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  #21 (permalink)  
Old 17th June, 2007, 02:26 AM
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System Restore

System Restore in Vista is a lot more complex than it was in WinXP. Vista has a shadow copying feature which automatically saves previous versions of files you create. The amount of space set aside for System Protection (new name) is shared with Volume Shadow Copy. This is a pretty significant amount of space though, basically 15% of your HD space. If you have a small HD that is typical of notebooks, then you might want to reduce the size of this space. The problem though, is that it's all or nothing. You can turn off System Protection and recover all the disk space, or leave it on and give it 15% of your space. There's another way though. You can use the command prompt to reduce the size of shadow storage. That way, you still have System Restore and Shadow Copy protection, although not as much. Try the following:

1. Open command prompt by typing in "cmd" into Start Search.
2. Use the following command: vssadmin resize shadowstorage /on=[drive letter]: /for=[drive letter]: /maxsize=[maximum size]

For example, if you want to drop the size of system restore and shadow copying on drive C: to 2GB, you would use:

vssadmin resize shadowstorage /on=c: /for=c: /maxsize=2GB

The following abbreviations are used for disksize, KB, MB, GB, TB, PB, EB. The minimum size though, has to be at least 300MB. Since minimum size is 300MB, I don't know why they even bother to have the KB option. I'm also guessing that that PB (for petabytes) and EB (for exabytes) are not really going to come into play anytime in the near future.

The change is instantaneous, you don't have to reboot.
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  #22 (permalink)  
Old 17th June, 2007, 04:20 PM
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Start++

A guy named Brandon created a little applet that increases the functionality of Start Search. The program is called Start++. It is careware, if you wish, you can make a donation to Tusubira, a Ugandan aid organization. Also, as part of the license agreement, any redistribution must mention the author, which I already have, his name is Brandon. I'm also supposed to mention his site, which is, appropriately, www.brandontools.com

The applet lets you do the following and a lot more:

* Launch a program

* Web search

* Look-up something Wikipedia or Dictionary.com

* Play all music matching certain keywords, or by a particular artist

* Send an e-mail to a specific contact

* "sudo" - Run a command as an Administrator
Attached Files
File Type: zip Start++ 0.6 Setup.zip (840.0 KB, 35 views)
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  #23 (permalink)  
Old 17th June, 2007, 04:26 PM
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Enable Aurora bootscreen.

The default bootscreen for Vista is pretty lame. There's another one though that's already installed that's just not enabled. To enable it, do the following.

1) Type "msconfig" into Start Search.
2) If UAC pops up, continue.
3) In the "System Configuration" window, open the "Boot" tab.
4) Under "Boot options", check "No GUI boot". Press OK.
5) In the next dialog, check "Don’t show this message again", and then click on Restart.
6) Reboot, and you will see the Aurora boot screen.
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Old 17th June, 2007, 04:37 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mookydooky
The default bootscreen for Vista is pretty lame.
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  #25 (permalink)  
Old 17th June, 2007, 04:50 PM
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Enable the Administrator account.

CAUTION: Enable this only if you know what you're doing.

By default, the god-mode administrator account is disabled and you can't log in as "administrator." To enable it, do the following:

1. Type "management" into Start Search and select Computer Management.
2. Open "Local Users and Groups"
3. Open "Users"
4. Right click on "Administrator" and select "Properties"
5. Uncheck "Account is disabled" and click on "Ok"

You can also choose to rename the "Administrator" account at this time too which, back in WinXP, was recommended to prevent some forms of unauthorized access.

Once this is done, you should see the "Administrator" account on the welcome screen.
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  #26 (permalink)  
Old 17th June, 2007, 05:01 PM
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On screen keyboard.

Let's say you spill coffee on your keyboard and you don't have a replacement handy and you need to type an emergency email or something. You can launch the On Screen Keyboard. At Start Seach, type in "osk." Don't ask me how you're gonna type in "osk" if you're keyboard's broken...
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Old 17th June, 2007, 07:06 PM
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I was looking around trying to figure out which services I can shut off to save memory and increase performance. I had a couple of thoughts though. Back when WinXP was first introduced, I think most computers ran around 1Ghz and typically had about 256MB or 512MB on a souped up super high end machine. Back then, saving memory by having fewer background processes was a big deal and could noticeably increase performance. Nowadays, a 1Ghz machine with 512MB would be the worse than value box from Dell you can buy for $250 with a dual core CPU. I would think a typical machine now is running dual core at around 2Ghz with about 2GB of memory. Now I think that unless you have a specific reason for not wanting a particular service to run, you should leave 'em all just running. This is the reverse of way back then when you wanted a reason for running a service, instead of wanting a reason to turn it off. So basically, I left 'em all on, although I did switch some of 'em to "manual" instead of "automatic." With SuperPrefetch running all the time, it's not like there's a performance hit with using a little extra memory.
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  #28 (permalink)  
Old 17th June, 2007, 09:25 PM
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Scrolling behavior.

This is another observation, but it's more subtle. If you read a lot of long pages, you have to scroll and I've developed the habit of scrolling by using the arrow keys. I think I had mentioned that lately I primarily use a notebook. Anyway, I notice that scrolling is a lot smoother than with WinXP. Before, every now and then, the scrolling would stop, and then continue. I'm guessing that this is because the page is being loaded into video memory. I think that because Vista is using both the 3D accelerator and paging video into main memory, this doesn't happen. Anyway, this is another "feature" that I find welcome in Vista. I didn't really realize this until I swapped to a WinXP machine for a bit. I guess once you get used to something like this, it's more noticeable when it's absent than when it's present.

Anyway, here's how much memory Vista uses to page video.... 831MB....
Attached Thumbnails
A Few Vista Tips and Observations.-video-memory-usage.jpg  
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  #29 (permalink)  
Old 18th June, 2007, 12:56 AM
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Quick power boost.

I can't believe I didn't mention this before... Here's a quick way to boost your CPU power if you have a desktop.

1. In Start Search, type in "power options"
2. Select "High Performance"

Simple tweak that should prevent your CPU from going into it's lower power states too often.
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  #30 (permalink)  
Old 18th June, 2007, 01:05 AM
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Ctrl-Alt-Delete to login.

Some of you have probably been using Ctrl+Alt+Delete key combo to login since Win2K. It's supposed to increase security and it's been a recommended setting for a while. If you want to turn it on in Vista, just do the following.

1. In Start Search, type in "netplwiz" to bring up the user account window.
2. Select the "Advanced" tab.
3. Check the box on the bottom that says, "Require users to press Ctrl+Alt+Delete.
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  #31 (permalink)  
Old 18th June, 2007, 02:45 AM
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Well if you're going to talk about Vista, let's talk about 64 bit, shall we? What's the point in staying with 32b unless that's all your machine is capable of?
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Old 18th June, 2007, 03:04 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by aztec61
Well if you're going to talk about Vista, let's talk about 64 bit, shall we? What's the point in staying with 32b unless that's all your machine is capable of?
Hmmmmmmmm..... 3 reasons.

1. The vast majority of users who install Vista will install the 32 bit version. There are very few native 64 bit applications out there and running 32 bit apps in Vista64 will have to be done under emulation mode, AKA WOW64. As we all know.... emulation means lower performance and usually lower stability as well.

2. All the tips here also apply to Vista64.

3. And finally, yes, my laptop is a year old (original Yonah) and it's not capable of running a 64 bit OS. Even if I had C2D though, I would still install Vista32 since there's nothing Vista64 offers me. I don't have over 4GB of memory, I don't have any native 64 bit apps, I don't use huge database files, I don't encode 10GB videos. For everyday use with 2GB of memory, Vista32 is fine and has lower memory overhead than Vista64.
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Old 18th June, 2007, 04:00 AM
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All true to some degree, but with that kind of thinking we'll be stuck with ****ty bandwidth OS' until whenever.

A lot of you are waiting breathlessly for Intel Quad core next month (or the next), and planning on getting one for $266., and you're going to run it with 32-bit piece-of **** Vista OS or 32-bit XP?? What's the point? Not to mention the fact that 90% of apps still arent utilizing more than 1 core very well, let alone 4 cores and/or a 64-bit OS and/or over 2GB of RAM. I'm not saying Vista 64 is great, but it IS 64-bit.

It's bull****. Why do you need a 4 core CPU when your OS is a (not very funny) joke?

We're cranking the piss out of our hardware and using slow, antiquated OS and apps. You should listen to the Intel guy who recently said that software needs to catch up with hardware, etc. and so on.

You know what would be nice? If Apple made OS X.x for Winboxen. I'd never look back. How many years has THAT 64-bit OS been out and working well?

Yeah I know...Linux, Linux, Linux.
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Old 18th June, 2007, 04:10 AM
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Not to mention that Vista is (again) a RAM hog, just as XP was in its day. Let's say you have 2 gigs but Vista sucks about a gig. So you can buy RAM chaep niow but 4 GB is stilted on 32-bit OS.

I'll say it again: Wot The Fock?!
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  #35 (permalink)  
Old 18th June, 2007, 04:51 AM
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Microsoft has never been on the cutting edge and it never will be. The reason for that is basically twofold.

1. Huge installed base of users would never accept any large deviance from previous OSes. By now, too many people have invested too much time learning to use Windows in all it's forms and most of them are loathe to learn a brand new platform.

2. Huge software base that MS will not abandon like Apple. Corporate America is MS's largest customer and if MS abandons them, they have a simple solution. Don't buy the new OS.

As for using a 64 bit OS, as you say, most apps can't take advantage of a single core, let alone quad core. That's very true since most programs are not of the streaming data type. In a similar way, most apps can't take advantage of large memory addressing. There is however a big difference in reprogramming programs to take advantage of multithreading. There is no tangible benefit for most programs to be reprogrammed or recompiled into 64 bit versions whereas there is a definite tangible benefit to reprogramming to take advantage of multithreading. Look at the latest version of DivX. Unless a program needs to play around with data chunks larger than 4GB, there's no advantage to going 64 bit. How many programs of that type exist right now? And of the ones that do exist, how many are used by the mainstream computer user? Just about 0.

What exactly is the advantage of using a 64 bit OS? it's being able to address larger chunks of data. How many of us though, are currently using using apps that need access to greater than 4GB of data at a time? Typically those apps are database types and they're already on 64 bit or greater OSes to the likes of Oracle and stuff of that ilk.

As for OSX, until Leopard ships, it's not a true 64 bit OS now is it? How can it be if it runs on Core Duo.... MacBook was a huge hit last year because it started using CD and if OSX was truly 64 bit... it couldn't run on it. OSX basically has some 64 bit fuctionality by cheating a bit in a similar fashion to the way DOS did it way back when it was cheating to use more than 640KB by switching address spaces.

To be honest, what is the function of an OS? It's basically to run the programs that you want to run. You can't run Windows programs on Linux and vice versa unless you're going to emulate or virtualize, words the vast majority of users have no idea about. If the vast majority of the programs you need (as in ALL of them) are 32 bit, there's no point in switching to 64 bit.

Of course there are early adopters who love tinkering with the latest software and that's great, but it's going to be a while before we see any major applications running natively in 64 bit. I mean come on... who needs a 64 bit word processor? I probably use about 10% of the functionality in Word as it is and I sure as hell don't have any Word docs as big as 4GB. I bet 99.9% of Word users are like me. 64 bit browser? How many browser tabs are you gonna open? 5000??? There's no reason at this point in time to develop 64 bit version of that kind of software.

That's not to say it's not going to happen. Eventually the software is going to catch up with the hardware. It happened back in early 90's and it'll happen again in a few years. Until then though, why load yourself with a 64 bit OS when none of your apps run native to it and you always have to run in emulation with larger hardware overhead? For the vast majority and by that I mean 9999 people out of 10,000, Vista32 is just fine.
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Old 18th June, 2007, 12:00 PM
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Let me give you one more reason: Drivers ! Yup Aztec that's right. I've been playing around with the 64 version and I know for a fact that many devices and many companies don't have solutions for Vista 64 bit. After jumping on the 32 bit version I feel much better with all my stuff working (except my old Creative SB Live..which I gave to Zoli anyway). @ Mooky !

Did I mention that I am playing all me games inside Vista 32?
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Old 18th June, 2007, 01:27 PM
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Well that's what I'm saying, there's not much support for V64 but there should be by now.
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Old 19th June, 2007, 01:24 AM
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Getting the "Run" command back.

You can get the "Run" window from WinXP back in one of 3 ways.

1. Winkey + R
2. Type "run" into Start Seach and hit Enter (you might have to select it if something else has the letters r, u, and n in them.
3. Click the following: Start>All Programs>Accessories>System Tools>Run

Personally I like the first option the best.
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Old 19th June, 2007, 03:02 AM
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Enhanced recycle bin.

This is a registry hack for an enhanced recyle bin. Adds "Clear Temp" and "Disk Cleanup" to the Recycle Bin right click menu. "Clear Temp" will clear both temp directories at:

%UserProfile%\AppData\Local\Temp and %SystemRoot%\Temp

The registry hack also prevents accidental deletion of the recycle bin from the desktop.

Download from here:

http://herby.virtualplastic.net/files/ERBM.zip
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Old 19th June, 2007, 02:51 PM
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You need to stop telling me all the cool things Vista does. I might end up with it and I do not want to do that...
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