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Feature Article Sample: Windows Tips & Secrets

Feature Article Sample: Windows Tips & Secrets

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Published by John Melendez
This is a featured article sample written and published by freelance writer and editor John Melendez. At the time of its writing, John was the Managing Editor the monthly newsletter, Windows Tips & Secrets. WTS had a subscription circulation of 35,000 readers.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: John Melendez is a freelance technical writer reporting on high tech, the environment, sustainability, alternative energies and "green" issues. John Melendez is a writer for hire. To email him, go to http://www.emailmeform.com/fid.php?formid=19595

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Publication Samples: http://tinyurl.com/jm-pubs

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This is a featured article sample written and published by freelance writer and editor John Melendez. At the time of its writing, John was the Managing Editor the monthly newsletter, Windows Tips & Secrets. WTS had a subscription circulation of 35,000 readers.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: John Melendez is a freelance technical writer reporting on high tech, the environment, sustainability, alternative energies and "green" issues. John Melendez is a writer for hire. To email him, go to http://www.emailmeform.com/fid.php?formid=19595

See other interesting reads at:
.
Writing Samples: http://www.associatedcontent.com/johnmelendez
Publication Samples: http://tinyurl.com/jm-pubs

Outlook RSS Feed: http://www.associatedcontent.com/rss/user_76423.xml

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Published by: John Melendez on Mar 09, 2010
Copyright:Traditional Copyright: All rights reserved

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07/07/2013

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Your First Choice for Windows 2000, NT 4.0 &95/98 Intelligence
PECIAL
ND 
-U 
SE
UPPLEMENT 
Optimize Your Workstation
John Meléndez —
WT&S 
Managing EditorTechnical Writer
Windows Tips & Secrets
’ audienceis mostly comprised of networkadministrators and other high-level networking professionals,and thus the newsletter’s contentsticks to hardcore network-relatednews and tips. However, I’verecently gotten some emails fromsubscribers who have a high-maintenance boss they want tokeep happy, or perhaps they havea frisky user who pesters themfor hot tips on how to make theirmachine run better than ever.Basically, you are asking how tooptimize your favorite end user’smachine.Because my own work fallsmostly into the end-user realm,you are asking for some sugges-tions on how to optimize adesktop PC
without going hog wildon cost
, and preferably
using exist-ing equipment
. Here are a fewtidbits that will yield a beefy,awesome workstation.As always, before doing any ofthis, be sure to back up crucialinformation. On the chance youdon’t like any changes you mightmake here, you can easily clonean image of your current systemusing third-party software, suchas PowerQuest’s DriveImage orNorton’s Ghost.
Fresh OS Installation
Everyone knows there’s nothinglike the smell of a freshly installedoperating system in the morning!Maybe your favorite user hasdecided to brave the dark watersand upgrade from Windows 9x toNT 4.0 Workstation or Windows2000 Professional. It’s tempting tosave time and throw that CD intothe tray and do a quick upgradeover the existing system. Butdon’t do it.While it is time-consuming, takethe time to rebuild the OS fromscratch. Your user will be startingoff with a clean Registry, and theyget to enjoy the stability and relia- bility this brings.I offer somesuggestions below for clean instal-lations of the respective Microsoftoperating systems.
See
Special Supplement...
Page 10
 June 2000
 Volume 9, No. 7
Inside:
Windows 2000
PECIAL
ND 
-U 
SER 
UPPLEMENT 
Optimize YourWorkstation......................1Moore Tips & Secrets.......2
Microsoft Networking
Cold As ICE.......................4
Windows 98
CABFile Extraction...........6Successful RegistryCopying.............................8
 
10
Windows 95/98
— Compared toMicrosoft’s other OSs, Windows95/98 works on a relatively sim-ple architecture, and thus islimited in what you can do tooptimize it short of hacking intothe Registry:
I
To start, use your trusty“Magic Boot Floppy” to loadthe machine up to DOS. Agoodfloppy comes loaded with the basic DOS system files, DEL-PART, FDISK, and a genericCD-ROM driver. To ensureyou’re starting completely fromscratch, delete all the partitionsyou have on the hard drive.
I
Create new partitions, formatthem, and install Windows 95or 98 onto it. For a faster install,I use DOS commands to copythe
/WIN9x
directory from theinstall CD directly onto thehard disk, and then execute theinstall from the local drive.
I
At the DOS command promptunder
C:\WIN98
, type
SETUP
and run the install. If you chosethe no-frills install option notedabove, upon your first start upyou will notice some of theintro graphics and third-partyicons are either empty or“dead-linked.” Don’t worryabout this. You are merelyrunning a lean, clean versionof Windows 98 without allthe extras.
I
Windows 98 comes with itsown proprietary file systemconverter, which changes thefile system from standard FATto FAT32. I suggest you makethe conversion. On the chanceyou don’t have this converter,you can always use a good diskmanagement utility, such asPowerQuest’s Partition Magic.
I
Before installing any productionsoftware (like MS Office), Isuggest you install and run athird-party system optimizer(I use Symantec’s NortonUtilities) to ensure that systemfiles and the hard disk don’thave any snags that will impairperformance.
I
Immediately after doing asystem check with this soft-ware, defragment the disk inorder to consolidate the systemand swap files closely together,thus reducing the disk’s readtime when these two file setscommunicate with each other.
I
Install your various end-userapplications. Then run anotherfull defrag.
I
As an option, clone an imageof your pristine install on thechance the system degradesafter several months of heavy-duty use. When the time comes,you can reinstall your clone,and in no time flat, you willhave a fresh machine again.Your machine is now ready forheavy-duty action. Defrag thehard disk as often as necessary.
Windows NT 4.0 Workstation
Optimizing NT 4.0 Workstationis a little more involved.Nevertheless, it can be done:
I
After installing NTWorkstation, do a Service Pack(SP) update (preferably SP5 orSP6a) immediately after the
Special Supplement
Continued from Page 1
Note:
For a clean, no-frills installation of Windows 9x without all thethird-party ISPdeals and tutorial files that usually come with a fullinstall, try doing the install from the hard disk by copying only the base
/WIN9x
directory from the install CD
without its subdirectories
. Todo this, use the
XCOPY
command
without
the subdirectory copy switch(
/s
) when copying from the install CD to the local drive. For example(where
E:\
is the CD-ROM drive and
C:\
is your local hard disk).First, create your
C:\WIN98
directory:
mkdir C:\WIN98
Then do the file copy:
xcopy E:\WIN98 C:\WIN98
Donot
use:
xcopy E:\WIN98
 /s 
C:\WIN98
 
11
machine boots for the first time.This makes updates to yoursystem files and will ensuresmooth installations of yourend-user apps.
I
Using a third-party utilitydesigned for NT (I use ExecutiveSoftware’s DiskKeeper),run afull defrag on the hard disk.Some defrags should be runseveral times to yield a reallygood consolidated data cluster.
I
Install your workstation appli-cations and apply your favoritesystem tweaks.
I
Defrag the hard disk again.
I
As an option, clone yourmachine for a pristine backup.
Windows 2000 Professional
No doubt there are fundamentaldifferences between Windows NT4.0 Workstation and Windows2000 Professional. But for basicoptimization purposes, it’s safe toassume both OSs are essentiallythe same.
I
Install and optimize Windows2000 Professional as with NTWorkstation above. You maywant to visit Microsoft’s web-site for system updates.
I
Unless you have a super-fastmachine that flies off your deskwith loads of RAM, a Xeonprocessor, and other fast com-ponents, I suggest you turn offone of those new plug-ins youfind in Win2K Pro’s MMC – the
Indexing Service
. According toMicrosoft, Indexing Service
“creates indexes of the contentsand properties of documents on your local hard drive and onshared network drives.”
In other words, IndexingService tracks all changesmade on your hard drive,theoretically for fast and easyaccess. There is a definitedownside to this service: whileit records your changes to theindex file, the service bogsdown lower-end machines tothe point of a standstill. To turnthe service off, go to
Start—Settings—Control Panel—Administrative Tools—Computer Management
.Under the
Services andApplications
object, right-clickon
Indexing Service
and select
Stop
(see
Figure 1
).
Special Supplement
Continued from Page 10
 Figure 1
See
Special Supplement...
Page 12
Note:
Some of my colleagues who install apps themselvesinsist on restarting their machines after each app install,
andthen also
running a Service Pack update (followed each time by another restart). Whether you might be willing to gothrough this time-consuming process, be sure to run theService Pack after installing everything you need.

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