Senin, 25 April 2011

Protecting your Windows XP PC

There are two types of PC safety, and you need to ensure that your PC is well versed in both of them. The first involves hardware or system errors, which can lead to the loss of important data. Over the page, we've compiled 50 of the best tips to prevent your PC and Windows XP from going belly-up, as well as some safeguards and recovery plans in case the worst does happen.

You'll learn, among other things, how to restore your entire system to a previous, stable state, how to update Windows XP with any new software that improves its safety features, how to deal with common hardware problems, how to prevent your PC from overheating, how to clean up your hard disk to improve speed and reliability, and even how to back up your entire system so you can recover everything in the event of disaster. If all that sounds complicated, don't worry – simply by being familiar with a few major safeguards, you should easily be able to deal with most PC catastrophes.

Then there's the other type of PC safety, which is all about protecting your system
from malicious outside influence. There are folk out there determined to hack into other people's PCs and steal or destroy data, not to mention the thousands of viruses
released purely to cause havoc. In this section, you'll find our 18 most crucial tips
for safeguarding yourself against this sort of enemy incursion, enabling you to get your PC locked up tighter than Fort Knox.

System Settings

Windows XP has a host of tools to keep your PC safe and stable. Here are some of the best :

Get updates
Are you using automatic updates? If not, go along to –
keeping your security settings and virus checkers up to date is essential.

Send Alert
In ‘Startup and Recovery’ in the System
Properties, check ‘Send an administrative
alert’ under System failure.

Restore Update
If you have declined updates previously then click on ‘Restore Declined Updates’ in System Properties.

Keep your CD
Always keep your Windows XP installation CD handy as you’ll be able to boot your PC from it if all else fails.

Use Microsoft Support
Search for help on specific error messages or faults.

Back Up your Data
Make sure you’ve got a backup of all your important data, just in case the worst
happens – it only takes a single crash and you could lose all of your essential work.
The File and Settings Transfer Wizard makes an excellent backup tool.

Try Safe Mode
It is often easier to remove a troublesome application by booting your computer up in Safe Mode.

Bin unused apps
Old, unused applications are just going to clog up your PC and slow things down.
Regular housekeeping is a must to keep things running smoothly and efficiently.

Reallocate Space
Free up the space that has been allocated by System Restore on drives that don’t use
Windows XP. You can then use this space to create backups.

System Restore
Go to the System Restore settings in System Properties and make sure you’re using the maximum amount of hard drive space available to you.

Managing Hardware

Printers, CD burners, digital cameras… These top tips will get them working happily with your PC

Recent Driver
Use to check for driver updates, or t your PC manufacturer’s site.

Latest Virus Info
Pay a visit to for all of the latest virus information.

Regular unkeep
If you have a program like Norton Utilities, make sure you use it regularly to keep your system in top shape.

Patch Problem
If an application is causing problems, check the manufacturer’s website for a patch.

Switch Slot
Problems with conflicting PCI hardware devices may be resolved by switching the slots they use on your motherboard.

Signed Drivers
Set your Driver Signing options so that you’re always alerted during a hardware
installation if software hasn’t passed the Windows logo testing.

Keep it cool
Overheating can cause your PC to crash so make sure it’s not getting too hot. Take a
look in your BIOS as some will give you temperature readouts.

The Right Driver
When installing video card drivers, try to use those on your card manufacturer’s website, rather than generic ones.

Hardware Profile
Use Hardware Profiles to disable a peripheral or component that you suspect is causing problems.

Device Manager
The Device Manager is incredibly useful in Windows XP. Use it to check the status of your installed hardware and to identify any problem areas.

Find out how to avoid crashes, and how you can recover your valuable data if the worst happens :

Back Up Utility
Prepare for the worst and install the Windows XP backup utility from your installation CD. It’s found in \VALUEADD\MSFT\ NTBACKUP\NTBACKUP.MSI

Older Aplication
If an older application is crashing your system, try running it in Compatibility Mode.

Free up RAM
On an older system, freeing up RAM can help to make things more stable.

Support Tools
You can get some extra help with diagnosing problems by using the Windows Support Tools on your installation disc. Browse to support\tools\setup.exe to use it.

Read the logs
If you have a problem, the Application and System Logs in Event Viewer may explain why your system crashed.

Over clock with Care
Exercise caution if you’re overclocking essential components like your CPU and video card as this is a very risky process that can cause massive instability and even permanent damage to your setup.

Is it Compatible?
Problems can often be caused by hardware that’s not compatible with Windows XP – check your devices in case of trouble.

Update your BIOS
Check your motherboard or your PC manufacturer’s website for a BIOS update as these may iron out recognised bugs that are causing your system’s problems. But you must be carefully.

Floppy Boot
If necessary, you can boot your PC up from the installation CD. If you need to use a floppy disk then make sure you take a look online at article Q310994 on the Microsoft Knowledge Base first.

Support Center Online
Try the Windows XP Center at support. default.aspx?scid=fh en-us;winxp since you’ll find help and troubleshooting tips from the experts.

File Stability

Find out how to avoid problems caused by out-ofdate software or driver incompatibility issues

Matching Memory
Mismatched memory can cause instability problems. Try using memory modules that are the same speed.

Store Your Driver
Keep all your driver files on a separate disc in case you need to reinstall hardware.

Display Setting
If you’re trying to run a graphics-intensive game and it quits back to Windows, check your drivers and display settings.

Use the Help File
Use the troubleshooters in the Windows XP Help file to sort out specific problems.

Schedule Clean
Use the Task Scheduler to automate maintenance and cleanup processes.

Check Driver
If your display appears to be stuck at a low resolution, this usually points to an incorrectly installed video driver.

Get help Online
If you’re having problems finding help on a specific error, try entering part of the error message in a search engine – there are many dedicated sites offering help online.

Hard drive status
Use the Windows XP error checking utility and check the status of all the hard drives installed on your PC.

Check reinstall
Having reinstalled Windows XP, type upgrade.txt in the run box so you can see the full details of how successful your reinstallation has been.

Windows XP has its own defragmenter tool. While this does provide you with basic functionality, for a more fully featured program, you should try out something like

Internet Setting

Going online exposes you to viruses, hackers and other perils, but Windows XP can keep you safe.

Using ICF
If you use multiple dial-up connections, make sure you’ve set up the Internet Connection Firewall to work with all of them.

Firewall Stability
Don’t run different versions of anti-virus or firewall applications at the same time as this can lead to instability.

Firewall Stability
Don’t run different versions of anti-virus or firewall applications at the same time as this can lead to instability.

Rescue Disks
Make sure that you’ve created rescue disks for your anti-virus applications in case a virus stops your PC from booting.

File Sharing
Along with the obvious copyright issues that are involved, you should be wary of file sharing services because you cannot be 100% sure that what you’re downloading is safe and genuine.

Stop pop-ups
Use a pop-up stopper program to prevent multiple browser windows from opening and overloading your system.

Scan Floppies
Scan any media with your anti-virus program before opening files, even floppies.

Unsafe activeX
Ensure that you have a reasonable level ofsecurity in your browser to avoid running unsafe ActiveX controls.

Virus update
Keep your anti-virus software regularly
updated to avoid problems.

Use an Installer
Use a specialist program to remove apps that don’t come with their own uninstaller.

Compaq Email Folder
Fragmented email folders can take a while to open and this may look like a crash. In Outlook Express, click File > Folder > Compact All Folders.

Ref : 1000 Greatest Windows XP Tips Magazine

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