Welcome

Welcome to my blog. In here I hope to share with you tips, tricks, hacks and code that will make your life easier as a network administrator or general computer user. I come with a background in computer engineering and have worked for the past 12 years in the Library world as Manager of Library Systems. Even though some of my posts may be Library specific, most will be of use to all computer users.

If you have a tip that you wish to share with the group, please feel free send me your tip via email at my address rkisch@kischtech.com and I will include it here and give credit where credit is do.

Thursday, December 10, 2015

Have you been PWNED!!

In recent years large corporations like Sony, Adobe and Ashley Madison have experienced data breaches where users data (email addresses, passwords, password hints and credit card info) have been stolen. If you are worried that your data has been leaked on the Internet now there is a site you can visit and check if your information has been part of any data breech. 

Just go to "have i been pwned" website https://haveibeenpwned.com/  and enter your email address or usernames that you use to access company sites and it will search all of the data breachs for your information and let you know if your accounts have been comprimised. 

When I entered my email address I was told that my email address was part of a data breech at Adobe.com so I was able to go and change my password on my Adobe account to safeguard my information.



The site is easy to use and you can enter all of your email addresses into it or even your usernames that you commonly use for website accounts. Luckily I just had the one breech and it was easily fixed. You can also sign up to get notified in the future if your email or username is part of breech and they will send you an email about the breech. 

A great service that everyone should use!

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Get colored Title Bars in Windows 10

Get colored Title Bars in Windows 10

The normal Windows 10 Title Bars has been sort of bland and washed out, but with the release of the November update for Windows 10 you can now change the colour of the Start, taskbar, action center and title bar to something that stands out a lot more. 

To make this change click on the Start Button and go to Settings > Personalization > Colors and  turn on the switch near the bottom that says "Show color on Start, taskbar, action center and title bar"




Once you have turned on this switch, you will see a difference in your title bars as the selected color (above) will fill the title bars of your programs. You see the difference this makes in the picture below.



Thursday, July 10, 2014

Windows Explorer crashes when you right click on a drive.

I just suddenly started to have an issue with Windows 7 in that when I right clicked in Windows Explorer (see picture) Explorer would crash and need to be restarted. 




I checked for an online solution but couldn't find one so I dug out a shell viewing program called ShellExView. This program will show you all the details on every shell extensions that are installed on your computer. To find that one shell extension that was causing my issue, I ran ShellExView.exe and then went to OPTIONS and selected Filter by extension.





and then selected only Context Menu. 




Now all of the shell extensions that were related to the Context Menu will be shown. I then disabled each extension one at a time and then tested to see if I could right click on the drive in Windows Explorer to see if it would not crash. After trying several extensions I finally found the one that was causing the problem. It ended up be the Nvidia control panel extension that was causing this issue. This is apparently a common issue with the latest version of drivers for Nvidia graphics cards and can be fixed by following the procedure that I have explained above by disabling the Nvidia CPL Context Menu Extention (see picture below) or you can simply download this registry edit file for Windows 7 that will fix this issue (DO THIS AT YOUR OWN RISK). The only problem with disabling the Nvidia control panel is that it will no longer show up when you right click on the desktop, but you can still find the Nvidia control panel in Windows Control Panel so it is not a loss. 









Wednesday, May 21, 2014

BlackShades and how to protect yourself from it

Everyone has heard of the new threat from the BlackShades hacking tool that has been causing issues with computers for the past while. Some of ways that you can get infected with BlackShades are:

  • Fake torrent downloads on Person to Person (P2P) sites
  • Malicious links spread on social media sites (Facebook, twitter, etc)
  • Malicious links spread in chat rooms
  • Drive-by attacks
  • Java exploits
  • Spreading via hacked social media/chat accounts
  • Phishing e-mails

So what are some of the things that can happen when your computer is infected with BlackShades? Well in the worst case scenario, a hacker could take control of your computer and hold it for ransom.  What the hacker will do is to encrypt all of your important documents and ask for a ransom to unlock the files or computer. Users of a hacked computer would be shown a page that looks similar to this page:


If you didn't pay the ransom your files would be deleted, left encrypted so that you can't access them or they could be posted openly on the internet which would not be good if your files contained private information such as yearly tax forms.

What are the other things that a hacker could do with BlackShades? Well these are just a few of the many things that they could also do once your computer has been infected:

  • Webcam Control (yes they can secretly take pictures of you and then ransom the pictures)
  • Screenshot/Remote Desktop Control
  • Keylogger (which could steal import passwords to banking and other sites)
  • Proxy manager
  • Download and Execute Files (or more malware)
  • Visit a website numerous times
  • Redirect (to fake banking sites) or Block URLs to online antivirus sites
  • Use victim as a reverse relay, meaning that the attacker can set their browser to connect to the internet through the victim system.
  • Control MSN messenger, including add/remove/msg contacts.
  • Set an alarm for when a certain window title or keyword is present on the victim system
  • Ability to setup a web interface for remote use!
  • And much more!


  • So how can you defend against BlackShades or other hacking software? First and foremost you need to have a really good antivirus program such as Norton Antivirus or BitDefender installed on your computer. Also I would highly recommend that you install MalwareBytes anti-malware software for full protection of your computer system. You can download the free version and scan your computer to make sure that it is free from malware but I would recommend buying the full Pro version to ensure that your computer stays malware free. With the combination of MalwareBytes and a really good antivirus program you should be well protected. 






    Thursday, February 6, 2014

    Adobe Flash Vulnerability



    If anyone is running Adobe Flash (and most people are), Please upgrade it to the latest version as Adobe has warned that there is a vulnerability in their flash player that could allow an attacker to take control of your computer. Adobe's security bulletin can be found here. You can download the latest version of the flash player here: http://get.adobe.com/flashplayer/

    Saturday, December 14, 2013

    Test your passwords to see if it can be guessed by Microsoft's Telepathwords




    A group of researchers at Microsoft and Carnegie Mellon have created a tool that guesses passwords in real time by predicting the next characters in your password. Microsoft has created this program as a way of helping users select better sequences of numbers, letters and special characters to protect their computers.  The system, called Telepathwords, works in the same way as a real attacker would by using its knowledge of common passwords or phrases used in security breaches and search queries. The system behaves like a search engine with predictive text, in that it will try to guess each character in your password before you type it or to complete your entire password by predicting the rest of the characters. 

    The only weakness to Telepathwords is that it can not act like an attacker who knows more about you, so it can't try a password based on your birthday, a childs name or some other piece of information that could be gleaned from social engineering or dumpster diving. To protect you the contents of what you type in on the Telepathwords website are not kept and are encrypted on your browser.

    So give it a try here and if it guesses your password, change it to something stronger by choosing a password with a combination of lower-case and upper-case letters, at least one number and at least one special character (!@#$%*) and have a lenght of at least 8 characters.

    https://telepathwords.research.microsoft.com/


    Friday, October 18, 2013

    iOS 7 is Tracking your frequently visited locations and how do you disable this feature.

    Apple's new iOS 7 adds plenty of new useful features to your iPhone, but one new feature has gotten a lot of attention lately because of how it tracks your frequently visited locations. The "frequent locations" is used to "learned" places you frequently visit in order to provide useful location-related information to you (probably via iAds). But the fact that this service comes turned on without your knowledge, is of concern to users and even Ontario's Privacy Commissioner, Ann Cavoukian is warning people to disable this feature on their iPhones.

    To remove this feature, you have to dig deep into the iPhone settings by going to Settings > Privacy > Location Services > scroll to the bottom > System Services  > scroll to the bottom>  Frequent Locations > switch the option to off. 


    On Apple's support page (http://support.apple.com/kb/HT5594) they explain that this service will keep track of places you have recently been, as well as how often and when you visited them, in order to learn places that are significant to you. This data is kept solely on your device and won't be sent to Apple without your consent.

    One thing that I did find while comparing the iPhone 5C with iOS 7 upgrade and an iPad 2 with the iOS7 upgrade was that, oddly enough, the iPad doesn't have this Frequent Locations feature. So please check your devices to be sure that this feature is not enabled, and if enabled, disable this feature.

    Monday, October 14, 2013

    The Ultimate Windows and Browser short-cuts Guide.


    Keyboard short-cuts will make your life easier when using a Windows computer or with using your favourite web browser. Here are some of my favourite ones along with some that will make you say "how did I ever live without these".


    Essential key combinations:
    There are certain short-cuts I use every day. They work with almost all programs are the basic ones that you will love use.
    • Copy a selected item: Ctrl+C
    • Cut a selected item: Ctrl+X
    • Paste a selected item: Ctrl+V
    • Undo an action: Ctrl+Z
    • Redo that thing I just undid: Ctrl+Y
    • Select everything: Ctrl+A
    • Print: Ctrl+P
    • Bold selection: Ctrl+B 
    • Underline selection: Ctrl+U
    • Italic selection  Ctrl+I
    • Switch between open windows: ALT+TAB
    • Clear away everything and show desktop: Windows Logo Key + D
    • Work with multiple monitors: Windows Logo Key+Shift+Right Arrow or Left Arrow
    • Open task manager: Ctrl+Shift+Esc
    • Use Windows Magnifier: Windows Logo Key+PLUS Key or MINUS Key
    • Minimize a Window: Windows Logo Key+Down Arrow Key 
    • Maximize a Window: Windows Logo Key+Up Arrow Key 
    • Lock your computer: Windows Logo Key+L
    • Select Presentation Mode (awesome if you are doing a presentation with a laptop)Windows Logo Key+P
    • Help: F1
    • Quit a program: ALT+F4
    • Open start menu: CTRL+ESC or 
    • Run command: Windows Logo Key+R


    Calculator keyboard commands:
    Not too many people realize just how powerful MS Calculator can be. With these short-cuts you turn calculator into a powerhouse.
    • Switch calculator to stand mode: Alt+1
    • Switch calculator to Scientific mode: Alt+2
    • Switch calculator to Programmer mode: Alt+3
    • Switch calculator to Statistics mode: Alt+4
    • Open date calculations: Alt+E
    • Turn calculator history on/off: Alt+H
    • Open unit conversion: Ctrl+U
    • Calculate or solve date calculations: Alt+C


    Just really cool, hardly known keyboard shortcuts:
    • To switch your monitor from landscape view to portrait: Ctrl+Alt+Up Arrow
    • To get to the Windows system properties: Windows Logo Key+PAUSE
    • Quickly shut down Windows: Windows Logo Key (don't hold)+U+U
    • Open up Windows Explorer in one step: Windows Logo Key+E
    • Open each program in your taskbar (from left to right): Windows Logo Key+1,2,3,etc.
    • Open the jump list for each program in your taskbar: Windows Logo Key+Alt+1,2,3,etc.
    • To select the system tray: Windows Logo Key+B
    • Permanently delete s file without it going to recycle bin: Ctrl+Del
    • Rename a file or folder: F2
    • Open Explorer and select search bar: F3
    • Open file properties: Alt+Enter
    • Press and hold down the SHIFT key while you insert a CD-ROM to bypass the automatic-run feature

    Other commands:

    • Starts Windows Help: F1 
    • Activates menu bar options: F10 
    • Opens a shortcut menu for the selected item: SHIFT+F10 
    • Opens the Start menu (use the ARROW keys to select an item): CTRL+ESC
    • Selects the Start button: CTRL+ESC 
    • Opens Windows Task Manager: CTRL+SHIFT+ESC 
    • Opens a drop-down list box: ALT+DOWN ARROW 
    • Displays the main window's System
     menu: ALT+SPACE
  • Displays the Multiple Document Interface (MDI): ALT+- 
  • Switch to the next child window of a Multiple Document Interface (MDI) program: CTRL+TAB
  • Closes the current Multiple Document Interface (MDI) window: CTRL+F4: 
  • Switch between multiple windows in the same program: ALT+F6


    Accessibility short-cuts:

    • Toggles StickyKeys on and off: Press SHIFT five times 
    • Toggles FilterKeys on and off: Press down and hold the right SHIFT key for eight seconds
    • Toggles ToggleKeys on and off: Press down and hold the NUM LOCK key for five seconds 
    • Toggles MouseKeys on and off: Left ALT+left SHIFT+NUM LOCK 
    • Toggles high contrast on and off: Left ALT+left SHIFT+PRINT SCREEN


    Browser short-cuts (work in most browsers):

    Tabs:
    • Switch to the specified tab, counting from the left: Ctrl+1-8
    • Switch to the last tab: Ctrl+9
    • Switch to the next tab: Ctrl+Tab
    • Switch to previous tab: Ctrl+Shift+tab
    • Close selected tab: Ctrl+W
    • Reopen last closed tab: Ctrl+Shift+tab
    • Open new tab: Ctrl+T
    • Open new browser window: Ctrl+N
    • Reload current tab: F5
    • Reload current tab and skip cache: Ctrl+F5
    Zooming:
    • Zoom in: Ctrl and +
    • Zoom out: Ctrl and -
    • Default zoom size: Ctrl+0
    • Full screen browsing: F11
    Scrolling:
    • Scroll down a frame: Space or Page Down
    • Scroll up a frame: Shift+space or Page up
    • Go to the top of the page: Home
    • Goto the bottom of the page: End
    • Scroll with your mouse: Middle click scroll wheel
    Address bar:
    • Focus on address bar: Ctrl+L
    • Prefix WWW. and append .COM: Ctrl+Enter
    • Open location in address bar: Alt+Enter
    Search:
    • Focus the browser's search box: Ctrl+K or Ctrl+E
    • Perform a search from search box: Alt+Enter
    • Open search box on current page: Ctrl+F or F3
    • Find next match of searched text: Ctrl+G or F3
    • Find previous match of searched text: Ctrl+Shift+G or Shift+F3
    History/Bookmarks:
    • Open browser history: Ctrl+H
    • Open download history: Ctrl+J
    • Bookmark current page: Ctrl+D
    • Open and clear browsing history: Ctrl+Shift+Del
    Other useful functions:
    • Print: Ctrl+P
    • Save current page: Ctrl+S
    • Open a file from your computer: Ctrl+O
    • Open current pages source code: Ctrl+U
    • Open developer tools: F12


    Tuesday, July 17, 2012

    Microsoft disables Windows Sidebar and Gadgets due to security risk



    Microsoft announced a new patch that will disable the Windows sidebar and gadgets on Windows Vista and Windows 7 operating systems. Disabling the sidebar will prevent an attacker from exploiting a vulnerability in the gadgets that would allow a hacker to gain administration rights and then complete control of your computer. By applying the patch that Microsoft released on July 10 will fix this issue by disabling the Windows sidebar experience and all gadget functionality.

    Security researchers Micky Shkatov and Toby Kohlenberg will be presenting a presentation at this year’s Black Hat USA 2012 conference called “We have you by the Gadgets” that will explain the risks in detail.

    The patch can be found here.  Microsoft Knowledge Base Article 2719662

    Sunday, July 8, 2012

    Hotspot Shield - Surf the web anonymously!


    Hotspot Shield is a private VPN service that will secure your Internet connection from prying eyes and helps to protect your identity while you are on-line by encrypting all of your web browsing. It works by turning all of your HTTP traffic into HTTPS making each site as secure as your banking website.  It is a must-have for anyone who connects to an open wireless network as it would protect from man-in-the-middle attacks and allows you to browse the web privately. It also protects you from viruses, phishing and spam sites as well as malware sites by detecting and blocking infected websites. This software is browser independent so it works with all browsers and in my testing I found that it didn’t slow down my Internet connection (like a lot of other VPN or proxy sites do), in fact it almost seemed faster in accessing certain sites.

    The biggest advantage for me was that I could now access web TV stations and networks (NBC, CBC, etc.) that I couldn’t before as they would not allow Canadian’s to view their content. Now if I missed a show and want to catch up on it on-line, I simple turn on the protection and I am given an IP address that makes me appear as if I am living in San Jose, California. Now I never have to miss a show and I now have access to tons of TV programs that I never had before.


    You can download a trial version of the software from their website (http://www.hsselite.com/) or from CNET (http://www.cnet.com/1770-5_1-0.html?query=hotspot+shield&tag=srch). I loved this program so much that after the trial period was over, I paid for a one year membership $29.95 which gives you the Elite version which is faster than the trial version and includes all of the virus and malware protection.  So if you use a wireless laptop to access the Internet or you just want to surf the web anonymously then this is the program for you. I highly recommend it! 

    DNSChanger Malware may be infecting your computer!


    July 9th, 2012 could spell doom for many Windows and MAC computers around the world that are infected with the DNSChanger malware. This powerful malware was even strong enough to bypass most antivirus software.

    Where does this malware come from and how can you check and fix your computer? Well the malware was produced by six Estonian nationals in an attempt to highjack millions of computers worldwide. The idea they had was to replace ads that would come up on webpages with targeted ads that would make them money and to also push even more malware onto these infected computers. They did this by changing the DNS that your computer normally uses to ones that they can control.

    The FBI with the assistance of Trend Micro captured these men and the FBI has been providing a safety net using government computers to prevent any internet disruptions for the users whose computers are infected. The bad news is that the safety net will be shut down on July 9, 2012 and any computer that is infected will lose any connection that they have to the internet.

    Geo Movie of DNS Changer Infections World-Wide:


    So how do you check to see if your computer is infected? Just go to any one of these sites and they will check your computer for this malware:



    If your computer is infected try these resources to help fix your computer:
    Windows Users:


    MAC Users:


    Friday, October 21, 2011

    Dario D's ideas for how Windows 8 screens should look

    'Dario D.' has written an article that shows how he would redesign the new Windows 8 screens. The screen shots of his concepts look great and certainly look better than the new "Metro" screens that the pre-release version of Windows 8 developer edition has shown us. Take a look at his site. Thanks Dario for sending me the screen shots!

    For more information, please see his article here: http://www.alphaila.com/articles/failure/windows-8-concept-dariod/







    Tuesday, October 4, 2011

    McAfee ScriptScan has been blocked from Firefox.



    Mozilla is advising users of its Firefox browser to disable McAfee's ScriptScan software, saying that it could cause "stability or security problems." Script scan is part of the new McAfee antivirus program version 14.4.0. Mozilla says that users are strongly encouraged to disable the problematic add-on or plugin, but may choose to continue using it if they accept the risks. This affect all versions of Firefox and SeaMonkey.

    Sunday, September 25, 2011

    Preview of the upcoming Windows 8

    Microsoft is making a bold move by totally redesigning Windows 8 from the ground up. At the recent Developers conference in Anaheim, California called "Build", Microsoft demonstrated some of the capabilities of the new Windows 8 OS for developers. 


    If you have the time I would suggest that you view the full conference keynote by Steven Sinofsky who is President of Windows and Windows Live divisions, as he demonstrates some of the features of the new "touch centric" interface of Windows 8. Not only will it run on the standard x86 processors that we are all familiar with, but it will now run on ARM processors as well. This will mean that Windows 8 will run on anything from a PC to a cellphone or a tablet. This is great news for Microsoft  as it will open up new markets for its products and for developers to write software for. To view the full keynote, just view it here:



    To download the full developers edition of Windows 8,  please download here: http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/windows/apps/br229516  Note that using this pre-release software is not for the faint of heart. It is full of bugs and can not be used to upgrade an existing version of Windows. It must be installed as a clean installation on a computer and is meant for programmers to start to use the new version to get a head start on developing applications for Windows 8. To install it on an existing computer I ran it as a virtual computer inside of Windows 7. You can use several programs to run Windows 8 virtually (VMWARE 8, Microsoft Virtual PC and VirtualBox) but I found VMWARE 8 worked best for me. To see how to do the install with VMWARE, please view this video:



    Windows 8 Installing in VMware Workstation 8 from Christian Mohn on Vimeo.

    NOTE: If you end up with the infamous HAL_INITIALIZATION_FAILED message when installing Windows 8 (see picture below) then follow these steps to get rid of it:
    • Make sure that you are using the latest version of virtualization software.
    • Next make sure you set-up the virtual server with 2 CPUs and at least 1 Gb of RAM
    • Next remove any external media (USB keys or devices, memory cards, floppy discs).
    • Finally make sure that the PC that you are installing it on meets the minimum requirements for Windows 8 (System Requirements).


    Here are some of the screen shots of Windows 8 that I have captured while testing Windows 8:


    Initial Welcome screen:

    The new START menu:


    A new look for the Task Menu (note that Windows Explorer had stopped working...told you it was buggy software):


    The new lock screen:


    The touch keyboard:



    The new search screen on IE 10:




    Saturday, September 17, 2011

    For weather there isn't anything better than Weather Underground.

    If you like to keep track of the weather in your area, then have I got a site for you! Weather Underground (www.wunderground.com) has tons of features for amateur meteorologist or even for the guy that wants to know what the weather is going to be like at the cottage. When the tornado hit Goderich a few weeks ago, this was the first site that I turned to for informative information on the storm and were it was heading next. The detail of the weather radars make it simple to follow a storm progress in great detail and the up to the minute warnings are fantastic. 


    Watch my video below to see some of the best features and then explore the site for yourself. This site really needs to be in your browsers bookmarks.


    Friday, September 9, 2011

    Scientists and engineers replace a man's eye with a wireless video camera

    Rob "Eyeborg" Spence has been working with a team of engineers to make his prosthetic eye into a wireless video recorder/transmitter.  The camera doesn't connect to his brain, but engineers hope that eventually they will be able to connect this technology to give him sight. Check out the video video for a glimpse into the future of prosthetic engineering.



    Starbucks is expanding its mobile card payment system.

    Starbucks in response to customer feedback, are expanding their Starbucks Card Mobile App that was first developed for BlackBerry and iPhone smartphone as these devices are used by more than 71 percent of Starbucks smartphone-carrying customers. To experience mobile payment at participating New York City-area Starbucks, customers just need to download the free Starbucks Card Mobile App on their supported BlackBerry smartphone, iPhone or iPod touch. In addition to the mobile payment feature, the app allows customers to manage their card account, reload their card balance directly from their smartphone with a major credit card, check their My Starbucks Rewards status, or find nearby Starbucks stores. With the Starbucks Card Mobile App, customers will have a barcode on their screen that they’ll hold in front of a 2-D scanner on the counter to pay for their purchase.





    Brady Brewer, vice president Starbucks Card and Loyalty said that "mobile technology is part of our customers’ daily routine and with the expansion of mobile payment, we’re seeing more and more customers using their smart-phones as their mobile wallets". 

    Thursday, August 25, 2011

    The use of mobile apps far outweighs the surfing of the web for smartphone users.

    A surprising study done by Nielsen shows that consumers use mobile apps more than they surf the web when using smart phones. By analyzing the data gathered from thousand of iOS and Android users Neilsen discovered that the average user spent 56 minutes a day interacting with the web. Of that time they spent 67% of the time using web apps and only 33% of the time on mobile web browsers.


    Even more surprising was that the top 10 applications for the Android accounted for 43% of the application usage, while the top 50 apps accounted for 61% of this usage. This left the other 250,000+ apps to compete for the remaining 39% of application usage.


    This study makes it interesting for Libraries and other businesses that are trying to decide on making an application or a mobile website for their online users as the study clearly points to the consumer preference of using mobile applications over a mobile website. 





    Monday, August 22, 2011

    A Day Made out of Glass

    Corning really pulled out all of the stops for this future technology demo. Take a look for yourself as this *is* the future of our technological lives is this video called "A Day Made of Glass". 
    Enjoy!

    Tuesday, July 12, 2011

    New version of Freemake Video Converter!

    Freemake has made a program that I love to use even better with its new version 2.3.0. It can now import over 200 different video formats and can convert these videos to AVI, WMV, MP4, MKV, SWF, MPG, 3GP, MP3, DVD and Blue-ray formats as well as rip unprotected DVDs. It can also copy online videos through direct URL copy and paste from YouTube, Facebook, Hulu, MTV, Vimeo, Dailymotion, ComedyCentral, Megavideo, 40+ supported sites and converts them to any format or device available.

    For more information please go to : http://www.freemake.com/free_video_converter/  and to download the program go to here: http://download.cnet.com/Freemake-Video-Converter/3000-2194_4-75218346.html?part=dl-10098061&subj=dl&tag=button


    A guide to speeding up Windows 7

    Windows 7 is so by far the best and the fastest version of Windows that Microsoft has ever produced. But even though Windows 7 is the fastest, doesn't mean that we can't change it to make even faster with these simple tweaks. Remember that with any tweak you make on your system can cause you problems, so do these at your own risk. 


    The first thing that you should do is to disable the User Account Control (UAC), otherwise making a lot of these changes will be a pain in the rear to do. To disable the UAC simply open up control panel > User Accounts and Family Safety > User Account. Then click on Change User Account Control Settings and move the bar down to Never Notify and then click OK


    Change the Power Plan:
    The Power settings in Windows 7 is not automatically set for maximum performance. By default the power plan in Windows 7 is set for a balanced performance. Which means that you may not be getting the optimal performance from windows 7. So we need to change the power plan from the default "Balanced Performance plan" to "High Performance Plan".


    To change the power settings in Windows just do the following:

    • Click on Hardware and Sound in Control Panel.
    • Then just double click the Power Options in the Control panel.
    • Now select High Performance as the default plan.

    • Click on the "Change plan settings" beside High Performance to change the "Turn off the display" and "Put the computer to sleep" to never.

    • Then click on "Change Advanced power settings" and then click on the + besides Hard disk and then the + besides Turn off hard disk after and change the plugged in setting to never and then click OK.


    Now you have just activated the High Performance plan  set the computer's hard drives to never shutdown and that's it.


    Disabling the Search Index:
    The windows search index service will index all the files that are found on your computer so that when you search your computer for a particular file it will find it quickly. The downside to this is that Window's search index is a real resource hog and should be disabled if you don't search your computer files that often. To disable the search indexing just follow these steps:

    • Right click on the Computer icon on your desktop and select Manage.
    • Then click on Services and Application in the Computer Management pane.

    • Click on Services and find Windows Search in the list of services.
    • Right click on Windows Search and choose properties.

    • In the Windows Search Properties Window change the startup type to Disabled.
    • Then click Apply and OK and you are done.
    Disabling the Windows Aero Theme:

    The Windows Aero theme makes Windows 7 look good, but if you don't have a gaming video card, then all of that eye-candy will certainly task your video card and thus slow down Windows. To disable the Windows Aero Theme, just follow these steps:

    • First right click on an open section of your desktop and select Personalize.

    • Then click on Window Colour and then uncheck the box that says Enable Transparency and then click on save changes.
    • Now select the standard or basic theme and your screen will say "please wait" and turn grey. Once Windows has made the change to the theme your colours will return to the screen and you are done.
    Speed Up the Windows 7 Boot-up Time:
    • Press [Win] + R or use the RUN option from the start menu.
    • Now type msconfig in there and press the Enter Key to open up the System Configuration Window. 
    • Click on the Boot tab.

    • In there you will see a box called Time out. This is the time (in sec) which the system waits for the user to select the operating system to boot to.
    • You can safely set the value to 0.
    • Tick the No GUI Boot option also which turns off the Windows 7 logo at boot-up.
    • Click Apply and then on OK. And your done.

    Remove additional visual effects:
    Even with the Aero effects disabled, Windows 7 has plenty of other graphic effects that can be safely turned off to speed up your Windows 7. Just follow this procedure:
    • Right click on Computer and select properties.

    • Then click on Advanced System Settings and then click on the Settings button under Performance.
    • From here you can uncheck all effects except for the last four.

    • Then click on OK to close the windows and you are done.

    Disable Unwanted Start-up Programs:

    Many programs start when Windows starts and they run in the background. While some of these programs are necessary (such as anti-virus software), there are others may not be necessary (Adobe or QuickTime fast start programs). 
    • Press [Win] + R or take the RUN option from the start menu.
    • Now type msconfig in there and press Enter Key to open up the System Configuration Window.

    • In the System Configuration window, click on the the Startup tab which will show all the programs that are scheduled to start with Windows. Resize the columns so that you have a good view of the name and manufacturer.
    • Go through each item, clearing the check box for programs you don’t want to start with Windows.
    • Click OK, and then restart the computer.
    Disable Windows Sidebar (Gadgets):
    Yes the sidebar gadgets can be very cool and even useful. But if you don't depend on these gadgets for your weather forecast or system status then just disable them and this will speed up the start-up of Windows 7. To disable the sidebar just right click on the sidebar and select properties. Then untick the box that says Start sidebar when Windows starts. That is it.


    Disable the Unwanted Services:
    It is more safe to set the following services to manual rather than disabling them. This is because when Windows needs a service to start, windows can start it by itself if and only if it is set to manual. If you set it to disabled Windows 7 cannot start the service by it's own so it is always safer to set the services to manual.

    To open up the Services Window:

    • Press [Win] + R or take the RUN option from the start menu.
    • Now type services.msc in there and press Enter Key

    To disable the Unwanted Service:

    • Scroll down and highlight the service you want to adjust
    • Right-click on it and choose Properties
    • Click the stop button.
    • Select Manual in the Startup Type scroll bar.
    Here is a list of services that you can safely stop:
    • Application Experience
    • Computer Browser (If your PC does not connect to any network)
    • Desktop Window Manager Session Manager (If you don't want the aero effects)
    • Diagnostic Policy Service
    • Disk Defragmenter
    • Distributed Link Tracking Client
    • IP Helper
    • Offline Files
    • Portable Device Enumerator Service
    • Print Spooler (If you do not use Printer)
    • Protected Storage
    • Remote Registry (You can safely disable it for more Security)
    • Secondary Logon
    • Security Center
    • Server (If your computer does not connect with any network)
    • Tablet PC Input Service
    • TCP/IP NetBIOS Helper
    • Windows Defender
    • Windows Error Reporting Service
    • Windows Media Center Service Launcher
    • Windows Search (If you rarely use Windows Search feature)
    • Windows Time (If you do not want to synchronize system time with internet time automatically)

    Speed Up the Shut Down Time:
    This registry tweak will change the amount of time that Windows will wait for programs to close before Windows shuts down. 

    Instructions:

    • Press [Win] + R or take the RUN option from the start menu.
    • Now type regedit and press the Enter Key to open up the Registry Editor Window.
    • In regedit go to HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Control

    • In the right pane, right click on WaitToKillServiceTimeout and click on Modify
    • Type in a number between 1000 to 20000 [1-20 seconds] [12000 is default, I use 3000].


    Speed up the Menu Show Delay Time:

    This registry tweak will show you how to change the amount of time it takes for a menu in Windows 7 to pop, fade, or slide open when you run the mouse pointer over it.

    Instructions:

    • Press [Win] + R or take the RUN option from the start menu.
    • Now type regedit there and press Enter Key to open up the Registry Editor Window.
    • In regedit go to HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Control Panel\Desktop
    • In the right pane, right click on MenuShowDelay and click on Modify


    • Type in a number between 0 to 4000 [400 is default, I use 200] for how many milliseconds you want the Menu to wait before it opens.


    • Log off and log on, or restart the computer to apply the changes.

    Note: The lower the number, the faster the response time. I would not recommend that you go below 50 since the menus would be harder to navigate through at that speed.