Tag Archives: boot

Soluto Latest Release – Fixes Crashes And Speeds Up Your Boot Time

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Soluto describes itself as being in the “anti-frustration software” game, and they couldn’t be more right.

The latest Soluto release (May 25, 2011), not only continues to analyze and offer recommendations to speed up your boot time, but through increased functionality, remedies are available to deal with system crashes. On top of that, the application can guide through the process of determining which Browser add-ons you should consider removing

According to the developer

Soluto employs innovative low-level Windows kernel technologies to identify what users are asking their PC to do, and what their PCs do in return. Soluto is able to pinpoint and analyze what resource obstacles stand in the way of users’ desired actions. These can be I/O issues, network issues, resource locking, and so on.

Having run Soluto since the first public Beta and, having been part of the closed Beta testing group for this new release – I can safely say, that this is an application that lives up to it’s promises. The term “must have application” is used so often that it’s lost it’s luster but, Soluto really is a must have application – particularly for a typical user.

Installation is straightforward, but in the event of a bad install the application automatically creates a restore point. Given the complexity of the application, you may find the install time slightly longer than normal. Not to worry – the installer is chugging away at the background work.

Click on any of the following graphics to expand to original size.

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As the following screen shot indicates, on re-boot, you will have the opportunity to make adjustments in your boot configuration.

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On system startup, you’ll notice that the application is auditing your current boot sequence.

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Since the application places a control icon in the system tray, launching the program is a breeze.

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The user interface is crafted in a simple no nonsense style.

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Here, I’ve taken a look at Soluto’s recommendations to reduce my boot time. Potentially, I could reduce my boot time by a further 10 seconds, or so.

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While Soluto will suggest Browser add-ons which you might consider removing, you should use caution here. After all, if you installed these add-ons, you must have considered their relative value when you did so.

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As the following graphic indicates, there are no crashes, yet!

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But, should unexplained system crashes become an issue, Soluto promises to jump in and help out. Now that’s very cool!

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In the following graphic (supplied by the developer), the applications crash analytics function, and solution recommendations, are illustrated.

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Fast facts:

Chop Boot – allows you to understand your boot, discover which applications are slowing it down (and keep running later in the background, affecting your ongoing experience), and allows you to significantly improve it.

Lighten Web Browser – Shows you which toolbars, add-ons and plug-ins are ‘riding’ on your browser, what they do, and what they look like. Helps you easily remove unneeded ones, making your browser faster and more stable, and shows you whether other users chose to keep them or disable them. It also lets you revert back to your search provider of choice in case it was ‘hijacked’ by other software.

Heal Crashes – Changes the way you experience application crashes (that is, when applications unexpectedly ‘die’ and prompt Windows to send ‘Crash Report’ dialogs), analyzes application crashes against tens of millions of crashes already collected, and provides solutions to prevent them from recurring.

System requirements: Windows XP, Vista, Win 7 (32bit & 64bit).

Download at: Developers site – Soluto.com

While the application is still at the Beta stage, I should point out – I have yet to experience any stability issues with either this version, or any of the prior versions.

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Filed under 64 Bit Software, Beta Software, Computer Maintenance, Computer Tools, downloads, Freeware, New Computer User Software Tools, Slow Computer, Software, System Utilities, Utilities, Windows Tips and Tools

Free StartUp Tuner 2 – Fixes Slow Computer Boot Time

image Is Windows boot time starting to get you down? Do you sometimes feel as if you could go and make a coffee while waiting for Windows to start? Let me tell you, if you feel that way, you’re not alone – it can happen to all of us.

You’ll often find, after installing a new application, that it automatically triggers an auto-start command on system start up.

That means, each time your computer is booted, this type of presumptive program is started with Windows, which is unlikely to be your intent, and in many cases is not needed. For example, iTunes is one of those programs that has this nasty habit.

As a result of this program behavior, your start sequence can become considerably longer, system resources can be ravaged, and manually shutting down these unnecessary startups can be frustrating, and time consuming.

The following is a perfect example of how out of control these presumptive  auto-start applications can become.

Recently, a friend asked me for advice on his sister’s computer that was slow at startup, and even worse, was slow in normal operation. It was easy to see why. The computer was loading 26 applications on startup, which then continued to run in the background, eating up system resources.

There are a number of manual methods available to deactivate these very irritating applications from auto starting, but a great free application from Ashampoo does the job quickly, cleanly, and with no fuss.

StartUp Tuner 2 lists all auto-start entries and allows you to individually delete or deactivate those entries. If you turn off all of the unnecessary entries (be sure they are not necessary), Windows will boot faster; in many cases considerably faster.

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Bonus features:

StartUp Tuner 2 can do more than just this though. The tool can list all Windows services by name and it allows you to activate, or deactivate them, with the click of the mouse.

The application shows all installed Windows programs, but it builds its lists more quickly than the control panel software module. You can then uninstall programs that are no longer required, including program entries that the native Windows uninstaller generally leaves untouched.

Many Browser Helper Objects (BHOs) are useful, but others simply take up space on the Hard Drive and serve no useful purpose. StartUp Tuner 2 lists all of them, and allows you to delete, or deactivate them, if you determine you longer need them.

The application automatically generates a backup of the changes that you have made, giving you the opportunity to reverse any changes.

StartUp Tuner 2 can be used free for 10 days. After that time, free online registration is required. You will receive an activation code which will convert the test version of the program into the full version.

Ashampoo loves to remind you of the value of their full software lineup, so if you find it bothersome to receive this type of email, you’d be better off passing on StartUp Tuner 2.

Personally, I like to stay in the loop on new software developments, so I don’t object to receiving emails soliciting my business for new applications. One of the benefits of registering with Ashampoo is – they often give away full versions of their apps, just prior to the release of a new version.

System requirements: Windows 2000, XP, Vista. Win 7 (no x64 support).

Download at: Developer’s site

Note: Full administrative rights are required to install the program. After it has been installed it can be used with any user account.

If you found this article useful, why not subscribe to this Blog via RSS, or email? It’s easy; just click on this link and you’ll never miss another Tech Thoughts article.

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Filed under Computer Maintenance, Computer Tools, downloads, Freeware, Slow Computer, Software, System Tweaks, System Utilities, Utilities, Windows 7, Windows Tips and Tools, Windows Vista, Windows XP

Panda SafeCD – Plus Six More Free Recovery Tools

imageSitting down and pushing the start button on your PC only to have it refuse to boot, will fit right in with anyone’s definition of frustration. It’s almost a personal thing – “why are you doing this to me?” But all is not lost.

Before you consign your dead PC to the garbage dump, or start considering just what kind of boat anchor you might craft, you should know that there are some terrific free tools that can help you recover (provided it’s a software issue).

These free applications are at the “Top of the Class”, in my view. Since I first wrote on this issue, back in June 2010, I’ve added Panda Security’s (the highly regarded developer of Panda Cloud free antivirus), Panda SafeCD, to the list below.

I’m not suggesting that you download them all but, if you have some spare CDs – why not? Or, do a little info gathering on the author’s site – then choose those that best meet your specific needs.

Hiren’s Boot CD

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Hiren’s Boot CD is a boot disk containing various diagnostic programs such as partitioning agents, system performance benchmarks, disk cloning and imaging tools, data recovery tools, MBR tools, BIOS tools, and many others for fixing various computer problems.

Downloading this application is a bit of a hassle, since ownership of some of the utilities on the CD is open to interpretation.

Ultimate Boot CD for Windows

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A terrific recovery CD for repairing, restoring, or diagnosing computer problems, but since it involves hands on “building skills” to compile the necessary tools, it’s not for everyone. Nevertheless, for those who have the skills, this utility is a “must have”.

Trinity Rescue Kit

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Trinity Rescue Kit, or TRK, is a free live Linux distribution that aims specifically at recovery and repair operations on Windows machines, but is equally usable for Linux recovery issues.

Ubuntu Live CD

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Can’t boot into Windows? Can’t figure out how you’re going to rescue all that data that you can’t reach? Ubuntu Live CD can come to the rescue. Need to connect to the Internet as part of your recovery process? No problem – Ubuntu Live CD makes it easy.

Specialty Recovery Tools:

Panda SafeCD

Click to see larger images

This useful utility comes in handy when you need to clean a friend’s PC (or your own), from a malware infected state. It is specially useful for detecting and disinfecting malware infections which give regular AV products running within Windows a hard time.

Features include: Automatic detection and removal of all types of malware. Boot from CD or USB stick. Supports using updated signature files. Supports 13 languages. Supports both FAT and NTFS drives.

The download consists of an ISO. You can either burn this into a CD/DVD or alternatively create a more convenient Boot USB stick by using something like the Universal Netboot Installer (UNetbootin).

Kaspersky Rescue Disk

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This rescue CD can scan your boot sector, and your Hard Drives from the outside looking in. Malware doesn’t have a chance to hide if it’s not running. It’s become the first step I now use, when I’m dealing with an infected machine.

Avira AntiVir Rescue System

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Avira AntiVir Rescue System is a Linux-based application that allows accessing computers that cannot be booted anymore. Thus it is possible to, repair a damaged system, rescue data, scan the system for virus infections.

Just a personal note: I scan all my machines with this application on a weekly basis.

If you found this article useful, why not subscribe to this Blog via RSS, or email? It’s easy; just click on this link and you’ll never miss another Tech Thoughts article.

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Filed under Anti-Malware Tools, Computer Tools, Diagnostic Software, downloads, Free File Recovery Applications, Freeware, Geek Software and Tools, Malware Removal, Software, System Recovery Tools, System Utilities, Utilities, Windows Tips and Tools

Save Your Dead PC with These Outstanding Free Recovery Tools

Sitting down, pushing the start button on your PC only to have it refuse to boot, will fit right in with anyone’s definition of frustration. It’s almost a personal thing – “why are you doing this to me?” But all is not lost.

Before you consign your dead PC to the garbage dump, or start considering just what kind of boat anchor you might craft, you should know that there are some terrific free tools that can help you recover. These free applications are at the “Top of the Class”, in my view.

I’m not suggesting that you download them all but, if you have some spare CDs – why not? Or, do a little info gathering on the author’s site – then choose those that best meet your specific needs.

If I’ve missed one of your favorites that you feel should be on this list, then let me know with your comments.

Hiren’s Boot CD

image

Hiren’s Boot CD is a boot CD containing various diagnostic programs such as partitioning agents, system performance benchmarks, disk cloning and imaging tools, data recovery tools, MBR tools, BIOS tools, and many others for fixing various computer problems. Downloading this application is a bit of a hassle since ownership of some of the utilities on the CD is open to interpretation.

Ultimate Boot CD for Windows

image

A terrific recovery CD for repairing, restoring, or diagnosing computer problems, but since it involves hands on “building skills” to compile the necessary tools, it’s not for everyone. Nevertheless, for those who have the skills, this utility is a “must have”.

Trinity Rescue Kit

image

Trinity Rescue Kit or TRK is a free live Linux distribution that aims specifically at recovery and repair operations on Windows machines, but is equally usable for Linux recovery issues.

Ubuntu Live CD

image

Can’t boot into Windows? Can’t figure out how you’re going to rescue all that data that you can’t reach? Ubuntu Live CD can come to the rescue. Need to connect to the Internet as part of your recovery process? No problem – Ubuntu Live CD makes it easy.

Specialty Recovery Tools:

Comodo Time Machine

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This innovative utility takes snapshots of your PC and archives those snapshots so that if you experience a computer problem (like a malware or virus attack), you simply revert back in time to one of the snapshots you had previously taken. In other words, if you mess up your PC and you have the Comodo Time Machine software installed, you can go back in time to restore your PC to a previous good state.

Kaspersky Rescue Disk

image

This rescue CD can scan your boot sector, and your Hard Drives from the outside looking in. Malware doesn’t have a chance to hide if it’s not running. It’s become the first step I now use when I’m dealing with an infected machine.

Avira AntiVir Rescue System

image

Avira AntiVir Rescue System is a Linux-based application that allows accessing computers that cannot be booted anymore. Thus it is possible to, repair a damaged system, rescue data, scan the system for virus infections.

If you found this article useful, why not subscribe to this Blog via RSS, or email? It’s easy; just click on this link and you’ll never miss another Tech Thoughts article.

15 Comments

Filed under Backup Tools, Comodo, computer repair, Diagnostic Software, downloads, Freeware, Geek Software and Tools, Hard Drive Tools, Software, System Utilities, Utilities, Windows 7, Windows Vista, Windows XP

Slow Computer Start Up? Fix it with Free StartUp Tuner 2

image Is Windows boot time starting to get you down? Do you sometimes feel as if you could go and make a coffee while waiting for Windows to start? Let me tell you, if you feel that way, you’re not alone – it can happen to all of us.

You’ll often find, after installing a new application, that it automatically triggers an auto-start command on system start up.

That means, each time your computer is booted, this type of presumptive program is started with Windows, which is unlikely to be your intent, and in many cases is not needed. For example, iTunes is one of those programs that has this nasty habit.

As a result of this program behavior, your start sequence can become considerably longer, system resources can be ravaged, and manually shutting down these unnecessary startups can be frustrating, and time consuming.

The following is a perfect example of how out of control these presumptive  auto-start applications can become.

Recently, a friend asked me for advice on his sister’s computer that was slow at startup, and even worse, was slow in normal operation. It was easy to see why. The computer was loading 26 applications on startup, which then continued to run in the background, eating up system resources.

There are a number of manual methods available to deactivate these very irritating applications from auto starting, but a great free application from Ashampoo does the job quickly, cleanly, and with no fuss.

StartUp Tuner 2 lists all auto-start entries and allows you to individually delete or deactivate those entries. If you turn off all of the unnecessary entries (be sure they are not necessary), Windows will boot faster; in many cases considerably faster.

Ashampoo Startup mgr

Bonus features:

StartUp Tuner 2 can do more than just this though. The tool can list all Windows services by name and it allows you to activate, or deactivate them, with the click of the mouse.

The application shows all installed Windows programs, but it builds its lists more quickly than the control panel software module. You can then uninstall programs that are no longer required, including program entries that the native Windows uninstaller generally leaves untouched.

Many Browser Helper Objects (BHOs) are useful, but others simply take up space on the Hard Drive and serve no useful purpose. StartUp Tuner 2 lists all of them, and allows you to delete, or deactivate them, if you determine you longer need them.

The application automatically generates a backup of the changes that you have made, giving you the opportunity to reverse any changes.

StartUp Tuner 2 can be used free for 10 days. After that time, free online registration is required. You will receive an activation code which will convert the test version of the program into the full version.

Ashampoo loves to remind you of the value of their full software lineup, so if you find it bothersome to receive this type of email, you’d be better off passing on StartUp Tuner 2.

Personally, I like to stay in the loop on new software developments, so I don’t object to receiving emails soliciting my business for new applications.

System requirements: Windows 2000, XP, Vista. Win 7 (no x64 support)

Download at: Download.com

If you found this article useful, why not subscribe to this Blog via RSS, or email? It’s easy; just click on this link and you’ll never miss another Tech Thoughts article.

15 Comments

Filed under Computer Maintenance, Freeware, Software, System Tweaks, System Utilities, Utilities, Windows 7, Windows Tips and Tools, Windows Vista, Windows XP

Tune Windows Start Up With Free Startup Tuner 2

Ashampoo Startup Box Is Windows boot time starting to get you down? Do you sometimes feel as if you could go and make a coffee while waiting for Windows to start? Let me tell you, if you feel that way, you’re not alone.

You’ll often find, after installing a new application, that it automatically triggers an auto-start command on system start up.

That means, each time your computer is booted, this type of presumptive program is started with Windows, which is unlikely to be your intent, and in many cases is not needed. For example, iTunes is one of those programs that has this nasty habit.

As a result of this program behavior, your start sequence can become considerably longer, system resources can be ravaged, and manually shutting down these unnecessary startups can be frustrating, and time consuming.

The following is a perfect example of how out of control these presumptive  auto-start applications can become.

Recently, a friend asked me for advice on his sister’s computer that was slow at startup, and even worse, was slow in normal operation. It was easy to see why. The computer was loading 26 applications on startup, which then continued to run in the background, eating up system resources.

There are a number of manual methods available to deactivate these very irritating applications from auto starting, but a great free application from Ashampoo does the job quickly, cleanly, and with no fuss.

StartUp Tuner 2 lists all auto-start entries and allows you to individually delete or deactivate those entries. If you turn off all of the unnecessary entries (be sure they are not necessary), Windows will boot faster; in many cases considerably faster.

Ashampoo Startup mgr

Bonus features:

StartUp Tuner 2 can do more than just this though. The tool can list all Windows services by name and it allows you to activate, or deactivate them, with the click of the mouse.

The application shows all installed Windows programs, but it builds its lists more quickly than the control panel software module. You can then uninstall programs that are no longer required, including program entries that the native Windows uninstaller generally leaves untouched.

Many Browser Helper Objects (BHOs) are useful, but others simply take up space on the Hard Drive and serve no useful purpose. StartUp Tuner 2 lists all of them, and allows you to delete, or deactivate them, if you determine you longer need them.

The application automatically generates a backup of the changes that you have made, giving you the opportunity to reverse any changes.

Free registration:

StartUp Tuner 2 can be used free for 10 days. After that time, free online registration is required. You will receive an activation code which will convert the test version of the program into the full version.

Ashampoo loves to remind you of the value of their full software lineup, so if you find it bothersome to receive this type of email, you’d be better off passing on StartUp Tuner 2.

Personally, I like to stay in the loop on new software developments, so I don’t object to receiving emails soliciting my business for new applications.

System requirements: Windows 2000/XP/Vista

Download at: Download.com

If you enjoyed this article, why not subscribe to this Blog via RSS, or email? It’s easy; just click on this link and you’ll never miss another Tech Thoughts article.

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Filed under Computer Maintenance, Freeware, Slow Computer, System Tweaks, System Utilities, Utilities, Windows Tips and Tools

Boot Windows Faster With Free Startup Tuner 2

Ashampoo Startup Box One of the things that I find really annoying when I install a new application is that program’s decision that it is so essential to system operation, that it automatically triggers an auto-start command on system start up.

So that means, every time my computer is booted, this type of presumptive program is started with Windows, which is rarely my intent, and in most cases is not needed.

As a result, the start sequence can become considerably longer, system resources can be ravaged, and manually shutting down these unnecessary startups can be frustrating, and time consuming.

For example, recently a friend asked me for advice on his sister’s computer that was slow at startup, and even worse, was slow in normal operation. It was easy to see why. The computer was loading 26 applications on startup which then continued to run in the background, eating up system resources.

There are a number of manual methods available to deactivate these very irritating applications from auto starting, but a great free application from Ashampoo does the job quickly, cleanly and with no fuss.

StartUp Tuner 2 lists all auto-start entries and allows you to individually delete or deactivate those entries. If you turn off all of the unnecessary entries (be sure they are not necessary), Windows will boot faster; in some cases considerably faster.

Ashampoo Startup mgr (Click pic for larger view)

Bonus features:

StartUp Tuner 2 can do more than just this though. The tool can list all Windows services by name and it allows you to activate, or deactivate them, with the click of the mouse.

The application shows all installed Windows programs, but it builds its lists more quickly than the control panel software module. You can then uninstall programs that are no longer required, including program entries that the native Windows uninstaller generally leaves untouched.

Many Browser Helper Objects (BHOs) are useful, but others simply take up space on the Hard Drive and serve no useful purpose. StartUp Tuner 2 lists all of them, and allows you to delete, or deactivate them, if you determine you longer need them.

The application automatically generates a backup of the changes that you have made, giving you the opportunity to reverse any changes.

Free registration:

The StartUp Tuner 2 can be used free for 10 days. After that, free online registration is required. You will receive an activation code which will convert the test version of the program into the full version.

Ashampoo loves to remind you of the value of their full software lineup, so if you find it bothersome to receive this type of email, you’d be better off passing on StartUp Tuner 2.

Personally, I find it easier to stay in the loop on new software developments, when I do receive emails soliciting my business for new applications.

System requirements: Windows 2000/XP/Vista

Download at: Ashampoo

5 Comments

Filed under Computer Maintenance, Free Full Versions, Software, System Tweaks, System Utilities, Utilities, Windows Tips and Tools

Slow Computer? – 6 Free Solutions

It seems to be inevitable that a computer running a Windows based operating system will slow down over time.

There may be numerous reasons why your computer behaves badly and is no longer the speed demon it once was. Simple maintenance, practiced regularly, which is easy even for a non-expert, can keep your Windows based PC running smoothly at peak performance for years.

The most common problems that have impact on a computer’s speed and behavior are listed here, with the appropriate free software solution. This is not however, an exhaustive list.

In most cases, since a slow computer is generally being impacted by more than one problem, you will probably find that you will have to resolve the issue using more than a single solution.

Your computer takes a long time to boot and operates slowly.

Too many programs loading on system startup is a common cause of longer than normal boot up times.

Solution: WinPatrol

winpatrol-2

Using WinPatrol you can monitor your startup programs and services, cookies and current tasks. Should you need to, WinPatrol allows you to terminate processes and enable, or disable, startup programs. There are additional features that make WinPatrol a very powerful addition to your utility toolbox.

Fast facts:

Decrease CPU Usage and Conflicts

Express boot option

Download at: Download.com

A jam-packed, jumbled registry can be one of the chief causes of computer slowdown and malfunction. A messy registry can often put a brake on your system, cause programs to stop working properly, and aggravate you while you hang around waiting for the operating system to load at a snails pace.

Solution: Regseeker

reg-result-2

Many applications, on being uninstalled, leave behind “orphan” registry entries. They don’t remove all traces of themselves; causing problems such as sluggish performance, system lockups, or a bloated registry that takes longer to load on startup. With the click of a button, Regseeker will scan your registry for these fragmented files, and safely remove them.

Fast facts:

Scans and cleans your registry

Multifunctional

Performs tweak operations

Clean out your startup entries

Add/Remove program entries

Adjust color schemes

Change personal information entries

Download at: Download.com

Disk fragmentation, especially on intensively used systems, will degrade performance over time. This is a good task to automate by using a third-party tool.

Solution: Auslogics Disk Defrag

auslogics_disk_defrag

The program is extremely easy to use, does not require any analysis phase and is faster than most disk defragmentation software I’ve tested in the past, and it’s free. In my view, it’s one more maintenance process in helping me get the maximum performance out of my hardware.

Fast facts:

Improve computer performance and stability

Increase your productivity – no more waiting for files to open

Defragment disks in minutes

Disk fragmentation map and detailed fragmentation report

Download at: Download.com

Your Hard Drive is full.

A full Hard Drive will not function efficiently since you require at least 2 – 3MB of free space for programs to run smoothly. If you lack this much free space, you should uninstall unused programs on your primary drive.

Solution: Revo Uninstaller

revouninstaller

Revo Uninstaller is a superior program to uninstall programs from your computer. This free program with its advanced and fast algorithm scans before, and after you uninstall an application. After the program’s regular uninstaller runs, you can remove additional unnecessary files, folders and registry keys that are usually left over (those “orphaned” registry entries we talked about earlier), on your computer. This feature is a definite plus.

Fast facts:

Superior uninstaller

Free

Fast algorithm scans before, and after uninstall

Removes additional unnecessary files, folders and registry keys

Download at: Download.com

Running a Disk Cleaner will help to optimize your system by emptying the Recycle Bin, Temporary Setup Files, Downloaded Program Files, Temporary Internet Files, Old Chkdsk Files, Temporary Files, Temporary Offline Files, Offline Files, and so on.

Solution: CCleaner

ccleaner2

For a full and through cleanup, I highly recommend CCleaner. As well, you should consider copying archived files such as pictures and music, to CD’s or DVD’s to free space on the Hard Drive.

Fast facts:

Frees up valuable hard disk space

Advanced features to remove unused and old entries

Comprehensive backup feature

System tray icon

Privacy tool

Download at: Download.com

Your Internet connection is slow.

Even the fastest Internet connection is a lot slower than any relatively modern PC, so make sure your Internet settings are properly optimized.

Solution: Ashampoo Internet Accelerator 2

ashampoo-internet-optimizer

Ashampoo Internet Accelerator is a great little application that makes it easy to perform this simply task. Ashampoo Internet Accelerator 2 is an excellent free Internet connection optimizer.

Fast facts:

Free

Fully automatic

ISDN, DSL via LAN cable or cable modem, DSL via wireless LAN

Improvements in performance connection

Download at: Download.com

Malware Infections.

It’s possible of course, that the performance of your computer has been adversely affected by malware infections. If you believe that’s the case, read my article on this Blog, “Need Free Security Programs? – 10 of the Best!

Once you have removed system-clogging clutter, ensured your Internet settings are properly optimized, are satisfied your system is not infected with malware, and performed the other simple maintenance, your PC should satisfy you with its capabilities.

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Filed under Cleaning Your Computer, Disk Cleaners, Do you need a new computer, Freeware, Hard Drive Maintenance, Registry Cleaners, Slow Computer, Software, System Utilities, Utilities, Windows Tips and Tools

Slow Windows Startup? – Speedup with Free Startup Tuner 2

One of the things that I find really annoying when I install a new application is that program’s decision that it is so essential to system operation, that it automatically triggers an auto-start command on system start up.

So that means, every time my computer is booted, this type of presumptive program is started with Windows, which is rarely my intent, and in most cases is not needed.

As a result, the start sequence can become considerably longer, system resources can be ravaged, and manually shutting down these unnecessary startups can be frustrating, and time consuming.

For example, recently a friend asked me for advice on his sister’s computer that was slow at startup, and even worse, was slow in normal operation. It was easy to see why. The computer was loading 26 applications on startup which then continued to run in the background, eating up system resources.

There are a number of manual methods available to deactivate these very irritating applications from auto starting, but a great free application from Ashampoo does the job quickly, cleanly and with no fuss.

StartUp Tuner 2 lists all auto-start entries and allows you to individually delete or deactivate those entries. If you turn off all of the unnecessary entries (be sure they are not necessary), Windows will boot faster; in some cases considerably faster.

(Click pic for larger)

Bonus features:

StartUp Tuner 2 can do more than just this though. The tool can list all Windows services by name and it allows you to activate, or deactivate them, with the click of the mouse.

The application shows all installed Windows programs, but it builds its lists more quickly than the control panel software module. You can then uninstall programs that are no longer required, including program entries that the native Windows uninstaller generally leaves untouched.

Many Browser Helper Objects (BHOs) are useful, but others simply take up space on the Hard Drive and serve no useful purpose. StartUp Tuner 2 lists all of them, and allows you to delete, or deactivate them, if you determine you longer need them.

The application automatically generates a backup of the changes that you have made, giving you the opportunity to reverse any changes.

Rated 4/5 stars by CNET.

Free registration:

The StartUp Tuner 2 can be used free for 10 days. After that, free online registration is required. You will receive an activation code which will convert the test version of the program into the full version.

Ashampoo loves to remind you of the value of their full software lineup, so if you find it bothersome to receive this type of email, you’d be better off passing on StartUp Tuner 2. Personally, I find it easier to stay in the loop on new software developments, when I do receive emails soliciting my business for new applications.

System requirements: Windows 2000/XP/Vista

Download at: Download.com

7 Comments

Filed under Freeware, Slow Computer, System Tweaks, System Utilities, Uninstall Managers, Utilities, Windows Tips and Tools

Speedup That Slow Computer – 6 Free Solutions

It seems to be inevitable that a computer running a Windows based operating system will slow down over time.

There may be numerous reasons why your computer behaves badly and is no longer the speed demon it once was. Simple maintenance, practiced regularly, which is easy even for a non-expert, can keep your Windows based PC running smoothly at peak performance for years.

The most common problems that have impact on a computer’s speed and behavior are listed here, with the appropriate free software solution. This is not however, an exhaustive list.

In most cases, since a slow computer is generally being impacted by more than one problem, you will probably find that you will have to resolve the issue using more than a single solution.

Your computer takes a long time to boot and operates slowly.

Too many programs loading on system startup is a common cause of longer than normal boot up times.

Solution: WinPatrol

Using WinPatrol you can monitor your startup programs and services, cookies and current tasks. Should you need to, WinPatrol allows you to terminate processes and enable, or disable, startup programs. There are additional features that make WinPatrol a very powerful addition to your utility toolbox.

Fast facts:

Decrease CPU Usage and Conflicts

Express boot option

Download at: Download.com

A jam-packed, jumbled registry can be one of the chief causes of computer slowdown and malfunction. A messy registry can often put a brake on your system, cause programs to stop working properly, and aggravate you while you hang around waiting for the operating system to load at a snails pace.

Solution: Regseeker

Many applications, on being uninstalled, leave behind “orphan” registry entries. They don’t remove all traces of themselves; causing problems such as sluggish performance, system lockups, or a bloated registry that takes longer to load on startup. With the click of a button, Regseeker will scan your registry for these fragmented files, and safely remove them.

Fast facts:

Scans and cleans your registry

Multifunctional

Performs tweak operations

Clean out your startup entries

Add/Remove program entries

Adjust color schemes

Change personal information entries

Download at: Download.com

Disk fragmentation, especially on intensively used systems, will degrade performance over time. This is a good task to automate by using a third-party tool.

Solution: Auslogics Disk Defrag

The program is extremely easy to use, does not require any analysis phase and is faster than most disk defragmentation software I’ve tested in the past, and it’s free. In my view, it’s one more maintenance process in helping me get the maximum performance out of my hardware.

Fast facts:

Improve computer performance and stability

Increase your productivity – no more waiting for files to open

Defragment disks in minutes

Disk fragmentation map and detailed fragmentation report

Download at: Download.com

Your Hard Drive is full.

A full Hard Drive will not function efficiently since you require at least 2 – 3MB of free space for programs to run smoothly. If you lack this much free space, you should uninstall unused programs on your primary drive.

Solution: Revo Uninstaller:

Revo Uninstaller is a superior program to uninstall programs from your computer. This free program with its advanced and fast algorithm scans before, and after you uninstall an application. After the program’s regular uninstaller runs, you can remove additional unnecessary files, folders and registry keys that are usually left over (those “orphaned” registry entries we talked about earlier), on your computer. This feature is a definite plus.

Fast facts:

Superior uninstaller

Free

Fast algorithm scans before, and after uninstall

Removes additional unnecessary files, folders and registry keys

Download at: Download.com

Running a Disk Cleaner will help to optimize your system by emptying the Recycle Bin, Temporary Setup Files, Downloaded Program Files, Temporary Internet Files, Old Chkdsk Files, Temporary Files, Temporary Offline Files, Offline Files, and so on.

Solution: CCleaner

For a full and through cleanup, I highly recommend CCleaner. As well, you should consider copying archived files such as pictures and music, to CD’s or DVD’s to free space on the Hard Drive.

Fast facts:

Frees up valuable hard disk space

Advanced features to remove unused and old entries

Comprehensive backup feature

System tray icon

Privacy tool

Download at: Download.com

Your Internet connection is slow.

Even the fastest Internet connection is a lot slower than any relatively modern PC, so make sure your Internet settings are properly optimized.

Solution: Ashampoo Internet Accelerator 2:

Ashampoo Internet Accelerator is a great little application that makes it easy to perform this simply task. Ashampoo Internet Accelerator 2 is an excellent free Internet connection optimizer.

Fast facts:

Free

Fully automatic

ISDN, DSL via LAN cable or cable modem, DSL via wireless LAN

Improvements in performance connection

Download at: Download.com

Malware Infections.

It’s possible of course, that the performance of your computer has been adversely affected by malware infections. If you believe that’s the case, read my article on this Blog, “Need Free Security Programs? – 10 of the Best!”

Once you have removed system-clogging clutter, ensured your Internet settings are properly optimized, are satisfied your system is not infected with malware, and performed the other simple maintenance, your PC should satisfy you with its capabilities.

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Filed under Freeware, Hard Drive Maintenance, Registry Cleaners, regseeker, Slow Computer, Software, System Tweaks, System Utilities, Uninstall Managers, Utilities, Windows Tips and Tools