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Computer Blog - thebroadroom.net

Disclaimer: all of the following is purely from personal experience. TheBroadroom.Net urges you to use your own instincts, common sense, and willingness to take risks when applying any of the information below.

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Helpful MS images
posted by Colleen Shirazi, Tuesday, May 29, 2007 at 3:29 PM (Pacific)





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Transferring lots of files from one computer to another
posted by TheBroadroom.Net, Saturday, February 11, 2006 at 11:01 AM (Pacific)

I saw this on a tech board I like to frequent...if you buy a new computer, what's the best way to transfer your data from the old to the new? Here is what I wrote:

There are different ways to do it. The computer makers are standardizing the ports (yay!), so any USB storage device will work from one computer to the next.

I have one of those USB external hard drives...they don't cost that much anymore, I think you can buy one for $60 or less...it's the fastest and easiest way imo to copy lots of files. You just plug in the drive and copy over everything you want, then plug it in on the other computer and copy over...it's pretty fast.

Now if you're moving stuff from a computer that's so old it doesn't have a USB port, that is when it gets slightly complicated. If you have a USB port then I think it's a good investment to get that external hard drive, I've found it handy overall.
...

I advise this over something like a memory key (too little storage space), burning CD's (this is worthwhile imo only if you already wanted CD copies of your data...a good excuse to sit down and make them), or using floppies (this you would do only if necessary, i.e. your old computer doesn't have a USB port).

Further...it seems to me there are a couple of USB standards floating around, so make sure your external hard drive works with your old computer's USB port before you throw away your receipt and original packaging. (Try researching first to see "which" USB standard your clunker uses.)

Update: 2/12/2006

Apparently there is something in XP called "Files and Settings Transfer Wizard." You go to All Programs, Accessories, System Tools.

I'm looking at it...very interesting...

Using the Files and Settings Transfer Wizard in Windows XP

If I understand correctly, you need to network the two computers together. There are some instructions on buying a 9-pin serial cable for joining computers not already on a network.

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Clean up your system tray
posted by TheBroadroom.Net, at 10:33 AM (Pacific)

I had already linked to this in an earlier post, then I needed to find the site again, so...here is a separate post with the link in it. Plus I've added a link to the blogger template.

Startup Applications List

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More general Microsoft Hell notes...
posted by Colleen Shirazi, Saturday, January 28, 2006 at 12:18 PM (Pacific)

Okay...this is next to insane, but let's share. :)

When I was trying to get an intelligible error message on an ASP script in IE, one piece of advice I found was to install the IIS (Internet Information Services) Windows component. shrugs I did that. It didn't do anything, but then it didn't affect the performance of the computer either, so I left it in. (Changing a "friendly error message" setting in IE gave me the detailed error message, see post below.)

Fast forward 5 days.

The computer is now running Comcast cable internet. Again, it seemed fine at first. Then, Microsoft Hell started up...you know what I mean.

1.) The startup time for the computer jumped from about 30 seconds to 3 minutes. i.e. it took 3 minutes for the desktop icons to show.

2.) The computer could no longer use Automatic Updates (never a problem before on this computer). It showed there was 1 update to be installed. This was the Microsoft Genuine Advantage Validation Tool. As I've said, I have no problem installing this tool...I just couldn't install it. Automatic Updates downloaded it but wouldn't install it (it would just hang). I got it to install the Tool (see post below) but then it showed another update downloaded and ready to install, and likewise I couldn't install that.

3.) (Related to #2 actually) was that I could no longer create new System Restore points. Again, it would hang.

Manually downloading and trying to install Microsoft updates showed that the installation hung when it was trying to create a new restore point. Hence, fixing #3 would also most likely fix #2.

Fine....

I started out on the Microsoft site, looking for documentation regarding System Restore. There were a few articles on troubleshooting it but nothing worked. A clue was an article here:

You Cannot Create a Restore Point with a HighPoint Driver Installed

This computer didn't have this particular driver but I speculated as to whether Comcast had installed something that didn't agree with System Restore.

I then went to the Symantec site to see if there were known issues with Norton Internet Security, the specific program that this computer has installed in it. Again, some advice such as running LiveUpdate. I did this, it updated everything fine, but it didn't solve #1, #2 or #3.

They also said to have the NIS Personal Firewall re-detect its Manual Program Control listings. I did this also. It completed the re-detect process but again, did nothing re the 3 problems.

Hmmm...and I did the "msconfig" thing to stop some items from loading on startup. This was gratifying (I hate all that stuff that loads for no reason) but again did not solve the problems. i.e. it sped up the boot process only after the desktop icons showed (I still had to wait the same 3 minutes).

Don't ask me how but I suddenly wondered if the IIS service was doing something strange. Since it was useless anyway, I had the idea to uninstall it.

I couldn't uninstall it using the same Control Panel/Add or Remove Programs I'd use to install it. It hung (I had the morbid suspicion it was trying to create a system restore point and couldn't). However, of course it was still possible to go to Control Panel - Administrative Tools - Services, find the IIS Admin service, and disable it.

When I restarted the computer, somehow everything just worked again. It booted up in less than one minute (comparable to how fast it booted before). I could now create a new system restore point. And, I installed the new Windows Update that was sitting there.

I have no idea if this information could be helpful to anyone else, but it is the second time that changing a specific Service has produced results. I'm wondering now if Microsoft has better documentation on the Services somewhere.

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Various Microsoft Hell issues
posted by Colleen Shirazi, Friday, January 27, 2006 at 8:51 PM (Pacific)

Okay...where to start.

1.) Trying to install the Windows Genuine Advantage Validation Tool. Now I could care less whether this gets installed or not. Most of the material I found under Google concerned people trying to bypass the tool. Not what I need...the computer has a "real" Windows OS installed in it. So who cares?

The Automatic Updates thing downloaded the (!@#$%) Windows Genuine Advantage Validation Tool. Fine. Then, it wouldn't install it.

I danced around this crap for hours. Here's what I found and it worked:

Windows Genuine Advantage Validation Tool (KB892130) install fails in Windows Update

The part where someone linked here to install the Validation Tool:

http://www.microsoft.com/genuine/downloads/whyValidate.aspx

Okay, fine, that installed the damn Tool. It's there and no longer shows up in the Automatic Updates thing.

I still haven't gotten it to install any other Updates yet, however.

I have a strong suspicion it has to do with Norton Internet Security. Naturally, the Symantec site was totally useless (please read prior posts). Their sole suggestion from what I got out of it, was to allow the Windows Updates site to have information about your browser.

Excuse me.

WINDOWS UPDATES ALREADY HAS INFORMATION ABOUT MY BROWSER. IT ALREADY DOWNLOADED THE STUFF. I JUST CAN'T INSTALL IT WITHOUT BUSTING A GUT.


Now for the cool stuff.

Restore Your Computer's Performance with Windows XP

The part where you can go here:

Startup Applications List

...and actually look up all those esoteric items that get loaded when you start up your computer. As you would expect, a large number of them so far, are not necesssary.

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