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Slow Windows 7

Windows 7 is the fastest and the most responsive Microsoft OS so far, but that doesn't mean it's immune to slow-downs that start occurring after a couple of months of intense use. So no matter which modification of Windows 7 you run, it will get cluttered and start slowing down. Fortunately there are safe ways to speed up computer running Windows 7 without having to download any software or applying dangerous registry hacks. We are going to cover these ways in this article.

Windows 7 takes the idea of gadgets and sidebar a step further than its predecessor, Vista. It uses customisable gadgets that can be placed anywhere on the desktop. But that doesn't make them less resource-hungry – they still take up a portion of system resources to load and update. Turning off all gadgets is one more way to speed up Windows 7.

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Blue Screen of Death

BSOD, or Blue Screen of Death, is an indication of a critical system error in the Windows operating system that causes a crash the system is unable to recover from. The official name of this condition is "STOP Error". BSOD may be caused by a number of factors or events, including device driver errors, software incompatibility, serious irregularities in the Windows registry or other similar reasons. Regardless of the direct cause, BSOD is usually a strong indication that there is something seriously wrong that requires immediate attention. BSOD causes can be fixed with special software that repairs the registry and tunes up system settings – download here.

The article provides details on the meaning, causes and ways to repair BSOD.

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Problems with ActiveX

Hackers can use activeX to cause computer viruses such as the "Iloveyou" worm.

The same things that make ActiveX so useful -- its flexibility and integration between all applications -- make it particularly dangerous in the hands of malicious hackers. Many of the past decade's most infamous computer viruses, spyware and adware programs came disguised as ActiveX controls. The problem with ActiveX, security experts say, is that Microsoft gives the individual user too much responsibility in patrolling his or her PC security [source: SecurityFocus].

Java applets, which perform many of the same functions as ActiveX controls, are heavily restricted as to how they interact with a user's PC. For example, Java applets can't erase files from a user's hard drive [source: CNET]. That's called sandboxing an application. ActiveX is not sandboxed at all. Once downloaded on a user's computer, the ActiveX control becomes part of the operating system with the ability of tampering with every piece of hardware and software on the machine.

Instead of restricting ActiveX's functions, Microsoft chose another security route. Every time Internet Explorer needs to download a new ActiveX control, it launches a pop-up window asking the user if he wants to proceed. The user, then, has to decide whether the ActiveX control is legitimate or a Trojan Horse for nasty code. To help with that decision, Microsoft gave the creators the ability to sign their applications. These digital signature certificates are double-checked and certified by services like VeriSign.

The problem is that many users don't think to look for digital signatures -- or wouldn't know what they meant even if they saw them -- and just say "yes" to the download without giving it a second thought.

In response to widespread criticism of the ActiveX vulnerability, Microsoft increased ActiveX security with the release of Internet Explorer 7, disabling all but the most common ActiveX controls -- Windows Media Player, Flash Player, Adobe Reader, et cetera -- and improving the user notification process before downloading new controls.

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Slow Vista

Compared to Windows XP, Vista is a much heavier and resource-hungry operating system. It has lots of great features, like Aero, but they can slow down your computer, especially if it doesn't have enough RAM or has a weak CPU. Luckily, it's possible to speed up computer running Windows Vista by customizing its settings. So before you spend a lot of money on new hardware, follow these simple steps to improve Vista performance.

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Preventing bad sectors

Bad sectors are little clusters of data on your hard disk that cannot be read. More than that, though, they are the potential to cause real damage to your hard drive (catastrophic failure) if they build up over time, stressing your read arm. Bad sectors are fairly common with normal computer use and the imperfections of the world we live in; however, there are several simple steps you can take to prevent HDD bad sectors and to repair any that you do have. Having bad sectors will not speed up computer performance as well. Here is a step-by-step guide. What is a sector, and how are HDD bad sectors created?

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Registry issues

Keeping your registry clean is a very important part of computer maintenance, because it ensures that your computer stays fast and stable.

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