Import My Pictures Slideshow from XP to Vista

August 31, 2008

While playing around with Windows Vista’s screensavers, I discovered that my beloved “My Pictures Slideshow” did not exist. I used it all the time in Windows XP! So, being the geek that I am, I figured out how to import it into Vista. Here’s how I did it…

1. In Windows XP, in the Start Menu, click “Search”. (if you don’t have Search, right-click the Start button and choose “properties”, then “customize”. On the “Advanced” tab, put a checkbox next to “Search”, then click “ok” twice.)

2. Click “All Files and Folders”

3. Type “*.scr” (without the quotes), remember to include the asterick (“*”) and the period, and press enter on your keyboard.

4. There will be one called “ssmypics.scr”. Select the file, right-click and choose “copy”, then right-click and choose “paste” on the desktop.

4a. You can also download it directly from my website here

5. You can now burn the file to CD, copy and paste it onto a thumbdrive, or into a shared network folder.

6. Access the file in Windows Vista, then copy and paste it into the “C:\Windows\System32\” directory.

7. Right click the desktop, choose “personlize”, then “screen saver”, and the new screensaver should now appear along with the rest.

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Windows XP and Windows Vista 32-bit and 64-bit

August 18, 2008

I’ve been asked what is the difference between Windows XP and VIsta 32-bit and 64-bit. It’s a great question. So here’s what I was able to dig up…

According to Microsoft itself… (more information is available here)

“The main differences between the 32-bit versions of Windows Vista and the 64-bit versions of Windows Vista relate to memory accessibility, memory management, and enhanced security features. The security features that are available in the 64-bit versions of Windows Vista include the following:

•Kernel Patch Protection
•Support for hardware-backed Data Execution Protection (DEP)
•Mandatory driver signing
•Removal of support for 32-bit drivers
•Removal of the 16-bit subsystem

One of the greatest advantages of using a 64-bit version of Windows Vista is the ability to access physical memory (RAM) that is above the 4-gigabyte (GB) range. This physical memory is not addressable by 32-bit versions of Windows Vista.

Depending on the version of Windows Vista that is installed, a 64-bit version of Windows Vista supports from 1 GB of RAM to more than 128 GB of RAM. The ability to address more physical memory lets Windows Vista minimize the time that is required to swap processes in and out of physical memory. Therefore, Windows Vista can manage processes more efficiently. This memory management feature helps improve the overall performance of Windows Vista.”

According to Webopedia

-Users would note a performance increase because a 64-bit CPU can handle more memory and larger files

-most benefits of a 64-bit CPU will go unnoticed without the key components of a 64-bit operating system and 64-bit software and drivers which are able to take advantage of 64-bit processor features

-Benefits of 64-bit processors would be seen with more demanding applications such as video encoding, scientific research, searching massive databases; tasks where being able to load massive amounts of data into the system’s memory is required.


Screen Goes Black Suddenly

August 17, 2008

I suspect most people know how to fix this in Windows, but I think it’s worth a mention. If your computer screen goes black after 10, 20, or 30 minutes, even with the screensaver on, this is due to the Power Options settings turning the signal to the monitor off to conserve power.

This normally shouldn’t happen if the screensaver is enabled, but you or someone else may have changed the settings.

In Windows XP

1. right-click on the desktop, and choose “properties”

2. on the “screensaver” tab, click on the “power” button

3. Choose options from the drop down menus, and click “ok”, then “ok” again.

To change the Power Options, in Windows Vista…

1. In the Start Menu, then select “Control Panel”

2. Click on “Power Options”

3. on the left hand side, choose “Choose when to turn the display off”

4. In the window that opens, choose from the drop down menu the option you want, and click “save changes”


Disable Automatic Restart on BSOD (Blue Screen of Death)

August 17, 2008

In Windows XP and Windows Vista, you can stop Windows from automatically restarting when the dreaded Blue Screen of Death happens, giving you time to analyze or write down the error, so you can later find a possible solution.

1. Right-click on Computer, select Properties.

2. Click Advanced System Settings.

3. On the Advanced tab, under “Startup and Recovery”, click “settings”.

3. Under “System Failure”, uncheck the box next to “automatic restart”. (attach pic)


Spam Management

July 26, 2008

According to Tech Guy Labs:

“The longer you use an email, the more SPAM you will get. The easier your email is “guessable” by spambots, the more spam you’ll get. The more listserves you’re with, the more SPAM you’ll get. Leo, for instance, gets over a million spams a month!

Leo’s 3 stages for Spam management:

1) use an external service. Leo uses MailRoute.net. There’s also onlymyemail.com. These are for pay services that block out spam.

2) Use Spam Assassin on your server.

3) Finally, a local solution like Mail Washer.”

Another option, when using services like Hotmail or Yahoo, in recent years, have spam-catching services that seem to catch most, if not all, spam or junk email. You can also have the junk email filter spam to specific folders. Microsoft Outlook has similiar options. You can also use a Junk Email Senders List, and filter to specific folders as well.

In Outlook, right-click email, choose “Junk E-Mail”, and “Add to Blocked Senders List”. From that point on, Outlook filter those emails to the Junk Mail folder. You can also right-click messages and “Create a Rule”, so the message is automatically filtered to the folder you designate.


How to Disable Memory Dumps (Physical Memory Dumps)

July 26, 2008

according to Tech Guy Labs….

The memory dump is a behavior that’s set in XP’s system control panel under advanced system properties. It happens when you suffer a crash. And it’s rather useless unless your a programmer. Just turn it off.”

Memory Dumps often happen suddenly and are evident with a Blue Screen of Death, usually with an error code such as “***STOP: 0X00000008E(0XC0000090, 0X004B4BD8, 0XEE25885C, 0X00000000)”.

These dumps can be caused by a faulty piece of hardware or a bad driver. Reinstall the drivers with the most current from the manufacturer’s websites or Windows Update.

To DISABLE Memory Dumps:

1. Right-click My Computer -> Properties
2. In the Advanced tab -> Startup and Recovery -> Settings button.
3. System Failure -> Write Debugging Information -> drop down list select None.
4. Click OK

To learn how to prevent the computer from restarting when a Blue Screen of Death happens, go here.


IRQ Not Less or Equal

July 26, 2008

What is an IRQ?

There doesn’t seem to be any direct cause of this Blue Screen of Death error message. The most likely cause seem to be faulty or bad RAM. So, make sure you’re grounded, open up your computer case and make sure the RAM is properly seated. You should not be able to see the gold contacts. If you bought cheap RAM, you may want to return it and buy from a well-known company, such as Kingston.

Other possible causes include the video card (NVidia seems to be a culprit), or the sound card. Try swapping these components for others and see if the problem reoccurs.

You can also try running RAM tests using Memtest or Simmtester.com

Another cause could be overheating, and Windows may just be guessing the problem. Make sure the case has proper air flow.

You may be able to figure out the problem in the Event Viewer, Control Panel>Administrative Tools>Event Viewer.

The best way to avoid IRQ conflicts to is install expansion cards one at a time AFTER installing Windows.