Windows Tips For Computer Users...
Old and New
Here is yet another round of Tips for Windows users. These are a little more technical in nature but it is a good idea to look through these areas of your machine in case you need to contact us about something.
Learn More with System Information
Of course, a prime source of system information is the System Information applet itself. From the Start menu, select Programs | Accessories | System Tools | System Information. The Hardware Resources and Components groups in particular reveal data about the system's hardware. You may not be able to interpret all of the information, but you can save a text report and pass it along to tech support.
Learn What's Running on Your Computer
Many programs install themselves so they launch (start) automatically at Windows start-up. Some programs such as Real Player do not need to run until called upon. Whether you need these programs or not, they're using memory and system resources essentially slowing down your computer.
Windows 98, Me, and XP users can disable unnecessary background programs using the "Startup" tab of the MSCONFIG program, which you can launch from the Start menu's "Run" window. Windows 2000 does not come with MSCONFIG as part of the program so give me a call if you would like to have it added to your computer, there is NO charge and I can advise you over the telephone.
Disabling anything listed in MSCONFIG is generally safe however, you should be careful not to disable your anti-virus software or the the system tray. Also, one or more instances of LoadPowerProfile do no harm, because they don't remain in memory.
Give me a call and I can work with you over the telephone to be sure you don't make a mistake. Again, there is NO charge.
Remove Unused Programs
To get rid of never or seldom used programs, launch Add/Remove Programs from
the Control Panel and examine each item. Don't meddle with items that are
completely unfamiliar; they may be required by the system. But if you find a
standalone application that you no longer use, get rid of it! Depending on the
program in question, Add/Remove Programs in Windows 2000 and XP reveals the size
of the installation, as well as how recently and how often it was used.
Identify Cryptic Processes
You can see what's currently running on your system by launching the Task Manager by pressing Ctrl-Alt-Del. In Windows 98 and Me, you will see a simple list of active applications. Windows XP and 2000 will also list all active processes along with their memory usage and CPU time. Don't worry if the System Idle process seems to be hogging the CPU; all unused CPU cycles are assigned to this process.
To identify cryptic processes with names like Ctfmon.exe, you can get help on the Internet. There are a number of Web sites that list and identify those names, such as Pacman's Portal: Startup Tips and AnswersThatWork.com: Task List Programs
Again, these tips are more on the technical side and some might want to just forget about this and call me when there is a problem. By exploring the various parts of the computer once or twice it won't be completely foreign to you if we have to investigate anything over the telephone.
As always, should you have any other questions about your computer, do not hesitate in picking up the phone... better to contact me and be sure.
Tom @ Tata Computers