Windows® 8 Tweaks

Windows 8 Tweaks book teach reader how to hand on use of windows 8. Personalize it, run it with custom settings and lot more in comprehensive illustration from Steve Sinchak.

Steve Sinchak

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  • Steve Sinchak   
  • 410 Pages   
  • 18 Feb 2015
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    Windows ® 8 Tweaks read more..

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    Windows ® 8 Tweaks Steve Sinchak read more..

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    Windows 8® Tweaks Published by John Wiley & So ns, Inc. 10475 Crosspoint Boulevard Indianapolis, IN 46256 Copyright © 2 013 by John Wiley & So ns, Inc., Indianapolis, Indiana Published simultaneously in Canada ISBN: 978-1-118-17277-3 ISBN: 978-1-118-22691-9 (ebk) ISBN: 978-1-118-23989-6 (ebk) ISBN: 978-1-118-26459-1 (ebk) Manufactured in the read more..

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    This book is dedicated to Julia, Oliver, and my wife Stephanie. read more..

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    vi Credits Executive Editor Carol Long Project Editor Sydney Jones Argenta Technical Editor Todd Meister Production Editor Christine Mugnolo Copy Editor Kimberly A. Cofer Editorial Manager Mary Beth Wakefield Freelancer Editorial Manager Rosemarie Graham Associate Director of Marketing David Mayhew Marketing Manager Ashley Zurcher Business Manager Amy Knies Production Manager Tim read more..

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    vii Steve Sinchak is an entrepreneur who has started many technology-related businesses. Steve currently runs Advanced PC Media LLC, which operates various web sites including Aside from writing for his websites and running Advanced PC Media LLC, he works as a Systems Engineer for a financial services company. Steve has been working read more..

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    viii About the Technical Editor Todd Meister has been working in the IT industry for over fifteen years. He’s been a technical editor on over 75 titles ranging from SQL Server to the .NET Framework. Besides technical editing he is the Senior IT Architect at Ball State University in Muncie, Indiana. He lives in central read more..

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    ix I want to thank my family and friends who continue to motivate and inspire me. I also want to thank everyone involved in this book for their help and advice. Acknowledgments read more..

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    xi Introduction xix Part I Getting Started with Windows 8 1 Chapter 1 Selecting the Right Edition 3 Edition Comparison 3 Consumer and Business Editions 4 Enterprise Edition 5 Edition Matrix 5 Add Features to Windows 8 8 Summary 10 Chapter 2 Installing Windows 8 11 Understanding the Install Media 11 32-Bit or 64-Bit? 12 Installing from USB 13 Understanding the read more..

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    xii Contents Using Charms 32 Using Keyboard Shortcuts in Windows Store A pps and the Start Screen 35 Using the Classic Desktop 36 What’s New? 36 Using Desktop Keyboard Shortcuts 37 Summary 38 Chapter 4 Safe Tweaking 39 Using System Restore 39 Creating Restore Points 40 Reverting to a Previous State 41 System Recovery Console 42 Accessing the System Recovery read more..

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    Contents xiii Customizing the Taskbar 78 Pinning Applications 79 Modifying Icon Locations 80 Tweaking Jump Lists 80 Enable Classic Taskbar Look and Behavior 82 Customize Taskbar Icon Sizes 82 Tweaking Taskbar Preview Delay 83 Restore Classic Quick Launch Bar 83 Modifying the Taskbar Location 85 Customizing the Notification Area 86 Restoring the Start Button 87 Using Group Policy read more..

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    xiv Contents Chapter 9 Fine-Tuning File Explorer 121 Customizing Windows Layout 121 Customizing Panes 122 Tweaking Search 124 Customizing the Ribbon 128 Modifying File Associations 129 Customizing the Context Menu 130 Removing Items from the Context Menu 131 Modifying the Send To Menu 132 Working with Libraries 133 Creating Your Own Libraries 133 Customizing Your read more..

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    Contents xv Loudness Equalization 161 Headphone Virtualization 161 Customizing Windows Media P layer 161 Tweaking the User Interface 161 Sharing Your Library 163 Sharing Your Library over the Internet 165 Using Audio Effects 166 Customizing Media Center 168 Installing Windows Media Center 169 Turning Your PC into a DVR 170 Summary 175 Part III Increasing Your System’s read more..

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    xvi Contents Chapter 15 Speeding Up Windows Explorer 251 Speeding Up File Browsing and Access 251 Disabling Legacy Filename Creation 252 Disabling the File Access Timestamp 255 Adjusting NTFS Memory Allocation 256 Speeding Up the User Interface 257 Fine-Tuning Performance Options 257 Adjusting Animations 258 Adjusting Explorer’s Search 261 Adjusting Search read more..

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    Contents xvii Controlling Your Computer Accounts 317 Using Complex Passwords on All Your Computer Accounts 317 Assigning a Password and Renaming the Guest Account 318 Secure the Administrator Account 319 Hiding Usernames on the Logon Screen 321 Setting the Account Lockout Policy 322 Tweaking User Account Control 323 Controlling User Account Control 323 Using File Encryption read more..

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    xix Introduction Building off the success of Windows 7, Microsoft embarked upon the boldest redesign of Windows since the introduction of the Start menu in Windows 95. The goal was to modernize the operating system. The result has been the most controversial release of Windows, primarily because of the new user interface. Called the “Metro” in terface read more..

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    xx Introduction Throughout development, Microsoft leveraged its monitoring platform to moni- tor various metrics on the preview builds released to the public. This allowed the quality of code to be monitored and also the performance of the OS to be tightly controlled. Trouble spots were automatically reported, so Microsoft knew exactly what components read more..

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    Introduction xxi Conventions Used in This Book This book uses two notification icons—Tip and Caution—that point out impor- tant information. Here’s what the two types of icons look like: TIP Tips provide small, helpful hints and related tweaks. CAUTION Cautions alert you to possible hazards that can result from the tweak. Code, commands, read more..

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    Par t I Getting Started with Windows 8 In This Part Chapter 1: Selecting the Right Edition Chapter 2: Installing Windows 8 Chapter 3: Windows 8 Basics Chapter 4: Safe Tweaking read more..

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    3 CHAPTER 1 Selecting the Right Edition Microsoft offers Windows 8 i n a number of editions for different markets and users: Windows 8, Windows 8 Pro, and Windows 8 Enterprise. Of t he three editions, only Windows 8 a nd Windows 8 Pro a re available for retail purchase. The Enterprise edition requires a software assurance agreement with Microsoft. Microsoft also released read more..

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    4 Part I ■ Getting Started with Windows 8 Equipment Manufacturers (OEMs) can buy. This is a significant improvement over Windows Vista a nd Windows 7, which gave users six editions to contend with. Some argue that any number of editions greater than one is too many. They say it creates too much confusion in the marketplace. Unless read more..

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    Chapter 1 ■ Selecting the Right Edition 5 Unlike Windows 8, RT was designed for the low-power ARM-based proces- sors and primarily for apps found in the Windows App S tore, originally called Metro style apps. You cannot run any legacy desktop apps from earlier versions of Windows. They all need to be recompiled for the different instruction set of read more..

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    6 Part I ■ Getting Started with Windows 8 Table 1-1: Windows 8 Edition Matrix FEATURES WINDOWS RT WINDOWS 8 WINDOWS 8 PRO WINDOWS 8 ENTERPRISE Max Processors 11 2 2 Max Cores Unlimited Unlimited Unlimited Unlimited Max Ram 32-Bit Version 4 GB 4 GB 4 GB 4 GB Max Ram 64-Bit Version N/A 128 GB 512 GB 512 GB Max Running Application Unlimited Unlimited read more..

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    Chapter 1 ■ Selecting the Right Edition 7 FEATURES WINDOWS RT WINDOWS 8 WINDOWS 8 PRO WINDOWS 8 ENTERPRISE Start Screen X X X X Touch Support XX X X Windows Defender XX X X Windows Store Apps XX X X Windows Update XX X X HomeGroup Create XX X Internet Connection Sharing XX X Storage Spaces XX X Traditional Desktop Software XX X Windows Media read more..

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    8 Part I ■ Getting Started with Windows 8 FEATURES WINDOWS RT WINDOWS 8 WINDOWS 8 PRO WINDOWS 8 ENTERPRISE BitLocker Drive Encryption X BitLocker To Go X BranchCache X DirectAccess X Enterprise Search Scopes X Bundled Microsoft Office X Device Encryption X $ Upgrade to Win 8 Pro X $ Upgrade to Media read more..

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    Chapter 1 ■ Selecting the Right Edition 9 The Windows 8 Pro P ack allows anyone with a Windows 8 P C to pay a small fee and upgrade to the Windows 8 Pro edition. Simply enter the product key you purchased into the Add Features utility and Windows automatically down- loads the required files over the Internet and installs the upgrade. Your existing read more..

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    10 Part I ■ Getting Started with Windows 8 Summary This chapter clarified Windows RT and the various editions of Windows 8. As I mentioned in the preface, this book covers many features in each edition of Windows 8, some of which are available only in the Enterprise edition. If a specific topic or feature covered in this read more..

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    11 CHAPTER 2 Installing Windows 8 Now that you know about the various editions of Windows 8, you are almost ready to install Windows 8 on y our computer. First, it is important to understand the differences between 32-bit and 64-bit Windows 8 because both versions are provided by Microsoft when you buy a retail box. In this chapter, I show read more..

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    12 Part I ■ Getting Started with Windows 8 32-Bit or 64-Bit? Making its debut in April 2005, the first version of 64-bit Windows was released as Windows XP Professional x64 Edition. Although the 64-bit edition was a true 64-bit operating system (OS), it was plagued by spotty driver support that limited its adoption. This was caused by the read more..

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    Chapter 2 ■ Installing Windows 8 13 Installing from USB The Windows 8 retail versions include installation software on a DVD. That works fine for the majority of users, but it is a big problem for those who own laptops, tablets, or other computers without optical drives. If you don’t have an optical drive on your computer, you need to read more..

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    14 Part I ■ Getting Started with Windows 8 4. Type clean and hit Enter to destroy any partitions, filesystems, and data that may currently be on the device. 5. Now it is time to create the partition. Type create partition primary and hit Enter. 6. For booting it is important to set the partition as active. Type active and hit Enter. 7. As I read more..

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    Chapter 2 ■ Installing Windows 8 15 Figure 2-2: Copying all Windows 8 installation source files Creating the USB Boot Media from a DVD Image Different from a physical DVD, a DVD image or ISO file is what you get when you buy Windows 8 d irectly from Microsoft and digitally download your purchase. You can also get an ISO file for Windows 8 i f read more..

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    16 Part I ■ Getting Started with Windows 8 3. On the Choose Media Type screen, choose USB device. 4. Select your USB device from the list and click Begin Copying, as shown in Figure 2-4. When this completes, you have a fully functional Windows 8 U SB flash drive that you can use to install Windows on j ust about any device much more quickly than read more..

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    Chapter 2 ■ Installing Windows 8 17 Understanding the Install Process You have two primary options for installing any edition of Windows 8 on a P C that already has a version of Windows installed: ■ Upgrading your install ■ Using a clean install The upgrade install has come a long way since the XP days. These days it essentially performs a read more..

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    18 Part I ■ Getting Started with Windows 8 The underlying system has changed. Take the time to reinstall your applica- tions and settings after a clean install. You will be rewarded with a Windows 8 PC that runs at top speed and suffers from far fewer issues over time. Using the Clean Install Process The best way to install Windows 8 i read more..

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    Chapter 2 ■ Installing Windows 8 19 Figure 2-6: Check the Windows 8 Install regional settings. Figure 2-7: Insert the product key. read more..

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    20 Part I ■ Getting Started with Windows 8 5. Click I Accept The License Terms and then click Next. 6. On the next screen you can select either the Upgrade or Custom install. Don’t even think about it; click Custom to perform a clean install as shown in Figure 2-8. Figure 2-8: Choose Custom for a clean install. 7. The last manual step of the read more..

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    Chapter 2 ■ Installing Windows 8 21 Figure 2-9: Select where to install Windows 8. Dual-Booting Windows With virtualization becoming more popular, the need to run multiple operating systems on a physical computer has significantly decreased. Application compat- ibility was the main reason in the past that users installed multiple operating read more..

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    22 Part I ■ Getting Started with Windows 8 is very safe because you don’t need to alter your Windows 7 p artition or install. When you are finished, the Windows 8 d rive will be virtualized into a single file on your Windows 7 p artition and will show up in the boot menu just as if it was installed on raw disk. Creating the read more..

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    Chapter 2 ■ Installing Windows 8 23 Installing Windows 8 to a VHD Proceed to install Windows 8 u sing the clean install process covered earlier, but stop at the screen that asks “Where do you want to install Windows?” as shown in Figure 2-9. Y ou need to attach the VHD file to the installer so that it recognizes it as a valid read more..

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    24 Part I ■ Getting Started with Windows 8 Figure 2-11: You can install Windows 8 to a virtual hard drive. Figure 2-12: Choose between Windows 7 and 8 in the Windows 8 boot menu. read more..

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    Chapter 2 ■ Installing Windows 8 25 Using Windows To Go New to Windows is a feature called the Windows To Go workspace, which is found only in the Enterprise edition of Windows 8. Instead of providing employees a desktop or laptop, let them use their own hardware and provide them with a bootable USB flash drive that contains their read more..

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    26 Part I ■ Getting Started with Windows 8 think of this as a private activation server just for the company, and it works a little differently than the public activation servers run by Microsoft. Instead of validating product keys supplied by the client, it activates anything that communicates with it. The Windows 8 Enterprise c lients read more..

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    Chapter 2 ■ Installing Windows 8 27 Figure 2-13: Create a Windows To Go workspace. Boot up your new USB 3.0 flash drive with the Windows To Go workspace on any PC just as if you were installing Windows. Hit the keyboard combo to bring up the Boot menu on your PC and select Boot To Your USB device. Summary In this read more..

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    29 CHAPTER 3 Windows 8 Basics For the first time since Windows 95, M icrosoft has taken bold steps in overhaul- ing the interface of Windows by creating the new “Metro” de sign style interface. Best described as a full-screen, immersive environment, the new interface is home to the Windows Store a pps and the new tile-based Start screen. This chapter read more..

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    30 Part I ■ Getting Started with Windows 8 Using the Start Screen When you first boot up Windows 8, you see the new Start screen instead of the classic desktop. Replacing the Start menu, the Start screen is where everything begins. Instead of a list of app names and static icons, Microsoft opted for a new tile-based layout called Live read more..

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    Chapter 3 ■ Windows 8 Basics 31 Depending on what you are searching for you may need to change the search scope. Unlike in Windows 7 a nd Vista, in Windows 8 M icrosoft separated the application search from the settings or control panel search. If you are looking for a Windows setting, s uch as display settings, you need to click the Settings read more..

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    32 Part I ■ Getting Started with Windows 8 Figure 3-3: This Start screen view displays apps like the All Programs menu item did in previous versions of Windows. You can bring up the application list view by hitting the following keyboard combination: Windows Key+Q. The next view I call “group view” because it enables you to see all the tile read more..

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    Chapter 3 ■ Windows 8 Basics 33 Figure 3-4: Choose apps from the Start screen group view. Docked in bars that appear on all sides of the screen, the most commonly used charms are the system charms, as shown in Figure 3-5. T he system charms are universal to any application you have open and even exist on the classic desktop. If you have a read more..

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    34 Part I ■ Getting Started with Windows 8 Figure 3-5: System charms display information when you need it. Figure 3-6: The Start screen has Tile Settings charms. read more..

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    Chapter 3 ■ Windows 8 Basics 35 The last type of charm is located on the left side of the screen and helps you switch between apps. Think of this as the taskbar of the new interface. Drag your finger inward from the left side of the screen or place your mouse cursor in the top-left corner of your screen and then move read more..

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    36 Part I ■ Getting Started with Windows 8 Using the Classic Desktop Although the new Metro interface gets most of the attention when talking about Windows 8, the classic desktop also received some minor refinements. Almost all of the changes are cosmetic because the underlying system components are almost identical to Windows 7, j ust optimized. read more..

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    Chapter 3 ■ Windows 8 Basics 37 The Windows taskbar finally received multi-monitor support, which allows users to extend it to all monitors. Users can also customize the behavior of appli- cation icons so that open windows on a single monitor show up on all monitor taskbars or just on the taskbar the window is actually on. Under the covers, read more..

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    38 Part I ■ Getting Started with Windows 8 Summary This chapter covered the basics of what is new in Windows 8 a nd how to use it like a power user. The new interface takes some time to get used to, and in the chapters to come I cover customizing it if you are a fan. If not, I show you how to avoid it as much as read more..

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    39 CHAPTER 4 Safe Tweaking If your computer came with Windows 8 p reinstalled, or you have finished installing Windows 8, you are almost ready to begin tweaking. But first, this chapter talks about the safe way to tweak and customize your computer. Many tweaks, tips, and secrets can create severe problems if you accidentally miss a step. That read more..

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    40 Part I ■ Getting Started with Windows 8 Creating Restore Points You can create Restore Points in Windows in a number of ways. Every time you install new software, Windows automatically creates a new Restore Point. You can also manually create Restore Points in Windows. This chapter starts with the normal way and then shows you how read more..

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    Chapter 4 ■ Safe Tweaking 41 2. Click the Create button near the bottom of the window. 3. On the next screen, type in a name for your Restore Point and click Create. After you click the Create button, the Restore Point immediately begins taking a snapshot of your system. A progress screen displays and notifies you when the snapshot is complete. read more..

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    42 Part I ■ Getting Started with Windows 8 System Recovery Console The System Recovery Console in Windows 8 i s a great feature that enables you to fix your computer if it ever gets stuck in a state in which it will not boot properly. A number of tools are included, such as Automatic Repair, System Restore, Refresh read more..

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    Chapter 4 ■ Safe Tweaking 43 This method works on the majority of Windows 8 i nstallations, but it is depen- dent on the special hidden partition. If something happens to that partition, or Windows 8 i nstalled without creating that partition, you need to access the System Recovery Console with the System Recovery Console Boot CD or read more..

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    44 Part I ■ Getting Started with Windows 8 ■ System Restore—This tool provides another way to restore to a previous Restore Point. If a tweak caused serious Windows problems, you can revert to an earlier Restore Point even if Windows will not load. ■ System Image Recovery—Here you can apply a backup image to your computer to restore everything, including personal read more..

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    Chapter 4 ■ Safe Tweaking 45 Figure 4-3: Run the command prompt as the administrator. 3. When the command prompt loads, run the following command to create a backup of your entire Windows 8 install: wbadmin start backup -allCritical -backupTarget:d: Replace d: with the drive letter where you want your backup to be stored. It can be the drive letter of any drive in read more..

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    46 Part I ■ Getting Started with Windows 8 Figure 4-4: Create a system image. Restoring a System Image In the event you ever need to restore your backup system image, you need to boot up into the System Recovery Console I covered earlier in this chapter. You can do that by pressing the F8 key right after the POST and after read more..

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    Chapter 4 ■ Safe Tweaking 47 network and enter the full UNC path to the backup files. Once your files are found, your backup location shows up on the list just like files on an attached hard drive. 9. Choose the specific system image from all available images on the backup target and click Next. 10. On the Restore Options screen do not check the box read more..

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    48 Part I ■ Getting Started with Windows 8 Figure 4-5: Choose Refresh Your PC to refresh your system files. 4. You may be asked to provide the Windows install DVD or recovery media provided by your manufacturer. When you insert the media, it is automati- cally detected and moves you to the next step if it is the correct media. 5. Click Refresh on the read more..

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    Chapter 4 ■ Safe Tweaking 49 Figure 4-6: Resetting your PC lets you start with a fresh install as though the PC just came from the factory. 4. You may be asked to provide the Windows install DVD or recovery media provided by your manufacturer. When you insert the media, it is automati- cally detected and moves you to the next step if it is the correct media. read more..

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    50 Part I ■ Getting Started with Windows 8 Summary This chapter covered how to tweak your computer safely by protecting it with System Restore. It showed you how you can recover your computer with the System Recovery Console and explained all about creating and restoring a full system image. The chapter ended with a review of read more..

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    Par t II Customizing Windows 8 In This Part Chapter 5: Customizing the Startup Chapter 6: Customizing User Navigation Chapter 7: Personalizing the Desktop Chapter 8: Customizing the Appearance of the Windows Interface Chapter 9: Fine-Tuning File Explorer Chapter 10: Personalizing Internet Explorer Chapter 11: Customizing Windows Media read more..

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    53 CHAPTER 5 Customizing the Startup Windows 8 h as a great new look, but after a while, the new look can get old. With the help of some cool tools and tricks, you can customize many compo- nents of Windows 8. This chapter guides you through customizing the lock screen. You can customize this screen in several ways. For example, you can read more..

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    54 Part II ■ Customizing Windows 8 like us who want to customize the logon screen; you can no longer just hack a system file and replace some resources in it. The days of customizing every single element on the logon screen are over until someone writes an application that extends the logon screen or someone releases a patch that read more..

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    Chapter 5 ■ Customizing the Startup 55 The process of changing a user’s image is simple. Just perform the following steps to change it in no time: 1. Open the Start screen and click your user picture, as shown in Figure 5-2. Figure 5-2: Click your user picture to access your account settings. 2. Click Change Account Picture. 3. Click the read more..

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    56 Part II ■ Customizing Windows 8 Maybe you have a secret user account that you don’t want anyone to see. With the help of a simple registry tweak, it is possible to hide any account on the lock screen so no one will know it exists. Hidden away in the registry is the feature that Microsoft read more..

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    Chapter 5 ■ Customizing the Startup 57 After you log off, the user will no longer be displayed on the lock screen. If you want to hide all accounts and just have User Name and Password boxes, the next section is for you. If you opt for that method, you can hide all accounts and still log on to read more..

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    58 Part II ■ Customizing Windows 8 Using the policy is easy. To enable it, follow these steps: 1. Open the Start screen, type secpol.msc, and press Enter. 2. When the Local Security Policy editor loads, navigate through Local Policies and then Security Options. 3. Locate the Interactive Logon: Do Not Display Last User Name policy. Right-click read more..

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    Chapter 5 ■ Customizing the Startup 59 Desktop key and select New and then String Value. Name the new entry ScreenSaveTimeOut. Then, set the value to the number of seconds you want to wait before the screensaver starts by right-clicking the new value and selecting Modify. I like to set mine to 300 seconds for 5 minutes. 5. Now you need to set the screensaver read more..

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    60 Part II ■ Customizing Windows 8 Figure 5-5: You can display a security message on your Windows 8 lock screen. Enabling Num Lock by Default If you have a password that has both numbers and letters and you frequently use the number pad to enter part of your password, this hack is for you. I can- not count the number of times read more..

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    Chapter 5 ■ Customizing the Startup 61 3. Locate the InitialKeyboardIndicators entry, right-click it, and select Modify. To enable Num Lock, enter 2 into the box. If you want to disable it, enter 2147483648, which is the system default value. 4. Click OK to save the changes. That’s it! If you are on a laptop and you attempted to enable Num read more..

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    62 Part II ■ Customizing Windows 8 Figure 5-6: Configure the lock screen image path. 6. Click OK. 7. Close the Local Group Policy Editor and log out to view the new default lock screen. Customizing the User Lock Screen The user lock screen is what most users of Windows 8 s ee on a daily basis. By default, Windows 8 a utomatically logs in read more..

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    Chapter 5 ■ Customizing the Startup 63 4. Click a new image from the default options or click Browse and select a custom image. Your new lock screen is active immediately. Tweaking Default Color Scheme If you are tired of the default color scheme on the logon and logoff screens you can change it just like you can change the rest of read more..

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    64 Part II ■ Customizing Windows 8 Customize Lock Screen Apps The new lock screen displays a picture but has the capability to do much more. In fact, many popular Windows Store a pps can display information on the lock screen. Notification of new messages or the current weather conditions are some of the neat options you have. As the read more..

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    Chapter 5 ■ Customizing the Startup 65 Your picture password has now been set up. Hit Windows Key+L t o lock your computer to test it out. Enable PIN Logon If a picture password is not for you, the PIN logon most likely is. I use this as the logon method on all my devices because it is quick and easy. Instead of typing in read more..

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    66 Part II ■ Customizing Windows 8 Boot To Desktop One of the more controversial changes in Windows 8 i s the behavior after you log in. Instead of viewing the desktop, users are shown the new Start screen. If you want to view the desktop you must select the Desktop tile. Microsoft is trying hard to promote the new windowless read more..

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    67 CHAPTER 6 Customizing User Navigation Customizing user navigation is the next stop on the Windows 8 customizing road trip. In the previous chapter, with the help of some cool tweaks, you were able to change and improve the logon experience. This chapter picks up where Chapter 5 left off and shows you how to customize and improve read more..

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    68 Part II ■ Customizing Windows 8 Customizing the Start Screen Completely revamped for Windows 8, the Start screen enables you to search your programs and jump directly to various components of Windows. Additionally, you can launch commands much as you could in the traditional Run box by just typing them in. After you finish read more..

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    Chapter 6 ■ Customizing User Navigation 69 Figure 6-1: Select your Start screen background image. Background Customization with Utilities If you are not happy with the images and colors Microsoft included in Windows 8, you must use third-party utilities for more options. The following are two utili- ties that I have used with Windows 8 t o customize the read more..

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    70 Part II ■ Customizing Windows 8 Figure 6-2: Stardock Decor8 offers this customization screen. Select one of the background images or click Select File to use your own. Click the Colors option on the left menu to select from the standard Windows color schemes or create your own. Windows 8 Start Screen Customizer The Windows 8 S read more..

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    Chapter 6 ■ Customizing User Navigation 71 Figure 6-3: Windows 8 offers a Start Screen Customizer. Working with Live Tiles Tiles make up all the content on the new Start screen in Windows 8. Knowing how to customize them will help you personalize your Windows 8 experience. Over time as you install more and more apps, the Start screen can become read more..

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    72 Part II ■ Customizing Windows 8 Figure 6-4: Pin an application to your Start screen. Removing tiles is even easier. Simply right-click a tile on your Start screen and select Unpin From Start. Moving Tiles Customizing the location of the tiles is one thing that Microsoft made easy in Windows 8. With a mouse, just click and hold a read more..

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    Chapter 6 ■ Customizing User Navigation 73 Figure 6-5: Use the new group indicator to add tiles to a group. Figure 6-6: Enter the zoomed-out group view. read more..

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    74 Part II ■ Customizing Windows 8 You can name groups, which makes finding the app tile you want much easier and makes the entire Start screen look much more organized. Naming a group requires the Start screen to be in the zoomed-out group view. You can enter that view by clicking the minus button in the lower-right corner of read more..

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    Chapter 6 ■ Customizing User Navigation 75 Your new custom tile appears at the far right of your Start screen. Drag it to where you want it and you are finished. Third-Party Apps I recommend two third-party tile creating apps that enable you to create more customized tiles. Instead of just picking an icon to display on read more..

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    76 Part II ■ Customizing Windows 8 ■ Windows Firewall ■ Windows Memory Diagnostic ■ Windows PowerShell (x86) ■ Windows PowerShell ISE ■ Windows PowerShell ISE (x86) After the tiles are added you have the option of manually hiding any specific tile using the instructions covered earlier. To get started displaying the administrative tools on your Start read more..

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    Chapter 6 ■ Customizing User Navigation 77 Restoring the Classic Start Menu The classic Start menu has been completely ripped out of Windows 8. Microsoft wanted to make sure the Start screen was the only native option users had, and it accomplished that goal. The verdict is still out on the new Start screen, but one thing is very apparent: lots read more..

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    78 Part II ■ Customizing Windows 8 Stardock Start8 Start8 by Stardock is a polished Start menu replacement that has all the features you expect from a traditional Start menu with a refined modern look, as shown in Figure 6-9. Customizable in a manner similar to Classic Shell, it lets users pick which options are shown and even read more..

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    Chapter 6 ■ Customizing User Navigation 79 and pin applications so they remain on the taskbar even when it is closed. The first thing you will notice is the absence of labels by default on program list- ings. That creates a very clean look and allows Windows to cram a lot of open applications in a small amount of read more..

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    80 Part II ■ Customizing Windows 8 Modifying Icon Locations The taskbar in Windows 8 w as designed with you in mind. For the first time you can determine the location of each program—even the location of programs you open yourself or that are currently open. Moving your programs is simple: just left-click and hold any icon and drag read more..

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    Chapter 6 ■ Customizing User Navigation 81 Adjusting the Recent List All applications that participate in the Windows MRU ( most recently used) list automatically have a recent items component on their Jump List. Microsoft Word shows recent documents; Internet Explorer shows recent websites; and Microsoft Paint shows recently opened pictures on read more..

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    82 Part II ■ Customizing Windows 8 Enable Classic Taskbar Look and Behavior The Windows 8 t askbar has a clean appearance with just the icons of opened and pinned applications grouped together by program. Microsoft realized that not all users would like the new look and grouping, so it built in the capabil- ity to turn labels back read more..

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    Chapter 6 ■ Customizing User Navigation 83 Figure 6-14: Choose the size of your taskbar icons. You enable small icons in the Taskbar properties: 1. Right-click the taskbar and select Properties. 2. On the Taskbar tab, check Use Small Taskbar Buttons. 3. Click OK or Apply to see the result. Tweaking Taskbar Preview Delay Taskbar previews have been improved read more..

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    84 Part II ■ Customizing Windows 8 Although the Quick Launch bar was removed in Windows 8, Microsoft left the capability to add more toolbars on the taskbar as in previous versions of Windows. You can exploit the toolbar feature to create a new toolbar pointing to the old Quick Launch location. Follow these steps to read more..

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    Chapter 6 ■ Customizing User Navigation 85 can resize it by left-clicking and holding on to the gripper bar on the left of the toolbar. Then, just drag left or right to resize. If you want to move it back to where it normally is, on the far left of the taskbar, right-click the gripper bar on the left of the normal taskbar and drag it right. That read more..

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    86 Part II ■ Customizing Windows 8 Customizing the Notification Area Over the years the notification area, previously known as the system tray, has become more and more cluttered. It seems as though just about every applica- tion you install wants to create a notification area icon when it is running. In Windows 8, Microsoft decided enough is read more..

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    Chapter 6 ■ Customizing User Navigation 87 3. For each system icon, toggle the drop-down list to turn each item on or off. 4. Click OK when you are finished. Restoring the Start Button The removal of the Start button was one the boldest changes to Windows in years. After training users that is where you click to start any application for more read more..

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    88 Part II ■ Customizing Windows 8 Figure 6-17: Create this Start screen Application list view. Figure 6-18: Use this Start screen group view. read more..

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    Chapter 6 ■ Customizing User Navigation 89 Using Group Policy Editor to Customize the Start Screen and Taskbar The Group Policy Editor is a great component of Windows that enables y ou to make dozens of advanced setting changes that are hidden from normal users. The Group Policy Editor works by enabling you to define various rules, called the read more..

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    90 Part II ■ Customizing Windows 8 5. On the policy screen, select the option to turn on the policy or set the policy value, and then click OK, as shown in Figure 6-19. 6. Exit the policy editor and log off and back on. Some policy changes may require a reboot. Figure 6-19: Configure a policy in the Group Policy Editor. Now that you know read more..

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    Chapter 6 ■ Customizing User Navigation 91 Table 6-1: Group Policy Settings to Configure the Start Screen and Taskbar POLICY DESCRIPTION Lock the taskbar Controls the locking state of the taskbar. A locked taskbar does not allow any changes to be made to it. Add “Run in Separate Memory Space” checkbox to Run dialog box Adds an read more..

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    92 Part II ■ Customizing Windows 8 POLICY DESCRIPTION Prevent users from rearranging toolbars Locks in the position of your toolbars (similar to locking the taskbar). Turn off all balloon notifications Disables pop-up help. Remove pinned programs from the taskbar Disables and removes pinned applications on the taskbar. Prevent users from read more..

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    93 CHAPTER 7 Personalizing the Desktop This chapter demonstrates cool tricks and tools to make your desktop look and work much better so that you can also benefit from a customized desktop. I show you how to remove icons, customize the size of icons, and replace icons on your desktop. Then I show you how you can read more..

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    94 Part II ■ Customizing Windows 8 Removing All Icons from the Desktop No matter how hard I try, I always end up with a lot of junk on my desktop. There is never an end to the war I fight with my desktop to keep it clutter-free—this is evident from the programs I download, documents that I am too read more..

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    Chapter 7 ■ Personalizing the Desktop 95 Figure 7-1: Turn the Drop Shadow effect on or off for icons on the desktop. Displaying Windows System and User Icons on the Desktop In Windows 8, only one icon, the Recycle Bin, is on the desktop by default. Microsoft is trying to keep the number of icons on the desktop to a minimum for a cleaner read more..

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    96 Part II ■ Customizing Windows 8 1. Right-click the desktop and click Personalize. 2. Click Change Desktop Icons on the left menu. 3. In the Desktop Icon Settings window, check the boxes next to the icons you want to display, as shown in Figure 7-2. 4. Click OK when you are finished. You will see the icons on your desktop immediately after you read more..

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    Chapter 7 ■ Personalizing the Desktop 97 large now? Well, everything seems to be bigger in Windows 8, but thankfully, as with other new features, it is very easy to adjust the size of the desktop icons. You now have a choice between three different standard icon sizes on the desktop. Figure 7-3 shows t he three icon sizes: small (classic), read more..

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    98 Part II ■ Customizing Windows 8 Figure 7-4: Create very large icons with the mouse scroll wheel trick. Renaming the Recycle Bin To give my desktop a personalized touch, I like to rename my Recycle Bin to something different. In previous versions of Windows, this was possible only through editing the registry. In Windows 8, it read more..

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    Chapter 7 ■ Personalizing the Desktop 99 I created a green arrow that I like to use as my shortcut icon overlay. You can grab it from the Windows 8 T weaks website at . Use the following steps to change the icon shortcut overlay: 1. Open the Start screen, type regedit, and then press Enter to start Registry Editor. 2. read more..

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    100 Part II ■ Customizing Windows 8 To get started, you first need to find some great-looking replacement icons. Check out my favorite websites and download icons for your desktop: ■ InterfaceLIFT— ■ VistaIcons— ■ IconArchive— ■ IconFinder— Alternatively, you can use the library of read more..

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    Chapter 7 ■ Personalizing the Desktop 101 To get started, head over to to get a free evaluation copy. After it is installed, follow these steps to customize your system icons: 1. After you have installed Microangelo On Display, right-click any system icon, such as the hard drive icon in Computer, and click Appearance. This read more..

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    102 Part II ■ Customizing Windows 8 Customizing the Desktop Background The desktop is a pretty simple part of Windows. Normally you can’t do much to customize it besides changing the wallpaper. This section shows you how you can go further by utilizing some new wallpaper features in Windows 8—such as automatic wallpaper changing read more..

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    Chapter 7 ■ Personalizing the Desktop 103 Figure 7-8: Personalize your desktop background. For Windows 8 y ou have to turn to third-party utilities to provide the same functionality. I have found a popular utility called Rainmeter to be the perfect replacement for the Windows Sidebar gadgets, and, in fact, it is much more powerful than the read more..

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    104 Part II ■ Customizing Windows 8 Figure 7-9: Use this default Rainmeter skin layout to learn about customization options. Some objects have more than one view setting. You can right-click an object and navigate the Variants menu to switch among them. You can also tweak the other settings on the right-click Settings menu option. The illustro read more..

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    Chapter 7 ■ Personalizing the Desktop 105 Figure 7-10: The Rainmeter icon displays in the notification area. Downloading More Skins Rainmeter has thousands of custom skins and layout sets that will help you dramatically customize the look of your desktop. The default illustro skin has a nice look, but you are not taking full advantage of read more..

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    106 Part II ■ Customizing Windows 8 Figure 7-11: The Omnimo 5.0 skin for Rainmeter has a clean uncluttered appearance. Summary Throughout this chapter you have learned how to customize the icons on your desktop in many different ways to make the desktop much more personalized. I have even walked you through the steps of adding Rainmeter skins read more..

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    107 CHAPTER 8 Customizing the Appearance of the Windows Interface In the past few chapters, you customized various parts of the operating sys- tem, starting with the logon screen. After customizing the Start screen and the taskbar, you spent some time customizing the desktop, too. This chapter shows you how to customize what the entire user interface read more..

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    108 Part II ■ Customizing Windows 8 Why are themes still important to talk about even though they have been around so long? Because they provide a unique way to save all your computer’s visual settings and audio settings so that you can easily change all of them simultaneously. Additionally, Microsoft implemented some new secret read more..

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    Chapter 8 ■ Customizing the Appearance of the Windows Interface 109 After you select the theme, the new theme is automatically applied. This process may take a few seconds if you select a theme with a different visual style such as Windows Classic or Windows 8 Basic. Now that you know how to change a theme, it’s time to make read more..

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    110 Part II ■ Customizing Windows 8 4. When you have an event selected, the Sounds drop-down list becomes enabled, and you can select the sound clip that you want to use. You can select (None) from the top of the list if you do not want to use a sound for a specific pro- gram event. If you cannot find a sound that you like on the list, read more..

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    Chapter 8 ■ Customizing the Appearance of the Windows Interface 111 addition, Windows 8 i ncludes special large mouse cursors so that the cursors will be easier on the eyes. To get your cursors set perfectly for your theme file, follow these steps: 1. Open the Start screen, type main.cpl, and press Enter to open Mouse Properties. 2. Click the read more..

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    112 Part II ■ Customizing Windows 8 Configuring Interface Color Settings On Windows 8 y ou can also customize the color and intensity of the interface. These settings are also saved in your theme file, so it is a good idea to custom- ize them as well. Just follow these steps to customize the user interface colors: 1. read more..

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    Chapter 8 ■ Customizing the Appearance of the Windows Interface 113 a nice fade effect. You enable this feature on the normal change-background screen. Follow these steps to change the background image on your computer and enable a background slideshow: 1. Right-click the desktop and click Personalize. 2. Click Desktop Background on the bottom of the read more..

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    114 Part II ■ Customizing Windows 8 from a website that adheres to the RSS enclosures standard and includes images as enclosures in the feed. You can identify compatible feeds by looking for the enclosure tag in the source of the feed for each <item> . For example, look for <enclosure url=“http://” read more..

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    Chapter 8 ■ Customizing the Appearance of the Windows Interface 115 8. Navigate to the new file you saved, right-click, and select Open With and then Personalization CPL. This loads the file with the theme browser on the Personalization screen. 9. If your edits were successful, you should get an Apply Theme message asking you to Subscribe to RSS Feed. Click read more..

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    116 Part II ■ Customizing Windows 8 make the desktop interface more touch friendly is to make the most common elements you interact with on the desktop larger. Supersize the Interface The best method to increase the size of the interface in Windows 8 i s to increase the size of the fonts. That will make all of the touch targets read more..

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    Chapter 8 ■ Customizing the Appearance of the Windows Interface 117 Enable Large Icons Application or file icons are a very common touch target, so making them larger and easier to hit will go a long way toward improving the user experience. Enlarging them requires just a few clicks, but is slightly different depending on where the icons read more..

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    118 Part II ■ Customizing Windows 8 WindowBlinds, to customize the look of your computer. This will help you take customization to the next level. Using Hacked Visual Styles Windows 8 u ses an enhanced skinning engine based off the engine found in Windows XP to display the non-glass interface as well as the new glass DWM interface. read more..

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    Chapter 8 ■ Customizing the Appearance of the Windows Interface 119 have a few visual styles downloaded, you are ready to configure your computer to use them: 1. Visit and download the latest version of UxStyle for Windows 8. 2. After you have the utility installed, it is best to reboot your computer and then check your list of read more..

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    120 Part II ■ Customizing Windows 8 From the list of available skins, you can install a skin by clicking the Download link. It should automatically start to download. When the skin has finished downloading, WindowBlinds automatically loads it and prompts you by ask- ing whether you want to apply it. After the skin has been read more..

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    121 CHAPTER 9 Fine-Tuning File Explorer You can customize many of the components and features of the updated File Explorer to make your Windows experience even better. This chapter shows you how you can customize Explorer and how to take advantage of some of the lesser-known features. It begins by showing you how you can customize the layout of read more..

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    122 Part II ■ Customizing Windows 8 Customizing Panes The panes on the Explorer window are located on all sides of the window. Figure 9-1 shows a typical Explorer window with all panes visible. Figure 9-1: Windows Explorer’s panes are all visible. As shown in Figure 9-1, t he Navigation pane is on the left, and Preview is on the right. Each read more..

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    Chapter 9 ■ Fine-Tuning File Explorer 123 Adding and Removing Favorite Links You can manage your Favorite Links section in two different ways. The easiest is simply to drag and drop folders and save searches onto the Favorites section to add them to the list. You can then remove items by right-clicking them in the list and selecting Remove. read more..

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    124 Part II ■ Customizing Windows 8 The Details pane has proven to be a valuable source of information that can really help you tag and rate your personal documents, images, and music. Without the Details pane, setting all these values would be much more difficult. Now that you know what the Details pane offers, you can read more..

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    Chapter 9 ■ Fine-Tuning File Explorer 125 Adjusting Scope Every time you perform a search, the results are based on the scope, the fold- ers, and types of files in which the search software looks. Depending on the scope settings you have enabled, the results of your search can be drastically different. These next two settings help you fine-tune read more..

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    126 Part II ■ Customizing Windows 8 4. The Search tab has two separate sections. In the How To Search section, you can choose from two different settings: Find Partial Matches and an option to disable searching from the index. The two settings here that you really want to pay attention to are the sub- folder search and natural language search options. The read more..

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    Chapter 9 ■ Fine-Tuning File Explorer 127 4. Modify the file types that the indexer indexes. You can do this back on the Indexing Options window. This time, click the Advanced button and then click the File Types tab. 5. Scroll through the list of file extensions and select the file type that you would like to modify. Then, check the box and pick how the read more..

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    128 Part II ■ Customizing Windows 8 Because the indexing service runs only when the computer is idle, it may take up to a few hours before your new files, folders, and file types are added to the index and show up in the search results. Customizing the Ribbon The ribbon interface in File Explorer provides a new way to navigate read more..

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    Chapter 9 ■ Fine-Tuning File Explorer 129 You can access all of these options by clicking the down arrow to the right of the quick access toolbar on the title bar of any open File Explorer window. Then, check the item you want to display by selecting it. Modifying File Associations Every time you click a file, Windows checks the registry read more..

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    130 Part II ■ Customizing Windows 8 Your changes to file launch apps are activated immediately after you click Close to save your changes. Now you know how to fix your file associations when apps attempt to hijack them. Figure 9-4: Change your file associations. Customizing the Context Menu What is the context menu? It’s the read more..

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    Chapter 9 ■ Fine-Tuning File Explorer 131 Removing Items from the Context Menu Over time, your context menus can become cluttered with program entries from old programs that you may not use anymore. You might experience programs that take over all your context menus. Compression apps such as WinZip, WinRAR, or Picozip always end up adding program read more..

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    132 Part II ■ Customizing Windows 8 Figure 9-5: WinRAR’s context menu entry in the registry is clearly labeled. Modifying the Send To Menu The Send To menu is one of the features of my context menus that I use the most. The ability to right-click any file and have a shortcut of it sent to the desktop is invaluable. How read more..

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    Chapter 9 ■ Fine-Tuning File Explorer 133 Perhaps you want to add your Digital Photos folder to your Send To menu. Navigate to your Digital Photos folder, right-click it, and then select Send To Desktop. This creates a shortcut to the folder and saves it on your desktop. Next, cut and paste the shortcut that was created from your desktop into the SendTo folder. read more..

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    134 Part II ■ Customizing Windows 8 This specifies which folder will actually hold files if you copied and pasted files into your library. 6. Click OK and your library is ready for use. Figure 9-6: Create a library. If you want to delete a library, just right-click it and select Delete. Customizing Your Folders You can easily change the icon read more..

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    Chapter 9 ■ Fine-Tuning File Explorer 135 Changing a Folder Icon and Picture Changing the icon that is displayed for a folder is one of the easiest ways to customize the way a folder looks and make it stand out from the rest. This sec- tion shows you how to change the way your files and folders look as you browse through them by read more..

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    136 Part II ■ Customizing Windows 8 You can customize the template that any folder uses so that you can take advantage of the features in Windows 8’s F ile Explorer. You do this by using the Customize tab in folder properties. Follow these steps to specify the template that should be used for a folder: 1. Navigate to the folder read more..

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    Chapter 9 ■ Fine-Tuning File Explorer 137 You have now customized the template of the folder and are ready to cus- tomize the view. Customizing the Folder View Now that you have a specific template selected for your folder, you have a more advanced feature list to work with so that you can display a lot of useful information about the read more..

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    138 Part II ■ Customizing Windows 8 Content view first appeared in Windows 7 a nd arranges the folders and files in one long column, but with two rows for each file that display additional file and folder information, as shown in Figure 9-9. Figure 9-9: In the Content view, your files and folders appear in a long list. Details view read more..

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    Chapter 9 ■ Fine-Tuning File Explorer 139 3. Most likely, there will be some columns that you just don’t need. To remove these columns from Details view, just right-click the column heading and select the item again to uncheck it. This instantly removes the column from the view. 4. The last part of customizing the view is to set the order of the read more..

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    140 Part II ■ Customizing Windows 8 Applying Your Settings to All Folders When you first use Windows 8, all the folders are configured the way Microsoft wanted them. Personally, I don’t always like Microsoft’s decisions and prefer to customize them so they are the way I want and then apply that new folder setting to all the folders on my read more..

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    Chapter 9 ■ Fine-Tuning File Explorer 141 4. Under the Advanced Settings section, scroll down the list until you see the entries for Hidden Files And Folders. Click Show Hidden Files, Folders, And Drives, as shown in Figure 9-11. TIP While you are in the Folder Options Advanced settings list of settings, I rec- ommend disabling the Hide Extensions read more..

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    142 Part II ■ Customizing Windows 8 Revealing the Super Hidden Files Microsoft has added many features to Windows to protect the critical files of the operating system. The super hidden files feature allows Windows to protect itself even further by hiding some of its most critical files from users. If users can’t get to read more..

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    143 CHAPTER 10 Personalizing Internet Explorer Aside from the performance improvements that benefit everyone, Microsoft also tweaked the interface, and improved tabs and security in Internet Explorer 10. In this chapter, I show you how to customize these features and many more so you can get the most out of Internet Explorer 10. Customizing Search The read more..

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    144 Part II ■ Customizing Windows 8 following steps to find out how to add the major search engines through the Microsoft search site so that you have more choices aside from Microsoft’s Bing: 1. Open the desktop version of Internet Explorer if it is not already open. 2. Browse to . 3. When you find a provider you want to read more..

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    Chapter 10 ■ Personalizing Internet Explorer 145 Managing Your Configured Search Engines After you have all the search engines added to Internet Explorer, over time you might want to remove some or adjust the default search engine that IE uses. To do so, go to the advanced search settings found in Internet Options. Follow read more..

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    146 Part II ■ Customizing Windows 8 Figure 10-2: Paste the URL for the search results page in the Search Provider Creator. If everything worked properly, the site you added displays as a new option in the Internet Explorer Search Provider list. Creating Registry Files to Import Sites to Search Another way to add sites to search in Internet read more..

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    Chapter 10 ■ Personalizing Internet Explorer 147 Tweaking the Tabs Tabbed browsing has been improved in Internet Explorer to make it easier to identify and group related tabs together. This section shows you how to get the most out of tabs in Internet Explorer. Specifically, I show you how to use keyboard shortcuts and multitab read more..

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    148 Part II ■ Customizing Windows 8 Figure 10-3: Use the Quick Tabs view in Internet Explorer 10. Multitab Homepages From older versions of Internet Explorer, you are familiar with the concept of having a homepage—a website that is displayed when the web browser is loaded. In Windows 8, that classic browser feature has been mixed in read more..

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    Chapter 10 ■ Personalizing Internet Explorer 149 Figure 10-4: You can set multiple homepages for Internet Explorer in Internet Options. Customizing Tabs Now that you have customized your homepages, you learn to fine-tune the tab settings to make them work the way you work. Back in Internet Options, you can change the way the tabs behave. You can read more..

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    150 Part II ■ Customizing Windows 8 Table 10-2: Internet Explorer 10 Tab Settings SETTING FUNCTION Enable Tabbed Browsing Enables support for tabbed browsing. Disable to remove tab support. Warn Me When Closing Multiple Tabs Displays a confirmation box when closing IE with multiple tabs open. I like to have this one read more..

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    Chapter 10 ■ Personalizing Internet Explorer 151 The following settings require a complete PC restart before they are active: ■ Show previews for individual tabs in the taskbar ■ Enable Quick Tabs ■ Enable Tab Groups Fun with RSS In recent years, Really Simple Syndication (RSS) has been taking over the Internet. It is not uncommon to read more..

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    152 Part II ■ Customizing Windows 8 Figure 10-5: Subscribe to an RSS feed with Internet Explorer. You have now successfully subscribed to an RSS feed in Internet Explorer. Now that you have the feed set up in IE, you are ready to configure the RSS reader gadget that is part of the Desktop Gadgets. Customizing Feed Settings Now that read more..

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    Chapter 10 ■ Personalizing Internet Explorer 153 Using Add-ons in Internet Explorer Internet Explorer has a lot of new features, but is still behind in some of the features that other third-party web browsers offer. For one, Internet Explorer still does not have a spell checker built in to the application. Every time I post a message in read more..

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    154 Part II ■ Customizing Windows 8 After you have RoboForm installed, restart IE, and the new toolbar appears. To get started using it, go to a website that you normally sign in to and fill out the fields. When you click the Submit or Login button, you are given the option to save the logon information. The next time you read more..

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    Chapter 10 ■ Personalizing Internet Explorer 155 ■ Translate the selected text. ■ Get the weather for a selected address or ZIP code. Figure 10-6: Use IE10 accelerators to map an address. Adding an accelerator to your computer is similar to adding more search engines to your Search box in Internet Explorer 10. Just follow these steps: read more..

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    156 Part II ■ Customizing Windows 8 Figure 10-7: Pinned Sites display the taskbar Jump List. Pinning a website is simple; just drag the website icon in the address bar down to the taskbar. You will know you have the right website if you see the Drag To Taskbar To Pin Site icon when you hover over it. Not all websites take read more..

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    157 CHAPTER 11 Customizing Windows Media This chapter shows you how to customize your experience by taking advantage of some of the Windows Media features and fine-tuning how they work. To get started, you use some great new audio enhancements to tweak how all types of media sound on your computer. Adjusting Your Audio Experience The audio system read more..

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    158 Part II ■ Customizing Windows 8 3. Click Sound. 4. The Sound Properties screen loads. Click the Speakers playback device and click Properties. 5. After the Speakers Properties window loads, click the Enhancements tab. All the enhancement effects are displayed, as shown in Figure 11-1. 6. Simply check the enhancement that you would like to enable. When read more..

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    Chapter 11 ■ Customizing Windows Media 159 Experiment with what is best for your speakers, but I don’t recommend setting it higher than 6 dB with most speakers. Otherwise, you might notice a loss of high notes in your sound. Figure 11-2: Windows 8 offers Bass Boost. Virtual Surround Virtual Surround enables you to output surround read more..

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    160 Part II ■ Customizing Windows 8 Using Room Correction is simple. While on the Enhancements tab, check the option to enable it, click the Settings button, and follow these steps: 1. When the Room Calibration Wizard has loaded, click the Next button on the opening screen. 2. Select the microphone input you would like to use for the test. read more..

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    Chapter 11 ■ Customizing Windows Media 161 After the Calibration Wizard is finished, the Room Correction enhancement setup is finished and becomes active immediately. Loudness Equalization Many different sources of audio exist on your computer and among all these sources, the volume can vary drastically. Even within the sources, the vol- ume can read more..

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    162 Part II ■ Customizing Windows 8 and streamlined interface. The next two sections show you how to adjust the navigation and how the information is displayed. Adjusting Navigation Navigation in Windows Media P layer 12 was updated to provide a cleaner and easier-to-use interface. The list on the left side can be fully customized to your liking. read more..

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    Chapter 11 ■ Customizing Windows Media 163 Adjusting Views After you have the layout of the panels set up the way you want, you can also modify the way the information is displayed in the main pane that lists your media. By default, the Icon view is activated. This is a basic view that shows the album cover, title, read more..

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    164 Part II ■ Customizing Windows 8 it up on just one and then share that music library. Then, on any of my computers also running Windows Media P layer, the library is automatically discovered and I can connect to it and listen to my music no matter what device I am on. You have two different ways to share your music read more..

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    Chapter 11 ■ Customizing Windows Media 165 Sharing Your Library over the Internet New to Windows 8 i s the ability to access your library at home over the Internet. Known as Internet Home Media Access, it is very helpful when you want to listen to a song or play a video clip from your home library when away from read more..

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    166 Part II ■ Customizing Windows 8 Figure 11-8: Click OK on the Internet Home Media Access confirmation screen. Using Audio Effects Windows Media P layer has a long history of supporting various third-party audio and video plug-in effects, as well as a collection of built-in effects and features that are often hidden to the normal user. In read more..

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    Chapter 11 ■ Customizing Windows Media 167 Figure 11-9: Switch to Now Playing mode in Windows Media Player to find the audio effects. Crossfading and Auto Volume Leveling Ever wish that Windows Media P layer would gradually fade out of one song and into the next as other popular media players do? Windows Media P layer has had this feature for quite some read more..

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    168 Part II ■ Customizing Windows 8 Graphic Equalizer The graphic equalizer enables you to play around with the levels of different frequencies to help you make the song or video sound perfect on your specific speaker setup. Different types of music often require unique levels of values on the equalizer. Experiment with the different read more..

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    Chapter 11 ■ Customizing Windows Media 169 customizing the operation, followed by cool Media Center add-ons that will enhance your experience. Installing Windows Media Center Windows Media C enter is more difficult to install on Windows 8 t han in previ- ous editions of Windows. First, you must have Windows 8 Pro edition. No other edition, including read more..

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    170 Part II ■ Customizing Windows 8 Turning Your PC into a DVR So now you have Windows 8 w ith Media Center, but no TV tuner card installed. You are missing out on the main Media Center experience. With the help of this section and an inexpensive TV tuner card, I show you how to turn your PC into a fully functional read more..

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    Chapter 11 ■ Customizing Windows Media 171 connected to the card. Follow these steps to get your Windows Media C enter up and running: 1. Open the Start screen, type Media Center, and then press Enter. 2. If you are prompted with a setup wizard, select the Express option. You are going to configure your card a different way. After you are on the read more..

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    172 Part II ■ Customizing Windows 8 9. After the TV signal detection has completed, Windows Media Center presents a list of its findings. On my PC it said it detected Digital Cable (ClearQAM) and Analog Cable. If your results are correct, click Yes, Configure TV With These Results. Otherwise, click No, Let Me Configure My TV Signal Manually and specify read more..

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    Chapter 11 ■ Customizing Windows Media 173 Figure 11-11: Go directly to sports scores in Windows Media Center. ■ Start Windows Media Center and Go Directly to Photos: %SystemRoot%\ehome\ ehshell.exe /homepage:photos.xml ■ Start Windows Media Center and Go Directly to Radio: %SystemRoot%\ehome\ ehshell.exe /homepage:radio.xml ■ Start Windows Media Center and Go Directly to Movies: %SystemRoot%\ehome\ ehshell.exe read more..

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    174 Part II ■ Customizing Windows 8 2. Navigate through HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\ CurrentVersion\Media Center\Service\Recording . 3. Right-click RecordPath and select Modify. 4. Enter the full path followed by a backslash (\), as shown in Figure 11-12, and then click OK. Reboot for the settings to take effect. The next time you record a show, the read more..

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    Chapter 11 ■ Customizing Windows Media 175 4. Select the Recorded TV media library and click Next. 5. Select Add Folders To The Library and click Next. 6. Select Let Me Manually Add A Shared Folder and click Next. 7. Type in the shared folder path, such as \\Server123\SharedFolder , and also a username and password that has access to the shared folder. read more..

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    176 Part II ■ Customizing Windows 8 showed you how easy it is to add a TV tuner to your computer and turn it into a full-blown DVR that you can customize in many ways. This is the last chapter of the second part of Windows 8 Tweaks. In the next part, I change the topic a bit—to increasing the performance read more..

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    Par t III Increasing Your System’s Performance In This Part Chapter 12: Analyzing Your System Chapter 13: Speeding Up the System Boot Chapter 14: Speeding Up the Logon Process Chapter 15: Speeding Up Windows Explorer Chapter 16: Optimizing Core Windows Components Chapter 17: Optimizing Your Network read more..

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    179 CHAPTER 12 Analyzing Your System Have you ever wondered how fast your computer is? Sure, you may have an Intel 2.6 GHz dual core in your box, but the CPU is not the only factor in deter- mining the speed of your computer. The true speed is defined by the combined speed of all your hardware, such as the read and write read more..

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    180 Part III ■ Increasing Your System’s Performance engine is performing. If you are driving home and you notice that the tempera- ture gauge is maxed out and the instrument panel is flashing with all sorts of warning icons, you know your car is not performing at its best. Monitoring your system, for example, reveals whether you read more..

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    Chapter 12 ■ Analyzing Your System 181 Figure 12-1: The Resource Monitor Overview screen shows you system stats. Figure 12-2: The detailed CPU section provides more information. read more..

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    182 Part III ■ Increasing Your System’s Performance Your current CPU usage and a maximum usage rate are at the top of the bar. The list of processes is below that, sorted by average CPU usage. Unlike the active process list in Task Manager, this list shows you only the average usage rate. This is very helpful read more..

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    Chapter 12 ■ Analyzing Your System 183 Figure 12-3: The detailed Memory section shows you how much of your memory is in use. A useful chart at the bottom of the Memory section shows how your physi- cal RAM is allocated. The chart includes hardware reserved, in use, modified, standby, and free. Using the Detailed Disk Section The detailed Disk read more..

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    184 Part III ■ Increasing Your System’s Performance Figure 12-4: The detailed Disk section displays information about the speed of various processes. Using the Detailed Network Section The detailed Network section shows which processes on your system are using the network, as shown in Figure 12-5. The Network Activity bar shows you the current network speed read more..

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    Chapter 12 ■ Analyzing Your System 185 Figure 12-5: The detailed Network section provides information about networks in use. NOTE With the detailed Network overview, it is easy to find out if your net- work connection has a high utilization rate by looking at the header bar. Keep in mind that the network card in your computer read more..

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    186 Part III ■ Increasing Your System’s Performance Similar to other system monitoring tools, the Performance Monitor is provided to help you detect problems and improve your system performance. Open the Start screen, type in perfmon.msc, and hit Enter. When the Performance Monitor loads, select Performance Monitor under Monitoring read more..

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    Chapter 12 ■ Analyzing Your System 187 arrow to see the individual counters available for the selected subject. Because some of the counter names are vague, you can turn on the bottom description pane to find out more details about a specific counter by checking the Show Description box in the lower-left corner of the window. Say that you read more..

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    188 Part III ■ Increasing Your System’s Performance You see the Terminal Services Active Sessions and Total Sessions counters listed on the graph, in addition to the CPU Utilization performance counter. However, the line graph makes it hard to read these performance counters. The next section shows you how to customize the performance counter read more..

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    Chapter 12 ■ Analyzing Your System 189 To make everyone happy, there is also a Report viewing method, which sim- ply lists the counter numbers in text, as shown in Figure 12-9. You can activate this viewing method by choosing Select Report from the View drop-down list. Figure 12-8: Performance Monitor’s Histogram bar view is also hard read more..

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    190 Part III ■ Increasing Your System’s Performance Setting the Update Interval Now that you have all your performance counters set up and displaying data, you need to select the interval time of how often the data will be updated. How often the counters should be updated depends on your reasons for monitoring your hardware. For example, read more..

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    Chapter 12 ■ Analyzing Your System 191 the page file should be. As a rule, if the page file % Usage is more than 95 percent or if the Usage Peak is near 100 percent, consider increasing the size of the page file if you have set the size manually. ■ Memory: Available MBytes and Paging File, % Usage—These two per- formance counters help you decide read more..

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    192 Part III ■ Increasing Your System’s Performance Figure 12-10: Reliability Monitor offers a reliability chart and report. You can select any of the icons on the System Stability Chart to move the scope of the System Stability Report to a specific time period. This is very useful because it enables you to see what happened the same read more..

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    Chapter 12 ■ Analyzing Your System 193 my driver fiasco, I had an index of 4.711. As you can see, your reliability rating can drop very quickly if you have multiple major errors, such as a blue screen. When you notice that your System Stability Index goes down, you are going to want to know why, so that you can fix read more..

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    194 Part III ■ Increasing Your System’s Performance provides an aggregated view of all your events. This groups them together from all your system logs and also gives you time-period stats on the different types of events. Expand the different event types, such as Critical, Error, and Warning, to see a more detailed view of read more..

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    Chapter 12 ■ Analyzing Your System 195 Figure 12-11: Select an event in Windows 8’s Event Viewer. Creating your own custom view is easier than manually navigating through all the different log sources, and custom views are more flexible than the Event Logs Summary screen. Follow these steps to create your own custom view: 1. With read more..

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    196 Part III ■ Increasing Your System’s Performance 8. The last few settings are used less frequently. Here you can also specify the Task Category, Keywords for the event, and a specific computer user the event occurred with. 9. After finalizing the settings, click OK. 10. The Save Filter To Custom View screen pops up. Type a Name and click OK. read more..

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    Chapter 12 ■ Analyzing Your System 197 Analyzing Blue Screens You can use a number of methods to analyze a memory crash dump file rang- ing from incredibly easy to insanely complex. Microsoft Support typically uses the Windows debugging t ool call Windbg to analyze crash dumps. Windbg is a very powerful utility, but it is not exactly easy read more..

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    198 Part III ■ Increasing Your System’s Performance Click More Details to view the full version of Task Manager. Tabs list processes, CPU performance, Windows Store a pp history, startup applications, active users, process details, and services. As you can tell, the new Task Manager in Windows 8 i ncludes a significant amount of read more..

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    Chapter 12 ■ Analyzing Your System 199 Figure 12-12: Windows Task Manager’s offers detailed performance information. Configuring Task Manager to Display CPU Utilization When Windows Task Manager is started, a small histogram detailing the CPU utilization displays in the system tray. This little feature can be very useful if you always like to keep an read more..

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    200 Part III ■ Increasing Your System’s Performance 3. When the New Shortcut Wizard loads, type taskmgr.exe in the text box asking for the location of the file, and then click Next. 4. Type a name for the shortcut and click Finish. 5. The startup folder displays again with a new icon for Task Manager. To start Task Manager minimized, right-click read more..

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    Chapter 12 ■ Analyzing Your System 201 3-D video card, for example, there is software for that. If you are interested in benchmarking your hard disk speeds, there is special software for that task as well. Next, I go over three popular benchmarking applications. I start with the built-in Windows Experience I ndex. Windows Experience Index Microsoft read more..

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    202 Part III ■ Increasing Your System’s Performance Using and Understanding Your Windows Experience Index Your computer’s overall score is useful for determining how your hardware compares to other configurations. However, the main purpose of the rating is to determine how well Windows 8 w ill run on your specific hardware configura- read more..

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    Chapter 12 ■ Analyzing Your System 203 The user interface of PCMark 7 is very simple and easy to use. Simply click the Run Benchmark button to start the tests. The free version includes only basic tests that simulate various computer usages to come up with your overall score. The basic system tests include the read more..

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    204 Part III ■ Increasing Your System’s Performance Summary This chapter offered an introduction to the world of performance monitoring and benchmarking. Before you can make your computer faster, it is very helpful to know what your computer doesn’t perform well with. This chapter showed you how to discover bottlenecks using read more..

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    205 CHAPTER 13 Speeding Up the System Boot With the exception of Windows Vista, the boot speed has improved with every version of Windows. With modern hardware and the right configuration, your Windows 8 P C can boot up within seconds. This chapter shows you some tips and tweaks you can use to improve the boot performance further. It read more..

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    206 Part III ■ Increasing Your System’s Performance The BIOS also acts as a main hardware component control panel, where low- level settings for all your hardware devices are made. The device boot order, port addresses, and feature settings such as plug and play are all located in the BIOS setup screens. For example, if you want to read more..

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    Chapter 13 ■ Speeding Up the System Boot 207 3. Select Boot Sequence, and press Enter. Figure 13-1 shows an example of the Boot Sequence Setup screen. Figure 13-1: The Boot Sequence Setup screen shows what boots up first. 4. If your screen looks similar to Figure 13-1, you are in the right place. Navigate to First Device and cycle through the list to Hard Disk Drive read more..

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    208 Part III ■ Increasing Your System’s Performance an unpleasant surprise when your computer reboots and tells you that it cannot find any operating system. If you happen to get that message, don’t worry; you did not just erase your operating system. Just reboot by pressing Ctrl+Alt+Delete at the same time, go back into the read more..

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    Chapter 13 ■ Speeding Up the System Boot 209 Figure 13-2: The BIOS Setup screen displays the Quick Boot feature. 3. Use the Change Value keys to cycle through the options and select Enable for the Quick Boot feature or Disable if your system’s BIOS has the Memory Check feature. 4. After you have made the change to the setting, exit the system BIOS by read more..

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    210 Part III ■ Increasing Your System’s Performance Modifying the Operating System Boot You can use several different tricks to shave a few more seconds off the boot time. For example, you can reduce Timeout values and slim down the system to get rid of all the extra features and services that you do not use or need. Check out the read more..

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    Chapter 13 ■ Speeding Up the System Boot 211 I recommend you use between 2 and 5. I use 2 because that gives me just the right amount of time to hit a key on my keyboard when the Windows Boot Manager is displayed on the screen. 4. After the value has been updated, click OK to exit. Now that the Timeout value has been updated, the boot menu read more..

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    212 Part III ■ Increasing Your System’s Performance You can the set default operating system using the System Configuration util- ity or the command-line Boot Configuration Editor, bcdedit.exe. Follow these steps to use the System Configuration utility: 1. Open the Start screen, type msconfig, and hit Enter. 2. Click the Boot tab. 3. Select the read more..

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    Chapter 13 ■ Speeding Up the System Boot 213 USING EASYBCD TO EDIT THE WINDOWS BOOT MANAGER EasyBCD is a cool and easy-to-use front end to the Boot Configuration Editor. Instead of using the command-line interface, you can use this free utility by NeoSmart Technologies. With EasyBCD, you can change the Timeout value, default selection, read more..

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    214 Part III ■ Increasing Your System’s Performance This performance improvement works on a simple principle. It takes time for the computer to do anything. Taking away some work the hardware has to do, such as loading the boot screen, frees up time that it can spend loading your system files instead. The process for disabling read more..

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    Chapter 13 ■ Speeding Up the System Boot 215 Disabling Unneeded Hardware Devices One of the most time-consuming portions of the boot is loading all the hardware drivers for your specific system setup. Every driver for each installed hardware device must be loaded and then initialized by the operating system while the system is starting up. Keep read more..

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    216 Part III ■ Increasing Your System’s Performance Figure 13-6: You can re-enable hardware previously disabled with Device Manager. Which Hardware Devices Should I Disable? Each person uses (or doesn’t use) devices differently depending on the system setup. Nonetheless, some classes of devices are more commonly disabled than others. Knowing which read more..

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    Chapter 13 ■ Speeding Up the System Boot 217 ■ TPM security chips—Does your computer have a Trusted Platform Module (TPM)? These chips are typically used as a secure place to store an encryption key that would be used for something such as hard drive encryption. If you are not using any of these advanced security features of Windows 8, disable these devices, too. read more..

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    218 Part III ■ Increasing Your System’s Performance Table 13-1: Commonly Used Windows Fonts FONT NAME REASON Segoe The variations of this font can be found in elements of the Windows interface. Calibri Common font used in Microsoft Office applications and documents. Verdana This font is often used on web pages and applications. Arial read more..

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    Chapter 13 ■ Speeding Up the System Boot 219 4. Without closing the new folder you just opened, Open the Start screen again and then run File Explorer. Navigate to the Local Disk (C:) drive again and to the Windows folder, and then to the Fonts folder. 5. Now that you have both the Fonts folder and your backup folder open, arrange the two windows on your screen read more..

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    220 Part III ■ Increasing Your System’s Performance Disabling Unneeded Services A service is a software application that runs continuously in the background while your computer is on. The Windows operating system h as numerous services that run in the background that provide basic functions to the system. Network connectivity, visual support, read more..

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    Chapter 13 ■ Speeding Up the System Boot 221 NAME USE Base Filtering Engine Provides support for the firewall, IPsec, and filter- ing. I recommend keeping this service running. BitLocker Drive Encryption Service Provides critical support for BitLocker drive encryption. Only disable if you are not using BitLocker. Block Level Backup Engine Service Used by read more..

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    222 Part III ■ Increasing Your System’s Performance NAME USE DCOM Server Process Launcher Starts DCOM processes. Several other system- critical services use this service to start, so I do not recommend disabling. Device Association Service Provides the functionality to pair with various wired and wireless devices. I recommend leaving this read more..

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    Chapter 13 ■ Speeding Up the System Boot 223 NAME USE Extensible Authentication Protocol Provides authentication support to the Wired AutoConfig and WLAN AutoConfig services. Unless you use all manual network configura- tions, leave this service enabled. Family Safety Windows Parental Control functionality from Windows Vista. If you never used those features, read more..

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    224 Part III ■ Increasing Your System’s Performance NAME USE Internet Connection Sharing (ICS) When started, this service allows you to share your Internet connection among other computers with Network Address Translation (NAT). IP Helper Provides Internet Protocol version 6 (IPv6) con- nectivity over an IPv4 network. Disable this service if read more..

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    Chapter 13 ■ Speeding Up the System Boot 225 NAME USE Net.Tcp Port Sharing Service Allows the sharing of TCP ports when the net.tcp protocol is being used. Netlogon Responsible for the connection between the domain controller and your computer if your com- puter is on a domain. Disable this service if your computer is not on a read more..

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    226 Part III ■ Increasing Your System’s Performance NAME USE Peer Networking Grouping Provides peer-to-peer networking services. Depends on Peer Name Resolution Protocol Service. Can be disabled. Peer Networking Identity Manager Provides peer-to-peer identification services for application and Windows peer-to-peer applica- tions. This service read more..

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    Chapter 13 ■ Speeding Up the System Boot 227 NAME USE Quality Windows Audio Video Experience Provides support for audio and video streaming over home networks with traffic prioritization. This service runs only when it is needed by an application. Remote Access Auto Connection Manager Automates the creation of connections when applications read more..

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    228 Part III ■ Increasing Your System’s Performance NAME USE Security Accounts Manager Acts as a database of account information that is used for authentication and validation. This is a system-critical service that should not be disabled. Security Center Monitors all of your security applications such as antivirus and malware protection. read more..

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    Chapter 13 ■ Speeding Up the System Boot 229 NAME USE Superfetch Provides caching of application information to speed up application loading. You can disable this service, but its benefits outweigh the initial per- formance decrease of loading the service. System Event Notification Service Monitors system events and reports back to other COM read more..

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    230 Part III ■ Increasing Your System’s Performance NAME USE Virtual Disk Responsible for managing your drives and file systems. Do not disable this service; it is required for many operating system requests. In addition, it does not run when it is not needed. Volume Shadow Copy Provides support for Shadow Copy hard drive data read more..

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    Chapter 13 ■ Speeding Up the System Boot 231 NAME USE Windows Error Reporting Service When things go bad, this service lets you check with Microsoft to see whether it has a solution for you and to notify Microsoft of what is happening to your computer. Don’t feel like notifying Microsoft about your error messages? You can safely read more..

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    232 Part III ■ Increasing Your System’s Performance NAME USE Windows Media Player Network Sharing Enables you to share your music collection with other computers running Windows Media Player. This service requires the UPnP Device Host ser- vice to be running to function. Windows Modules Installer Allows Windows components and security updates read more..

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    Chapter 13 ■ Speeding Up the System Boot 233 NAME USE WMI Performance Adapter A helper service for the Windows Management Instrumentation service that runs only when requested. Workstation Provides support for creating network con- nections using the SMB network protocol (a.k.a. Lanman). Disabling this service disables Windows File Sharing. WWAN AutoConfig Manages read more..

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    234 Part III ■ Increasing Your System’s Performance 3. When the service is stopped, right-click the service again and select Properties. On the General tab, look for the Startup Type drop-down box. Click the arrow on the drop-down box and select Disabled. 4. Click OK. From now on, the system will not start the service during boot, which should speed read more..

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    Chapter 13 ■ Speeding Up the System Boot 235 ■ Background Intelligent Transfer ■ Base Filtering Engine ■ Bluetooth Support ■ DHCP Client ■ Diagnostic Policy Service ■ Diagnostic System Host ■ Distributed Link Tracking Client ■ Function Discovery Provider Host ■ Function Discovery Resource Publication ■ Group Policy Client ■ HomeGroup Listener ■ read more..

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    236 Part III ■ Increasing Your System’s Performance ■ Windows Defender ■ Windows Error Reporting Service ■ Windows Firewall ■ Windows Management Instrumentation ■ Windows Search ■ Workstation Recommended Service Configuration The bare-bones system service setup is great for optimal performance, but you are eliminating a lot of the helpful features that make read more..

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    Chapter 13 ■ Speeding Up the System Boot 237 For example, I installed Windows 8 t o an SSD drive that has very fast read speed. The result is a Windows 8 boot that takes just a few seconds. If you don’t own an SSD, I highly recommend getting one because the cost has come down significantly. I cover selecting an SSD drive and read more..

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    239 CHAPTER 14 Speeding Up the Logon Process Ever wonder why it takes your computer so long to start up after you log on? After all, the system already loaded the majority of the operating system com- ponents. Does your computer take longer to load after you sign on than it used to take when you first brought it home? These read more..

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    240 Part III ■ Increasing Your System’s Performance Speeding Up the Logon As I just mentioned, a lot occurs when you log on to your computer. Windows has to validate your password, load your profile settings, apply the settings, and then launch any additional applications that are registered to start automatically. Those read more..

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    Chapter 14 ■ Speeding Up the Logon Process 241 4. Right-click the AutoAdminLogon entry and click Modify. Set the Value to 1, as shown in Figure 14-1. Then click OK to save the new value. CAUTION Automatic logon can be a great feature, but it can also create a secu- rity problem for your computer. If you use your computer for business, if you have read more..

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    242 Part III ■ Increasing Your System’s Performance After you reboot your computer, Windows 8 s hould automatically sign on to your account. Your computer should now get to the desktop more quickly than before. If you ever want to disable automatic logon, go back into Registry Editor and set the AutoAdminLogon entry read more..

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    Chapter 14 ■ Speeding Up the Logon Process 243 Using Task Manager to Identify and Disable Unneeded Startup Applications The enhanced Task Manager utility included in Windows 8 i s very easy to use. Additionally, it shows you which applications have a big impact on your system startup. First, you need to get a list of all the applications and read more..

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    244 Part III ■ Increasing Your System’s Performance It’s easy to remove the automatic startup applications. When you have Task Manager open, navigate to the Startup tab and follow these steps: 1. Locate the item you would like to disable from starting up. 2. Right-click it and click Disable. After you remove some of the automatic startup read more..

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    Chapter 14 ■ Speeding Up the Logon Process 245 The auto-start applications display, similar to Task Manager. Identifying an unneeded service is even easier in Autoruns because of the right-click search feature. Right-click any entry and select Search Online. This opens your web browser automatically and searches Google for the process name. Simply selecting the entry also read more..

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    246 Part III ■ Increasing Your System’s Performance on my PC. After installing the programs Winamp, iTunes, RealPlayer, and Windows Media P layer, I noticed that they would fight for my music file associa- tions (that is, which application would open the file). Every time I ran RealPlayer, it changed all my music files over to be read more..

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    Chapter 14 ■ Speeding Up the Logon Process 247 Figure 14-4: Registry Editor shows the auto-start programs for all users. 3. To remove a startup program, right-click the name and select Delete. Alternatively, to add a new entry, right-click the white space and select New and then String Value. Right-click your new entry and select Modify so that you can edit it read more..

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    248 Part III ■ Increasing Your System’s Performance Other Time-Saving Tips The preceding sections covered the largest contributors to a slow logon, but a few other tips can save you additional time. These tips do not save a lot of time individually, but when you apply them in combination, they can really add up. Furthermore, if you are read more..

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    Chapter 14 ■ Speeding Up the Logon Process 249 The next stop on your performance makeover is speeding up Windows Explorer. I go over a few cool ways to speed up the most popular program in Windows: the shell. Figure 14-5: Change sounds that play on startup in the Audio Devices and Sound Themes screen. read more..

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    251 CHAPTER 15 Speeding Up Windows Explorer Now that you have optimized the boot startup and your logon, it makes sense to speed up the most-used application in Windows 8: Explorer. Windows Explorer is responsible for almost the entire GUI with which you normally interact in Windows 8. The Start menu, taskbar, and file exploring windows are all part read more..

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    252 Part III ■ Increasing Your System’s Performance How can you do this? Because the processes of browsing, reading, and writ- ing files all interact with the filesystem. Using various tweaks and utilities, it is possible to optimize the speed of the filesystem. Before you go any further, be aware that the following speed tips for the read more..

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    Chapter 15 ■ Speeding Up Windows Explorer 253 allowing their older applications to continue to work. However, that mentality often results in performance reductions caused by code that has to be tweaked to allow for new functionality while preserving existing functionality. The legacy filename creation is a perfect example of this read more..

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    254 Part III ■ Increasing Your System’s Performance You can apply that basic Symantec approach to any situation in which you receive errors when installing applications. Just enable the 8.3-standard file- name compatibility support during the install, and then disable it again after the install is complete. Now that you are aware of the read more..

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    Chapter 15 ■ Speeding Up Windows Explorer 255 Figure 15-2: Disable legacy filename creation with the filesystem utility. Disabling the File Access Timestamp Every time you or an application accesses a file on your computer, the filesystem records the date and time and stores the timestamp in two locations. Simply accessing a file requires the system to read more..

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    256 Part III ■ Increasing Your System’s Performance timestamp to determine which files to back up when performing a sequential backup operation (a backup operation that copies only the files that have newer timestamps since the last backup date). Check with your backup application’s website to find out if it will read more..

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    Chapter 15 ■ Speeding Up Windows Explorer 257 allocated to NTFS on your computer. This will increase the performance of high disk read operations if you have enough free RAM in your PC. Follow these steps to increase the memory available to the filesystem: 1. Open the Start screen and type Command Prompt. 2. Command Prompt read more..

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    258 Part III ■ Increasing Your System’s Performance Adjusting Animations You can adjust the visual effects of Windows 8 v ery easily, enabling you to fine- tune the performance of Windows Explorer to work well with your hardware configuration. You can make these adjustments using the Windows Performance Options settings. Open the Start screen, read more..

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    Chapter 15 ■ Speeding Up Windows Explorer 259 Select the Custom option so that you have total control over which settings to enable and disable. Now you can pick the individual settings that work best for your hardware. Take a look at the following list of visual effects settings: ■ Animate Controls And Elements Inside Windows—This read more..

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    260 Part III ■ Increasing Your System’s Performance ■ Fade Or Slide Menus Into View—This effect allows the menus that pop up throughout the system to fade in. You will experience this when you navigate through a menu bar or when you right-click something. This effect does not affect the performance of the system. Some users who have older computers read more..

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    Chapter 15 ■ Speeding Up Windows Explorer 261 Figure 15-6: Selection rectangle comparison. A translucent selection rectangle appears on top. ■ Slide Open Combo Boxes—This effect has no noticeable effect on performance. ■ Smooth Edges Of Screen Fonts—This feature depends more on your video card and monitor than your system. Use of any type of font smoothing read more..

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    262 Part III ■ Increasing Your System’s Performance service, Windows Search can quickly search through a file index that is con- tinuously updated by the indexing service running in the background. For a search in Windows to be successful, there needs to be a good balance between the amount of time it takes to get results and the read more..

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    Chapter 15 ■ Speeding Up Windows Explorer 263 The indexing service enables you to search through the Start screen and find all files, documents, and images that match the search term in both the filename and within the document. If the file indexed is a common file format such as a Microsoft Word document, most likely there is a reader read more..

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    264 Part III ■ Increasing Your System’s Performance 3. Click Modify followed by Show All Locations. This is where you can fine-tune where the indexing service looks. You can even navigate between locations while on the Modify screen by using the summary list at the bottom of the window. 4. Navigate through the list of drives and folders and uncheck any read more..

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    Chapter 15 ■ Speeding Up Windows Explorer 265 3. When the service is stopped, make sure that it does not start again. Right- click the service again and select Properties. 4. Locate the Startup Type drop-down box and change the startup type from Automatic to Disabled. 5. Click OK to close the window. You have now successfully disabled the indexing service read more..

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    267 CHAPTER 16 Optimizing Core Windows Components You can think of the core Windows components as the steel structure of a sky- scraper. This basic structure of the building provides support for all the other components. Likewise, the many levels of Windows 8 s upport each other, and the lowest level interacts directly with the hardware. This chapter read more..

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    268 Part III ■ Increasing Your System’s Performance showing you how to disable components and services that you do not need to use. This helps, but on some computers it is not enough. According to Microsoft, the minimum amount of RAM required to run the basic version of Windows 8 i s 1 GB for 32-bit and 2 GB for 64-bit. read more..

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    Chapter 16 ■ Optimizing Core Windows Components 269 DIMM size of DDR memory called a SODIMM. You can usually go to the website of your computer manufacturer, type in your model number, and find the exact type of memory that will work with your hardware. Alternatively, use Kingston’s Memory Search tool at http://tweaks .com/633323 to find the kind of memory you read more..

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    270 Part III ■ Increasing Your System’s Performance Figure 16-1: Open your computer to find the RAM expansion slots. 5. Putting a new stick of RAM in is just as easy. While the plastic clips are open (pushed away from the sides of the slot), align the chip the correct way so it fits in the slot properly and gently push down. As the stick of RAM read more..

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    Chapter 16 ■ Optimizing Core Windows Components 271 Setting up Windows 8 t o use your USB drive to increase performance is very easy. To get started, you need a 256 MB or larger USB 2.0 flash drive. Then fol- low these steps: 1. Plug your USB drive into one of your available USB ports. 2. After your computer recognizes the new device read more..

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    272 Part III ■ Increasing Your System’s Performance Figure 16-3: Use Windows ReadyBoost to increase performance. After you set up Windows ReadyBoost on one of your USB devices, you can dis- able it at any time. Disable it by selecting Don’t Use This Device on the ReadyBoost tab you worked with earlier. After you enable read more..

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    Chapter 16 ■ Optimizing Core Windows Components 273 Tweaking the Paging File The Windows paging file, also known as the swap file or virtual memory, is very important to the operation of Windows. The operating system uses the paging file as a place to store data that was once in physical memory but was kicked out because Windows needed read more..

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    274 Part III ■ Increasing Your System’s Performance So, now that you know the concerns, you are ready to follow these steps to disable the paging file: 1. Open the Start screen, type in sysdm.cpl, and hit Enter. 2. When System Properties loads, click the Advanced tab, as shown in Figure 16-4. 3. Under the Performance section, click read more..

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    Chapter 16 ■ Optimizing Core Windows Components 275 Figure 16-5: Set the No Paging File option in Windows 8. 7. After you have gone through the list and verified that you no longer have any paging files configured on your drives, click OK to exit. Your paging file is disabled after a reboot. Feel free to delete the pagefile .sys file from your read more..

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    276 Part III ■ Increasing Your System’s Performance Adjusting the Size of the Paging File The size of the paging file can be set automatically by the system or you can set it. In some situations, letting the system manage the paging file is a good idea, but in others, it is better to manage the paging file yourself. The biggest read more..

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    Chapter 16 ■ Optimizing Core Windows Components 277 Figure 16-6: Virtual Memory settings show the recommended paging file size. 5. This brings up all the page file settings. Modify the custom values so that the initial and maximum sizes are the same. To do this, you first need to enable the option to set a custom size, so select the Custom Size option. 6. read more..

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    278 Part III ■ Increasing Your System’s Performance CAUTION The method that I use to calculate the size of the constant paging file is a very conservative and effective approach. However, if you feel you need more free disk space, play around with the calculation—multiply the recommended amount by only 1.75 read more..

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    Chapter 16 ■ Optimizing Core Windows Components 279 an external hard drive is often slower than a hard drive connected inside your case). However, if you have multiple hard drives in your system, and I am not talking about multiple partitions on the same drive, you may see a performance increase if you move your paging read more..

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    280 Part III ■ Increasing Your System’s Performance Often the file is broken up into hundreds of little pieces and scattered all over the hard drive. This can cause a noticeable slowdown that can be easily cured by running a software program known as a defragmenter. Disk defragmenting software moves bits of the files around on read more..

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    Chapter 16 ■ Optimizing Core Windows Components 281 Figure 16-8: Use Windows defrag utility to speed up your computer. Using Third-Party Defrag Utilities A number of third-party defrag utilities offer advanced features that may do a better job than Microsoft’s utility. If you have a traditional mechanical hard drive, third-party utilities may offer you read more..

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    282 Part III ■ Increasing Your System’s Performance PerfectDisk also includes special boot defrag features that will run before Windows is loaded so critical system files such as the page file and the master file table can be defragmented. If you have not already done so, visit to download and install the read more..

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    Chapter 16 ■ Optimizing Core Windows Components 283 Using Diskeeper 12 Diskeeper is another popular defrag utility that has a proprietary algorithm to optimize the location of files on your disk. Home and professional versions are available, with the professional version offering an improved file optimization feature called I-FAAST and a read more..

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    284 Part III ■ Increasing Your System’s Performance ■ 4 K random Queue Depth 32 read and write—Similar to the other random tests, although this benchmark uses enhanced features of newer drives such as NCQ and the AHCI protocol that provide a queue that can help performance. I ran the test on a traditional hard drive, an entry-level SSD, and a read more..

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    Chapter 16 ■ Optimizing Core Windows Components 285 A new type of NAND memory was introduced called multi-level cell or MLC NAND where two bits are stored in each cell. This allows MLC NAND chips to offer higher capacities and lower costs compared to SLC NAND chips. Today, all consumer SSDs use multi-level cell chips and even enterprise read more..

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    286 Part III ■ Increasing Your System’s Performance Unless you like to waste money, don’t buy a SATA Rev 3.0 drive if your com- puter has a SATA Rev 2.0 interface. It will technically still work, but you will never see the performance you paid extra for unless you upgrade your PC. It is kind of like buying an expensive read more..

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    Chapter 16 ■ Optimizing Core Windows Components 287 Before you can get started there are a few items that you will need to clone your drive: ■ PC without EFI or UEFI ■ Solid state disk ■ External USB hard drive enclosure for your old hard drive ■ EaseUS Disk Copy Home Editon (Free) Once you have the required items, follow read more..

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    288 Part III ■ Increasing Your System’s Performance Figure 16-10: Clone your old hard drive to the SSD. Adjusting Your Application Priorities Since the introduction of the multitasking processor, operating systems have been able to run multiple programs at once using the new task switching and segmentation features provided by the CPU. read more..

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    Chapter 16 ■ Optimizing Core Windows Components 289 at normal priority, which is right in the middle of the priority spectrum. You can run applications and assign six different priority levels, ranked from highest to lowest: Realtime, High, Above Normal, Normal, Below Normal, and Low. Because the CPU can do only one thing at a time, the read more..

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    290 Part III ■ Increasing Your System’s Performance Figure 16-11: Use Task Manager to adjust application priorities. TIP If your computer has multiple processors or cores, or supports hyper- threading, you will notice an extra option called Set Affinity when you right-click a process. This option enables you to specify on which read more..

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    Chapter 16 ■ Optimizing Core Windows Components 291 Starting Applications with a User Set Priority A wonderful command built into Windows enables y ou to start any program and specify its priority. This cool utility is called the Start command. Using the Start command with priority flags followed by the executable enables you to start any program at a read more..

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    293 CHAPTER 17 Optimizing Your Network Your browser and network subsystem play a major role in the use of your computer. People are spending more and more time using their web browsers and the Internet, making the web browser the most-used application on many users’ computers. Now that you have optimized almost every major compo- nent of the read more..

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    294 Part III ■ Increasing Your System’s Performance time, all the browser developers started cheating and increased the connection limit because they realized how big of an impact that had on performance. The following tweaks show you how to improve the performance of your browser by increasing the connection limit further and also using other read more..

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    Chapter 17 ■ Optimizing Your Network 295 4. Type MaxConnectionsPerServer as the name of the new DWORD value. 5. Right-click this value and select Modify. 6. Set the base to Decimal and enter a value greater than 6, as shown in Figure 17-2. I like to use 15 as my value here. Click OK when you are done. Figure 17-2: Set a value for read more..

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    296 Part III ■ Increasing Your System’s Performance Figure 17-3: View the performance impact of the add-ons you use. For a performance boost, simply disable add-ons that affect your performance by following these steps: 1. Open Internet Explorer, click the gear in the top right of the window, and click Manage Add-ons. 2. Click Toolbars And read more..

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    Chapter 17 ■ Optimizing Your Network 297 4. Type network.http in the Search box and hit Enter. 5. Scroll down the list and locate network.http.max-persistent- connections-per-server , as shown in Figure 17-4. Figure 17-4: Modify the configuration of Firefox. 6. Right-click this setting and click Modify. Enter a higher value, such as 15, and click OK. 7. Enable read more..

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    298 Part III ■ Increasing Your System’s Performance 12. Finally, locate network.http.max-persistent-connections-per-server and click Modify. I set this value to 15. 13. Close and restart Firefox to activate your new optimized settings. Speeding Up Chrome Google’s Chrome browser has become very popular, overtaking Internet Explorer in market share according to read more..

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    Chapter 17 ■ Optimizing Your Network 299 To get the best performance out of Chrome, I suggest you enable the follow- ing features by clicking Enable: ■ GPU Compositing On All Pages ■ Threaded Compositioning ■ GPU Accelerated SVG Filters ■ HTTP Pipelining After you have enabled the features, restart Chrome to activate them. Accelerating Your Downloads read more..

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    300 Part III ■ Increasing Your System’s Performance Table 17-1: Popular Download Accelerators APPLICATION NAME URL PRICE GetRight $19.95 for basic version Free Download Manager Free FlashGet Classic Free Download Accelerator Plus Free; ad supported Using the Free Download Manager to read more..

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    Chapter 17 ■ Optimizing Your Network 301 Open a copy of Internet Explorer and browse to a website from which you frequently download a lot of files. Free Download Manager integrates with your web browser so that when you click a file to download, it automatically takes over. Follow these steps to download files with the Free Download read more..

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    302 Part III ■ Increasing Your System’s Performance Your file download begins. When the Free Download Manager is open and your file is downloading, click the Progress tab to see a graphical view of what parts of the file have already been downloaded. Speeding Up Your Network Connection The speed of your network connection does not depend read more..

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    Chapter 17 ■ Optimizing Your Network 303 3. Type netsh interface tcp set global autotuninglevel=<level> and hit Enter. Replace <level> with either highlyrestricted, restricted, normal, or disable. For example, a complete command would look like netsh interface tcp set global autotuninglevel=disable . I find it best to experiment with all the different levels to read more..

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    304 Part III ■ Increasing Your System’s Performance This brings up a list of the protocols that are installed and active on your adapter (see Figure 17-8). The protocols that are installed but are not active are indicated by the absence of a check in the box. Figure 17-8: The Network adapter protocol list lets you see which protocols are running on your computer. read more..

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    Chapter 17 ■ Optimizing Your Network 305 Table 17-2: Windows 8 Networking Protocols PROTOCOL NAME FUNCTION Client for Microsoft Networks Used to access other shared resources on your local network running the File and Printer Sharing for Microsoft Networks protocol. QOS Packet Scheduler Used to provide traffic management on your network for applications read more..

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    306 Part III ■ Increasing Your System’s Performance I went over how to speed up your web browser and download files faster. Then, I showed you how to optimize the system components that you need to browse the web and the network. The next part of Windows 8 Tweaks covers securing your computer. Windows 8 has a lot of read more..

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    Par t IV Securing Windows In This Part Chapter 18: Windows Security Chapter 19: Internet Security Chapter 20: Protecting Your Privacy read more..

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    309 CHAPTER 18 Windows Security Security is one of the most important issues in the Windows computer w orld. Over the years, as Windows gained popularity and as it became the dominant operating system on the market, it became the primary target for hackers and other individuals who want to compromise your system. Additionally, you use your read more..

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    310 Part IV ■ Securing Windows Actively Protecting Your Computer The days when running an antivirus program on your computer was enough to protect it are long over. Now you need to play an active role in the process of protecting your computer. The types of threats are changing very quickly. Currently, the most effective way to read more..

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    Chapter 18 ■ Windows Security 311 ■ TrendMicro’s Threat Encyclopedia—This is a security website that helps you find out about the latest viruses, malware, and vulnerabilities for Windows 8 and popular applications that run on it. Visit http://tweaks .com/927691 to get the latest news. ■ US-CERT—This is the federally funded Computer Emergency Readiness Team website, which provides read more..

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    312 Part IV ■ Securing Windows Figure 18-1: Enable Microsoft Update to keep your computer secure. Windows is now up to date and will remain up to date when Microsoft releases new security patches for Windows 8. Figure 18-2: Select Windows and Microsoft app updates for installation. read more..

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    Chapter 18 ■ Windows Security 313 Secunia Personal Software Inspector (PSI) Secunia Personal Software Inspector, also known as Secunia PSI, is a unique and powerful tool that is like Microsoft Update but for applications by all vendors. It scans the contents for any known program with a vulnerability that can be exploited and informs read more..

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    314 Part IV ■ Securing Windows Figure 18-3: Secunia PSI shows that this is a secure computer. Figure 18-4: Secunia PSI shows what is vulnerable on this computer. read more..

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    Chapter 18 ■ Windows Security 315 Active Security Tips One of the easiest ways to break into a computer to install malware or steal data is by exploiting the human factor. Attackers take advantage of the fact that we don’t usually read the fine print for an application that you download or are just click-happy and click Yes on any read more..

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    316 Part IV ■ Securing Windows Watch Out for the Internet Explorer Plug-Ins You Install Internet Explorer plug-ins are notorious for bundling all sorts of extra junk along with the application, especially those by websites that offer some free application. There is usually a reason why the application is free. Companies are in business read more..

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    Chapter 18 ■ Windows Security 317 complex passwords that will be hard for anyone to guess and hack with brute force techniques. Controlling Your Computer Accounts Your computer’s physical security, as well as online security, depends on how easy it is to access your accounts. This book shows you many ways that you can read more..

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    318 Part IV ■ Securing Windows Figure 18-6: Windows 8’s secure desktop offers you a safe way to change user passwords. The password for the account has now been changed. Assigning a Password and Renaming the Guest Account One of the default accounts set up in Windows 8 i s the Guest account. This account can be useful if your computer is read more..

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    Chapter 18 ■ Windows Security 319 Figure 18-7: Computer Management lists local computer accounts. 6. Rename the account to confuse any malicious scripts that might be look- ing for it. Right-click the Guest account again and click Rename. 7. Type a new account name that has some random letters and numbers in it. You just want to make it different from read more..

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    320 Part IV ■ Securing Windows 3. Right-click the Administrator account and click Properties. 4. Check the Account Is Disabled option if it is not already selected, as shown in Figure 18-8. Then click OK to save the changes. Figure 18-8: Disabling the Administrator account is the first step toward securing it. 5. Right-click the Administrator account and click Set read more..

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    Chapter 18 ■ Windows Security 321 Hiding Usernames on the Logon Screen If you use your computer in a high-security environment, it is very important to hide your username from the logon screen so that potential intruders are not able to figure out your username—before they even try to break your password. Using the Local Security Policy read more..

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    322 Part IV ■ Securing Windows Setting the Account Lockout Policy To complement the new complex password that your accounts now have, I rec- ommend configuring the Account Lockout Policy to add even more security to your accounts. The Account Lockout Policy enables you to protect your account from an intruder trying dozens or even read more..

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    Chapter 18 ■ Windows Security 323 Tweaking User Account Control User Account Control (UAC) made its debut in Windows Vista a nd has been annoying and protecting users ever since. According to Microsoft, User Account Control decreased malware infection rates significantly in Windows Vista compared to Windows XP. O n paper, UAC has been a great read more..

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    324 Part IV ■ Securing Windows ■ (Default) Notify Only When Programs Attempt To Make Changes To The Computer. ■ Notify Only When Programs Attempt To Make Changes To The Computer And Do Not Use Secure Desktop. ■ Never Notify. The new feature enables you to define the balance between security and annoyance that is right for you. You can modify read more..

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    Chapter 18 ■ Windows Security 325 Table 18-1: User Account Control Settings SETTING NAME FUNCTION User Account Control: Admin Approval Mode for the built-in Administrator account. This determines whether an Administrator who is logged on and working will get UAC prompts. This account is usually disabled, so this setting is useless. User read more..

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    326 Part IV ■ Securing Windows Changing the UAC settings is easy to do with the Local Security Policy editor. Just follow these steps to modify the settings: 1. Open the Start screen, type secpol.msc, and hit Enter. 2. After the Local Security Policy editor loads, expand Local Policies and click Security Options. 3. Scroll to read more..

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    Chapter 18 ■ Windows Security 327 To do this, you need to convert your Administrator-level account to a standard user account. Next, create a new Administrator account for the sole purpose of installing and managing applications and changing system settings. You then configure UAC not to prompt for authorizations on that special admin account so read more..

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    328 Part IV ■ Securing Windows 16. Navigate through Local Policies and Security Options and locate User Account Control: Run All Administrators In Admin Approval Mode. Right-click this policy and select Properties. 17. Select Disable and click OK to save the changes. You are now finished setting up UAC to not run for your system con- figuration account. After read more..

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    Chapter 18 ■ Windows Security 329 Setting Up a Recovery Agent What happens to your data if some day you forget your password and someone has to set you a new one, or if you are forced to reload Windows 8 because o f a major Windows or hardware failure? In all these events you end up losing access to any files you read more..

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    330 Part IV ■ Securing Windows 8. Click Next on the wizard welcome screen and then click Browse Folders to specify the location of recovery.cer. It should now be in c:\ra\ if you followed steps 4 and 5 correctly. 9. Click Yes on the screen informing you that Windows cannot determine if this certificate has been revoked. Your window should now look similar to read more..

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    Chapter 18 ■ Windows Security 331 Setting Files to Be Encrypted Now that you have your Recovery Agent set up and the PFX file removed from the computer and placed in a safe location, you can safely and securely encrypt the files on your computer. To do so, just navigate to a file or folder that you want to encrypt read more..

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    332 Part IV ■ Securing Windows Using BitLocker Drive Encryption BitLocker Drive Encryption is another improved feature from Windows Vista t hat allows you to encrypt an entire drive or partition. This drive-layer encryption even encrypts the filesystem and operating system files so everything is secure. BitLocker Drive Encryption is the most secure read more..

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    Chapter 18 ■ Windows Security 333 Using BitLocker Drive Encryption is easy when you have your hard drive configured properly and have reinstalled Windows 8. Just follow these steps to get BitLocker up and running: 1. Open the Start screen, type in Bitlocker, change the filter to Settings, and hit Enter. 2. If your computer is read more..

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    334 Part IV ■ Securing Windows If you want to fine-tune the BitLocker settings, you can find dozens of group policy settings by opening the Start screen, typing in gpedit.msc, and hitting Enter. Then navigate through Computer Configuration, Administrative Templates, Windows Components, and BitLocker Drive Encryption. Enabling BitLocker To Go Drive read more..

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    Chapter 18 ■ Windows Security 335 Figure 18-14: Configure BitLocker To Go with a password. Summary This chapter is about making what Microsoft is calling “the most secure operat- ing system ever released” even more secure. First, I talked about active ways to protect your computer by keeping up on the latest news and trends and read more..

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    337 CHAPTER 19 Internet Security The Internet is the primary source for almost all the attacks on your computer. Someone may be trying to break in to steal information, or a worm from another infected computer may be trying to use the latest exploit to infect your box as well. So how do you protect your Internet connection? I show read more..

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    338 Part IV ■ Securing Windows Internet traffic from coming into your home network. However, if your laptop is infected and you plug it into your home network, all the machines become vulnerable because the threat is now inside your firewall. I go into more detail about how firewalls work in the read more..

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    Chapter 19 ■ Internet Security 339 3. Click All Service Ports to begin the scan. 4. When viewing the results, make sure that everything is in green or blue. You do not want any ports to be open for maximum security, which is indicated with red. Green indicates your computer did not respond at all, giving your computer a stealth look. Blue indicates your read more..

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    340 Part IV ■ Securing Windows Figure 19-1: NetTools finds open ports on your PC. Monitor the Action Center The Action Center in Windows 8 i s another easy way to find out if all your “essential” pr otection software is installed and running. It is important to have your firewall, virus software, spyware protection, and other security features read more..

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    Chapter 19 ■ Internet Security 341 Figure 19-2: Action Center displays security information. Using a Firewall One way to help fight attackers and viruses from the Internet is to block access to your computer on all ports, which can be gateways into your computer. How exactly do you block all the ports? A firewall is a special application that read more..

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    342 Part IV ■ Securing Windows So far, I have talked only about firewalls that block incoming attacks from the Internet. Firewalls can also block traffic originating from your computer going out to the Internet. Why would you want to do that? What if someone installed a key logger on your computer that sends all your information read more..

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    Chapter 19 ■ Internet Security 343 Figure 19-3: Use Windows Firewall with Advanced Security. This main screen is where you can see if the firewall is on and if the Inbound and Outbound Rules are active. The next step is to view the specific rules. You can do that by simply selecting Inbound Rules or Outbound Rules from the list on read more..

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    344 Part IV ■ Securing Windows Figure 19-4: Inbound firewall rules are used in various profiles. 3. Under Actions in the right pane, click New Rule. 4. The New Inbound Rule Wizard loads and asks you for the type of rule you would like to create. For this scenario, select Port and click Next. 5. You are asked to specify what type of port to open. read more..

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    Chapter 19 ■ Internet Security 345 Your new rule appears on the Inbound Rules list. It is enabled automatically when you click Finish. Enabling the Outbound Firewall In Windows 8, Microsoft decided it was best to disable the outbound connec- tion filtering because it can cause headaches for many inexperienced computer users. This may have been the read more..

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    346 Part IV ■ Securing Windows just a port number. This provides greater and safer control than just opening a port that remains open even after the application using the port is no longer running. Another reason I like Online Armor is the graphical status window shown in Figure 19-5. The status window displays the speed of inbound read more..

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    Chapter 19 ■ Internet Security 347 Web Browser Security Now that you have eliminated one method that attackers use to enter your com- puter by blocking your ports with a firewall, it is time to secure the other entry point—the web browser. An attacker can also get into your computer by using an exploit in a web browser read more..

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    348 Part IV ■ Securing Windows 2. Click the gear icon and select Internet Options near the bottom of the menu. 3. After Internet Options loads, click the Security tab. The Security tab enables you to manage the individual settings for what is allowed in each of the browser zone settings—for example, whether ActiveX controls are allowed to be read more..

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    Chapter 19 ■ Internet Security 349 4. After the security settings for the zone load, you can scroll through the list of settings and click Disable, Enable, or Prompt for most settings. For optimal security, I recommend disabling a lot of these features beyond what is normally disabled. Take a look at Table 19-1 for the settings I recommend that you change for best read more..

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    350 Part IV ■ Securing Windows 7. In the Security section, I recommend selecting Do Not Save Encrypted Pages To Disk and Empty Temporary Internet Files Folder When Browser Is Closed. These two settings help protect your privacy as well as keep your impor- tant online data, such as banking information, safe. 8. When you are finished, click OK to save your read more..

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    Chapter 19 ■ Internet Security 351 Disabling Add-Ons Internet Explorer, Firefox, and Chrome have become more secure over the years but there is still more to do. The most popular attack vector, meaning how PCs are attacked, is through browser add-ons or plug-ins. In fact, the most com- mon attacks these days spread when popular websites are hacked read more..

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    352 Part IV ■ Securing Windows Figure 19-8: Run any application in a sandbox with Sandboxie. Defending Against Spyware, Malware, and Viruses Spyware and other malware have become the largest annoyance on Windows for the past decade. Often hidden in downloads that appear innocent, these pro- grams can spy on your computer activities and report home read more..

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    Chapter 19 ■ Internet Security 353 Another common method attackers use to infect your computer is through exploits in the applications you use the most, such as your web browser. The browsers are becoming much more secure, but as I discussed earlier, the plug- ins or add-ons that run within them are getting attacked the most. In Windows 8 read more..

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    354 Part IV ■ Securing Windows Figure 19-9: Start a full system scan with Windows Defender. 3. When the scan is finished, the results are shown. If any malicious files are found, click Review Items Detected By Scanning to find out exactly what was found. 4. On the Scan Results screen, all malicious software detected by Windows Defender is shown along with details read more..

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    Chapter 19 ■ Internet Security 355 Summary This chapter has shown you how you can protect your computer from attacks that arrive via the Internet by using exploits and open ports on your computer and through your web browser. I showed you how you can use Windows Firewall to protect your computer and also defend against attacks and increase the read more..

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    357 CHAPTER 20 Protecting Your Privacy Windows 8 keeps t rack of all activities you do on your computer. It records the websites that you visit, the addresses that you type in, the applications that you launch, and even the files that you open. Why does it do this? All the informa- tion is used to tailor your computer experience read more..

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    358 Part IV ■ Securing Windows part of this section shows you how to clean all the required parts to remove your Internet Explorer history and protect your privacy. The second part of this section shows you how you can protect your privacy further by configuring and using new Internet Explorer features. Removing Address Bar Suggestions read more..

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    Chapter 20 ■ Protecting Your Privacy 359 Figure 20-1: Now you can remove a single entry from the address bar. Keep in mind that in IE10, the address bar also searches your list of favorite websites. If you want to prevent one of those sites from showing up in the address bar suggestions, it is best to delete the site from read more..

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    360 Part IV ■ Securing Windows Cookies are also created on your computer when you visit websites. Contrary to popular belief, cookies are not all bad. Most websites use them to save user data to a browser. An example of this is automatic site logon when you visit a website. A website you visit can detect whether a cookie read more..

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    Chapter 20 ■ Protecting Your Privacy 361 Figure 20-2: Clearing browser data in Internet Explorer 10 is easier than ever. The difference between good and bad cookies is how they are issued. If you go to, the web server issues your browser a first-party cookie. That cookie contains harmless user session data so the web server knows read more..

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    362 Part IV ■ Securing Windows what you do on the web. This is possible because Google AdSense is used by about one out of four websites online, which means one out of four websites are making your browser connect to Google’s servers to display an advertisement. When that call is made to Google’s servers, read more..

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    Chapter 20 ■ Protecting Your Privacy 363 I recommend that you always accept first-party cookies. You can decide whether you want to block all third-party cookies or be prompted to accept them. If you select the Prompt option, a dialog box notifies you that each cookie’s request has been received. 7. Click OK to save your changes and return to Internet Options. read more..

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    364 Part IV ■ Securing Windows 5. Check the Do Not Save Encrypted Pages To Disk box. 6. Click OK to save and activate your changes. Now you no longer have to worry about pages that were encrypted being saved to your drive for anyone who has access to your computer to see. Disabling AutoComplete You already know about AutoComplete from read more..

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    Chapter 20 ■ Protecting Your Privacy 365 Figure 20-4: Adjust the AutoComplete settings so that no one can access your username. Clearing Temporary Internet Files Automatically Earlier I showed you how to clear your temporary Internet files manually so that they will not be a privacy concern. However, you can use a cool hid- den feature that read more..

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    366 Part IV ■ Securing Windows Figure 20-5: Set up IE to automatically clear temporary Internet files. Running Internet Explorer 10 in Privacy Mode Internet Explorer 10 includes a new feature named InPrivate Browsing. This privacy feature prevents Internet Explorer from storing any data about your browsing session including cookies, history, and temporary read more..

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    Chapter 20 ■ Protecting Your Privacy 367 Browsing, the browser does nothing to hide your IP address from a remote server. When an IP address of a visitor is captured in a server log, it is easy to subpoena the ISP that owns the IP for the name and address of the user behind the IP. Using InPrivate Browsing is read more..

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    368 Part IV ■ Securing Windows started using tracking protection lists, open up Internet Explorer and browse to . Browse through the list and simply click Add next to the list you want to use. Then click Add List on the confirmation screen as shown in Figure 20-7. It is possible to use more than one at read more..

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    Chapter 20 ■ Protecting Your Privacy 369 loss of privacy. These next few sections show you how to recover your privacy, albeit at the expense of convenience. Removing Specific Entries from Taskbar Jump Lists Similar to Internet Explorer, and following the trend in Windows 8 t o give users more control over their privacy, Microsoft read more..

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    370 Part IV ■ Securing Windows To get started using Disk Cleanup, follow these steps: 1. Open the Start screen, type cleanmgr, and press Enter. 2. If your computer has multiple hard drives, you are prompted to select which drive you want to clean. Select the drive you want to clean and click OK. 3. After the utility has analyzed your computer, read more..

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    Chapter 20 ■ Protecting Your Privacy 371 Disk Cleanup is the perfect way to clean up your temporary files. Now that you know how to use it, I recommend that you run it at least once a month to keep your temporary files under control. After you have cleaned your user files you can also use Disk Cleanup to delete temporary read more..

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    372 Part IV ■ Securing Windows Figure 20-10: Use Credential Manager to manage your account login information. Setting File and Folder Permissions Windows 8 r uns on NTFS, which allows users to set file and folder permis- sions. These permission settings enable you to specify which users can view a particular file or a whole folder on your computer. In read more..

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    Chapter 20 ■ Protecting Your Privacy 373 It is a good idea to remove the Everyone group because this includes everyone who can access your computer, including guests. Make sure that you do not accidentally remove your username from the list. Also be cautious removing the SYSTEM account. This is one account the operating system uses to access files, but can be safely read more..

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    374 Part IV ■ Securing Windows File and folder permissions can be very useful. If you have a program on your computer that you do not want anyone else running, simply set the permissions on that folder so that only you can read and execute the program. Summary Throughout this chapter you found out how to increase your read more..

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    375 SYMBOLS AND NUMBERS \ (backslash), Media Center RecordPath, 173 1639. Invalid command line argument , 253 A accelerators Download Accelerator Plus, 300 IE, 154–155 Account Lockout Policy, 322 Action Center, 340–341 Active Sessions, 187 active users, 198 ActiveX, 348, 350 ActiveX Installer, 220 Ad-Aware, 354 Add-ons Gallery, IE, 154 address bar suggestions, IE, read more..

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    376 Index ■ B–C Windows Media, 1 57–161 Bass Boost, 158–159 Headphone Virtualization, 161 Loudness Equalization, 161 Room Correction, 159–161 Virtual Surround, 159 Audio Devices and Sound Themes, 248, 249 Authenticode, 350 AutoAdminLogon, 240–242 AutoComplete IE, 358–359 usernames, 364–365 automated management, Enterprise edition, 5 automatic logon, 240–242 Automatic read more..

  • Page - 401

    Index ■ D–F 377 D DCOM Server Process Launcher, 222 DDR2 memory, 268 DDR3 memory, 268 Decor8, 69–70 DefaultColorSet, 63 DefaultPassword, 241 defragmenter, 279–283 Delete Browsing History, 358 DeskModder, 118 desktop background, 102–106 Boot to Desktop, 66 classic, 36–37 gadgets, 102–106, 152 icons, 93–101 adjusting size, 96–98 Drop Shadow effect, 94–95 read more..

  • Page - 402

    378 Index ■ G–I FireWire, 216 first-party cookies, 360–363 FlashGet Classic, 300 Flat-rate, Room Calibration Wizard, 160–161 Folder Options, 141, 262, 275 folders File Explorer, 134–140 icons, 135 permissions, 372–374 templates, 135–137 views, 137–139 Font download, IE security zone, 350 fonts, 116, 217–220, 231 Frag Shield, 283 Free Download read more..

  • Page - 403

    Index ■ J–L 379 Windows Modules Installer, 232 Windows To G o, 25–27 Interactive Logon: Message Text For Users Attempting To Log On, 59 Interactive Logon: Message Title For Users Attempting To Log On, 59 Interactive Services Detection, 223 interface, 29–35, 107–120 charms, 32–35 colors, 112 font size, 116 icons, 117 Media Player, 161–163 privacy, read more..

  • Page - 404

    380 Index ■ M–N speeding up, 239–249 turning off sound, 248 logon screen. See lock screen Look For Another App On This PC, 129 Loose XAML, 350 Loudness Equalization, 161 M malware, 352–354 Manage Add-ons, 144, 295 MAPS. See Microsoft Active Protection Service master file table (MFT), 255 MaxConnectionsPer1 _0Server , 295 MaxConnectionsPerServer , 295 read more..

  • Page - 405

    Index ■ O–P 381 Network section, Resource Monitor, 184–185 Network Store Interface Service, 225 network.http.max- connections , 297 network.http.max- persistent-connections- per-server , 298 network.http.proxy. pipelining , 297 Networking Center, 232 networks connections, 225 auto-tuning, 302–303 disabling unneeded protocols, 303–305 security, 316 speeding up, 302–305 read more..

  • Page - 406

    382 Index ■ Q–R POST. See power on self test power on self test (POST), 42, 205, 206, 208 Preboot Execution Environment (PXE), 13 Prep For Shrink, 282 preview delay, taskbar, 83 Preview pane, File Explorer, 124 previous state, 41 Print Monitors tab, 245 Print Spooler, 226 Printer Extensions and Notifications, 226 privacy, 357–374 file and read more..

  • Page - 407

    Index ■ S–S 383 Run Benchmark, 203 Run components not signed with Authenticode, 350 S Sandboxie, 351–352 sandboxing, 351–352 SATA Rev 2.0, 285–286 SATA Rev 3.0, 285–286 Save Taskbar Thumbnail Previews, 260 scope, Search, 125–128 screensaver, 58–60 SCRNSAVE.EXE, 59 search. See also Windows Search applications, 30–31 File Explorer, 124–128 Find Partial read more..

  • Page - 408

    384 Index ■ T–T mmsys.cpl, 109 Network and Sharing Center, 303 Performance Information, 126 policies, 90–92 regedit, 58, 99, 173, 294 Registry Editor, 246 secpol.msc, 321, 329 services.msc, 264 Start button, 87–88 sysdm.cpl, 274, 276, 279 System Properties, 94 views, 31–32 Start8, 78 Startup and Recovery, 196 startup applications, Task Manager, 198 Startup read more..

  • Page - 409

    Index ■ U–W 385 U UAC. See User Account Control UEFI, 206, 287 Unload Skin, 103 Unpin From Start, 72 Unpin This Program From Taskbar, 79 update interval, Performance Monitor, 190 Update Schedule, 152 upgrade Anytime Upgrade, 8 installation, 17–18 SSD, 283–288 Upgrade package, 4 UPnP Device Host, 229 % Usage, Performance Monitor, 190–191 % Usage Peak, read more..

  • Page - 410

    386 Index ■ X–X Windows Explorer, 122 file browsing and access, 251–257 graphics card, 257–261 interface, 257–261 NTFS, 252–257 Offline Files, 225 Performance Options, 257–261 privacy, 368 speeding up, 251–265 Windows Search, 2 61–265 Windows Firewall, 231, 342–345 Windows Font C ache Service, 231 Windows Image A cquisition (WIA), 231 Windows Installer, 231 Windows Live I read more..

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