Tuesday, 21 December 2010

How to see what programs are running

To see initially what is running press CTRL SHIFT ESC.
This brings up Task Manager and a bit quicker than CTRL/ALT/DEL

Many programs running in the background wil not show so to view everything

Click START Go to RUN

Type in

For example to see if Microsoft Essentials Anti Virus is working

Scroll down to Microsoft AntMalware Service. If this is listed as "started" and "automatic" it is running in the background and will work

Media Player Big Delay loading tracks

There you are: Windows Media Player (WMP) running, all songs loaded in its library and you hit the 'play'-button. It picks the wrong song and you click the 'next'-button. Instead of starting the next song immediately, a pretty long pause follows the release of the button. As if there's some artificial intelligence pondering if it should play the file. Rest assured, the song will start eventually. You can live with that for a couple of songs and then the mind starts asking questions. I don't have to wait in Windows XP so why should I have to wait in its youngest sibling? And so the quest for a solution starts...

The pause is the most noticeable event, but it's the result of something else: one of the svchost.exe processes loves the CPU and starts eating cycles. So it's some Windows service causing all of this, but which one (for the unknowing: svchost.exe does a lot in Windows and there are multiple processes with that name)? Process Explorer to the rescue! And that nifty program told me the spike in CPU usage was caused by "svchost.exe -DcomLaunch".

The fun isn't over yet. That process is associated with two services: DCOM Server Process Launcher and Plug and Play. For the Vulcans among us, all logic stops there for a second. What do those two services have to do with WMP? The answer is provided by Vista's new audio engine. The new engine supports several audio "enhancements". But for the enhancements to work, the engine needs to determine if your hardware is up to the task. And when does it check that? Each time a sound output device is accessed. That's pretty nice if you can do a hot swap of sound hardware, but I don't see me doing that anytime soon. Anyways, it does provide us with the link to the correct service because checking hardware is done by the "Plug and Play" service.

One might think that deactivating each enhancement would solve the problem, but that's wishful thinking. The configuration of the enhancements is located in the properties of the sound hardware. When opening the tab, I found out that no enhancements were active. Hmmm... so why does it check the hardware? Well, it does that in case you actually enable an enhancement. To completely stop the hardware checking, you have to tick the box labelled Disable all enhancements. As soon as you do that, Vista finally understands you don't want to use them

It took me quite some time to figure this out. I hope this post can save some time for those who experience the same problem.

Thursday, 25 November 2010

Windows 7 Repair Procedure

Windows 7 Repair Install

If Bootmgr is missing error message is displayed see other procedure below

1) Set your BIOS to make the CD/DVD drive the first boot device. Exit and "Save" your BIOS. Quickly insert the Windows 7 DVD.

2) When you reboot your PC and see "Press any key to boot from CD or DVD", press the space bar to start the Repair install.

3) Windows 7 will begin to loading files. (White progress bar).

4) The "Starting Windows" logo is displayed.

5) Next you need to enter your Language, Time/Currency format and Keyboard input method. Then click on the 'Next' button.

6) The "Install Windows 7" screen will appear.
Warning: DO NOT click on the "Install now" arrow.
Continue by clicking on "Repair your Computer" option located in the bottom left of the window.

7) The "System Recovery Options" window pops up. You will see a "Search" process begin. Next select the correct OS to repair (if more than one OS is listed), and click 'Next'.
Note: You may need to select the "Load Drivers" option if your Operating System is not listed.

8) From the "Choose a recovery tool" list, select "Startup Repair".

9) Next the "Startup Repair" window is displayed, with a message "Startup Repair is checking your system for problems" along with a "Searching for problems" progress bar.

10) You may now be prompted with a "Do you want to restore your computer using System Restore?" message.Warning: Do not click the "Restore" button. Continue by clicking the "Cancel" button.

11) If "Startup Repair" did not find any problems, click the "Finish" button and "Restart" the computer. If repairs are necessary skip step #12 and go to step #13 otherwise after you clicked "Restart" go to step #12.

12) DO NOT "Press any key to boot from CD or DVD", just wait and let Windows 7 startup.
If you are lucky Windows 7 will reboot and after logging on Windows will start the process of searching and installing drivers.

You have the option to view the progress in detail as each driver is found and installed.
If and after all the drivers are installed, you’re done except for removing the DVD and restarting the PC as some drivers require a restart!

13) Windows 7 will now attempt repairs.

Bootmgr is missing

“BOOTMGR is missing”
error message Windows 7

If your computer will not even start up and displays the above error message this is the recovery procedure.
Imaging and Backup software will probably not help in this instance.
The option on the Installation Repair my Computer wil not work either

Luckily a copy of the missing system file “Bootgmgr” is on the Windows 7 installation disk but just inserting the disc and selecting repair will not work you need to physically copy the file across to the hard drive where you C:\Windows is installed.

1 Before you start try to remember the drive letter of your DVD drive
2 Try to remember if you need to interrupt the boot sequence to boot up from the DVD drive. (You usually press F12 or ENTER as the computer starts up).
3 Insert the Windows 7 installation DVD
4 Restart the computer to execute the boot sequence
5 Once the DVD has started loading you will need to set the language gor your keyboard when this menu comes up.
6 From the next option menu of “Install Windows” or “Repair my Computer” accept the repair option but do not bother to run it as it will not correct this fault.
7 At this point you will now need to exit or if a menu displays select the option Command Prompt
8 If your DVD drive letter was E then type E:\ ( or the correct letter for the drive)
9 On the black screen there will be amongst the list of files one named bootmgr
10 If Windows is installed on Drive C:\ (the normal option) you now need to type the following including the spaces.
11 Lower case is OK so …..copy bootmgr c:\.......press the Enter key
12 After message “file copied” type exit then press the Enter key
13 Eject the installation disc. Reboot the computer
14 Restart your computer and select “Start Windows Normally” if this option displays.

This should now start up Windows

If not succesful Google for alternative command prompt action
if succesful click startup repair and boout up automatically

Tuesday, 1 June 2010

To Label a Hyperlink

basic html code below:

•To italicise: italicise
•To bold: bold
•To underline: underline
•To label a hyperlink: my label

Thursday, 27 May 2010

TaskBar dissappeared ?

If the TaskBar the strip along the bottom of the PC has disappeared press CTRL/ALT/DEL and bring up Windows Task Manager.
Click applications if it is not the first menu visible. Click New Task in the bottom RH button.
Type explore
Press enter.

It is probably because Explorer has crashed and this re-instates it.

Tuesday, 25 May 2010

Target Drive is Running Out of Space

Just found out that Acronis True Image 2010 to build 7046 gives an error message when you try to run a backup.
"Target Drive is running out of Space".
You need to go to
Tools & Utilities
Local Storage Setting
Freespace Threshold

You will probably find it is set to warn you if there is less than a staggering 50TB of space. (50,000 Gbs) Change this to 50Gb or better still select the default option so as to not warn you at all.
Even if you select an incremental backup it will create a temporary full backup as well.

Tuesday, 2 March 2010

Testing Graphics Cards

Use Video Card Stability Test
or from Run dxdiag
or F12 on Boot Up on Dell and Utility Test Partion

Friday, 5 February 2010

Maximum files per folder

1. Maximum file or folder system restriction per folder is
dependent on the file system used and not the Operating

FAT16- 512
FAT32- 65,534 files or folders per folder
NTFS- 4,294,967,295

Thursday, 14 January 2010

Windows 7 Master Folder

How to Enable Windows 7 GodMode

by Craig Buckler

Here’s a neat Windows 7 trick that’s been doing the rounds on the Internet. It enables “GodMode,” a term devised by the Microsoft development team, which provides a single place to access all Windows settings without needing to browse options and folders in the Control Panel.
To use it, create a new folder and then rename the folder to:


The folder icon will change — double click it to show the GodMode window. Details on this page

It should work in 32-bit and 64-bit versions of Windows 7 and also in 32-bit Vista, but is known to crash 64-bit Vista.