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For LottoMike and others.


I guess K-Meleon can now use the Rich test Editor O.K. more or less.


There is a HELP icon on your computer somewhere, look for it and then Lth click on it.

 About Power Management. The power management capabilities of WinXP represent the latest stage in an evolutionary process that traces back to Win98. The capabilities are based primarily on the OnNow power management initiative and the ACPI (Advanced Configuration and Power Interface) specification. The former is a design architecture that supports instant-on functionality (ability of a device to go from an off mode to an on mode without delay, such as when you turn on a radio or TV); whereas, the latter is a collection of rules and standards that lets the OS dictate how much power a particular hardware component can use at a given time.

The OnNow initiative and ACPI specification work together to create an operating environment that is energy-efficient and easy to use. For example, they make it possible for the computer to go into Sleep mode (any operating mode characterized by low power consumption) while you're not using it. They also make it possible for the OS to shut down hardware components after a predefined period of inactivity.

You can access all of WinXP's power management settings by opening the Control Panel and clicking the Power Options icon (found in the Performance And Maintenance category if you're using the Category View option). This opens the Power Options Properties dialog box.

 Scheming Conservation. Energy efficiency in Windows begins and ends with the power scheme. A power scheme is a configuration of the computer's power management behaviors. For example, it defines how much time must expire before the computer shuts off power to the hard drives and monitor. The computer then restores power to a device the next time you attempt to use that device.


Windows XP ships with six power schemes. The Home/Office Desk scheme is the default selection for desktop computer users. 
The power scheme also dictates how much time must expire before the entire system goes into Standby mode (a Sleep mode in which active data remains in the memory and is not written to the hard drive; all data will be lost if there is an interruption in power) or Hibernate mode (a Sleep mode in which active data is automatically copied to the hard drive, thereby preserving it in case of an interruption in power). The computer will spring out of Standby mode or Hibernate mode whenever it detects mouse movement, keyboard activity, an incoming fax, or some other stimulus.

WinXP comes with six preset power schemes. To choose one, open the Power Options Properties dialog box and choose the Power Schemes tab. Then, in the Power Schemes drop-down menu, select the scheme you want to use (the settings of the power schemes may differ depending on which WinXP version you installed). Click the OK button to activate the new scheme and close the dialog box.

The six power schemes are:

Home/Office Desk: This scheme is configured to turn off the monitor after 45 minutes and turn off the hard drive(s) after one hour. It will never put the system into Standby mode or Hibernate mode. The Home/Office Desk scheme is designed for productivity-oriented desktop computer users who want to conserve energy but don't want their machines falling asleep every time they walk away for a cup of coffee.

Portable/Laptop: This scheme is designed to conserve energy and preserve battery life. It turns off the monitor after 15 minutes and the hard drive(s) after 30 minutes. It puts the computer in Standby mode after 20 minutes and drops it into Hibernate mode after three hours. Mobile computer users should consider this power scheme. You also may want to consider this scheme if your PC is shared by several occasional users in a home or office. Such a scheme offers the benefit of convenience by keeping the computer turned on at all times rather than starting it up and shutting it down each time someone wants to use it. Moreover, it offers the benefit of energy efficiency by putting the computer into a Sleep mode when not in use.

Presentation: The Presentation power scheme is not really a power scheme at all. The hard drive(s) and monitor are set to never turn off, and the computer is set to never go into Standby or Hibernate mode. This scheme is aimed at salespersons, marketing executives, teachers, and others who do a lot of presentations.

Always On: This scheme is designed to keep the computer in a state of vigilance, ready to execute a line of code at a moment's notice. That's why the hard drive(s) is set to never turn off and the computer is set to never go into Standby or Hibernate mode. The monitor is set to turn off after 20 minutes, which allows for energy conservation without affecting the PC's processing readiness. Use this scheme as an alternative to the Home/Office Desk scheme.

Minimal Power Management: Nearly identical to the Always On power scheme, the Minimal Power Management scheme sets itself apart by turning the monitor off after 15 minutes rather than 20. All other settings are the same as the Always On scheme. You can use this scheme in any situation that warrants the Always On or Home/Office Desk scheme.

Max Battery: As another scheme designed to extend the life of the battery in your portable computer, this one directs the monitor to turn off after 15 minutes of inactivity. It also directs the system to go into Standby mode after 20 minutes and into Hibernate mode after 45 minutes. The hard drive(s) are set to never turn off. This is an alternative to the Portable/Laptop scheme.

(NOTE: When WinXP goes into Standby mode, it does not have to turn off power to the hard drive[s]. Maintaining power to the hard drive[s] after the computer has gone into Standby mode makes it faster for you to resume from Standby mode. Hibernate mode, on the other hand, turns off power to all system hardware components, including the monitor and all hard drives.)


Don't get carried away when customizing a scheme. Setting the limits too tightly can impede productivity. 
You also have the option of creating a custom power scheme. Simply select a desired setting for each of the four power scheme fields: Turn Off Monitor, Turn Off Hard Disks, System Standby, and System Hibernates. The settings range from 1 Minute to Never.

After customizing the settings, click the Save As button. This opens a Save Scheme dialog box. Enter a name for your scheme and then click the OK button. The new scheme will appear in the Power Schemes field in the Power Options Properties dialog box. Note that you do not have to create a new name for the modified scheme. You can use one of the existing scheme names, such as Home/Office Desk or Presentations, for your customized power scheme.

A customized scheme lets you adapt the power settings to your individualized needs. Before making any changes, think about how you use your PC and how a possible setting may affect your computing experience. Setting the computer to go into Hibernate mode after 10 minutes, for instance, may seem heroic conservation-wise, but it could impede productivity when you have to relaunch the OS every time you make a telephone call or go to the bathroom.

No one can tell you how to customize your power scheme as it depends entirely on your situation. Generally speaking, you can set the monitor to turn off after a relatively short period of inactivity, such as 15 minutes or as long as you would wait before turning on a screen saver.

We suggest setting the hard drive to turn off after a period of 30 minutes to one hour. Keep the System Standby setting to a minimum of one hour, unless you have good reason to do otherwise.

Put your computer in Hibernate mode only when you know you will be done using the computer for an extended period of time (at least two hours for a desktop computer; less for a notebook computer). Remember, these are general rules and should be broken if necessary.

In any case, make sure to save your data files often. Frequent saves are the only way to protect your data from unexpected power outages.

 The Rest Of The Options. There's more to WinXP power management than using schemes. The Power Options Properties dialog box gives you several chances to refine the power settings.

For example, the Advanced tab of the Power Options Properties dialog box lets you indicate whether you want to place an icon on the Taskbar that points to the dialog box and whether you want to be prompted for a password after resuming from Standby mode (a minor security measure).

You also can specify how the computer's power button should respond if someone presses it while the computer is running. The default selection is to shut down the computer.

The Hibernate tab of the Power Options Properties dialog box lets you disengage the hibernation function, and the UPS tab lets you review information about your uninterruptible power supply (if your PC is connected to one). The UPS tab might be inactive if you do not have a UPS (uninterruptible power supply).

By using the options and schemes available to you in WinXP and customizing them to suit your needs, you can lower your electric bill and prolong the life of your computer batteries, while still maintaining a high level of productivity. How's that for power? 

Virtual memory

You didn't indicate what operating system you are running. On Windows XP look in Control Panel: System, Advanced, Performance Settings, Advanced, Virtual Memory. I believe it's in a similar location in other versions of Windows.

IMPORTANT: usually running out of virtual memory means that you are running to many programs at the same time for your system, or one of them is attempting to use too much memory. You might also want to check out what's running when this happens, and how much memory each program is using.

This is for Win98SE

I also have a new WinXP Pc, but I am not using it yet, I am waiting to first buy a big flat screen monitor for it, very soon now.
To reserve disk space for extra memory

 to open the System Properties dialog box at the Performance tab.
Click Virtual Memory.
Make sure Let Windows manage my virtual memory settings is selected.
You can also open the System Properties dialog box by clicking Start, pointing to Settings, clicking Control Panel, and then double-clicking System.
Whenever possible, let Windows manage your virtual memory. Windows chooses the default setting based on the amount of free hard-disk space. The swap file then shrinks and grows dynamically based on actual memory usage.
If you need to specify a different disk or set limits on the minimum or maximum reserved space, click Let me specify my own virtual memory settings, and then enter the new disk in Hard disk or enter values (in kilobytes) in Minimum or Maximum.

To change the elapsed time before your hard disk automatically turns off

 to open the Power Management Properties dialog box.
In Turn off hard disks, click the arrow, and then select the time you want. If this option is not displayed, your hard disks do not support this feature.


You can also open the Power Management Properties dialog box by clicking Start, pointing to Settings, clicking Control Panel, and clicking Power Management.
To use this power management feature, you must have a hard disk that is set up by the manufacturer to support this option.

Managing power on your computer

Using power management, you can reduce the power consumption of any number of your computer devices or of your entire system. You do this by choosing a power scheme, which is a collection of settings that manages the power usage by your computer.

You can also adjust the individual settings in a power scheme. For example, depending on your hardware, you can:

Turn off your monitor and hard disks automatically to save power.
Put the computer on standby when it is idle. While on standby, your monitor and hard disks turn off, and your computer uses less power. When you want to use the computer again, it comes out of standby quickly, and your desktop is restored exactly as you left it. Standby is particularly useful for conserving battery power in portable computers.
Put your computer in hibernation. The hibernate feature turns off your monitor and hard disk, saves everything in memory on disk, and turns off your computer. When you restart your computer, your desktop is restored exactly as you left it. It takes longer to bring your computer out of hibernation than out of standby.

Typically, you turn off your monitor or hard disk for a short period to conserve power. If you plan to be away from your computer for a while, you put your computer on standby, which puts your entire system in a low-power state.

You would put your computer in hibernation when you’ll be away from the computer for an extended time or overnight. When you restart the computer, your desktop is restored exactly as you left it.

To use power management, you must have a computer that is set up by the manufacturer to support these features. For more information, see your computer documentation.

Memory Management

Windows XP, like most modern operating systems, uses virtual memory. Virtual memory is created by extending the physical memory assigned to an application by providing additional computing space on the computer's hard drive. The operating system may assign some memory to an application, but not necessarily enough to satisfy that application's every memory access. Instead, some accesses will be detected by hardware, which will reorganize some of the memory structure. By correctly anticipating the patterns of use of a set of applications, the operating system allows a computer to operate with far less physical memory by figuring out what combination of physical and virtual memory will be needed to satisfy the memory requirements of that set of applications.

This is like a juggler juggling several balls. Although the juggler has only two hands, he or she makes sure that a hand is always ready when a ball comes down. A juggler with five balls doesn't require five hands, nor does a computer need a megabyte of physical RAM for each megabyte accessed by an application.

Windows XP—like Windows 2000—regularly checks that the memory assigned to a particular application is actually in use, and maintains an estimate for each application indicating the amount of memory that could reasonably be taken away without affecting performance. A reserve of memory is kept on hand to be used as needed. When this reserve sinks too low it is replenished by trimming working sets. These estimates are used as a guideline to determine where memory should be taken from.

The Cost of Virtual Memory

Implementing virtual memory has a cost. When the operating system fails to correctly anticipate the needs of an application, the "bit of memory reorganization" mentioned earlier will usually include a bit of I/O to or from disk. Any disk I/O is expensive.

Typical desktop computer disks are often limited to 80 random I/Os to 100 random I/Os per second. Laptop disks are frequently even more limited. Each mistake in memory management counts against this limit. If enough mistakes are made, you will notice the extra time taken. With more physical memory installed, it is easier to avoid these mistakes; with less physical memory, mistakes become harder to avoid.

These virtual memory-related I/Os are typically the biggest impacts you'll experience. Therefore, adding memory to a computer is typically the easiest and most effective way to improve its performance.

How Windows XP Handles Memory Management

Figure 3 below shows the virtual memory usage for a number of operations taken from a trace of a long-running workload running on Windows XP. The workload involves Office productivity applications and Web browsing. The operations include activities like starting applications, saving and printing documents, and opening files and Web pages. The virtual memory shown is the amount of memory available to hold all the code and data used in the operation, together with all the memory resources that are more or less permanently locked into a computer's memory. This virtual memory is divided among the following:

• The space taken by applications. This can vary from very little, for operations that depend almost entirely on system services, such as opening a Web page, to substantial, as when an application starts and must initialize itself.
• The space taken by driver code. This is relatively constant, because much of the code for drivers is locked in memory or is in regular use.
• The allocated and mapped data used by the system. This includes registry data, many system data structures, and files accessed by the operating system.
• The space used by the system itself. This includes the space used by the shell and all the system's service processes.

Figure 3: Virtual memory requirements for 25 operations selected from an hour-long trace
See full-sized image.

Allocating Memory for Applications Under Windows XP

The operations illustrated in Figure 3 each take from 20 MB to 55 MB of virtual space. It is up to the operating system to assign physical memory to map this virtual space. The individual operations will easily fit in 64 MB of RAM, but as you proceed from operation to operation, some of the memory content will have to be replaced. In the course of the workload's hour-long run, a total of 256 MB of distinct pages were touched. If successive operations overlap substantially in the virtual space they touch, each new operation will require little or no I/O.

Switching between applications is likely to involve a larger change in the contents of the virtual space. When working with 64 MB of RAM, this may require larger amounts of I/O. With 128 MB of RAM, there is enough room to spare so that much of the virtual memory needed is likely to still be in memory. Consequently, switching applications is likely to be faster with 128 MB or more.

Balancing Memory Resources

As we can see from the preceding example, there is no unique "memory requirement" for an application or for the system. When physical memory is scarce, you will pay frequent I/O penalties as you go from operation to operation. When physical memory is abundant, the system will use the memory to forestall these I/O penalties.

The operating system is constantly assessing the current situation and choosing which pages to keep and which to get rid of. Thus, the number of pages in use alone does not represent a measure of memory required. The number of pages in use can be quite misleading, if taken in isolation. An application's working set, the number of pages it has in memory, can at times be quite large simply because there is no competition for the memory from other running applications. Conversely, the working set may be quite small, simply because all of the physical memory resources have been given over to other applications.

Top of page
RAM Options
Keeping in mind what you've just read about memory management and how Windows XP handles memory management, consider the various RAM requirements and recommendations for Windows XP.

64 MB—Windows XP Minimum RAM Requirement
A computer with 64 MB of RAM will have sufficient resources to run Windows® XP and a few applications with moderate memory requirements. Office productivity applications and Web browsers fall into this category of applications. This is shown in our example, where individual operations from this sort of workload usually take between 20 MB and 40 MB of virtual space.

With less than 64 MB of memory, very little could be retained from operation to operation, but with the minimum memory requirement, the system was still usable. In fact, because of improved I/O—in comparison to Windows Me—it was shown that the user experience on this minimum configuration was generally comparable or superior to that of Windows Me running on the same computer.

Some UI features will be turned off with limited memory, and features like fast user switching will be turned off by default. The computer will also be slower to boot and resume.

128 MB—Windows XP Minimum Recommended RAM
Microsoft recommends that Windows XP be run with at least 128 MB of RAM. With that amount of memory Windows XP is superior to Windows 2000 and all other versions of Windows: it boots and resumes quickly, and is very responsive when switching applications, starting new applications, and running a wide variety of workloads. For many types of workloads, the system will have plenty of memory available to hold code files and data for possible future use.

Greater Than 128 MB—More Demanding Applications
With 128 MB of RAM, it is still necessary to match memory resources to an application's needs and penalties—small delays for I/O must sometimes be paid. Adding additional memory resources can eliminate more and more of these penalties, and can provide a definite improvement in responsiveness for applications that handle large amounts of data, such as many multimedia applications and games. Additional resources will also let you use fast user switching—a situation where applications left running on other users' sessions may compete for resources with your applications.

The performance differences seen when adding memory above 128 MB are subtler and more workload-dependent than those seen when going from 64 MB to 128 MB. This is referred to as finding the "knee of the curve," where the gains from adding additional resources rapidly diminish. For most workloads this point falls between 64 MB and 128 MB; but for some workloads, you may find that it is worth adding more memory to obtain additional gains in performance.

For Win98SE

Using Dr. Watson to diagnose system faults

Dr. Watson is a diagnostic tool that takes a snapshot of your system whenever a system fault occurs. It intercepts software faults, identifies the software that faulted, and offers a detailed description of the cause. Dr. Watson can often diagnose the issue and offer a suggested course of action. When you contact Microsoft Technical Support for assistance, Dr. Watson is the tool used to help evaluate the problem.

Dr. Watson is not loaded by default. To launch Dr. Watson automatically, create a shortcut in your Startup group to \Windows\DrWatson.exe. See Related Topics to learn how to create a shortcut.

Perhaps the best known tool is Dr. Watson. If you have Windows, chances are you have Dr. Watson installed. The good doctor, however, has gone through a number of changes over the years and works differently depending on which version of Windows you're using. A handful of additional tools can provide extra help in solving errors. Windows XP, for instance, lets you submit error reports to Microsoft each time an error occurs. Other tools help catch errors that Dr. Watson may miss. We'll take a look at some error debugging tools and show you how you can use these tools to help pinpoint problems.

 House Calls.

As we mentioned above, Dr. Watson is perhaps the most well-known debugging application for Windows. Dr. Watson sits in the background waiting for errors to occur. When Dr. Watson detects an error, it takes a snapshot of everything that's going on in the system and saves the data to a log file. You may be able to use some of the information in the log to pinpoint where errors are occurring, but you'll find the log files are most helpful when submitted to technical support teams.

In newer versions of Windows, Dr. Watson is constantly running. Windows 2000/XP users do not need to start Dr. Watson manually and will not see any indication that Dr. Watson is running.

On older systems, users will need to start Dr. Watson before it can log any errors. In Windows 98/Me, click Run in the Start Menu and type drwatson. You'll see an icon in the System Tray when Dr. Watson is running.

Win98/Me users who are experiencing frequent but random errors may want to make a shortcut to Dr. Watson and place it in the Start-up program group in the Start menu. This will load Dr. Watson each time the system boots. To create a shortcut, right-click the Desktop, select New from the pop-up menu, and click Shortcut. Type drwatson in the text field and click Next. Provide a name for the shortcut (Dr. Watson works fine, but it can be anything you want) and click Finish. Right-click the newly created shortcut and select Copy. Right-click the Start Menu and select Explore. Double-click Programs and Start-up and then select Paste from the Edit menu.

Windows 98/Me users will need to make sure Dr. Watson is running before an error occurs. You can set a handful of options in older versions of Dr. Watson.
Options. In Win98/Me, right-click the Dr. Watson icon in the System Tray and select Options. You can specify the number of log entries to save and set the directory where Dr. Watson will store its logs along with a handful of other options.

There are more options available to Win2000/XP users. To open the configuration window, click Run in the Start Menu and type drwtsn32. Once again, you can set the number of log entries to save and specify the directory where Dr. Watson will save its log files. These versions can also create Crash Dump files that developers or support staff can load into other debuggers.

Win2000/XP users will also notice recent Dr. Watson entries listed at the bottom of the window. Highlight an error and click View to view the details.

 Log Files.

The location where Dr. Watson saves log files by default depends on the version you're using. Open the configuration window using the method described above to locate the directory where Dr. Watson saves its log file. Older versions on Win98/Me systems use a .WLF file extension while newer versions running Win2000/XP use a .LOG extension.

In Win95/98, double-click the Dr. Watson icon and then click Open Log File in the File menu. Users with Win2000/XP can open recent logs from the configuration menu as described above. If you've cleared out entries in the configuration window, you can still open the Drwtsn32.log file in a text editor such as Wordpad (log files may be too large to open in Notepad).

Logs can be very long, and most of the information is of no use to you unless you're a programmer. Nonetheless, in some instances you might be able to find some useful information buried in a Dr. Watson log.

Each entry starts listing the date, time, and name of the application that crashed. Names provided are file names rather than generic program names (for instance, Wmplayer.exe instead of Windows Media Player). You'll also find a list of modules and other applications running at the time of the crash and a generic program error code. You can use this information to search the Web for other users who may have had similar problems with a specific application.

Recent errors are listed in the Dr. Watson configuration screen, but errors will remain in the log file even after you've cleared entries from the configuration window.
You can find the exact point where the problem occurred. You'll find multiple headers that read "State Dump For Thread Id xxxxx" (where xxxxx changes). You may see the word Fault in front of one or more of indented lines under these headers. Take a closer look at the beginning of any segment that contains a Fault line, and you should see a line beginning with Function. In some instances, you may be able to find some information by researching the function name (also called a symbol).

If the application is a Microsoft application, try searching Microsoft's online Knowledge Base (support.microsoft.com). It may be useful to include the application name, error code, and symbol (if any). If the error is from another application, search the support documents from the software's publisher. Other handy utilities include Google (www.google.com) and Google Groups (groups.google.com).

In some instances, you may be able to track down a software conflict between two or more applications and find a simple workaround. Though in most cases, you probably will have to contact the software's tech support department. Submitting Dr. Watson logs may prove helpful. Even if the developer is unable to fix the problem in a timely manner, the company may be able to fix the problem in future revisions.

 Error Reporting.

In WinXP, Windows offers to report any errors directly to Microsoft any time an error occurs. This may or may not be helpful depending on the situation. Regardless, due to privacy concerns, error reports are completely anonymous, and only a handful of Microsoft developers have access to these error reports. Don't expect Microsoft to get back to you concerning an error report. Microsoft developers, however, may notice trends in submitted reports over time. They can use this information in the future to fix common errors.

Remember, the information you submit in these reports is confidential. If you do contact Microsoft's tech support department directly, they will not have access to the report you submitted. Dr. Watson logs, therefore, are still useful when contacting Microsoft's tech support department even if you've filed an automatic error report.

If an error caught you without Dr. Watson running, you can find a little extra information about the error in the Faultlog.txt file in your Windows directory.
 Safety Net.

In older versions of Windows, unexpected errors can slip through if Dr. Watson isn't running. Older versions of Windows still catch and record errors in a file called Fault.txt located in the C:\Windows directory.

Entries in this file are small, especially compared to the wealth of data provided by Dr. Watson. Nonetheless, they do provide some basic information you might find helpful. You'll find the name of the application that caused the crash and the name of the module that crashed along with a date and time stamp. A few other technical details are provided, but they'll mostly be of use to technical personnel. Addition reports are appended to the end of the file, so you'll find the most recent errors listed at the bottom of the file.


Dr. Watson and other error reporting utilities do have somewhat limited use. They will not, for instance, help with major errors involving the OS itself. (We'll refrain from making the obvious WinMe joke here). These applications are best used to catch errors that occur when specific applications crash. In instances where the entire OS suddenly locks up, they may be of little use. 


Entry #25


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