Monday, January 21, 2008

Passwording Guest Account

After reading Joseph Doyle's submission regarding this I would like to point out that you can set a Guest account password by simply doing this. This method is somewhat simpler in that you do not have to mess around with CMD.exe.

1. Make sure you are logged on as an Administrator.
2. Go to Start > Control Panel > Administrative Tools > Computer Management.
3. Select the "Users" folder under "Local Users and Groups".
4. Right click on the "Guest" account and click "Set Password". When a dialog comes up warning you of the possible consequences click "Proceed". You will then be given a dialog that lets you set a new password.

I have always considered security a top priority and considering the ease of doing this I would highly recommend that everyone sets a Guest account password. Even though the Guest account is disabled by default, why not do this just for the extra bit of security?

Local Users and Groups is not available in XP Home. A way to set a password for the guest account in Home and Pro: click start - run - type: cmd - in the command window type: net user guest * - hit Enter - you will be prompted for the password to use.

Monday, January 14, 2008

Change Hard and CD-ROM Drive Letter in XP

If you want to change your hard drive letter or your cd-rom drive letter, this is the tip you want.

1. Click the start button

2. Go into Administrative tools (either in the start button or in "All Programs"

3. From Administrative Tools, go into "Computer Management"

4. In "Computer Management", click on "Disk Management" under "Storage" from the left menu

5. You should see a window from the lower right hand corner open (it shows all the hard disk drives and cd-rom drives)

6. To change...
...hard drive, click on the hard disk with a blue horizonal bar, the box should be shaded; next right click that box that you desire to change the letter then click on "Change Letter Drive and Path" drive, click on the box that you desire the drive letter; next right click that box that you desire to change the letter then click on "Change Letter Drive and Path"

7. click the "change..." button

8. from the "assign the following drive letter", select the letter you want to assign to the hard drive or the cd-rom drive

9. click ok

10. click ok

11. (optional) redo the whole step to reassign other hard drives or cd-rom drives

There! You have succeeded in changing the hard drive or cd-rom drive letter. Enjoy!

Sunday, January 13, 2008

Stripping Page File across Multiple Hard drives

This is an incredible tweak that has improved the performance of my system by leaps and bounds.

There have been lots of articles and tweaks concerning the Page File. I have tried them all, however, whilst researching articles for work, I came across this tweak directly from Microsoft that has been the best improver of my system performance.

If you have two or more hard drives, especially if they reside on separate IDE channels, it is possible to Strip the Page File across these two drives. Windows XP has code within it that will enable a RAID-Type Stripping. Therefore, Windows XP will through its internal algorithms place information in the separate drives. By accessing both of the Drives at the same time to read/write information, Windows XP will considerably improve its performance!

Simply go to System Properties > Advanced > Performance > Settings > Virtual Memory and assign the page file a size on each drive.

The way I did mine is as follows:

I have two hard drives each formatted with two partitions each. Hence I have a total of 4 Partitions being displayed. On my secondary HD, I created the first Partition and called it my SWAP. Since I have 512 MB of RAM, I created the partition with 1.5 GB. On this partition, I assigned the Swap File of 764 - 1500 MB. On the Primary Partition which Contains my Operating System, I also have a swap file of the same 764-1500 MB.

Try this out my friends. I guarantee you will be impressed with the results. As a comparison, when I had a single partition, one application used to suck 100% of my cpu cycles and my swap file usage jumped way high. Ever since I started the page file stripping, that very same application sucks only 5% CPU cycles!