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  1. #1
    iNET Interactive
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    House Call 2012: One family, four PCs




    TOP STORY

    House Call 2012: One family, four PCs


    By Fred Langa

    Lexington, Mass., was in glorious, late-spring bloom when I visited Windows Secrets reader Helene Mayer.

    Helene had a houseful of PCs (running XP, Vista, and Win7) exhibiting a variety of problems. I was there to help.

    The full text of this column is posted at windowssecrets.com/top-story/house-call-2012-one-family-four-PCs/ (paid content, opens in a new window/tab).

    Columnists typically cannot reply to comments here, but do incorporate the best tips into future columns.

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  3. #2
    New Lounger
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    An absolutely outstanding article!

    Thanks Fred--you're the best!

  4. #3
    New Lounger
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    Thanks for another great article with some helpful tips (the startup/shutdown tips in particular).

    When I saw the title of the article, I was hoping to read tips about networking all those PCs with varying OS. Although it should be simple, networking and seamlessly sharing files and printers across PCs with Windows XP and Windows 7 is far from straightforward, particularly if firewall software is involved. I still haven't managed to have McAfee allow proper file and printer sharing despite going through all the port-opening motions.

    I'll look forward to your next house call that might cover that subject!

  5. #4
    New Lounger
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    Another great article Fred.

    I agree with Gumnut. Networking home Windows PCs is much harder than it should be. For example, my Aunt & Uncle have 3 systems running Windows 7 and Norton 360 and I have been unable to get them fully inter-connected. They are in southern Maine Fred. Maybe I can convince you to give them a visit.

  6. #5
    Lounge VIP bobprimak's Avatar
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    Alternative to registry editing

    For those who are not fond of using RegEdit to adjust things like WaitToKill and Page File Wiping, and changing the Registered Owner and Registered Organization, among a host of other Windows performance "tweaks", there's a utility called Winbubbble (one download site -- not necessarily the latest Winbubble version). There are versions which work on Windows XP, Vista, and Windows 7 (earlier Windows versions and Windows 8 probably won't work). The program avoids direct editing of the Windows Registry, and nearly all the things Winbubbles does can be reversed with a few mouse clicks. Or just use the global System Reset in Winbubbles to restore all the original Windows defaults. (This Reset is not the Windows 8 System Reset, nor the previous versions' System Restore features.)


    I do agree about the usefulness of Soluto. But since I have a good grasp of what's essential in all my OS versions, I use the CCleaner Startups module to disable anything new which may have introduced an unnecessary Startup delay. Either way, disabling Startup items is entirely reversible.Soluto's ability to make one Startup wait for others is beyond what CCleaner can do.
    -- Bob Primak --

  7. #6
    5 Star Lounger Maudibe's Avatar
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    Overconfident?

    Fred,

    After reading 2 installments of House Calls, I am amazed that that you can be so poised that whatever you do will not have an adverse effect on the system. Hence, why not first do an image backup. What the heck, it's right there built into Win 7 (freebees for XP). If anything goes amiss, you will never write a story of how things got worse after you started the tune up. How many of us has had that experience? At least, how about a registry backup, especially when employing registry cleaners? I am surprised that antivirus scans aren't in your tool bag. Slowdowns, amongst many other symptoms, can certainly be the result of a malware infections. Most importantly, you should leave them with an image of a tuned computer.

    Equally, I am amazed how interesting your articles are to read. You always teach me something I did not know such some of the registry hacks you presented. Keep up the good work!

    P.S. Never understood why people like to let Secunia run at startup (April 12 House Call story). It likes to do initial scans at startup that really prolong the puter from entering a useful state. I just disable it within the program then do spot scans as routine maintenance.

    Maud

  8. #7
    New Lounger
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    Very interesting. I also have several pc's. I must have missed it but didn't see how to speed up a very slow Win XP.
    Thanks,
    DaveAW

  9. #8
    New Lounger
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    Unhappy WaitToKillServiceTimeout

    Fred

    I'm really grateful for all of these articles - they've helped me to improve the performance of my aging machine quite remarkably.

    I just want to point out that the link you provided to the MS article for "WaitToKillServiceTimeOut" is incorrect (at least as much as I can determine). Clicking the link results in a message that says "This article applies to a different version of Windows than the one you are using. Content in this article may not be relevant to you. Visit the Windows XP Solution Center". I checked which versions the article applied to and it listed only Windows 2000 and Windows NT. I tried searching the KB for an XP article and found nothing. I suspect the XP feature is not referred to as "WaitToKillServiceTimeout" but has a different nomer. Can you offer any assistance? thanks again.

  10. #9
    New Lounger oliverrp's Avatar
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    The suggestion regarding the wipe pagefile registry entry solved a problem which has been with me for many moons. Would you believe reducing shutdown time from 4 - 6 minutes to just a smig over 1 minute? Tis true for me. Thanks Fred.

  11. #10
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    wonderfully useful note on "unclogging" PC's

    It a nutshell, the House Call column is one of the most useful and easiest to use collection of tips that I've ever seen.

  12. #11
    3 Star Lounger
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    This message was for Fred with an issue with WaitToKillServiceTimeout and I can't tell how he knows that

    Hi, I'm a newbie here so if my explanation needs improvement please don't hesitate to let me know
    --- I have a 10 year old XP pc and as you mentioned, the link provided does read to visit the XP Solution Center and it wasn't helpful for the subject at hand
    --- I would go into the registry and do a search for WaitToKillServiceTimeout and evaluate the result
    --- I checked my registry and "WaitToKillServiceTimeout" did appear in HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Contro l with its default setting of 20000 (20 seconds)
    --- If the "WaitToKillServiceTimeout" doesn't appear where you expect it to be, consider creating WaitToKillServiceTimeout and set the number to your preference
    --- Now I have to go back into the article and double check the recommended change before I change my ine
    Last edited by cmptrgy; 2012-07-16 at 16:24. Reason: I need a better understaing on how to address a person's issue

  13. #12
    Star Lounger Techie's Avatar
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    I disagree with the use disk compression advice is the purpose is to speed up the system. While you may increase space using this trick, compressing files will causes slowdown at other times the system is using those files. That means that eventually when the Vista computer in the article had other files cleaned off to save space, you would still be stuck with the slow downs from the compression enabled.

    I received this advice from a computer consulting company that was trying to save space on my small business Windows Server 2003 computers at work. When I told him I had enable disk compression on one of my servers, he said he didn't recommend that. Many online forums will reference slowness issues with that enabled.

    To uncompress: http://www.ehow.com/how_5326115_unco...ard-drive.html
    Peter
    A one-man support team for a small nonprofit.
    (Meaning everyone in this forum is my best option for help and system support.)
    Techpraise.com - A collection of posts I have written for Windows Secrets Lounge and other things.

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