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I am not responsible if your devices send you back in time, explodes, implodes, bricks or flies into space from the use of any software I put up.

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Saturday, March 28, 2009

Converting from IDE to AHCI in Windows Vista

When you do a fresh install on Vista
First select to boot in IDE mode by selecting IDE in BIOS
After completing the install
Do the following
  1. Click Start, type regedit in the Start Search box, and then press ENTER.
  2. If you receive the User Account Control dialog box, click Continue.
  3. Locate and then click the following registry subkey:
    HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\System\CurrentControlSet\Services\Msahci
  4. In the right pane, right-click Start in the Name column, and then click Modify.
  5. In the Value data box, type 0, and then click OK.
  6. On the File menu, click Exit to close Registry Editor.
Restart and select AHCI in BIOS

This only applies when you are reformatting your computer from scratch from a Vista Install CD
If you are doing image recovery the above is already completed


From Microsoft Help & Support

Friday, March 20, 2009

Vista Cursor For Windows Xp

I am sure Xp users are bored of seeing Hour Glass after a while
I have Linked 2 Sets of Vista Cursor
( I didn't make any of them and I have forgotten where I got this from)


Vista Cursor Black
Vista Cursor Blue

  • Extract the file to a folder
  • Right Click the Install.inf and Select Install
  • Go to Mouse Property in Control Panel
  • Select the newly installed Mouse Cursor Set
  • Apply then Save the Cursor Set
And you are done !


Realtek Optimal Driver Settings

The Latest Realtek High Definition CODEC Driver is available here

The following is a guide to optimal driver settings so that
  1. The full driver features are utilised
  2. The amplitude of the volume is controlled so the speakers do not get damaged
First Right Click the Icon Shown below

Choose Playback Device
Select Speakers then Properties Then Check Limited Output
This will prevent speaker damage when the volume is maximum


Next

Switch PC Beep to Zero or Mute it to turn off the annoying PC Beep
Then Ensure the Microphone in Speaker Properties is Muted to remove the annoying static that can be heard some times

Next Right Click the Icon shown below and select Sound Manager


Check Either Full Range Speaker Or Virtual Sound for best sound effects because Virtual Sound refers to headphone sound virtualization


Select the following options to reduce Microphone interference
The Red Cross Should Show if the options are enabled

Internet Explorer Tweak

Here is a registry tweak for Internet Explorer


Similar to the Mozilla Firefox tweak this enable you to increase the number simultaneous server connections.
It is one of the few "tweaks" Internet Explorer has as it is not designed to be this tweakable

If you can't see the words on the picture, the registry entry is as follows:

[HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Internet Settings]
Entries to be edited

"MaxConnectionsPerServer"
"MaxConnectionsPer1_0Server"

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Windows Networking Guide

Here is a interesting site contain information regarding Windows Networking

For Windows Vista, Server 2008 Guide see here

There are also many other interesting knowledge regarding networking there to check out

If you are not comfortable with modifying values via commandline there are downloads available too

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

The Physical Memory Limits of Windows Vista/Xp 32bits

Clarification

There is no support for a full 4GB of Memory in Windows according to Mark Russinovich's Blog
After some research a simple explanation is that although originally PAE (Physical Addressing Extensions) was implemented to support more than 4GB of Memory Address, due to poor driver programming by vendors has resulted in Microsoft's convenient decision to simply pull the plug on PAE support in Client OS.
Their rationale being they couldn't resolve crashes on Windows 32bit Client Machines due to poorly programmed device drivers like WebCam etc.
However, this is not to say you cannot enable PAE on any 32bit Windows Operating System.
However it is not ANY Windows Operating System

Physical Memory Limits: Windows Server 2008

The following table specifies the limits on physical memory for Windows Server 2008. Limits greater than 4 GB for 32-bit Windows assume that PAE is enabled.
VersionLimit in 32-bit Windows
Windows Server 2008 Datacenter (full installation)64 GB
Windows Server 2008 Datacenter (Server Core installation)64 GB
Windows Server 2008 Enterprise64 GB

Physical Memory Limits: Windows Server 2003

The following table specifies the limits on physical memory for Windows Server 2003. Limits over 4 GB for 32-bit Windows assume that PAE is enabled.
VersionLimit in 32-bit Windows
Windows Server 2003 with Service Pack 2 (SP2), Datacenter Edition128 GB
64 GB with 4GT
Windows Server 2003 with Service Pack 2 (SP2), Enterprise Edition64 GB
Windows Storage Server 2003, Enterprise Edition8 GB
Windows Server 2003 R2 Datacenter Edition
Windows Server 2003 with Service Pack 1 (SP1), Datacenter Edition
128 GB
16 GB with 4GT
Windows Server 2003 R2 Enterprise Edition
Windows Server 2003 with Service Pack 1 (SP1), Enterprise Edition
64 GB
16 GB with 4GT
Windows Server 2003, Datacenter Edition128 GB
16 GB with 4GT
Windows Server 2003, Enterprise Edition32 GB
16 GB with 4GT

Physical Memory Limits: Windows 2000

The following table specifies the limits on physical memory for Windows 2000.
VersionLimit in 32-bit Windows
Windows 2000 Advanced Server8 GB
Windows 2000 Datacenter Server32 GB

As you can see they are all Server OS which makes me wonder, since most in fact all Drivers are certified by Microsoft, shouldn't they work with PAE? Or is it that they don't want to ?

It turns out that the reason Windows Vista/Xp 32bit "eats" up your RAM is because all hardware require memory address to map location.
Xp/Vista 32bit addresses do not exceed 4GB because Microsoft removed this functionality hence

Amount Of Space Left = Available 4GB address - Addresses Taken Up By Device Hardware

This number varies from System to System hence there is 3 ways of overcoming this issue
  1. Get a 64bit Windows OS
  2. Get a 32bit Windows Server OS listed above
  3. Hack the Windows Kernel to force enable PAE
If you are a student with Microsoft Academic Alliance in your institution you are in luck, as you can get the software free

Take a look here and here

Sorry again if my previous post caused some confusion

Monday, March 16, 2009

Nice Firefox Themes

Nothing Technical for this entry

I will just be introducing some nice themes for Firefox


ANTHEM

Made by Wesley Hales
Download here



Office 2007 Black

Made by t-rane

Download here

HEAVEN.CUBE 1.43

Made by h3j4
Download here

Just Black (A Cylence theme for Firefox 3) 1.0.1

Made by Julien Saurin
Download here

These themes seriously makes IE, Safari and Opera look boring =P

All the themes mix very well with the default Vista themes.I like them because although they are black themes they are not too dark. Enjoy =)


Power Savings With Power Plan

After using CPU-Z for a while you will notice that the CPU Core Voltage is actually not a constant value

For my AMD Turion X2 RM-72 Processor (Differs according to Processor Model)
P-State 1 is 2.100GHZ @ 1.100V
P-State 2 is 1.025GHZ @ 0.950V
P-State 3 is 0.525GHZ @ 0.800V
This is because when Clock Frequency is reduced Processor no longer requires more power to maintain stability. This is the main operating principal behind Quiet & Cool Technology

<--Credit to ComputerBase.de-->

If you check the diagram above you will notice while there are 3 P-States for RM & ZM Processors, there are only 2 available to QL & SI Processors.

Hence this indicates during idle RM & ZM Processors save more power than QL & SI Processors as they are able to go into deeper, more power saving P-States.

Hence if you are thinking about getting AMD Powered Laptop look out for ZM & RM Processors only and don't go for QL Processors since QL Processors are similarly priced for poorer Power Savings.

To take full advantage of the AMD Processor Power Saving Capability in Vista
You should create 3 Power Plans

Set Maximum Processor state to 100%, 50% and 25% for 3 different Power Plans
This will cap the Maximum CPU Voltage to 1.100V , 0.950V and 0.800V respectively
(This is for reference purposes only as different CPU has different Voltage Levels)

For example when you are surfing the internet while running on battery you might want to choose power plan that caps voltage at 0.800V to save more power.

You can argue that the processor is already doing the throttling automatically hence there is no need to interfere however, occasional CPU spikes can occur to push the frequency. Therefore by limiting max frequency you are limiting the power usage explicitly.

Another advantage you will get is that the CPU Core temperature will fall below 50 degrees if you HWMonitor it

You may think 500MHZ will lag your system, but remember this is 500MHZ Dual Core Turion Processor.
Moreover on Acer Aspire 4530, the Windows Vista Desktop rendering is offloaded to the Nvidia 9100M G GPU hence there is little or no load on Vista as compared to any Intel Graphics Solution.

However do note when running different Applications consider the Processing Power requirements. Otherwise you might encounter slow performance.
Streaming video like youtube requires higher performance or you will encounter frame skips on the videos.

The above is for Windows Vista which supports more flexible and advance Power Settings

For Windows Xp you will need a third party program Speedswitch XP as suggested by AMD Forumer Turion64Ultra

As the instructions on SpeedSwitch Xp is available on it homepage I will leave the exploration of this third party software to people who are interested

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Explaining Windows Xp/Vista Startup

Note: This is applicable to BOTH Windows Xp and Vista as msconfig is present in both OS

Another reason why Windows Boot are often very slow because Programs Add themselves to the startup automatically making Windows Start the Programs on EVERY boot whether you need it or not

Start>> Run>>Type "msconfig" >> Enter

You should see this

To disable a particular startup simply uncheck the box next to the entry

If you want to remove a particular entry from msconfig scroll to the left you should see the following

The box in Red indicates the location of the registry entry which the program you installed added in order to start automatically

To remove it
Start>> Run>> Type "regedit" >> Enter

Navigate to the location in Red

You should see something like this:

To remove the entry from msconfig simply delete it from here
  • Always make sure the program you removed is non-essential otherwise certain important third party program will not run
An example from the above is "NvCplDaemon" which is actually Nvidia Graphics Control Panel
  • Unless you really don't need it, it is safer to disable startup from msconfig rather than deleting the registry entry

Friday, March 13, 2009

Upgrading your Nvidia Driver

Well, Why do you need to upgrade your Nvidia Driver?
  1. Better Performance (usually)
  2. New Features (PhyX,CUDA,Ambient Occlusion)
  3. Because you are using an Nvidia Card ! Those people using ATi Card will have to stare at your drivers which are more updated then theirs. They have to wait ... until their vendors release the drivers. Only Nvidia provide Mobile Driver support ATi passes on the responsibility to vendors
You don't have to worry about driver stability
In all my previous updates experience I didn't encounter any unstable Nvidia Drivers at all hence very unlikely

First Download GPUZ from the internet to determine your Device ID
You can also determine your Device ID by looking at the Device Manager but it is too tedious to write so I skipped it =)


Your Device ID is where I circled in RED

Next Download the New Drivers from LaptopVideo2Go here

Enter your Device ID as follows
Download any Driver they will all work but of course it is the later the better =)

Next go to Control Panel to remove the Nvidia Display Driver only

Reboot as your Computer tells you to

Then extract the New downloaded Driver
Double Click on Setup.exe
You will see some Driver Not WHQL Warning if you are installing Non WHQL Driver
Just ignore it
After installation you can delete the folder where you extracted the driver

After that check if PowerMizer is enabled here
Sometimes Beta Driver Releases leave out PowerMizer settings (Don't know why ) although all Nvidia Drivers support PowerMizer settings

Below are some new features highlights in my new 185.20 Driver




Thanks to LaptopVideo2go for providing the Drivers & GPUZ for the Wonderful Utility

Note:
Once you install certain drivers you might not be able to install driver version 185.20. This is probably due to incompatibilities in the Control Panel Version, I have yet to find a way to resolve it.

Edit:
The latest driver is no longer 185.20
For details on the latest Nvidia Released Driver click here

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Acer Aspire 4530 WEI

This is the Windows Experience Index score for my Acer Aspire 4530
Not bad for a value laptop =)
How about yours?

You should set Power Plans to High Performance to get a accurate score
You should also know the performance will vary according to RAM configurations as 9100M G is an integrated graphics which utilises System RAM

PS:To get higher WinSAT Scores Change the Windows Theme to Classic Theme and Rerun Windows System Assessment

Monday, March 9, 2009

Firefox on steroids

Have you ever wondered why Firefox is so popular?

Firefox is fast BUT that is still not the fastest it can go

To put Firefox on steroids do the following:

Type in "about:config" in the URL box (This is the secret switch which allows you to ramp up firefox performance drastically)
Of Course I am assuming you have a excellent internet connection if you are on a 56kps Dial Up no way you will notice improvements

Right Click
Create a new Integer
Enter "nglayout.initialpaint.delay"
Enter "0"

Right Click
Create a new Integer
Enter "browser.cache.memory.capacity"
Enter "-1"

Filter "network.http.max-connections"
Change the value to "64"

Filter "network.http.max-connections-per-server"
Change the value to "32"

Filter "network.http.max-persistent-connections-per-server"
Change the value to "24"

Filter "network.http.max-persistent-connections-per-proxy"
Change the value to "16"

Filter "network.http.pipelining.maxrequest"
Change the value to "8"

Filter "network.http.pipelining"
Change the value to "true"

Right Click
Create a new Boolean
Enter "network.http.pipelining.firstrequest"
Choose "true"

Filter "network.http.pipelining.ssl"
Change the value to "true"

Filter "network.http.proxy.pipelining"
Change the value to "true"

Filter "network.http.redirection-limit"
Change the value to "32"

Filter "network.http.request.max-start-delay"
Change the value to "0"


Create a new Integer "ui.submenudelay"
Set value to "0"

Then RESTART Firefox

Edit: Sorry I forgot to add how to reset the values

First you sort the value by status
Then you right click and reset them


Or alternatively

Start Firefox in safe mode, in the dialog that appears select Reset all user preferences to Firefox defaults, then click Make Changes and Restart


Sunday, March 1, 2009

How to Use Modded Drivers for Atheros Wireless

OK I guess everyone must be thinking isn't the Microsoft Drivers for Atheros Good Enough
I guess posting a screenshot will change your minds

Take a look at the modded driver options below

To install this driver
Go to this website
Find the corresponding driver for your operating system
Download and extract to your folder

Next Go to the familar>> Control Panel>> System>> HardWare>> Device Manager

Method 1 (Not Recommended as it is difficult to do driver rollback take a look at Method 2 below instead)


Right click & uninstall the device driver repeatedly for the atheros network adapter until it no longer auto install the Microsoft Driver as shown below

For Windows Vista/7 remember to check delete the driver software for the device

Then right click on the unidentified Network Adapter and browse to the folder you extracted the modded driver to install it.

Method 2 (Recommended as it is easy to do rollback)

A more convenient way to "force" the installation is to
  1. Right Click the adapter
  2. Choose "Update driver"
  3. Choose "Browse my Computer for driver software"
  4. Choose "Let me pick from a list of device driver on my computer"
  5. Choose "Have Disk"
  6. Browse to the extracted folder containing the driver and choose the "netathrx.inf" for 64bit Windows or "netathr.inf" for 32bit Windows.
  7. Select OK and you are done
Finally you will be able to enjoy the new driver options !!
If you are a wireless expert you will certainly like the new additional settings.
Also LaptopVideo2go claim there will be a performance boost with this driver.