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Disable unneeded Windows XP Services

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Windows XP is comprised of services. These services are the workers of the OS, that do various tasks. Even though most users do not need or use all of the services, they are running by default. This page can help you decide which services you can shutdown to free up more of your CPU and RAM.

*To access these settings, go to your "Start" menu and click the "Run". Type "Services.msc" in the text box. That will bring up the Service Management Console that lists all of the services. To enable or disable a service, double click it and change the setting in the drop-down box.

*Please note that some of these services may not be installed on your PC depending on your Windows XP version (Home, Pro, etc). If this is the case, it will not show up in your Services Management Console.

Last Updated on Tuesday, 09 February 2010 18:50

Take your files AND your programs with you on a USB drive

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I came across this portable application platform for USB (and other portable) Drives. The Portable Apps platform is an open source project (built by the community, free to use). It can be found at It allows you to install programs on your USB drive and run them on any Windows PC just by plugging in your drive. Currently there are over 50 prepackaged programs available for download. There is also information available if you are interested in packaging your own programs for portability. The website also hosts a forum for requesting programs or getting help with the system.


Install Virtual PC on Windows; run multiple operating systems on your PC

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There are a few ways to run a second operating system on your computer. Creating a virtual machine is one way to do so without risking your main OS installation. If you have a newer computer, you can probably do this. Here are the system requirements for Virtual PC 2007 according to Microsoft's website:

  • 400mhz Processor (32 or 64 bit)
  • Windows XP Pro, Vista Business/Enterprise/Ultimate, Server 2003
  • Memory and Hard disk space requirements vary based on the guest OS installed.


From my experience these requirements are not very realistic. To get decent performance on a virtual machine, you should really have at least a 2 ghz processor(preferably dual core or HT). While Virtual PC doesn't actually use multiple cores, but it will allow your computer to run it's host processes separately. I would also recommend at least 1gb of RAM on your host system. Virtual PC 2007 will also run on XP Home and Vista Basic but will produce a warning message that your OS is not supported. You can ignore this message.



Creating a Windows XP Virtual Machine

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After installing Virtual PC 2007, you are ready to create your first Virtual Machine. If you don't have Virtual PC installed, see my article here. You will also need an install disc (and any necessary key) of the OS you wish to install. In this article we are installing Windows XP. First we have to create the Virtual Machine and then we will install Windows XP in it.

My Anti-virus software trial has expired! What should I do?

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Many new computers come with some sort of Anti-Virus or Internet Security software pre-installed. Unfortunately it is usually just a trial that will expire after a few months. You are probably offered the option to renew your subscription, but may be left feeling like you have little choice. While it is true that you should take steps to protect your computer from Internet badness, the software that came on your computer may not be the best option. Here are some of tools that I have used in the past and recommend to others.

Last Updated on Wednesday, 21 July 2010 19:00

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