Here’s a tip to get more from the small business technology you already have. One of the helpful features in Microsoft Office is the ability to directly create a PDF document by using the “save as PDF” feature. Instead of relying on a third-party application, the capability is built right in.
To create a PDF, simple to to File / Save As Type – and pick “PDF”:
PDF stands for Portable Document Format, and this means anyone can view your file and keep the formatting intact, even if they don’t have Microsoft Word on their system. This feature is also built into PowerPoint, so this makes it easy to share your presentations over the web.
I received calls about pdf files starting to take a lot longer to open.
The culprit? Adobe Reader “Enhanced Security“. This is apparently the result of an update, and the new settings automatically call for Adobe to look up a “policy file” for the document. Of course security is a good thing, but in this case, too much security will slow you down. If you have up to date antivirus protection, anti-malware protection, a good firewall, and you’re careful about opening files from trusted sources, this is a case where you probably don’t need an extra layer of protection.
To revert the settings, in Adobe Reader, go to “Edit” and select “Preferences” from the pull-down. In the “Preferences” window, under “Categories” select “Security (Enhanced)” which is about 3/4 down the list. Then un-check the “Enable Enhanced Security” box.
Feed your need for speed by installing SSDs in RAID 0
Tired of waiting while your top-of-the-line SSD loads files?
RAID 0 works far better with SSDs than it does with hard drives, because mechanical drives aren’t fast enough to take full advantage of the increased bandwidth.
This tip is primarily for desktop PC owners.
The performance of both the Intel 730 Series and the Plextor M6e drives improved immensely when paired up in a striped array—between 46- and 88 percent on the plus side. We performed a write test by copying a single large file (10GB) to the drive under evaluation, and a read test by copying that same file from the drive. We repeat this sequence with a 10GB collection of small files and folders.
The 730 Series SSD wrote the single large file at 470.4MBps and read that file at 376.2MBps. It wrote our 10GB collection of small files and folders at 479.0MBps, and it read them at 351.3MBps.
When we paired two of these drives in RAID 0, large-file write and read speeds skyrocketed to 800.1MBps and 707.3MBps respectively, while the collection-of-small-files write and read speeds exploded to 811.3MBps and 582.3MBps respectively. That’s an overall average of 725.3MBps reading and writing. Intel tells us running four 730 Series drives in RAID 0 can achieve average speeds of 1.2GBps.
Intel’s 730 Series SSDs deliver huge benefits when you run two drives in RAID 0.
The Plextor M6e’s PCIe interface delivers higher performance than the older SATA 6Gbps can muster.
Be sure to have a routine backup plan in place. If any drive in a RAID 0 configuration fails, you could lose all your data.
Thumbs.db, as its name states, is a file based database that stores thumbnails of image files, certain types of documents and video files, mostly for Windows Explorer’s thumbnail view. They are stored locally in each directory that contains thumbnails on Windows system and are created to prevent system wide use of the data. Thumbs.db files are hidden system files, so you will need to turn off “Hide protected operating system files” in order to see them.
This idea of caching thumbnails in a spread thumbs.db local file has been around since Windows XP. While it seems to be a good idea, it sometimes could be annoying seeing this “File in Use” dialogue box pops up when trying to clean up the directory in Windows Explorer. And it seems to happen quite often in Windows 8 for some reason.
Since they don’t seem to be very useful to me, I’d like to disable them to 1) prevent this “File in Use” from happening so often; and 2) save some disk space for being good to my SSD.
To disable it, all you need to do is just to enable “Always show icons, never thumbnails” option in Folder Options. To open Folder Options window, the easiest way in Windows 7 and 8 is to press Win key, type “folder options”, and click it.
Your image folders will become so plain and boring once you Apply the change.
Now, to free up the disk space if you like, you can fire up Disk Clean Up utility, check Thumbnails, and delete them.
There are a couple of ways to turn off caching of thumbnails, one includes editing the registry and the other includes using the Local Group Policy Editor. I have edited the registry a million times and don’t mind doing that, but it doesn’t get any easier than using the Local Group Policy Editor. The first step is to log on to Windows 7 as an administrator. To start the Local Group Policy Editor, click the Windows 7 start icon and type gpedit.msc in the search text box and hit Enter. The Editor will open to the top-level Local Computer Policy, so you will have to expand the User Configuration item in the left-side pane of the Editor window. Drill down through Administrative Templates, then Windows Components, and click on the Windows Explorer item. Near the top of the list in the right-hand pane of the Editor window you will find the setting “Turn off the caching of thumbnails in hidden thumbs.db files” (see below).
To edit this policy setting, either double-click on the title of the policy or click the link titled “Edit Policy Setting” to the left of the setting list after you select the policy. It is interesting to note that below the Edit Policy Setting link it indicates that the requirement is Windows Vista Service Pack 1. To change the policy, merely check the “Enabled” radio button and click OK (see below).
Close the Local Group Policy Editor and you will notice that all of those thumbs.db files have disappeared.
You can use the preview pane in Windows Explorer to see the contents of most files. If you select an e‑mail message, text file, picture, or video for example, you can see a preview of its contents without opening it in a program. The preview pane is turned off by default in Windows 7.
This will show you how to turn the Preview pane off on all Windows Explorer windows in Windows 7
Windows Explorer Layout
To Turn “Preview Pane” Off in Windows Explorer
1. Open Windows Explorer (explorer.exe).
2. On the toolbar, click on Organize and Layout. (see screenshots below)
If you want to speed up browsing around in explorer, you might think about disabling thumbnail previews in folders.
To make this change, go to Start -> Computer -> Organize -> Folder and Search Options
Click the View tab, and then check the Always show icons, never thumbnails checkbox.
Click OK, and you’re done.
How to disable Windows 10’s WiFi Sense password sharing
WiFi Sense in Windows 10 takes the headache out of managing WiFi networks, but some people have security and privacy concerns.
How to disable WiFi Sense in Windows 10
First, open the Start menu and head to Settings > Network & Internet > WiFi > Manage WiFi settings. In here, you basically want to disable every option you see, as well as tell Windows 10 to forget any WiFi networks you’ve signed into in the past.
That’s easy, and all well and good. But what if you don’t want your friends sharing the information about your network’s password with their friends? That takes some additional tinkering, and it’s not obvious. There isn’t a mere option toggle in Windows 10 itself.
Instead, you need to dive into your actual router’s settings and give your network a new name with “_optout” at the end. For example, a network called “WiFiSenseUgh_optout” wouldn’t be stored by WiFi Sense, while one that’s just called “WiFiSenseUgh” would be usable with Microsoft’s sharing feature.
You will need to add “_optout” to your network if you want to stay out of Microsoft’s WiFi Sense database, you’ll need to manually enter your password on your friends’ devices when they pop by your house and make sure to uncheck Windows 10’s “Share network with my contacts” box when you do so.
Does your network adapter get disabled after resuming from sleep mode (wake up from sleep)? If yes, then we have a solution for you. Here is the quick rundown of the problem and its solution. By default Windows 7 will disable a network device to save power, all you need to do is to tell Windows to mind it’s own business. Go to Device Manager, right-click the network adapter (that keeps getting turned off), and select Properties.
Now head over to the Power Management tab, uncheck the option that says “Allow the computer to turn off this device to save power”, and Hit OK.
Windows 8 or 10 allows you to create a recovery drive (USB) or system repair disc (CD or DVD) that can be used to troubleshoot and restore your computer. Each type of recovery media gives you access to Windows’ advanced startup options.
You can also copy your computer’s recovery partition to the drive, creating a backup copy. After you create the backup copy, Windows will allow you to remove the recovery partition from your computer, freeing up gigabytes of space.
Creating a Recovery Drive (USB)
To open the recovery drive creation tool, press the Windows key and type recovery drive. Click or tap the Settings category and launch the Create a recovery drive application. In Windows 10 you’ll search the Start Menu for the same thing.
The Recovery Media Creator opens on your desktop. If your computer came with a recovery partition, you can copy it to the recovery drive. Of course, this will use much more space, so you’ll need a large enough USB drive. After copying the recovery partition, Windows will ask you if you want to delete the recovery partition on the hard drive. On the Surface with Windows RT, Microsoft claims that this can save you about 3.5 GB of hard disk space.
Click the Next option and you’ll be prompted to select a connected USB drive. Click the Create button and the files will by copied to your USB drive.
After the process is complete, you’ll be asked if you want to delete the recovery partition. If you do delete the recovery partition, you’ll need the drive to Refresh and Reset your PC in the future.