NWA-PCUG Newsletter Article, May 2010
Broadsides: February 2010, The Space Coast PC Journal
By Ron Broadhurst,
Member of the Space Coast PC Users Group, Inc., Florida

shiron (at) cfl.rr.com (click to email author)

This article has been obtained from APCUG with the author’s permission for publication by APCUG member groups; all other uses require the permission of the author (see e-mail address above).

Dear friends,
These ideas are compiled from years of accumulations from various magazines, books, on-line sites and my own personal experience. I claim neither originality nor ownership to any of its contents. My only intent is to share the various “tips, “tricks” & “hints” in hopes of helping & maybe enhancing your computing experiences. They are all intended for anyone who uses a PC. It is for beginners as well as advanced users.

Enjoy and use as you will.
Defragmentation Explained
Fragmentation is caused by creating and deleting files and folders, installing new software, and downloading files from the Internet. Computers do not necessarily save an entire file or folder in a single space on a disk; they’re saved in the first available space. After a large portion of a disk has been used, most of the subsequent files and folders are saved in pieces across the volume.

When you delete files or folders, the empty spaces left behind are filled in randomly as you store new ones. This is how fragmentation occurs. The more fragmented the volume is, the slower the computer’s file input and output performance will be, and there will be a significant degradation in performance.

Defragmentation is the process of rewriting non-contiguous parts of a file to contiguous sectors on a disk for the purpose of increasing data access and retrieval speeds. Because FAT and NTFS disks can deteriorate and become badly fragmented over time, defragmentation is vital for optimal system performance.

In June 1999 the ABR Corporation of Irvine, California, performed a fragmentation analysis and found that, out of 100 corporate offices that were not using a defragmenter, 50 percent of the respondents had server files with 2,000 to 10,000 fragments. In all cases the results were the same: Servers and workstations experienced a significant degradation in performance.

Can't Use the XP Theme
The most probable reason for this is that the Themes service isn’t running. If it’s not running, XP reverts to the classic style. Do this:

1. Click Start | Run and type services.msc to open the Services console.
2. In the right pane, find the Themes service and Click the Start Service button.

If that doesn’t work, try this: right click My Computer | Properties. In the System Properties dialog box, click the Advanced tab. Under Performance, click Settings. Click the Visual Effects tab. Select “Use Visual Styles on Windows and Buttons” in the Custom box.

How To Set XP To Display the Shutdown Menu When You Press the Power Button
By default, when you press your computer’s power button, the system shuts down. That can be a problem if it sometimes gets pressed accidentally. You can configure XP to instead display the shutdown menu, giving you the option to choose whether to shut down, restart, etc. Here’s how:

1. Right click an empty spot on the desktop
2. Select Properties
3. In the display properties dialog box, click the Screen Saver tab
4. Near the bottom of the dialog box, click the Power button
5. In the Power Options Properties dialog box, click the Advanced tab
6. At the bottom of the page, under “When I press the power button on my computer,” select “Ask me what to do.”

Fix Virtual Memory
You receive the following error message……Your system is low on virtual memory. To ensure that Windows runs properly, increase the size of your virtual memory paging file.

1. Click Start, right-click My Computer, and then click Properties.
2. In the System Properties dialog box, click the Advanced tab.
3. In the Performance pane, click Settings.
4. In the Performance Options dialog box, click the Advanced tab.
5. In the Virtual memory pane, click Change.
6. Change the Initial size value and the Maximum size value to a higher value, click Set, and then click OK.

Click OK to close the Performance Options dialog box, and then click OK to close the System Properties dialog box

How To Remove SP3
There are a couple of ways to do it. The easiest is to use the Add/Remove Programs item in Control Panel, but if that doesn’t work, try this:

1. Click Start | Run
2. Type : c:\windows\$NtServicePackUninstall$\spuninst.exe
3. Click OK
4. This should start the Service Pack 3 Removal Wizard, which walks you through the steps of uninstalling the SP

If these methods don’t work, first restart the computer and then use System Restore to roll back to a restore point that was prior to the time you installed the service pack (this will also undo any other changes that you’ve made since that time).

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