Tag Archives: USB

Beat Obama’s Bandits With TrueCrypt Free (Open-Source) Encryption

The so called “War on Terror” has long since lost its luster and should be appropriately reclassified as The War of Terror. The U.S. has been singularly impudent in terrorizing the terrorists but instead, it has managed to terrorize the rest of the world using a system of surveillance schemes that have gone off the board. Chalk one up for Al Qaeda – the only winners in this debacle.

In the meantime, Americans continue to live in fear – trading away freedoms for security in a war that is simple unwinnable. Obama, despite his assurances that he would “fight terrorism while maintaining our civil liberties” has been a principle mover in this assault on democracy.

And, the master of the reversal has more –

Obama, in a 2008 election sound bite, drew a sharp contrast with the Bush administration which he proclaimed, offered Americans “a false choice between the liberties we cherish and the security we demand.” And for good measure – for stooping “to spy on citizens who are not suspected of a crime.” It’s a surreal world we live in, is it not?

But why be satisfied with my ramblings? Here’s the video.

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As America continues its slide into Fascism (eagerly joined in the venture by Canada, Australia, the U.K. and countless other self-advertised “democracies”), the justified expectation held by these governments is – you – yes, you – will take no active part in expressing your outrage at the escalating intrusions into your private life. Sadly, the undermining of democracy, or more to the point, democracy as we though we knew it, continues apace.

As a consequence (hardly the only consequence, of course), encryption technology is once again in the spotlight. And no, using encryption does not mean that one has something to hide.

Sophisticated and  aware computer users know, that financial data and other confidential information, can easily be subject to intrusive viewing by those not authorized to do so.

Putting Obama and his bad boys aside, here are some examples of how this might occur:

Internet malware attack: Increasingly, statistics reinforce the fact that financial data continues to be targeted by hackers/information thieves, for the purpose of identity theft.

Contrast that reality with these facts; there is no such thing as a totally secure Internet connected computer. All Internet connected computers are subject to attack and compromise.

Lost or stolen Laptop: How often have we read the following – 200,00 (insert your own number here), bank account numbers, Social Insurance Numbers, names, addresses and dates of birth were on a laptop stolen/lost earlier this week.

In too many of these cases, negligently, the data is unencrypted. Certainly Laptop theft or loss is not restricted to organizations; it can just as easily happen to you.

Lost or stolen USB drive: Since USB flash drives are so portable, you can take a drive virtually anywhere. Just like most items that are portable and that you carry with you, this type of drive can be lost, or stolen.

To reduce or eliminate the security threat of sensitive data exposure then, the most prudent course of action is data encryption. Essentially, data encryption is a secure process for keeping your sensitive and confidential information private. It’s a process by which bits of data are mathematically jumbled with a password-key. The Encryption process makes the data unreadable unless, or until, decrypted.

It happens to us all: Just this past week, I lost not only my house keys (first time ever) – but the USB key attached to the keychain. If you guessed that the drive was encrypted – take a bow.   Smile

TrueCrypt:

TrueCrypt is an outstanding free open source software application for establishing and maintaining an on-the-fly-encrypted volume. On-the-fly encryption simply means that data are automatically encrypted, or decrypted, just before they are loaded or saved – without any user intervention. The program automatically and transparently encrypts in real time.

No data stored on an encrypted volume can be read (decrypted) without the correct password/key file or correct encryption keys. The entire file system is encrypted (i.e., file names, folder names, contents, free space, Meta data, etc.).

Files can be copied to and from a mounted TrueCrypt volume just like they are copied to/from any normal disk (for example, by simple drag-and-drop operations). When you turn off your computer, the volume will be dismounted and files stored in the volume will be inaccessible and encrypted. You may of course, manually dismount the volume.

TrueCrypt offers a number of options – you can store your encrypted data in files, partitions, or on a portable storage device such as a USB flash drive.

Installation is simple and straightforward – no gotchas here. Lots of steps – but easy steps.

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If you choose “Keyfiles”, be sure you understand the ramifications. This is an extra security step which has limited application for a home user. You do not need to select this option.

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And – Win 8’s File Explorer reports that the volume has been setup successfully. If you expand the graphic below (click), you’ll also notice my first TrueCrypt volume on this HD from May 9, 2006.

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Indicative of this application’s popularity is the fact that it is downloaded tens of thousands of times each day, across the Internet.

Fast Facts:

Creates a virtual encrypted disk within a file and mounts it as a real disk

Encrypts an entire hard disk partition or a storage device such as USB flash drive

Encryption is automatic, real-time (on-the-fly) and transparent

Provides two levels of plausible deniability, in case an adversary forces you to reveal the password – Hidden volume – No TrueCrypt volume can be identified (volumes cannot be distinguished from random data)

Encryption algorithms: AES-256, Serpent, and Twofish. Mode of operation: XTS

Ability to encrypt a system partition/drive (i.e. a partition/drive where Windows is installed) with pre-boot authentication (anyone who wants to gain access and use the system, read and write files, etc., needs to enter the correct password each time before the system starts

Pipelined operations increasing read/write speed by up to 100% (Windows)

I’ve been using TrueCrypt for a number of years, and I have developed a lot of confidence in this outstanding application. If you determine that encryption of your sensitive data is a priority, I highly recommend that you give TrueCrypt a try.

How effective is TrueCrypt? If you have any doubts as to how effective TrueCrypt really is, then read this article. FBI hackers fail to crack TrueCrypt:

The FBI has admitted defeat in attempts to break the open source encryption used to secure hard drives seized by Brazilian police during a 2008 investigation.

System Requirements: Win 8, Win 7, Vista, XP, Mac OS X, and Linux.

Download at: TrueCrypt

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Filed under downloads, Encryption Software, Freeware, Interconnectivity, Open Source, Software, Utilities

Have A Need To Burn CD/DVDs? – Checkout Free CDBurnerXP 4.4.0

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The predictions are  – CDs and DVDs, as storage media, are on the way out. It seems a reasonable prediction given the  availability, and cost effectiveness, of both large capacity USB Flash Drives and large capacity USB portable Hard Drives. We’ve come a long way from the days when I bought my first USB stick – with its tiny 128 MB capacity (huge, in its day) – to today’s mega monsters.

It’s hardly surprising then, that CD/DVD costs have taken a dramatic tumble. I recently came across an offer at a local “excess inventory” outlet, which makes that point eloquently – 100 Memorex DVDs for $2.96. I couldn’t buy drink coasters at that price and, old/damaged CD/DVDs make very acceptable coasters.   Smile

So, despite the fact that solid state devices are cheap and portable and, are often ideal for long term storage, I still have a need to burn data to DVDs. If you have a similar need, and you’re looking for value in a CD/DVD burner (and what can be better than free), then CDBurnerXP (last updated November, 2011), is definitely a significant freeware application.

The fairly simple interface makes it a breeze to use for even the most inexperienced user, although it should be said that some users have mentioned the interface has some confusing aspects.  Hmm, I don’t see it.

I have burned dozens of DVDs in the last year using this free application, and in every case, CDBurnerXP did the job flawlessly. I can’t tell you how many times, over the years, a burner has misbehaved – but lots, comes close.

If you’re looking for a free CD/DVD burner application to do what it says it will do, with an easy to work with interface, then CDBurnerXP could be the program you’ve been looking for.

The following screen captures illustrate just how “one click simple” it is to burn an ISO for example, using CDBurnerXP.

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Now, how hard is that?

Quick facts:

Burn audio-CDs with, and without gaps between tracks

Burn on the fly (you don’t have to image the disc in advance)

Rip Audio-CDs to a Hard Drive

Obtains track-information (ID3-tags) from the Internet

Burn and create ISO-files

Create bootable discs

Drag-and-drop

Multilanguage interface

Customizable with many settings

Data verification after burn,

Simple cover printing

Supports most IDE, USB, FireWire and SCSI drives

Free – (for both personal and corporate use)

No adware, malicious components, or restrictions

Available languages: Arabic, Bahasa Melayu, Catalan, Georgian, Hebrew, Japanese, Korean, Slovenian.

System Requirements: Windows 2000, XP, Vista, Win 7 (64 bit available Vista and Win 7).

Additional Requirements: .NET Framework 2.0

Download at: CDburnerXP

A portable version of CDBurnerXP (last updated January 8th, 2012) which includes the full feature set (ideal for installation on a Flash Drive), is available at: Softpedia

Note: If you are using a DVD-RW (as I did for these tests) which already contains data – CDBurnerXP will not warn you that you are about to overwrite that data.

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Filed under CD/DVD Tools, downloads, Freeware, New Computer User Software Tools, Portable Applications, Software

Free LiberKey Version 5.5 – A Computer Toolbox On A Stick

image LiberKey (which I’ve reviewed previously – version 4.1 – March 2010), is a compilation of freeware, and open source  portable applications, offered in three flavors that can be installed on, and run from, a USB drive.

Additionally, the application can just as easily be installed, and run, from a Hard Drive. In fact, for this updated test and review, that’s exactly what I choose to do – installing LiberKey to my F: drive. You might consider a similar solution – an install to a Flash drive and a further install to your HD.

Available applications cover a huge area of interest including Audio, Video, Graphics, Internet, Games, Security, Education, System, and more.

Basic suite: 13 Applications, Installed size: 120.51 MB

Standard suite: 83 Applications, Installed size: 561.61 MB

Ultimate suite:  144 Applications, Installed size: 711.47 MB

As an bonus, more applications can be added at a later date using LiberKey’s catalogue. Additionally, you have the option of building your own LiberKey platform.

There have been major changes since I first reviewed LiberKey. This time out, on launching the application, you will find that you are presented with a blank  LiberKey menu applet. I’m not convinced that this

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You will then have the opportunity to select the most appropriate suite for your needs as per the following screen capture. I’m not convinced that this process is instinctive, but……

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I choose the Ultimate edition adding (144 applications), which took approximately  11 minutes to download and install (in a single seamless process), to my Hard Drive. The same install to a Flash Drive, ate up roughly 30 minutes.

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Following installation, you’ll notice that the Menu has been populated.

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The portable application launcher is user friendly, and no learning curve is involved, as the following screen capture indicates. In this example, simply clicking on FastStone Image Viewer, brought up the application.

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With so many applications to choose from, finding the right tool for the job could be a bit of a hassle. But, the developers have anticipated this and provided a pop out description of each application – making it easy to put your finger on just the right tool.

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Fast facts:

Free.

Ready to use.

Portable applications.

Automatic online updates.

You can synchronize the display of the online catalog with your LiberKey.

This can help you to locate applications that could interest you.

System requirements: Windows 2000, XP, Vista, Win 7

Download at: LiberKey.com

The developers have put up a short install demo video you might find worthwhile viewing.

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Filed under Application Launchers, Computer Tools, downloads, Freeware, Software, Utilities, Windows Tips and Tools

Free Glary Utilities Is Indispensable. Really?

Glarysoft  has a blurb on their site that at first glance may seem to be a little over the top. … “To call Glary Utilities helpful would drastically understate the situation. It hopes to become your INDISPENSABLE friend with its one-stop-shop utilities for optimizing and maintaining your PC for best performance.”

Since reviewing software (both free and commercial), is a good part of what I do as a blogger, I’ve tested and evaluated more than a thousand applications in the last few years. Sad to say, 30% or so, have turned out to be “not fit for consumption”. No, you normally don’t get to read reviews on the dreck – better to focus on what lives up to expectations, and not what doesn’t.

Based on this exposure to software applications, Glarysoft’s “indispensable” statement, got me thinking – so, I put it to my personal test. First, let me point out that I get loads of free licenses for the commercial version of applications that I test. However, to avoid the disclosure/non-disclosure issue, I do not keep such software on either my home system, or my test systems. Other than the OS, all software on my home machine is freeware.

But, I could have chosen to have kept on board any one of the dozen or so licensed computer maintenance utilities I’ve had access to in the last few years. Truth is, aside from the disclosure/non-disclosure issue, I’m just not into a “one click simple” computer maintenance solution. I’d rather rely on, as I do, a collection of freeware apps which are specially designed to address specific issues.

And, first among these freeware applications is Glary Utilities. So, from a personal perspective, I find little to argue with in Glarysoft’s “indispensable” claim. Since discovering Glary Utilities years ago, it has remained my go-to application for maintenance and cleanup.

Here’s why:

Glary Utilities, (last updated May 26, 2011 – version 2.34), is a terrific collection of system tools and utilities to fix, speed up, maintain, and protect a PC.

A great deal of personal experience with Glary Utilities has convinced me, that a typical user, particularly a new user, will really benefit by having this application on their system. Twenty million+ downloads from Download.com alone, speaks to the popularity of this indispensable application (last time I reviewed this app – February 11, 2010 – this figure stood at eight million).

Using Glary Utilities, it’s easy to tweak, repair, optimize and improve your system’s performance; and its ease of operation makes it ideal for less experienced users.

You can quickly find the tool you’re looking for: disk cleaner, uninstall manager, secure file deletion, memory optimizer, (a gentle) registry cleaner, duplicate file finder, tracks eraser, empty folder finder; a very convenient feature for those of us who like to test drive new software.

Prior to making important changes to your system, Glary Utilities creates a backup copy first, a very important feature.

A quick piece of advice: never allow an application to make system changes, without creating a system restore point first.

As well, you can manage and delete browser add-ons, analyze disk space usage, find, fix, or remove broken Windows shortcuts, and manage startup programs.

A one click maintenance solution is included, but I’m not a fan of this since I like to be much more hands on. But, less experienced users, should find this feature useful.

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Hands on users will appreciate the functional and easily understood GUI.

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You can comfortably fine tune the application using the clear and precise Settings Menu.

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Fast Facts:

Disk Cleaner Removes junk data from your disks and recovers disk space

Registry Cleaner scans and cleans your registry to improve your system’s performance

Shortcuts Fixer eliminates the errors in your start menu & desktop shortcuts

Startup Manager manages programs which run automatically on startup

Memory Optimizer monitors and optimizes free memory in the background

Tracks Eraser erases all traces, evidence, cookies, internet history and more

File Shredder erases files permanently

Internet Explorer Assistant manages Internet Explorer Add-ons

Disk Analysis provides detailed information files and folders

Duplicate Files Finder searches for space-wasting duplicate files

Empty Folders Finder removes empty folders (I love this feature)

Uninstall Manager completely uninstall programs

Languages: 23 Languages available.

System Requirements: Windows 7, 2000, XP, Vista. 32/64bit versions.

Download at: Download.com

A portable version is also available which you can download at GlarySoft.

During the install, pay particular attention to the offer to install the Ask toolbar. I suggest you reject this offer.

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Filed under 64 Bit Software, Computer Maintenance, Computer Tools, downloads, Freeware, Portable Applications, Privacy, Software, System Utilities, USB, Utilities, Windows Tips and Tools

Free SlimCleaner Final – Optimizer, Uninstaller, Shredder and Anti- Hijacker Built In

imageAs regular readers here know, I’m a BIG fan of community based applications – applications in which combined user experiences are used to drive the functionality of an application. What could be better, and more useful, than to use the experiences of the very people who use the product? If there’s a better way for companies to “listen” to the customer, I’ve yet to hear it.

Last year, I reviewed a series of impressive products (including SlimCleaner Beta) from SlimWare Utilities, a U.S.-based software company which states that its mission is to provide crowd-sourced applications that “will revolutionize the performance of personal computers.”

Having experienced the value of the company’s first three crowd-sourced applications, I’d have to agree – this developer is on the right track.

As of yesterday, SlimCleaner’s final release became available for download and, I think you’ll find this application worthy of your consideration as an addition to your system utility toolbox.

Click on any graphic to expand to original size.

For illustrative purposes, I’ve selected only the Windows clean function. But notice, the application offers additional cleaning capabilities – including Applications and Browsers.

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The optimization function allows access to startup entries and most importantly, system services. Optimizing services can often improve system response time.

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The built-in application uninstaller essential duplicates the “add/remove” applet in Windows. Still, having access to this function in an all-in-one application like SlimCleaner, is a helpful addition.

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I’m partial to file shredders so I’m happy to see one included here. I’m impressed with the choice of selectable shred levels.

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If system security is high on your list, then you’ll be pleased to see SlimCleaner added a “Hijack Log” function which includes the ability to query selectable entries through a cloud based AV (Virus Total).

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I tested this feature and the results, returned in just a few seconds, indicated the selected startup entry was clean.

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Application settings are uncomplicated, and very easy to understand. You’ll notice in the following screen capture that you will be given the opportunity to install the program to a USB key.

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Freeware applications often fall short in providing comprehensive help. SlimCleaner’s help setup on the other hand, is quite extensive – as the following screen capture indicates.

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Finally, the most common Windows tools are easily accessible through the applications GUI. Notice both a CPU and a RAM usage meter in the following graphic. Theses meters are viewable in all GUI Views.

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Fast facts:

Optimizer – Disable non-essential background process and services to make your computer run faster. SlimCleaner uses up-to-date cloud data to customize settings for optimal performance.

Uninstaller – Unlike the Windows uninstaller, SlimCleaner’s uninstaller helps you make an informed decision. When it lists the programs on your computer, you instantly get ratings and user feedback, telling you what the web community thinks of each application – whether it’s good, optional, or just a waste of space.

Shredder – Rest easy knowing that you have the ability to not only delete private data, but shred it. SlimCleaner lets you remove files using a process that makes it impossible for them to be recovered.

Hijack Log – Get a fully interactive list of all the software components running on your PC: Toolbars, Services, Startup Entries, Codecs, Drivers, ActiveX Objects and more. Take control of your computer’s functions by getting on-demand information about any given entry.

Windows Tools – One-Click access to all of Windows’ monitoring and diagnostics tools. Don’t hunt for the stats and information you need, get a head’s up display. From one panel you can access the Device Manager, Security Settings, Backup and Restore, System Information and more.

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

Download at: Developer’s site – Slimcleaner.com

If you’re looking for a freeware application that not only gets in there and cleans out the deep dirt, but offers a range of additional functionality, then SlimCleaner should definitely make your short list.

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 64 Bit Software, Cleaning Your Computer, Computer Maintenance, Computer Tools, downloads, Freeware, Integrated Solutions, New Computer User Software Tools, Portable Applications, Software, System Utilities, Utilities, Windows Tips and Tools

TrueCrypt – Free Encryption To The Max

imageSophisticated and  aware computer users know, that financial data and other confidential information, can easily be subject to intrusive viewing by those not authorized to do so.

Some examples of how this might occur:

Internet malware attack: Increasingly, statistics reinforce the fact that financial data continues to be targeted by hackers/information thieves, for the purpose of identity theft.

Contrast that reality with these facts; there is no such thing as a totally secure Internet connected computer. All Internet connected computers are subject to attack and compromise.

Lost or stolen Laptop: How often have we read the following – 200,00 (insert your own number here), bank account numbers, Social Insurance Numbers, names, addresses and dates of birth were on a laptop stolen/lost earlier this week.

In too many of these cases, negligently, the data is unencrypted. Certainly Laptop theft or loss is not restricted to organizations; it can just as easily happen to you.

Lost or stolen USB drive: Since USB flash drives are so portable, you can take a drive virtually anywhere. Just like most items that are portable and that you carry with you, this type of drive can be lost, or stolen.

To reduce or eliminate the security threat of sensitive data exposure then, the most prudent course of action is data encryption. Essentially, data encryption is a secure process for keeping your sensitive and confidential information private. It’s a process by which bits of data are mathematically jumbled with a password-key. The Encryption process makes the data unreadable unless, or until, decrypted.

TrueCrypt is an outstanding free open source software application (one I have been using for years), for establishing and maintaining an on-the-fly-encrypted volumes.

On-the-fly encryption simply means that data are automatically encrypted, or decrypted, just before they are loaded or saved, without any user intervention.

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TrueCrypt uses 11 algorithms for encrypting private files in a password-protected volume. You can store your encrypted data in files, partitions, or on a portable storage device such as a USB flash drive.

Once your encrypted files are mounted to a local drive with your password or key, you can manipulate those files, i.e. you can open, copy, delete, or modify them. When you have completed working on those files, you then dismount the volume and the files are then safely secured from unauthorized access.

Indicative of this application’s popularity is the fact that it is downloaded tens of thousands of times each day, across the Internet.

Fast Facts:

Creates a virtual encrypted disk within a file and mounts it as a real disk

Encrypts an entire hard disk partition or a storage device such as USB flash drive

Encryption is automatic, real-time (on-the-fly) and transparent

Provides two levels of plausible deniability, in case an adversary forces you to reveal the password – Hidden volume – No TrueCrypt volume can be identified (volumes cannot be distinguished from random data)

Encryption algorithms: AES-256, Serpent, and Twofish. Mode of operation: XTS

Ability to encrypt a system partition/drive (i.e. a partition/drive where Windows is installed) with pre-boot authentication (anyone who wants to gain access and use the system, read and write files, etc., needs to enter the correct password each time before the system starts

Pipelined operations increasing read/write speed by up to 100% (Windows)

Mac OS X version

Graphical user interface for the Linux version of TrueCrypt

XTS mode of operation – XTS is faster and more secure than LRW

As I said, I have been using TrueCrypt for a number of years, and I have developed a lot of confidence in this outstanding application. If you determine that encryption of your sensitive data is a priority, I highly recommend that you give TrueCrypt a try.

How effective is TrueCrypt? If you have any doubts as to how effective TrueCrypt really is, then read this article. FBI hackers fail to crack TrueCrypt:

The FBI has admitted defeat in attempts to break the open source encryption used to secure hard drives seized by Brazilian police during a 2008 investigation.

System Requirements: Windows 7/Vista/XP (64 bit), Mac OS X, and Linux

Download at: TrueCrypt

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 64 Bit Software, Don't Get Hacked, downloads, Encryption, Encryption Software, Encryption Software Alternatives, flash drive, Freeware, Open Source, Software, USB, Utilities, Windows Tips and Tools

Slow Computer? Optimizing Windows Services Can Help

image Windows is a terrific operating system – no doubt about it (although, some will argue otherwise). Windows meets most of  my computing needs, as it does yours, I expect. The chances of my computing needs and your computing needs being the same however, are remote.

Unfortunately, Windows doesn’t differentiate between your needs and my needs. On installation, the OS generally assumes we both have the same needs (including security needs), and configures Windows Services accordingly.

Running with fewer services though, especially a service that you don’t use, or need, puts less strain on both the CPU and system memory. In some cases, reducing the number of running services can turn a sluggish PC around. So, if you want to get the best out of your machine, tweaking services is good practice.

Examples of services I’ve tweaked on this machine:

I don’t have a printer attached to this particular machine I’m using this morning, so I don’t need the spooler service running.

I don’t run a Tablet PC so I don’t need the Tablet PC Input service running.

The Fax service is disabled since I don’t use Fax.

I don’t allow any remote access to this machine so any services dealing with remote access are disabled. For example – I can’t imaging allowing remote access to my registry so, “allowing remote users to change my registry settings” (on this machine), is disabled.

Tweaking services however, is not without its hazards. For example, if a particular service is disabled, any other service/services that explicitly depend on it will fail to start.

Adjusting a service setting incorrectly, has the potential to leave a computer in an unbootable condition. I know – I’ve managed to do just that, a time or two, over the years.

Recently, an open source (free), application that promises to allow a user to tweak Windows services in a safe and easy way, caught my attention. Vista Services Optimizer, a Windows tweaking utility, which despite its name, has been optimized to run in Windows 7 as well, makes good on this promise.

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Even a casual user, with a few mouse clicks, can easily optimize Windows services to increase performance and security, automatically.

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A more experienced user gets a little more leeway, and can manually tweak using a more in-depth feature list.

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Very experienced users can tweak to their heart’s content, with the built-in Services Manager.

Here’s an example – I recently made some changes to the playlist on my IPod, which meant running ITunes; a bloated, cannibalistic piece of crapware that eats resources through various (usually unwanted), added services. Adjusting these parasitic services was a snap using Services Manager.

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In case your tweaking goes a step too far, recovery is just a mouse click away by simply using the built-in Smart Rescue Center.

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Bonus Module

Since many games are processor, system memory, and graphic intensive, setting up Gaming Mode will give your system an immediate performance boost when needed. Keep in mind that the best solution to improved gaming (all other components being up to the task), is the installation of a high-end graphic card.

Additionally, this module can be used to temporarily turn off unneeded Windows features, and free up computer resources, when running applications that benefit from a “lean” system profile – e.g., Photoshop.

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Fast facts:

System analysis highlights services that can be turned off

Automatic tune-up based on user’s system requirements

Restore function to restore to system defaults

Profile building

Automatic service state snapshots

Gaming mode

I don’t think it could be any easier to tweak Windows services than this. All the user needs to do is tick the appropriate check boxes, and the Services Optimizer takes care of the rest.

System requirements: Windows Vista – SP1 or higher (32-bit or 64-bit), Windows 7 (32-bit or 64-bit), Microsoft .NET Framework 3.5 – Service Pack 1

Last updated: July 15, 2010

Download at: Smart PC Utilities

For those who need a portable version, you’re in luck – a portable version is available. However, Microsoft .NET Framework 3.5 with Service Pack 1, must be resident on the host machine.

Note: During the install, you will have the option of installing a toolbar – don’t!

XP users – Optimizer XP 3.5 is available for download at Softpedia. I have not tested this application.

If you’re a real “hands-on” techie, then visit Charles “Black Viper” Sparks Website, (the best tweaking site on the Internet), where you’ll find  complete explanations of each service, and advice on which services you can safely disable – plus, a lot more.

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Filed under 64 Bit Software, Computer Tools, Computer Tune Up Utilities, downloads, Freeware, Open Source, Portable Applications, Slow Computer, Software, System Tweaks, System Utilities, USB, Windows 7, Windows Tips and Tools, Windows Vista