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Windows 7 and Netbooks – 6 Steps to Harmony

With Netbooks spreading like a wildly contagious infection all over the world, it will be only a matter of time before users want to get Windows 7 for their machines. The latest operating system from Microsoft has revealed itself to be surprisingly kind on resources and works quite well on low spec machines. Installing it on a NetBook is fairly straightforward but you should make sure that a few things are in order.

1. Windows 7 has an excellent driver database but they are not always the best drivers. On a normal laptop or PC you can be not-too-bothered about this, but with a low powered NetBook you need all the performance you can get. Even if Device Manager reports everything as “ok”, you should still download the latest drivers for your devices from the manufacturer’s site.

2. Manufacturers like ASUS have excellent power management software that comes with their devices. After a new operating system install, it is advisable to download this software again as it will manage your power consumption better.

3. Netbooks are about performance, so get rid of Aero and other graphical marvels. In the long run you will be happier due to the extended battery life.

4. Free up screen space by installing practical apps, like Chrome for browsing. Unlike Firefox it is not menu heavy, therefore you get more viewing space. You should also auto-hide the taskbar to gain a few more pixels. In this manner, try choosing software that will consume less screen space in terms of menus and sidebars and so on.

5. Squeezing your battery to last longer is always a running battle and one thing that can help you is MSCONFIG. Using this, turn off any processes and services that you don’t need. Do this with caution; just because you do not know what a process does, that does not mean that you should turn it off. Look online for guides on how to do this.

6. If you do have the budget, consider some hardware upgrades like memory and efficient hard disks. The memory will help Windows and the HD will use less power.

The Windows 7 Search Feature

Once people got over their fear of what Windows 7 held in store for them, they soon discovered that the operating system was actually (and surprisingly) very good. Windows 7 has turned out to be fast and efficient, with most of its applications etc in the ‘right place’. In short, Microsoft has finally turned out a decent operating system after Windows 3.1 and Windows 98.

One of the better features in Windows 7 is the Search feature. You can activate search in two ways.

1. Click the Start Menu and type in the search bar that appears at the bottom of the menu. This Search function can find applications on the start menu as well as files in attached storage devices. This is useful if you are lazy to go through the whole menu and find the application you need to launch. If it is a file you are searching for, then the main explorer search window will be launched after it fails to find your search criteria in the start menu.

2. By launching Windows Explorer, you can activate a more localized and filtered search. You will notice a search bar at the top right hand corner of the window. You can enter your search criteria here. You will also notice that it shows a few quick filters that you can apply to refine your search. Once the search results start coming in, you will notice the results have your search criteria highlighted.

The user friendliness of the search function and its thoroughness really make this feature a winner for Windows 7 .

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