While Service Pack 1 for Windows is right on track for delivery by the end of March 2011, Microsoft is continuously kicking the operating system up a notch.

An illustrative example in this regard is KB 2454826, an update designed to boost the performance of Windows 7’s underlying graphics platform.

According to the Redmond company, in addition to speeding up the UX, the refresh is also designed to touch up the functionality associated with the graphics platform.

The software giant also revealed that enhancements have also been delivered in relation to XPS printing and the Media Foundation.

“This update contains the following new functionality, performance improvements, and solutions to issues: More »

Is your Windows Desktop dotted with files? Have you noticed that your fast computer has been running slower and slower? Do you see the hard drive light often flashing while you wait for the computer to respond to an action? To speed up your computer, clean your Windows Desktop.

How Many Files are on Your Desktop?

Each time Windows starts, operating memory is used for all files on the Desktop. If those files are Shortcuts, the total amount of memory used will be small. If however, there are several or dozens of files on the Desktop, those will use lots of operating memory, essentially for no purpose or gain.

With less memory available, the computer runs slower because it has to swap out information from operating memory to the hard drive. It does this process (called memory paging) to keep everything the user wants to do, running at the same time. More »

In addition to the performance enhancements built into its latest iteration of the Windows client, Microsoft is offering additional tools for download for customers and partners that want to squeeze all the extra juice from the OS. Case in point, the Windows Performance Analysis Tools, also referred to as the Windows Performance Toolkit, was released ahead of Windows 7, and included as an integral part of the operating system’s software development kit. Microsoft underlines that while “the WPT Kit is useful to a broad audience,” the tools will serve better specific audiences including “system builders, hardware manufacturers, driver developers, and general application developers.”

End users are missing from the enumeration above, and for good reason. The Windows 7 RTM Performance Analysis Tools are, in fact, designed to ensure a high level of hardware and software performance before the finalized products and solutions make it into the hands of home users. In this sense, the Windows Performance Toolkit is set up to permit the analysis and measuring of both system and application performance not just on Windows 7, but also Windows Server 2008 R2, Windows Vista, Windows Server 2008. More »

Normally, the blue screen of death contains a driver name, and some addresses; if you’re lucky, removing that driver will do the trick. But what if there is no driver name on the BSoD? And what if you don’t have all the skills to play with crashdumps and debuggers?

In this case, Autoruns comes to the rescue. This is a graphical tool that allows you to disable/enable drivers in a very easy way.

The strategy:

1. Boot into safe mode (since the system is crashing when you attempt to boot normally);
2. Start Autoruns, and switch to the Drivers tab;
3. Go through the list, and uncheck the drivers that are suspicious;
4. Close the program, restart and boot normally

The steps above will be repeated until the system is able to boot correctly.

When that happens, remember what were the last changes you applied, and try to enable some drivers back – until you figure out which one of them was causing the issue. More »

The page file is a dedicated spot reserved on your hard drive that the computer refers back to when it needs extra memory for programs and applications. Page file, or virtual memory is the slowest component of the memory process, because your computer has to call to the hard drive to access the page file. By optimizing your page file you can speed up Windows’ responsiveness and performance.

Defragmenting The Page File

Defragmenting your hard drive is recommended by everyone, but what about your page file? Your page file too, like the hard drive, can get cluttered and fragmented so it’s important to make sure your page file is defragmented for optimum for performance.

There are two main methods for defragmenting your page file: Installing a page file defragmenting software, or disabling the page file then running the Windows Disk Defragmenter. More »