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Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Speeding Up Windows XP... Part I

Windows XP is an operating system developed by Microsoft. Although Microsoft recently launched a new version of their operating system named "Windows 7", many PC users still use and/or prefer using Windows XP due to its stability and low system requirements.

These tips will help you speeding up Windows XP and hopefully enhance your productivity.

Shutdown Unnecessary Services - To disable or change the startup mode of a service you have to open the "Services" Management Console. Type "Services.msc" at the Run Command Prompt in the Start menu to start the services management console. You can also launch it from Windows Control Panel -> Administrative Tools. To disable a service or change its startup type, double-click the service name. Service properties dialog opens, where you can Start, Stop, Pause or Resume a service and also change its startup type. Read the description of the service carefully before disabling any service.
  • ClipBook Viewer - This service is used if you cut-copy-paste snippets to and from other computers in your local area network. It is recommended that you disable this service.
  • Computer Browser - It maintains a list of computers in your network. So if you have a system that is not part of any network, then you can safely disable this service.
  • DNS Client - It resolves and caches DNS names.
  • Error Reporting Service - This service causes an error dialog to pop-up whenever an application crashes and allows you to report that error to Microsoft. You can safely disable this service.
  • Fast User Switching Compatibility - You can disable this service if there is only one user account in your PC.
  • Messenger Service - It is recommended to disable this service.
  • MS Software Shadow Copy Provider - Disable this service if you don't use Microsoft Backup Utility.
  • Net Logon - Provides Domain Authentication. Disable if the PC is not part of a domain.
  • NetMeeting Remote Desktop Sharing - Allows a remote user to access your PC using NetMeeting. It is recommended to disable this service.
  • Network DDE and Network DDE DDSM services - It is recommended to disable these services.
  • Performance Logs and Alerts - It helps in monitoring system performance. You can disable this service, if you don't monitor system performance regularly.
  • Portable Media Serial Number Service - Retrieves serial number from portable media players attached to the computer. It is recommended to disable this service. Leave this service enabled if you are using portable music player with your PC.
  • Print Spooler Service - This service can be disable if you don't use a printer. Note that printers won't work if this service is disabled.
  • QoS RSVP Service - Manages network bandwidth for QoS-aware programs. This service may be disabled. Read the MS Knowledge Base article Q316666 for more details.
  • Remote Desktop Help Session Manager - Manages and controls Remote Assistance. If you don't use Remote Desktop, you can safely disable this service.
  • Remote Registry Service - Allows a remote user to make change to your registry. This service can be exploited harmfully, so it is strongly recommended to disable this service.
  • Routing and Remote Access - Adds support for routing services in LAN and WAN networks. It is recommended to disable this service.
  • Security Center - Monitors system security settings. If you are an experienced user, and monitor your antivirus and firewall software manually, then it is recommended to disable this service.
  • Server - Provides file and print sharing services over the network. If you are not in a LAN. then you can disable this service.
  • Smart Card Service - If you don't use smart card, then disable this service.
  • Smart Card Helper Service - For legacy smart cards which don't support plug and play. Disable if you don't use those.
  • SSDP Discovery Service - Enables discovery of Universal Plug and Play devices in the local network. It is recommended to disable this service.
  • System Restore Service - Allows to save the current state of the computer and revert back to a previously saved state. Disable this service if you don't use System Restore.
  • Telnet - It is strongly recommended to disable this service due to a major security loophole.
  • Themes - Manages themes in Windows XP. Disable if you don't use themes.
  • Volume Shadow Copy - Disable it if you don't use Microsoft Backup Utility.
  • Windows Image Acquisition - Manages Web cams, Cameras and Scanners attached to the computer. Disable if you don't use any of those.
  • Windows Time - Synchronizes time and date to a time server. It is recommended to disable this service unless you want to synchronize your PC clock to a time server.
  • Wireless Zero Configuration - Automatically configures 802.11 wireless adapters. If you don't use Wireless network devices, then disable this service.
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Thursday, June 25, 2009

A Thoughtful Story

This is a very wonderful story from which i have learned very much...

A professor stood before his philosophy class and had some items in front of him. When the class began, wordlessly, he picked up a very large and empty jar and proceeded to fill it with golf balls. He then asked the students if the jar was full. They agreed that it was. So the professor then picked up a box of small pebbles and poured them into the jar. He shook the jar lightly. The pebbles rolled into the open areas between the golf balls. He then asked the students again if the jar was full. They agreed it was.
The professor next picked up a box of sand and poured it into the jar. Of course, the sand filled up everything else. He asked once more if the jar was full. The students responded with a unanimous "Yes." The professor then produced two cans of beer from under the table and poured the entire contents into the jar, effectively filling the empty space between the sand. The students laughed.
"Now", said the professor, as the laughter subsided, "I want you to recognize that this jar represents your life. The golf balls are the important things - your family, your children, your health, your friends, your favorite passions - things that, if everything else was lost and only they remained, your life would still be full. The pebbles are the other things that matter like your job, your house, your car.
The sand is everything else - the small stuff. If you put the sand into the jar first" he continued, "there is no room for the pebbles or the golf balls. The same goes for life. If you spend all your time and energy on the small stuff, you will never have room for the things that are important to you. Pay attention to the things that are critical to your happiness. Play with your children. Take time to get medical checkups. Take your partner out to dinner. There will always be time to clean the house, and fix the rubbish. Take care of the golf balls first, the things that really matter. Set your priorities. The rest is just sand".
One of the students raised her hand and inquired what the beer represented. The professor smiled. "I'm glad you asked. It just goes to show you that, no matter how full your life may seem, there's always room for a couple of beers".
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Thursday, April 2, 2009

How to enable/disable Task Manager

Task Manager is a very useful utility for system administrators and users alike. This utility can be used to monitor system's performance, view running processes (with detailed information on resource utilization and performance of each process). Task Manager can be started by pressing CTRL+ALT+DEL or CTRL+ALT+ESC or by right-clicking on an empty area of the taskbar and selecting Task Manager from the drop-down menu. It can also be used to terminate running processes or change their priority. Several new features have been added in the Task Manager in Windows Vista. A services tab has been added from which system services can be started, stopped or disabled. Also, you can create a dump for any individual process for debugging purposes. Now, process executable properties can be viewed directly by right-clicking the process and selecting properties.

Task Manager may be disabled by malicious software, or viruses. If it is disabled, you will get a message that "Task Manager

There are different ways for enabling or disabling windows task manager:
  1. Save the following code in a text file and name it "Enable Task Manager.reg". Double-click the file and select yes when prompted and Task Manager will be enabled. You can also right-click the file and select Merge.

    Windows Registry Editor Version 5.00


    To disable the task manager, simply change the dword value to 1.

    Windows Registry Editor Version 5.00


  2. It can also be enabled or disabled using the Group Policy editor. Click Start Menu and select Run... Type "gpedit.msc" (without the quotes) in the Run dialog box and press Enter. When the Group Policy Editor opens, Go to User Configuration --> Administrative Templates --> System --> Ctrl+Alt+Del Options. Now in the right pane, double-click "Remove Task Manager". In the dialog box that opens,

    • Select Disabled - To enable Task Manager.
    • Select Enabled - To disable Task Manager.
    Choose OK and close the Group Policy Editor.
  3. This is the simplest way to enable or disable Task Manager. Open Command Prompt and run this code or save it in a batch file and double-click the batch file to execute it.
    • To enable Task Manager.
      REG add HKCU\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Policies\System /v DisableTaskMgr /t REG_DWORD /d 0 /f
    • To disable Task Manager.
      REG add HKCU\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Policies\System /v DisableTaskMgr /t REG_DWORD /d 1 /f

You may have to restart the system after performing any of these steps for the result.
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