America land of the free!  Click to hear a random patriotic tuneIra's Computer Maintenance Guide
and Favorite Web Sites

Last Revision: 9/23/2015
Eureka!  Click to hear a random midi tune
Computer Maintenance PlanMy Pop and Rock music collection
KnowledgebaseMy Classical music collection
Hints and Tips linksMy Pop and Jazz music collection
Favorite Programs & Web SitesDMV-CALC Auto Links
On-Air Radio StationsMy Eclectic Side

Computer Maintenance Plan

Protect your PC from viruses, worms, adware, spyware, improve PC security and improve PC performance - Freeware.
  1. Click Start, All Programs, Windows Update buttons and accept all Microsoft Security and Critical Updates.
  2. Belarc System Advisor reports Security and Critical updates you are lacking and links you to the MS page to D/L them.
  3. LookInMyPC generates a complete system profile incl info on all installed hardware and software plus much more. Freeware
  4. Install an anti-virus program and check for virus definition updates weekly. AVG Anti-virus Free version is worth your consideration.
  5. Block browser access to known infected websites with SpywareBlaster It works with Internet Explorer and Firefox. Freeware
  6. Remove programs you don't need or use with PC Decrapifier. No installation. Freeware
  7. Use ATF Cleaner 3.0 to delete temporary files from everywhere. Run daily. Special Firefox cleanup tab, too. No installation. Freeware
  8. Use Revo Uninstaller to uninstall programs listed in ADD/REMOVE Programs. Revo goes beyond the application uninstall. Freeware
  9. Use CCleaner to clean the registry plus much more.
  10. Use Defraggler to defragment hard drives. Do it weekly. Freeware.
  11. Use Macrium Reflect Free to back up your hard drive. Maintain two backup images. Recover from a virus or errant s/w installation or HD crash in minutes.


1. What to uncheck at System Startup - Answers that work! click Task List.

2. How to Create a Bootable Disk for an NTFS or FAT Partition For Windows XP Microsoft Knowledge Base Article - Q314079 3. How to stop Windows XP from hanging on Shutdown - Microsoft Knowledge Base Article - Q307274.

4. How to rebuild a Windows XP boot record - use 'bootcfg /rebuild' from the Recovery Console - Microsoft Knowledge Base Article - Q291980.

5. How to rebuild Reinstall or Repair Internet Explorer and Outlook Express in Windows XP - Microsoft Knowledge Base Article - Q318378.

6. How to Perform an In-Place Upgrade (Reinstallation) of Windows XP - Microsoft Knowledge Base Article - Q315341.

7. How to remove orphan entries in Add/Remove Programs -
  1. Click Start, Run then type regedit and press
  2. Open HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE/SOFTWARE/Microsoft/Windows/CurrentVersion/Uninstall.
  3. Delete the appropriate program entry from the list.
  4. Close the Registry Editor and restart Windows.
8. How to remove an erroneous call to a .dll observed at Windows Startup
When Windows reports it can't find a file from a program you deleted, the reference to that file is either in START, PROGRAMS, STARTUP folder or in the System Registry at \HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Run.
Note: Windows NT, 2000 and Xp users: HKLM=HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE

9. Clear the Run Menu of erroneous entries - Windows-Help.NET tip
  1. Start the Registry Editor.
  2. Open HKEY_CURRENT_USER\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer\RunMRU
  3. To delete an entry, simply delete its key.
  4. To delete multiple entries, highlight all of the keys you want to delete, then press delete. NOTE: Do not delete the (Default) or RunMRU values.
10. Still running DOS programs? Increase Conventional Memory
If you still use BUFFERS, FCBS, LASTDRIVE, STACKS commands in your Config.sys file, make sure that you are using the BUFFERSHIGH, FCBSHIGH, LASTDRIVEHIGH and STACKSHIGH commands, available in Windows'95, to free more conventional memory.

11. How to go to DOS Prompt, in highlighted Drive or Folder, from Windows Explorer -
  1. For Win98SE and WinME:
    1. Open Windows Explorer.
    3. REGISTERED FILE TYPES: highlight FOLDER then click EDIT button.
    4. Click NEW button.
    5. ACTION: DOS Prompt in Folder
    6. APPLICATION USED TO PERFORM ACTION: c:\windows\ /k cd %1
    7. Click OK then CLOSE then CLOSE buttons.
  2. For WinNT:
    1. Open Windows Explorer.
    3. REGISTERED FILE TYPES: highlight FOLDER then click EDIT button.
    4. Click NEW button.
    5. ACTION: DOS Prompt in Folder
    6. APPLICATION USED TO PERFORM ACTION: c:\winnt\system32\cmd.exe /k cd %1
    7. Click OK then CLOSE then CLOSE buttons.
  3. For WinXp:
    1. Open Windows Explorer.
    3. REGISTERED FILE TYPES: highlight FOLDER then click EDIT button.
    4. Click ADVANCED button.
    5. Click NEW button.
    6. ACTION: DOS Prompt in Folder
    7. APPLICATION USED TO PERFORM ACTION: c:\windows\system32\ /k cd %1
    8. Click OK then CLOSE then CLOSE buttons.
Now, from Windows Explorer, when you select a Drive or Folder right-mouse then select DOS Prompt in Folder to drop to DOS in that folder.

12. Clean your Config.sys
Check your Config.sys, some existing entries may be superfluous, especially when having run Windows'95 setup over the old Windows 3.x.

The following commands are now executed by IO.SYS by default: Config.Sys entries overwrite the above default setting.

13. System looks for a disk in diskette drive unnecessarily - Select Start, Settings, Taskbar, Start Menu Programs then in Documents menu, press Clear button.

14. PACTSaveLayout - Save multiple desktop icon layouts.

15. Vista/Win7: If your icons show .lnk and your are about to call Mr Gates, click to open then click the embedded .reg file to restore default file associations.

16. Win7/IE9: How to restore WMP as the streaming Media (MP3) player when you have QuickTime installed for iTunes -
  1. In IE9 Goto Tools :: Internet Options :: Programs Tab :: Set Programs (near the bottom).
  2. Click Set Program Access and Computer Defaults.
  3. Select Custom then scroll down the list till you see Choose a Default Media Player
  4. Click the radio button next to Windows Media Player or uncheck iTunes and QuickTime that will work as well.
17. WinXP/IE8: How to restore WMP as the streaming Media (MP3) player when you have QuickTime installed for iTunes -
  1. Launch QuickTime Player
  2. Click the Edit menu, choose Preferences
  3. Select the Browser tab, and click MIME Settings...
  4. Expand the section MPEG - MPEG system, video, and audio files
  5. Uncheck the entry named MPEG audio
  6. Uncheck the entire MP3 - MPEG layer III movies and streams section
  7. Click OK
  8. Launch Windows Media Player
  9. Click the Tools menu, click Options
  10. Select the File Types tab
  11. Uncheck MP3 audio file (mp3), and click Apply
  12. Recheck MP3 audio file (mp3), and click Apply
  13. Click OK

Hints and Tips Links

1. Windows Hints and Tips sites - 2. Need an instrument driver? The Driver Zone or DriverGuide or DriverFiles.

3. Need to associate a file with an application? Wotsit's Format - The Programmer's Resource.

4. A good HTML reference - HTML For Beginners

5. How to convert a FAT16 or FAT32 volume to an NTFS file system in Windows XP (or Windows 2000). Q307881

6. WinXP Performance Improvement and Shutdown in 16 sec flat! 7. When all else fails, search Google for a solution to your problem.

Favorite Programs

The list excludes the major suites and utilities and is not in any particular order.
  • Gizmo's List - best site with links to freeware with honest reviews.
  • Snagit - Capture long screens. Auto-scroll entire web screen.
  • SaveLayout - Save multiple desktop layouts. Easily restore messed up icons.
  • IrfanView - Graphic file manipulation and great slide show features.
  • Belarc System Advisor - List/Print your PC hardware and software configuration.
  • JR Screen Ruler Pro - Pop up on-screen ruler.
  • JR Directory Printer - Print a listing of every directory and file.
  • Convert - Units Conversion calculator.
  • QuickWiper - Securely wipe files, folders or free space to protect your confidentiality.
  • RefreshEM - Icons don't look like they once did? This freeware utility corrects the problem.
  • HotKey Detective - List of Start menu icon shortcut key and Internet shortcuts. List/Change/Print.
  • BrainsBreaker - Jigsaw puzzles on your computer - create puzzles from your images.
  • Pretty Good Solitare - Play 600 different solitaire card games.
  • MP3GAIN - Finally, your MP3's at same volume. MP3GAIN does statistical analysis to determine how loud the file actually sounds.
  • DzSoft Favorites Search - Internet Explorer Plug-in to Search your saved Favorites.
  • Extension Changer or Author site - Change file extension from Windows Explorer application [right-mouse] menu.
  • QImage - Outstanding digital camera image printing program.
  • DVD Audio Extractor - Extract audio tracks from DVD to MP3 or whatever format.
  • Better File Rename for Windows - Rename files from Windows Explorer [right-mouse] menu. Include prefix, suffix, increment, pad zeros.
  • Compare - Compare Excel Workbooks by CPEARSON. Differences shown in a different workbook.
  • AutoHotKey - Must be the finest full-function keystroke/mouse macro recorder plus language utility on the planet! Freeware.
  • Recuva - Finally, an undelete utility that really works with NTFS file system. Freeware.
  • Revo Uninstaller - Faster and more complete program removal than Add/Remove Programs. Recommended for Intermediate users. Freeware.
  • IconArt - Make your own icons from any image or create it yourself. FreeWare.
  • AnyVideoConverter 2.5.2 - Convert YouTube, Google, .FLV, VOB (decrypt w/DVD403) more. Save to AVI, FLV, MPG's, WMV. Freeware.
  • DVD43 - Removes most DVD copy protection allowing you to backup commercial DVD's. Load this first then run your copy s/w. Freeware.
  • Document Hyperlink Checker for Microsoft Word - Add-in to find suspicious and broken links in Word documents of any size. Freeware.
  • Vopt - from Golden Bow Systems. Outstanding Disk Defragmenter plus many more system maintenance tools.
  • PC Decrapifier - remove promotional products from a new PC. The name says alot. Nothing to install. Freeware
  • ImgBurn - DVD Burning software. A 2Kbyte D/L. Outstanding Freeware Utility. Rivals the big boys.
  • RadioSure - Tune into radio stations from around the globe and even record to MP3 what you hear. Independent of browser. Freeware.
  • RadioSure Skins - Different skins for RadioSure and other RS download sites. Freeware
  • TCP Optimizer - Automatically optimize your PC setting for fastest surfing the Internet. Utility does not install in PC.
  • Xenu's Link Sleuth - Find broken links on web sites. Freeware.
  • TeamViewer - Remote Desktop Sharing, full control, new pwd each session. S/W does not need to be installed. Free for non-commercial use.
  • SyncToy - Copy, move, rename, and delete files between folders and computers quickly and easily.
  • xplorerČlite - What Windows Explorer never was, should have been but never will be. Freeware.
  • SWF Picture Extractor - Extract images from an SWF (Flash) file. Freeware (bottom link on site).
  • iPod-Shuffle-Without-iTunes - Load your own MP3's onto your iPod Shuffle without iTunes on your system. Freeware.
  • AM-DeadLink - detects dead links and duplicates in browser bookmarks and text files. Freeware.
  • Picture Information Extractor - D/L images from dig camera change file name and date stamp to EXIF plus lots more - A digital photographer's dream. Freeware.
  • Bullzip Free PDF Printer - Create PDF documents from any Windows application that has a print option. Freeware.
  • Xobni - What embedded Outlook e-mail Search should have been. Freeware version will answer most of your wishes. The Pro has more features.
  • WORDWEB Free Version WordWeb is a one-click English thesaurus and dictionary for Windows that can look up words in almost any program.

Favorite Web Sites
Search Engine, People, Places Travel, Lodging, Traffic & Weather World Statistics
World Facts Our World and the Universe Financial and Consumer Empowerment
IRS, Business and Insurance News and Dictionary/Reference desk English, Math, Sciences and Games
Legal and Government Food, Health, Drugs, Nutrition Computer Help! Virus, Hoax or Legend?
Product and Store Reviews Best Price, Comparision, Classified Computer Software
ISP's and Web Hosting Your Internet Connection Speed & Security Outlet shopping and Bridal Registries
Automobile Resources Public Databases How it works
Movies, TV, Music Ask Anything Residential House Wiring

Search Engine, People and Places:

Mapping - Find any place in the world.  Topographical view.
Name: Google Earth

FREE USA Directory Assistance
Name: 1-800-Free411 (1-800-373-3411) or 1-800-YellowPages (1-800-935-5697)
URL: and

USPS Zip Code Directories
Name: USPS City State / ZIP Code Associations

Travel, Lodging, Traffic & Weather:

Mapping - Find any place in the world.  Roadmaps all countries.
Name: Windows Live Local

Road Trip based on drive time from a zipcode
Name: Travel Now - Road Trips

Weather - Worldwide realtime
Name: The Weather Channel

Weather - Current Jet Stream Maps serving North America
Name: CRWS Background Information: Jet Stream Maps

Weather - Track Hurricanes - Interactive Map
Name: Hurricane Tracker

Flight Time Calculator, Airplane Specification, Airport/Airline Codes
Name: Airlines, Airplanes and Airports

Source for airplane seating and in-flight services information
Name: SeatGuru - Your Enlightened Guide to Airline Seating

Plot Great Circle distances - airport to airport worldwide.  Observe aircraft range from any airport.
Name: Great Circle Mapper

Airfares across all major airlines.  Need to create simple login/pwd.
Name: ITA Software AirFare Shopping Engine

Airfares across all major airlines.
Name: Booking Buddy

Airline In-Flight Tracking - location on earth, speed, etc.
Name: Airline Flight Status - over 700 airlines, Passenger, Freight/Cargo

World Airport Database - Know your way around plus off airport transportation
Name: World Airports Database.  Here is the home site travel directory.

Hotels and Lodging in New York City - Better prices than Expedia
Name: New York Guide

Car Rental Agency Database - National and local agencies in each city.
Name: Car rental discounts & rental car directory online

Foreign Country Currency Conversion - Current exchange rates
Name: OANDA Currency Converter and Financial Forecasts

Language Converter - sentences and web sites
Name: - Free Translation from English to Spanish, French, German, Portuguese, Italian and Norwegian

World Statistics:

World Climate - Weather statistics, average temperature, rainfall and forecasts.
Name: USA TODAY - World weather almanac

World Time Zones, Calendar - Current times around the world. Print calendar for any year.
Name: The World Clock

Print a Calendar
Name: Free printable PDF Calendar 2008-2009

Current time in U.S. time zones accurate to 0.2 second (does not read your PC clock).
Name: The offical U.S. time

World Geography facts, maps and Country stats.  Wish I had this in High School!
Name: - Geography, climate, countries, Maps, Flags, Population

Point-to-Point Distance
Name: How Far is it

World Atlas - Geographic, Political, Physical resources & detailed info
Name: Map Machine - National Geographic

Astronomical Data - Sunrise/Sunset times any place/day plus much more.
Name: U.S. Naval Observatory - Astronomical Applications Department

Astronomical Data - Sunrise/Sunset, Solar System, Constellations
Name: Heavens Above

World Facts:

City/Urban Areas/World Population and facts
Name: City Population

World Population Statistics
Name: Population Reference Bureau

World City Population Statistics
Name: City Population

Global Incident Map updated every 420 seconds
Name: Global Incident Map Displaying Terrorist Acts, Suspicious Activity, and General Terrorism News

Census Bureau - everything and anything
Name: U.S. Census Bureau Home Page

Who's dead, who's alive
Name: Dead or Alive?

Best Places to Live
Name: - City info, data, stats

Our World and the Universe:

Photos of notable places in the Universe
Name: Astronomy Picture of the Day Archive - View Earth At Night - Earthlights

Move through Space
Name: Molecular Expressions: Science, Optics and You - Powers Of 10: Interactive Java Tutorial

Our Solar System
Name: Views of the Solar System

Realtime Earthquake Data #1
Name: List of Recent Earthquakes for California and Nevada

Realtime Earthquake Data #2
Name: Recent Earthquakes for Los Angeles

Financial and Consumer Empowerment:

Best Bank Loan/Investment/Credit Card Rates Nationwide
Name: Bank Rate Monitor

Stock/Mutual fund quotes, history, ratings.  Side/side comparison of funds.
Name: Excite Money & Investing.

Mutual Fund Ratings
Name: Morningstar - Independent fund opinions and analysis

Mortgage Calculators
Name: Mortgage Calculator & Financial Calculators

Consumer Action Center
Name: Team Clark Howard - Ways to pack more punch in your wallet and empower yourself!

Consumer Empowerment
Name: Benjamin Dover At His Best!

Analyze your Salary - What should you be earning in your profession?
Name: WorkPlace Channel

How your Charity Contribution Dollar is $pent
Name: Charity Navigator - Guiding Intelligent Giving - Charitable Donations

IRS, Business and Insurance:

Better Business Bureau
Name: Better Business Bureau

Name: IRS - Income Tax Forms, Publications and Instructions

Insurance Company Ratings
Name: A.M. Best

News and Dictionary/Reference desk:

News sites
Name: CNN and FoxNews
URL: and

Read article when your keywords are spoken on TV
Name: TVEyes, we're watching while you're not!

Reference Desk
Name: Merriam-Webster Online - Dictionaries, Thesaurus, Encyclopaedia

Mil-Std Document Library
Name: Every Spec

English, Math, Sciences and Games:

Have a Math Problem - K-12 and beyond?  Let a student answer it.
Name: The Math Forum - Ask Dr. Math

Guide to Grammar and Writing
Name: Guide to Grammar and Writing

Physics, Math, Chemistry, Science, Biology, Mechanics
Name: Georgia State University link to all the Sciences - formulas, laws, etc.

Create and Print a greeting card
Name: Free Printable Cards for almost any occasion

The ultimate Flash Game site
Name: Sean's Site - links to all kinds mind bending games

Legal and Federal Government:

Law Dictionary
Name: Duhaime's Law Dictionary

U.S. Congress
Name: C-SPAN Congressional Glossary

U.S. Federal Government Agencies
Name: U.S. Federal Government Agencies Directory

Food, Drugs, Health, Nutrition Database:

The Ultimate Recipe site - ethnic foods, beverages, health foods plus much more.
Name: Mimi's Cyber Kitchen

Family favorite recipes
Name: Susan's Private Recipe Collection

Drug Encyclopedia
Name: Welcome To RxList

Food Nutrition and Composition Database
Name: Nutrient Data Laboratory

Health Conditions & Diseases, Procedures & Tests, Drugs & Medications, Prevention & Wellness
Name: HealthCenterOnline - For Your Heart Health

Your Computer Tech - Is it a Virus, Hoax or Urban Legend?:

Computer Hardware Guide
Name: The PC Guide

Compare Processor Performance
Name: CPU Charts - Tom's Hardware

Compare Intel Processor Specifications
Name: Intel Product Comparison Chart

Search for answers to your computer problem
Name: Google Groups

Computer Tech Info Site
Name: ExtremeTech - Deep technology content for the IT community

Computer Virus Myths - determine if YOU are spreading a myth
Name: Truth About Computer Virus Myths & Hoaxes

Tall stories and other fairy tales not worth disseminating
Name: Urban Legends

Product and Store Reviews:

Consumer Product Reviews
Name: Consumer Product Reviews

Digital Cameras, Photography, Scanners, Printers
Name: The Imaging Resource!

Digital Camera Review #1
Name: The Digital Camera Resource

Digital Camera Review #2
Name: Digital Camera Reviews and News: Digital Photography Review: Forums, Glossary, FAQ

Store Reviews From Customers- Camera, Computer and Electronics outlets
Name: User Evaluations of On-Line Computer Hardware Vendors

Consumer Product Price Comparision and On-Line Classifieds:

True Price Comparison including tax and shipping charges to your zip code.  Many consumer items.
Name: NexTag - Compare prices before you buy

True Price Comparison including tax and shipping charges to your zip code.
Name: - The Smart Place to Start your Shopping

Store Coupons - No Spam or signup.
Name: Deallocker - Free Coupons, Printable Coupons & Coupon Codes Online at DealLocker

Compare On-Line Bookstore prices
Name: All Book Stores

Classified/4 Sale
Name: Craigslist

Ask Anything:

Discussion Forums - computing H/W and S/W
Name: CNet Help

Ask An Expert - Free Q&A on many topics
Name: AllExperts

Search ALL Newsgroups - See if others have an answer to your question or have the same problem
Name: Google - The Source for Internet Newsgroups!

Ask a U.S. Capitol question
Name: Capitol Questions

Residential House Wiring:

Computer Software:

Freeware - This is the best freeware site with respectable reviews I've ever visited!
Name: Gizmo's - Gizmo's List - The Best Freeware Reviewed and Rated. Gizmo's Tech Support Alert

Shareware - Over 100,000 downloadable products
Name: Simply The Best

Shareware - Another good source
Name: ZDNet Downloads - Download shareware, freeware, demos and more

ISP's and Web Hosting:

Dial-up Internet Service Providers directory
Name: ISP Directory for the United States and Canada

Free and Cheap Dial-up Internet Service Providers directory plus more
Name: Freedomlist - Free ISP directory

Web Host Search
Name: Web Host Directory

Video and Audio Chat Conferencing, dial telephone numbers from USB phone or PC, outstanding video and audio quality.
Name: Skype - The whole world can talk for free

Check your POP3 E-mail from any web browser
Name: mail2web

A one-time e-mail address when you don't want to give out your primary e-address
Name: Mailinator

Free - Submit your web site to multiple search engines
Name: | URL Submitter - 40 sites

Connection Speed and Internet Security:

Your Internet Connection test - This is the best most trusted site for your true connection speed.
Name: - The Global Broadband Speed Test

Optimize your internet connection speed.
Name: - TCP Optimizer - No installation.  Just set connection speed then click Optimize.

Internet Security Test
Name: Shields Up! -- Internet Connection Security Analysis

Your Cable Modem and ISP - System Information, Startup Procedure, Signal Downstream/Upstream, CPE connections, Log
Name: Cable Modem Web Page

Your IP address
Name: What is my IP Address?

Outlet shopping and Bridal Registries:

Nationwide Outlet Directory
Name: Outlet Bound-Online Guide To Outlet Stores & Outlet Centers

Bridal Registries across multiple stores
Name: WeddingChannel

Automobile Resources - new and used:

Autos New/Used Dealers, invoice, comparisons, Edmunds, Kelley Bluebook, resources
Name: Auto Dealer Databases, Classified and Auto Resource Links

Public Databases:

World's Most Wanted People
Name: The World's Most Wanted - Fugitives and Unsolved Crimes

Public Records Databases
Name: Search Systems - Largest Free Public Records Database Collection

Unclaimed Property Databases
Name: NAUPA | State UP Offices - Unclaimed Property

Check out the health report on your favorite restaurants before your next night out.
Name: HealthInspections - Your Source for Restaurant Inspections

How it works:

Interactive [Graphic] Tutorials - Human Body, Automobile, Computer
Name: Inner Learning On-line

How it works
Name: How Stuff Works!

How to do anything
Name: eHow - Who things get done

Movies, TV, Music:

All Movie Site - movie roots
Name: All-Movie Guide

Your Local Movie Theatre Guide - schedules and purchase tickets on-line
Name: MovieLink

Your TV Guide - set zipcode, cable, local or satellite
Name: Yahoo TV Listings

City Guide - Entertainment, Restaurants, Events, Hotels, Movies, Businesses plus more!
Name: The city guide to Entertainment, Restaurants, Events, Hotels, Movies, Businesses

Music Midi Search Engine - Find a midi
Name: MIDI Search Engine

Music Database - Search on Album, Artist and Song - view all album song titles
Name: Gracenote - CDDB Album Info

Song Lyrics
Name: Music Lyrics

Top 40 hits, artists and music history
Name: Top 40 music archive

A Music Montage - Requires RealPlayer
Name: The History of Rock & Roll Time Sweep, 1981 (44:45)

Another Music Montage - Requires RealPlayer
Name: The WABC Musicradio Music Remembrance - December 7, 1960 until May 10, 1982 (37 Min)

Worldwide Radio Station database
Name: Live Radio on the Internet - Listen to the World on your PC!
On-Air Radio Stations
Pop / Rock:
Perth, Western Australia
Wellington, New Zealand (Light Rock)
Classical Music:
Seattle, Washington
Talk Radio:
WABC 770 AM - New York, New York KFI 640 AM - Los Angeles, California KABC 790 AM - Los Angeles, California
My Eclectic Side

Your commentsTell me what you think?are welcome.