Make Sure Auto Play is working Windows computer

Making sure AutoPlay is set.

If AutoPlay is set to take no action when discs are inserted, or if AutoPlay is not enabled, nothing may happen when a disc is inserted. Even though you may want to open discs through File Explorer or other software means, use the following steps to make sure AutoPlay is enabled so that discs can be more easily tested in future steps:

  1. In Windows, search for and open Control Panel.
  2. Click Hardware and Sound, and then select AutoPlay.
  3. Make sure Use AutoPlay for all media and devicesis selected. If not, select it.

Auto Play Windows

4. Click the drop-down menus and select Ask me every timenext to every DVD, Blu-ray, and CD item, and then click Save.

Auto Play Windows Ask Me Every Time

How to switch your Windows 8 log-in to a local account

Using a Microsoft account does have some advantages over using a local account. For example, using a Microsoft account log-in lets you sync your settings across different Windows PCs. You can also use Microsoft’s integrated cloud storage, OneDrive. Downloading apps from the Microsoft App Store for the Modern interface (Start screen) requires a Microsoft account as well. But if you don’t use any of these features and would still prefer to switch to a local account, and you have not upgraded to Windows 10, here’s how:

Step 1: Go to Settings > Change PC Settings > Accounts > Your Account, then under your name and Microsoft account e-mail address, click on the “Disconnect” link.

Step 2: When prompted, enter your Microsoft account password to verify that it’s your account.

Step 3: Now enter the local username you want to use, your password, and a password hint.

Step 4: Click or tap on the “Sign out and finish” button to complete the switch to a local account.

Change What Windows Does When You Shut Your Laptop’s Lid

Are you tired of your laptop automatically going to sleep when you shut it’s lid?  Here’s how you can make your laptop do what you want it to do when you’re ready to put it up.

By default, most laptops automatically go into sleep mode when you close the lid.  This is usually great, as most of us shut our laptops, throw them into our bags, and then expect them to be running in an instant when we get them back out at the next stop.  Sometimes, though, you might want to leave your laptop running while the lid is shut

Please Note: Do NOT put your laptop in its bag while its running, as it will almost certainly overheat.  You have been warned.

Make Your Laptop Work Like You Want

Thankfully, it’s easy to change the settings.  Simply click the battery icon in your system tray, and select More power options.

Valley Computer - Shut Your Laptop’s Lid

Alternately, you can open the Power Options window directly from your Start Menu search.
Valley Computer - Shut Your Laptop’s Lid

In the Power Options window that opens, click the Choose what closing the lid does link on the left sidebar.
Valley Computer - Shut Your Laptop’s Lid

Here you can choose what your power buttons do on your computer, as well as what happens when you shut the lid. You can select to Do nothing, Sleep, Hibernate, or Shut down. In general, Sleep is a good option, but if you want to leave your laptop running, select Do nothing.

Valley Computer - Shut Your Laptop’s Lid

Note that you can change the settings for both On battery and Plugged in, so your laptop will work differently when you’re using mobile versus when you’re plugged in at your desk. Since we usually would only want to leave our laptop running when it’s plugged in, we set ours to still go to sleep when it’s on battery power but to do nothing when you close the lid while it’s plugged in. Very handy
Valley Computer - Shut Your Laptop’s Lid

Underneath you’ll notice a couple more settings, though they’re protected by default. Click Change settings that are currently unavailable to change them.
Valley Computer - Shut Your Laptop’s Lid

Now you can choose whether or not you want your computer to require the password when it wakes from sleep mode.
Valley Computer - Shut Your Laptop’s Lid

Once you’re done, click Save at the bottom to start using your new settings. If you want to switch back when you’re on the move again, just repeat the steps and set it like you like. Now you’re in full control of what happens when you close your laptop.


We’ve been frustrated countless times by shutting our laptop lids and forgetting that this automatically put them into sleep mode. Sleep mode works great in Windows 7, but sometimes you want your machine to keep running, so this is a great way to do that. Or, if you prefer to have your computer automatically shut down or hibernate when you close the lid, you can do that too. Since you can set the plugged in settings different from the on battery settings, you should be able to make your settings work for any scenario.

Protecting Microsoft Word Files (Disable Editing)

When you’re collaborating with multiple people on a Microsoft Word document, it may be helpful to mark a draft as FINAL to prevent further edits. To do this in Microsoft Word, go to the File tab and under the Info options select “Protect Document” and “Mark as Final“. This lets other readers know that this is a final draft. When they open the document, they’ll see a yellow banner across the top that says “An author has marked this document as final to discourage editing”. Note that discourages editing, but the reader can go ahead and select “Edit Anyway” to make further edits.


Other options to protect the document include “Encrypt with a Password” so a password will be required to open the document. You can also “Restrict Editing” to restrict what kind of changes can be made to the document, either by tracking changes or by making the document “read only”. If you decide to protect the document with a password, make sure you have a way to remember the password!

Create a PDF Document in Microsoft Office

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”:

Valley Computer Systems

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.

Have you noticed it takes longer to open PDF files?

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 SSD

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. SSD

The performance of both the ssds-raid-03



How to Disable Creation of Thumbs.db Windows

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.Valley Computer Systems 206.730.1111

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.
Valley Computer Systems 206.730.1111

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.
Valley Computer Systems 206.730.1111

Turn Off Caching of Thumbnails

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).

Valley Computer System 206.730.1111


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).
Valley Computer Systems 206.730.1111
Close the Local Group Policy Editor and you will notice that all of those thumbs.db files have disappeared.

Turn the Preview Pane Off on Windows 7

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)