We are pleased to announce that William Stanek’s Optimizing Windows 7 Pocket Consultant (ISBN 9780735661653; 208 pages) is now available for purchase!
Keep reading to see the table of contents and an excerpt from the introduction.
Introduction Chapter 1 Customizing the Windows 7 Interface Boosting Your Desktop IQ Optimizing Interface Performance Mastering Desktop Essentials Stretching the Desktop Making the Start Menu Work for You Customizing the Programs List Customizing the Important Folders and Tools List Making the Taskbar Dance Putting the Taskbar Where You Want It Customizing Taskbar Appearance Pinning Programs to the Taskbar Using Flip Views and Jump Lists Chapter 2 Personalizing the Appearance of Windows 7 Customizing Basic Interfaces Personalizing Menus Personalizing Control Panel Fine-Tuning Control Prompts Creating an Alternate Control Panel View Creating a Dedicated Administrator Command Prompt Optimizing Desktop Themes, Screen Savers, Backgrounds, and More Selecting and Tuning Themes Fine-Tuning Windows Aero Colors Customizing and Creating Your Own Desktop Backgrounds Choosing and Configuring Your Screen Saver Configuring and Creating Your System Sounds Customizing Your Mouse Pointers Saving Your Custom Themes and Creating Theme Packs Customizing Your Displays Customizing and Safeguarding Your User Account Changing Your Account Name Changing and Creating Account Pictures Changing Your Account Type Creating, Storing, and Restoring Your Account Password Chapter 3 Customizing Boot, Startup, and Power Options Customizing Your Computer’s Firmware Interface Getting to Know Your Computer’s Firmware Interface Accessing and Setting Your Computer’s Firmware Interface Tracking and Configuring Power On and Resume Customizing Startup and Boot Configuration Fine-Tuning Startup and Recovery Settings Changing Your Computer’s Boot Configuration Performing an Advanced or Safe Mode Boot Customizing Boot Configuration with the BCD Editor Resolving Restart or Shutdown Issues Recovering from a Failed Resume Forcing Your Computer to Shut Down Repairing a Computer to Enable Startup Chapter 4 Organizing, Searching, and Indexing Exploring Your Computer in New Ways Address Bar Tips and Techniques Keyboard Tips and Techniques for Windows Explorer Customizing Windows Explorer Fine-Tuning Folder Views Customizing Folder Options Searching and Indexing Your Computer Windows Search Essentials Understanding Localized Searches Fine-Tuning Windows Search Customizing Search Options Performing Advanced Searches with Filters Searching by Kind or Type of File Searching Using Date-Related Filters Searching Using Size-Related Filters Saving Your Searches Indexing Your Computer Customizing Indexed Locations Including or Excluding Files by Type Resolving Indexing Problems Chapter 5 Optimizing Your Computer’s Software Diving Deep into Software Installation Understanding and Tweaking User Account Control Understanding Autorun and Tweaking AutoPlay How Windows Installer and Program Compatibility Work How 64-Bit Software Works Installing and Running Your Software Making Software Work Like You Want It To Making MS-DOS and 16-Bit Software Work Controlling Software Availability Using Windows XP Mode Resolving Compatibility Issues Managing Installed Software. Choosing Default Programs Reconfiguring, Repairing, and Uninstalling Software Viewing and Managing Running Programs
Chapter 6 Tracking System Performance and Health Tracking Relative Performance Understanding Your Computer’s Relative Performance Levels Improving Your Computer’s Relative Performance Levels Checking Current Performance Levels Tracking Applications and Processes Tracking Performance and Resource Usage Event Logging and Viewing Digging into the Event Logs Resolving Performance Issues with the Logs Chapter 7 Analyzing and Logging Performance Resolving Failures and Reliability Issues Checking for Problems That Are Affecting Performance Analyzing Reliability Issues That Are Affecting Performance Diagnosing and Resolving Problems with Troubleshooters Examining Resource Usage in Detail Recording and Analyzing Performance Data Logging Performance Data Choosing Counters to Monitor Identifying Performance Bottlenecks Chapter 8 Optimizing Performance Tips and Techniques Optimizing Power Management Settings for Performance Selecting and Using Power Plans Creating and Optimizing Power Plans Resolving Power Problems That Are Affecting Performance Maintaining Performance with Updates Fine-Tuning Automatic Updates Resolving Update Problems Optimizing Performance: Final Tune-up Suggestions Disabling Unnecessary Services and Features Fine-Tuning Virtual Memory Fine-Tuning Data Execution Prevention Enhancing Performance with ReadyBoost Cleaning Up Your Disk Drives Checking Your Disks for Errors Optimizing Disk Performance Appendix Index
Welcome to Optimizing Windows 7 Pocket Consultant. Over the years, I’ve written about many different Windows technologies and products, but one of the products I like writing about most is Windows itself. When you start working with Windows 7, you’ll see at once that this operating system is visually different from earlier releases of Windows. What won’t be readily apparent, however, is just how different—and that’s because many of the most significant changes to the operating system are under the surface. These changes affect the underlying architecture, not just the interfaces—and they were some of the hardest for me to research and write about. In this book, I teach you how features work, why they work the way they do, and how to customize them to meet your needs. I also offer specific examples of how certain features can meet your needs and how you can use other features to troubleshoot and resolve issues you might have. In addition, this book provides tips, best practices, and examples of how to fine-tune all major aspects of Windows 7. This book won’t just teach you how to configure Windows 7; it will teach you how to squeeze every last bit of power out of it and make the most of the features and options it includes.
Optimizing Windows 7 Pocket Consultant covers all editions of Windows 7. The book is designed for the following readers:
· Accomplished users and information managers who want to know more about the operating system · Administrators, help desk staff, and others who support the operating system · Developers who develop applications for the operating system and want to know how to optimize core components To pack in as much information as possible, I had to assume that you have basic networking skills and a basic understanding of Windows 7. I also assume that you are fairly familiar with Windows commands and procedures as well as the Windows user interface.
Speed and ease of reference are essential parts of this hands-on guide. This book has an expanded table of contents and an extensive index for finding answers to problems quickly. Many other quick-reference features are included as well, including quick step-by-step procedures, lists, tables, and extensive cross-references.
Part I, “Optimization Essentials,” focuses on fine-tuning the operating system’s appearance and performance. No “Hello” and “Welcome” stuff here. You’ll roll up your sleeves and dive right in to the good stuff while also learning how to personalize the operating system. After you have customized the interface and appearance, Optimizing Windows 7 Pocket Consultant takes you through the process of optimizing core components. In Chapter 3, “Customizing Boot, Startup, and Power Options,” you’ll learn how to fine-tune boot, startup, power on, and resume. In Chapter 4, “Organizing, Searching, and Indexing,” you’ll learn how to optimally organize the documents, pictures, music, and other files on your computer so that you can not only get to them quickly but also view and work with them quickly. In Chapter 5, “Optimizing Your Computer’s Software,” you’ll learn about managing and maintaining your computer’s software with an emphasis on performance and problem resolution.
After you’ve fine-tuned the interface, appearance, and core components, you’ll want to track system health and performance to ensure that your computer runs optimally—that’s exactly what Part III, “Fine-Tuning Performance,” covers. Here, you’ll dig in and dive as deep as you want to into tracking, analyzing, and issue resolution.
Although some books are offered as all-in-one guides, there’s simply no way one book can do it all. This book is intended to be used as a concise and easy-to-use resource. It covers everything you need to perform core optimization tasks for Windows 7, but it is by no means exhaustive.
As you encounter new topics, take the time to practice what you’ve learned and read about. Seek additional information as necessary to get the practical experience and knowledge that you need. I recommend that you regularly visit the Microsoft website for Windows 7 (http://www.microsoft.com/windows/) and http://support.microsoft.com to stay current with the latest changes. You may also want to refer to Windows 7 Administrator’s Pocket Consultant for more detailed information on management, maintenance, and problem resolution.