Ride the crest of a .WAV file
by George Skarbek - 4th October 2005

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Q: Is there anyway I can get a .wma (music) file to start up when I start the computer?

A: All the sounds used in Windows start up must be in .WAV format, so if you always want the same sound, convert your .WMA file to a .WAV file. From Control Panel, Sounds and Audio Devices, Sounds and select Start Win dows, then click on Browse and point to your file.
If you want to play a full WMA song, you will have to create a shortcut to some program that is capable of playing this, such as Media Player, and add a refer ence to your song and place it in your Startup folder.

A typical shortcut would be: "C:\Program Files\Windows Media Player\wmplayer.exe" C:\Music\My Song.wma where the folder \Music con tains the file MySong.wma. Initially create this shortcut on the desktop by right- clicking on the desktop and selecting New, Shortcut. When you have verified that it works, move it to: C:\Documents and Settings\YourName\Start Menu\Pro grams\Startup.

Q: I am using a Dell laptop with Win XP- (SP2). I regularly use Clean-up disk, Defrag, & Norton's Scan disk. The computer is running very, very slowly. The last disk clean-up took more than 20 minutes, the CPU graph shows CPU is running at 100per cent even when no known programs are running.

A: For most users I find that defragmenting your hard disk only a few times a year is adequate. Otherwise you will waste far more time in defragging than in the fractions of seconds in performance that you may gain. Be aware that programs such as Word do not become fragmented, and in general only data is affected.
As for 100 per cent CPU problem, all I can suggest is that you look at the services running, sort them by CPU and find the culprit. Then you may have to look in Google as to what that program does if you cannot recognise it.


Q: I have been forced to use HP's Recovery; although taking the less violent option, which was supposed to keep my data and reinstall the com puter from the emergency partition. I did my best to uninstall the problem program but keep getting reports of little bits left behind (e.g. in the Add/ Remove programs feature of Control Panel). I found I had to reinstall some programs but not others. Some were no longer listed in the Add/Remove Control Panel but were apparently working. The computer is now almost completely full. I don't understand what I can safely get rid of. Should the Windows folder really have 4.7GB and 29,000 files? I reinstalled Windows Service Pack 2 and got a message that there would be back-ups of files changed. Can I safely delete these? Where would I find them?

A: My XP Pro with SP-2 and with many essential patches is 2.1GB with 16,000 files. I do not know where your extra 2GB come from. I suggest that you use TreeSize to isolate the main folders. However, the first step is to empty the Recycle Bin. Windows XP has an additional setting under Start, Programs, Accessories, System Tools, Disk Clean-up, Drive C and More Options that allows you to remove old Restore Points that have been saved when new hardware or software were installed.

Sometimes the System Restore option can free more than 1GB of space. I think that you can delete files from the older $NtUninstall... folders in the Windows folder. These are only required if you ever need to later uninstall an update. I got rid of updates to the same large files (shell32.dll, an 8MB file) and kept just the last two, and similarly with a 4MB file that had more than half a dozen versions, but this saved less than 80MB. My system has been stable since these deletions.
If you are using Zone Alarm, you may have a large file called tvDebug.log in C:\Windows\ Internet Logs. This is the Zone Alarm intrusion report log. It seems to continue to grow and I am not sure if there is a limit on its size. I have had a report of this file being more than 1GB. It can be safely deleted.
During your system recovery, the Temporary Internet Files settings may have changed to an extremely large setting. A size of 20MB is adequate.


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