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Windows 7 XP Mode

Windows XP Mode is a downloadable add-on for Windows 7 Professional, Ultimate, and Enterprise. It has two parts: the virtualization software itself, and a disk image containing a pre-installed, activated, licensed copy of Windows XP Professional with Service Pack 3 preinstalled, complete with Internet Explorer 6.

Although you wouldn’t know it from the download page, this is available for any version of Windows 7 aside from Starter. You wouldn’t know it, because selecting a version of Windows other than those previously listed removes the option to download Virtual PC. It shouldn’t, though; it should only remove the option to download the Windows XP Mode image.

The new version requires hardware virtualization support—Intel’s VT or AMD’s AMD-V. Microsoft’s current server virtualization platform, Hyper-V, has the same requirement, but for Virtual PC this is a new demand. For virtualizing 32-bit guest OSes, far and away the most common usage scenario, the benefits of hardware virtualization are something between small and non-existent; though hardware virtualization is potentially a little faster, the difference in practice isn’t perceptible.

Sharing folders in Windows 7

This process will make your network slightly less secure but it works well because a password is not needed to share files and folders.

1. Find the Computer Name and Workgroup on your computer.

The Workgroup name needs to be the same on all PC’s that are being networked.

Verify what the Windows 7 computer and workgroup names are by going to Control Panel > System and Security > System > and read information under “Computer name, domain, and workgroup settings.”

If the names need to be changed go to Change settings in that category or Advanced System Settings in left pane. Then, Computer Name Tab > Change, type the Computer Name and Workgroup Name. > OK.
Make the computer name meaningful to aid recognition.
Restart your computer.

2. Second, adjust Windows 7 settings to allow for sharing with older OS on other networked systems.
Go to Control Panel > Network and Internet > Network and Sharing Center > Change Advanced Sharing Settings (side panel). Make sure Network Discovery, File and Printer Sharing, and Public Folder Sharing are all set to “on” and Password Protected Sharing is set to “off”.

3. Third, choose which folders to share on the network and adjust properties to do so.
Method 1:
Drag any folders to be shared to the Public folder.

Method 2:
To share a specific Windows 7 folder or additional drives on the system, right-click it > Properties > Sharing Tab > Advanced Sharing > tick box for Share this folder > Apply > OK > Close. Two little people should appear on the icons of the folders that are shared.

4. Don’t Skip this Step!!

Because Password Protected Sharing turned off, the security permissions have to be changed on the folder(s) to allow Everyone access. Right-click the shared folder > Properties > Security Tab > Edit > Add and type “Everyone” (not the quotes) into the box and select OK. Tick the boxes next to the permissions you want to allow (e.g. Read or Write, etc.) then Apply > OK. Some messages may appear: “An error occurred while applying…” This is not unusual and can be ignored by clicking Continue.

5. Windows firewall is normally set to allow file and printer sharing but if you have a third-party firewall make sure file and printer sharing are enabled so that each machine can talk to the other(s). Do not disable the Windows firewall if it’s the only one running.

6. To see or copy files, click the Windows Start button > Network and the computers/folders/files should appear. Use two windows to drag files from one PC to another.

Tips For Better PC Health

5 tips for better PC health

Working on a slow, disorganized computer can be frustrating—and it happens to the best of us. We 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

When we are in a hurry we just quickly save the file in the first folder we can find. This happens time and time again to the best of us but we need to take the time to move these files in their proper place.
Create folders and sub-folders to help organize your files. Try and go through your computer frequently and clean out unneccessary files to free up used space.

2. Clean up your hard disk

Now that you’ve organized your files and folders and cleaned up your desktop, you can organize the data itself. Windows includes two utilities, Disk Cleanup and Disk Defragmenter that help you free up more space on your hard drive and help your computer work more efficiently.

Disk Cleanup compresses your old files to free up storage space.

Disk Defragmenter scans your hard drive and consolidates files that may be scattered across the disk.

3. Use System Restore

System Restore is one of those programs that can be a life-saver when you’ve been the unfortunate recipient of unstable software, a badly timed power outage, or a damaging thunderstorm. System Restore records important documents, settings, and preferences on your computer. If the unthinkable happens and your computer files are damaged or inaccessible, you can use System Restore to restore your computer to the same state it was in before the data was lost.

System Restore creates restore points daily and whenever you install device drivers, automatic updates, and some applications. But it’s a good idea to get into the habit of creating a system checkpoint (called a restore point) when you’re about to install new software or take any action you suspect might make your computer unstable. Then, if there’s any conflict at all, you can restore your computer to the point just before you began the installation.

Although System Restore can put your computer back in order, it’s prudent to periodically back up all the files on your computer. Whether you choose to use an external hard disk, DVDs, or a network location to back up your files, Windows 7 makes it easier than ever to safeguard the contents of your computer. You can back up your files if you’re running Windows Vista or Windows XP, too. Learn more about backing up your data.

4. Keep Windows and Microsoft Office up-to-date

Computer programs are continually improved based on customer feedback and regular product testing. As problems are resolved, you should benefit from those improvements. By checking Microsoft Update often, you can make sure you’ve got the most recent Windows and Microsoft Office improvements available to you.

Windows 7 and Windows Vista users don’t need to sign up for Microsoft Update: An account is automatically created for you during the registration process, and Windows Update is automatically installed on your computer with default settings that you can change later, if you wish.

Windows XP users must visit Microsoft Update to start the update process. First-time visitors might need to sign up for the service. After you’ve visited Microsoft Update, you should configure your computer running Windows XP to receive critical updates automatically. This free service is called Windows Update in Windows 7 and in Windows Vista, and it is called Automatic Updates in Windows XP.

Important: If you do not select the recommended automatic updating option, you must download and install every critical update. If you download the updates but forget to install them, your computer will not be protected with the latest enhancements.

5. Run antivirus software and a spyware detection and removal tool

Updating your Windows software is just the first step in keeping your computer safe. Next (if you haven’t already done so), you’ll want to install antivirus software from a reputable vendor. As is the case with Windows, it is critical that you keep your antivirus software up to date.

If your computer seems sluggish or if you begin to see lots of pop-up advertisements, even when you’re not surfing the web, your computer may be infected with spyware, adware, or other unwanted software.

Arrange Windows on Your Desktop

In Windows, you can arrange windows side by side, which can be especially helpful when comparing two documents or when moving files from one place to another.

Note: If you’re using a non-standard setup such as dual monitors, the tricks below may not work as expected.

Windows 7

1. Drag the title bar of a window to the left or right side of the screen until an outline of the expanded window appears.
2. Release the mouse to expand the window.
3. Repeat steps 1 and 2 with another window to arrange the windows side by side.

To return a window to its original size click the Maximize button in the window’s title bar and the window expands to full size.
 
The Maximize button

Tip: To snap an active window to the side of the desktop by using the keyboard, press Windows logo key+Left Arrow or Windows logo key+Right Arrow.
 
Viewing windows side by side in Windows Vista and Windows XP

In Windows Vista and Windows XP, it’s easy to display any two (or more) windows side by side on the desktop, all equally sized. Press and hold the Ctrl key and click two or more of the window buttons on the taskbar that you want to open. Release the Ctrl key, right-click, and then do one of the following:

* Windows Vista users, click Show Windows Side by Side.
* Windows XP, Tile Vertically command.

Windows SkyDrive – Getting Started!

So this is has become a new favorite for many Microsoft Users.

What is Windows Live SkyDrive?

Windows Live SkyDrive (initially Windows Live Folders) is a File hosting service that allows users to upload files to a cloud storage and then access them from a Web browser. It uses Windows Live ID to control access to the user’s files, allowing them to keep the files private, share with contacts, or make the files public. Publicly-shared files do not require a Windows Live ID to access.The service offers 25 GB of free personal storage, with individual files limited to 50 MB.

Sign up for a free Windows Live account now!

Check back tomorrow for more Tips!