Monday, December 20, 2010

Microsoft Store Rejects IE 6

The Microsoft Store doesn't support Internet Explorer 6.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Fast User Switching

Windows XP Fast User Switching allows multiple simultaneous logons.  For PCs typically used by just one person at a time, disabling fast user switching will free up about 1 MB of system resources.
  • Start button
  • Control Panel
  • User Accounts
  • Change the way users log on or off
  • Use Fast User Switching
  • Apply Changes

Show File Name Extensions

In Windows XP, show file name extensions in Explorer:
  • Start Button
  • Control Panel
  • Folder Options
  • Click the View tab
  • Uncheck Hide extensions for known file types 

Friday, September 17, 2010

Install XP on Dell Inspiron 1520

After struggling with MS Windows Vista on a Dell Inspiron 1520 laptop, the decision was made to "upgrade" to MS Windows XP Professional.

The laptop has SATA drive, and the XP install media does not contain SATA drivers. While it is possible to "slipstream" SATA drivers into the XP install media, it is more convenient to change BIOS setting to emulate ATA. Doing so allows XP to install.

Upon installation of XP, the bluetooth device was working. Ethernet, wifi, and the camera were not working. Without network adapters, patches could not be downloaded.

This document from the Dell support website explains the order of drivers to install. Using the laptop service tag, 24 drivers were recommended. Downloading drivers one-at-a-time onto a USB flash drive was successful. The laptop recognized the flash drive, and drivers were installed in the order Dell recommends until installation of the Broadcom 440x network driver (R149798.exe) enabled networking. After that, the normal patching process was completed.

The SATA drivers were not correctly installing, so the drive needed to stay in ATA mode.

Using the Windows installer version of Ubuntu Linux, the installation was straight-forward, simple, and quick. It has it's own boot menu entry. Upon switching from ATA to ACHI (to use SATA), it boots and runs normally.
Compared to the MS Windows install, the Ubuntu install was unbelievably easy.

Sunday, August 29, 2010

High CPU Usage From DNS Client

Some MS Windows installations run slowly for several minutes, particularly after start-up or resumption from power savings mode. After several minutes, CPU usage will drop and the system will run normally. This may be caused by local caching of DNS lookups, which can be disabled. There will typically be no detrimental effects.

In task manager, look for 100% CPU usage by svchost.exe. The user name is NETWORK SERVICE.

Start Button --> Run --> services.msc

Right-click on "DNS Client", and choose "Properties".
Change "Startup Type" to "Disabled".
Either restart the system, or press "Stop" button.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Recover Lost Windows System File

A virus scanner removed the MS Windows rundll32.exe file. The system still booted and would run, with many annoyances.

How to replace MS Windows \WINDOWS\system32\rundll32.exe

Error message identifying missing file:

File is missing:

Open a command prompt and run System File Checker.
Start Button --> Run --> cmd
At command prompt type: sfc /scannow

With the installation CD in the CD drive, expand the file from CD to the MS Windows installation.

File rundll32.exe has been restored, with a current time stamp.

While not necessary, set the file attributes to read only.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Google Encrypted Search

Google now supports encrypted search through the https protocol.

Those using Opera web browser can quickly change the search bar to use Google's encrypted search.
1) In the search bar (upper right hand corner), click the dropdown arrow
2) Toward the bottom of the list, click "Manage search engines..."
3) Highlight "Google" and press EDIT button
4) Press DETAILS button
5) Replace the address line with:
6) Press OK
7) Press OK

On a related encryption note, mobile phone voice security has been improved to include end-to-end encryption when using Android phones.

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Save Memory, Remove Java Quick Starter

jqs.exe is the Java Quick Starter (jqs.exe) task that runs in MS Windows. It uses 2MB of virtual memory.

For those who infrequently use java programs or who need the CPU cycles, jqs.exe can be disabled from the Control Panel --> Java --> Advanced and unselected Java Quick Starter.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Microsoft Security Essentials

While I have been satisfied with products such as Spybot and Clamwin, Microsoft Security Essentials is free and may be worth a look.

Microsoft Security Essentials provides real-time protection for your home PC that guards against viruses, spyware, and other malicious software.