Tech – for Everyone

Tech Tips and Tricks & Advice – written in plain English.

Get these Vista updates

Tip of the day: Improve your Vista’s performance and reliability by downloading and installing a few “optional” updates. (Gamers take note.)

I have mentioned the soon-to-be-released Service Pack 1 for Vista (and, why you want it) in previous articles, and yesterday I mentioned that bits and pieces of it are already available, or being installed, through Windows Update. As I mentioned then, a primary purpose of a Service Pack is to fix bugz and glitchez, which has the nice benefit of reducing (eliminating?) blue screens, and making your computer more “stable”– in geek speak, that’s called Performance & Reliability (versus “downtime”.)

Now I, for one, am all for taking steps that improve my PC’s performance. I have been known to “tweak” a setting or two in the hopes of gaining a modest gain in speed. I confess, I have even played around with (gasp!) over-clocking. (Though I also confess, I must have done something wrong.. or been too timid, because I found it unsatisfying.) If you, too, want to improve Vista’s speed (at certain tasks) and improve your machine’s P&R, read on.

Microsoft has available a couple of updates that you must actively seek out and install yourself (or, you can wait for SP1) that fix specific bugs and improve performance. I suggest, if you haven’t done so already, to get them; and, I will provide the direct links.

The first is a “compatibility and reliability” update called KB938194, which is available here. (The specific issues it resolves are listed, if you’re interested in that sort of thing.)

And the second one is the one for you if you have any “waking from sleep/hibernation” issues (it fixes several memory issues as well): it is KB938979 and you can get it here.

If you are a Gamer: you will definitely want to grab KB940105, which resolves some serious memory issues, and smooths the DirectX 9 > 10 transition. It is available here.
(Please note, this will not quite be as effective as remaining on XP if you are serious about your games/framerates, but the improvement is worthy of note. As more DirectX 10 titles arrive… )

* And if you are a gamer, and you have DirectX 10-compatible graphics cards in either SLI or Crossfire, you simply must get the fix that turns on Vista’s use of the second GPU: KB936710, available here.

To install these updates, simply click on the appropriate download link, located toward the bottom of the KB pages, and then “Run” the package. For the vast majority of you, that will be the “32 bit” version (the 64-bit version is typically a special order, and you’ll know if you’ve requested it), but if you’re unsure if you are running a 32-bit, or a 64-bit, version of Vista, you can quickly check by clicking Start, right-click on the “Computer” button, and selecting “Properties”.

Today’s free link: As you (probably) know, I talk about “phishing” e-mails quite frequently, and warn you against clicking the links, etc. A great tool for helping determine if an e-mail really came from who it claims is eMail ID from Iconix. From site: “Iconix eMail ID works with your current email service such as Yahoo! mail, Windows Live Hotmail, Gmail, Earthlink, Outlook Express (all on IE or FireFox). Iconix eMail ID double checks the source of a message to make sure it’s not a spoof. It then uses a simple visual indicator in your inbox–a gold lock with a checkmark to show that a message is real. E-mail from over 300 major senders is currently identified–companies such as eBay, PayPal, Citibank, Amazon.com, Expedia, MySpace…(more)”

Copyright 2007-8 © Tech Paul. All rights reserved.

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March 7, 2008 - Posted by | advice, BSOD, computers, how to, PC, tech, Vista, Windows | , , , ,

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