DriverMax

DriverMax is a powerful free utility which helps you download, backup and restore the drivers installed on your Windows Vista or Windows XP computer and check if newer versions are available. Download all drivers from one place in just a few steps. Or back them up so you will have all of them in a single place and will be able to reinstall them in a few minutes.


This tool can save you a lot of time when reinstalling Windows, especially on older computers for which the original CDs containing the drivers have been lost. You no longer have to track down old driver installation CDs, insert one installation CD after another or spend hours searching for drivers on the Internet.

DriverMax is also able to display a detailed report about all drivers (versions, release dates) installed on your system. Identify unknown devices in your computer and get Windows Vista rating information before you purchase new hardware. Version 4.5 is located on a faster server. An account activation bug is solved.


Advertisements

Glary Registry Repair

Glarysoft Registry Repair is an advanced registry cleaner for Windows that allows you to safely scan, clean, and repair registry problems. Problems with the Windows registry are a common cause of Windows crashes and error messages. Glarysoft Registry Repair allows you to fix your registry and optimize your PCs performance with a few simple mouse clicks.Version 3 improves scan engine and fixed some bug.

Download

Transform you XP desktop to look like Vista

Bring innovation into your work without buying a new PC or a system. The best freeware safely installed. So if you want to make your computer get a modern Vista look, this is the perfect solution. The package includes: Yahoo widgets – a lot of small and beautiful assistants. Anything you could only imagine on your desktop – from PC temperature to mini games; Vista Theme – a special theme developed by Microsoft which transforms Windows XP into Windows Vista; Vista Start Menu – modifies not only menu’s skin but also its functionality. Learn how a convenient menu looks like. The items of the package 1.2 may include unspecified updates, enhancements, or bug fixes.

Download

Windows SE7EN

Windows 7 (formerly known as Blackcomb and Vienna) is the working name for the next major version of Microsoft Windows as the successor of Windows Vista. Microsoft has announced that it is “scoping Windows 7 development to a three-year timeframe”, and that “the specific release date will ultimately be determined by meeting the quality bar.” Windows 7 is expected to be released sometime in 2010. The client versions of Windows 7 will ship in both 32-bit and 64-bit versions.[2] A server variant, codenamed Windows Server 7, is also under development.

Bill Gates suggested that the next version of Windows would “be more user-centric.” That means that right now when you move from one PC to another, you’ve got to install apps on each one, do upgrades on each one. Moving information between them is very painful. We can use Live Services to know what you’re interested in. So even if you drop by a [public] kiosk or somebody else’s PC, we can bring down your home page, your files, your fonts, your favorites and those things. So that’s kind of the user-centric thing that Live Services can enable. [Also,] in Vista, things got a lot better with [digital] ink and speech, but by the next release there will be a much bigger bet. Students won’t need textbooks; they can just use these tablet devices. Parallel computing is pretty important for the next release. We’ll make it so that a lot of the high-level graphics will be just built into the operating system. So we’ve got a pretty good outline.

Windows 7 has reached the Milestone 1 (M1) stage and has been made available to key partners. According to reports sent to TG Daily, the build adds support for systems using multiple heterogeneous graphics cards and a new version of Windows Media Center. New features in Milestone 1 also reportedly include Gadgets being integrated into Windows Explorer, a Gadget for Windows Media Center, the ability to visually pin and unpin items from the Start Menu and Recycle Bin, improved media features, a new XPS Viewer, and the Calculator accessory featuring Programmer and Statistics modes along with unit conversion.

There were a lot abuses and funny postings about Windows error messages displayed which annoy the user. So, finally they have come up with some thing to handle those issues (it seems)…

Source: windows7news.com

Things you should do to protect yourself on a public computer

Most of us will occasionally have to use a public computer for one reason or another. Maybe it’s an emergency situation (your own computer crashes or you get caught without your laptop when traveling) or perhaps the opportunity is just too convenient to pass up. Whatever your reasons, using public computers will always carry an inherent risk of exposing your personal data. Luckily, there are some things you can do to protect yourself and lessen that risk.

Delete your Browsing History

This should be the first step you take to protect your privacy when Web surfing on a public computer. When you’ve finished browsing, it’s a good idea to delete your cookies, form data, history, and temporary Internet files. In Internet Explorer 7, you can do this all at once under Tools | Delete Browsing History. In older versions of IE, each of these must be deleted separately, under Tools | Internet Options.

In Mozilla Firefox, go to Tools | Options, click the Privacy tab, and select Always Clear My Private Data When I Close Firefox. By default, this erases your browsing history, download history, saved form information, cache, and authenticated sessions. Click the Settings button and select the options to erase your cookies and saved passwords, too.

Don’t save files locally

When you’re using a computer other than your own, even if it’s a trusted friend’s machine, it’s polite to avoid saving files locally if you can help it. This is basically equivalent to not cluttering up another person’s home with your junk. On a public machine, though, this goes beyond politeness and is an important security practice. Many of the files you would normally save locally, such as e-mail attachments, can contain private or sensitive information. An easy way to protect this data is to carry a flash drive and save files there when necessary. It’s also a good idea to attach the flash drive to your key ring so you’ll be less likely to misplace it and create a new security problem.

Don’t save passwords

This should be obvious when using a public computer, but if the option is already turned on, you might forget about it. To make sure passwords are not saved in Internet Explorer 7, go to Tools | Internet Options | Content. In the AutoComplete panel, click the Settings button and verify that the Prompt Me To Save Passwords check box is deselected. None of the other AutoComplete features needs to be enabled either, so deselect them as well. In Firefox, choose Tools | Options | Security and deselect Remember Passwords For Sites.

Delete temporary files

Temporary files (often abbreviated to “temp files”), as opposed to temporary Internet files, are created when you use programs other than a Web browser. For instance, when you create a Word document, in addition to the actual document file you save, Word creates a temporary file to store information so memory can be freed for other purposes and to prevent data loss in the file-saving process.

These files are usually supposed to be deleted automatically when the program is closed or during a system reboot, but unfortunately they often aren’t. To find these files, do a search on all local drives (including subfolders, hidden, and system files) for *.tmp,*.chk,~*.* This will bring up all files beginning with a tilde or with the extensions .tmp and .chk, which are the most common temp files. Once the search is complete, highlight all and Shift + Delete to remove them. (If you don’t hold down Shift, they’ll usually be sent to the Recycle Bin, which you would then have to empty.)

Clear the pagefile

The pagefile is the location on the hard disk that serves as virtual memory in Windows. Its purpose is to swap out data from RAM so that programs can operate as if they have more RAM available than you actually have installed in the computer. Anything that can be stored in memory could also be stored in the pagefile. To have this automatically cleared on shutdown, you need to use Local Security Policy.

To access Local Security Policy, open Control Panel, double-click on Administrative Tools, and double-click on Local Security Policy. Then, click Security Options in the right-hand pane and scroll down to Shutdown: Clear Virtual Memory Pagefile. Double-click that item and make sure it’s enabled.

Note: On many public machines you won’t have the rights to get to Local Security Policy, and while this task can also be accomplished from the registry, on these machines you likely won’t be able to use regedit either. In this case, you can delete the page file manually. First you’ll have to change the settings in Windows Explorer. Click View | Folder Options and the View tab, then scroll down and click Show Hidden Files And Folders. Deselect the Hide Protected Operating System Files check box. Now, find the file named pagefile.sys. It is usually (but not always) on the C: drive. Delete it; a new one will be created when the system reboots.

Reboot

When you’re finished using the public computer, the final thing you should do is a hard reboot. This will not only clear the pagefile, if you’ve enabled that option, but it will also clear out everything you did from the physical memory (RAM).

Boot from another device

This is a fairly advanced option, and one that is often overlooked. If you boot from either your own USB drive or from a CD, many of the problems mentioned above can be avoided. Today, many Linux distributions have the option of running completely in memory after booting from a CD. If a public computer has had its BIOS options left at default (which happens more often than you would think), this could be an option. If you are able to do this and remember not to save any other files to the local hard drive, everything will be gone when you reboot.

Pay attention to your surroundings and use common sense

Finally, you need to remember to pay attention to things outside of the actual computer that could be a risk. Be aware of strangers around you (potential shoulder surfers) and remember that a public computer is just that — public. Don’t view any truly sensitive documents you couldn’t bear for others to see. Remember the security camera over your shoulder. Cover your hands from view when entering any login information to prevent any casual spying.

Most important, remember that there is nothing you can do to make a public computer completely secure. A truly malicious owner or user could install a hardware keystroke logger that would be impossible to detect without actually opening the case and inspecting it. With that less-than-comforting thought, use common sense and use public computers only for nonsensitive tasks.

References:

TechRepublic

Windows Live Photo Gallery

You’ll have to search for it, but this updated version of the Windows Photo Gallery that debuted in Vista is worth the hunt. If you’ve chosen to steer clear of Vista, no worries: It works in XP too.

banner_live.jpg

Blame it on fallout from the U.S. government’s successful antitrust prosecution and the subsequent consent decree, which severely limits what Microsoft can legally bundle with Windows. Ship a bare-bones utility in the OS and no one will complain. Deliver a decent upgrade and you’re on shaky ground. Provide at least three degrees of separation from that OS and you’re okay again.

So you have to work to find this download. But it’s worth the search. It resolves the biggest complaint about the original Photo Gallery—its oversimplified import path. The revised import wizard groups photos by date and time and lets you pick and choose which ones to import. It also adds a whizzy bit of technology that lets you stitch photos together into widescreen panoramas. Its tagging and basic photo editing features are mostly unchanged, which is just fine. All in all, this free download is one of the best programs Microsoft has developed in ages.