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Reliability Monitor of Windows 7

Do you know the “Reliability Monitor” function of Windows 7?

It is a very good tool to get a overview of problems of your Windows 7 installation.

The stability index assesses your system’s overall stability on a scale from 1 to 10.

By selecting a specific period in time, you may review the specific hardware and / or software problems that have impacted your Windows 7 system.

The Reliability Monitor is very easy to access, just click on the colorful start button and type in the “Search programs and files” field the word “reliability” and hit enter.

If you need help with your Windows 7 system, just contact the specialist’s from Lemonsurf Co. Ltd. or Phuket Hosting and we will give you a hand.

Get back your old “Show Desktop” button from Win XP into Win 7

To show or preview the desktop in Windows 7, you need to click or hover on the little bar on the right side of your task bar (that one beside the clock and date).

To get back your old fashion “Show Desktop” button, is not that magic….

Just follow the instructions of this Blog  and you have your old “Show Desktop’ button back.

If you need professional help with your system or web site, please do not hesitate to contact Phuket Hosting or Lemonsurf Co. Ltd. to make an appointment with one of our professionals to assist you in all your computer, network, web site and hosting needs.

Need to recover or repair Windows 7 and you don’t have a Windows 7 DVD

Many of you out there bought a new Computer or Laptop with the Windows 7 operating system pre installed.

And usually you do not get any DVD for Windows 7 with it as it is pre-installed on your new machine.

What to do, if you have some , not unusual system problems, and you didn’t made a recovery CD / DVD or your manufacturer didn’t give you a recovery CD / DVD when you bought the machine.

The CD/DVD is the only way to recover a broken installation.

The Windows 7 DVD has a complete “recovery center” that provides you with the option of recovering your system via automated recovery (searches for problems and attempts to fix them automatically), rolling-back to a system restore point, recovering a full PC backup, or accessing a command-line recovery console for advanced recovery purposes.

Thankfully, Microsoft seems to have realized this problem, and have thankfully made a recovery disc for this purpose. It contains the contents of the Windows 7 DVD’s “recovery center,” as we’ve come to refer to it.

It cannot be used to install or reinstall Windows 7, and just serves as a Windows PE interface to recovering your PC.

Technically, one could re-create this installation media with freely-downloadable media from Microsoft (namely the Microsoft WAIK kit, a multi-gigabyte download); but it’s damn-decent of Microsoft to make this available to Windows’ users who might not be capable of creating such a thing on their own. You can make your own copy from Windows 7 Ultimate Edition, but now you have an easier alternative.

The guys from neosmart.net are holding a copy of the Windows 7 recovery disc for download ( 32bit / 64bit )

We hope this gives you the help you were searching for.

If you need any assistance, please do not hesitate to contact Phuket Hosting or Lemonsurf.

Windows 7, quick system analysis

Your computer will not work as intended and it is becoming unstable?

To get an overview on the current status of local hardware resources, processes and response times of the local system, just type the command “perfmon / report” into the search box in the Start Menu.

The tool analyzes the system and after about a minute you get a comprehensive overview of the system state.

How to start the Windows 7 Explorer in Computer View

If you start the Windows Explorer in Windows 7 over the icon in the task-bar / pin-bar , it will start by default in the library view.

If you want to see the usual computer view, you need to do a little modification in the properties of this shortcut.

Make a right mouse click on the Explorer icon, another right mouse click on “Windows Explorer” a left mouse click on “Properties” and the properties settings appear.

Now you just need to modify the “Target”, add to the %windir%\explorer.exe the additional string ::{20D04FE0-3AEA-1069-A2D8-08002B30309D} or just copy this string over the old one %windir%\explorer.exe ::{20D04FE0-3AEA-1069-A2D8-08002B30309D} and then click OK.

Any more questions how to use your Windows 7 as efficient as possible, just contact Phuket Hosting.

How To Format Your Mac Hard Drive

You want to do a clean system install of Mac OS X on your shiny new Mac?

Or perhaps you just need a larger drive to hold all the movies you’re been downloading?

No matter what the reason, before you can use a blank hard drive, you’ll need to format it first.

Luckily, formatting a drive is easy, but you do need to make some decisions ahead of time based on how you plan to use the drive. For example will your drive be used only in a Mac? Or if your drive is going to be used for storage, will you need to connect from Windows? Mac? Both?

Be aware that formatting your drive will erase **ALL** your existing data. Make sure you’ve backed up any existing files on the drive before you format!

  • BACK UP

    Remember, formatting a drive erases all the data on your Mac, so make sure you back up all your files before you begin!

  • USING THE DISK UTILIY IN MAC OS X

    To format an external or an extra internal hard drive on your Mac, just attach (or install) the drive and open the application “Disk Utility”.

    It’s in your Applications > Utilities folder. Select your new hard drive in the menu on the left, then choose the Erase tab in the main window.

    Now select a drive format. If you’re using the hard drive exclusively with Mac OS X, we recommend Mac OS Extended (Journaled). If you’ll be accessing the drive from Windows as well, select FAT32.

    Once you’ve selected a format, click the erase button and wait a few minutes for the drive to finish formatting.

  • USING THE INSTALLATION DVD OF MAC OS X

    If you’d like to format the system hard drive inside your Mac, the procedure is the same, but you’ll need to boot your Mac from an OS X install DVD or another Mac.

    If you’re using the install DVD, before you start the install process head to the menu bar and select the Disk Utility application. Once Disk Utility opens the process is the same as explained above, but be sure to choose Mac OS Extended (Journaled), which is the recommended drive format for OS X.

How to setup a Windows 7 Homegroup

Windows 7 provides a new and exciting feature called Homegroup. This improvement allows users a unique way to network other computers running Windows 7 in a home or workplace situation.

Under Windows 7 you can forget about setting up a conventional network system as Windows 7 Homegroup is simpler and easier to set up. This new feature works with all computers running Windows 7.

What is Windows 7  Homegroup?

Homegroup allows you to connect wireless to other computers allowing you to share documents, photos, music and other files as well as your printer. As the initiator of Homegroup you can ensure the security of your files by making them read-only. However, you also have the option of allowing other members of your Homegroup to modify your files.

How to setup a Windows 7  Homegroup?

To create a Windows 7 Homegroup you need two or more computers running Windows 7.

The Desktop computer takes the first step in setting up a Homegroup. This involves deciding whether to share library files and printers and then generating a Homegroup password so other user(s) can join the Homegroup network.

The Desktop Computer

  1. Click the Start button or press the Windows key.
  2. When the Start Menu opens, select Control Panel.
  3. When the Control Panel window opens, in the section labelled Network and Internet, Choose “Homegroup and Sharing Options.”
  4. The Homegroup window opens, click the button labelled, Create a Homegroup.
  5. The “Create a Homegroup” window opens, displaying the features you can share – Pictures, Documents, Music, Printers and Videos.
  6. Check the boxes for those items you wish to share.
  7. Click the Next button.
  8. Next, Windows 7 generates a password to allow other computer user(s) to join the Homegroup.
  9. Click Print password and instructions.
  10. Give the Password information sheet to the other computer user(s).
  11. Click the Finish button.

Note: Your part is now over. The other computer user(s) now has to register their computer to join the Homegroup.

On the Laptop / Notebook / Netbook

To successfully connect to a Homegroup, the other computer(s) must be running Windows 7. You will need a copy of the Password information sheet containing the password.

  1. Click the Start button.
  2. When the Start Menu opens, Homegroup.
  3. The Change Homegroup settings window opens indicating that another computer is on the Homegroup network. It also shows that there are shared Libraries and Printers.
  4. Click the Join now button.
    Note: If you don’t see the Join now button, there might not be a Homegroup available. Make sure that someone has created a Homegroup first or you can choose to create a Homegroup yourself.
  5. The Join a Homegroup window opens. You need the Homegroup Password to join.
  6. Type in the Homegroup Password.
  7. Click the Next button
  8. Windows 7 informs you that you have joined the Homegroup.
  9. Click the Finish buttonYou are now ready to utilize Homegroup across two computers, the Desktop computer and the Laptop computer.Accessing your HomeGroup

    With both computers switched on, you can now access each other’s HomeGroup libraries.

  10. Click the Start menu.
  11. Select Homegroup.
  12. The Homegroup window opens.
  13. Click Homegroup.
  14. Homegroup expands telling you the laptop is registered.
  15. To see what libraries within the Homegroup network, click on the arrow button on the left.
  16. Homegroup displays the registered Libraries.
  17. To see what’s in a Library, such as Documents, click Documents. Its contents appear in the right window.
  18. On the other computer’s Homegroup you can now access the Libraries.
  19. To view the contents, click on the arrow on the left of each Library folder to expand it and display the folders within it.
  20. In the screen picture below the extent of the Document folder is revealed. This was achieved by clicking on its icon.

By now you should have a good idea of the potential of Windows 7 Homegroup and how useful it is in a networking situation providing of course the other computers in your home or workplace are running Windows 7.

General Computer Maintenance Tip’s

The following is a list of twelve simple steps for general computer maintenance. By following these steps you increase the chances that you can avoid some of the most common problems that are brought to our attention.

Carry your laptop in a protective case or bag, free from any potentially harmful substances.

  • Computers should be carried in a bag with lots of padding and protection.
  • Alternatively, you can purchase a “laptop sleeve” to protect your computer. Models with padding inside and a hard shell are preferred.
  • Don’t place food, drink, or other potentially hardful substances nearby or in a bag with your computer, as liquid spills on laptops are all too common and often come with a heavy price tag.
  • Be sure to include accident protection in your warranty, if you are concerned about accidental damage or spills.

Always power down your laptop before moving it around, and at night.

  • The hard drive, where your data is stored is a series of spinning discs with a read/write head (analogous to a record player). Thus, transporting or moving your laptop while powered on can cause corruption to the hard drive (analogous to a record scratch).
  • To avoid long boot-up times, you can also put your computer into Sleep, Standby, or Hibernate modes.
  • Shutting down your computer (or putting it into Sleep or Hibernate) will also extend the life of the hardware.

Take care with the screen and keyboard.

  • The laptop’s compact design means sensitive components must be stored directly below the keyboard.
  • Avoid slamming or punching down on keys with excessive force, as this may damage the components underneath.
  • The LCD screen is also sensitive, so avoid poking the screen too hard or placing heavy objects on top of your laptop.

Keep the laptop on a flat surface when in use and avoid blocking air vents.

  • Blocking air vents will cause the computer to operate above the normal operating temperature range, which over time will decrease the lifespan of your computer.
  • Avoid using your computer in a particularly dusty area.
  • Consider purchasing a compressed “air” canister and blowing out the dust from the vents, or request help from Phuket Hosting.

Back up your data regularly and backup important files to multiple locations.

  • Hard drive failure is difficult to predict and may even occur within the first few months of computer ownership
  • Develop a strategy for backing up your data regularly, suggestions are available in the FAQ on Backing Up.

Keep your email healthy by keeping your inbox small.

  • Often webmail is slow because your inbox is too large, making loading times of your inbox very slow.
  • If you inbox becomes too large (greater than 500MB or so), it may become corrupted and you could lose emails or miss incoming messages.
  • To check the size of your email folders, go to webmail interface.
  • Consider setting up an email client program and using it regularly instead of Webmail.
  • You can also download your email whole folders at a time using webmail

Install a Antivirus Solution, keep it updated, and perform scans regularly.

  • Be sure to install a Antivirus Solution. Your computer may come with a free trial of a antivirus, but we strongly encourages uninstalling the trial version provided and installing a full Antivirus Solution (Most of them are free for private use).
  • Keep the software updated by setting your Antivirus Solution to check daily for updates.

Set strong passwords.

  • Be sure to set a strong password for your username, using numbers, letters, and capitals.
  • In Windows XP, be sure to set a strong password for the Administrator account too.

Delete unwanted programs and files, and avoid installing lots of ‘extras’.

  • In Windows, There are many flashy programs that run in the background of your computer (usually showing up as little icons in the task bar, e.g. WeatherBug). Use ‘Add/Remove programs’ in Control Panel to remove these programs or any others not in use.
  • In OS X, be sure to remove unwanted programs from your ‘Applications’ folder.
  • Empty your Recycling Bin or Trash.
  • Delete old files from your desktop or documents folders.
  • Remove any excess user accounts that may be taking up space.

Update Windows/OS X regularly.

  • To have the best patches and security updates available, be sure to regularly update your computer.
  • Instructions forWindows Updates and Mac OS X Software Updates are located in the FAQs.

Avoid P2P software.

  • P2P programs often come bundled with adware or spyware.
  • P2P downloads can sometime be bogus files and may contain viruses.

Keep track of your software CD/DVDs and license keys.

  • Never discard the Windows, Office, or other discs that come with your computer, these can be invaluable in getting your computer running fast.
  • Keep all official documents, receipts, and license keys for your software, which are needed if the software must be reinstalled.

Are your DNS nameservers impeding your Internet experience?

If you have problems with your Domain Name Server’s provided by your ISP, take a look at this tool,  it might help you to resolve the problem.

If you look for alternative DNS server ip’s , click here to find a list which is working usually fine here in Thailand.

Other DNS solutions you also can find here:

Google Public DNS Service or  OpenDNS information

Confused Which Free Public DNS To Use, Here Is How To Benchmark The Fastest DNS Server From Your Location:

If you are looking for a professional grade hardcore DNS speed benchmarking tool, multi-platform, open-source utility namebench would be the answer, capable of utilizing your web browser history, tcpdump output, or standardized datasets to benchmark DNS server speeds namebench provide well laid-out, easy to understand individualized recommendation.

However, if you are looking for something fast and noob-friendly free windows-only utility DNS Tester gets the job done but you will need to manually evaluate and compare the results.

Another free alternative would be DNSBench for fast, easy and comprehensive DNS Benchmarking on windows.