse.
Type in the partial or full name of the file or folder you want to jump to.
For example, to jump to files or folders begining with “New” type New into the result list.

4 Customizing

4.1 How can I change the “Everything” icon?

Requires “Everything” 1.2.0 beta or later.
Copy your icon file into “Everything”‘s installation folder and rename it to “Everything.ico”.
Restart “Everything”.

4.2 How can I set “Everything” to use an external file manager?

Requires “Everything” 1.2.0 beta or later.
Exit Everything.
Open Everything.ini in “Everything”‘s installation folder.
Add the following 2 lines to the bottom of the ini:
open_folder_command=$exec(“ExternalFileManager.exe” “%1”)
open_folder_path_command=$exec(“ExternalFileManager.exe” “$parent(%1)”)
Replace the text ExternalFileManager.exe with the full path and file name of your file manager executable.
Check your external file manager help for any required command line parameters.
Restart “Everything”.

5 Troubleshooting

5.1 Everything requests for administrator privileges in Windows Vista SP1

“Everything” requires administrator privileges because it needs raw read access to your hard drives.
Click accept to allow “Everything” to continue running.

5.2 The result list is empty

Make sure you have atleast one local NTFS volume.
See How do I convert a volume to NTFS.

Make sure “Everything” has administrator privileges.

To manually enable all local NTFS volumes for indexing:
1. In Everything, On the Tools menu, click Options.
2. Click the Volumes tab.
3. For each volume in the Local NTFS volumes list:
4. Check Check Media.
5. Check Enable USN Journal logging.
6. Check Include in database.
7. Check Monitor changes.
8. Repeat for each volume.
9. Click OK.

5.3 Right clicking on a file or folder crashes

Please replace your Everything.exe with the following beta to workaround the problem:


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23 Ways To Speed WinXP, Not only Defrag

Since defragging the disk won’t do much to improve Windows XP performance, here are 23 suggestions that will. Each can enhance the performance and reliability of your customers’ PCs. Best of all, most of them will cost you nothing.

1.) To decrease a system’s boot time and increase system performance, use the money you save by not buying defragmentation software — the built-in Windows defragmenter works just fine — and instead equip the computer with an Ultra-133 or Serial ATA hard drive with 8-MB cache buffer.


2.) If a PC has less than 512 MB of RAM, add more memory. This is a relatively inexpensive and easy upgrade that can dramatically improve system performance.


3.) Ensure that Windows XP is utilizing the NTFS file system. If you’re not sure, here’s how to check: First, double-click the My Computer icon, right-click on the C: Drive, then select Properties. Next, examine the File System type; if it says FAT32, then back-up any important data. Next, click Start, click Run, type CMD, and then click OK. At the prompt, type CONVERT C: /FS:NTFS and press the Enter key. This process may take a while; it’s important that the computer be uninterrupted and virus-free. The file system used by the bootable drive will be either FAT32 or NTFS. I highly recommend NTFS for its superior security, reliability, and efficiency with larger disk drives.


4.) Disable file indexing. The indexing service extracts information from documents and other files on the hard drive and creates a “searchable keyword index.” As you can imagine, this process can be quite taxing on any system.


The idea is that the user can search for a word, phrase, or property inside a document, should they have hundreds or thousands of documents and not know the file name of the document they want. Windows XP’s built-in search functionality can still perform these kinds of searches without the Indexing service. It just takes longer. The OS has to open each file at the time of the request to help find what the user is looking for.


Most people never need this feature of search. Those who do are typically in a large corporate environment where thousands of documents are located on at least one server. But if you’re a typical system builder, most of your clients are small and medium businesses. And if your clients have no need for this search feature, I recommend disabling it.


Here’s how: First, double-click the My Computer icon. Next, right-click on the C: Drive, then select Properties. Uncheck “Allow Indexing Service to index this disk for fast file searching.” Next, apply changes to “C: subfolders and files,” and click OK. If a warning or error message appears (such as “Access is denied”), click the Ignore All button.


5.) Update the PC’s video and motherboard chipset drivers. Also, update and configure the BIOS. For more information on how to configure your BIOS properly, see this article on my site.


6.) Empty the Windows Prefetch folder every three months or so. Windows XP can “prefetch” portions of data and applications that are used frequently. This makes processes appear to load faster when called upon by the user. That’s fine. But over time, the prefetch folder may become overloaded with references to files and applications no longer in use. When that happens, Windows XP is wasting time, and slowing system performance, by pre-loading them. Nothing critical is in this folder, and the entire contents are safe to delete.


7.) Once a month, run a disk cleanup. Here’s how: Double-click the My Computer icon. Then right-click on the C: drive and select Properties. Click the Disk Cleanup button — it’s just to the right of the Capacity pie graph — and delete all temporary files.


8.) In your Device Manager, double-click on the IDE ATA/ATAPI Controllers device, and ensure that DMA is enabled for each drive you have connected to the Primary and Secondary controller. Do this by double-clicking on Primary IDE Channel. Then click the Advanced Settings tab. Ensure the Transfer Mode is set to “DMA if available” for both Device 0 and Device 1. Then repeat this process with the Secondary IDE Channel.


9.) Upgrade the cabling. As hard-drive technology improves, the cabling requirements to achieve these performance boosts have become more stringent. Be sure to use 80-wire Ultra-133 cables on all of your IDE devices with the connectors properly assigned to the matching Master/Slave/Motherboard sockets. A single device must be at the end of the cable; connecting a single drive to the middle connector on a ribbon cable will cause signaling problems. With Ultra DMA hard drives, these signaling problems will prevent the drive from performing at its maximum potential. Also, because these cables inherently support “cable select,” the location of each drive on the cable is important. For these reasons, the cable is designed so drive positioning is explicitly clear.


10.) Remove all spyware from the computer. Use free programs such as AdAware by Lavasoft or SpyBot Search & Destroy. Once these programs are installed, be sure to check for and download any updates before starting your search. Anything either program finds can be safely removed. Any free software that requires spyware to run will no longer function once the spyware portion has been removed; if your customer really wants the program even though it contains spyware, simply reinstall it. For more information on removing Spyware visit this Web Pro News page.


11.) Remove any unnecessary programs and/or items from Windows Startup routine using the MSCONFIG utility. Here’s how: First, click Start, click Run, type MSCONFIG, and click OK. Click the StartUp tab, then uncheck any items you don’t want to start when Windows starts. Unsure what some items are? Visit the WinTasks Process Library. It contains known system processes, applications, as well as spyware references and explanations. Or quickly identify them by searching for the filenames using Google or another Web search engine.


12.) Remove any unnecessary or unused programs from the Add/Remove Programs section of the Control Panel.


13.) Turn off any and all unnecessary animations, and disable active desktop. In fact, for optimal performance, turn off all animations. Windows XP offers many different settings in this area. Here’s how to do it: First click on the System icon in the Control Panel. Next, click on the Advanced tab. Select the Settings button located under Performance. Feel free to play around with the options offered here, as nothing you can change will alter the reliability of the computer — only its responsiveness.


14.) If your customer is an advanced user who is comfortable editing their registry, try some of the performance registry tweaks offered at Tweak XP.


15.) Visit Microsoft’s Windows update site regularly, and download all updates labeled Critical. Download any optional updates at your discretion.


16.) Update the customer’s anti-virus software on a weekly, even daily, basis. Make sure they have only one anti-virus software package installed. Mixing anti-virus software is a sure way to spell disaster for performance and reliability.


17.) Make sure the customer has fewer than 500 type fonts installed on their computer. The more fonts they have, the slower the system will become. While Windows XP handles fonts much more efficiently than did the previous versions of Windows, too many fonts — that is, anything over 500 — will noticeably tax the system.


18.) Do not partition the hard drive. Windows XP’s NTFS file system runs more efficiently on one large partition. The data is no safer on a separate partition, and a reformat is never necessary to reinstall an operating system. The same excuses people offer for using partitions apply to using a folder instead. For example, instead of putting all your data on the D: drive, put it in a folder called “D drive.” You’ll achieve the same organizational benefits that a separate partition offers, but without the degradation in system performance. Also, your free space won’t be limited by the size of the partition; instead, it will be limited by the size of the entire hard drive. This means you won’t need to resize any partitions, ever. That task can be time-consuming and also can result in lost data.


19.) Check the system’s RAM to ensure it is operating properly. I recommend using a free program called MemTest86. The download will make a bootable CD or diskette (your choice), which will run 10 extensive tests on the PC’s memory automatically after you boot to the disk you created. Allow all tests to run until at least three passes of the 10 tests are completed. If the program encounters any errors, turn off and unplug the computer, remove a stick of memory (assuming you have more than one), and run the test again. Remember, bad memory cannot be repaired, but only replaced.


20.) If the PC has a CD or DVD recorder, check the drive manufacturer’s Web site for updated firmware. In some cases you’ll be able to upgrade the recorder to a faster speed. Best of all, it’s free.


21.) Disable unnecessary services. Windows XP loads a lot of services that your customer most likely does not need. To determine which services you can disable for your client, visit the Black Viper site for Windows XP configurations.


22.) If you’re sick of a single Windows Explorer window crashing and then taking the rest of your OS down with it, then follow this tip: open My Computer, click on Tools, then Folder Options. Now click on the View tab. Scroll down to “Launch folder windows in a separate process,” and enable this option. You’ll have to reboot your machine for this option to take effect.


23.) At least once a year, open the computer’s cases and blow out all the dust and debris. While you’re in there, check that all the fans are turning properly. Also inspect the motherboard capacitors for bulging or leaks. For more information on this leaking-capacitor phenomena, you can read numerous articles on my site.



Following any of these suggestions should result in noticeable improvements to the performance and reliability of your customers’ computers. If you still want to defrag a disk, remember that the main benefit will be to make your data more retrievable in the event of a crashed drive.

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How to Resolve Windows Installer Problem

Installation of a program means inserting that particular program in your computer so that it can be executed properly. Some of the software programs can be simply copied to the computer and executed without doing anything further; they don’t require any kind of installation process. Many programs come with an executable suite, which requires to be installed. Installation is the process where you will have to unpack some files, copy them to desired locations, tailor the software to suite your hardware and give the desired information to the operating system.

Installation often means that once a program is installed, the user can run the program over and over again, without reinstalling it again before using each time. Until one does not uninstall the program or the program does not allow further execution, you will have to install it again. However, sometimes one can encounter problems while installing a program. Here are some simple steps that will help you in resolving windows installer problems:


  • First thing to do for resolving windows installer problem is identifying it. When you are trying to install or uninstall something, you might get a warning message like:

“The windows installer cannot be accessed”

“Windows installer service cannot be started”

“Could not start the windows installer service on Local computer. Error 5:

access is denied.”

  • These error messages will often appear on the screen when the installation of the MSI package has failed or when the windows installer service is disabled.
  • Method 1: first unregister windows installer, and then you will have to register it again. For resolving windows installer problems of such a nature, just do the following things. Go on the ’start’ menu and click on the ‘run’ option. In the dialog box start typing ‘msiexec/unreg’, and then press the enter key.
  • Go on the ’start’ menu again and click on the ‘run’ option. In the dialog box start typing, ‘msiexec/regserver’ and then press the ‘enter’ key.
  • Method 2: you can upgrade the windows installer to a higher version or a newer version. For this, open the internet explorer page, and go to the Microsoft website. Go to the link, On the left side you will get an option of ’setup and system administration’ and now click on the ’setup’ option.
  • Select the ‘windows installer’, and then choose the appropriate link for your operating system. Now click on the ‘download’ option and install the new version or install the higher version of windows installer.
  • Method 3: for resolving windows installer problem, you might have to uninstall the failed product with the help of an installer cleanup. The description for the windows installer cleanup utility is,;en-us;290301
  • Method 4: if the windows service is disabled on your computer, then go to the ’start’ menu, select ‘run’ option and type ’services.msc’ and click enter. Now, double click on the option of windows installer.
  • Method 5: check the DCOM and the permission by the system through
  • Method 6: another thing you can do for resolving windows installer problem is
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Customizing the Firefox Installer on Windows

One of the questions I get asked a lot is how to customize the Firefox installer on Windows and how to bundle extensions with it. I’ve spent the past few days learning a great deal about this subject, so I thought I would take this opportunity to provide a refresher on working with the Firefox installer on Windows. I’m going to do it as a Q&A so hopefully folks will get answers to the common questions they have.

Standard disclaimer: Under no circumstances should you use this information to create a custom Firefox install and redistribute it to anyone outside your organization. If you want more information, you can consult the Mozilla Foundation Trademark Policy.

What tools do I need to work with the Firefox installer?

The primary tool you need is 7-Zip. I install the MozillaBuild package which gives me all the tools I need. Even though the Firefox Installer is NSIS based, we will not need to use NSIS for most customizations. I’ll talk a little bit about the end about what kinds of things you would need NSIS to do.

How do I unpack the Firefox installer?

The Firefox installer is created using 7-Zip. So you can grab any of the Windows installers that end in EXE and unpack them. Any of the Windows installers on the Firefox download page will work. Once you’ve downloaded the EXE, create a temporary directory and type:

7z x "Firefox Setup 3.6.3.exe"

This will unpack the contents of the installer so we can modify it.

How do I bundle my extension with the Firefox installer?

Bundling your extension with the Firefox installer is just a matter of putting it in the right place. Then when we package up the installer at the end, it will get installed along with Firefox. For most extensions, the right place is nonlocalized/extensions. Inside that directory, create a subdirectory that corresponds to the ID of the extension you want to preinstall with Firefox. Then unzip the XPI into that directory. You can find the ID by looking at the install.rdf file inside the XPI. You can add as many extensions as you want into the installer.

What are some useful extensions I can bundle with Firefox

I’ve created two extensions that create interesting things to bundle with Firefox. The first is the CCK Wizard. The CCK Wizard can be used to change various defaults in Firefox so that you can customize it for deployment in your organization. The second is Rebrand. Rebrand allows you to change the internal branding used in Firefox.

Can I change the names used in the installer?

Yes, you can change the names used in the installer. To do this, you need to create a directory called distribution inside the localized directory that was created when you unpacked the installer. Create a file called setup.ini in this directory. Here’s what it looks like:

BrandFullName=Mike's Browser

BrandFullName will be used to replace “Mozilla Firefox” and BrandShortName will be used to replace “Firefox”.

Can I change the images used in the installer?

Yes, you can change the images used in the installer. In that same directory where you put the setup.ini, you can put two files, modern-wizard.bmp and modern-header.bmp. The first images corresponds to the large image on the first page of the installer. The second image corresponds to the small image that is used on later pages of the installer. You can use the linked images as a reference to know what size to make these images.

How do I repackage the installer?

To repackage the installer, first you need to zip up the changes that you made. Type:

7z a -r -t7z app.7z -mx -m0=BCJ2 -m1=LZMA:d24 -m2=LZMA:d19 -m3=LZMA:d19 -mb0:1 -mb0s1:2 -mb0s2:3

This will create a file called app.7z that has all the changes we made. Now we need to package that file with some other files to create the final EXE. We’ll need the file 7zSD.sfx which you can download from Mozilla. And we’ll need a file called app.tag which you can create. It looks like this:

Title="Mozilla Firefox"

Once we have these files, we can run the command:

copy /B 7zSD.sfx+app.tag+app.7z our_new_installer.exe

to package them all as an EXE. Don’t forget the /B. It indicates that the files are binary so Windows won’t put an EOF marker on them.

Can I change the defaults that are set in the installer like the install directory or the checkboxes?

At this time, there is no way to change the defaults in the installer without rebuilding the installer. There’s a bug open on this with a patch, so hopefully this will be fixed for Firefox 4.

Can I make my totally rebranded Firefox coexist nicely with an existing Firefox?

There are a couple ways to do this. The easiest way is to use the -no-remote parameter when you start Firefox. This causes the Firefox you are starting to not connect to the Firefox that is currently running. When you do this, you have to specify a different profile using the -P parameter. Alternatively, you can change the internal identifiers that Firefox uses. Then it will be considered to be a completely different browser. If you choose to do this, you should be aware that you will not receive updates and there will be other side effects. This is not a decision that should be taken lightly. Also, your profiles will be stored in different locations as well. If you want to do this, check out the file application.ini in the nonlocalized directory. The variables you want to change are Vendor and Name. Again, you do this at your own risk.

What can I do if I’m willing to rebuild the installer with NSIS?

If you are willing to rebuild the installer, you can change things like the name of the entry in the Add/Remove programs list, as well as the install directory and other defaults. This is a nontrivial exercise because some of the required files are built as part of the Mozilla build proces and are not available in the build tree. If you’re really interested in doing this, you can contact Kaply Consulting and we can talk about it.

I hope this answered some questions folks have. If anyone has any more questions, please don’t hesistate to ask.

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Bootstrap a Microsoft Windows node using Chef

Bootstrap a Microsoft Windows node, the “knife windows” plugin is required, 

More info about knife window tool,

knife bootstrap windows winrm –winrm-user administrator –winrm-password ‘Rx4m7W4PQu’ –node-name firefox_win –run-list ‘recipe[snc_firefox]’

nife bootstrap windows winrm -x administrator -P Rx4m7W4PQu

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