Saturday, January 19, 2008

How to REALLY reduce the memory usage in Firefox

After the release of Firefox 2.0, the memory leak has become an even more notorious problem than before. On average, Firefox should take up no more than 80MB of RAM. Any more than that and you can consider yourself a victim of Firefox’s memory leak. I’m sure you’ve probably already seen a ton of guides on how to fix the memory leak problem in Firefox already. The reason why I’m writing another one on Vista Rewired is because none of those have worked very well for me. This one will be a little different because I’ve added a few of my ingredients in.

Just to give you a heads-up, this guide is going to be quite long but it’ll cover everything you need to know.

Before we do anything, make sure you have the newest version of Firefox. If you don’t have the latest version, you can download it
Firefox 2

1) Check your extensions and themes:

The most common cause for high memory usage for Firefox usually lies in the extensions and themes. If you overloaded your Firefox with extensions, you can expect high memory usage. Uninstall the ones you don’t need, and update all the ones you will be using. After that, you’ll first want to consult this list of problematic extensions that could be causing the problem. Make sure none of the extensions you are running are on that list.

After comparing with that list, if you still have the problem, it could be the result of a newly installed theme or extension. Experiment with shutting down suspicious extensions or switching themes.


2) Start Firefox in Safe Mode

If one of your extensions is not in that list, boot Firefox into Safe Mode to disable all extensions and themes. You can do this by going to Start > Run, and entering:

firefox -safe-mode

A box similar to the one below should appear.


Check Disable all add-ons, then select Continue in Safe Mode. Now, compare the RAM usage of when Firefox had it’s add-ons enabled and when they were disabled.
You can expect a difference of a couple megabytes since the extensions have been disabled. But if you notice a large difference in RAM usage, this may suggest a problem within your extensions or theme.

3) Plugins:

Plugins could also be the cause of the problem. Here are some links from MozillaZine that you can refer to:

4) Clear your Download History:

Allowing your download history to accumulate can have a huge impact on Firefox memory usage. Personally, I prefer just clicking Clean Up when I’m done with my downloads since the download history box can be very convenient when you forget where you have saved your files.
Alternatively, you can set Firefox to not keep a history of your downloads by navigating to

Tools > Options > Privacy > Uncheck Remember what I’ve downloaded


This will erase your download history each time you close the Downloads History window.

5) Additional Settings:

There are a couple of settings you can tweak in Firefox that can limit the amount of memory allocated for caching.

1. Open Firefox and type in about:config in the address bar.


2. Type browser.cache.memory.enable in the Filter Bar and make sure it is enabled. If not, just double click it to set it to enable.

3. Right-click an area of empty space in the browser and choose New > Integer. Type in browser.cache.memory.capacity and click OK.


The integer value you enter depends on the amount of RAM you have.
If you have:
256 MB of RAM, enter “4096
512 MB of RAM, enter “8192
1 GB of RAM, enter “16384
and so forth… Just double the number as your RAM doubles.

4. Right-click anywhere on the window and click New > Bootlean and enter:


And set it to true. When you minimize an application in Windows Vista, the memory usage is supposed to go down but Firefox doesn’t do this. By setting this to true, Firefox will begin to use less memory when minimized.

5. Restart Firefox for these changes to apply.

6) Close Firefox periodically:
I know what you’re thinking, but there is an extension that can save your internet sessions so when you re-open Firefox, you can have it exactly the way it was before you closed it - the tabs, the cache, everything. You can download Extension Manager here.
Once you have downloaded the extension, we need to set it up. First, we need to get to the options window: Tools > Session Manager > Session Manager Options


Once you’re in the options window, just make sure your screen looks like the one below and you’ll be fine.


7) Get Portable Firefox:
I am actually not sure how accurate this may be, but using Portable Firefox has definitely helped minimize my memory usage. To be honest, I don’t know why or how, but it just works! You can download Portable Firefox here. For the most part, it runs the same way your regular Firefox does. Here’s a comparison of how much memory each version of Firefox took up:

Ordinary Firefox


Portable Firefox


Thursday, January 10, 2008

Customizing your Mac OSX experience

Customizing your Mac OSX experience

227 Themes
As a designer, I like things to look good. This includes my desk, my computer, and of course, the operating system. That’s just one of the reasons I choose to use the Mac operating system.

But Mac OSX isn’t perfect for me by any stretch of the imagination. I’ll skip over the commentary about OSX 10.1 through 10.3 and the ugly pinstripes we had to put up with. And when Apple introduced the brushed metal look of the Finder and many applications, I liked it… for a very short while. Now it just annoys the crap out of me. I probably wouldn’t mind quite as much if the ENTIRE GUI was brushed metal, but this mix of Aqua white, gray and brushed metal is horribly annoying to me. I just want to stand in Steve Jobs’ office door and scream “PICK ONE ALREADY!”

Thankfully, I don’t have to put up with it. There are plenty of GUI hacks available for Mac OSX. And I’m not talking just about the overall theme, but functionality hacks and add-ons as well. The following are just some of the GUI goodies I love and use. If I left out your application or add-on, or one that you love to use, please feel free to add a link and description in the comments for this article.

First off, the GUI appearance (theme). This is the largest and most important place to start when customizing Mac OSX. In the early days of OSX themes, there were a few “theme changers” out there. Over time, Apple changed the way the GUI works in OSX, and for the most part there are only two real theme changing options remaining.

Unsanity’s ShapeShifter is the premier theme changer, and thankfully it works quite well, at least on PowerPC-based Macs (an Intel Mac beta is available though, check the Unsanity weblog for more info and a download link). The beautiful part of Shapeshifter is that it doesn’t “change, remove or patch” the OS directly. Shapeshifter works its magic simply by intercepting the OS when it calls for a GUI element and redirects the call to the theme elements you have chosen. This makes it much safer and more stable than running dedicated installers that actually alter/replace the elements of the OS to accomplish their task.

The down side to themes on OSX is that there simply aren’t a whole lot of themes available. The complexity, restrictiveness and shear volume of GUI elements in OSX, combined with the extremely difficult to learn software to actually create a theme (and unfortunately there is only one application, ThemePark) prohibit most designers from even trying to create more themes. It’s not like Windows or even the old Mac OS with Kaleidoscope.

Siro ShapeShifter ThemeThankfully though, there are enough themes by some very talented artists available to satisfy most users. While I make an effort to at least try most every theme I come across, I generally end up going with two themes that I’ve come to love; Siro and Eternal Aqua. They’re both clean, elegant themes that just “get out of the way” - and both include skins for Safari, iChat, iTunes, etc. The other theme I love isn’t a Shapeshifter theme, but stand-alone installer theme. Uno is basically Apple’s Aqua unified, and made a little cleaner with all Aqua windows (no brushed metal to be found).

To find more themes, you have to do a bit of roaming around. I generally visit two sites for this. The first being InterfaceLift’s theme section. The themes are organized and include a small preview to help you decide what you want. The down side to using InterfaceLift is that they only list the themes that are widely available by the themers themselves. This leaves out a lot of interesting new themes and mods of existing themes which sometimes are the best ones to use.

The second, and probably most complete resource for finding themes, is the MacThemes forums. Here you will find two areas to look in. The Modifications and Hybrid forum is just that. It’s where you can find releases of themes created by modifying original themes by someone other than the original theme designer. This is perhaps the best spot to start. The second forum is the Releases & Updates forum, where you’ll find completely original themes.

Keep in mind that in order to find themes in the MacThemes forums, you’ll have to wade through a lot of posts for icons and wallpaper images as well. But the posts are clearly marked and you won’t have a difficult time finding themes. Be sure to also check out their exhaustive Screenshot thread located in the GUI discussion forum as well.

Overall, is THE place to go for GUI goodness!

Everybody loves a good custom icon. I’m no exception. In fact, I love them so much that I have a few thousand icons in storage. No, not in a folder on an external drive, but conveniently stored in a database for easy viewing and retrieval. Pixadex by Iconfactory makes life easy for icon enthusiasts to store, catalog and apply their icons. One of the advantages of using Pixadex is that it can store just about any format for icons including .png images, Windows formatted icons and Mac icons. When you have a collection of them you like, you can also export them into an “iContainer” for easy storage or sharing.

And if you come across a set of icons that you want to replace your entire system with, look no further than CandyBar, a collaboration between Iconfactory & Panic Software. Candybar changes all your system icons (Finder, dock and applications) with the click of a button. Both apps are nearly must-haves for anyone with an icon affliction!

Now where to start finding icons. There are simply way too many icons available on the internet to list, but the ones I visit the most are InterfaceLift’s icon directory and IconFactory’s freeware icons. Of course, you can also visit the’s Release & Updates forum and search through the threads for more as well. A quick Google search will bring up a list of more sites than you could possibly visit in a week.

For me, David Lanham’s Agau set and two “extras” packs are the perfect set of icons to match up with Apple’s Aqua, Siro or a whole host of other themes out there.

227 Wallpapers
Desktop Images/Wallpapers:
You’re a designer for cryin out loud… make your own damn wallpaper! OK, so you’re lazy like me and just want to use someone elses. Again, there are too many sites out there, but I always check in on InterfaceLift’s wallpaper section which offers a searchable and sortable collection.

Another nifty site is Deviant Art. Deviant Art offers a huge collection of desktops, but they’re not the speediest site on the net, and many of the search/sort features of the site appear to be for members only - which costs money. If you have a small amount of patience, Deviant Art is worth taking a look at. And once again, I have to mention that has a fairly extensive collection of wallpapers available in their forums.

227 Add-Ons
Add-ons for customizing (hacks):
Adding features and capabilities to your Mac can be a full time job. There are countless possibilities, and 5 minutes at or will illustrate that fact. Generally speaking, I like to keep my system modifications and add-ons to a minimum. It makes upgrading easier, there’s less to troubleshoot in the event of problems, and quite frankly I just don’t have the money to purchase all the apps I would like to. But here’s a list of some add-on and modifications I’ve used, or I really like – I don’t necessarily have/use them all, but I think they’re pretty cool.


For those who used OS9, one of the things you probably miss is the customizable Apple menu. With OSX, it’s no longer a built-in option. Enter FruitMenu, another Unsanity Haxie. FruitMenu not only allows you to fully customize the Apple Menu, but your system-wide contextual menus as well. You can also assign key commands to launch apps and open folders in the Finder, and have the Application menu change to the icon of the application you’re in rather than having just the name displayed. This little Haxie does a whole lot for only $10.


Another feature of OS9 that many people miss is the ability to double-click the active window and have it minimize to just the title bar of the window. WindowshadeX brings the popular feature back in a big way. Sure, you could just use OSX’s built-in Expose feature, but it’s not quite as elegant as windowshading. Not only that, but this great little haxie gives you the ability to Minimize in Place which reduces the entire window down to icon size and floats it on your screen for future “expanding” and/or make your windows transparent. Very slick and only $10!

227 XoundsOther Unsanity Haxies:

Unsanity offers several other nifty haxies that customizes your OSX experience such as FontCard for giving you WYSIWYG font menus, Xounds for adding sounds to various actions such as opening and closing windows and folders, etc., Mighty Mouse for customizing your cursor, and Menu Master which allows you to add, change or remove menu shortcut keys in any application.

OSX Dock
Your options for customizing the dock are somewhat limited. You can use Unsanity’s ClearDock APE module which is free, or Transparent Dock which will cost you a few cups of coffee. I prefer Unsanity’s ClearDock simply because it’s free and it doesn’t break with every single OS update. Both add-ons will allow you to set the dock to be completely transparent, change colors of the “active” tick marks as well as a few other nifty options.

Of course you can also use an application such as Onyx (covered below) to pin the dock to the sides of your screen and a few other options.

Menubar add-ons:

ObjectPark’s MenuCalendarClock is one of those apps that perfectly fills little gaps in what I want from the OS. MCC puts the time, day and date (in many different customizable formats) in your menu bar along with a drop down menu containing a full calendar which offers either iCal or Entourage integration. There are a lot of apps available that do what MCC does, but in my opinion most suffer from either too much or not enough in the way of features.

You can also try YouSoftware’s YouControl to customize your clock, and add a calendar (with iCal integration). YouControl will also add other features to your menubar such as iTunes controls, an RSS reader and much more. But for $30, you should make sure you really want all that YouControl has to offer.

Services Menu Hack:
One little utility I absolutely love (yet another APE module) is ICeCoffee from Nicholas Riley. ICeCoffee ads a few useful features to OSX that I can’t imagine not having now that I’m used to them. The first is the ability to Command + double click a URL in many applications to open the page in your Web browser. But the best feature is the ability to add the Services menu right to the main menu bar in every application in OSX, rather than keeping it hidden in the application menu.


I do a lot of screenshots for CreativeGuy. One of the things that annoys me is when I take a screenshot and you see the mess of icons that might be visible behind the window on the desktop. In comes DeskShade. Deskshade does a few things that make it a worthwhile $7 spent. First, it will “cover” all you icons on the desktop so that all you see is your beautiful desktop picture. Second, it adds a screenlock feature for some low-level security. And third, the crown jewel of this app, it acts as kind of an iPhoto for your desktop images, including the ability to alter the colors of any of your images. And finally, it adds a cool transition effect when you change your desktop image. The app lives in the menu bar and the icon is a tiny representation of your actual desktop image.

If you just can’t bring yourself to spend the $7 on Deskshade, you can give Desktop Sweeper or Desktopple a try. Both apps are pretty much a one-trick pony in that all they do is hide icons. I don’t find either of them nearly as elegant as DeskShade, but they do the job well and are free.


Onyx is one of those apps that I just can’t live without. While I could spend quite a bit of time talking about its many features, it’s the GUI-related features that we’re interested in right now, and Onyx delivers enough of them to make it worth the download.

All the GUI features are contained in the Parameters tab and include general features such as adding double scrolling arrows to your windows, changing the format of screenshots to a number of different file formats such as .jpg, .gif, .png and more. You can also speed up the speed with which the system displays “sheets” (the little message windows that slide out from the menu bar), turn off crash report dialog boxes, alter the number of recent items in your menu bar, etc. And those are just the general preferences you can set.

Once you move on to Finder, Dock, Dashboard, Expose and Safari preference tabs you’ll find a plethora of options to play with that are too numerous to go into - but are all self-explanatory and useful.

All the features of Onyx can be done via the command line interface, but it’s so much easier to have them all in one easy to use application. If you’re looking for a comparison tool, you can check out the free version of TinkerTool.

Service Scrubber:
While this isn’t really something you think of as a GUI hack, Service Scrubber can make using Apple’s Services much prettier. Service Scrubber allows you to restructure, change and disable individual Services that you rarely use.

In closing:
There are certainly a whole host of other interface hacks, add-ons and customizing utilities available, and more on the horizon, but the items mentioned in this article should get you well on your way to customizing your Mac to your liking.

A recent development has come to light this past week. Mac users from way back will certainly remember the king of all things Mac GUI on the Web was ResExcellence. The site recently shut down after many years of service. Without going into a lot of details, the site is back with new ownership and should be up and running quite soon. Definitely worth keeping an eye on. As I said at the beginning of this article, please feel free to add any nifty GUI customizing apps I didn’t list in the comments.

Rainlendar - A customizable desktop calendar

Rainlendar is a feature rich calendar application that is easy to use and doesn't take much space on your desktop. The application is platform independent so you can run it both on Windows and on Linux. The appearance can be customized with skins and you can even mix different skins together.
It is possible to use Rainlendar with other calendar applications too. Rainlendar uses the standard iCalendar format to store its events and tasks so you can easily transfer them between applications. You can also subscribe to online calendars and see your Outlook appointments directly in Rainlendar*.
Rainlendar is an unicode application and support localization so you can use it on your own language.
All the coming events are shown in a separate list where you can see the week's events at one glance. You can decide how many days in advance you want to see in the list. Different events can have a different appearance in the list so you can easily spot the important events from the others. The icons in the calendar are also available in the event list and other windows to make it easier to separate the events.
You can also have a separate list for your long term tasks. The task list can be arranged several ways so that you can keep it better organized. You can also set a due date for the tasks to make sure you'll remember to do them on time.
You'll also get an alarm when an event or task is due so that you don't miss it. The alarm can be defined to be set off any duration before the actual event so you have time to prepare for it.

And that's not all. Check the list of features for better overview of all the things Rainlendar can do. If you find it useful go to the download page and get yourself a copy.
*Network shared calendars and Outlook support are available only in the Pro version

Don't forget to check out the skin gallery in downloads section, there are some good skins out there.

Link for downloading Rainlendar :

Security Starter Kit

Security Starter Kit

With a new year comes new computers, and that means new security problems. Viruses, spyware, rootkits, hackers--a fresh machine can be susceptible to the most insidious of plots. Lucky for you, here in the CNET defense bunker, we've devised a list of essential and free top-rated security programs to protect the honor of your computer and ensure that your sanity will last longer than your resolutions.

Categories covered include Firewall, Antivirus, Spyware remover, Web-surfing adviser, Parental control, Pop-up blocker, and Encryption.


Comodo Firewall Pro has eradicated most of its resource-hogging ways and gives users what they want: a flexible yet simple firewall that's great for beginners but also provides a smorgasbord of information and plenty of options for advanced users.

Comodo Firewall Pro

From the category tabs of Summary, Firewall, Defense +, and Miscellaneous to more specific headings, most security terms come linked to relevant security issues so users can drill down to learn more about how the firewall is performing. Although the app rears its head often when you first fire it up, once it learns your behavior, it becomes virtualy unnoticeable.


AVG Anti-Virus Free Edition provides all the necessities to destroy infections, including tools for scanning your hard drive and e-mail, as well as a real-time shield to prevent infections.

By default, it's set to update new virus definitions daily, but you always can use the scheduler to change this. Should a virus create serious system problems, AVG creates a rescue disk to scan your computer in MS-DOS mode. The program doesn't tax your system when scanning or when running in the background and always proved effective in our tests. The interface isn't pretty, but it isn't hard to navigate, either.

Avira Antivir does double-duty, protecting against spyware and viruses alike. For users who want backups or want to have their antivirus and antispyware separate, we've recommended alternatives. Antivir's scans are flexible, allowing the user to check all hard drives, choose a preloaded scan--for rootkits, for example--or customize. After testing on several machines, no viruses turned up, although several malicious hidden files did rear their heads. The heuristic scan can be turned on or off completely or partially, with three different intensity levels.

Avira AntiVir

The quarantine offers extensive support, too, although the definition file updater can be sluggish. Still, combining effective antimalware and antivirus tools into one is a freeware luxury.

Spyware remover

The tiny Trend Micro HijackThis examines vulnerable or suspect parts of your system and scrubs them clean of whatever malfeasance has infected them. It can be a complicated program to use, but also one that's extremely effective.

After a scan, don't check off an item and hit the Fix Checked button unless you're sure it's malware. Clicking Info will tell you why the entry was flagged, but to learn if it's malware you need to search the Web or check out a forum such as SpywareInfo or Computer Cops. Saving the log creates a text document you can post to these forums. HijackThis is a serious tool for any user who needs to root out a serious infestation, but wield it with caution.

Web-surfing adviser

McAfee SiteAdvisor for Firefox and Internet Explorer warns you about covert spyware and browser-hijack attempts as you visit a site.

McAfee SiteAdvisor

It operates as an unobtrusive signal in your browser's interface, turning green if the site is safe, yellow if it's suspect, and red if it senses threats. The same system applies to search results, inserting a colored icon next to each link. Clicking one provides threat diagnostics, including links to suspect sites, spam counts, and dangerous downloads. In our tests, SiteAdvisor turned out accurate and reliable results, and though it doesn't have a wide array of features, we encourage all users to try this extension.

Parental control

K9 Web Protection provides many options for customizing your remote Web supervision needs, but also comes with a handful of predesigned filters. With more than 50 categories for organizing Web sites, and a keyword-free rating system, the Web monitoring and blocking aspects of the software functioned well. Equally impressive--and a little bit scary--was the log that detailed not just blocked Web sites but also every Web site visited.

Installation and removal isn't easy: Be prepared for a multistep process. K9 does lack a chatware filter, leaving some holes for predation.

Pop-up blocker

No matter which browser you use, Pop-up Stopper Free Edition has you covered. You can specify different sound and text-bubble alarms or set your mouse to change colors when the program blocks a pop-up ad. Unlike some of its ilk, this utility doesn't affect the Open in New Window right-click context-menu command. You can allow individual pop-up windows by holding the Ctrl or Shift key.

The one drawback to the free edition is that it limits your configuration options and doesn't let you specify pop-ups you want to always allow. Despite those drawbacks, Pop-Up Stopper Free Edition is still a great weapon in the war against annoying pop-up pests.


RoboForm might strike some as an odd choice for an encryption program, but it uses powerful encryption algorithms such as Blowfish and AES to protect your data. Combined with password generator technology, users choose one strong password instead of having to remember several. It reduces time spent filling out Web forms and logging onto subscription sites by remembering all your info.

You can set up multiple identities with different credit card numbers, passwords, and contact information. The trial limits the tab instances on each identity to three, but you can make plenty of identities. There's also search and hot-key support, and a one-click Login feature for submitting forms.

Sunday, January 6, 2008

Frequently Asked Problems with Their Solutions

Frequently Asked Problems with Their Solutions


I have seen lots of members starting new threads for already discussed problems. We always ask them to search in forum or post the existing thread links.

So I decided to make this thread. I have tried my best to cover all frequently asked problems with their solutions. smile.gif
I request all members to go through this thread first and then post their problems.

All problems covered in this thread:

1. Task Manager/Registry Editor/Tools -> Folder Options disabled.
2. Search window opens while double-clicking on drives.
3. "Cannot find copy.exe" Error while double-clicking on drives.
4. Folder opens in a new window?
5. A sub-folder with the same name is created under parent folder.
6. My Documents/My Computer opens automatically at windows startup.
7. "NTLDR missing" Error at system startup.
8. "Hal.dll is corrupt or missing" Error at system startup.
9. "Windows\System32\config\system file missing or corrupt" Error at system startup.
10. Not able to boot into Windows 2000/XP/2003 after installing Windows 98.
11. Windows XP Boot loader related problems, like adding/removing entries.
12. ScanDisk starts running at windows startup.
13. "CMOS checksum error. Defaults loaded." Error at system startup.
14. How to reset system BIOS password?
15. "Stand By" option is greyed out in shutdown dialog box and I can't use it.
16. Windows Login Screen has changed to "Classic Logon Box" automatically.
17. A strange process "ctfmon.exe" running in background.
18. How to recover lost Firefox bookmarks?
19. How to reset the corrupted windows icons?
20. How to make Desktop icons text background transparent?
21. How to get Windows XP Common tasks (Left-side pane in explorer) back?
22. "Copy To"/"Move To" dialog box opens automatically while right-clicking on Start -> Open.
23. Can't set "Show Hidden files/folders" option in "Tools -> Folder Options".
24. Accidentally deleted "mspaint.exe"/"notepad.exe"/etc. file, how to get it back?
25. Taskbar is showing only icons in opened application buttons not showing text.
26., and Firefox is blocked in the system.

27. I have forgotten my Windows Administrator password. How can I reset / recover it?
28. I can't see any message in chat window of Yahoo! Messenger?

So here we start:


1. In my windows Task Manager/Registry Editor/Tools -> Folder Options has been disabled. I'm getting warning message that "It has been disabled by Administrator". How can I enable it again?

Sol: Please visit following threads:

All Kinds of Restrictions for Windows 2000, XP, 2003 and Vista
How to Enable Tools -> Folder Options and Registry Editor in Windows


2. Whenever I double-click on any drive/folder in My Computer, a Search window opens.

Sol: Open regedit and goto following keys one by one:


In right-side pane, delete the "Default" key. If it doesnt work then delete the key "find" under both.


3. Whenever I double-click on any drive in My Computer, I get following error message:

Cannot find copy.exe. Make sure you have typed the name correctly and then try again.

Sol: Enable "Show hidden files" option in "Tools -> Folder Options" and then search for "Autorun.inf" file in all drivers and if you get them in root of any drive (e.g. in C:\, D:\ and so on), delete them.


4. Whenever I double-click on any folder in My Computer, it opens in a new window even I have selected the option "Always open folders in same window" in "Tools -> Folder Options".

Sol: Copy following code and paste it in Notepad then save the file with name "vishal.reg" (including quotes). After it run the file and confirm the action:



& nbsp;00,5c,00,45,00,78,00,70,00,6c,00,6f,00,72,00,65,00,72,00,2e,00,65,00,78,00,
& nbsp;65,00,20,00,2f,00,65,00,2c,00,2f,00,69,00,64,00,6c,00,69,00,73,00,74,00,2c,

@="[ExploreFolder(\"%l\", %I, %S)]"





& nbsp;00,5c,00,45,00,78,00,70,00,6c,00,6f,00,72,00,65,00,72,00,2e,00,65,00,78,00,
& nbsp;65,00,20,00,2f,00,69,00,64,00,6c,00,69,00,73,00,74,00,2c,00,25,00,49,00,2c,

@="[ViewFolder(\"%l\", %I, %S)]"











5. Whenever I open a folder, another folder with the same name is created under it.

Sol: Your system is infected by a variant of Indonesian virus called Brontok/Rontokbro. It creates a sub-folder in a folder with same name. Most of the times it comes from mobile memory cards. Scan with a good anti-virus and remove the virus. Also download HijackThis and scan your system with it in Safe Mode, then fix following entries:

F2 - REG:system.ini: Shell=Explorer.exe SSVICHOSST.exe
O4 - HKCU\.\Run: [Yahoo Messengger] C:\WINDOWS\system32\SSVICHOSST.exe
O7 - HKCU\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Policies\System, DisableRegedit=1


6. Whenever I start my computer, My Documents/My Computer opens automatically at windows startup.

Sol: Open regedit and goto:

HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\Winlogon

In right-side pane, change value of "Userinit" to:


NOTE: If you have windows installed in other drives, then change C:\ to that drive label.

Now goto:


In right-side pane, change value of "PersistBrowsers" to 0

Now log off windows and it should solve the problem.


7. When I start my computer, I get error message:

NTLDR is missing
Boot: Couldn't find NTLDR

Sol: Boot using Windows Setup CD and enter into "Recovery Console" by pressing "R". Now Log into windows installation and enter admin password. Now give following commands at prompt:

copy x:\i386\ntldr c:\
copy x:\i386\ c:\

Where "x" is your CD drive, change it acc. to your system.


8. When I start my computer, I get error message:

Windows could not start because the following file is missing or corrupt:
Please re-install a copy of the above file.

Sol: Boot using Windows Setup CD and enter into "Recovery Console" by pressing "R". Now Log into windows installation and enter admin password. Now give following commands at prompt:

Attrib -H -R -S C:\Boot.ini
Del C:\Boot.ini
BootCfg /Rebuild


9. When I start my computer, I get error message:

"Windows\System32\config\system" file missing or corrupt

Sol: Boot using Windows Setup CD and enter into "Recovery Console" by pressing "R". Now Log into windows installation and enter admin password. Now give following commands at prompt:

copy %windir%\Repair\system %windir%\System32\Config

If it doesnt work, then again boot into "Recovery Console" and give following commands:

bootcfg /scan
bootcfg /rebuild


10. I have Windows 2000/XP/2003 installed in my system and yesterday I installed Windows 98 over it, after that I'm not able to boot into Windows 2000/XP.2003. I'm not getting option to select the OS.

Sol: Windows 98 has overwritten the boot loader. Boot using Windows Setup CD and enter into "Recovery Console" by pressing "R". Now Log into windows installation and enter admin password. Now give following commands at prompt:

bootcfg /scan
bootcfg /rebuild


11. When I start my system, I'm getting 2 entries for windows XP in the boot loader. How can I remove the duplicate entry?


How can I change the default OS in windows boot loader?


How can I change the entry labels in windows boot loader?


How can I change the boot loader time? Its set to 30 seconds and I want to change it.

Sol: There are several way. You can follow any of following:

A. Type "sysdm.cpl" in RUN dialog box and press . Now goto "Advanced" tab and click on "Settings" button in "Startup & Recovery" section. Now click on "Edit" button and then you can edit the boot loader time, labels, etc.

B. Type "msconfig" in RUN dialog box and goto "Boot.ini" tab and then you can change the desired thing. If you want to remove the corrupt/non-working entries, then click on "Check all boot paths" button.

C. Enable "Show hidden files/folders" and disable "Hide protected system files" options in "Tools -> Folder Options". Now open C:\ drive and remove the READ-ONLY attribute of "BOOT.INI" file from its Properties. Now open this file and then you can make your desired changes.


12. Whenever I start my computer, Scandisk starts running even I proper shut down the PC last time.

Sol: Do as following:

A. Open regedit and goto:

HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Control\Session Manager

In right-side pane, change the value of BootExecute to:

autocheck autochk *

B. If the above trick doesnt help then give following commands in Command Prompt:

chkntfs /x drive_name

for e.g., if ScanDisk runs automatically for C: and D: drives, then give following commands one by one:

chkntfs /x C:
chkntfs /x D:


13. When I start my computer, I get following error message:

CMOS checksum error, defaults loaded.

Sol: Open the cabinet and look for a coin-sized battery in motherboard. Remove it and attach a new one. The new battery will cost approx. 15-20 Rs.


14. I forgot my system BIOS password. How can I reset it?

Sol: Open the cabinet and look for a coin-sized battery in motherboard. Remove it and attach it again after a few minutes. All BIOS settings will set to default and the password will also reset.


15. I re-installed my windows and now "Stand By" option is greyed out in shutdown dialog box and I can't use it.

Sol: Install VGA drivers from your motherboard CD and the option will be enabled. If you don't have the motherboard CD, then goto the manufacturer site and downlaod the required drivers.


16. My Windows Login Screen has changed to "Classic Logon Box". I want the new Welcome Screen back.

Sol: Type "control userpasswords" in RUN dialog box or Open "User Accounts" in Control Panel. Then click on "Change the way Users log on and off". Now check the option "Use Welcome Screen". If you get following error:

Uninstall client services for netware.

Then Open "Network Connections" and open Properties of your Internet Connection. Now goto "Networking" tab and select "Client services on Netware" option and click on the"Uninstall" button.


17. A strange process "ctfmon.exe" always runs in background and if I click on "End Process" button, it restarts automatically.

Sol: Open Control Panel and goto Add/Remove Programs list. Now click on the Microsoft Office entry and then click on "Change" button. Now select "Add/Remove Features" and click on "Next". Now expand "Office Shared Features" and click on "Alternative User Input" and then select "Not Available" and finally click on Update. It'll permanently remove that ctfmon.exe and your problem will be solved.

You can also use 3rd party utility "CTFMON-Remover" to get rid of ctfmon.exe easily and quickly:



18. I just noticed that all my Firefox Bookmarks have gone. The bookmarks list is empty. How can I get them back?

Sol: Type "%appdata%\Mozilla\Firefox\Profiles" in RUN dialog box and then open the "xxxx.default" folder (where xxxx will be random numbers and characters). Now open "bookmarkbackups" folder and you'll get your bookmarks there. Now you can import them in Firefox again.


19. My Windows is showing some wrong icons of files. How can I reset the corrupted icons?

Sol: You can use any of following methods:

A. Download TweakUI from here and then click on "Repair Icons" in "Repair" section.

B. Open My Computer and goto:

C:\Documents and Settings\User_Name\Local Settings\Application Data

Replace C:\ with your system drive and "user_Name" with your username.
Now there'll be a HIDDEN file "iconcache.db", delete it and restart your system.


20. I'm using Windows XP and the desktop icons suddenly started showing an ugly background rectangle behind the text. How can I make the text transparent?

Sol: Type "sysdm.cpl" in RUN dialog box and press . Now goto "Advanced" tab, click on "Setting" button in "Performance" section and enable the option "Use drop shadows for icon labels on the desktop".


21. I'm using Windows XP and suddenly the Common tasks stopped showing in left-side pane.

Sol: Open "Tools -> Folder Options" and enable the option "Show Common Tasks in folders".


22. Whenever I right-click on Start button and select "Open", a "Copy To"/"Move To" dialog box opens automatically.

Sol: Open regedit and goto:


Now under this key, delete following 2 keys:

Copy To
Move To


23. I can't see Hidden files/folders in my computer. Even I enable the option "Show hidden files/folders" in "Tools -> Folder Options", its automtically disabled again.

Sol: Open regedit and goto:


In right-side pane, change value of "Hidden" to as following:

1 - To show hidden files
2 - To not show hidden files

If it doesnt work, then scan your computer with an anti-virus software.


24. I accidentally deleted my "mspaint.exe"/"notepad.exe"/etc. file, how can I get it back?

Sol: You can use any of following methods:

A. Goto "%windir%\System32\DLLCache" folder and look for the file, if its there then copy it to "%windir%\System32\" folder.

B. Insert your Windows Setup CD and goto "I386" folder. Now look for the same file, it'll present there but the last letter of extension will be "_". e.g., u'll get "mspaint.ex_"/"notepad.ex_"/etc. Now open Command Prompt and goto "I386" folder and give following command:

expand mspaint.ex_ mspaint.exe
expand notepad.ex_ notepad.exe


Now u can copy the file to "%windir%\System32" folder.

C. Give following command in Command Prompt:


It'll automatically restore the files.


25. Suddenly my taskbar is showing only icons in all opened application buttons. I can't see any text. How can I get back the full taskbar buttons?

Sol: Open regedit and goto:

HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Control Panel\Desktop\WindowMetrics

In right-side pane, change the value of "MinWidth" to -2300


26. Whenever I open "" or any folder with the name "orkut", I get following error with a scary laugh:

Orkut IS BANNED, orkut is banned you fool The administrators didnt write this program guess who did?? r r MUHAHAHA!!

Sol: Pls visit following thread:

[Solution], and Firefox has been Blocked in System


27. I have forgotten my Windows Administrator password. How can I reset / recover it?

Sol: Pls visit following link:

How to Reset / Recover Forgotten Windows Administrator Password?


28. In Yahoo! Messenger, whenever I send a message or get a message I can't see the contents in chat window. All I can see is a blank window.

Sol: Pls download Windows Script from the following link and install it:

Download Windows Script

10 Best Firefox Extensions Of 2007

10 best Firefox extensions of 2007

Posted by Seth Rosenblatt

Somebody schooled in zen philosophy once said that there are as many Firefox extensions as there are grains of sand on the beach. Well, we're going to focus on those grains of sand and pick out the 10 best grains, I mean extensions, of the year.

Some here at the Firefox Extensions and Grains of Sand Counting Division of CNET think that Tab Mix Plus is the best Firefox extension ever, and that's hard to argue with. Tabs Mix Plus can change nearly every behavior and action performed by tabs. With it, you can browse tabs with your scroll wheel or mouse gestures, specify where pages will open, duplicate a tab, prevent it from closing, merge tabs, and more. 2007 saw some bug-fixes and mid-level feature tweaks, and we're hoping that the publisher continues to improve this must-have extension.

MR Tech Local Install

MR Local Tech Install is designed for those who want more control over their plug-ins. The best tool this application gives the user is a Restart button that reboots Firefox quickly and re-opens all the tabs that were closed. Users are given control of nearly everything concerning plug-ins, from the folder the plug-ins are saved in, to context-menu choices, to more complex hacks. The interface is basic and a bit overwhelming given all the choices it offers, but if you download only one extension, make it this one so that all the others you get will be far easier to handle.

Firefox has always been lacking in one area: sidebars. Inspired by the Opera browser's sidebar management, All-in-One Sidebar not only gives you a sidebar, it gives you plenty of things to do with it. You can set it to live on either side of the browser, use hot key controls, and even command other Firefox pop-ups, like the download manager, to open in the sidebar itself. Up until a few weeks ago, it might not have made this list for a lack of upgrades, but now All in One Sidebar is compatible with Flock and Firefox 3 beta, and comes with even more options.


CustomizeGoogle lets you tweak your Google services in a myriad ways, such as removing ads and sponsored links, adding position rankings and links to other search engines, and forcing secure loading (https) for Gmail and Google Calendar. The coolest new feature of CustomizeGoogle is the ability to stream Web search results. That's right--you can kick that Next button to the curb. Simply scroll to the bottom of a search-results page, and more results will appear automatically. You can also use Firefox's Find function to search the entire results content.

There are two other top-notch Google-based extensions in this year's top 10. One is Gmail Space which turns that fast-approaching 6 gigabytes of free online space for e-mail into free online space for whatever you like. Accessible via a toolbar button or from the menu bar, the extension opens a new tab with an FTP-style interface. You can transfer files by highlighting them and hitting the directional arrow. When you finish uploading, it sends an e-mail with the file as an attachment to your Gmail account. By creating an appropriate filter and folder, it can be quite easy to keep track of the files you've uploaded. Drag and drop is not available, but there's a music player mode and a buggy slide show mode for photos.

The other is the excellent Better Gmail, which compiles multiple Greasemonkey user scripts into one location and comes in two flavors--the original, designed for the old Gmail interface and loaded with goodies, and the newer version, designed for the new Gmail interface and off to a good start. Make no mistake though, Better Gmail 1 so far has all the cool toys, including Google Reader integration, icons for attachments, a search-by-date option, a search string saver, and some skins. Some of the features, like label colors, have proven so popular that Google adopted them. Better Gmail 2 does have some neat features, like forcing a secure connection, Thunderbird-style folders, and expanded keyboard macros.


FireFTP turns Firefox into a full-fledged FTP client. It has all the major tools that you would expect a stand-alone FTP client to provide. It can handle multiple accounts and remember different logins, passwords, and connection settings for each. It supports authenticated TSL, authenticated SSL, and implicit SSL for secure transfers, drag-and-drop, and CHMOD changes. It can't transfer files larger than 4 GB, and it's buggy on Windows Vista, but it's surprisingly stable and not a resource pig.

Perfect for image hunters, DownThemAll is a download manager that finds everything downloadable on a page and lets you designate which files you'd like to download. You can not only pause and resume downloads, but set download folders with one click, set filters to avoid file types you don't want, like software, and more. It also features a download accelerator for speedier transfers and lets you set a maximum number of transfers, so your broadband doesn't get clogged pulling in YouTube videos.

Auto Copy

AdBlock Plus effectively blocks ads and banners from a predefined list of ad providers, and you can expand the list by right-clicking on an advertisement. Adblock Plus runs unobtrusively in the background. Clicking on an ad brings up a bland, text-based message box, through which you can easily add to the list of blocked ads. Removing an ad from the blocked list also is as simple as clicking and choosing the appropriate option.

Auto Copy adds Linuxesque functionality to your clipboard as long as you're working within Firefox, so that simply highlighting a chunk of text will copy it. More than an auto-copier, it offers up an extensive options menu to determine how and where the clip you've just copied gets deposited. One option opens up a context menu just after you finish highlighting, giving you instant post-copy choices. You can also configure a keyboard shortcut.

Windows Starter Kit

Windows Starter Kit

Posted by Seth Rosenblatt

So whichever gift-giving deity you believe in has smiled on you this season and you're the recipient of a brand-new machine. Or maybe the computer gods have decided that December was the time for your PC to join that great server farm in the sky.

Either way, you're in need of some new programs. Free programs. You're in luck: CNET has compiled a brand-new Windows Starter Kit, complete with all that your freeware-coveting heart could ever desire. This year we bring you a Web Browser, an E-mail Client, Office and Productivity tools, Image Editors, Music and Video Jukeboxes, File Compression, a PDF Reader, Chatware, a Torrent Client, and seven must-have Utilities. And you don't even have to stress about whether that shiny wrapping paper is recyclable.

Where's the antivirus apps? If you're looking for programs to make your PC more secure, check out our overhauled-for-2008 Security Starter Kit.

Web Browser

Mozilla Firefox made tabbed browsing mainstream and redefined the browser wars, but that's not why you should use it. Replete with ways to customize through add-ons make it supremely powerful, and now specialized versions like Flock take that further, but that's not why you need it, either. A JavaScript debugger is standard, and Firefox displays the page-source code in a new window, using indents and color-coded tags like an HTML editor. Again, not enough--on its own.

The built-in pop-up blocker, antiphishing protections, and enhanced extension security aren't enough reason for using Firefox. Add them all together, though, and you get a full-featured browser with an infinite level of customization.

E-mail Client

Mozilla Thunderbird combines smart browsing with sharp innovations aimed at both Web mail clients and industry standards like Microsoft Outlook. Basics like junk mail filters, HTML support, multiple identities, and POP, IMAP, and Microsoft Exchange server support load fast and are bolstered by S/MMIE, digital signing, message encryption, and a phishing detector. Interface tweaks maximize message viewing, a necessity in an e-mail reader.

Mozilla Thunderbird

Back and forward browser-style buttons, customizable tags, and colors make it a cinch to keep things organized, even across folders. Gmail support is as simple as entering your e-mail and password, searches can be saved, and Thunderbird supports extensions like Firefox, allowing for serious enhancement tweaks.

Office and Productivity

A credible rival to MS Office, includes powerful applications for making text documents, spreadsheets, presentations, diagrams, databases, and HTML and XML documents. It handles complex equations and multipart documents as easily as simple letters and faxes.

Even advanced Office users will find the templates, collaborative features, macros, and programming language familiar. Extensible and open source, it lets you both import and save documents in formats as diverse as MS Office formats, PDF, HTML, WordPerfect, XML, and others. However, the default is to save files in the open-standard Oasis OpenDocument XML format for maximum compatibility with other applications.

Multilingual and cross-platform, is a compelling option for anyone in search of an alternative office suite.

If OpenOffice is too much, AbiWord, gives you just the word processor without the entire suite. It has a quick learning curve with an interface similar to those in Word and WordPerfect.

All the basics are here, including highlight, notation, and a bevy of common formatting tools. Although we did miss a grammar-checker, AbiWord has a multilingual spell-checker. A huge plus is the ability to open and save Microsoft Word documents, though the program also has its own proprietary file format. You can download plug-ins at the publisher's site to import and export a wide variety of other formats, including OpenDocument.

Image Editors

The volunteer developers of The GIMP have developed a polished, user-friendly, and open-source image editor. Although the separated palette windows may disturb users who prefer traditional layouts, your comfort level should grow as you discover how pain-free the program is.


Comparable with Photoshop, GIMP's features include channels, layers and masks, filters and effects, tabbed palettes, editable text tools, color operations such as levels, scalable brushes, revised selection tools, full-screen editing, printing, red-eye removal, perspective clone, lens distortion, and more. It even has regex-based pattern matching for power users, but it also might be much more powerful than what you need. We've recommended a more basic image editor below.

If all you want is a quick image retouch, The GIMP is overkill. Paint.NET, on the other hand, is an open-source editor with all the essentials, including tools to crop, rotate, resize images, adjust colors, and create collages. It supports common image formats but not high-resolution RAW files.

There are enough basic and intermediate effects and features to keep image-tweakers happy, though the red-eye removal tool is notably weak so those images may require manual attention. The pleasing interface boasts semitransparent windows for ease of use. Unlike most free image editors, Paint.NET supports layers and has an actions manager.

Music and Video Jukeboxes

The most recent WinAmp updates have made it competitive again. It now features strong device support, including iPod synchronization, AAC encoding, CD burning, and a robust file-management system. There's an optional new interface layout that joins the separate windows, podcast support, you can edit device synchronization while in progress, and a built-in browser for media discovery. We liked that clicking on an artist's name will get you related headlines and Web sites in a separate pane.

Unfortunately, MP3 encoding and full-speed CD burning requires the Pro version. Album art support is spotty, and there are occasional stability issues during video playback. WinAmp 5.5 is no iTunes killer, but it is a strong alternative and should be of interest to those looking for something with more meat on its bones.

Aiming to redefine how people manage and watch their videos, open-source Miro deserves its praise. It can subscribe to and play back video podcasts while comprehensively managing your saved videos. When you launch the app, a left sidebar hosts a folder tree for managing your videos. The central pane does double duty for viewing videos and searching for new ones. The bottom hosts a search box for parsing through YouTube and other sites, a video control panel, and volume control.


Features include full torrent support, so you can download and view torrents in the same app, folder watching to manage only the hard-drive folders you specify for new videos, resumable playback, topic-based channel surfing, video sharing, hosting, and vodcast creation assistance.

VLC Media Player offers a one-stop solution for the file-format problem. The program supports playback of every major and most minor file types, and can stream media. Because of its open-source foundation, it evolves quickly, with new features and fixes released frequently.

Though the interface varies from platform to platform, the Windows version is sparse. Skinning it perks things up, but also seems to cause unpredictable behavior. Beyond drag'n'drop, the basic task of opening a file is far more confusing than it should be. Overall, though, VLC Media Player is a must-have application for its ability to open just about any type of video file you throw at it.

File Compression

7-Zip unpacks most archive formats, including ZIP, TAR, GZ, RAR, and its own 7z format. It can create TAR and GZ archives, which are commonly used on Unix and Linux systems. In our tests, 7z archives were up to 40 percent smaller then their ZIP equivalents, although compression did take longer. Advanced options include the ability to create solid and self-extracting archives, and to adjust the compression level and password protection. The program also has a command line module.

Though the main interface is overly simple, it's easy to use and self-explanatory. The context menu options indicate that 7-Zip should be taken seriously.

PDF Reader

Foxit Reader is everything that Adobe Reader isn't: lightweight, effective, and streamlined. Foxit's main purpose is to read PDFs, but it also has annotation tools. The interface mimics Adobe's, so you won't have to change your reading habits. Text readability is nearly the same, and the 1.6MB Foxit starts surprisingly fast compared with Adobe. It's a nice touch that it opens PDFs from the Internet in their own Foxit window, instead of sucking resources from within the browser.

Foxit PDF Reader

It's incredibly irritating that URL hyperlinks were unclickable, and that some features were blocked in the evaluation copy.


If you've need to use Yahoo, MSN, AIM, and Google, at the same time from the same window, Pidgin is the chatty bird for you. Like other third-party IM clients, this open-source messenger accesses multiple IM networks, including MySpaceIM, as well as lesser-known protocols such as Jabber and Gadu-Gadu.

The IM features are unimpeachable: smileys, file transfers, and multiperson chats. The Buddy Pounce feature automatically performs certain actions when a contact signs on or off. Pidgin gets lots of intangibles right: logging and time-stamping, for instance, are well-executed. Twenty-two plug-ins come prepackaged, but there are still some bugs. Still, Pidgin remains a highly recommended text-only messaging app.

Pidgin doesn't do video chat, but Camfrog does. Its chat rooms feature everything from music lessons to sign language to non-English chatting, and integrating video, audio, and text components are a great leap forward for since a Webcam is not a requirement. Be warned, though: There are X-rated chat rooms--this is not a program that kids should use without supervision.


You can create your own password-protected chat room, and the Contacts list has a section for favorite rooms and one-click contact adding, user searching, and profile management. Despite several toolbars it tries to foist on you during installation, if you're looking for a well-trafficked video chat program that serves a diverse community, CamFrog is cool place to land.

Torrent Client

What computer would be ready for the broadband age without a dedicated torrent client? Miro supports torrents, but if all you want is a torrent, it can be a bit much. uTorrent is so light on resources and memory that it's small enough to run off an old USB key. uTorrent's clean button interface makes it easy to pause downloading.

Finding torrents can be hard, but included are both a torrent search bar and an RSS feed manager that will automatically download files as they publish. Adding, starting, pausing, and listing torrents takes merely a click or two each. A speed guide tests ports and adjusts system settings for optimal performance. uTorrent isn't feature-heavy, but has enough to make it the torrent program of choice for novices, intermediate, and advanced users.


Auslogics Disk Defrag couldn't be any easier for rejoining disparate hard-drive bits. Choose a hard drive from a pull-down menu, and Disk Defrag displays the size, space used, free space, and a pie chart. One click starts the program, with a sector map showing how much is fragmented, allocated, or free. As it churns, defragged sectors are displayed in blue.

Auslogics Disk Defrag

Even on older XP systems the program is fast. A handy report is prepared after each session: the total files and folders defragged, and Detail lists the defrag outcome for each file. We only wish a final sector map was included in the report.

A lack of visual polish doesn't hurt this utility that replaces the cumbersome Windows Task Manager by showing running processes in an intuitive tree format. Process Explorer makes the job a lot easier by including program icons and other data, such as description, image, and processor time.

It also can identify the process for a given application window or look up a process name in Google--a handy way to spot spyware. Additional features offer detailed information on performance, DLLs, threads, handles, TCP/IP connections, security settings, and environments. Process Explorer is one of the best we've seen.

WinDirStat identifies how much disk space you're using. Based on Linux's KDirStat, it shows you an informative visual HD usage display. It can also analyze external devices. The initial WinDirStat scan may take quite a while, so be prepared to grab a cup of coffee.


When you return, you'll see your files displayed by colors according to file type. By default, the order is blue, red, green, but the Options menu can change these settings. It's also loaded with features for managing files. It's one of those apps that you didn't know you needed until you started using it, but once installed it's hard to imagine life without it.

A hectic interface can't stop the power of NoteTab Light. This replacement for Windows' built-in Notepad jumps in with Web browser-style tabs for managing different projects simultaneously, and it can automatically replace the tool it's based on.

However, there's much more to it. A list of commands on the left, called Clips, do anything from inserting bits of text to generating code. Libraries of clips appear as tabs at the bottom of the screen. The FTP library, for example, lets you create server profiles, connect, upload and download files, and issue various commands. The publisher's site offers many user-created libraries, or you can make your own.

Launchy lets you open nearly any program, file, folder, or Web site on your system with just a few keystrokes. It lives in the background, and a quick hot-key combo calls up the small, skinnable Launchy box.


Enter the first few letters of a file or program, and Launchy automatically displays the rest of the name. Simply press Enter to open or launch it. If the name displayed isn't what you want, wait a few seconds and the tool displays a drop-down list of other likely candidates. The tool is easily configurable, and it also looks at your default browser's Favorites file.

RAMBooster helps alleviate the RAM jam suffered by most users. Small and effective, installation is quick. Use program defaults, or modify through Edit/Preferences how much RAM you'd like it to free up and at which point of resource consumption. RAMBooster keeps track of RAM usage and scrub your RAM free of flotsam left behind by closed windows and background programs.

The tray icon indicates status: red and black if you're fine, escalating to yellow as free memory falls. Mouse over the icon to see exactly how much free RAM you have. You can also clean your RAM manually via the context menu or the full interface.

Although it lacks a few of the bells and whistles found in other cleaning applications, CCleaner offers more than enough to make it worthy. The logically-designed interface makes it easy to wipe away your tracks from bro7sing, various Windows system areas, and some third-party applications.

CCleaner doesn't support a large number of extraneous programs, but it can erase traces from such popular programs as Spybot and WinZip. Also missing is a secure file shredder, but it does supply a Registry-cleaning utility that quickly scans for invalid entries before removing them. The app can back up your Registry before altering it, and also uninstall any program on your machine.