If you spend much time in Event Viewer or have a particularly troublesome program or device that sends you back to Event Viewer, creating ad-hoc filtering, grouping, and sorting criteria becomes tiresome. Custom views can be a huge help!

To create a custom view:
1. Open Event Viewer, click Action on the menu bar and select Create Custom View.

You’ll see a dialog box nearly identical to the Filter Current Log dialog box. One key difference here, however, is the Event Logs list is available, and you can specify any or all logs to include in your custom view.

2. Specify the filter criteria for your custom view, as you normally would. More »

Before that the first and second part we continue to publish series of articles.

41. Go Live. Many applications installed on past versions of Windows have been removed. Starting with Windows 7, these applications (and a few others not typically installed with Windows) have been moved into the Live Essentials downloadable applications, at download.live.com. These applications include Messenger, Mail, Writer, Photo Gallery, Movie Maker, Family Safety and a few others.

42. Remove Apps. Although some applications have been moved off of Windows to become an optional download, other apps, such as IE8, Media Player, Media Center and DVD Maker are still included. In times past, especially when it came to IE, the applications were tied into the OS. However, in Windows 7 you can easily remove them if desired. Head to the Program and Features applet in Control Panel and select the “Turn Windows features on or off” link in the top left-hand corner. Then you can select the checkbox of the features you want to lose or add for your system. More »

The pain…

If you’ve invested your hard earned cash on a Creative X-FI sound card and a copy of Vista, you may be feeling a bit underwhelmed right now. Some of your games may be sounding a bit flat and lifeless and you’ll have no doubt felt that sinking feeling when you edit the sound settings in your new game only to find that you can’t enable some of the fancy options. There is a good reason for this and you probably will have been told at great length about it by one of the many passengers on the anti-Microsoft bandwagon.

The Science…

If you’re an experienced PC gamer you’ll no doubt be aware of DirectX and the various functions that make up the DirectX standard, such as DirectDraw, Direct3d and DirectSound and DirectSound3D. You will probably be aware of the hype surrounding Direct3d already, given that it has now reached version 10, but that’s a story for another day. DirectSound is what we are interested in here and it is sadly missing in Vista. XP and DirectX9 featured a “Hardware Abstraction Layer” which was a piece of software that allowed Windows to talk directly to a soundcard such as the X-FI to provide hardware mixing and 3d effects for your games. Without this layer any sound you hear will be mixed using software, rendering much of your shiny new soundcard useless. More »

If you’re upgrading a computer running Windows XP, you can save money by opting for an upgrade rather than the full version of Windows Vista.

However, you can’t necessarily perform an ‘in-place’ or ‘over-the-top’ upgrade; sometimes you have to perform a clean installation of Windows Vista, which means backing up and reinstalling all your current programs, folders and files. The table shows where an over-the-top upgrade is possible.

In practice, a clean install means a fresh start; anything short of this can carry over problems from your old, cluttered version of Windows XP. Strictly speaking, when Windows Vista installs itself over Windows XP, it actually does perform a clean install and then imports all the old settings.

This should help prevent problems and can even, in principle, carry through hardware drivers that can’t be installed under Windows Vista itself, thereby preserving the working life of older devices. However, we’d recommend a truly clean install whenever possible. More »

Microsoft has adapted the Windows Genuine Advantage Notification tool to the third and last service pack for Windows XP. Designed to inform the end users that their operating system has failed to pass the Windows Genuine Advantage Validation process, the WGA Notifications component is now set up to integrate seamlessly not only with XP SP2 but also with Service Pack 3.

While avoiding terminology such as “pirated” and “counterfeit,” WGA Notifications will provide end users running Windows XP copies detected as non-genuine with the necessary information and assistance for them to get valid licenses for the operating system.

“Windows Genuine Advantage Notifications notifies you if a copy of Microsoft Windows XP is not genuine. The notification messages only appear on computers that have failed the Windows Genuine Advantage validation process and that are running a copy of Windows XP that is not genuine. If you are running a validated, genuine copy of Windows XP, you will not receive notification messages,” reads an excerpt from the tools description. More »