With so many programs and applications running in your Windows background, you can no longer be sure about what is harmful and what is not. Moreover, if these programs start running as soon as you log on to Windows, they can make your computer really slow.
Startup Inspector is a great software that lets you identify and manage the programs in your Windows startup. You can scan the programs in your startup folder and see detailed information like memory usage, file name, program location e.t.c. A built-in rating tells you how safe or unsafe each program is and if it should be removed.
Using Startup Inspector, you can scan the startup programs for each Windows user and control them separately. It is a great application to find and remove unnecessary programs that can slow down your computer’s performance.
Download Startup Inspector here.
You might be terrified or anxious about people hacking into your computer and gains access to your confidential data. To avoid unauthorized access, you may have set a password in your Windows XP account that you can remember easily. Even with a password set, hackers on the internet can break into your account and get access to your files. So, what do you have to do now? You better set a blank password or use no password at all.
Yes! Using a blank password (or no password at all) can make your computer more secure. Accounts on Windows XP that are not secured by a password, cannot be accessed remotely over the network or the Internet.
An official guide from Microsoft on Password strength suggests using blank passwords on Windows XP machines when the following criteria are met:
- You only have one computer or you have several computers but you do not need to access information on one computer from another one
- The computer is physically secure (you trust everyone who has physical access to the computer like your family members)
However, using blank password (or no password at all) is not always a good idea particularly when a computer is not in a secure location. For instance, your laptop is not physically secure so, setting up a strong password is a must!
P.S. Running the command gpedit.msc in the Run box and disabling the setting “Limit local account use of blank passwords to console login only” available under Local Policies will allow youto access your XP Professional computer over the network ever after the password is blank
It’s common knowledge that Windows Vista was a rushed release. Even Bill Gates admitted that it could have used a little more polish. Vista is full of rough edges. One of the most annoying oversights being the dozens of ugly icons, bitmaps and animations left over from previous builds of Windows.
Vize is a free GUI enhancer for Windows Vista which replaces most of the icons, bitmaps and animations Microsoft forgot to replace. Vize works by directly patching more than 75 system files. This ensures that Vize doesn’t require any additional resources to run.
Vize completely automates the process of replacing system files, however it is recommended that you create a system restore point before installing Vize. Go ahead and give your Vista installation the fit and finish it deserves.
[ Download Vize for Windows Vista ]
Windows driver update service is sloppy at best. Although it offers to connect to the internet and automatically download the latest driver software for your hardware, it rarely comes up with anything useful. Device Doctor is a freeware which automatically scans your computer hardware and identifies driver updates available for your hardware.
Device Doctor’s database includes drivers for over 13 million individual devices. This equates to more than 3 terabytes of drivers. Device Doctor was designed to be convenient and straight forward. It provides only one option, which is to “Begin Scan”. Scanning is relatively fast and takes less a minute. In our test system Device Doctor found three available driver updates, all of which were valid.
Device Doctor supports Windows XP, Windows Vista and Windows 7 and was designed to work on both 32 bit and 64 bit systems. While there are plenty of applications to download driver updates, Device Doctor is probably the simplest.
[ Download Device Doctor ]
The public testing phase for Windows Seven may be over, but that doesn’t mean that you still can’t test it for free. Users who have already downloaded the RC build can continue to use it till June. On top of that Microsoft has gone ahead and released a 90 day trial edition of Windows 7 Enterprise.
This release is aimed at IT Professionals interested in trying out Windows 7. However, even the general public may download this release through TechNet. The Enterprise Edition of Windows 7 has the same feature set as Windows 7 Ultimate. The only difference is that they are sold in volume (instead of individual licenses) to an organisation. However, this trial edition won’t require any key.
This offer will remain valid till March 31, 2010 or till supplies last. You will be allowed to enjoy a fully functional version of Windows 7 for 90 days. After that the computer would start shutting down every 1 hour. Serial Key is not necessary for this build.
[ Download Windows 7 Enterprise 90 Day Trial ]
If a computer starts acting strange, slow or simply starts freezing up, the first instinct is usually to press Ctrl+Alt+Del and see what applications and processes are running. All of us can usually figure out the applications and close them if necessary, but we usually don’t have enough knowledge about the processes to take the appropriate action.
Here’s an awesome website that can help. FileInspect is a complete resource about all the Windows processes that are running in your background. If you want to see what a specific process does and how safe it is, just head on to FileInspect and start typing the name of the process.
The website would autocomplete your search and once you select a process, it will provide you details about what the process is and how safe it is. After telling you what the process does, FileInspect also provides a recommendation about if you should let the process running or turn it off.
The processes marked with green are considered safe while the processes marked with red are considered dangerous and should be turned of as soon as possible.
Microsoft periodically releases new patches for bugs and vulnerabilities every Tuesday, however they also release something called as Service packs which offer a cumulative update for your computer.
If you are a Windows Vista user, you can download the latest service pack, Windows Vista SP2 which is now publicly available to users.
The new build is a release candidate which should make the update more stable, however you will have to have Windows Vista SP1 (Service Pack 1) installed before you can install the SP2 on your computer.