February 21, 2014

How to Make Windows Computer Faster or Perform Better

Question: How to make Windows computer faster or perform better?

Believe that to run Windows faster is the hope of every computer user. It makes work and entertainment smoothly. If you have ever used one computer more than years and have not done any Windows optimization, you could feel how important fast Windows operational system is.

Be positive and optimize Windows system by yourself every once in a while. It is not as difficult as you think.

Answer: There are some general optimization options for Windows operating systems, such as Disk Cleanup, Disk Defragment etc. Even though they are, we should have different and effective Windows optimization for different Windows system according to their system features. 
So in the following passage, let’s see the general and basic Windows optimization we could do.

1. Disk Cleanup

Disk Cleanup would delete files in Windows you don’t need. This is the most familiar option we could make our Windows run faster. Click “Start – All Programs”, and find “Accessories – System Tools – Disk Cleanup”. Select the drive you want to clean up and click “OK”. Choose “Delete File” in the pop-up dialog. The selected file would be deleted in Windows.

Tips: This applies to Windows 7. There would be some differences in operation in Windows Vista/8/8.1. 
disk cleanup to make windows run faster

2. Disk Defragmenter

Disk Defragmenter is to defragment the fragment created during computer use. The main purpose is to free more disk space and improve computer performance and running speed.

The operation of Disk Defragment is similar to Disk Cleanup. When you find “System Tools” in the menu, choose Disk Defragment. And then select the drive you prepare to recombine. Click “OK” and “Analyze disk” button. A dialog would pop up to ask you whether you want to defragment it. Click “OK” to go on. If you have never recombined disk, it would take about several hours, but if you do this often, about ten minutes is enough.

disk defragmenter for windows optimization

3. Other Windows Optimization Methods

Besides above two basic Windows optimization options, other small options also are effective for making Windows faster. For example, clear system temporary files, clear Internet temporary documents, and clean boot options to speed up the boot and shutdown could let programs run faster in Windows 8/7.

Articles related to hard disk:

How to Optimize Windows 7 to Run Faster

After you have run Windows 7 for a long time, or you have just installed it on your computer, it is necessary to optimize Windows 7 to make computer run faster. These works would make efforts on your daily life, work and entertainment.

Now let’s discuss how to make Windows 7 run faster on four aspects.
  1. Unload System Components
  2. Close Useless Services
  3. Shut down part of the desktop effects
  4. Optimize system startup

1. Unload Windows 7 System Components 

Close unnecessary components, makes your Windows 7 run faster.

There are many components or tools that we rarely use or never use. For example, network service like Windows Media Player, IIS and Telnet are not used often; some built-in games have not ever used. If we are sure they are not useful for us, unloading these system components or tools would let Windows system more relaxed, and Windows system will run faster to some extent. Speed improved from unloading components would not come true by third-party tools.

Because all these tools and components are not found in Control Panel, most of computer users don’t know how to delete them. Actually the method is easy.

First, open Control Panel – Uninstall a program, and choose “Turn Windows features on or off” on the left side of window. Second, a new window “Windows Features” would pop up. A filled box means that only part of the feature is turned on.  If you want to turn a feature on, select its check box. To turn a feature off, clear its check box. Click “OK” button to unload these Windows 7 features
unload windows 7 system components
Tips: In different versions of Windows 7 operational system, system components are not the same. Table PC, Windows Media Center and Windows DVD Maker only appear in Windows 7 home premium and above versions.

If you want to turn one Windows feature on, open “Windows Features” window again and select its check box, and click “OK” to save Windows changes.

2. Close Windows 7 Useless Services 

In Windows 7, a lot of services are used to support Windows running default. These services will take up lots of resources when they run. So if turn off these services when we don’t need them to run some Windows 7 features, Windows could be optimized reasonably. Windows running speed will surely improve.

Right click “Computer” and select “Manage”, “Computer Management” window appears. Choose Services and Applications – Services, all the services on this computer system would be seen. Double click the services you prepare to close, in the General – Startup type, you could see Win 7 four kinds of startup ways for services, Automatic, Automatic (Delayed Start), Manual and Disabled.
close useless services for windows 7 optimization
And “Automatic” and “Automatic (Delayed Start)” are the two reasons leading to Windows system startup slowly and disk running right along. Generally, we could set some services “Manual” according to “Description” of them. So the services will not start up when we boot computer.

3. Shut down part of the desktop effects

Besides above system components and services, some desktop effects also take up Windows resources. Especially when computer configuration is low as a whole, Aero Peek and Desk Composition would become a huge drag on system performance.

Right click “Computer” and select Properties – Advanced system settings – Performance – Settings. Clear check box of “Enable desktop composition” and click “OK”. 
shut down windows 7 desktop effects
Tips: This way will speed up Windows 7 and you still could experience Windows 7 effects at the same time.

4. Optimize Windows 7 system startup

Windows 7 optimization could be made on Windows system startup too. Type in “msconfig” command in Start Menu, and open “System Configuration”.  Click Boot – Advanced options, and select “Number of processors” and “Maximum memory” and set it as optional value maximum. Click “OK” and reboot computer following prompting messages.
 optimize windows 7 startup
Except introduction above, lots of Windows default fonts also take up some Windows resources. Deleting some fonts you don’t need is an effective way to make Windows 7 run faster. And at the same time, you would get better experience when using Word, Excel and PPT etc Office software.

More articles about Windows optimization:
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How to Optimize Windows 8 to Run Faster

There are more and more applications added to the newest Windows operational system, Windows 8. That’s no doubt that it bring us new experience we have never had. At the same time, we couldn’t run Windows 8 as fast as previous Windows systems. Therefore, in this passage, we explore four ways to optimize Windows 8 and make it run faster than before.
  1. Speed up Win 8 disk running speed
  2. Speed up Win 8 system whole speed
  3. Speed up Win 8 startup project
  4. Adjust and Optimize Win 8 system details

Way 1: Speed up Win 8 disk running speed 

In Windows 8 Task Manager, computer user could see clear situations of every disk. And someone would find disk usage rate is often up to 100%. And Windows 8 running becomes slower and slower. We don’t know what leads to Windows 8 like that, but we probably optimize Windows system with following ways to slow down disk usage rate.

1. Close the disk optimization function

First what we can do is to close disk optimization function (Disk Defragmenter). Don’t let disk work all the time when it is time for it to relax.

My Computer - Any Disk Partition - Right-click “Properties” -Tools - Optimize the drive and defragment - Optimize - Plan Optimization - Change settings - Clear check box of “Running as plan”.
Tips: Disk Defragmenter is necessary for computer, so after you close optimization plan, computer user can choose to optimize once a month.

2. Close HomeGroup
Close HomeGroup to make disk run relax. Even though HomeGroup make file sharing between computers in the same family network, we find disk usage rate soars if we open this function. So when we don’t need it to share file or printer, we can close it.

Control Panel - Network and Internet – HomeGroup – Leave the homegroup.
leave windows 8 homegroup
And then disable “HomeGroupProvider” and “HomeGroupListener” two services in Control Panel – Administrative Tools – Services.

Tips: If you have disabled these two services, and you want to turn on HomeGroup again, the two services have to be enabled.

3. Close IPv6

IPv6 is enabled default in Windows 8. And it makes disk usage rate high. IPv6 is one of the Internet Protocol. We can close it when we don’t use IPv6 network.

Control Panel - Network and Sharing Center – Change adapter settings - Right click adapter – Choose “Properties” – Clear the check box before “Internet Protocol Version 6 (TCP/IPv6)”. 
close ipv6 in windows 8 optimization
Tips: Don’t close IPv4, otherwise you couldn’t enter network.

Way 2: Speed up Win 8 system whole speed 

1. Close Windows Defender

Windows Defender is built-in antivirus program provided by Windows 8. It makes efforts on defending virus, but it leads to open file slowly at the same time. So computer users who like other antivirus program could close Windows Defender.

Press Win + R, and type in “gpedit.msc” to open Local Group Policy Editor – Local Computer Policy – Computer Configuration – Administrative Templates – Windows Components – Windows Defender – Turn off Windows Defender. Choose “Enabled” and click “Apply” and “OK”. 
turn off windows 8 defender
Tips: Don’t close Windows Defender if your Windows 8 computer has not been installed with other antivirus software.

2. Close Windows Search

Windows Search provides content index, property cache and search results for files, email and other contents. Improving file search speed for computer users but making use of much system space to create index. So disk usage rate speeds up. We had better close it if you don’t care file search speed in Windows.

Open Control Panel – Administrative Tools – Services, and set Windows Search as “Manual” or “Disabled”.

Tips: Close Windows Search would lead to slow file search, but we can choose another search tool instead of it.

Way 3: Speed up Win 8 startup project 

1. Close third-party software services

In previous Windows systems, the easiest way to close auto-start program is “msconfig”. But it is weaken in Windows 8. What computer user can do is to close third-party services.

Press Win + R and type in “msconfig”, open System Configuration and select “Hide all Microsoft services”. And then clear other services we don’t need.
disable windows 8 third-party services

2. Close programs launching since Windows startup

Windows 8 auto-startup manager is removed to Task Manager. Some programs not only launch when Windows 8 starts, but also upload data secretly. Naturally, it would take more time to start up Windows 8.

Press Win + X and choose to open “Task Manager”. Choose “Startup” and select programs you want to close. Right click it and “Disable” it. 
close windows 8 autostartup programs

Way 4: Adjust and Optimize Win 8 system details 

Adjust some system details may not optimize Win 8 system, but it makes Windows 8 easier to use for new Win 8 computer user.

For example, close dynamic magnet could avoid full screen magnet scrolling display content, and help to save network traffic especially for user only having less mobile network traffic. Besides, find Start menu back can let Windows 8 become familiar for computer users.

Right click “Task Bar” and choose “New Toolbar”, find the route C:\ProgramData\Microsoft\Windows\Start Menu\Programs, and choose files. After these settings, there will be a program option appearing in task bar. Click the double arrow button in the right side, you would see similar “Start” menu. And about other traditional Windows optimization options, you could see in how to make Windows computer faster or perform better.

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February 19, 2014

Analysis and Comparison of Windows 8/8.1 Activation Methods

Actually, the activation mechanism and methods of Windows 8.1 is not too different from Windows 8, but only Retail version and OEM key are the same in Windows 8 and Windows 8.1. Therefore, let’s analyze them in details and choose appropriate Windows 8.1 activation way.

Four activation ways analysis and comparison for Windows 8/8.1:

1. OEM Activation.

Windows product key has been embedded in computer BIOS. As long as you have installed the same version Windows system previously, Windows could be activated through network automatically. And OEM key is available for both Windows 8 and 8.1. For example, a computer pre-installed with Windows 8 could be activated online after installing Windows 8.1.

2. Retail Channel Activation.

The Retail version key is also commonly used in Windows 8 and 8.1. If you have purchased product key for Windows 8 retail version, now you can activate Windows 8.1 the same version with the same key. First, install Windows 8.1 with the installation product key from download page. Second, activate Windows 8.1 with product key we have paid for. For example, Windows 8 retail version key could activate Windows 8.1 pro. 
Tips: Retail version key is only available for Windows 8 Standard and Professional. For Windows 8 Enterprise, there are only KMS and MAK for activation.

With above two activation ways to activate Windows 8, Windows 8.1 could be activated with the same key after installation.  

3. KMS Activation.

KMS activation way for Windows 8 is not available for Windows 8.1 now, because of the KMS activation mechanism upgrade and their key is not used commonly.

4. MAK Volume Activation Key Activation.

MAK is volume licensing activation key for Enterprise users. Usually there are some MAK discovered on the Internet. Many computer users activate Windows with MAK. But unfortunately, MAK for Windows 8 doesn’t apply to Windows 8.1. So if you have ever activated Windows 8 with MAK, now Windows 8.1 has to be activated again after installation.

Above two activation ways couldn’t preserve Windows activation information from Windows 8 to Windows 8.1. Also we couldn’t restore Windows 8 activation information to activate Windows 8.1.

How to activate Windows 8.1 after upgrading Windows 8 to 8.1?

Step 1: Make sure which version of Windows 8 ever installed.
If you are ready to install and activate Windows 8.1, now please make sure which version of Windows 8 you have ever installed first in your computer.

1. Press Win + R to open Run box and type in “slmgr.vbs -dlv”.

2. Check the third line of the results. Generally, it would be like this:
Windows(R) Operating System, ********* channel
The part “*********” represents Windows system activation channel you have used. 

VOLUME_KMSCLIENT represents KMS, VOLUME_MAK represents MAK, Retail represents Retail activation, and OEM means OEM activation channel.

Step 2: Activate Windows 8.1
From the Windows 8 activation information, we know it has  been activated with KMS. So we couldn't activate Windows 8.1 directly.

Activation Guide:
1. Get product key first, such as Retail version key, which could activate Windows 8/8.1 Professional.
2. Activate Windows 8/8.1 by phone. Or find answers or ask for help from network.

More related articles to read:

February 18, 2014

How to Activate Windows 8 Pro without Product Key

When Windows 8 releases, I got Windows 8 to have a try on VMware Workstation. And I activated it with KMS. But now Windows 8 has become not activated because time is up.
You could see the details in PC info.

windows 8 pro is not activated

At this time, we could choose to activate Windows 8 with key directly. Or if we don’t have key, let’s learn to activate Windows 8 with Microsoft Toolkit like the following introductions.

1. Find and download appropriate Microsoft Toolkit.
Here we get Microsoft Toolkit 2.4.8, which is available for Windows 8.1/8/7/Vista and Windows server 2008/2012 (R2).

2. Run Microsoft Toolkit as administrator in Windows 8 virtual machine.
Microsoft Toolkit could activate Windows and Office without product key. Now we choose Windows system to activate.

3. In "Product Keys" option, select Windows system type and version in "Product" and "Edition". And then click "Install" button.

4. When product key has been installed successfully, click "Activate" button to make Windows 8 pro activated.

Few seconds later, message "Product activation successful" would appear in Information Console box at the bottom side of Microsoft Toolkit program window. Windows 8 has been activated at this time.

February 16, 2014

How to Change Windows 8 Logon Way between Local Account and Microsoft Account

Different from previous Windows operational systems, there are two main kinds of ways to login in to Windows 8, local accounts and Microsoft account.
Microsoft account is the special characteristic for Windows 8 and Windows 8.1. With it, computer user could access data and files in Windows 8 remotely. And just because of this feature, one more way is available for Windows 8 password reset.
Now this passage mainly introduces how to change Windows 8 logon way between local account and Microsoft account.
  • Change Windows 8 logon way in Start Screen
  • Change Windows 8 logon way in Change PC Settings

1. Change Windows 8 logon way in Start Screen

On Start Screen, you could see your account just singing into Windows 8. Click it and choose “Sign out” option to turn to logon screen. Choose local user account or Microsoft account you want to login in to Windows 8 with.

For example, you change Windows 8 logon way from local user account to Microsoft account. Choose Microsoft account, generally taken with email address. Type in password and click OK.

2. Change Windows 8 logon way in Change PC Settings

Move the mouse to the right-upper side of window, choose Settings and select “Change PC Settings” at the bottom side of window. On the PC settings window, click Users, you would see which kind of account you have used to login into Windows 8.
If you have signed in to Windows 8 with Microsoft account, there will be an option “Switch to a local account”.

 Click it and a window pops up. Current account password has to be typed in.

A new window pops up, and user name and password are needed. At this time, you have to create new local account actually.


Click “Next” and “Sign out and finish”, a new local account has been created and you can login in to Windows 8 with this new local account.

February 14, 2014

How to Reinstall Office without Disk or Product Key

After we buy a new computer, besides Windows installation, there are still other programs having to be installed on new computer, such as common Microsoft Office. Almost all of computer users use it to work or write something, or do with data. But unfortunately, we always encounter some problems when we prepare to install full version of Microsoft Office. How to reinstall Office successfully becomes a new problem for us after we get new computer and Windows system.
We can discuss this problem on three occasions:
  1. How to reinstall Office without disk
  2. How to reinstall Office without product key
  3. How to reinstall Office without disk and product key

1. How to reinstall Office on new computer without disk

Maybe you have purchased Microsoft Office at a store or from the web, or it has come with your PC. You are given a 25-digit Microsoft Office product key. It is very important to keep the product key in safe place or write it down.
But now you lost or misplaced your Microsoft Office Disc even though you have product key. So you are unable to reinstall Office on your new computer.
Actually, at this time, you just need a personal computer and an internet connection, and you can go to Microsoft Office download page to choose the right version of Microsoft Office for you.
Step 1: Click on the green Download button under the main heading "My copy of Office came with a disk".
download copy disk of office

Step 2: Type in product key in the product key box.

activate office with product key to install

2. How to reinstall Office without product key

When you have purchased Microsoft Office, there would be Office product key for you. But now Office product key has been lost and only Microsoft Office disc is saved in computer. How to reinstall Office on another new computer?
At this moment, the main step is to find out Office product key. According to the previous installation of Office in your old computer, you could find its product key with software, iSunshare Product Key Finder.
Step 1: Run Product Key Finder on your old computer. And click “Start Recovery” to recover product keys for programs installing on computer now.

find ms office product key with isunshare product key finder

Save Office product key to a text file after all the product keys appear in software window.
Step 2: Install Microsoft Office on new computer and type in product key just found to complete Office reinstallation.

Tips: How to Reinstall Microsoft Office without Product Key 

3. How to reinstall Office without disc and product key

From the above introductions on two different situations, we can know if you don’t have Office disk, you can download it from:
If you have lost Office product key, Product Key Finder could help you find it out on your old computer.
After all Office disk and product key has been prepared, begin to reinstall Office on your new computer.

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