Are you being forced into Upgrading to Windows 10?

When it sounds too good to be true, it is. Free is not truly free in its entirety. 
Take Windows 10 for example.
We've been told that it is free, yet statements of potential fees are pending. We were told that Windows 10 upgrade is an option, yet in Forbes Magazine, I read that the hidden agenda is that Microsoft will force or leave you with no other option. Including, staying with Windows 7 or 8.1, should you choose. It simply comes down to whether or not you continue to be a Windows user, migrate to Macintosh or perhaps Linux. Do you feel assimilated yet? Here's Why.

Source of this news.

http://www.forbes.com/…/microsoft-monday-windows-10-upgrad…/

The Recommended Farce – Microsoft already said it has plans to make Windows 10 upgrades automatic for Windows 7 and Windows 8. But soon, Microsoft will be classifying the Windows 10 upgrade from “Optional” to “Recommended.” Then users will have to take several extra steps to prevent the upgrade from taking place. To prevent the upgrade from happening, users will have to constantly dismiss notifications by tapping the “X” on the top-right corner of the window and install third party tools.

Why Windows 10 Upgrades Cannot Be Stopped

Gordon Kelly also pointed out Windows 10 upgrades cannot be stopped because the operating system is essential to the “company’s entire future.” Windows 10 has become the heart of the struggling PC sector. And the new operating system serves as the base of the Xbox One — which is attempting to catch up to the Sony PlayStation 4 sales.

Another reason why the success of Windows 10 has become vital for Microsoft is so that it can build support for an app development ecosystem. To attract more consumers, essential applications have to be developed for Windows 10. This is why Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella has been outspoken in his support for Universal Apps, which allows Windows 10 apps to be quickly deployed across smartphones, tablets, the Xbox One console and the HoloLens virtual reality headset.

Windows 7 tips and tricks: Activate XP mode

Activate XP mode

If you've got old but important software that no longer runs under Windows 7, then you could try using XP Mode, a virtual copy of XP that runs in a window on your Windows 7 desktop. This only works with Windows 7 Professional, Enterprise, or Ultimate. 

Here is how to set XP Compatibility mode on an older application.

1. Right click on the application icon.
2. Select "Properties"
3. Click on the "Compatibility" tab.
4. Check in the box for, "Run this program in compatibility mode for:"
5. This activates the menu for various modes. Click on the down arrow and select which operating system which best suites your application.
6. Click on "Apply", then "OK".

Securing your Computer without Slowing it Down

Security for your PC is important, but over securing will slow it down. 
One such case is went two antivirus programs attempt to run on the same PC. If you have McAfee AV and Norton AV (or any other brand) both installed, pick one and remove the other. The behavior of any antivirus program is to take control of your system. It needs to for the purposes of protecting your important stuff. But when two antivirus programs assume control, it's like two kids fighting in a sandbox. Neither one does much good and the performance of your PC will suffer. One antivirus program could have been part of a free offer and it was installed. Hoping that one day you will sign up for a paid subscription. So it could happen that two antivirus programs are running without you being aware of it. 
Remove one and your system will run much faster and efficiently. 

Disable Unwanted System Sounds in Windows 7

Here is a useful trick to silence some of the annoying sounds on your computer.

1. Go to Control Panel and look for the "Sounds" item.
2. Navigate to the “Sounds” tab.
3. Now from under “Sound Scheme:” select “No Sounds” > Click “Apply” > “OK”.

You may keep some of your favorite sounds turned on if you want, but sounds played during the Windows 7 start up, shutdown, Logon, logoff, start navigation etc should be set to none if you want some real speed boost.

Great Day. Make it count.

Rich

VIRUS SECURITY ALERT!

Security Alert.

Yesterday, a client dropped off his PC. He explained that all he did was open an official looking email in reference to suspicious activity on his Internet usage. So he opened it.
After rebooting, a message popped up. The accompanying pictures explain the rest. Please, do not open anything that looks intriguing or that you have not inquired. My client's PC is rendered useless. 
Be careful and stay safe.

Speed up my PC, Please!

Here is a suggestion to help performance.

Disabling the Unwanted Visual Effects in Windows 7

1. Right click on ” Computer” and select “Properties” from the right click menu.
2. Click on ” Advanced System Settings ” from the left pane to open up the ” System Properties ” window.
3. Select the “Advanced” tab from it. Then Under ” Performance ” click ” Settings “. Choose ” Custom: ” Options From it.
4. Now un-tick all the options.
5. Now just logoff your system and login again.

Thanks for stopping by.

Rich

Changing the Registered Owner on a Computer

Ever receive a hand-me-down PC or laptop, and the registered owner listed is of the past user? Want to change your name in place of the registered owner? Here a quick and easy way to do just that.

Windows 7:
1. Click on the "Start" button.
2. Click in the text box called " Search programs and files".
3. Type in the box, regedit. Enter the Registry Editor.
4. Go to this location; HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE, then SOFTWARE, then Microsoft, then Windows NT, then click on CurrentVersion.
In CurrentVersion, you will see a listing of attributes in the right hand window. 
5. Click on "RegisteredOwner", you will see a dialogue box where the Value data: box shows the previous owner's name. 
6. Remove and type your name. Click "OK".
7. Exit Registry Editor.

**Note: Be very careful and exact in the location you are going in the Registry. Do not change anything other than the RegisteredOwner name. Doing any other may cause unfavorable effects to Windows. IF in doubt, have someone who has done this before or you can call me.

Have a great day.
Thanks for dropping by.
Rich

FREE DOWNLOAD! Windows Security Essentials

Windows Security Essentials (WSE) - Free Download and use.

Are you running a free version of another Anti-virus Program on your PC or perhaps NO A/V program at all? Well, check this out, and it's free. You can download and use a full version of WSE that works rather well and is easy to use. Here's the link:http://windows.microsoft.com/en-us/windows/security-essentials-download

Enjoy.

Have a great Memorials Day weekend.

Rich

 

Making Text Bigger in Microsoft Outlook

Transient

Microsoft Outlook; text is too small while composing a new email. So small, you can't read it. Why?


You may have inadvertently pressed the ctrl key while scrolling the mouse wheel. 
To fix, reverse the process. Hold down the ctrl key and scroll the mouse wheel up or down to your liking.

Try it!

I said this was "quick" right?

Have an awesome day. 
Rich

The Dust Virus: Cleaning Out Your PC

You know something's wrong when that unexpected failure occurs with your car. That goes for your PC as well. That smell emanating from the back fan is starting to wreak. Perhaps you hear a grinding sound coming from the fan. If so, your PC is working too hard to stay cool. 
It's time to have the "farm" (dirt/dust) blown out from the inside. Especially if you have pets. I once found so much dog fur inside a computer I could knit a poodle. 
Dust acts as an insulator, retaining heat which causes sensitive electronic parts to fail.


To Do:
1. Power off your PC.


2. Disconnect all connections.


3. Haul PC out to the garage.


4. Remove the side panel.


5. If you have an air compressor (~80 psi setting) with a blower attachment or a vacuum. Cans of compressed air work too.


6. Blow out the circuit boards, especially the contact points of the slots. Most of the dust is found in the fans at the vents.

Give it a try. The worst that could happen is your PC may last a few more years. This works for Laptops too. 

Remote Assistance ("RA") part II

From my previous post comments, don't get me wrong, I think RA is a great tool. Only when it is used to your advantage. Not for others to take advantage of having access to your PC.
That said, you can allow RA and set access limitations. A good idea when you need RA enabled and yet control when you allow RA.

Windows 7:
1. Right Click "Computer"
2. Select "Properties"
3. Click on "Remote Settings"
4. Click on the "Advanced" button

Here you can select "Allow this computer to be controlled remotely" and set times in the "Invitations" windows.
My low grade state of paranoia takes a liking to uncheck the "Allow..." box. But you decide for yourself.

Thanks for stopping in.

Rich

Remote Assistance: Allow access or deny?

Ok, so Remote Assistance is when you, the client, allows remote access of your PC to an outside entity. 
Could be that PC tech who called or a file or email you clicked on or responded to, giving access to your PC. Who knows? What I do know, and with a hint of paranoia, I do not want to allow access to anyone I do not know or did not call for help. So what to do about this? Uncheck the box next to "Allow Remote Access connection to this computer". This covers the base of any possibility of unknown access to you PC. 
Check out this link:http://security.stackexchange.com/questions/38539/why-would-a-remote-desktop-connection-harm-my-pc

Good argument for turning it off. Especially with today's Internet security issues.
To turn off: 
Windows 7
1. Right Click "Computer"
2. Select "Properties"
3. Click on "Remote Settings"
4. Un check the box next to "Allow Remote Access connection to this computer". "Apply" and "OK"

Done.
More later.... so stay tuned.
Thanks for stopping by and have a good one.

Rich

Using Safe Mode Boot to Scan for Malware

So you think your PC is running extremely slow and it is having troubles shutting down. Normal virus and malware scans come up with no problems. What can you do next?

Safe Mode Boot. Then scan again.
What is Windows Safe Mode? It is a start up of your PC that by-passes the loading of some typical windows drivers. This allows you to boot in Windows without the all the added unnecessary stuff. I call it overhead. In Safe mode, many "things" are revealed, such as issues that will not appear during normal mode. You can scan for viruses and malware more efficiently.
Here is how to boot into Safe Mode.

1. Power on your PC.
2. Before the Windows splash screen appears, press the F8 key.
3. A black background screen will appear with several boot options.
4. Toggle down to "Safe mode with network", option, press enter.

Windows will appear to be starting except that the video is displaying larger icons. that is because the video driver is in it's minimal state. Non windows standard drivers. 
There will be a message indicating that you are in "Safe Mode". Press ok.

Now, scan your PC for viruses and malware, correct any issues and reboot your PC into standard mode. 
Many times I was able to fine and eliminate issues through safe mode that normally would not have been found.
Thanks for visiting.
Happy hunting. Hope this was helpful.

Rich

Dealing with Application Pop-Ups

I get these calls ever so often. "Rich, there are random pop-ups that scan my PC, and when I close them, they pop right up again."
Ever see these.? If so, you are experiencing rogue marketing processes. They scan your PC, claim they fine issues and want money to clean the issues. They get into your PC through freebee downloads, (remember my post on "custom" downloads verses "express"?) So, how to stop the rogue pop-ups. 

1. Press these keys: Crtl-Alt-Del (3 finger salute)
2. Click on "Start Task Manager" on the next screen.
3. Select the "Processes" tab.
4. Click on the "CPU" box twice, to align the highest users to the top.
5. There you will see something that resembles the name of the offending pop-up.
6. Click on it to highlight the running task.
7. Click on "End Process" button on the lower right corner. 
8. Next Task Manager.
Run your Anti-Malware program and be rid of this infection.

Hope this was helpful.

Thanks for dropping by. 

Rich

Scan Scams, At it Again!

JUST SAY NO!

JUST SAY NO!

OK, It happened again. 
A good and old friend of mine called last night. 
"Rich, my dad answered the phone. On the other end a tech warned of Windows XP issues and offered to scan his PC remotely for free." Sounds familiar? "Now my dad's PC is running slower, they have his credit card information and charged $150.00." 
I cannot stress enough! Do NOT trust anyone on the phone or through email whom you do not know. Hints: They initiate the contact to you. You did not call/email them. They offer their service for free. Not so. Their goal is to move your money from your wallet into theirs. This is a scam going on everyday. Save your money, you can do this yourself and I hope I can help. 

Thanks for stopping by.

Rich
On a mission.

Does your PC pass the grade?

Good Morning;
Does your PC pass the grade? Find out where your PC scores in Health and Performance. Check this out.

Windows 7:
1. Right Click "Computer" then select "Properties".
2. Select "Performance Information and Tools".
3. Select "Advanced Tools"
4. There, at the bottom of the list is "Generate a System Health Report".

By clicking on the report generator, you get a deeper understanding on how your PC is running, what is the cause and more importantly, how to fix it. 

Have an awesome day.

Rich

Get Free Norton Security Suite

IF you're a Comcast/Xfinity Internet customer, did you know you can install Norton Security Suite, for free?? I don't know if Com-Xfin advertises it very well, but it is an awesome feature for free security and file clean-ups. Here is how to install if you haven't already done so.
Go to:
xfinity.comcast.net

Scroll all the way to the bottom of the page.
Under "SUPPORT & SERVICES" heading (right lower menu)
Click on "Constant Guard"
"Download free for Windows" box and follow the prompts.

Go ahead and install Constant Guard and when you are through that, it gives you an opportunity to install a suite of other programs. One in which is Norton Security Suite. Proceed with the download and installation of Norton. Then, as a suggestion, remove 
Constant Guard through control panel, Programs, uninstall. Constant Guard will slow down you PC.

You will be amazed what a great program, for free, Norton is.

Fun stuff, all the time.

Thanks for stopping by.

Rich

Easy, affordable and fast way to "Boost" your PC performance. CONT.

Two posts ago, I showed how you can use designate a USB Flash drive as added virtual memory. You also can designate portions of your hard drive for the same purpose. Here's how.

Windows 7:
1. Right Click "Computer"
2. Select "Properties"
3. Select "Advanced System Settings"
4. In the Area called "Performance", select "settings"
5. Click on the tab called "Advanced"
6. In the Area called "Virtual Memory", select "Change"
7. Now, look for the number size in MB for "Recommended" near the bottom. Write down that number (XXXX MB) whatever it is.
8. Near the top, click on Drive letter C: to highlight.
9. Select the circle area (radio button), for "Custom size".
10. "Initial size (MB)" should be a number rounded up to the nearest thousand from the number you wrote down. Enter it in the box to the right. (ex: 12,345 mb round to 13,000)
11. "Maximum size (MB)" should be a number in mb that is two thousand high than the Initial size. Enter it to the box to the right. (ex: 13,000 mb to 15,000 mb)
12. Click "Set", then "OK", "OK" again, "OK" once more.
13. Finally, X-out from the Systems window and you are done. Reboot the PC to adjust its new setting.

You have just set extra space for programs to run temporarily while they run. In doing so should help speed your PC a bit. 
Well done.

Hope this is helpful for you. I want you to be empowered in using your PC. This is what I do.

Thanks and have a great day. Now I have to go stand in line to get my emissions done. RATS! 

Rich

Easy, affordable and fast way to "Boost" your PC performance.

It's called Ready Boost. It requires a USB thumb drive or Flash Drive at whatever size you like. What it does is acts as virtual memory space to simulate systemmemory. Here's how to install.

Windows 7:
1. Insert the USB drive.
2. Click on Computer
3. Right click on the drive letter for the USB drive, mine is G.
4. Select Properties
5. Click on the "Ready Boost" tab at the top.
6. Select "Dedicate this device to ReadyBoost".
7. Amp up the selector bar to the max.
8. Press OK.

In my case, I have a 2 GB drive now acting as added memory to my PC. Nice, eh?

Hope this was helpful. 

Thanks for dropping by.

Cheers,

Rich

 

Click here for part 2

Setting Windows Tasks

Ever forget to do something that was important? I know I have. Ever forget to run a task on your PC that keeps your system running more smoothly? Hey, it's a lot to remember at times. So, today's info. is on setting Windows Tasks. Task Scheduler allows you to do a one time setting of a task, and it runs on a reoccurring scheduled time and date, so you won't have to. Here's how.

Windows 7:

(There's a lot of helpful graphics, so not to deny you concise instruction, I will post the link instead.)

http://www.sevenforums.com/tutorials/12444-task-scheduler-create-new-task.html

I have a cleanup task (cleanmgr.exe) scheduled every Monday. 

Ok, so today I cheated, but for the sake of delivering great information .... I stand guilty. 

Hope you have a great Friday. Enjoy the weekend.

Rich
Sunny and Jack