Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Windows XP stops responding when you download Windows updates

If you try to download an update from the Windows Update site to your computer and get an error message labeled "Initialization Error 0x8007007e," or the computer stops responding when you accept the end-user license agreement, it may be because of corrupted or unregistered system files. Find out what to do to solve the problem by reading KB article 831429 at:

How to assign a program to a processor in XP or Vista

In Windows XP Pro or Vista, if you have a computer running multiple processors or one with a dual core processor, you can assign specific programs to use a specific processor or core. First you need to open the program or run the process. Then do the following:

  1. Right click an empty space on the taskbar or press CTRL+ATL+DEL and select to start Task Manager.
  2. Click the Processes tab.
  3. In the left column, find the process you want to assign (for example, Winword.exe for the Word program) and right click it.
  4. Click Set Affinity in the context menu. By default, both CPUs will be checked. Check only the CPU you want the process to run on (CPU0 or CPU1).
  5. Click OK.

This can be useful if you need to keep one processor free for use by a particular program, or if you're running older applications that don't work as well with two processors.

Thursday, May 24, 2007

Software - Stellar - Data Recovery

Have you ever had a drive you could not get your data recovered from? We have probably all been there once or twice. A co-worker (thanks Jeff T!) passed this tool on to me. This is NOT freeware. If you have looked at any of my other posts you know how frugal (some call me cheap :) ) I usually am but this one could very well be worth it's weight in gold! The registration on this product does do a phone home and will only be able to be installed on 1 system but surely you have a workbench system you can throw it on. Here is the skinny on it:

Stellar Phoenix FAT & NTFS - Data Recovery Utility examines your inaccessible hard drive for damages and corruptions and recovers the data back.

  • Hard drive recovery from Windows 9x / ME / NT / 2000 XP / 2003 disk recovery
  • Supports FAT16, FAT32, NTFS, NTFS5 file system
  • Provides data recovery from Formatted logical drives
  • Recovers data from Re-partitioned & Missing/ Lost Logical drives
  • Lost folder and deleted file recovery


Software - WinMerge - File Comparison & Merge

Do you need a good freeware file compare/merge tool? There are a million of them out there but not that many that are freeware. This is one I just stumbled on. Here are some features & screenshots:


  • Visual differencing and merging of text files
  • Flexible editor with syntax highlighting, line numbers and word-wrap
  • Handles DOS, UNIX and MAC text file formats
  • Unicode support
  • Difference pane shows current difference in two vertical panes
  • Location pane shows map of files compared
  • Highlights differences inside lines in file compare
  • Regular Expression based file filters in directory compare allow excluding and including items
  • Moved lines detection in file compare
  • Creates patch files
  • Shell Integration (supports 64-bit Windows versions)
  • Rudimentary Visual SourceSafe and Rational ClearCase integration
  • Archive file support using 7-Zip
  • Plugin support
  • Localizable interface via resource DLL



Monday, May 14, 2007

How to restore the Administrator account in Vista

You can enable the built-in Administrator account if you really want to, by running the Command Prompt as administrator (right click its icon and select Run as Administrator; click Continue at the UAC prompt) and typing the following:

net user administrator /active:yes

This causes the Administrator account to appear on the Welcome screen. Note that it does not have a password set by default; the first thing you should do is set a strong password for it.