Useful Windows Hints and Tips – Part 1

In today’s world we are all looking to do things quicker and get frustrated when items take an eternity to do certain tasks. I have decided to write a couple of hints and tips that could speed up the use of your PC.

Firstly for all those of you who have dual or quad core processors did you know that you can stop individual processes from using all of the cores and hog CPU performance.

Its a little know fact that you can get some processes to run on a single core leaving the others free to utilise the remainder. This is best suited for when you are running items like anti virus scans, firstly you need to know the process name, most are self explanatory.

Affinty CPU CoresHold down CTRL, ALT and DELETE  and you will either be shown the task manager or the screen to select it. Once selected it will show you the normal task manager window, you need to select the processes tab from the top.

When you have found the process you are looking to set the CPU affinity to, I am using Photoshop for the process of this article, you need to select the process then right click. You will now be shown the menu where you can see various options relating to the individual process, the menu heading we are looking for is Set Affinity. In the following menu it will show you the amount of CPU cores you have on your PC. When dual cores and quad cores originally came out some programs wouldnt run on multi core systems and you had to set the CPU affinity each time. Generally it doesnt matter what CPU core you use but if a program becomes unstable try setting it to zero first.

CPU Affinity guideCPU affinity












Windows Sidebar and Gadgets.

Windows 7 and Vista comes with an option to use gadgets and sidebars and whilst on powerful machines they are very appealing to use on systems where you are on limited resources (i.e. System memory) it is better to remove them to increase performance.

To remove these is simple, in Windows 7 right click your desktop and from the menu move your cursor over View. From the sub menu near the bottom there is an option to View desktop gadgets, if this has a tick next to it click it to remove. In Windows Vista to remove the sidebar right click a blank area around a sidebar gadget and select Properties. There will be a check box which says “Load Sidebar when Windows starts”. Make sure the tick is removed and next time Windows starts the sidebar wont run.



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