Saturday, October 20, 2007

Rescue Windows System Files - SFC Utility

One of the thing that I dislike Windows as compared to Linux is the stability issues. Windows loves to crash especially if you do not restart your PC for a long period of time. It happens to me many times already. Most of the cases, what I do is to re-install my windows. I have been doing this once a year in average.

What the heck yesterday, it happened to me again. 2 of my main applications (i.e. MS office, Citrix Client) cannot run at all after I restarted my PC. It has some kind of "dynamic dll link error". I try the system restore point, it didn't help at all. Ok, never mind, I re-installed one by one to fix the problems.

However, I'm happy too fast. I got the following RUNDLL error message when I run the system properties from control panel:

"An exception occurred while trying to run "C:\WINDOWS\system32\shell32.dll, Control_RunDLL "C:\WINDOWS\system32\sysdm.cpl", System"

It seems like the sysdm.cpl is corrupted and I have no choice to reinstall the OS. I hate windows! I almost give up until I find a utility called "SFC" - System File Checker I guess. It is the utility that comes together with Windows. It able to rescue all the protected system files. What you need to do is to run the following command in your command prompt:

  • sfc /scannow
You need to put your original Windows OS CD into the drive and the SFC will do the rest. After running the SFC utility, the problem above doesn't occur anymore. Oh, thanks I learn one new thing today that I no need to reinstall the whole OS for system files corruption (which I used to do) to save my little baby. It saves me a lot of time too (i.e. time to install the OS and all the applications). Hope this is something helpful to you, perhaps not now but in future.

Few tips and trick:
  1. Restart your PC at least once a week
  2. Run "chkdsk" at least once a week
  3. If windows system files corrupted, try use system restore point.
  4. If it doesn't work, try the SFC utility.
This is assuming your PC is not attacked by virus or hackers. This is assuming your PC is attacked by himself (Windows OS) - self destructive mode. I'm just kidding. Good luck!

Monday, October 15, 2007

100 Reasons to Use Vista

Microsoft posted a web page with 100 reasons why everyone's so speechless. It basically give 100 reasons why Vista is so amazing and why people should upgrade to Vista? This is so amazing that they can come up with 100 reasons. For me, I only able find 2 reasons as stated in my previous post on whether we should upgrade to Vista or not.

First reason is Windows Aero. It is a very cool UI feature, it gives the feel of Macintosh. But remember it eats performance and your battery life (if you're using laptop). Based on some reviews on Windows Aero's performance, it consume 4-5% more power than XP. So if power and performance is not a top priority concern, Windows Aero is cool.

Second reason is the security. I feel better with the User Account Control and it gives me peace of mind from hackers or intruders.

Oppss... that's all I can come up with. Are those 100 reasons crap? Are these 100 reasons the key feature? Do we really need them? or it is just something not essential? I don't know, you tell me. Feel free to let me know if you have any "real" reason to upgrade to Vista in your personal opinion.

Friday, October 12, 2007

Useful PowerToys Software for XP

Althought I have been switching to Vista but my office PC is still using XP. So for those who are still using XP, the PowerToys is the additional software add-on into XP to improve the windows experience. However not every softwares from PowerToys are useful. Sadly that most of the softwares are useless (to me) or I already have a solution.

These are the software I have tried as I think they're useful (to me):

  1. ClearType Tuner (Recommended)
  2. Open Command Window Here (Recommended)
  3. Virtual Desktop Manager (Not Recommended)
ClearType Tuner
This is the most useful PowerToy in my opinion. This is especially for those who are using the LCD screen and has difficulty read the fonts (i.e. not clear enough). You can give it a try.
After installed, you can run the ClearType Tuner and it appears some kind of Wizard to allow you to choose the best font that best suit you. After the Wizard, your font will be configured and looks clear.

If you're using CRT monitor, I don't think it gives you huge improvement but you can give it a try.

Click here to download

Open Command Window Here
If you're the Unix user, you probably get used to running command from console. Installing this PowerToy, it allows you to access to the command prompt directly from the explorer. I personally find this useful as I don't need to CD to the directory every time I open the command prompt window. I can use the Windows Explorer to browse to the directory and "Right Click" and click "Open Command Window Here" to open the command window. The command window shows the same current directory where I "Right Click" from the Explorer.

Click here to download

Virtual Desktop Manager
I love virtual desktop. Therefore, I have been trying many virtual desktop software tools in Windows platform. I tried the Open Source and also this one but none of them satisfy me. The reason is all of them are somehow unstable. It ether cause my PC hang, or my things in Desktop 1 move to Desktop 2, or my whole Application's UI is missing and many more. Therefore I do not recommend to try this. If you have ever known any "Stable" Virtual Desktop in Windows platform, feel free to let me know.

Click here to download
(If you still want to try)

To see the full list of software provided by PowerToys, click here.

Friday, October 5, 2007

AVAST is better than AVG

This is just to share a bit why I say that. I has been using the AVAST for less than 6 months and the AVAST manage to catch 3 viruses threat so far when I'm browsing the internet. However, the AVG can't catch them at all.

I tested this by disabling the AVAST and visit the same site that has that virus threat. I forgot what site I have visited, if not I can probably put it here for you guys to give it a try. Anyway, this is just my experience. Honestly so far, I haven't catch any virus using AVG. I have been using AVG for 1 year. The last time I install AVAST it detected a virus in my PC which didn't caught by AVG all the while. This is so scary.

Have a second thought before you decide to remove AVAST and keep AVG or choose a AVG. Is AVG is really better? I should have test the site with McAfee Anti-Virus. Anyway, I'm doubt. That's why I install both AVG and AVAST as what I recommended in my previous post. Why don't you do the same?

Tuesday, October 2, 2007

Fake OpenOffice Website?

It has been quite sometimes I noticed this but I can't be sure. Here is the website Initialy I thought this is fake or scam website that's until I read some posting in the official OpenOffice website comments the following:

This is a company which begins with (OOo) and adds additional programs to it. This is legal under the OOo license (LGPL).

Having said so, even though the company is legal, the website doesn't address why I want to buy this product as I can download it free from the OOo and it charges me $47 (offer price). It looks to me like they have an intention to hide the fact that we can download the OpenOffice software for free from I wonder what amazing extra program causes worth $47. The free version has already fulfill all my needs. Bonus anti-virus program? I can get it free from AVG and AVAST. Hmm....

How many of users out there really buy this product? How many of them really find it useful for the additional programs? Is $47 really worth? Do these users aware of they can also download it free from OOo?

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