Tip #1 - make your computer run faster by turning off start up items you donít need:
Look at the lower right of your screen and see all the little icons with the time... well if there are items there that youíre not using - letís get rid of them! I see computers will AOL, Microsoft messenger, real player, and all kinds of things running that donít need to be taking up valuable resources while your computer is running. Your system will also start up faster by turning off these annoying auto-start seldom used programs. The following is how to turn off real player auto start, the process is similar with other programs, except
Microsoft messenger.

Turn off start up services you donít use - for a while it seemed that every software program thought it deserved top run every time you turned on your computer and would place itself in your start up folder without asking. You should also look into your antivirus software to see if it is hogging up more resources than it needs. Different operating systems and programs have different ways of changing this. Try looking at your start -> programs -> startup folder first.

My least favorite (aside from gator and bonzai buddy) is Real Player. Not that itís a bad program, but realnetworks thinks Iím going to use it every time I turn on my computer, and they make it very difficult to stop it from starting - if you have real player installed and running right click on it, go to view, then preferences, start up settings (at the bottom of the general tab page), and uncheck enable start center.

Stop hidden spy ware programs from starting with spybot (direct download at cnet click here)

You may be able to click start, then run, then type: msconfig
to look at your start up settings.

More free computer tips on the more tips page click here.


Microsoft Messenger
Wow, I had windows XP pro installed on my new gateway laptop, and it is hard to get rid of messenger - this messenger is not the same as the Microsoft chat messenger. I will never use messenger, it is designed for corporations on corporate LANs that need administrators to access everyoneís systems, and there is a new spam that can be sent through messenger, so letís get rid of it! Please note that the spam hole in messenger was designed for network administrators to send messenger to users letting them know important things, and if the new .NET thing Microsoft is pushing makes itís way into our everyday lives, we may need to use messenger for some things, with that said hereís a couple ways to stop it for now!

*If you donít want to disable the messenger service, you can stop it from sending you spam by configuring you firewall to block inbound UDP and NetBios. I believe Zonealarm does this by default.

Turn off messenger method #1
Right click on the My Computer icon.
Select Manager.
Double click the Services and Applications.
Double click Services.
Find and select Messenger.
Select turn off
Make sure you also select do not run at start up!

*Apparently even by disabling it this way it will still run when you launch outlook or another Microsoft app, so in order to stop this too - go to your programs folder, find the folder for messenger and rename it to something else. Should you need to use it again, go back and rename it back to messenger.

Turn off messenger method #2
Mike Singer has created a nice little program called
messenger silencer you can download, run, and it will automatically take of the the messenger problem for you.

Turn off messenger method #3
Another way to disable Microsoft Messenger from the good people at
Tech TV:

Windows 2000 or XP doesn't let you add or remove all the programs it installs by default. Multimedia applications, the XP messenger, games, accessories, and accessibility options do not show up in the Add/Remove Programs dialog box. What if you want to get rid of them? Here's how to make Windows treat these applications just like it treats all the others.

  1. Unhide all files
  2. Search for sysoc.inf. Open it in notepad.
  3. Look for the "Old Base Components" section in Windows 2000, and "Components" in XP. It will look approximately like this (depending on your version):
  4. ; old base components
  5. The word "HIDE" in an entry hides that application from your Add/Remove Programs dialog box. To add games to the Add/Remove menu, delete the word HIDE from its entry (but leave the commas that surround it). You also have to remove "HIDE" from "AccessUtil=" for this tip to work. To unhide games, for example, my new "Old Base Components" Windows 2000 entry will look like the following:
  6. ; old base components
  7. Save the file. Check for the new entries in the Add/Remove Programs dialog box after you restart your computer.

There now, that wasn't so bad, was it? Fight Windows conformity with this simple tip from "The Screen Savers."

Turn off messenger method #4
You can also look at Microsoftís suggestion for turning off messenger by going to and typing (or pasting) Q302089 into the search to bring up thier knowledge base article regarding the turning off of microsoft messenger.

Turn off messenger method #5
And yet another way to turn off messenger I found in the april 2003 issue of
PC magazine:
If youíre running windows NT 4.0 and you need to turn off messenger then launch help, select services in the index, and select enabling/disabling below services. A help topic will pop up with a link to launch the services applet.


As a side note itís good to have antivirus software running, but it really irks me when Norton Antivirus is pre installed on a computer. I hear that norton never totally uninstalls, but I uninstall it anyway. It uses up a lot of system resources. When running antivirus software consider opening the application and unchecking itís option to scan files continuously and on start up, just set it to scan once a day or something. And if youíre using Norton antivirus,
consider a new antivirus program. Norton makes a great backup utility - ghost - but their other products I havenít enjoyed as much...

More free computer tips on the more tips page click here.


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