How to enable higher screen resolutions on Windows 8

July 17, 2014 by · Leave a Comment
Filed under: Windows 8 

When you are running Windows 8 or 8.1 on an older system, or laptop and it is using an Intel graphics chipset, you might run into an issue with a low screen resolution error. The Metro interface requires a display resolution of 1024 x 768, but that is not always supported by the available display driver on this type of systems.

Typically you can get this on systems with a Intel GMA 3150 or even an Intel 945 series chipset. The driver will only support the 1024 x 600, which will result in an error message stating “This app cannot open” and/or “The screen resolution is too low for this app to run”.

There is a work around available that can work for this problem. It means installing the latest Intel driver for the graphics chipset (pick the latest Windows 7 driver if Windows 8 is not mentioned). Once installed, reboot to make sure everything is working.

After that you need to edit the registry to force the resolution to be changed. So first make a backup of the registry so you can revert back to that in case of problems!

After making the backup, open the registry editor (search for “regedit”), and press Ctrl+F to initiate a search of the registry. You need to search for the term “Display1_DownScalingSupported” and change the value from 0 to 1. After that, close the registry editor and reboot the computer.

The last step is to actually change the screen resolution from the Control Panel and set it to 1078 x 768. After that the apps using the Metro interface should work fine.

In case of problems, just reboot and press F8. Then select the Advanced Repair Options to start Windows in Safe Mode and restore the registry to the original settings. Then reboot and the screen should be fine again (although without the support for the 1078 x 768 resolution).

FreePCCleaner Software

March 4, 2014 by · Leave a Comment
Filed under: PC Speed, Software Reviews 

People with Windows based computers sooner or later start wishing that their computer was as fast as when they bought it. With use Windows tends to get a bit slower every day.

Most of this is the result of installing and uninstalling software, which leads to hard disk fragmentation and the registry growing. Fact is that not all software has a clean uninstall, so remnants will remain both on disk and in the Windows registry. In addition, more and more software try to install startup components, which will slow up the PC startup time.

Running a disk cleanup on a regular basis will help, and if you also schedule a disk defrag, you will already benefit from better PC speed. Taking it a step further to reduce the number of startup programs, and cleaning the Windows registry, will also optimize PC performance.

FreePCCleaner is a software program that can be used on Windows XP, Vista, 7 and 8 based computers to optimize the performance by cleaning and defragmenting the registry. There is also a feature to manage the startup programs.

freepccleaner

Using the program is very simple. After installation, you click the scan button and wait for the registry to be analyzed. Depending on the size of the registry and the computer speed, the scan can take a minute. But once the result is available, the software automatically creates a backup of the registry, and you can repair the errors found, which includes all cleanup.

freepccleaner-scan

The Manage Startup feature allows you to see which programs all run at startup, which is more than only those in the All Progams -> Startup folder. A simple checkbox enables you to disable any program that you do not want to start automatically.

Another useful feature is found in the Settings, and is a scheduler, that enables you to automatically run the program at predefined intervals. This way you don’t forget to manually run FreePCCleaner.

 

Optimize VLC for Video Playback

November 14, 2013 by · Leave a Comment
Filed under: Multimedia 

Although Windows Media Player has improved over the years, the best solution for media playback on Windows is still VLC in our opinion. The support for almost all audio and video formats is a great benefit, but it is also simple and straightforward to use.

But if you are using VLC on a slower computer, maybe a Windows XP based system for example, you might face some performance problems with video playback. Especially large resolution videos requiring lots of processing can cause delays or rendering problems.

It is however possible to tweak the VLC player a bit to ensure it will get all possible CPU resources when playing a video file. The general problem with multitasking operation system (like Windows), is that the CPU is shared amongst tasks, so a single process will never get all the CPU time.

VLC has a setting that allows the user to increase the priority and as a result get more CPU time. This can help in playing the movie that just won’t play properly on your computer!

To change the VLC setting for increased performance, open the player, and in the Tools menu, select Preferences (or press Ctrl+P). This will bring up the Simple Preferences window.

In the bottom left of the window, you need to select the All option for the Show settings feature.

VLC All Settings

 

 

 

 

This will change the thumbnail view on the left to a list view with more options.

VLC Performance

In the list, you need to select the Advanced option, and check the option named Increase the priority of the process.

Although you can experiment with the Clock source option, generally the Auto setting will already do the trick.

Click Save to store the settings and then play your media file again!.

Note: Be prepared that the responsiveness of Windows and other applications will be a lot slower (although you should not run those in the first place when dealing with performance issues).

Solved: Outlook 2010 Not Marking Emails as ‘Replied’

March 1, 2013 by · Leave a Comment
Filed under: Outlook 

My PC crashed the other day. I know, BUMMER! After re-installing everything, I noticed that in Outlook 2010, I was not seeing the REPLY mark or icon that marks emails I’ve replied to. You know, that little purple arrow pointing to the left that tells me that I’ve already addressed a particular message.

outlook-reply-icon This is how a Replied To message should look like.

 
If you receive a lot of emails like me on a daily basis, then you know how that that little arrow helps save you a lot of time because then you don’t need to second guess yourself if something has been addressed or not!

Anyway, on to our solution!

How to Mark Emails as ‘Replied’ in Outlook 2010

  1. Open Outlook 2010.
  2. Click the View tab.
  3. In the Arrangement group, click Add Columns.
  4. outlook-arrangement

  5. Under Available Columns, click Icon and then click Add.
  6. Click the Move Up or Move Down buttons to position the Icon where you want it.
  7. Click OK.
  8. outlook-replied-icon

Optimize your laptop’s battery performance

July 16, 2012 by · Leave a Comment
Filed under: PC Maintenance, Software Reviews 

We all know that using battery powered equipment has the disadvantage of the device running out of power. In the case of laptops running Windows, you can use the power management options to optimize the use of the battery by allowing the hard disk to be powered down and running the CPU at lower speeds.

But of course there are more options to maximize the use of your laptop’s battery. The more programs are running, the more the CPU is active. So disabling Windows features and services can further help to optimize the use of the battery.

A useful program for this is called BatteryCare, which is free and can be downloaded from the BatteryCare.net website. It goes much further than the Windows power management options. You can see in the options that there are quite a few additional features to save energy.

Settings to maximize battery life

Most will cause no problems, but the option to disable the Windows services is something that needs to be tested, as it could conflict with specific software that you might be using.

If you use the option to let BatteryCare control the power plans defined in Windows, you can disable the Windows battery icon in the notification area. Everything is accessible from the BatteryCare icon in that case anyway.

BatteryCare also keeps track of the recharging cycles and will recommend a calibration after a defined number of cycles. This will help the battery indicator to be as accurate as possible, preventing you to be surprised by a low battery situation. Of course there are warning and notifications that can be configured, but if the basis for those notifications is incorrect information, the notifications come too late.

For more information on battery optimization make sure to also look at our previous article on maximizing battery life.

Do You Use Software to Make a Slide Show?

May 16, 2012 by · Leave a Comment
Filed under: Software Reviews 

Remember the last time you showed your holiday photos to your friends. Did you feel embarrassed at times because of the chaos in the photo collection? Yeah, most people do… Since you often have to explain many times what this or that shot meant because it is not clear from the photo. And sometimes come across photos you were not going to show but you forgot they were in this folder… So, how to avoid such awkward situations?

The solution is to start using the brand-new slide show maker software. You will see how easily it makes every photo showing session into exciting leisure time. Using this software, you will be able to turn ordinary photos into a fantastic movie with your favourite music, your friends and relatives starring. You will save a lot of time and forget about uploading hundreds of photos to Facebook or Friends Reunited. Instead your friends will enjoy your film and beautiful music.

How to start? First of all, get ready with the photos of an event you would like to cover in the film. It can be summer holiday, your trip to a desert island, birthday party or business presentation, professional portfolio or your child’s first day at school, etc. Every event can be made into a great film! Ready? Now upload them to the freeware slide show maker software.

Now think about music. As you know, a film’s success depends on the sound track a lot. So, choose the right music to convey the atmosphere and people’s mood at the event. For any film you can add as many sound tracks as you need – with the slide show maker software it as simple as ABC!

The slide show maker software allows you to add text comments as well. It’s saves much of your time – you think of them only once and not repeat every time you show photo collection to somebody.

Create slideshows from photos

Now that you have chosen photos, found the right music, added witty text comments – it’s time to choose the transitions effects. They make your slide show coherent and really smooth. You are welcome to choose from hundreds of transition effects available in Bolide Slideshow Creator or, if you like, the program can do everything for you.

The program has a powerful built-in player – any moment you can see the current result and make the necessary changes – the order of the photos, transition effects or whatever you need.

The program also allows you to save the output video in various video formats and with different resolution. You may save the video in HD quality and enjoy it on a big screen together with friends.

Well, making a slide show out of photos and music into a single unity is fast, easy and fun with the slide show maker software. Download it now for free and enjoy!

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