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Resetting your network adapter in Windows Vista

Network shell (Netsh) is a tool an administrator can use to configure and monitor network devices on Windows based computers at a command prompt. A common use of Netsh, is to reset the TCP/IP stack back to default settings.

But not only will Netsh reset the TCP/IP stack, but it can also completely reset your network adapter(s). It will also reset the Windows Firewall in Windows Vista.

Using Netsh in Windows Vista

To use Netsh, you will need to open a Command Prompt as an administrator. There are two ways to do this:

  • Click the Start button, then All Programs, then Accessories, then right-click Command Prompt, and then click Run as administrator. If you're prompted for an administrator password or confirmation, type the password or provide confirmation.
  • or

  • Click the Start button. In the search box, type Command Prompt, and then, in the list of results, right-click Command Prompt, and then click Run as administrator. If you're prompted for an administrator password or confirmation, type the password or provide confirmation.

Netsh commands in Windows Vista

The following is a list of the Netsh commands you can use to reset your Windows Vista network adapter:

Resets interface informationnetsh int reset all

Resets TCP/IP and related components to a clean state.netsh int ip reset c:\resetlog.txt

Resets IPv6 configuration state.netsh int ipv6 reset

Resets firewall configuration to default. Restoring the default settings will delete all Windows Firewall settings that you have changed. For example, if you have allowed certain programs through the firewall, those programs will be blocked again.netsh firewall reset

Resets Winsock Catalog to a clean state. All Winsock Layered Service Providers which were previously installed must be reinstalled. This command does not affect Winsock Name Space Provider entries.netsh winsock reset

Managing Virtual Memory / Pagefile in Windows Vista

If your computer lacks the Random Access Memory (RAM) needed to run a program or operation, Windows uses Virtual Memory to compensate. Virtual memory combines your computer’s RAM with temporary space on your hard disk. When RAM runs low, virtual memory moves data from RAM to a space called a paging file. Moving data to and from the paging file frees up RAM to complete its work.

The more RAM your computer has, the faster your programs will generally run. If a lack of RAM is slowing your computer, you might be tempted to increase virtual memory to compensate. However, your computer can read data from RAM much more quickly than from a hard disk, so adding RAM is a better solution.

If you receive error messages that warn of low virtual memory, you need to either add more RAM or increase the size of your paging file so that you can run the programs on your computer. Windows usually manages the size automatically, but you can manually change the size of virtual memory if the default size is not enough for your needs.

Find out how much RAM your computer has

Random Access Memory (RAM) is a general indication of performance that is measured either in megabytes (MB) or gigabytes (GB): the larger the number, the faster some programs will run.

To open the System Properties, press Windows logo key + Pause

Windows Vista Sytem RAM Size

In the System section, under Memory (RAM), you can view the amount of RAM your computer has.

Change the size of virtual memory

If you receive warnings that your virtual memory is low, you'll need to increase the minimum size of your paging file. Windows sets the initial minimum size of the paging file at the amount of random access memory (RAM) installed on your computer plus 300 megabytes (MB), and the maximum size at 3 times the amount of RAM installed on your computer. If you see warnings at these recommended levels, then increase the minimum and maximum sizes.

To open the System Properties, press Windows logo key + Pause

Windows Vista Pagefile Settings 1

In the left pane, click Advanced system settings. If you are prompted for an administrator password or confirmation, type the password or provide confirmation.

Windows Vista Pagefile Settings 2

On the Advanced tab, under Performance, click Settings.

Windows Vista Pagefile Settings 3

Click the Advanced tab, and then, under Virtual memory, click Change.

Windows Vista Pagefile Settings 4

Clear the Automatically manage paging file size for all drives check box.

Under Drive [Volume Label], click the drive that contains the paging file you want to change.

Click Custom size, type a new size in megabytes in the Initial size (MB) or Maximum size (MB) box, click Set, and then click OK. There is a formula for calculating the correct pagefile size. Minimum pagefile size is one and a half (1.5) x amount of memory. Maximum pagefile size is three (3) x minimum pagefile size. Say you have 4 Gb (4,096 Mb) of memory. 1.5 x 4,096 = 6,144 Mb would be the min. pagefile size and 3 x 6,144 = 18,432 Mb would be the max. pagefile size.

Increases in size usually don't require a restart for the changes to take effect, but if you decrease the size, you'll need to restart your computer. It is recommended that you don't disable or delete the paging file.

My five favorite tips for maintaining your Windows computer

Updated April 21, 2023

One of the questions I often get asked is, "What can I do to maintain my computer". So in this article, I am going to share my five favorite tips for maintaining your Windows-based computer.

Regularly check your drive(s) for errors

This is one of the first things I do when I get a system in the shop. An error on the disk can cause all sorts of issues, so occasionally running a quick standard disk check is recommended. It is always best to try fixing any errors before they become huge problems.

For more information on how to perform a checkdisk, select your operating system below.

How to check your drive(s) for errors in Windows 11

How to check your drive(s) for errors in Windows 10

How to check your drive(s) for errors in Windows 8.1

How to check your drive(s) for errors in Windows 7 / Windows Vista

How to check your drive(s) for errors in Windows XP

Manually defragment and optimize your drive(s)

Even though Windows runs Defrag as part of the routine maintenance (usually weekly), you can always occasionally run it, as it is probably the best single thing you can do to speed up your computer. Imagine a filing cabinet where all of the folders were out of order and files were misplaced throughout the cabinet. How could you find anything? Same thing with your computer's drive. Disk Defragmenter takes care of that for you. And you can run it as a scheduled task too.

Select your operating system below for more information on how to use Disk Defragmenter.

How to defragment and optimize your drive in Windows 11

How to defragment and optimize your drive in Windows 10

How to defragment and optimize your drive in Windows 8.1

How to defragment and optimize your drive in Windows 7

How to defragment and optimize your drive in Windows Vista

How to defragment and optimize your drive in Windows XP

Clean up your drive(s) regularly

Now, Windows does include programs to clean up the miscellaneous files that build up over time, but by default, it is not set up to run automatically. You can set up Windows to perform these routine tasks, which include deleting temporary files and emptying the Recycle Bin.

For more information on how to use Disk Cleanup and Storage Sense, select your operating system below.

How to clean up your drive in Windows 11

How to clean up your drive in Windows 10

How to clean up your drive in Windows 8.1

How to clean up your drive in Windows 7 / Windows Vista

Install Windows updates when they become available

Once a month, Microsoft releases security patches called Cumulative Updates. They fix known security issues and should be applied as soon as possible. Microsoft has been using the same schedule for
releasing them for decades now. The second Tuesday of every month is known in the IT world as 'Patch Tuesday', so mark your calendar. And if, for some reason, Windows Update does not work correctly, click on the link below.

Troubleshooting problems with Windows Update

Backup of your computer on a regular schedule

Nothing can beat a complete backup when it comes to getting a computer back running after a drive failure. Sure, a drive failure is an extreme example, but it could be an update that did not install correctly or a corrupt driver that is preventing your system from booting correctly. And the software is already built-in; all you need is an external drive for the backup and a USB flash drive for a repair drive.

How to backup your Windows 11 computer

How to backup your Windows 10 computer

How to backup your Windows 8.1 computer

How to backup your Windows 7 / Windows Vista computer

How to backup your Windows XP computer

Simple security with Microsoft Security Essentials

In this article, I am going to spotlight Microsoft Security Essentials (MSE). This is not Microsoft's first venture into the ant-virus market, but it is probably the best. Having used some of the more well-know anti-virus software (Norton / Symantec, McAfee, etc.) for over a decade, I decided to give MSE a try.

Microsoft Security Essentials

All of the articles I had read on Microsoft Security Essentials were quite positive, so I installed it on my netbook running Windows 7 in June. Since then, I have taken the netbook on several on-site service calls and vacation. I am happy to report that the netbook remains virus-free. What I like is the small footprint the software has. It does not take five minutes to start up Windows, as can happen on systems with limited resources (such as netbooks).

MSE works quite well with Windows 7 built-in firewall. The interface is clean and easy to use, unlike some of the anti-virus software out there. It's easy enough for a novice user to navigate. It also integrates into Windows Update. Here's a quote from Microsoft's website:

Microsoft Security Essentials provides real-time protection for your home PC that guards against viruses, spyware, and other malicious software.

Microsoft Security Essentials is a free* download from Microsoft that is simple to install, easy to use, and always kept up to date so you can be assured your PC is protected by the latest technology. It’s easy to tell if your PC is secure — when you’re green, you’re good. It’s that simple.

Microsoft Security Essentials runs quietly and efficiently in the background so that you are free to use your Windows-based PC the way you want—without interruptions or long computer wait times.

I encourage you to take a look at Microsoft Security Essentials. It's simple and free.

Tether your Android's 3G to your pc with PdaNet

When I changed over to the Android, one of the functions I wanted was to use its 3G data connection with my netbook. I found this great program from June Fabrics Technology called PdaNet. It allows you to tether your Android's 3G without having to do any hacking.

Once the installation is complete on both PC and Android, you will find connecting to be easy. Just connect the USB cable from the Android to the PC, start the PdaNet app on your Android and then use the tray icon in Windows to connect. Here's a quote from their website: has been one of the most popular software for Windows Mobile phones, Palm OS phones, and iPhones. It is now ported to the Android system! PdaNet provides you with FULL Internet access, so all your email, instant message programs will work without any setting changes. Supports both USB Tether and Bluetooth DUN.

PdaNet does NOT require root access or hacking your phone's firmware in order to work. It is just a regular Android application that works on all Android phones as-is. Tethering is fast, secure, and USB mode will also charge your phone at the same time. Your phone can either connect to 3G data, WiFi, or even through VPN, and PdaNet will share the connection with your computer.

If you are looking to connect to the internet on your computer through your smartphone, I recommend you go over to June Fabrics site and take a look at their line of PdaNet products. BTW: If you use Windows 7, you can create a WiFi hot spot with PdaNet and Virtual Router.

Free computer diagnostics

Repairing a PC can sometimes be expensive, and that is why we offer free basic in-shop diagnostics. Give one of our professional and experienced technicians a call at (602) 795-1111, and let's see what we can do for you.

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Repairing a computer can be time-consuming. That is why we base our in-shop service on the time we work on your computer, not the time it takes for your computer to work! From running memory checking software to scanning for viruses, these are processes that can take some time.

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