Wireless Dropping? Change your Scan Valid Interval

Is your Wireless dropping?  Update your driver of course and then try changing your Scan Valid Interval.   By default, most wireless cards are set to 60.   This is the amount of time before your wireless ‘looks’ for other access points (for roaming).   Try changing the interval to 120.

Open the device manager, double click on the wireless adapter, under advanced, click on Scan Valid Interval – change this to 120.   If you have a card that has roaming under advanced, select the lowest option.

1 Device Manager


2 Scan

Note:  If you have a laptop and are moving around in an area, you may need to lower this number.

Also, you may want to lower the Beacon Interval in your router if your signal is low or if you have drops.  This sends beacons more frequently and can help with your signal.   This may slightly decrease your bandwidth (wireless) and use a little extra battery on mobile devices.

While the default is 100, did you know if you increase this time (assuming you have a great signal in your home or business) that you can increase wireless bandwidth (slightly) and even increase your battery life of devices?

Got Atheros? Follow this link to drivers.

Also, do a quick survey of your entire home.  As you can see, one side of our house has interference on channel 11.   Because the ‘user’ of the other wireless is using Channel 6 + 10 (40 mhz ) spread, Channel 6 and 11 are NOT optimal.  Therefore, channel 1 is the optimal channel (you can see two devices – my AP and printer)

Left – host computer  Right – TightVNC into another computer in my home.

Avoid Wireless Interference

Remember, router position and direction matters.  As you can see below, repositioning the router got rid of “Saw Tooth” (signal that goes up and down).

Less Saw Tooth

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Check for suspicious certificates

After the recent certificate incident, you may want to check your certificates.

RCC is an excellent program to check for those certificates.
“Scans and audits the trusted root CA stores in Microsoft Windows and Mozilla Firefox. Highlights potentially rogue root certificates based on trusted baselines and timestamp metadata.”

1 Certificate


Recent manufacturer’s explanation.

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Enhanced Mitigation Experience Toolkit 5.2

“The Enhanced Mitigation Experience Toolkit (EMET) helps raise the bar against attackers gaining access to computer systems. EMET anticipates the most common actions and techniques adversaries might use in compromising a computer, and helps protect by diverting, terminating, blocking, and invalidating those actions and techniques. EMET helps protect your computer systems even before new and undiscovered threats are formally addressed by security updates and antimalware software. EMET benefits enterprises and all computer users by helping to protect against security threats and breaches that can disrupt businesses and daily lives.”  Link


After downloading and installing EMET, type EMET after clicking the menu.    This will open up the Toolkit.


Clicking on Trust allows you to add or take away websites.

3 Add website

Clicking on App allows you to add and adjust App settings for enhanced security.

4 Clicking App

Technet Security Center information on EMET – link


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Remove Viruses with Boot Utility

If you work on computers, you need to be aware of SARDU and its ability to download recovery ISOs.   This utility can create a boot DVD or USB to remove viruses, recover Windows or break passwords (legally if the true owner has forgotten the password).

SARDU allows you to click the utility you want, download it and then places the ISO into the SARDU folder.  The download manager is on the top tab and you must click on Start to download the file you want.   The file is placed in a queue until this action is taken.

Once the ISO is in the folder, SARDU reads the ISO and places a check in a box beside the download you have available.  You can then burn the utility to a DVD or USB.

Note:  If you have any ISOs that are currently in the menu, copy them to the ISO folder in SARDU and refresh the program.   This will add check marks to the available ISOs.

There are dozens of options available with this great utility.

Note: Sardu has updated since this post.  Visit the Sardu website at –


Download screen

Saved ISOs

Another great review.

Posted in Business, Computer Security, Computers, Education, freeware, Information Technology, Networking, Software, Technology, Windows | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

Remove default Apps with PowerShell – Windows 10

Want to remove some of the default apps in Windows 10?  You could take the time to right click the app and uninstall.   You can also copy the script below and paste into PowerShell.

Note:  Remove any line for apps you want to keep.

Get-AppxPackage *3dbuilder* | Remove-AppxPackage
Get-AppxPackage *windowsalarms* | Remove-AppxPackage
Get-AppxPackage *windowscalculator* | Remove-AppxPackage
Get-AppxPackage *windowscommunicationsapps* | Remove-AppxPackage
Get-AppxPackage *windowscamera* | Remove-AppxPackage
Get-AppxPackage *officehub* | Remove-AppxPackage
Get-AppxPackage *skypeapp* | Remove-AppxPackage
Get-AppxPackage *getstarted* | Remove-AppxPackage
Get-AppxPackage *zunemusic* | Remove-AppxPackage
Get-AppxPackage *windowsmaps* | Remove-AppxPackage
Get-AppxPackage *solitairecollection* | Remove-AppxPackage
Get-AppxPackage *bingfinance* | Remove-AppxPackage
Get-AppxPackage *zunevideo* | Remove-AppxPackage
Get-AppxPackage *bingnews* | Remove-AppxPackage
Get-AppxPackage *onenote* | Remove-AppxPackage
Get-AppxPackage *people* | Remove-AppxPackage
Get-AppxPackage *windowsphone* | Remove-AppxPackage
Get-AppxPackage *photos* | Remove-AppxPackage
Get-AppxPackage *windowsstore* | Remove-AppxPackage
Get-AppxPackage *bingsports* | Remove-AppxPackage
Get-AppxPackage *soundrecorder* | Remove-AppxPackage
Get-AppxPackage *bingweather* | Remove-AppxPackage

1 Removing Apps

To reinstall the apps, open PowerShell and paste the following as one line-

Get-AppXPackage | Foreach {Add-AppxPackage -DisableDevelopmentMode -Register “$($_.InstallLocation)\AppXManifest.xml”}

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Tomato Cache Optimization with DNSMasq and DNS Benchmark

Want to speed up your internet’s resolution of websites?  One way is to flash your router with Tomato (Tomato is Linux core firmware for many routers that provides advanced features.) or other open source firmware.  Below is an example of how to cache DNS queries using Tomato’s firmware.

So what is DNSMasq?

DNSMasq a lightweight DNS, TFTP, PXE, router advertisement and DHCP server. It is intended to provide coupled DNS and DHCP service to a LAN.

Dnsmasq accepts DNS queries and either answers them from a small, local, cache or forwards them to a real, recursive, DNS server. It loads the contents of /etc/hosts so that local hostnames which do not appear in the global DNS can be resolved and also answers DNS queries for DHCP configured hosts. It can also act as the authoritative DNS server for one or more domains, allowing local names to appear in the global DNS. It can be configured to do DNSSEC validation. ~Read more at –http://www.thekelleys.org.uk/dnsmasq/docs/dnsmasq-man.html

So how can you make the internet faster?  During name resolution, your router can act as a small DNS server with DNSMasq.  Optimizing the cache and webpages will resolve almost immediately.

First, download DNS Benchmark from GRC and find the fastest DNS servers in your area.

Next, click on Basic and Network.   Enter the DNS servers that you found best for your area.


Click save when you finish.

Next click on Advanced and enter the following information under Custom Configuration.


By default, 150 queries can be cached by default but with dozens of devices in homes today, this allows for 2048 queries (below).   The maximum is 10,000.

4 DNS Script

Once you click enter the information, click on save.   To fully flush the DNS information, reboot the router and on your computer, go to a command prompt as an administrator and type ipconfig /flushdns.

For Mac OS X El Capitan, Mavericks and Mountain Lion, go to a terminal and type:
sudo killall -HUP mDNSResponder
For Mac OS X Yosemite, type:
sudo discoveryutil udnsflushcaches

To verify my settings, I connected by telnet into the router.  (I also changed my cache to 4096 on my router).  If you decide to telnet into your router, you will have to enable telnet on the router and add telnet to your computer under program and features (you will have to add telnet).

By typing cat /tmp/etc/dnsmasq.conf, you can verify the information was programmed into the router.

1 Telnet2 telnet results

Want to make sure your router is answering and resolving names?  Go to a command prompt and type nslookup http://www.microsoft.com.  You should see your router and the IP address information for the domain.


You can also see the mail server for the domain by typing something like this –

set type=mx
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Monitor your Hyper-V machines with this monitoring app

Want to monitor your Hyper-V machine’s resources?  TMurgent Technologies has an app that does just that. HyperV_Mon monitors physical, logical, virtual performance and more.


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Check your router’s security – F-Secure Router Check

Has your router been compromised?  Is it secure?  With F-Secure’s Router Check, you can check to see if your router provides a secure connection to the internet.

Many routers today are older and some manufacturers have abandoned firmware updates.   A DNS Poisoning could result in your visiting of a malicious website.  Here’s what to do-

  • Always have host based protection (anti-virus) on your computer
  • Update your router to the latest firmware
  • Flash your router with third party firmware if necessary

1 Router2 All ok

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Hyper-V Windows 10 host Server 2012 R2

Need to run a server from Windows 10?  Getting a certification?  Learning Windows Server?  You can easily host a virtual machine using Hyper-V.  (You can use Hyper-V to experiment with Linux or other operating systems)

Getting Started

Navigate to the Control Panel.  Click on Programs and Features.  Click on Turn Windows Features on and off.   Select Hyper-V.  Allow Windows to install the feature and reboot.

Start the Hyper-V Manager.  After starting the Hyper-V App, select the Virtual Switch Manager.

2 Hyper-v manager


2a Hyper-v Manager

Want to know more about a Virtual Switch?


“The capabilities provided in the Hyper-V Virtual Switch mean that organizations have more options for enforcing tenant isolation, shaping and controlling network traffic, and employing protective measures against malicious virtual machines”

2b Hyper-V Switch Manager

Name your Virtual Switch.  Select External Network so that it will be on the same network as your host computer.  Select the network card.

2c Hyper-V Switch Manager b

Next, right click on your computer name in the manager and create a New instance for a virtual operating system.  The New Virtual Machine Wizard will guide you through creating your computer.

3 New Machine

In this case, we have redirected (below) where our Virtual Machine will be stored.

4 Where to Store5 Generation

Give your computer adequate resources such as memory and hard drive space without robbing your host.  In the case below, we assign 2Gb of RAM from an 8GB computer.

6 Memory

Select the virtual switch that you created.

7 Switch

Create a virtual hard disk.  Because this is a computer that will be used for SQL and testing of SQL, we only assign 40 GB of space.

8 Configuration

During this installation, we are also using an ISO of Server 2008 R2 and will install after finishing the wizard.

9 OS

10 Ready for install

Once you finish the wizard, you will see your Virtual Machine (pre-installation).  When you are ready to start the installation, click on Start and then Connect.

11 overview12 Starting

The VM will start and installation will begin.  Installation will be a simple step through procedure.

13 Installing Server14 SELECT15 Custom16 Installing17 Booting18 Settings

Once you login to the computer, the Server Manager will initialize.

19 After Login in Server Manager

Click on Add roles and features.   As a minimum, install Desktop Experience to add desktop icons and .Net 3.5.

20 Dashboard

You can use the alternate Manage or Tools to add roles and features or access common items such as the control panel.

21 Features22 Features Install

23 Which One

Selecting your features.

24 Desktop Experience

If you get an error, click on the menu and select Media and mount the ISO into the virtual DVD.

25 Media

26 Installing features

Click on Close and Reboot.


Note:   If you use a virtual machine, monitor resources of the host and guest and always make sure that adequate cooling especially for laptops.  Also if you want to disable Secure IE, Open the manager and click on the server icon.  Click on IE Enhanced Security Configuration and disable.

Posted in Microsoft Windows, Microsoft Windows 10, Technology, Windows 10, Windows 10 Quick Tips, Windows Server | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

Protecting your network by pen testing it

This post is for educational purposes and any use of these tools against a network without explicit permission could be illegal.   Metasploit is designed to identify weaknesses in networks and hardware/software on a network.  Do NOT use metasploit for other reasons.

Want to protect your network and the computers in your network?  You can get updates for your operating systems (Linux, Mac, iOS, Android, Windows or whatever) along with updates for third party programs yet you can still be unsecure.    When updating these products, you also have to remember firmware and updates for wireless devices, access points, bridges, firewalls, routers, switches, SCADA devices, robots, mobile devices, printers and any device on your network.



Metasploit Community is free and allows for a free scan of your network or server. Although limited (Try Pro for details and Brute Force), Metasploit Community is a first step in finding open services and ports on your operating system, hardware devices such as routers and other devices.   The trick to installing Metasploit is to disable your antivirus or make exceptions to what your antivirus finds.   You should truly install the software inside of a VM (Virtual Machine) so that your computer remains protected.

You can use Metasploit to protect your network by ‘seeing’ what a hacker or malicious person would see.  Truly for network professionals and auditors, this software can help you identify services, ports and weaknesses in your network.

There are several versions of Metasploit – Community, Pro, Express and Framework (Compare Editions)

Metasploit     Metasploit Two

Metasploit Scan Complete     metasploit Hosts

Metasploit Services After Scan

The above scan was in a controlled lab.  Malicious scanning of networks may be illegal.  Read  Penetration Basics on Metasploit’s website.

Tutorials (Videos)

Posted in Apple, Computer Security, Computers, Education, freeware, Hacking, Information Technology, Linux, network, Networking, Software, Technology, Ubuntu, Windows | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Share PowerPoint on Facebook or Twitter

Want to share your PowerPoint on Facebook?  Want others to see your slides?   How about making it into a movie that others can see on your Facebook page?

Here’s a great add-in from Microsoft’s Garage

Social Share

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Rufus USB boot and Hiren’s Boot ISO

Hiren’s Boot CD is one of the best tools IT personnel can get their hands on.  (See our article on adding the GeGeek Toolkit) WIth the following tools, Hiren’s can help you diagnose, repair and secure your computer –

  • Avira AntiVir
  • ClamWin
  • ComboFix
  • Dr. Web CureIT!
  • Malwarebytes
  • Remove Fake Antivirus
  • RootkitRevealer
  • Spybot – Search and Destroy
  • SuperAntispyware
  • TDSSKiller
  • CloneDisk
  • Copy DMA
  • CopyWipe
  • DiskImage
  • DriveImage XML
  • Drive SnapShot
  • FastCopy
  • G2L Ghost 4 Linux
  • GImage
  • Image for Dos
  • Image for Windows
  • ImgBurn
  • InfraRecorder
  • Macrium Reflect
  • ODIN
  • Partition Image
  • Partition Saving
  • RegBak
  • Raw Copy
  • ShadowCopy
  • SelfImage
  • Seagate DiscWizard
  • Dozens more-  http://www.hiren.info/pages/bootcd

CD/DVDs are becoming rare on laptops and are not easy to carry around.  You can use Rufus USB to make Hiren’s Bootable.  Down Hiren’s and simply use Rufus on a blank 4 gb flash drive.  You will now have dozens of utilities to use on a flash drive you can keep on a key chain or lanyard.

When working on computers, you can easily enter the boot settings and boot to a USB drive.  This may require you to work with UEFI and legacy settings to get it to boot.

Hiren’s will supply you with the tools you need and Rufus will create your bootable USB.

Download for Hiren’s – http://www.hirensbootcd.org/download/

Download for Rufus USB boot – http://rufus.akeo.ie/

Once you download Hiren’s, unzip the file and open Rufus.  Insert a BLANK 4 gb flash drive and navigate to the iso in the unzipped files.  Once you have navigated to the file, click on start.  This will create a bootable Hiren’s USB.

Unzipped files


1 Hirens 2 Hirens 3 Hirens 4 Hirens 6 hirens

Want to make more than one bootable USB?   

If you have a bootable USB, you can easily make another by using ImageUSB.

Here’s what you should do –

  1. Install ImageUSB
  2. Insert your source drive

1 usb image tool

3. Select backup
4. Name the image file

USB Image Tool

5. Next highlight the image file and select restore on the target drive4 usb image tool restore

3 USB image tool Restore

You will now have a bootable USB drive

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Atheros Wireless Drivers

Need an update and stable version of your Atheros Wireless Drivers?

Often the wireless drivers found at,  https://www.atheros.cz/atheros-wireless-drivers.html  , are more stable than the manufacturer.


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Enable SSH on your Router

SSH is a secure way to program your router remotely.  SSH provides the encryption you need to avoid MtM (Man in the Middle Attacks).

In many routers, you’ll find SSH under the Administration menu.   This can be enabled to program your router or monitor it from afar.

Here’s a cheap E1500 with tomato firmware.  Under the Administration menu, you’ll find SSH.  You’ll need putty and puttygen in order to program SSH in tomato.

Putty Where to get

Download Putty and PuttyGen.  Login to your router and find where to enable SSH.  (You may not need PuttyGen on your router)  Enable SSH on Startup, Enable Remote and generate a key with PuttyGen if necessary.  For security, you should have the latest firmware, a complex password and filter IP addresses.  If you plan to SSH from an offsite location, find the public IP address of your company and enter it.

ssh key



Once the key is entered and your security is set, save and allow your router to reboot.  (The key below is used in a non-production lab).1 Tomato Enable SSH2 Tomato Enable SSH

Once the router has been configured, use Putty to login to your router.

Putty config


2 putty

Once you SSH, you can look at processes, configure your router and more.

Here’s an example of using the command TOP to see running processes.


Using ip addr to see IP address information.


Here’s a good tutorial on SSH on routers from DD-WRT.   With OpenWRT, DD-WRT and the variants of Tomato, you can have more control over your router.



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A few Wireshark Filters

Want to analyze your network?  Some of the top filters for Wireshark are below.  This by no means is a user guide for Wireshark which is the best freeware protocol analyzer available.

Want to see if your traffic is efficient?  Use the following filter to identify problems in your traffic.


This flag helps to look at problems you may have in a trace file.  By using this filter, you can see re-transmissions, acknowledgement problems and more.


Are you experiencing latency in traffic to a server?  Are you being SYN attacked?  


This flag can help you detect syn based attacks against a server.  While thousands of packets may be found, it is the pattern of syn requests that can indicate if you are being attacked by someone.

Troubleshooting a connection?  Do you know the port number for the application?


Following a stream of data on a specific port number can be achieved by typing in the above filter.  This can be used when connecting to a website or a server such as MySQL (3306) or MSSQL (1433/1434).   Another reason you should know common port numbers.


What’s some of the ports we make our students memorize?  7, 21,23, 25, 53, 80, 110, 135-139, 445, 9001 and of course a few more that are used in the enterprise.   This can help you in troubleshooting connectivity issues.

Want to follow a stream of data to see how if you have errors?  Use the following filter –



See the DUP ACKs above,  indicates that one side of a transmission may not be receiving the Acknowledgement.  In this case, an adjustment of the MTUs of the router took care of many of these duplicates.

Here’s a way you can follow a stream of data to see the SYN / ACK –

Capture traffic – Find the appropriate IP address – Right click and select follow TCP stream-

1 Stream Follow

What are we looking at?  This is the devices communicating.  This is the TCP flow.  You can also filter and possibly get a better ‘look’ by using  tcp.analysis.lost_segment

Stream Follow 2

What does an I/O graph tell you about traffic?   The I/O graph in Wireshark will show you the throughput of all traffic in your trace file.  This is shown in both directions. The TCP Stream Throughput in your Wireshark graph will show only the throughput from one TCP stream, in one direction.

IO graph

What can be done about most errors?   There are several tweaks you can check.  Wireless, check the placement of the Wireless Access Point, Antenna alignment, short/long interval, channels, interference (spectrum analyzer), WAP overload,  broadcasting devices (other nodes),  tweaking your network card (disable all but flow control),  Switch overload,  MTU setting – while there are many more, also look at running netsh commands to optimize your network – see Optimizing your internet.

Although the post is for Windows 7, it works with Windows 8, 8.1 and 10.

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Error with Group Policy Editor after Windows 10 November Update

The following fix for accessing the Group Policy Editor is listed below.  In short, you may have to take ownership of files and adjust security settings.

Here are combined notes from Nick Comas with excerpts from Microsoft –

Since the November Update took place, some users may get an error occurs when accessing the Group Policy Editor that shows the following:

            “Administrative Templates
Namespace ‘Microsoft.Policies.Sensors.WindowsLocationProvider’ is already defined as the target namespace for another file in the store. File

            C:\Windows\PolicyDefinitions\Microsoft-Windows-Geolocation-WLPAdm.admx, line 5, column 110″


First things first, if you get this error and you’re thinking about making the changes listed below, back your stuff up or make a restore point.

To fix this error, the files ‘LocationProviderADM.admx’ and ‘LocationProviderADM.adml’ must be deleted, and the files ‘Microsoft-Windows-Geolocation-WLPAdm.admx’ & ‘Microsoft-Windows Geolocation-WLPAdm.adml’ must be renamed ‘LocationProviderADM.admx’ and ‘LocationProviderADM.adml’ respectively.

The tricky thing is that the permissions to change, modify, or delete these files is set to a non-existent User/Group named ‘TrustedInstaller’ and nobody else, including the Administrator, can modify the files. But you can change the Ownership of the files to a user and then be able to modify the permissions of the files to whoever you want. To do this, right-click the file and select Properties, click the Security Tab, click the Advanced button near the bottom of the window. A new window will pop up and near the top, click the ‘Change’ text by the current Owner and change the Owner to your user. You’ll then be able to change the permissions of who can modify the file. But you’ll have to do this for each of the four files.

The path to the files listed below:





When you make the necessary changes, reboot the computer, and the error that pops up in Group Policy should no longer be popping up.

The solution as well as the cause of the error can be found on Microsoft’s Support site:


Posted in Microsoft Windows, Microsoft Windows 10, Technology, Windows, Windows 10, Windows 10 Quick Tips | Leave a comment

Scrambled graphics – Intel HD/HD2000/HD2500/HD3000/HD4000

After upgrading to Windows 10 and experiencing intermittent video problems even in Windows 8 and 8.1, I decided to find a fix for our laptop.

Upgrading of drivers from the Intel site did not work.  What resolved the issue was drivers from Sourceforge and Leshcatlabs.
Leshcatlabs provides drivers for –
Those drivers are based on latest AMD + Intel Drivers and aimed to support laptops powered with:
• AMD 3xxx/4xxx/5xxx/6xxx/7xxx/8xxx/Rxxx Series
• Intel HD/HD2000/HD2500/HD3000/HD4000/Iris/Haswell/Broadwell/Skylake CPU Embedded Graphics

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Windows 10 November Update not installing

Want the November Update for Windows 10 and it shows your Windows is up to date.   1 A Updated

Here’s what to do.

Download the Windows 10 Download Tool

1 Download Tool

Double Click on the Media Creation Tool.

2 Tool

Select Upgrade

3 Upgrade Now

5 Install Reainess 6 What to Keep

Follow the prompts and reboot as necessary.
Don’t forget to clean your computer and remove the Windows.old folder using Windows Cleanup or CCleaner.

Windows Old

Over 16.8 Gigabytes saved with a full cleanup.

16 Gig

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Have Ransomware? Stop and do this first

The Hacker News had an excellent article on Kaspersky’s  Ransomware Decryptor.

Here’s what to do –

  • Write down the Bitcoin wallet address
  • Get the encrypted file list
  • Remove the virus
  • Open a browser and go to https://noransom.kaspersky.com and download the encryption tool
  • Decrypt your files

See other great articles on the Hacker News

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Display Settings and more – Windows 10

Want to change your resolution or orientation of your screen?  How about making text clear?

Right Click on the desktop and select Display.  Under Display settings you can change the resolution of your screen, brightness, ClearType, Color Calibration, project to a screen or another monitor and more.

1 Display 2 Advanced - Resolution

ClearType Text can make fonts sharper.

3 Clear type text

The advanced settings allows you to control everything related to your display.

4 Text

The Notifications and Actions area allows you to control which icons are on your taskbar, alarms, tips and more.

5 Notifications and Actions 1 6 Notifications and Actions 2

Apps and Features allows you to see the size of apps along with sorting by size and to see which ones are installed.

7 Apps and Features

Multitasking allows you to control Snap and to control Virtual Desktops.

8 MultiTasking

Tablet Mode allows you to use Windows in tablet mode.  This optimizes Windows if you have a tablet or touchscreen.

9 Tablet Mode

Battery Saver along with Power and Sleep allows you to adjust how Windows uses power.  Advanced options allows you to control how devices use power.

10 Battery Mode 11 Battery Mode Two

12 Power and Sleep 13 Advanced Power

Storage allows you to see a breakdown of the different types of files and how much space you are using.

14 Storage 15 Adv Storage 16 Adv Storage C Drive

Offline maps allows you to download maps from across the globe in the event you do not have an internet connection.

17 Offline Maps

Default apps is used to assign a program to open a particular file type.

18 Default Apps

About allows you to see the specs on your computer, change workgroups, name or domain settings.

19 About Information

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