Do You Really Need More Than 4GB of RAM?

Valley Computer 206.730.1111 Installing More Computer Ram


With the price of upgrading system RAM extremely low these days, people are always asking me whether it’s really worth it to upgrade beyond 4GB; today we’ll answer that question for everybody.

More RAM Means Better Multi-Tasking

More Ram 01
First, let’s take a moment to clarify what exactly more RAM can (and can’t) do for you. The biggest benefit of upgrading your PC’s memory is better multi-tasking, especially for those of us using RAM-hogging applications like Photoshop, Outlook, or Firefox 5 minutes after we’ve opened it. Having a lot of memory means that you can quickly switch back and forth between the different applications without Windows writing the process memory out to the pagefile. (The pagefile performs much the same purpose as RAM, but the data is stored on your much slower hard drive.)
To put it another way, your RAM generally does not make your PC faster, it just allows it to do more things at once. If your single application uses 200 MB of RAM, it won’t matter if you’ve got 2 or 8GB of total system memory, but if you’ve got 10 windows open using 200 MB each, then you are probably going to benefit from an upgrade.

What Applications Actually Use 4GB+ of RAM?

Valley Computer 206.730.1111 Installing More Ram

It’s true, very few applications are going to use large chunks of your system memory, but there are some applications that will benefit greatly from an upgrade—image editing applications like Photoshop, video/audio editing applications, or virtual machines like VirtualBox or VMware will use as much RAM as you can spare.

More RAM Will Not Make Single Tasks Faster

Other than the specific applications that hog your RAM, if you think bumping your RAM from 3GB to 8GB is going to increase the speed of a regular application-like a video game—you should think again. The only thing that additional RAM does is allow your computer to do more things at once, not actually make it faster. So if you normally have a few dozen windows open before you launch your video game, you’ll see some speed improvement by upgrading, or you could just close a few apps.

How Do You Know When to Upgrade?

Valley Comuter 206.730.1111 Installing More Ram

If you are running with 4GB or less RAM in your system, you could probably benefit from an upgrade unless you barely use your PC or run a single application at a time—it should be easy to open up Task Manager and check whether your memory usage is reaching the limit. If you consider yourself a power user, you’ll want to consider upgrading your PC to 6 or 8GB of RAM. So what if you already have 3GB+ installed? Should you drop the cash for 6 or even 8GB of RAM?
To really analyze whether your PC is using the memory properly or paging to the disk, the best tool is the Resource Monitor included in Windows 7—it gives you a quick view at exactly what resources are being used, and what they are being used for. The key thing to pay attention to is the Hard Faults/sec graph, which tells you how many times an application attempted to read memory that Windows was forced to push into the pagefile because of a lack of memory.

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What About 32-bit vs 64-bit?

So you’ve upgraded your PC with 8GB of system RAM, only to find out that Windows doesn’t see all of it. The reason is simple: 32-bit versions of Windows 7 cannot use more than 4GB of system RAM. If you want to actually use all of that RAM that you installed, you’ll need to install a 64-bit version of Windows.

The Bottom Line

Let’s break it down into a couple of bullet points for easier digestion:
• If you are a regular user, just light browsing, IM, or YouTube, you are probably just fine with 3-4GB of RAM—but check Resource Monitor if you aren’t sure.
• If you consider yourself a power user but don’t use Photoshop or virtual machines, you should probably have 6-8GB of RAM installed.
• If you are a power user with virtual machines or you do heavy audio/video/image editing, you should consider upgrading with as much RAM as you can afford—just keep in mind that you’ll need a 64-bit version of Windows to take advantage of it all.

How to turn OFF Microsoft’s Office365 New Feature called “Clutter”

This new feature was just released, and I didn’t feel I wanted a system to pre-sort my email. I have too many devices that get my email and it was not a feature I felt would be of benefit to me.

You will need to log into Office 365 Sign-in page

Step Two:

Select the Option cogwheel (top right) -> Options (drop down right), -> Mail (left hand side)

Valley Computer 206.730.1111 Office 365 cogwheel

Step Three

Clutter -> Don’t Separate -> SAVE

Valley Computer 206.730.1111 cogwheel Office 365

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Create a Local Account In Windows 10

Valley Computer 206.730.1111 Windows 10

If you have upgraded to Windows 10, and log in with your Microsoft account, you agree to share a lot of info with Microsoft. There are a benefits to using your Microsoft account as your login. It allows your to sync personalized settings, files in OneDrive, Windows Store apps, and more between Windows 10 devices.
However, you might want to create a local account instead. Maybe you need to create an account for someone in your household or small business who doesn’t have or need a Microsoft account.

First, you will need to be logged into your Windows 10 PC or device as Administrator.
Then right-click the Start menu to access the hidden power user menu, and select Run.

Local Account 01

Alternately you can use the keyboard shortcut Windows Key + R to bring up the Run box. Once you have it open, type: control userpasswords2 and hit Enter or click OK.

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The User Account screen will open — Click the Add button.

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The next screen will ask how this person will sign in. At the bottom of this screen select: Sign in without a Microsoft account (not recommended) and click Next.

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The next screen will describe the differences between a Microsoft account and a Local account. Select the Local account button at the bottom.

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Now you can enter in the user’s name, password, and password hint. Click Next.

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That’s it! Click Finish and the user is added.

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When creating a new user account, they will be a Standard user by default, which is better for security, but you can change it to Administrator if you’re creating the local account for yourself.

To do that, go to Settings > Accounts > Family & other users. From there click on the new user account you just created and then Change account type.

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Next just change the account type from Standard User to Administrator and click OK. Note that you can remove the account from here as well.

Local Account 09

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4 Things To Do Before You Call Tech Support

Valley Computer 206.730.1111 Have you tried turning it off and on again?Technicians love getting requests from clients, but here are a few thing you can do before you call.

I will probably ask you to do these anyway…

1.) Restart the program, check to see if your issue persists
2.) Restart the computer
3.) If it’s a program that accesses the internet, make sure your internet is working.
4.) Have your passwords ready. Password reset time is costly, save time and money by knowing them before calling us.

Examples: Your Outlook is not sending and receiving. Check your online browser and make sure you can reach Google, or your favorite website. If you are not on the internet, your email will not work either.

If you need help, give me a Call or Text at 206.730.1111


Uninstalling the “Get Windows 10” update KB3035583

Valley Computer 206.730.1111 Windows 10 Free Upgrade

Get Windows 10 Free Upgrade

While many users are eager to get Windows 10, there are people who don’t want to. For them, the new “Get Windows 10” app is just annoying, pure and simple.

If you are really serious about not wanting the “Get Windows 10” app on your device, you might want to permanently uninstall it. To do this, you will have to uninstall the update called KB3035583 that brought it in the first place.
Launch Control Panel, go to Programs and then click or tap on View installed updates.

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Programs and Features

In the Installed Updates window, look for the KB3035583 update. You can either scroll down until you see it, or you can use the Search field from the top right corner of the window.

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Select “Update for Microsoft Windows (KB3035583”

Select the KB3035583 update with a click or a tap and then press the Uninstall button found at the top of the updates list.

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Select Uninstall

Confirm that you want to uninstall this update and wait for the process to finish. Then, reboot your device.

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Select YES

Now, the “Get Windows 10” app is completely removed from your system.

Need more help with this issue, Call or Text me Today at 206.730.1111

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How to Fix Windows Network Slow Problem?

Valley Computer 206.730.1111 Network-Slow-Command-Prompt

netsh interface tcp set global autotuning=disabled

1) Disable Autotuning will help much on DNS lookup and network discovery. It improves the data transfer speed also over the network. Start command prompt as administrator, and follow the commands as shown in below example.

2) Turn Off RDC (Remote Differential Compression) introduced with Windows Vista to transfer data over network in compressed format. This slows down network data transfer, You can remove this RDC by visiting control panel and programs and features. Click on ‘Turn Windows features on or off’, as shown below.

Valley Computer 206.730.1111 Network-Slow-Disable-RDC

Remove Tick (Remote Differential Compression)

3) Remove IPv6 from network properties under network connection properties. Keeping IPv6 in your computer sometimes slows down network by trying to register IPv6 addresses, or trying to get IPv6 address, or trying to resolve IPv6. Better remove it if it’s not required.

4) Clear DNS Cache from computer, so next time DNS request will be solved by updated DNS server. This will avoid your computer to try broken or changed DNS records from cache. To clear DNS cache, open command prompt as administrator and type ipconfig /flushdns

5) Disable Wireless Network and any additional (including Virtual adapters) network adapters under network connection.  If it’s enabled, windows computer will be trying to connect available wireless network around you, and trying to login though its network. Loading your profiles and start up programs will be slow while booting because of this.

6) Modifying Link Speed & Duplex Value in Network adapter Properties. Depending on your physical network setup (network adapter, cable type, LAN speed and network switch). By default it is set for Auto Negotiation. But you can play around with Value options and find out which is working better for your computer and network.

Valley Computer 206.730.1111 Network-Slow-NIC

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11 Windows 10 Tips

Valley Computer 206.730.1111 Windows 10

Disable sharing your bandwidth

Start ‐> Settings ‐> Updates and Security ‐> Advanced ‐> Choose how updates are delivered ‐? Updates from more than one place turn OFF

Turn ON system restore

Control Panel ‐ System ‐ Advanced system settings ‐ system protection

Check your screen saver settings

Right click on desktop ‐ Personalize ‐ Lock Screen ‐ Screen Saver Settings

Turn off File Explorer’s Quick Access view

When you open File Explorer in Windows 10, it defaults to a new Quick Access view that shows your most frequently accessed folders and recently viewed files. I love it, personally, but if you’d rather File Explorer defaulted to the “This PC” view found in Windows 8, here’s how.

Open File Explorer, then select View > Options from the Ribbon. A Folder Options window will open. Click the “Open File Explorer” drop‐down menu at top, then select the “This PC” option. Click OK and you’re done!

Schedule your restarts

This is wonderful. If you’ve got pending updates that require you to reboot your PC,

Windows 10 will allow you to schedule a specific time for it to do so.

Open the Settings option in the Start menu, then head to Updates and Recovery >

Windows Update. If you have an update pending, you’ll see a screen which lets you schedule your reboot after you select the “Select a restart time” radio button. Even better, you can dive into the Advanced options and link and ask Windows to notify you to schedule a reboot whenever updates are ready to rock.

Command Prompt tools

Windows 10 packs a slew of nifty new command line features, including the ability to copy and paste inside the command prompt with Crtl + C and Crtl + V.

To activate the goodies, open the command prompt. Right‐click its title bar, then select

Properties. You can find and enable the new features under the “Edit Options” section of the Options tab

Record a video of an app

Windows 10’s new Game DVR function is supposed to be used for recording video evidence of your most glorious gaming moments, but it’ll actually let you create videos of any open app or desktop software (though not OS‐level areas like File Explorer or the desktop).

To summon it, simply press Windows key + G. A prompt will ask you if you want to open the Game bar. Lie your butt off and click the “Yes, this is a game box” and various options will appear in a floating bar. Simply click the circular Record button to capture a video. You can find your saved videos in the Game DVR section of the Xbox app, or inside your user folder under Video > Captures.

Get rid of the old stuff

When you upgrade to Windows 10 over an existing Windows 7 or 8 installation, it keeps a copy of your old operating system around in a folder dubbed Windows.old just case you need to revert back for any reason. If you know you’re never going back you can delete that folder to reclaim the lost gigabytes—but it’s not as simple as right‐clicking on it and selecting Delete.

Search for “Disk Cleanup“. Click the shortcut, select your primary hard drive (if you have multiple installed), and in the window that appears, click “Clean up system files.” After

Windows thinks for a second, check the “Previous Windows installations” box in the list, then click OK and confirm you want to delete the files.

Manage your notifications

System‐wide notifications were a highlight feature for Windows Store apps in Windows 8, and Windows 10’s new Action Center lets you actually manage them, making notifications useful rather than one‐off shouts into the wind.

You might not want every Windows Store app you install barking at you all the time, however, or maybe you don’t want to see any notifications while you’re in presentation mode. To tinker with you your notification settings, head to Start menu > Settings > Systems > Notifications and actions. Individual Windows Store apps tend to have more granular notification options in the Settings menus inside the apps themselves.

Disable W‐Fi Sense

WiFi Sense will automatically connect you to detected crowdsourced WiFi networks, acquire network information and provide “additional info” to networks that require it (it’s not clear exactly what constitutes additional info), and can be used to automatically share your WiFi password with your contacts on Facebook, Skype, and Outlook.

That last feature is the potentially controversial one. WiFi Sense is enabled by default in Build 10240 of Windows 10; if you choose “Express Settings,” Microsoft enables the option and allows your device to acquire WiFi passwords from friends and shares your password with the same group of people. If you choose to leave the function enabled (or turn it on manually, as shown below), it will request permission to connect to Outlook, Skype, and Facebook on your behalf. Other users on your friends list who also run Windows 10 will have their contact information shared with you as well, assuming they also enable the feature.

Keyboard shortcuts

Here are some keyboard shortcuts you may want to be aware of — ones that will really help your daily workflow:

Windows Key‐Tab (Task View)

Windows Key‐Right‐Up (Moves app to top right quadrant)

Windows Key‐Ctrl‐Left or Right (virtual desktop)

Windows Key‐Ctrl‐D (new virtual desktop)

Windows Key‐Ctrl‐C (Cortana listening)

Windows Key‐S (Daily Glance for weather, news, sports)

Windows Key‐Ctrl‐F4 (closes virtual desktop)

Windows Key‐Up and Down (snap apps to top or bottom of screen or maximizes)

Set Your Default Apps

Settings ‐> System ‐> default apps

How to create a Windows 7 System Recovery USB flash drive

Valley Computer 206.730.1111 Windows 7Step one: If you do not have a DVD drive, download the appropriate Windows 7 Recovery Disc image from Here. You will need a torrent client for this step, such as µTorrent. Alternatively, if you have a DVD drive, you can use an existing Windows 7 Installation DVD or a Windows 7 Recovery Disc when at step seven.

Using a Windows 7 Installation DVD at step seven will also allow you to install Windows 7 via USB, not just recover a damaged system; very useful if you have a netbook!

Step two: Open a command prompt with administrative rights. To do this, click Start > All Programs > Accessories and then right click Command Prompt, followed by clicking Run as administrator.

Step three: After accepting any UAC verification questions, you should now be at the command prompt. Make sure your USB flash drive is plugged in and then type DiskPart, followed by pressing Enter.

Step four: Type List Disk and then press Enter. Determine which disk number corresponds to your USB flash drive. In the following scenario, Disk 1 corresponds to our USB drive since we know our USB drive has a capacity of 2-gigabytes.

Step five: Enter the following commands in order, changing the disk number to the disk number listed for your USB drive.  Warning – the following commands will erase everything on your USB drive or the disk you select.

        Select Disk 1


        Create Partition Primary

        Select Partition 1


        Format FS=NTFS

Step six: After DiskPart successfully formats the USB drive, which might take a few minutes, you will want to enter the following commands:

Assign, Exit

Valley Computer 206.730.1111 Command-Prompt-Steps


Step seven: You will now need to copy the contents of the ISO image you downloaded, or the contents of a DVD you wish use, to the USB flash drive.  There should be two folders and a file in the ISO image that need to be copied. To extract the files contained within an ISO image, you will need to use a program such as WinRAR. You can download WinRAR from here.

Step eight: Now that the files are copied, we will want to make the USB drive bootable. To accomplish this however we will need to download a small file called bootsect.exe; it can be downloaded from here or here. The file can also be found in the boot directory of the Windows 7 Installation DVD.  Once downloaded, place the bootsect.exe file in the root directory of your USB flash drive.

Step nine: Back at the command prompt, we will want to change the current directory to that of the USB drive and run the bootsect command. In our case this is drive E, so we will be using the following respective commands:

bootsect /nt60 e:

The bootsect command will update the target volume with a compatible bootcode. If all goes well, you should now have a bootable USB recovery drive; just remember to add the USB drive to the boot list in your system’s BIOS for it to work upon start up.

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How to create a Windows 7 System Recovery Disc

Windows 7 makes it easy to create a System Recovery Disc if you already have Windows 7 installed and running.

Step one: Click Start > All Programs > Maintenance > Create a System Repair Disc

Step two: Insert a blank CD or DVD into your disc drive.

Step three: Click Create disc and let the program do its thing. Valley Computer 206.730.1111 Create-Window-7-System-Repair-Disk

That’s it! It only needs to write about 140- to 160-megabytes to the disc, depending on whether your OS is 64-bit or 32-bit, and that should only take a minute. If you do not have a CD/DVD-R drive to create a recovery disc with, you can alternatively download the ISO image of the Windows 7 System Recovery Disc and use it to make a bootable USB flash drive.

How to Fix Windows 7 When It Fails to Boot

Valley Computer 206.730.1111 Microsoft-Windows-7

Whether caused by a virus, a new operating system or by simple mistake, being faced with an “Operating System not found” or similar error during your computer system’s boot up can be a nerve rattling experience. Assuming you have Microsoft’s Window 7 installed however, do not fear, such a boot error can often be resolved in just a few simple steps.

First, check your BIOS and hardware

In many cases, having Windows 7 fail to boot may be as simple as having your BIOS set with an incorrect boot order sequence. It can be quite common if you have more than one hard drive installed in your computer and your BIOS gets reset. Usually you can access your BIOS seconds after your computer turns on by pressing the Delete button or by pressing a specific function key. Once in the BIOS, check to see that your system drive is listed appropriately in the boot order sequence; you may need to refer to your motherboard manual for help.

Another possible reason for Windows not being detected upon start up is a hardware issue. If your BIOS is unable to detect your system drive, check to make sure all the cables are plugged in properly. If your hard drive is making an odd noise, such as a clicking sound, your hard drive may be broken. Finally, it is possible that the hard drive is having data corruption issues, which has damaged important system data, such as the Master Boot Record (MBR). If you suspect a faulty hard drive, it may be a good idea to backup and scan your hard drive for errors from another computer and possibly consider buying a replacement. Trying to repair a boot problem on a damaged drive can possibly lead to even more data loss, so backup your data before attempting anything.

The MBR and other important boot data can also be damaged by trying to install an earlier version of Windows, such as Windows XP, alongside Windows 7 and by third-party programs, such as viruses. In the case of a virus, it is recommended that you run a virus scan of the drive before attempting any repairs as otherwise it could lead to more data loss. It is further possible to achieve the appearance of damaged boot data by having the wrong drive partition set to active, which can be the outcome of an overly curious Windows user with administrative permissions.

Fixing the MBR and other start up problems in Windows 7 is most quickly accomplished by using the Windows 7 Installation DVD. If you do not have a Windows 7 Installation DVD however, you can alternatively use a Windows 7 System Recovery Disc, which we will show you how to create further down in this article.  If you do not yet have either a Windows 7 Installation DVD or a recovery disc, do yourself a big favor and make a recovery disc right away to avoid any unnecessary headaches down the road.

Fixing the Master Boot Record (MBR)

Step one: Turn your computer on, booting from either your Windows 7 Installation DVD or Windows 7 System Recovery Disc.  Remember, you may need to change the boot order inside your BIOS to have the your DVD drive boot first.

Step two: After the installation or recovery disc loads, if prompted, select your language settings and then continue.  If you are using the installation DVD, when prompted by the following screen select Repair your computer.

Valley Computer 206.730.1111 Repair-Your-Computer

Step three: The computer will take a moment now to scan itself for any Windows installations, after which you will likely be given a choice to select which installation you wish to repair.  Select the appropriate Windows installation from the list and then continue. If by chance a problem is detected in one of your Windows installations at this initial stage, the system may also ask you if it can try to repair the problem automatically. It is up to you if you wish to let the system try to repair itself, but otherwise just select No.

Step four: Once you have reached the System Recovery Options screen, as shown below, you will be faced with a list of choices that can aid you in repairing a damaged Windows 7 operating system.  If you wish to try the Startup Repair option first, it is often successful in automatically fixing many different start up issues, but in this article we will be using the Command Prompt option to resolve our problems manually. So, click Command Prompt to continue. Valley Computer 206.730.1111 Command-Prompt

Step five: Now sitting at the command prompt, enter the following command and then press enter:

bootrec.exe /FixMbr

If successful, you should be greeted with the message The operation completed successfully.  That’s it!  Your Master Boot Record has been repaired.

While the above command does fix the MBR, and sometimes that is enough, there still might be an error with the system partition’s boot sector and Boot Configuration Data (BCD). This might occur if you have tried to install another operating system alongside Windows 7, such as Windows XP.  To write a new boot sector, try the following command:

bootrec.exe /FixBoot

If you are still faced with your Windows 7 installation not being detected during start up, or if you wish to include more than one operating system choice to your system’s boot list, you can try the following command to rebuild your BCD:

       bootrec.exe /RebuildBcd

The above command will scan all your disks for other operating systems compatible with Windows 7 and allow you to add them to your system’s boot list. If this fails, you may need to backup the old BCD folder* and create a new one in its place with the following commands:
        bcdedit /export C:\BCD_Backup


        cd boot

        attrib bcd -s -h -r

        ren c:\boot\bcd bcd.old

        bootrec /RebuildBcd

*Some users also find simply deleting the boot folder and retrying the above steps effective at resolving boot issues, but it is not recommended.

How to change active partitions

Upon purposely changing the active partition on my system drive, I was faced with a BOOTMGR is missing error during my system’s start up that prevent Windows from starting. It is a common mistake to make when playing with partitions on a system drive and it can be a headache to solve if not prepared. To change your active partition back using the Windows 7 recovery disc or Installation DVD, follow the steps below.

Step one: Follow steps one to four in the above guide. This should take you to the Command Prompt in the Windows Recovery Environment.

Step two: Type DiskPart and then press Enter.

Step three: Type List Disk now and then press Enter. This command will list all disks attached to your computer and assign them a disk number.

Step four: Type Select Disk x, where x is the number for the disk containing the partition you wish to make active. Press Enter.

Step five: Type List Partition and then press Enter. You will now be shown a list of the partitions on the selected disk. Determine which partition you wish to make active.

Step six: Type Select Partition x, where x is the number of the partition you wish to make active.

Step seven: Now, just type Active and then press Enter. That should be it – the selected partition is now active.

Valley Computer 206.730.1111 AT-The-Command-Prompt

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