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Speed Up and Optimize your computer like a pro Part 1

I am going to take you through the processes I go through when someone asks me to help speed up their computer. I have been working with computers for a very long time. Through the years I have been working to define a process that will clean your computer up like you just did a fresh install of windows. As many people fall into the trap of downloading “Bloatware” and viruses that claim to optimize and speed up your system. Although there are some out that actually do as advertised they are just made for general use. The difference with my method is it is specific to your system it goes in depth to free space, resources, speed, and these things will increase your computing enjoyment. To Achieve this we will be using a variety of tools that are built into windows, as well as a few that I recommend from http://www.piriform.com/.

Step One: Changing Boot settings, start up programs, and services.
Here we are going to disable all the unnecessary programs and services that start up when you log on to you computer. when they all start up on boot up this slows everything down immensely. Plus you don’t need all these programs running until you need to use them. Overall this will speed up the boot up time and overall speed of your computer.

Press Windows + R and type in ‘msconfig’ press ok:

It should bring a window up like this:

Next Select the ‘Startup’ tab and you should get a window like this:

If your window looks anything like this with a whole bunch of check marks there is a lot of speed being wasted. This means that every program that has a check mark next to it is starting up with your computer. From here go through and un-check all the programs that are unnecessary like itunes, quicktime, ect… Pretty much anything besides the important stuff. Mine currently looks like this:

As you can see I have it limited to only four from thirty plus.

Now click on the ‘Services’ tab. Most people forget about the services, as a lot of unnecessary services are running they can also start start programs up that you have already disabled. To sort out the services that you do not want to turn off go ahead and check the box at the bottom that says ‘hide all microsoft services’.

A good way to sort through this is to sort it by manufacturer by clicking on the ‘manufacturer’ label. You probably don’t need all your apple services starting on sart up like this:

Once you are done sorting through this mess hit apply then ok it will prompt you to restart:

I would say “exit without restart” because we are not done yet.

Step Two: Windows Task Scheduler.

Go to the start menu and right click on my computer and click manage:

If you get prompted for premission accept “click ok” to continue.

Under system tools click Task Scheduler:

Explamation: Even Though we just disabled all the unnecessary startup programs and services a lot of programs will create “tasks” that will restart these services and programs repeatly even if they are not needed. For a laptop these are just one more reason for your battery to die faster and in general your computer to run slower.

Now click on task scheduler library:

You should get a list of tasks like this:

Note: If you are ever not sure what a task does check the description below in this case we probably wouldn’t want to disable the google update task. If there is no description you can look it up (www.google.com), comment and ask and I’ll do my best to help or just leave it alone. If you have a lot of programs running and installed there will be plenty of tasks to disable.

Once you have selected a task to disable there are two approaches disable or delete. Both options are found on the right side:

I suguest that you just disable it just incase you need to reactivate it for some reason.

Step Three: Disable the User Account Control Settings (optional).

Explamation: Although this is optional let me explain my reasoning. Everytime you try to install a program and the screen gets dimmed and your computers asks ‘do you want to do this?’ it is eating up graphics resources. This precaution is unesscary if you have computer security software running, as it will scan any program you are trying to install before it runs. These alerts are annoying and a wast of time. To disable them or at least lower the amount of times you are prompted for overrides, the steps are as follows.

Open your windows menu and click on your user icon:

It will open a window like this:

and click on “change user account control settings”.

Now in this window, the default is the second from the top if you drop the notch down one you can see that windows recognizes that dimming slows down your computer:

So if you want it to give you the prompt select this setting, and it will stop the dimming effect. If you are like me and don’t want it at all, you trust your security software, as well as your self (meaning you don’t download bloatware ect and you travel to safe website), then drop it all the way down to the last notch to disable it completely.

Once you have made your selection click ok and now it is time for the next step.

Step Four: Registry Errors, Temporary Files, and Excess Data.
These three things take up space, cause errors in your system, and slow your computer down. Now I am going to recommend a program that will help repair these errors, find these excess files and deletes them. Its called CCleaner by Piriform the download link is here. Once downloaded, installed, and opened you will get something like this:

The default settings are good enough just click analyze once it is done and it will give you a status report:

as you can see I have 472MB worth of excess files that it can clear up for me.

If you don’t want to lose your internet history or cookies you can click on the applications menu find your browser un-ckeck the box with history/cookies ect. Do this before you click analyze to exclude it from deletion.

Once you are ready click run cleaner,

once its done it will give that stats like how much it “cleaned” and how much from each program and what.

Next click the registry tab on the left:

This fixes errors that occur from aplications and will speed up your computer and less errors will occur because of it. Click scan for issues:

Once done click “fix selected issues..” it will prompt you to back up, select yes:

And save the file as is:

Click ” fix all selected issues”:

Once it is done you can rescan if you feel it necessary and run the process again. After you have completed these steps I suguest that you restart your computer and check and see how much faster it is on sartup and in general.

Part Two: will be coming along shortly…

jklann

15 Windows Shortcuts

Here is a List of Windows Shortcuts that I have found useful that you may not know about.

1. New Folder: ctrl + shift + n this will create a new folder in any windows directory.

2. Show Desktop: windows + d this will minimize all windows and show your desktop, if repeated it will reopen all previously opened windows.

3. Scroll through open windows: windows + tab.

4. Select first program running in the windows task bar: windows + b, you can continue selecting by hitting tab.

5. Select first pinned program: windows + t.

6. Close windows or tabs in browsers and other programs: ctrl + w.

7. Lock Windows: windows + l.

8. Projector and multiple screen menu: windows + p.

9. Open Ease of Access Panel: windows + u.

10. Open run program: windows + r.

11. Open my computer: windows + e.

Looks like I might need some more space…

12. Search your computer: windows + f.

13. (laptops only) open mobility manager: windows + x.

yes I did have to switch to my laptop for that capture.

14. Open pinned and currently opened windows: windows + (a number).

15. Move currently selected window: windows + (arrow buttons).

If you can think of more useful shortcuts please feel free to post them in the comments section.

jklann

Photoshop: how to unlock layers

Photoshop can be a very complex tool, so if you are new to Photoshop or maybe its just been awhile here is a quick tip on unlocking PS layers. There are several different ways you can unlock a layer.
locked layer

First: Duplication
This one is fairly simple, just select the layer you wish to unlock, right click over it and select duplicate (hot-key: ctrl+j). Now you have a completely editable unlocked layer.
duplication method

Second: Lock Menu
Again select your locked layer and now look at the top of your layers window for the lock menu and click the lock icon.
lock menu method

Third: Throw it away
After you have your locked layer selected click and drag the lock on the layer to the trashcan on the bottom of your layers window.
trashcan method

jklann

Simple Computer Pranks

Alright so everyone these days has a computer whether it is a personal computer, a work computer or even a school computer, and without jokes and pranks our day to day tasks on these machines can become boring and mundane. So to brighten up your work or school day a bit I have taken the initiative and created a few prank scripts that will really throw your colleagues off there game and provide a laugh for everyone.

Now on school and work computers most IT departments block installing third party programs as they might be malicious so to get around these security blocks I created these scripts in VBS which is allowed on almost all work computers. Keep in mind that sense this is in VBS it will only work on Windows machines.

Step 1:
Just copy and paste one of the scripts below into notepad or a text editor and save it as ‘whateveryouwant‘.vbs on your victims computer. (without the quotes).

Step 2:
Once saved (hopefully in a hidden location) just double click the file you just created and the prank has begun.

Step 3:
To end any of this pranks just go to the process section of task-manager and end the task ‘wscript.exe’. If you dont have access to task-manager just repeat the above process for the Kill code listed below.

Prank 1: Random Caps-lock
So the first prank is the the randomĀ caps-lockĀ program what this script will do is turn the caps-lock on and off at different intervals. As you can imagine this would be very annoying while writing a work email.

Option Explicit
Dim wshShell
Set wshShell= CreateObject("WScript.Shell")
Do
WScript.sleep 1000 '10 seconds
wshShell.SendKeys"{CAPSLOCK}"
WScript.sleep 500
wshShell.SendKeys"{CAPSLOCK}"
WScript.sleep 200
wshShell.SendKeys"{CAPSLOCK}"
WScript.sleep 1500
wshShell.SendKeys"{CAPSLOCK}"
WScript.sleep 700
wshShell.SendKeys"{CAPSLOCK}"
WScript.sleep 1000
wshShell.SendKeys"{CAPSLOCK}"
WScript.sleep 100
wshShell.SendKeys"{CAPSLOCK}"
WScript.sleep 1600
wshShell.SendKeys"{CAPSLOCK}"
WScript.sleep 6000
wshShell.SendKeys"{CAPSLOCK}"
Loop

Prank 2: Muter
This prank the permanent muting script has so far been only tested on windows seven and will be updated for older versions of windows shortly. What this prank does is set the volume of all the playback devices (speakers) to zero then kills the volume control app so they can not turn the volume back up. An exception to this program is if their keyboard has volume controls. Although if someone is blasting some horrible music,podcast,etc… this can be very useful to bring some peace and quite to your work day. This script will continue to be updated as testing continues.

Option Explicit
Dim wshShell
Dim objWMIService, objProcess, colProcess
Dim strComputer, strProcessKill
strComputer = "."
'process to kill
strProcessKill = "'SndVol.exe'"
'opens process
Set wshShell= CreateObject("WScript.Shell")
wshShell.Run "SndVol"
WScript.sleep 500
'this lowers the volume all the way down on all devices
wshShell.SendKeys"{END}"
WScript.sleep 500
'this loop just kills the process of the volume control untill this program is ended
Do
Set objWMIService = GetObject("winmgmts:" _
& "{impersonationLevel=impersonate}!\\" _
& strComputer & "\root\cimv2")
Set colProcess = objWMIService.ExecQuery _
("Select * from Win32_Process Where Name = " & strProcessKill )
For Each objProcess in colProcess
objProcess.Terminate()
Next
Loop

Automatic Shutdown:
This code can be quite evil, I would recommend that you only use this prank on your enemies. Now what you want to do is follow the steps above except now you are going to save it to their startup folder. This can be easily found by opening the “windows menu”, clicking “all programs”, then scroll down until you find the folder labeled “startup”. From here right click on the Startup folder and click “open”, this is where you want to save the file. What this does is every time your victim turns on their computer it will execute the shutdown vbs file and shutdown their computer. An even more evil alternative is to use a restart code so this will put the computer into a loop of restarting over and over again, that code is also posted below.

Shutdown code:
Set WSHShell = WScript.CreateObject("WScript. Shell")
WSHShell.Run "%windir%\system32\shutdown.exe -s -t 360"
wscript.quit

Restart code:
Option Explicit
Dim objShell
Set objShell = WScript.CreateObject("WScript.Shell")
objShell.Run "C:\WINDOWS\system32\shutdown.exe -r -t 0"

Program Blocker:
What this script does is allow you to block almost any program you want from running on your victims computer. So in my example I will be blocking Firefox from running.

Step 1:
Follow the above steps for the code below.

Step 2:
Choose a program you would like to block. So in my case it will be Firefox so go ahead and open your selected program.
firefox

Step 3:
Open task-manager and right-click on your selected program and click “go to process”.
task manager

Step 4:
From here you will need to copy the “Image Name”, in my case it is firefox.exe.
Image Name

Step 5:
Now that you have the Image Name of your selected program just put this in the code below where it says firefox.exe.
code

Note:
If you do not have access to task-manager, you can do a simple Google search for your programs process name.

Blocking Script:

Option Explicit
Dim wshShell
Dim objWMIService, objProcess, colProcess
Dim strComputer, strProcessKill
Dim i
strComputer = "."
'process to kill
strProcessKill = "'firefox.exe'"
Set objWMIService = GetObject("winmgmts:" _
& "{impersonationLevel=impersonate}!\\" _
& strComputer & "\root\cimv2")
Set colProcess = objWMIService.ExecQuery _
("Select * from Win32_Process Where Name = " & strProcessKill )
For Each objProcess in colProcess
objProcess.Terminate()
Next
i=0
WScript.sleep 1000
Do while i < 10000 Set objWMIService = GetObject("winmgmts:" _ & "{impersonationLevel=impersonate}!\\" _ & strComputer & "\root\cimv2") Set colProcess = objWMIService.ExecQuery _ ("Select * from Win32_Process Where Name = " & strProcessKill ) For Each objProcess in colProcess If strProcessKill = strProcessKill Then objProcess.Terminate() Else return true End If Next i = i + 1 Loop

Kill Script:
This script will kill any of the above pranks.

Option Explicit
Dim objWMIService, objProcess, colProcess
Dim strComputer, strProcessKill
strComputer = "."
strProcessKill = "'wscript.exe'"
Set objWMIService = GetObject("winmgmts:" _
& "{impersonationLevel=impersonate}!\\" _
& strComputer & "\root\cimv2")
Set colProcess = objWMIService.ExecQuery _
("Select * from Win32_Process Where Name = " & strProcessKill )
For Each objProcess in colProcess
objProcess.Terminate()
Next
WScript.Quit

Notice:
More pranks will be posted soon so come check out the updates. A few of the pranks to come are the automatic shutdown, random cd tray opener, random text insertion, flashing keyboard lights, task-manager blocker, and much more. Feel free to post suggestions, questions, and opinions and ill get back to you as soon as possible.

jklann