Sharing the Secrets of Windows XP

By: Jon Caldwell

When the XP prompt gives you the options to Standby, Turn Off or Restart, holding down the Shift key gives you another option instead of Standby: Hibernate. Should you Standby or Hibernate? It depends on how long you will be away from your computer. Standby is good if you won't be gone for hours. It conserves energy by running your computer on low power. Hibernate is better if you will be away for a while but do not want to wait for a total restart. It writes the contents of the memory onto a file. Now that you know, you have no excuse to keep your screensaver running.

These DOS commands are very useful for Windows XP users when they cannot be bothered to manually shutdown the computer after downloading or after certain system scans or commands. To set automatic shutdown, go the the Run icon on the Start menu of Windows. Type in 'cmd' and press enter to open the window. Type 'shutdown' to display all the commands if you are not familiar with them. The most useful commands are 'shutdown' followed by -l to logoff, -r for restart, -t xx to set a time (xx standing for number of seconds) and -a to abort the shutdown.

Undeleteunerase.com presents their award-winning freeware Recover Files. As you could guess, it undeletes erased files. Be it a file lost through an emptied Recycle Bin, a file deleted from a portable drive or an image erased from a memory card, Recover Files can get it back soon after deletion. The simple interface tells you what files can be detected, file information and the chances of recovering it. "Very Good" status means that you can still recover a file; "Overwritten" means the file is corrupted or unrecoverable. You can filter file types or enter keywords instead of scanning the entire hard drive to make searching quicker.

Just because a file is deleted and removed from your Recycle Bin doesn't mean it's gone. Windows does not destroy deleted files, but keeps them until they are overwritten. Here are three freeware to help you get rid of your sensitive data such as classified documents and make them unrecoverable.

Sami Tolvanen's Eraser 5.87 Beta 1 overwrites data several times with multiple passes of pseudorandom data along with several data pattern writes. Kevin Solway's Delete Doctor 2.2 is much simpler, aiming to remove files that resist deletion, such as corrupted file names and leftovers of viruses and Trojans. At just 148 KB, you'll barely notice it's there. Simple File Shredder 3.2 is the core product of Scar5 Software. Its main feature is the System Shredderwhich locates browser cache, cookie, and history files for shredding.

If file duplication is bugging you, there's a solution for your woes. Easy Duplicate File Finder makes finding and removing duplicate files on your computer fast and trouble-free. It is free software designed to efficiently compare files and find exact contents. It searches your hard drive and scans files byte-by-bytes, flags duplicates for removal to the Recycle Bin or permanent deletion. It also renames duplicates to test which ones can be deleted and lists them in an HTML or TXT file. Look no further for a user-friendly interface and full unicode support. Easy Duplicate File Finder works in all Windows OS, including XP and Vista.

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