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Usually when we encounter a problem in the field that we don't immediately know the answer to, we turn to the Internet for help. Generally knowing enough information about the problem helps find a solution. However, sometimes we don't find a straightforward answer on the Internet. So here we list some common problems we run across but haven't found simple solutions published elsewhere, and publish our solutions. These tips are generally recommended for advanced users, therefore we don't go into too much detail.
TIP 1: (Windows XP) You've just upgraded to a processor that supports HyperThreading, and the Device Manager shows two CPUs, but Task Manager, MSInfo32.exe, and SystemInfo.exe show only one processor.
The simple answer is that you have to replace two system files, hal.dll and ntoskrnl.exe with the multiprocessor versions. These files reside in the System32 folder inside your system root, usually C:\Windows\System32. First make a copy of these files in case something goes wrong. If something DOES go wrong, you'll have to use the recovery console to get back into your system and restore these files. The next step is to get the multiprocessor versions of these two files. If you haven't yet installed SP2, you can find these files on your Windows XP CD, in the i386 folder. If you have installed SP2, you'll need to find these files on your SP2 CD or the folder you extracted SP2 to.
The files you are looking for are halmacpi.dl_ and ntkrnlmp.ex_. You'll need to use the expand command to uncompress these files. Then rename them to hal.dll and ntoskrnl.exe, respectively.
Now, copy these files into the System32 folder, replacing the existing files, and reboot your machine. If all went well, the machine should boot fine, and you will now see two processors in Task Manager.
NOTE: Many people think that this procedure cannot be done from within Windows, and suggest that you use the recovery console to perform the preceding instructions. This is NOT the case. Even though we replace system files, these files are not normally in use; they get loaded when your machine boots, and then are kept in memory.
If this sounds complicated, then you shouldn't attempt this. Give us a call and we can walk you through it over the phone. If you think you can handle it, but have a question or two about the procedure, feel free to send us an email.
TIP 2: (All Windows Versions) You have programs that start automatically when you log on to your system, but you don't know why.
There are several different ways a program can start automatically. They aren't always obvious, and they aren't always well documented. Whenever we tune-up a PC, we check all of these places for programs that start automatically, and get rid of ones that don't need to be running all the time. Here's the list of places a program can be listed for it to be started automatically:
The most common place is the StartUp folder, usually C:\WINDOWS\Start Menu\Programs\StartUp in Win9x, or C:\Documents and Settings\<user>\Start Menu\Programs\Startup in Windows 2000/XP.
There are also several places in the registry: