Diagnose and Solve All Your Windows PC Problems with Soluto

Every PC user is familiar with problems such as slow boot up, frequent crashes and sluggish and unresponsive applications.

Most advanced users are able to solve their day-to-day PC issues but a not-so-advanced user is often left wondering what he can do to make sure his PC is in good running condition all the time.

Soluto brings an end to all your worries with their aptly called “Anti-Frustration Software”. Currently in its Beta version, the utility of Soluto can be distinctly divided into 3 categories: Chop Boot Time, Lighten Web Browser and Heal Crashes.

The first thing that you will notice after installing Soluto is the extremely pleasant user interface. The start-up screen shows you a list of the 3 tasks it performs. Just taking our mouse over each icon is enough to activate the control and you get further options to customize. Let us discuss the features one by one.

Chop Boot Time

Whenever your PC boots up, a small screen on the bottom left will show the time it takes to load each application. If you think your boot up time is long you can go to the Chop Boot option on the Soluto main screen and look at the total boot time and the number of applications run on boot. Below that information is a list of the applications divided into 3 groups.

The first is the “No Brainer” and it contains the list of applications that can be safely removed from the boot.

Second is  “Potentially Removable”. This option is for advanced users and the user must decide whether he needs the application in his boot or not.

Last is the “Required” category with consists of mostly Windows services and it cannot be removed from boot up.

Hovering over each icon in any category will open a small pop-up window giving information about that application. You can check when that application was installed, why it runs on boot and whether it’s advisable to remove it or not. If you are not sure what to do with the application, you can check out what percentage of people chose with action with the same application and pause, delay or keep it in boot accordingly.

When you “Pause” an application, it is not run during boot up. Instead, it is run at the users command. “Delaying” the application is a good option when you want to run the application after some time when the PC is idle.

Whenever you “Pause” or “Delay” and application, Soluto will show you how much boot time you have saved and your new boot up time along with the number of applications in it.

Lighten Web Browser

This does what it says. This option will show you a list of the toolbars and add-ons that you can remove from your browser. If you have multiple browsers, you can click on each browser icon to view and enable/disable its own list of “Safely Removable” and “Possibly Removable” add-ons.

It also allows you to change the default search engine for each of the browsers installed on your PC.

Heal Crashes

This option will show you a list of the recent crashes that have occurred on your PC and possible solutions for them. There are also times when Soluto is not able to provide any solution and in such a scenario you will see the number of days remaining for the solution to be available.

All in all, Soluto is a very simple yet efficient solution to deal with problems such as slow start ups and frequent PC crashes. Since it is only in its Beta version, information about a lot of applications but the team behind Soluto is very responsive and the software is getting better all the time. I highly recommend it to all Windows users.

Download Soluto for free here.

How To Disable The Caps Lock Key On Windows 7 and Windows Vista

Disable The Caps Lock KeyIf you ask me, one of the most useless keys on a keyboard is the Caps Lock key. In my opinion, The Caps lock no longer has any roll to play on your key board. Instead, I’m sure it’s just irritating when you accidentally hit it unintentionally. In my opinion, It is best to just disable the key, an option that ideally should have been built into the operating system.

But, since it isn’t built-in, Here are two ways to disable the caps lock key on your key board.

1. Adding a registry entry to disable the caps lock key or map it to another key.

2. A simple utility that helps you to disable any key or map any key to any other key on your keyboard.

Adding Registry Entry

Windows does not have such a default setting by which you can disable/enable any key. But editing the registry you can achieve the same result. For that you would have to launch the registry editor by typing “regedit” (without the quotes) at the Run (Win +R) box and hitting enter.

At the registry editor navigate to the following path:

HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Control\Keyboard Layout

Now take note of the Scancode Map entry. The different parts of the binary code  are responsible for the mapping of the keyboard layout. You can set the keys on your own by editing that data. But this is a complicated trick and would require you to know a lot about the inner workings of the operating system and keyboards.

Since, we only want to disable the caps lock key for now, I have already made a registry key file for you, that’ll set the Scancode Map entry to the correct value. Just download the following zipped file and extract it to get the registry key file. Once you have that registry file, just double click on that and click on Yes. You are done! Restart your computer and see the result – Your caps lock key has been disabled !

Download DisableCapsLock.

Using The Utility SharpKeys

SharpKeys is a simple application that supports both windows 7 and vista that lets you disable any key or map keys on your keyboard.

Download the application SharpKeys and run it (no installation is required).

Once you run the application, you can add any key from the list and choose to disable that key or map that key to another.

In the SharpKeys interface, click on the Add button to select the key from the list and select what do you want to do from the right side. After selecting the key and the target task, click on the OK button.

After that, you will be returned to the SharpKeys initial interface. Now, click on the Write to registry button. You would get a massage saying that the key mapping has been successfully stored to the registry. Click on OK.

You are done!

To revert to your initial settings, delete the corresponding entry from the list. As simple as that !

So, do you also think the caps lock key is as useless as it seems  ? Do you like to keep the caps lock key disabled ? Share your opinion with us in the comment section.

Image Courtesy: http://www.flickr.com/photos/dip/278670457/

Open Any File Using Notepad From The Windows Context Menu

Add Right-click Option to Open With NotepadOur mission here at Geeky Ninja is to make things easy and simple. One of the complex job is opening any file with Notepad. You can open text files with .txt extension in notepad usually by double clicking on the file. If the file is an HTML or VBS etc  then you can open those file from the Open with > Notepad using the right-click context menu. But that doesn’t work for all files. So, for some files, you have to select notepad as the opening application from the option “Choose program”.

But all the complexity can be avoided by adding the Open with notepad option at right-click context menu for all types of file. There is a simple registry hack to do that.

Registry Hack To Add The “Open with Notepad” Option To The Right-Click Context Menu

Press Win + R and type “regedit” without the quotes and hit enter to open the registry editor.

Note: You are about to edit the registry, so it is always recommended that you should keep a backup of your registry to be in safe side before making any change. Learn how to backup registry.

Now navigate to the following path from the left pane of the registry editor:

HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\*\shell

If the entry “shell” is not available there, create it by right clicking on “ * ” and then by choosing New > Key. Give the name of that key as shell.

Add Right-click Option to Open With Notepad

Similarly, create another key Open with notepad under shell and command under the recently created key (Open with notepad).

Select the command key and right-click on Default at the right pane and select Modify.

Add Right-click Option to Open With Notepad

Under the Value data field put the following command:

notepad.exe %1

Add Right-click Option to Open With Notepad

and click on OK.

You should see the changes immediately.

Add Right-click Option to Open With Notepad

If you are not computer savvy and are afraid of editing the registry yourself then you can download the following registry file which will automatically do the job for you.

Download OpenWithNotepad registry entry.

The above link will download a zip file containing the registry hack to add the Open with Notepad option in the context menu along with the un-installation script.

Just extract the zipped file and double click on the OpenWithNotepad.reg file. If you want to remove the entry from the context menu, just double click on the RemoveOpenWithNotepad.reg file.

This trick also works on Windows 7 and Windows Vista.

Windows 101: Remove a user account in Windows 7

Windows 7So, you followed our previous post from the Windows 101 series and created an account for yourself and another user on your Windows 7 machine.

I talked about how easy it was to add a new user account to your shiny new Windows 7 install and you followed the instructions in that post, added a new account for your friend and he even used it for a couple of days. So, what do you do with a user account when you don’t need it anymore ? Keep it around for eternity ?

In today’s Windows 101 post we take a look at how to delete a user account and save the user’s data.

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How To Get Music Off your iPod

iTunes LogoApple’s iPod is the most popular media player on the planet and together with the iTunes software and music store command almost 90% of the market for digital music and music players.

With the amount of money at stake, it is not a surprise that Apple likes to maintain tight control over the iTunes/iPod ecosystem. For example, officially the only way to manage music on an iPod is to use the iTunes software. And even then music can only be copied from the computer to the iPod, not the other way round.

If your computer crashes or you happen to change your computer, you’re out of luck as far as your music is concerned, since iTunes won’t let you copy it back.

Unless you follow this guide and do as I tell you to.

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Windows 101: Add a New User Account in Windows 7

windows 7If you’re one of those who recently switched to Windows 7 from Windows XP, and are still learning the ropes of Microsoft’s new operating system, you’d have noticed how Windows 7 likes to do things a little differently especially when it comes to administrative tasks such as creating accounts for new users.

Even if you’re a seasoned Windows user who just got Windows 7 on a new computer that you purchased, the first thing to do, in my opinion, should be to create new non-administrator accounts for anyone who’d be using the computer for their work. And yes, if you’re moving up from Windows XP, things are a bit different around here. Oh wait, I just said that ! Never mind !

To create an account for a new user, the first thing that you need to do is open the User Accounts panel. Click on the Windows menu and type “User Accounts” in the search bar and press Enter.

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New Geeky Ninja Series: Windows 101

windows 7

If this is the first time you’re reading The Geeky Ninja, Welcome !

If you’re a regular reader of our blog, Thank you !

And for the rest of you, we hope you’ve enjoyed the ride till now.

The goal of this blog has always been to write about software and technology in a language that is easy to read and understand. I believe (and hope) that I’ve been able to stick to that goal so far.

In the past, we’ve covered a number of Windows Tips and software to make your life easier and while we’ll still continue to write about interesting software for Windows, we’ve decided to start a new Windows 101 series for those who’re just starting on the adventure that is Windows.

If you have any tips or tricks for new Windows users to share, please use the Contact Form and let us know. We hope you like what we’ve lined up for you.

Cleanup and Optimize Windows with CCleaner

CCleanerThe Windows registry is a mess !

There … I said it.

And the more I use Windows, the more I’m reminded that if there is anything close to a cardinal truth, it is the fact that a windows computer will become slower and slower and crash more often as it grows old.

Of course, ‘Old’ is a subjective term here and depends on how much you use your computer and how many software you install and uninstall everyday.

Also, if you use the computer primarily to surf the Internet, all that muck that you acquire from the different sites that you visit, is only going to add more weight to your operating system slowing it down even further.

Yes, there are ways to get rid of all that but unless you are a computer guru (and most of us aren’t), you most probably will have no idea where to look to find these files and remove them.

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Auslogics Disk Defrag – A fast and free Disk Defragmentation utility

Disk DefragDo you know how Data is stored in your computer ?

The operating system stores data in little chunks called blocks on the hard disk. If a file that you save is large and can’t fit in a single block, the operating system divides it into multiple blocks.

These blocks are chosen wherever there is free space on the disk and are not guaranteed to be contiguous, but the OS knows about the various chunks. So whenever you request for the data, the operating system asks the hard drive to visit all the different parts of the disk that the data is stored in and gets them to you. This process is usually extremely fast and for the user it almost feels as if that the data is stored in one long contiguous block.

But, as you use your computer for everyday tasks, bits of data get more fragmented, which means that the small chunks get distributed throughout the disk and so the process of getting them all together, in case of a file request, slows down the whole system.

Disk defragmentation is the process of reorganizing bits of data on the hard disk so as to align them in contiguous blocks and make file access faster.

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Lunascape – World’s First Triple Engine Browser

LunascapeLet’s have a small poll. How many web browsers do you use ?

Those of you thinking that this is a rhetorical question, it’s not. If you guys are anything like me, I’m sure you have multiple browsers installed on your system. I’ve always had multiple browsers on my all my systems. If I’m using Windows, I use Internet Explorer, Firefox and now Chrome and if I’m on Linux, I use Firefox and depending on the environment that I’m using, konqueror or epiphany.

My reason for using multiple browsers is that as a web designer, I need to make sure the scripts that I code, the pages that I design work well in all the browsers and so I need to test on them. As a user, you guys might have different reasons. Let’s face it, some sites really do work better with Internet Explorer.

Whatever the reason, if you have multiple browsers installed on your computer, Lunascape is sure to give you some relief.

Lunascape is the world’s first (and only – according to their website) web broweser which works with three different rendering engines – Gecko (Firefox), Trident (IE) and Webkit (Safari/Chrome).

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