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TECH TIP:  Take Control of your PC – be a computer Geek!

And it’s not that difficult!  When you start your computer, there are some programs that load at start-up.  Some of these programs have icons in right side of the Task Bar (bottom of the screen).  You don’t need many of these applications to start-up when you turn on your computer.  In fact, if they do start-up, you are wasting memory and causing your computer to run slowly.  So – take control of your startup files. 

First – let me say that the next step is available only on computers running Windows 98, Windows ME, or Windows XP.  If you have Windows 2000, what I will tell you here will not work.  But you can get it to work a different way – which I will tell you in a bit.

OK – Click on Start, then click on Run, then type msconfig in the box next to the word Run.  This opens up the System Configuration Utility.  Now click on the Startup tab.

Aha!  You see all the programs (icons) that start-up when you turn on your computer.  Are there a lot?  There shouldn’t be (I have 5 icons in my Taskbar).  So now you have to turn off (disable) the ones you don’t want to start-up.  OK – but which ones are these – this all looks like Greek to me!  There are some Startup items that you don’t want to shut off – like your anti-virus startup items - and others.  Well, here is where you have to educate yourself – but it’s pretty easy to learn which ones you want to use at start-up and which ones are OK to shut off – thanks to a great web site called AnswersThatWork.com.  Here’s the address: 
http://www.answersthatwork.com/Tasklist_pages/tasklist.htm

You can search here for the files that are in your startup list.  This website is great – it tells you what the startup file is for and even recommends whether you should shut it off (disable it) or leave running.  What could be easier??  So get to work!

"But I am using Windows 2000 and you said this didn’t work for Windows 2000."  Right!  There is no msconfig (System Configuration Utility) in Windows 2000.  Now this gets really complicated because you have to do your work of shutting off the startup files you don’t want to run by editing the Registry Uh-Oh – not recommended – don’t mess with the Registry if you don’t know what you are doing!

But – thanks to a guy named Mike Lin, you can do this job pretty much the same way I described above.  (No – he’s not a friend on mine – I wish he was!)  You need to download his FREE program called StartupCPL (stands for Startup Control Panel).  Then you can disable the startup programs in a very similar manner as I described above.  Here’s his website to get this FREE utility.
http://www.mlin.net/StartupCPL.shtml

This utility is also recommended by TechTV – you can read about it here:  http://www.techtv.com/screensavers/downloadoftheday/story/0,24330,3366466,00.html

OK – now you Windows 2000 people can get to work, too!  Tune-up your computer – you’ll be glad you did!   (Oh yes – you Windows 95 people, Sorry - but you need to upgrade to Windows 98 – or higher!)

 

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