Save Disk Space by using Disk Cleanup Part 2

Many newer computers and devices have only a little bit of hard drive space.  While the cloud helps with this you can also save disk space by using Disk Cleanup.  This is part 2 I highly suggest Compressing your Hard Drive first then using Disk Cleanup.

Just a reminder to back up your data if you have not already or not done it in a long time.  No one wants to lose anything.

Before you begin you will want to update Windows as Disk Cleanup deletes backed up system files from Windows updates and from performing a Windows upgrade (like from Windows 8 to Windows 8.1).

While Disk Cleanup has been part of Windows forever it will be most effective in updated versions of Windows 7 and later including Windows RT.  This will free up space in Windows XP and Windows Vista but is not able to remove the backed up Windows update files.

If you completed the steps in part 1 then bring up the Hard Drive Properties window again and click on Disk Cleanup.  If not then just click on Start and in the search box type in Cleanmgr.exe (Start and then Run in Windows XP or in Windows 8 and 8.1 Start and then just start typing as it will search automatically).  You can also try looking in Start, All Programs, Accessories, and then System Tools in the Start Menu.

If you have multiple hard drives you will want to select the one that Windows is installed on usually C: and then click OK, this will not come up if you open Disk Cleanup from the hard drive properties window.  Once you open Disk Cleanup it will take some time looking for temporary files to delete, just wait a bit till the main window pops up from there we will configure some settings.  Once the Disk Cleanup window has opened click on Clean Up System Files.  It will again scan for temporary files to delete but this time it will also look for other system temporary files and Windows update backups.

Disk Cleanup System Files

Disk Cleanup System Files

Once the Disk Cleanup window comes back up again you will want to click on a new tab called More Options.

Disk Cleanup More Options

Disk Cleanup More Options

Now from here click on Clean Up… under System Restore and Shadow Copies.  This will delete all but the most recent System Restore point.  Wait a second or two and then click on the Disk Cleanup tab again.  If nothing happens the system is still deleting old System Restore information wait a while longer and then try again.

Disk Cleanup System Restore and Shadow Copies Clean Up

Disk Cleanup System Restore and Shadow Copies Clean Up

Once you are back on the Disk Cleanup tab make sure all the check boxes are checked and then click on OK.  A dialogue box will come up and then click Delete Files.  It will take some time but these files will be deleted.  In part 3 we will tame System Restore permanently.

Save Disk Space by Compressing Your Hard Drive Part 1

Many newer computers and tablets that came out this holiday season have limited storage, sometimes as low as 16 GB hard drives.  Thankfully there are some tricks in Windows that will maximize your disk space and over the next few posts I will help show you how to put that disk on a diet.  First lets look at how to save disk space by compressing your hard drive.  This should work for just about all versions of Windows going way back (Windows 95 or 98 I believe) it is an old trick but it works. This also works in Windows RT.

Before you do any of these tricks I suggest you back up your data, I have had great success with these tricks but I would hate to see someone lose something that is important for any reason.

First start by opening up File Explorer (Windows Explorer) and click on This PC (My Computer) and then right-click on your hard drive (you may have more than one, Do this on the one that Windows is installed on).  Then click on Properties.


Hard Drive Properties

Hard Drive Properties

Once the Hard Drive Properties window opens you will want to check the box next to Compress This Drive To Save Disk Space and then click Apply. A Dialogue box will open asking you to confirm, make sure Apply Changes to drive Subfolders and Files is selected and then click OK.  You may have an error pop up just click on Ignore All.  Then sit back and wait as this will take some time to complete.  If your device runs on a battery plug it in as this can drain a battery fast.  It will take a while but it will free up a lot of space.

Compress Drive to Save Disk Space

Compress Drive to Save Disk Space

Once done I always suggest restarting your computer or device.  After that if you bring up the Hard Drive Properties window again you can click on Disk Cleanup for Part 2.

HP Announced End Of Life for webOS Cloud Services

That’s right HP announced End of Life for webOS Cloud Services for January 15, 2015 on the Palm Developer site.

HP webOS End Of Life

HP webOS End Of Life

The FAQ tells us more about what is being shut down including; Downloading and updating of apps, Restoring a device, Setup of a new device (or one that has been reset) and password recovery.

HP once had plans to put webOS on computers alongside Microsoft Windows and had released an HP webOS powered tablet.  I have to admit I was considering a webOS based smart phone before I bought my first Windows Phone.  I loved the OS but hated the keyboards on their devices.

HP has made webOS open source and LG now uses it to power their smart TV’s.

To once what could have been…

30 Days with Windows RT on a Surface RT, 90 Days Later

So after I started my 30 days with Windows RT on a Surface RT challenge I had a few issues with the site and was distracted, however I continued the challenge and have been for a while.  Now some 90 days later I have to give you my conclusions.

For those of you not familiar with it, Windows RT is an ARM based version of Microsoft Windows 8.X that powers the Microsoft Surface RT, Surface 2 and other tablets.  Unlike the X86 and X64 based traditional Windows versions you can not use any desktop software other than what is already on the tablet.

So after using the Surface RT for over 90 days as my main computing device I have made a conclusion I never thought I would…I do not need my laptop anymore!  Yeah I was shocked.  There are a few reasons why that I think set Windows RT apart from Windows Phone (which I also use)

So why was I so able to get comfortable with Windows RT, simple, because it really is Windows.  As much as some people say it is not, it is Windows and is very feature complete.  A lot of tricks work as they would on any version of Windows.  That being said even thought there are a lot of great apps in the Windows Store you do find yourself wanting to be able to do or use something that there is no app for and on Windows RT this is not really a problem as almost every website out there works just as well on Windows RT as it does in Windows.  This is fine on a tablet where you have a full size screen and is just as familiar as a laptop because of the software it runs, but on Windows Phone I have not found the web to be much of a help simply because most mobile sites are terrible and full desktop sites can be hard to use on such a small screen.

There is another strong point that helps Windows RT.  Full Remote Desktop support from both a Windows Store app and mstsc.exe just like in any Windows version.  I have often used Remote Desktop to connect to my desktop computer to use software on there that I can not on in Windows RT.

At this point I have no intention of using my laptop again and I would say that a Surface RT or other tablet running Windows RT will work better than any other tablet on the market the only exception being ones that actually run traditional Windows.  I will also say that Windows RT tablets will work perfect for most computer users out there today because lets face it, we check out Facebook, email, and play flash games online till we get tired of bored and start watching Netflix.  You do not need a computer to do this, and maybe you can’t do it all on an iPad or Android tablet (flash support is not always there) but in Windows RT, you have flash support, you can install printers and print with your tablet, connect thousands of accessories through USB, and the Surface RT and Surface 2 both have micro HDMI out so you can connect to a TV or projector.

So if you are willing to learn and figure it out you will find a Windows RT device to be a great mobile computing solution and may find that like me you do not need a laptop anymore especially if you have a desktop computer at home or work.  I will be posting some articles with tips and tricks for Windows RT in the coming weeks that will help people out and the best thing, they all work on any Windows 8.X machine out there.  I really do love using this device.

30 Days With Windows RT on a Microsoft Surface RT

This past Black Friday there were many great deals out there including some on the Microsoft Surface RT.  Both Best Buy and Microsoft had the 32Gb Surface RT on sale for around $200. No to mention I also saw it being sold with a touch cover for around $230 to $250 at other stores.  Well I had to jump on the chance to get one of these devices for many reasons if not for the fact that they are kind of a unique computing device.  So I picked one up from a Best Buy in Las Vegas and got a Type 2 Cover with it.  I know, I spent more than half of the total cost of the Surface RT on that Type 2 Cover but I think it was worth it.

After using this for a few days though I have to admit, I think this could replace my laptop almost full time.  Windows RT is just that good enough.  Of course it is also a year later so much has changed from a year ago and it does not hurt that Windows RT looks and works almost exactly like Windows 8, which I have used for over a year so I know a thing or two about it.  When I installed Windows 8 on my laptop it took me all of 10 minuets to know I could use that Windows operating system full-time, but without support for any desktop applications on windows RT can I really use the Surface RT like I use Windows 8 on my desktop and laptop?

So for the next 30 days I will only use the Microsoft Surface RT for my computing needs.  I will write many articles to help some of you out there that also picked up one of these devices and I will write about my usage every so often.  I think this will be an interesting month.

So for my first note about the Surface RT, I wrote this whole article on it using only the default touch on-screen keyboard.  Yeah its going to be an interesting month.  So make sure to subscribe to the blog, or follow Useful Windows on Facebook or Twitter and see how I do this month.

Microsoft Releases Windows RT Recovery Image For Surface RT

With some of the issues that people are having updating their Surface RT devices to Windows 8.1 RT, Microsoft has released an image of Windows RT (8.0) to restore non-functioning devices back to factory settings.  Microsoft has also taken the Windows 8.1 RT update offline till they can figure out the issue.  If you want to grab the image you can download the Surface RT recovery image from the Microsoft Download Center.  You will need to have a USB flash drive with about 4 GB of space.  I suggest if you own a Surface RT to grab a copy of the recovery image in case anything happens in the future. This Windows RT recovery image should prove helpful in the future.

Install Windows 8 on Asus Eee Slate EP121 Tablet

The first time I saw my friends Asus Eee Slate EP121, I wanted to install Windows 8 on this tablet.  This 12.1-inch tablet seemed to be perfect for installing and testing Windows 8 and it is really easy to set up.  I installed Windows 8 Professional 64-bit on this machine very easily but there are a few things you should know as with almost every Windows install.

First, you are going to want to update the BIOS before you install Windows 8.  The updated BIOS will allow for the hotkeys to work properly and you can download that update from here for the current version. Please note that you need to do this before you upgrade to Windows 8, and to update the BIOS you are going to use the Asus Winflash utility installed on the tablet or you can download the Windows 7 version.  If you try to install the Winflash utility after you update you will get an error that is only meant for Asus products.

After you get the BIOS update installed you are ready to install Windows 8.  For me, I like to do clean installs which keep nothing and you get a fresh install of Windows, but you can do an upgrade from Windows 7 that will keep all your programs, files, and settings.  I connected and external optical disc drive to install Windows but you could also use the electronic installer if you bought it online.

After the install is done there are a few missing drivers, and you are going to want to connect the machine to Windows Update as it will download drivers from there.  Make sure to look at Optional Updates as there is an audio driver there that needs to be selected. Now even though there is a Bluetooth driver in Windows Update it is not the correct one, you will want to download the Bluetooth driver from Asus website.  After you install this you have a clean Device Manager.

Windows 8 System Properties and Device Manager on Asus EP121

Windows 8 System Properties and Device Manager on Asus EP121

Installing Windows 8 on the Asus Eee Slate EP121 is a no brainer it just makes this a great system to use.  This tablet is just as powerful as most laptops and I can not recommend this upgrade enough.  Asus has done a great job support Windows 8 on this tablet.  This tablet will also support Hyper-v 3.0.  I think my friend is going to be very happy with the upgrade.  You can see the Windows Experience Index below and the Passmark Performance Test this tablet gets a 686.2

Windows 8 Experience Index on Asus EP121

Windows 8 Experience Index on Asus EP121

If you have the Asus Eee Slate EP121 or are looking to buy a tablet you can install Windows 8 on I would highly suggest the upgrade.  It makes for a powerful tablet that can’t be beaten. Also, I will be using this machine to make a video on how to use Windows 8 on a touch device so stay tuned.  I also made a video using this tablet on how to use Windows 8 on a touchscreen device.  Check it out.

Microsoft Releases Windows 8 to Much Fanfare, Other Retailers, Not So Much

Today I went to my local Microsoft Store in the Phoenix Metro area.  It was my first time being in a Microsoft Store and I was impressed.  Microsoft made sure their employees were knowledgeable on the products including the limitations of Windows RT and the Surface RT.  I would have liked to see more tablets, they had the Surface RT and an Asus tablet that also ran Windows RT.  There were many Laptops, ultrabooks, all in ones, and even a few desktops.  They also had a Perceptive Pixel display outside the door running Windows 8.  That was a lot of fun to play with.  There were lots of people in the store and many waiting in line to buy a Surface RT.

So after that, I went over to the nearest Best Buy.  They had a great choice of laptops and ultrabooks, and the did have the Lenovo Yoga which is impressive I have to admit,  As an update a different Best Buy I went to had many all in ones and desktops running Windows 8.  They did have the same Asus tablet running Windows RT as the Microsoft Store.  We really had the place to ourselves.  I talked to a sales associate and asked them if that Windows RT Asus tablet could run traditional Windows apps.  He responded with it depends on the application.  I let him know that Windows RT could not run any traditional Windows applications only the ones in the Windows Store.  It seems like Best Buy is going all out with Windows 8 for computers but not so much with tablets.  I was told that there will be more coming in the next month or so.

After that, we went to the other big box electronics store in the Valley of the Sun, Fry’s Electronics.  They had maybe 4 Windows 8 machines in the store. The best Windows 8 machine there was a Sony convertible tablet / laptop.  What I did find interesting they had a live demo of Windows 8 with live Q and A every few hours.  I kind of felt like we were asking questions to candidates, instead of seeing about a new operating system.  There was a lot of good info there, though.

I was really hoping to see more tablets and convertible laptops and ultrabooks at the launch but I have been told every store I went to that they are coming.  We will see but as far as the retailers they seem a little apprehensive about Windows 8 and I can understand.

Fix for The Screen Resolution is Too Low for This App to Run

Update:  The best fix I have found so far is to upgrade to Windows 10.  So far Windows 10 is working well on an old Netbook I have that has a 1024 X 600 resolution. It seems to handle the smaller screen size better.  I have not seen the need for this fix in Windows 10.

In Windows 8 when you try to run one of the Windows Store (Metro) apps you get a message saying “This app cannot open” followed by “The screen resolution is too low for this app to run.”  Then is gives you a shortcut to “Change your screen resolution”.  If this has happened to you chances are you are trying to run Windows 8 on a Netbook, Tablet, or older Laptop.  I have found a way around, however.  Pictured below is the error I am talking about.  The lowest screen resolution supported by the Windows Store apps is 1024 X 768 but the computers highest resolution is 1024 X 600.

The Screen Resolution Is Too Small for Windows 8 Apps

The Screen Resolution Is Too Small for Windows 8 Apps

You first want to download the current Intel driver (or whatever driver from your Graphics Card Manufacture) for your device.  For this article, I will be using a tablet that runs the Intel GMA 3150.  You can download this driver from HerePlease note if your computer uses the Intel GMA 945 you do not need to download the driver just skip this step.  You have to install the driver first or your machine may just boot up to a black screen (directions are below to reverse this if you have changed the registry before installing the driver) The install will ask you if you want to install the older driver and you want to select Yes.  When the install finishes it will prompt you to restart, do this and continue on.

Now you are going to want to open Regedit.  The quickest way to get to Regedit is to swipe in on the right side of the screen to the Charms Bar comes into view and then select Search.  In the search box type Regedit and then select the result.  Once you have the Registry Editor (Regedit) open go to HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE then SYSTEM, then ControlSet001, then Control, Then Class, then {4d36e968-e325-11ce-bfc1-08002be10318} (this value could vary on different computers) and then 0001 (If your computer has the Intel GMA 945 click on 0000) then double-click on Display1_DownScalingSupported (you can also click on Edit and then Find and type in Display1_DownScalingSupported)  Change the Value Data from 0 to 1 then hit OK.  Close the Registry Editor and restart the computer.

Registry setting you have to change for Windows 8 apps to work

Registry setting you have to change for Windows 8 apps to work

Now it should have changed the resolution to 1024 X 768 and if it has you will notice things seem stretched on the screen a little.  To check this go to the Desktop and right-click on it and select Screen Resolution.

Now it supports Windows 8 Apps

Now it supports Windows 8 Apps

If you have done this with the driver that comes with Windows 8 your device may just boot up to a black screen, this can be fixed.  restart your computer and hit the F8 key repeatedly until you see Please Wait on the Windows 8 boot screen (If you have a tablet you will want to connect a keyboard to do this).  You will then see a screen that has two options.  See Advanced Repair Options and Restart My PC, you want the first one.  You then want to select Troubleshoot, and then select Advanced Options.  From here select Startup Settings and then click on Restart.  You then get a list and on that list you want to hit number 5 Safe Mode with Networking (you can just hit the 5 key on the keyboard).  Now just open Regedit and change that setting back to 0 then restart your computer, everything should boot back to normal.

I hope this gets people able to enjoy the Windows Store (Metro) apps in Windows 8 on some older machines.

Will Windows 8 be Hurt by Low End Tablets?

With the recent announcement by Amazon a friend of mine started saying he thought that these low-end tablets are going to hurt Windows 8.  Granted some of these tablets are cheap going under the $200 mark, but I really don’t think it will and here is why.

Will these low-end tablets hurt Windows 8?  Maybe.  Windows 8 devices are going to be more expensive for sure as they all will be Intel (X86/X64) based.  Now Intel has the Atom wich is its system on a chip, and there are always the low-end Celeron.  Also, any PC makers could use AMD to cut costs down too but these devices are going to, I think, be more than $300.  So you could say yeah Windows 8 could be hurt by these things, but then you would be forgetting something, Windows RT.

Windows RT is almost exactly like Windows 8 but it runs on ARM chips.  These devices will be cheaper than their Intel-based counterparts and I could see someone making one for less than $300 maybe even around $200.  Honestly, these devices are going to be using almost the same hardware as these low-end tablets.  Windows RT will be competing with most tablets out there today.

I could stop here but there is something else to consider.  Let’s say Microsoft’s strategy fails, and Windows 8 on a tablet is just not working for consumers.  Microsoft still has Windows Phone 8.  Microsoft could easily turn this into a tablet operating system if it had to and I still think it would be great.  Windows Phone 8 is also based on the Windows 8 code and not the old Windows CE (Windows Mobile) like Windows Phone 7 was, so it would perform great on these devices while having a great feature set.  I would say at this point Windows Phone 8 could be Microsoft’s backup plan.

Really though when I look at all this I think these low-end tablets are going to be more harm to the iPad and it’s not just that but Microsoft will have Windows 8 competing with the iPad in the same price points, as well as Windows RT in the lower ones.  Really Apple has much to fear I think in the next coming months.