Newsletter – July 2011

"Advice for using technology better, faster, and smarter"

Home Computing Tip-of-the-Month:

"Troubleshooting Common Software Problems in Windows Vista and 7"

Slow Computer Programs
When Windows 7 or Windows Vista programs won’t run right, there are some things you can do to get them working.
Programs that won’t load quickly, don’t function correctly, freeze, won’t show up on your desktop or don’t install
properly can all be fixed. Here are some tips on how to troubleshoot Windows software problems.

  1. Obviously, first make sure the program you have installed is compatible with Windows 7, Windows Vista or whatever version you are running.
  2. Second, make sure your computer meets the software’s minimum system requirements. You will need to upgrade your equipment to run software that exceeds your system’s capacity. Computers that barely comply with minimum requirements may perform unreliably or slowly when their capacity is being maxed out.
  3. Some software works better when few other programs are running, so close windows and programs you aren’t using. Try the program in question again after you close everything else.
  4. Make sure at least 5 to 10 percent of your total hard drive space is free to get the best performance from your Windows 7 or Windows Vista machine. This makes programs run faster and prevents annoying crashes. Use a disk cleanup utility to free some space if you’re running short.
  5. Visit your software maker’s website for updates and notes about frequent issues. If it’s a Microsoft program, run Windows Update and let it load all patches. Once you’ve installed all available updates for your system, restart the computer before you try your software again.
  6. Improve your system’s overall performance by deleting or uninstalling any unwanted programs. Windows 7 and Windows Vista work best when they’re not cluttered, so this may improve your software’s performance.
  7. Check your Startup folder and disable any Windows 7 or Windows Vista programs that load automatically when you start the computer. Once again, restart after making these changes.
  8. Next, further improve the performance of your machine by running its defragmenting utility to optimize your hard drive.
  9. If your new software still isn’t working correctly, scan for spyware and viruses. Both Windows 7 and Windows Vista can use Windows Defender, which can help eliminate threats and reduce pop-ups that claim system resources.

When everything else fails, you have two more options.

  1. After uninstalling the software and rebooting the computer, try loading the program again. Something may have gone wrong the first time.
  2. Finally, go for help from either Microsoft or the software company’s technical support, but be aware that these services may charge a fee. They may also be able to help you finally solve your problem.

Following these steps should get any piece of software up and running. Software can be finicky, and so can many computer systems. Every problem, however, has a solution.

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Business Computing Tip-of-the-Month:

"Solving the ‘Low Virtual Memory’ Message"

Low Virtual MemoryHas this happened to you? Your computer’s performance gets slower and slower. Applications take a little longer to open each time. Web pages time out before they’ve fully loaded.

Then, something dramatic happens. You get a worrying message that your virtual memory is too low.

It’s not as bad as it seems, however. You can fix the problem of low virtual memory.

Simply put, your computer’s virtual memory is the hard drive space your machine uses when it is running short of random access memory, called RAM. Common programs like Microsoft Office PowerPoint and Microsoft Office Word can be real memory hogs, sometimes using all of your computer’s free RAM.

What can you do about a “virtual memory low” message?

If you get a warning that says your virtual memory minimum is too low or something similar, there are two things you can do to correct the situation.

The simplest solution is to increase the virtual memory size on your hard drive, if space allows. To do that, simply go to your control panel and increase the size in the System section. The exact location varies depending on whether you’re using Windows 7, Windows Vista or another version of the operating system.

A somewhat more complicated solution is to add more RAM to your computer. If you continue to get messages that say things like “your computer is running low on virtual memory” even after you increase the virtual memory size on your hard drive, adding more RAM is your only option. That requires opening the case, but the new RAM simply clips into place.

Here are some general guidelines for how much RAM average systems need:

  • Windows 7 requires 1 GB of RAM to work properly.
  • Windows Vista requires 512 MB of RAM or more to work well, but some applications, especially gaming software, need twice that much.
  • Windows XP can manage with only 256 MB of RAM, but like all systems, it will work better with more.

For a work computer, ask your company’s IT administrator to add more RAM for you. It’s a simple process. For your own computer, buy additional RAM at a computer store and ask them to install it for you. You can buy more RAM online if you prefer.

A low virtual memory message isn’t really as terrible as it sounds. It indicates a problem you can easily solve.

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Classes start on Monday

The first upcoming class starts this coming Monday. The classes will be on Mondays and Wednesdays at the Albany Senior Center. We need a minimum of 6 students per class or they will be cancelled. Be sure to check the calendar for details. You may also contact CPU Vet or the Albany Senior Center.

Social Networking: July 11th – 20th
Learn how to use some of the popular social networking sites, such as Facebook, MySpace, Twitter and LinkedIn.

Intro to Computers: July 25th – Aug 3rd
Learn the basics of operating your home PC or laptop. This class will also cover basic maintenance, such as defragmenting, updating and scanning for viruses.

The Albany Parks and Recreation Summer Activity Catalog is now out. Look for our classes inside. Contact the Albany Senior Center for prices and to enroll.

Click here to visit the calendar.

Android App

We are excited to announce that we have a new Android app in development. It is expected to be on the market in 3-4 weeks.

The new app will allow CPU Vet customers to quickly email or call us. You can even request help for your computer right from your Android smart phone.

Watch the web site for more info.


About CPU Vet

CPU Vet is a full service computer repair company specializing in repairs for the home user and small businesses. Our services range from virus removals, network support, data systems backup, hardware and software upgrades, as well as a wide range of print services. We also offer an online backup solution and we are an authorized reseller of AVG Antivirus products.

More info? Click Here

© 2011 CPU Vet. All rights reserved.

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