Working on a slow, disorganized computer can be frustrating and it happens to the best of us. This article will give you some easy-to-follow guidelines on how to keep your computer on the right track using tools in Windows 7, Windows Vista, Windows XP, and Microsoft Office 2010.

1. Organize your folders

We all know how easy it is to dump files into the wrong folder when we’re in a hurry. But one way to make sure you keep your files organized is to remove the clutter with a filing system that makes sense for the way you use your computer. Here are a few tips to get you started:

  • Start clean : Begin by deciding which files you no longer need on your hard disk drive. More »

Occasionally, you might discover a client that isn’t automatically installing updates correctly. Such clients are typically identified during software update audits. To identify the source of the problem, follow these steps:

1. Determine the last time the client was updated. This can be done in two different ways—by checking the client’s registry (the most reliable technique) or, if you use Windows Server Update Services (WSUS), by checking the Reports page on the WSUS Web site.

* To check the client’s registry, open the HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\WindowsUpdate\Auto Update\Results registry key. In each of the Detect, Download, and Install subkeys, examine the LastSuccessTime entry to determine when updates were last detected, downloaded, and installed. More »

Microsoft is gearing up for an important stage in the testing of its first major update to the latest iteration of the Windows client. The Redmond company traditionally releases the first Service Pack for a new Windows OS approximately one year after the platform was finalized, and is currently cooking SP1 for Windows 7 and Windows Server 2008 R2. A third-party report indicates that the software giant has started preparing Windows 7 copies for the delivery of the first external testing development milestone of Windows 7 SP1.

According to WithinWindows, Microsoft is following the same strategy for Windows 7 as for previous Beta service pack rollouts outside of Redmond. In this regard, the company began enabling a check within Windows 7 operating systems, which would qualify the respective versions as candidates for testing the SP1 Beta. The process involves refreshes served through Windows Update in order to add a registry key as well as an associated value which will permit members in the Windows 7 SP1 Beta testing pool to download the new bits.

Here is the Key added to Windows 7 RTM machines: More »

Microsoft released the Multilingual User Interface Packs for Windows 7 RTM on August 25th 2009 via Windows Update. At the end of the past week, the direct download links for the Windows 7 RTM MUI Packs were also made public, allowing all users to grab the releases. Of course that not all Windows 7 users will in fact be able to take advantage of the MUI Packs. When it comes down to Windows 7, Microsoft went with the same strategy as for Windows Vista.

In this regard, only the Ultimate and Enterprise editions of Windows 7 are capable of integrating the Multilingual User Interface packs, just as it was the case with Vista’s Enterprise and Ultimate SKUs. Windows 7 Enterprise is of course available only to volume licensing customers with Software Assurance, while Ultimate is the high-end edition of Windows 7, and the most costly.

The MUI Packs allow end users to install more languages than just one in Windows 7 and to have the operating system’s graphical user interface be tailored for each specific additional language. The general strategy for Microsoft is to serve the MUI Packs as optional updates via WU to just Enterprise and ultimate users of Windows 7. But for those who want to grab the Windows 7 MUI Packs themselves, the direct download links are now available both for the 32-bit (x86) and 64-bit (x64) flavors of the operating system. More »

It’s time to continue from where I left off in my previous article regarding registry tweaks for your Microsoft Windows XP operating system. Therefore, in part ten of your tweaking saga we’ll go through a few more important tweaks for your Start Menu. So if the previous article caught your attention and you’re interested in finding out more ways in which you can easily customize the look and feel of your Start Menu, rest assured that this article won’t disappoint you either.

On the other hand, if this is your first encounter with the Microsoft Windows XP registry saga, you should start by going back a bit, to the first article, which explains the concept behind these articles and the few steps that must be followed before heading on to the tweaking part. Otherwise, it’s highly probable you won’t understand what’s with the bolded lines below and, more importantly, what exactly you should do with them in case the tweak sounds really appealing, so make sure you read the first article. Now that you’ve created your tweaks.reg file and wrote Windows Registry Editor Version 5.00, let’s continue our free tutorial on how to personalize your system’s Start Menu. More »