Windows News, Updates, tips and software

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The memory could not be written error

I have lately been getting the error message The instruction at "0x62e2cc0f" referenced memory at "0x00000000". The memory could not be "written" in Microsoft Windows XP. This happened frequently when I tried to play certain avi video files. I first thought that I had a memory problem, maybe defective RAM or bad sectors on my hard drive but soon found out that this was not the case. It took me a while to realize what it was. Once I knew where the error came from I was able to wave goodbye to the memory could not be written and watch all the avi movies on my system without problems again.

file renamer

A comfortable easy to use File Renamer

If you want to rename files in one go without having to rename each file individually you should take a look at the free software Renamer NG. Owners of digital cameras for instance will love this software. The camera names the pictures that have been taken Picture001.jpg, Picture002.jpg and so on which is not very helpful if you want to know where the pictures were taken. A file renamer like Renamer NG is capable of renaming all files at once. If you would use the Windows Explorer instead you would soon realize that renaming hundreds of pictures takes a very long time.

Finally an iPod update for Windows Vista

Users with Microsoft Windows Vista and an iPod might have encountered the problem that under certain circumstances the data on the iPod could become corrupted after removing it from the computer that was running Windows Vista. According to Microsoft the problem could arise under two circumstances which I pasted below:

Ultra Hal Personal Assistant

Please note that the following article is a paid review. You can be sure that I'm only accepting reviews of products or services that I think are interesting enough to be mentioned on my website and that I would consider using myself. The Ultra Hal Assistant is a personal assistant that increases your productivity. It is possible to chat or speak with the artificial intelligence to let it do a number of things for you. This includes starting programs, reading text, reminding you of appointments, look up local news and weather, define words, dictate text and many more.

Monitor a room with Grabmotion

If you are looking for a cheap and reliable way to monitor a room you could take a look at the freeware Grabmotion which uses webcams to monitor rooms. Grabmotion constantly monitors the room and starts default processes once a motion was detected. Processes that can be defined include sending an email with an attached image showing the room during the time the motion was detected, sending an sms through a gateway, saving an image to the hard drive or playing a sound alarm.

Windows XP Zune Theme

I was never that of a theme fanatic and used the windows classic setting on all of my previous computers because I thought it would speed up my system. I feel a little bit old fashioned to defend this stance against my friends who love to use themes for their windows operating system. It is not anymore a question of speeding up the system, with dual core cpus and gigabytes of ram available for most computers that are sold these days.

startup control panel

Control which Programs start for Beginners

The best software to control every program that is loaded automatically when Windows starts is Autoruns by Sysinternals. While this is an excellent software it requires some knowledge to use it the way it was meant to be used. A similar free software that is way better suited for novice computer users is the program Startup Control Panel by Mike Lin. It looks like a crippled version of Autoruns and concentrates on the most used locations where programs are added to be started with Windows.

better performance

Speed up Hard Drives under Windows Vista

The following article describes two ways of speeding up hard drives in Windows Vista. The first tip describes a way to speed up SATA drives and the second to speed up USB drives. Both options can be easily configured in the Device Manager. Advanced write caching features are supported by Windows Vista but not enabled by default. I'm not sure why Microsoft decided to disable the feature by default but it surely helps system performance to enable it. Just make sure you have an SATA drive installed.

Microsoft Vista Internet Connectivity Test

You can use the Internet Connectivity Evaluation Tool to test if your router supports various technologies that have been build into Microsoft's Windows Vista operating system. The test itself seems to be working only on Windows XP or Windows Vista and requires the Internet Explorer which is using Active X for the test. The following features and technologies are tested with the Internet Connectivity Evaluation Tool: Basic Internet Connectivity, Network Address Translator Type, Traffic Congestion, TCP High Performance, UPnP Support and Multiple Simultaneous Connection State.

Create 360 Degree Panoramas from your Pictures

Holiday season is coming closer and I thought it would be nice to begin writing some articles that would fit nicely into that season. If you are using a digital camera to take pictures you might find the free software Autostitch worth a try. Autostitch creates a panoramic image from all the images that you load into the image manipulation software. This works of course only if the images are related to each other. If you took three pictures from different angles for instance that all show part of the same landscape. Everything is done automatically.

driver max

Import and Export all Windows Drivers

If you ever reinstalled Microsoft Windows you surely have encountered the following hassle. All the drivers that have been installed on your system are gone because of the new installation and you have to search the web to find the latest drivers and update your system with them. This is of course only valid if you do a clean install and do not install the operating system in the same folder as the old.

change system restore size command-line

Change the System Restore Size in Windows Vista

It was possible to define the percentage that the System Restore feature in Windows XP allocated from a hard drive. Windows Vista has System Restore build in as well but no obvious way to define the percentage of the hard drive that System Restore allocated. Microsoft thought it would be a good idea to hide the setting well and allocate 15% of the hard drives capacity to System Restore. On a 300 Gigabyte drive System Restore would allocate 45 Gigabytes of space !

In their drive for a uncomplicated system they restrict user possibilities to create a system the way they like. It is becoming a closed system with the owner of the computer being a user instead of someone who can actively alter his system the way he wants. To change the System Restore size in Microsoft Windows Vista you have to rely on the command line utility vssadmin.

Fix to copy large files in Vista faster

Maybe you have already encountered the strange behavior that it takes much longer to copy large files in Windows Vista than in Windows XP. You thought that the change from XP to Vista would at least be not a disadvantage speed wise but Vista somehow seems to have a problem copying large files. This happens especially with mapped drives but it could also be that you witness network disconnects.

The problem is caused by a new feature called Auto Tuning which is by default enabled in Microsoft Windows Vista. What Auto Tuning does is that it reacts on changes in the network by tuning the receive windows size. The solution would be of course to disable Auto Tuning in Vista. Some users reported that disabling Auto Tuning had a positive effect on their ability to connect to services such as Windows Live Messenger which did not work before.

Anti Mosquitoes

Anti Mosquitoes is a very unique software. The main purpose of Anti Mosquitoes is to prevent that mosquitoes come anywhere near your computer by using sounds that are barely audible by humans. This is at least what I think it does, the problem is that the developers homepage is in Thai only and the program itself has little information in English. I'm saying barely audible because it creates a noise that is audible and - at least for me - kinda annoying. The only way around this would be for me to wear a headset and listen to music while Anti Mosquitoes is running.

md5 checker

Check MD5 Hashes

MD5 (Message-Digest algorithm 5) can be used as a way of checking that a computer file has not been maliciously or accidentally altered. To put it simple, it works like a fingerprint. So, nowadays most of websites includes this information to their software, which looks like this:

A Sandbox for Applications

Sandboxie does what virtual machines such as VMware Player, Virtual Box and Microsoft Virtual Pc do with the difference that it works on the application level and not the operating system one. Instead of running a virtual operating system that makes it safe to try and test software it lets you run software in a sandbox on your current operating system with the same result. The normal process in an operating system is that applications can read and write date from the system.

sysexporter

Export File Lists and more with SysExporter

SysExporter is a free software from one of my favorite software developers NirSoft that is able to explorer standard list-views, tree-views, list boxes, combo boxes, text-boxes, and WebBrowser / HTML controls from almost every application to text, HTML or XML files. I think an example would be great at this point to show you what it can do. When you start SysExporter you get a list of all applications and folders that are currently running on your system.

Use any USB 2.0 Device for Readyboost in Vista

Readyboost is a disk caching system introduced in Windows Vista that relies on flash memory to boost system performance. The effect is not that noticeable but some users swear on it and I do not want to discuss the usefulness of Readyboost. The USB device has to meet some requirements before it can be used for Readyboost mainly that it needs to meet certain read speeds. Many older USB devices do not meet these requirements and refuse to be used as Readyboost devices in Windows Vista.